Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

It's a perfect Christmas Eve. My husband and I exchanged gifts earlier this evening, we danced in the light of the Christmas tree, we played with our kitty and we cuddled. There's snow on the ground outside and more is coming down. I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful time. But in the midst of our happiness, I can't help but think of those who aren't as fortunate as we are. My thoughts are drawn to those brave men and women who are far from their families this night. I just want to take a moment and say "thank you" to them. I want to tell them that I will never forget the sacrifices that they've made for me. I want to tell them that they'll always have my support and love and I'll do my best to honor them and this great country. And most importantly, I want to tell them that I'll never ever take them for granted.
So, thank you veterans who served in years past. And thank you current members of the military. You are frequently in my thoughts and prayers, and even on perfect nights like these, I still think about you and all that you've done. Merry Christmas and God Bless.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Tonight, I had the great privilege of being a part of something truly wonderful. My husband's family (yes, the oft-dreaded in-laws :)) is a very close-knit family (especially the ones who live here in Wichita). At the core, their religions beliefs are the same, and any doctrinal differences they have bring them closer together through challenge and debate rather than tearing them apart, as it does most families. They go to each other for advice, support and love.
Tonight, we had a Christmas Musical (or Talent Show?) and the Candlelight Service. The first part was singing and playing of various Christmas songs by various members of the family and friends, and the second part was a reading of the Christmas story along with lighting the Christmas candles. There are two reasons tonight was so wonderful. One, of course, was the sharing of our Christian belief in the birth and life of Jesus Christ. The other was the amazing talent that I saw and heard. It's quite obvious that musical talent runs strong in this family and it's truly sensational when they get together and perform.
I'm very blessed that this remarkable family has welcomed me as one of them and that I get to be an audience to the talent that flows from them.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Standing Guard

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
my daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep
in perfect contentment, or so it would seem.
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eye when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
and I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,
to the window that danced with a warm fire's light
then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night"

"Its my duty to stand at the front of the line,
that separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white and blue... an American flag.

"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home,
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat,
I can carry the weight of killing another
or lay down my life with my sisters and brothers
who stand at the front against any and all,
to insure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone.
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
to know you remember we fought and we bled
is payment enough, and with that we will trust.
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

God Is Busy

A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist, and a member of the ACLU.
One day, the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "God, if you are real, I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes." The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am God, I'm still waiting."
It got down to the last couple minutes when the Marine got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him, knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold. The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silent.
The other students were shocked and stunned, and sat there looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, "What in the world is the matter with you?! Why did you do that?"
The Marine calmly replied, "God is too busy today protecting American soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid stuff and act like an idiot. So He sent me."
The classroom erupted in cheers.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Unanswerable Question

This past weekend, someone that I work with had to make the extremely difficult decision to "pull the plug" on their mother. When this person told me what they had decided to do, something inside me quaked. I knew that this person loved their mother and didn't want to do such a thing, but, because of the situation, had decided that it was the most loving thing they could do for their mother. Ever since I talked to this person, I've been troubled. Part of me can't help thinking that, no matter what was wrong with a person, ending his or her life is never the right decision. But the other part of me wonders if, sometimes, it's the best and most loving decision. So then I'm faced with the question: is it ever okay to remove life support from a person in order to let them die, and if so, when is it okay to do so? If the person is completely paralyzed, has to be fed through a tube, is on an oxygen machine, and can't communicate at all and yet is not brain dead, is it okay? If a person is in a coma and shows no signs of coming out of it, is it okay? If a person is on life support and is partially brain dead, is it okay? What if they're completely brain dead? If a person is in a vegetative state and is completely brain dead, are they even technically alive anymore?
And then we must think about children that are born that are paralyzed or physically or mentally retarded in some way. If there's a certain standard for when it's okay to take life support away from an older person, there are children that are born who'd fall into the same category. Is it then okay to let a child die if an old person in that exact same position is allowed to die?
These questions trouble me, not only because I may one day be put in a place where I have to make such a decision about my parents, but also because, from a Christian standpoint, I firmly believe that all life is precious and everyone deserves a chance to live. As a Christian, can I condone taking away life support from someone, no matter what kind of physical/mental position that person is in? If Jesus was here and I asked him these questions, what would He say? Would He Who healed the sick and the mentally challenged say it's okay to pull life support? Or would He Who had so much compassion on the sick and mentally challenged say that it's the most loving thing that could be done? Is it taking someone's life into our own hands or is it giving someone what is best for them?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Military

As the roar overhead drowns out all other noises, I'm reminded again of one of the reasons why I really like living in this particular place in the city. I was raised in the country on a small farm, and I'll always be a country girl at heart. Because of that, there's only a few things that I like about living in the city. I don't hate the city, per say. I just don't enjoy living here, as a lot of people do. The few things that I like about the city are that I'm close to my work, I'm close to other stores so I can go shopping whenever I want, and I'm close to the Air Force base. As the crow flies, the base is just a few miles from our apartment. Every day, fighter jets, huge cargo planes and other military aircraft fly right overhead. In the evenings when my husband and I are watching a movie, there are many times when we have to pause the movie because the roar of low-flying military aircraft is so loud that nothing else can be heard. Some people probably get very irritated by the noise, especially if it wakes them up at night. I, however, think of the noise differently... with gratitude. I'm so grateful that there are men and women who are willing to enlist so those jets and planes can be flown in the defense of our country. I'm grateful that I work at a grocery store that's close to the base so I can see military personnel everyday. I'm grateful that we live close enough to the base so I can hear the sounds of freedom everyday.
When I was growing up in the country, we didn't see soldiers or military vehicles very often. But now, living where we do, I have a constant reminder of the sacrifice of those men and women. That soldier who comes through my line at the store - he may be deployed next week, and the week after that, may be counted among the fallen. I will never stop being grateful to that soldier.
I only wish that more people in our country were grateful for the sacrifices of our military. I don't really care if you agree or disagree with the war, the president, past presidents, or decisions that were made. Those men and women deserve our love and gratitude and support.

