A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

When Jesus walked this earth in human form, what was the last act of good will and fellowship?  It was THE LAST SUPPER.  Jesus ate with His disciples and attempted to explain the drama to follow, though they understandably did not comprehend what they were hearing.  I’m not quick to judge them – I’m not sure I’d “get it” either.

What have Christian churches considered tradition since the beginning of Christianity?  It’s a POT-LUCK DINNER.  Everybody brings a covered dish (preferably with food inside).  We stand in line after the church service, tummies growling and eyes enlarged as we carefully examine the good stuff we have to choose from.  We communicate and laugh and if somebody says they forgot or they think they should not stay – we talk ’em into stayin’ anyhow, right?  We tell them there’s plenty of food.

Nobody knows how to make good relationships into better relationships like the followers of Christ.  I believe that most people here in Wichita still believe that America is a Christian nation, founded on the values and principles of Christianity.  We love, we mentor, we pray for everybody (except maybe ourselves) and yep – we EAT TOGETHER.  We break bread and with true concern for our fellow person – we communicate and laugh and with a sincere heart, we try to listen to the views of everyone and come up with solutions when there is any conflict.  THAT is what we do.

I could not be any more proud of Wichita right now.  While race relations are escalating across the country, in Wichita, our officers are taking a cue from the Christian community around them.  They are meeting with the group Black Lives Matter at a cookout.  Food – the breaking of bread (and hopefully some hamburgers inside – and hot dogs) along with meaningful dialogue, communication on both sides which includes some listening – real listening, and I hope and pray some moments of levity – laugher perhaps.  We need to initiate some conversation that leads to some answers – not for one side or the other – but answers we can all LIVE with.

We all need to LIVE to our greatest potential – because LIFE is a precious gift and not to be carelessly taken by anyone.

Let’s all have conversations at a cookout.  Christ knew how to talk with His crew about serious stuff.  Christians know all about making good fellowship into great fellowship.  Please America…  stop the violence.  Instead, let’s have a real conversation at a cookout.  Talking, listening – and FOOD.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE

https://youtu.be/mDThDZMcOMM

My heart is broken concerning America’s views on life in general.

What you are will show in what you do.  – Thomas Edison

Dr. Carson offers common sense in the midst of insanity in America.  Can we just back the truck up for a minute and take a close look at something?  Just humor me…  k?

We see videos of dissected babies (it’s a baby – that is what I believe).  They are after certain parts to sell for profit.  They justify it by saying they will be saving another life with the poor life that was aborted (which I believe is murder).

I’m tired of the left saying that Dr. Carson is a hypocrite.  He never had anything to do with killing babies.  He is a Christian and totally pro-life!  He sees abortion for what it is – murder.

Jen Gunter, an obstetrician-gynecologist, wrote on her blog that in 1992 Carson co-authored an academic paper published in Hum Pathol, in which he described using material “from two fetuses aborted in the ninth and 17th week of gestation.”  OK, but anyone who wants to be a doctor has to deal with the dead – of all ages.  That’s how doctors practice before they move on to the living.  It’s called practicing medicine.

You have to look at the intent.  To willfully ignore evidence that you have for some ideological reason is wrong. If you’re killing babies and taking the tissue, that’s a very different thing than taking a dead specimen and keeping a record of it.  – Dr. Ben Carson

Get real, people!  The man’s a doctor – he had to deal with dead specimens of all ages to get through medical school…  good grief!  The deal is – babies should not be killed for the specific purpose of selling body parts for profit – which, by the way, is still illegal!!!  It may not remain illegal, but for today, it is.  It makes me angry that my tax dollars are going to Planned Parenthood.  If they insist on doing their evil procedures and selling the parts of babies they are “going to abort anyway” – at the very least they should be privately funded!!!

We see black people with signs that say BLACK LIVES MATTER.  I’m not disputing that fact, but it’s as though no other lives matter.  I thought every person born into this world was here to get along with every other person born into this world.  I mean, feel free to correct me if you think I’m wrong.  I’d like to know why most abortions take place in the black community.  Don’t the unborn black lives matter?