My love and prayers especially go out to my sister Melanie (Air Force) and my brother Josh (Army National Guard). I'm so proud of you both.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Authors and Books

It's been quite a while, dear readers, since I've written anything. Life has been busy for me, but that's not the only reason I haven't written in so long. Those of you who know me well, know that I love to read. I used to read for hours and hours every day but, as I got older and more important things came up (such as going to college, getting married, working an almost full-time job, etc.), reading was one of the things that got put on hold. Of course, I didn't give up reading altogether (I always had a book around that I'd pick up when I wanted to relax), but I just didn't read for the hours a day that I used to. However, I've recently realized that I've really missed reading and I'm now trying to read for at least half an hour every day (if not more). Because of my new determination, given the choice between reading and writing my blog, I usually choose reading. Now, I'm sure you're all on the edge of your seats, wondering what I've been reading lately. Well, about a week ago, I finished Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. For those of you who've read that book, you know that it's quite an extensive read. However, from the very first page of the book, the story captured me and I could barely put it down. In my opinion, it's the best fiction book I've ever read. The other book that I just finished is Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. I read Dear John because my younger sister Bridget read it and recommended it to me. When I was younger I used to read a lot of Christian romances, but haven't for awhile. But I must say, Dear John is a pretty good book. I'd recommend both Lonesome Dove and Dear John to any of you readers. The book I'm on now is Dead Man's Walk, another book my Larry McMurtry and a prequel to Lonesome Dove.
So, what makes a good book "good"? Well, I think there are two things that make a book good (this mainly applies to fiction books). First, the author writes in such a way that you can actually "see" and "feel" what's happening. You can see what's happening to the characters, you can feel what they're going through. I've read books where I haven't been able to see and feel, and those reads weren't very enjoyable. For whatever reason, the author just didn't have what it took to make the characters seeable and feelable (is that a word?). And second, the author is able to make the characters "live". For example, at the end of Lonesome Dove, one of the main characters dies (I won't tell you who because I don't want to spoil it for you). When that character died, I felt the lose. When the character was alive, I felt like he was really alive. Now, you may think that these two things are the same, but they really aren't. You can "see" what's going on in a book without feeling like it's really happening. If an author is able to write in such a way that you not only see and feel what's happening, but also feel that the characters are really alive and the events are really happening to them, then, in my opinion, that book is a good book, that author is a good author.
Well, that's all for now. If you don't read, I encourage you to pick up a book and read today. You truly can travel the world and beyond, past, present and future, in the pages of a book.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Future House

Now that I'm married and living in a three room apartment (bedroom, bathroom and living room/kitchen), I'm really looking forward to having my own house. I know that my wish for a house probably won't materialize for a year or two, but it's still fun to dream. What do I miss most about a house?
Well, the first thing would be having a front yard and backyard. We live on the third floor of our apartment building and therefore have a balcony, but it's definitely not the same. When I was younger, I used to hate the thought of gardening, but now, I'd love to have a backyard to plant flowers in. I'd love to have a backyard with a big tree and a swing and grass to mow. If we lived in the city, the backyard would be fenced in and my kitty Nibbles could go outside and play. I could sit outside and no one would be able to see me. With the balcony that we have now, it overhangs the parking lot so people can see me when I'm sitting outside. Also, the sun doesn't reach our balcony (even in the summer) so today, when it was a beautiful day and I wanted to sit outside in the sun, I couldn't. I still sat outside, but it was in the shade and I could only gaze longingly at the sun areas around me.
One of the other things that I really miss is having a washer and dryer. Yes, there are two of each in the basement of our building but those cost money. It would be cheaper to go to the laundromat down the street from us, but that would require having the time to sit at a laundromat, waiting for laundry to get done. At least when I do it downstairs, I can leave it down there and not really worry about it. However, I still need a block of time during the day to get one or two loads done. When we have a house with a washer and dryer, I could put laundry in at night and let it go and just switch it in the morning. It probably doesn't seem like a big thing, but it's really getting to be a nuisance. So, I can't wait till we have our own house with our own washer and dryer.
The last thing I really miss is having our own property. Here at our apartment, we own nothing except what's in the apartment. When we buy a house, that house and the 1/2 acre or acre is our own.... well, it'll be the bank's for awhile, but you get what I mean. We wouldn't have to worry about doing car maintenance because we'd have a little garage to do it in. Here at the apartment, they don't want people working on their cars in the parking lot so you have to find somewhere else to do it. If we had a garage, we could clean out our cars when they get dirty. Here, there's no where to plug in a vacuum or run a hose. Everywhere we walk, someone else owns it. We pay money every month, but for what? It's not an investment. There's nothing long-term that we're putting the money towards. If we didn't pay our rent next month, we'd get kicked out and what would we have to show for the past eight months of paying rent? Nothing. There's nothing long-term about an apartment, nothing to make it really feel like your permanent home.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm very glad to have this apartment and I know that we're getting a pretty good deal on this one. Also, our building is going to be renovated in a couple months and then it'll be even better. And yes, our little apartment does feel like home right now. But I long for something that will be ours, mine and Daniel's. Our own house. Our own garage. Our own yard with a tree and grass. Our own home where we can have children and raise a family. It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Civil War

For the last several months, I've been reading a book called "The Civil War: Strange and Fascinating Facts." (The reason it took me so long is because it's a "bathroom book", not because I'm a slow reader :)) For those of you who know me well, you know that I love American history and I especially love the Civil War and the Old West.
I think that one of the most fascinating things about the Civil War is how much the Confederates believed in their cause. In fact, I'm convinced that if the South had as many soldiers as the North was able to supply, the South would have won the war. The South believed much more strongly in their cause than the North did. The South was fighting for one thing and one thing only: they wanted the right to decide, to choose, for themselves. Despite what a lot of people will say, the war wasn't about slavery, at least not for the South. The war was about whether or not a state could decide for itself if it wanted to have slavery. Southerners were fiercely independent. Unlike today, states, not the federal government, had the most power. And the people in the Southern states wanted the states, not the federal government, to decide about slavery. Many Southerners had decided that, if Lincoln was elected, they would secede. They knew that Lincoln would try to abolish slavery (whether or not he actually would have will never be known). The South was united behind The Cause.
However, it was a different story in the Northern states. Many people in the North were disconnected from what was going on. Men and women got up each day, went to work in the fields or factories, went home at night, ate supper and went to bed. Yes, many of them didn't want slavery and believed it was wrong, but they also had more important things to worry about. After all, it wasn't their way of life that was being threatened. In fact, in the North at that time, there were many people who had never even seen a black person. These men and women would go to church on Sunday and their preacher might expound on the evils of slavery and many of the men knew that, if it came to war, they would fight. "But... what exactly would I be fighting for? To end slavery? Well, sure, that's a noble cause, I suppose. But if I go to war, who will take care of my family? With seven children under the age of fourteen, I need to be here at home."
Granted, not all Northerners thought this way. In fact, many of the youth who signed up were looking forward to fighting those "Johnny Rebs". But why were they fighting? The adventure, of course. And then there were those Northerners who would fight forever if it would mean the end of slavery. However, if the Northerners were fighting to end slavery, than they were fighting for something that was different than what the South was fighting for. The South was fighting for the right to choose, to decide for themselves. The North was fighting to end slavery.
However, when Lincoln declared war on the South, it wasn't to end slavery! He declared war because he didn't think the Southern states had the right to secede. It wasn't until the end of 1862 and beginning of 1863 that Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Which, if you really think about it, was a mildly ridiculous thing to do. At that point, the war was only half over and the North was certainly not decisively winning. In fact, until the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863), the South seemed to be winning. Sure, Lincoln said that all the slaves were free... and who in the South was going to listen to him or carry out his orders?
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm glad Lincoln put an end to slavery. I think it's morally reprehensible that one race of people thinks they can treat another race of people like they're animals. But the sequence of events seems confusing. If the only cause that the Northerners would unite behind was an end to slavery (which, by and large, is why they were fighting), why would Lincoln wait so long to issue the Emancipation Proclamation? Because Lincoln himself didn't declare war to end slavery. He declared war to bring the Southern states back into the Union.
The Southern states wanted the right to choose, so they seceded when they thought that right would be threatened. Lincoln declared war because he didn't think that the Southern states had the right to just leave the Union. However, in the North, the widespread reason for the war was to end slavery.
Ironically, the very way of life that the South was fighting to defend was their downfall. The South produced cotton, not guns or ammunition or powder or uniforms or ships or men. Plus, because of the large number of slaves, the white population was extremely small compared to the white population in the North. The South was fighting to defend a way of life that couldn't even support their fight to defend it.
Anyway, those are just some of my thoughts on the Civil War.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Stand By Your Man