Maybe it’s a matter of how we view ourselves.  Are we color first in our own mind, or are we more?  For example, I see myself as a Christian first (my value system), a woman (my sex), then white (the color of my skin).  At times we place too much importance on the wrong characteristic about ourselves.

Every white person in the world is not under the impression that they are “better” than every black person.  If that is the mindset of black people, it’s incorrect.  My grandpa Frank used to say, “Folks are folks no matter where you go.”  That’s been my motto through life.  It’s true.  Regardless of the color of one’s skin, there are good folks and bad folks everywhere.

Life…  we are born how we are born.  I did not have a choice and neither did you.  If you are white and wish you were black – too bad.  If you are black and wish you were white – again, too bad.

Funny story…  the other day I was standing in line at the grocery store, behind an African-American woman with beautiful curly hair.  I instinctively reached up to “fluff” my own stringy-straight mane, thinking, “Oh, I wish I had hair like hers!”   Yes, there are days I’d like to be someone else – LOL!  I guess the secret is to be the best me I can be regardless of the DNA cards I’m dealt.

What does God say about us?  What does His Word say about how we are to treat one another?  If ever there was a time we need to embrace God’s Holy Word and live like we mean it – it is now!

God loves us – ALL OF US.  He does not have favorites and He does not see skin color, however, He most definitely sees our motives and our character.  He knows who loves Him and who does not.  If we claim the name of Christ in our lives, we have no excuse to insist that one life matters more than another.

It’s also my belief that we have no right to play God and decide to abort what God saw fit to create.  Babies are miracles – every one of them!  People may think they make babies.  I’ve got news for you…  if God was not a part of that process – you’d not make squat.  WORD.

PROTECT THE UNBORN.  RESPECT PEOPLE.  RESPECT LIFE.  LOVE EVERYONE.  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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  1. PLEASE & THANK-YOU
  2. EXCUSE ME
  3. MAY I?
  4. I APPRECIATE THAT
  5. YOU ROCK MY WORLD

Who else remembers Captain Kangaroo???  I DO!

When did we stop teaching children the MAGIC WORDS???  When did we start raising little people who seem content to take without feeling obliged to be grateful?  Somebody dropped the proverbial ball…  and they need to pick it up.

No matter who you are, you appreciate a person who appreciates you!  For the effort you put forth for another, whether it’s a family member, friend, or acquaintance, you want to be recognized.  Most of us do not expect a Dixieland band to be hired in appreciation, but is it too much to ask for a simple “thank-you”?  I don’t think so.

It’s my hope and prayer that we take back the sense of entitlement that seems to be trying to take over our youth.  They need to be taught that words are important and the right words can make or break another person’s day, especially when someone has made an effort to do something nice.

This generation of ENTITLEMENT needs to end.  We need to teach our young people that no one is born into this world and automatically given everything without earning it.  I know we want our children and grandchildren to have a better life than we had, but handing it to them on a silver platter may not be the best way to ensure that happens.  There’s something about knowing you have worked for something that makes you appreciate it more.

I was taught to honor and respect those who are older than me.  If an older person did something nice, I was taught to write a thank-you note in appreciation.  I remember the first “e-thank you note” I ever received.  I had mixed feelings about it.  On one hand, the young woman took the time to acknowledge the gift.  On the other, it felt less than proper somehow.  These days, it’s common to receive email acknowledgements, so I guess that’s something I just need to roll with.  As long as a gift is acknowledged and appreciated, regardless of the media used to do so, I think it’s okay.  I’ll still sit down and write a note, but that’s because I’m old and set in my ways.

Gratitude is not something that comes naturally to us.  It must be taught from a very young age.  If we can teach children to first be grateful to God, then to others, it means so much.  Magic words matter…  they really do!  🙂

 

FORGIVE MOM AND DAD DAY

TL 3-18 FORGIVE MOM AND DAD DAY

You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.  You are born (or in my case adopted) into the lives of two very human beings.  They basically commit to put their lives on hold to raise you.  You are the center of their universe, but they would not have it any other way.