A few days ago when I was skimming, something I do several times a day if I can, I came across a rather interesting article that I'd like to share with you, my readers. Here's the link if you want to read it:,2933,559360,00.html.
The article is about the political wives who've stood by their men when their men have been caught cheating on them, whether it be with other women or other men. The interesting thing about this article is that all these wives are portrayed as "good wives" for standing by their men. Most of these women (I can't say all, since I don't know the whole story for some of them) are, in my opinion, weak-willed women who have become doormats. Now, you might be surprised that I'd say that. Didn't these women do the right thing in standing by their man when he was caught cheating? Weren't they right to forgive and forget? Shouldn't they be heralded for having the strength to stick it out through the tough times? The short answers are: no, yes, and no.
Now, before you get the wrong idea about me, I completely disagree with divorce in every single case except marital unfaithfulness (which is the only instance where God allows it). Divorce is always always always wrong except when one or the other spouse is caught cheating. Okay, I think I've made myself clear on divorce. So, because these men were caught cheating, am I saying that these women should have divorced them? That is one question I can't answer. However, the point I'm trying to get to is this: standing by your man (or woman, if your wife is caught cheating) is not always a good thing, is not always the right thing and, in many cases, can make the situation worse. If I could sit down and talk to these women, I'd ask them one question. Where's the consequences for your husband's actions? These men cheated. In God's eyes, these wives would be justified in divorcing their husbands. If they decide to stay and try to work it out, that's their decision and it's neither wrong nor right. However, there still needs to be consequences. Where was the phone call where the wife tells her husband that his belongings are out on the front lawn and he isn't allowed back home until he's ready to fix this and promise that it'll never happen again? From a political point of view, these men regretted what they did - most of them had to resign whatever office they were holding and were disgraced in the public eye. But that's just humiliation and can be forgotten. (And public humiliation evidently isn't a good deterrent because men keep on getting caught cheating and have to resign). Now that these men don't hold political office anymore, they don't have to worry about public humiliation. So what's stopping them from cheating again? Why did they do it in the first place? Somewhere along the line, they crossed a line in their head that said they could cheat on their wife. How did that happen? Does the wife, perhaps, hold some responsibility in the matter? (And no, it's never the other spouse's fault when the first spouse cheats, but they still can hold some responsibility). If these men knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their belongings would be out on the front lawn and they wouldn't be allowed back home if they were caught cheating, would these men still have cheated? I don't know. What I do know is, their belongings weren't out on the front lawn. In some cases, their wives covered for them. If these husbands cheated again, they know their wives would still be there for them, supporting them, covering for them. So where's the deterrent? What's stopping them from cheating again? (In the case of John Edwards, he's still seeing his mistress. The whole standing by your man thing didn't do a lot of good, now did it? Maybe if she'd had some consequences for him at the time, she could've either saved their marriage or ended the agony at that point.)
If my husband knew that he could cheat and I'd still be here for him and there'd be no consequences, there's a much better chance that he'd cheat. However, he knows that if he cheats, he'll lose his family. So even if he weren't an honorable man (which he is), that, in and of itself, would be a good deterrent. It takes a pretty morally-corrupt man to cheat when he knows he'll be kicked out of his house and lose his family. (I don't like using my husband as an example here, because I know he'd never cheat on me. However, I can't use any other husband as an example since he's the only one that I've got :))
For those wives, strength is not standing by your man, no matter what. Strength is telling your man: "ya know what? You cheated on me. You broke your vows to me and to God. We're going to be separated for the next six months as I work through the pain and betrayal. During that time, I'll decide if I'm willing to stay with you or if I'm going to divorce you." These men obviously don't value their wives and families. Maybe when they're faced with the possibility of losing it all, it'll knock some sense into them.
Why is it that, in the marriage relationship, consequences are seen as a bad thing and in every other relationship, are seen as a good thing? Your pet makes a mess on the carpet right in front of you, he gets a spank. Your child steals from the store, he gets grounded. You steal from the store, you're thrown in jail. You sin, God punishes you. Why is it that, when an egregious offense is committed in marriage, there's no consequences? It doesn't make sense.
One last thing - forgiveness is not an option. You have to forgive your husband or wife, no matter what.
Tough love is not easy but it is necessary.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

What Did He Say?

As I was reading Revelation tonight ("The Ending", so to speak), I also was thinking about "The Beginning". I was thinking about Satan's arrogance, his desire to be God, his deception of 1/3 of the angels, and his fall from heaven. And, dear readers, I would like you to think about something and give me an answer if you can.
Satan was able to deceive 1/3 of all the angels in heaven. Think about that. He didn't just deceive 1 or 2 or even 10 or 20. He deceived 1/3 of them. And, considering Jesus said, at the time of his crucifixion, that He could call 12 legions (a legion is 4,500 to 6,000) of angels to come and rescue Him if He so desired, there must be a heck of a lot of angels. These angels were living in heaven... with God. Everything was perfect, there was no suffering, no tears, no pain. And they weren't even people, they were angels! Would you leave a place like that? I doubt it. And yet, Satan got 1/3 of the angels to follow him. So my question is, what did he say? What could Satan possibly have said to them to get them to follow him when they were living in a perfect place with God Himself? What did he say?

God Gets The Blame

There's a saying "God gets all the blame but none of the credit." I was thinking about that tonight as I was reading the end of Revelation, about the Second Coming, the Last Battle, the Thousand Year Reign, etc. When something bad happens, God usually gets blamed... "if God really loved me, fill in the blank wouldn't have happened. Why would He let this happen?" And yet, that statement shows how "this life" focused people are. I think that, if Christians were really kingdom focused, there'd be a lot less blaming and a lot more praising. When a Christian sins, what keeps him from immediately being punished and sent to hell? God's love and mercy and forgiveness. The simple fact that we aren't all headed straight to hell is a testament of how much God loves us. The fact that we're still on earth (Jesus hasn't come back yet) is a testament of how much He loves us. God continuously gives us second chances to get things right. Yet, we're so caught up in the things that happen here on earth that we can't see the bigger picture, we can't see God's goodness through the fog of badness. Bad things happen, yes, but think of how much worse they could be. Yes, your house burned down, but at least no one died. Why does God get the blame for the house burning down but doesn't get the praise that no one died? A world completely devoid of goodness, kindness, love and mercy is a world where God doesn't love people. While those things still exist, we can be assured that God still loves us. And yes, a world devoid of those things DOES exist... it's called hell.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Take Time To Smell the Roses

Last evening, I went over to a little park about a mile from our apartment. The weather was absolutely beautiful, there were ducks and geese swimming in the water and walking on the grass, everything looked so green, and there was even a couple getting their engagement pictures taken while I was there. I walked around for almost half an hour before heading home.
What I can't get over, though, is how beautiful everything was. I just don't understand people who sit in their house, watching tv, when they could be outside enjoying an amazing evening. Yet, I know that many people do. Many people go through life without stopping to smell the roses, as it were. People hurry from place to place, ignoring the beauty around them, and then one day, the business of their life ceases and they suddenly realize how much they've missed. As Christians, I believe that God wants us to take time to look at the beauty around us, to appreciate all the things He's created. How would you feel if you spent time making something incredibly beautiful and then the people you put there to enjoy it just ignored it instead?
Now, realistically, most people don't have the time to spend hours enjoying God's creation. But there are so many things that can be enjoyed in daily life if people would just pay attention to them. A sunrise, if you get up early enough. If not, there's always the sunset. A short walk in the evening, smelling the fresh air. Watching the rain gently fall. A rainbow, a flower blooming, a little child gazing in innocent wonderment at something, squirrels playing with each other, the sunlight shimmering on a pool of water. I could go on and on. These things can be enjoyed if only one would notice them. Life is so much more amazing when one takes the time to enjoy what's around them.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Airport

So, I'm stuck at the airport. My flight was due to leave around 4 and is now delayed until at least 6, which means I'll be getting home 2 hours later than originally planned. I think that a lot of people in my position would be at least impatient, if not a little peeved and angry. I, however, have chosen to take a different approach. After all, what good does it do to get mad? I could be so mad that I'm breathing fire and smoke is coming out of my ears, but that won't make the plane get here any faster. So instead, I'm using this time to write my blog, catch up on the news in the world, scroll through facebook and read "Lonesome Dove". Doing these things makes me happy.... well, reading the news usually doesn't make me happy, but the other things do. So I sit here, happy as can be, and the person next to me is mad as a hornet. For whom does the time go faster? Me of course. And I've even gotten some things done. All in all, it's a very productive delay. This concept is an old one, usually described as the "half full - half empty glass" concept. When one looks at a glass that is filled halfway with water, they can either view it as being half full or half empty. The people that view the glass as half full are much happier and more satisfied than the people who view the glass as half empty. Think about that the next time your plans go awry.
Until next time...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Whatever happened to common courtesy?

Today on my flight from Wichita to Green Bay, I witnessed an encounter that shocked me. A man on my flight (right across the aisle from me) was on his blackberry, looking at a plan of the Packer stadium. The flight attendant had gone into her shpeel about "turning off all electronic devices". The man ignored her. She told him specifically to turn it off. Again, he ignored her. Finally, she sternly told him that she wasn't going to tell him to turn it off again. The man flips out and starts screaming at her... "I'm turning it off!! What's your problem?!?! Bleep!! Bleep!!" I sat in my chair, completely stunned. How could a grown man (late thirties) act like that? If he acts like this to a total stranger, can you imagine how he treats his wife and kids? (he had a wedding ring on). This is not the first time I've witnessed a person act in a way that was completely lacking in common courtesy. On Friday morning at work, a customer was extremely rude to me, basically telling me that I should go to school to learn how to pack groceries in a bag (her boxes of groceries wouldn't fit into her bag and she was mad about that... I know how to pack groceries and I can guarantee that they wouldn't fit, no matter how they were arranged). In the end, she grabbed the bag from me and walked out in a huff. Again, a grown woman acting like a two year old. I expect such tantrums from children, not from adults. What has happened to just being nice to people, to giving people a little grace, to be polite no matter what? And it's not just a problem in the "common" people sector. Kanye West and Serena Williams are good examples of relatively famous people acting like spoiled children.
Why is this happening? Is it that parents aren't teaching their children how to act in public (and in private)? Is it that people think so highly of themselves that they think they don't have to treat others with a little respect and kindness? This is just another example of the breakdown of values in our society. Common courtesy, politeness, manners or whatever you want to call it is a value, and a very important one if our society is going to continue to function in a civilized way.
Until next time...

Saturday, September 19, 2009


The most helpless class of Americans is the white male. Think about it. When something happens to them, they have no card to play. The racism card is for the black people and the sexism card is for women. What do white males have? Nothing. These two cards are played so often in America today that I'm surprised people even believe them anymore... but when the racism card is played, a lot of black people get on board. When the sexism card is played, a lot of women get on board. What is wrong with the people who go along with this crap? When will the whining, sniveling people who proclaim that everything that happens to them is either a result of racism or sexism grow up? Guess what, you people out there who use those cards. Life is hard for everyone. In fact, life just plain sucks for a lot of people. But that doesn't mean it's someone else's fault or a result of discrimination of some sort. If you get arrested because you did something illegal, that's not racist, IT'S THE LAW. If you don't get a promotion, it's not because you're a woman, IT'S BECAUSE YOU CAN'T DO THE JOB AS WELL AS SOMEONE ELSE. Just get over it already. Everything isn't all about you.
If you're in one of these two groups of people and you've never used these cards to get pity or revenge or whatever, then I applaud you. If you actually have been a victim of racism or sexism, than I feel for you. Yes, acts of racism and sexism do happen (not anywhere near as often as people say it does), but when it does happen, it's a thing to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, it's hard to take it seriously when sexist or racist acts actually do happen because the card has been worn out. Now, it's almost an expected thing. Something happens and Al Sharpton throws up the racist flag.... and no one is surprised. We expected it.
Until next time...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Blog

Hello Readers,
You haven't heard from me in awhile I know, but I'm changing my blog a little bit and then, hopefully, you'll hear from me more often. When I feel very passionate about something, I feel a great desire to write about it. When I don't feel very strongly about something, the opposite is true. My newly improved blog will allow me to write about anything without having any set parameters. With this new-found freedom, I will write about the things that I truly love.
Until next time...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Observation: What the heck is wrong with "Christians?!"

"I hope that God strikes Barack Obama with brain cancer so he can die like Ted Kennedy and I hope it happens today."
"I'm gonna pray that he dies and goes to hell when I go to bed tonight. That's what I'm gonna pray."
--- Why I Hate Barack Obama

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is why people hate Christians and would never want to be one of us. These words are from a sermon (titled "Why I Hate Barack Obama") preached by a Baptist minister from the Phoenix area. When I first read the story ( I had a hard time processing it. How could a pastor say something like this? How could he encourage his parishioners to pray for the President's death? And then he claims that he doesn't condone killing??
As many of you know, or could probably guess, I disagree with the President on just about every issue. He has an extreme lack of morality and his stance on every other issue (non-moral ones) are, in my opinion, destructive to our country. However, I would never ever say something like this. No matter how much a person disagrees with another person, they don't stoop to this level. Is this pastor honestly praying to God and asking that the President die and go to hell? The God of the Bible? the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? the Father of Jesus? the One who came to earth, preaching that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us? I just don't get it.
We represent Jesus to the world, and this sermon is this pastor's representation of Jesus. As angry as this makes me, it also saddens me. Anytime a Christian (or at least one who claims to be saved) gets up there and makes a laughing-stock of our faith, it not only destroys his witness, but it damages my witness. The high-profile pastor's and the ones who catch the lime light for a short period of time are the ones that a lot of unsaved people see and remember. They think this is a picture of Christianity. How many souls will be lost because of this pastor's sermon?
Please don't think that I'm putting too much weight on what this pastor has said. I know that, despite (or in spite of) our words and deeds, God still works in people's lives. But when something like this happens, it makes our job, our advancement of the gospel, harder. Here's another person (a pastor) who claims to be a Christian and yet is preaching the exact opposite of what Christ preached. It's bad enough that the devil and all the people he has control of our against us. Do we really need one of our own against us too?
Until next time...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Observation - All Marriages Are Different

Dear Readers,
It's been a long time since I've shared any thoughts so I decided I should probably get back to it, before I lose the very very few (if any) readers that I have. There are many things that I think of to share with you readers but by the time I sit down at my computer, those thoughts have usually flown out of my head. But there's one thing that's been on my mind the last few days that I'd like to share with you.
It's this: all marriages are different and you can't judge any marriage relationship by another marriage relationship. Let me explain. For some couples, fighting every day is a part of their marriage. They'll argue and bicker about stupid things, but they fight fair and they still respect and love each other. For other couples, fighting every day would be traumatic and probably destroy their relationship. The dynamics of each relationship are based mostly on the couple's personalities but also somewhat on how they interact with each other. I know that, for Daniel and I, if we were fighting every day (even if it is fair fighting), it would be pretty traumatic for us. Neither of us would feel loved or respected by the other if we were constantly fighting. But for other couples, bickering is what draws them closer together (and strange as that may sound, it's true).
There are, however, certain rules of marriage that, if those rules are broken, the marriage relationship is not healthy. These rules cover things like: no swearing or using bad language at or about your spouse, absolutely no physical abuse, no fighting dirty (bringing up things in the past, being cruel, calling names, etc.), definitely no affairs or even emotional relationships with someone of the opposite sex outside your marriage, etc. I think you get the picture. As long as the ground rules are in place, your relationship and how you and your spouse do things, how you interact with each other, the dynamics of your relationship are up to you two.
Therefore, it's very dangerous and not fair to judge someone else's marriage by your marriage or vice versa. If you see a couple arguing, don't immediately assume that their marriage is rocky. Just because you and your spouse don't argue doesn't mean it's unhealthy when another couple argues, or vice versa.
A second point: if your marriage has an odd circumstance, don't immediately assume that your marriage is bad. For example, if the wife and kids are living here in the states and the husband is deployed to Iraq, that marriage is going to be very strained while the husband is gone and probably for awhile even after he gets home, while he's readjusting to life out of a combat zone. If, while your husband (or wife) is gone, you feel like your marriage is strained, you feel out of touch with your spouse, you feel lonely and somewhat depressed, that is normal. You should feel that way. If you didn't feel those things, then something probably is wrong with your marriage. If there's an odd circumstance in your marriage, than your relationship with your spouse will be odd for awhile... that's normal and healthy and don't let it freak you out.
Anyway, I suppose I've rambled on enough. I don't know why this thought has been in my head for awhile, but now that I've blogged about it, I can rest easy. And I'll leave you with this thought: if it works for the two of you (and it's not breaking any of the rules of a healthy marriage), then just do it. Don't worry about other people's marriages or what other people think. You'll create far more problems trying to mold your marriage to look like someone else's than to just have your own marriage relationship. Until next time...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Challenge - Don't Forget Where You Came From

Dear Readers,
The subject matter of today's blog came to me several days ago when I was at work. I started my job about two weeks ago and, because I've gotten a lot of hours at work, I've learned my job fairly quickly. The other day (Saturday I think) when I was working, there was a new girl who was also working. It was her second day and she was struggling with some things that I'd already learned. Feeling sorry for her, I gave her some tips so that she could do her job more quickly and more smoothly. She was very grateful to me for helping her. As I thought about that, this challenge came to mind. "Don't forget where you came from." What do I mean by that? Well, simply this. We should never consider ourselves too good (or too smart or too well-paid) to help out others because we were in that same position at one time. When I started at my job, there was a very nice young man who was exceedingly helpful to me and gave me tips and advice that helped me learn my job more quickly and do a better job. I was very grateful to him and I want to always pass his kindness on to someone else. Remember when you were the new person on the job and were struggling to learn something completely new? Was someone kind to you and helped you? Then you should help others. Did everyone ignore you and let you figure it out for yourself? Then don't let that happen to another person and be kind enough to help them out.
I remembered what it was like to want help and I got it from someone. I saw that new girl the other day and I could see that she was struggling so I helped her out. You should never consider yourself too far above helping someone out. At one time, you were that new person who wanted help. "Don't forget where you came from."
Until next time...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Challenge - Opinions

Dear Readers,
This morning, Daniel and I are watching a video about the Old Testament and if it lines up to what archaeologists have found in the Mesopotamian region. As it turns out, not surprisingly, it's anti-Biblical. The unfortunate thing is, the video does incorporate most of the parts of the Old Testament and just puts it's own twist on how it happened, why, and in what time frame. It always amazes me what great lengths people go to to deny God and Christianity. The thing about archaeology though is that, no matter what a person finds, they don't know what really happened. They can make an educated guess, but that's all that it is - a guess. To say that finding something a certain way means that this thing happened or didn't happen is not true. It's always just a guess.
All of that to say this - a Christian can't be so opinionated that his opinions will destroy his faith and he can't be so without opinion that his lack of opinion will destroy his faith. What do I mean by this? Well, most of the Bible is interpreted - a person will think a particular passage of the Bible means one thing and another person will think it means something else. These are opinions. For example, when the Bible says Creation took 6 days, you may either be of the opinion that it's a literal 6 day period, or you may be of the opinion that the 6 days is a figurative amount of time and really took much longer. Whichever way you believe, it's your opinion - and yes, of course you think your opinion is right. You wouldn't hold to your opinion if you thought it was wrong. However, don't hold to your opinion too tightly. I think Creation literally took 6 days but if I find out that my opinion is wrong, I'm not going to lose my faith over it. I'm not saying "I'm right, no matter what, and if it's proved that it wasn't a literal 6 day period, than the Bible must be wrong instead of my opinion being wrong".
Of course, you can swing the other way too. Being too opinionated can destroy your faith just as quickly as not being opinionated enough can. While the first are the hard-headed people, these are the wishy-washy people. A person has to have beliefs about some things or else anything goes. Back to our Creation example - most Christians think Creation took a literal 6 days but there are some who think it was actually a much longer amount of time, but at least they believe in Creation. If you don't have an opinion about it, then someone could say that evolution is true and God doesn't exist and you'd would be liable to believe them. After all, if you have no opinion, anything, even something anti-Biblical, could be true. Your faith wouldn't make it through one conversation with an atheist.
You have to be opinionated enough that you know what you believe, but not so much that you know it all and you have to be right no matter what. So my challenge to the hard-heads is this - yes, you can have your opinion but be careful how far you take it. After all, God is the only One who knows everything. And my challenge to the wishy-washies is this - have an opinion about something. If you don't believe in anything, you'll believe in everything.
So what does this have to do with the video we watched? Well, I have my opinion about the Old Testament and what certain things mean, how things happened, why they happened, etc. The video we watched had a different spin on everything. They used their interpretation of the evidence found through the archaeological excavations to try to disprove the Old Testament. I think their interpretation and their conclusion is wrong. However, if their interpretation was right, I wouldn't lose my faith over it. Their conclusion, that the Bible isn't real, that God doesn't exist, that Christianity is a fluke and Christians have all been misled, is wrong and will always be wrong, but their interpretation of the evidence may be right. Like I said, archaeologists can only make guesses based on what they find. A Christian archaeologist could look at the remains of a building and conclude one thing and a pagan archaeologist could look at those same ruins and conclude something completely different. At best, it's an educated analysis and at worst, it's a guess... but either way, no one really knows.
There are very few rock-solid facts in life and all the rest is opinion. Of the things that aren't fact, have an opinion but don't have too much of one.
And that, my readers, is your challenge for today. Until next time...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Observation - Scientific Proof of Creation

Hello Readers,
My wonderful husband stayed up way too late last night... but I'm glad he did because he found this video. I watched it when I got home from work today and I was very impressed. I've done a fair amount of research on the Creation vs. Evolution argument, but I've never heard what this guy had to say. If you want reasonable, logical, SCIENTIFIC proof that Creation is true and evolution (i.e. random chance) isn't, watch this video. I haven't had time to go through the rest of his website yet, but I'm sure it has good stuff on it. This man is truly brilliant, but his proof is so simple that anybody could understand it.
Link to his website:
Link to the video:

I hope you enjoy and I hope that you'll use this to talk to any atheists or evolutionists that you know.

Until next time....

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hero - John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

"We will never forget them nor the last time we saw them, as they prepared for their journey and waved good bye and... slipped the surly bonds of earth, to touch the face of God" - President Ronald Reagan, after the space shuttle Challenger disaster (Jan 28, 1986).

President Reagan took some of those words from this beautiful poem called "High Flight"

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds, - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,

I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung,

My eager craft through footless halls of air...

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark, or ever eagle flew -

And, while the silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

The young man who wrote this poem was John Gillespie Magee, Jr. During the Battle of Britain (summer and fall of 1940), while the U.S. was still officially neutral, many young American men would cross the border into Canada and enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force. John, age 18, was one of these brave men who, though breaking the law, crossed the border and volunteered to fight the Nazis. Within a year, he was sent to England and was qualified to fly the Supermarine Spitfire. In the skies over Britain and France, he battled the German Luftwaffe and quickly rose to the rank of Pilot Officer. In September of 1941, while John was test flying a newer model of the Spitfire V, he was inspired to write a poem about "touching the face of God." In a letter to his parents, he jotted down the two verses above.

On December 11, 1941, just three days after the U.S. joined the war, John was killed in a tragic collision with another fighter plane. A farmer testified that he saw the Spitfire pilot struggle to push back the canopy. The pilot (John) finally stood up to jump from the plane. He was, however, too close to the ground for his parachute to open and he died instantly. John was 19 years old.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr. is the hero of the day because he gave his life for freedom. Take a moment to silently thank God for all the men and women throughout history who've given their lives for freedom. Freedom is never free... John paid the price.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Observation - Marriage

Dear Readers,
As a newlywed, I get a lot of marriage advice, both from other people and from books I read and a particular radio program I listen to ( I sift through all this advice and decide what to apply to my marriage and what to ignore; most of the advice I apply in one way or another, one situation or another. Because of all the good advice and because of a little hard work, I believe that my husband and I have a very good marriage. Now, before you burst out laughing, readers, and make fun of me because "I'm still a newlywed, how would I know what a good marriage is?" and "I haven't been married long enough to have to deal with any big problems that will really test the mettle of my marriage", consider a different aspect. I think that the mettle of a marriage is tested in the boring, day-to-day life that one person spends with the other. If two people can't get along and be nice and polite and kind to each other on a day-to-day basis, there's little chance that they'll survive when a real crisis hits. If they lose respect for one another and treat each other like crap, a big problem (such as financial difficulties or ruin, death of a family member or child, decision to move to another state, etc.) will only tear them farther apart. See, a relationship is built (or destroyed) every day, it isn't built or destroyed when a crisis hits.
And that's why I say that I believe my husband and I have a good marriage. We're not only lovers but also best friends. We respect each other, we're kind to each other (even when it's difficult to be), we work through our little problems, and we do our best to fight together, against the world, instead of fighting with each other. I know that when a real crisis hits, we're going to make it through and be okay because of the relationship we're building today and tomorrow and because I know he's on my side and I'm on his.
There is, of course, exceptions to this. You hear of couples who, when a crisis hits, it draws them back together after being emotionally damaging to each other for months or years. But these cases are rare. If you see your spouse as the "enemy" in a little spat today, what makes you think you'll see him/her as the "good guy" tomorrow when your child is hit by a car and instantly killed or when he/she gets a job offer in another state and wants to go but you refuse to leave your home and family?
Now obviously, every couple has their difficulties, every couple has fights. I'm not by any means saying you should live in a dream-like state of nirvana. But keep in mind what's at stake here. I know if I don't work at my marriage, if I treat my husband like crap when I don't feel like being nice, if I'm rude and spiteful, that I'm slowing destroying my marriage and there'll be nothing left to get us through the tough times.
And that, dear readers, is my comment for the day. Think on it, will you?

Friday, July 24, 2009

First Entry

Hello Readers,
After much consideration, I've decided to start a blog on here. Why? you might ask. Well, one reason would be because I think I'm driving my husband crazy with how much I talk to him. Having a blog gives me a different outlet so he doesn't have to listen to everything I want to talk about. Second, I just plain like to write about things and I get ideas all the time of things I want to write about, but without an outlet for my writing, my ideas are wasted.
I think (though I haven't totally decided yet) that I'm going to have three categories of things that I'll write about, instead of just being totally random. 1. Challenge - Any articles written under this category will be a challenge for my readers to do something for someone else. Every person out there has some problem in their life but I've found that when we start to focus on other's and their problems, our problems seem to shrink and sometimes even go away. By focusing on others, our problems are put in context of what's really important. 2. Hero - I think that way too much of our lives are focused on bad people and what they do. Consider for example the news media; no matter what station you watch, or website or newspaper you read, most of the stories are about bad things and bad people. After awhile, this can really start to get to you and you may start to wonder if there's even any good people left out there. Well, I think there's lots of good people out there and these articles will tell you about them and the heroic thing that they did. 3. Observation - The "observation" articles will be about all those other things that I want to make a comment about but that don't fall under the first two categories.
I don't know how often I'm going to be posting but I hope to add something at least twice a week. I hope my readers will find my blog entertaining and thought-provoking.