All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  – Matthew 11:27-30

So today is yet another opportunity to take all the hurt you may feel about your childhood and…  letitgo!!!  Cut those poor people some slack and forgive them!  They may not have been perfect, but they were the ones responsible for making you the person you are today.  Once you are an adult child, you have the opportunity to review your upbringing and tweak anything that isn’t right.  The ball was in mom and dad’s court when you were little, but now it’s in your court.

Are your parent’s gone?  Do you think it’s too late to forgive them?  Well, it’s not.  In AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), steps 8 and 9 are about making restitution where you can with those in your past that have hurt you, or those you have hurt.  It’s common to write a letter expressing your feelings to those persons and send it to them.

No, I don’t have the P.O. Box number for Heaven.  I wish I could share that information with you, but I’m not privy to it.  The letter is “sent” either tied to a balloon or buried in the ground at some site that is significant.  So there is a way to “letitgo” and be healed.

Twenty-four years ago, when I quit drinking, an old-timer in recovery asked, “How are you treating the world today, Paulie?”  I responded, “Don’t you mean ‘How’s the world treating me?'”  He answered quickly, “No, I mean exactly what I said.  No matter how the world is treating you, if you are caring, loving, and kind in the way you treat the world, your journey will be easier.”  – Paul Williams

I will pray that you find a way to forgive because holding on to hurt and harboring grudges does not bother them – but it kills you from the inside out!  If you had the worst parents ever, you still need to forgive them for your own sake and your own sanity.  You can’t choose your family, but you can choose to either hang on to bitterness and anger or letitgo. 

Hand your situation over to God.  Pray for the strength and courage to make restitution with your parents whether they are still alive or not.  Don’t let one more day pass with that burden on your shoulders.  Give it to God and let Him heal your spirit.  🙂

 

THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF AWESOMENESS

TL 3-10 THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF AWESOMENESS

3-10 GOD'S AWESOME PLANWhy is THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF AWESOMENESS on March 10th?  Well, because it is Chuck Norris’ birthday (happy birthday!), and is a tribute to the awesomeness of the myth of Chuck Norris.  So when you think about how awesome you will be today, think of that myth.  Perform some awesome deeds and kick some butt.

 We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation.  – François VI de la Rochefoucault

The concept was apparently conceived back in 2007 by a group of co-workers while working on a project.  I’m guessing they got a little bored with the project and needed some diversion.  Hey, it happens.

 Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.   – Aesop

Maybe today is the day you discover your superpower.  Some people can make this statement: “I’m left-handed, what’s your superpower?”  My dad used to say that – but me – no, I’m right-handed, darn it.

 Every character has an inward spring; let Christ be that spring.  Every action has a keynote; let Christ be that note, to which your whole life is attuned.   – Henry Drummond

If you are a child of God, you are automatically awesome!  Awesome Christians can walk into a room and make everyone feel better!  They are like a happy ball of sunshine – except they are the first to tell you – it is SONSHINE.  Christ is our source of AWESOMENESS!

The creators of this day invite us to perform feats of awesomeness.  So, what feats of awesomeness will you perform today?  You may be thinking it has to be something big and filled with fanfare, but I think it can be as simple as visiting with someone who may be very lonely and not have anyone to talk to.

THE VALUE OF LIFE

Maybe today, on Chuck Norris’ birthday, you can visit a widow or widower.  Sadly, our society puts its elderly away and forgets them.

Head over to caregiverstress.com and laugh until tears run down your legs!  Just click on EXPERTS & BLOGS and laugh with Mary Maxwell.  She is a HOOT!  Her dead-pan delivery will crack you up, I promise!  Mary is my definition of AWESOME!

Be awesome and visit an elderly person today.  There is nothing worse in life than to be left alone when you had at one time been used to companionship.  Losing a spouse in death is the most devastating situation in life.  Loneliness can be overwhelming.  And who knows, those elderly people might teach you a new dance step or two!  Uh-huh…

 

I think Chuck Norris would approve of us using our day (his birthday) to uplift the most forgotten generation.  Awesome does not have to mean loud.  Our God is an Awesome God – and He spoke the universe into being.  He didn’t shout it into existence.  🙂

NATIONAL AGRICULTURE WEEK

NATIONAL AGRICULTURE WEEK

March 8-13 is NATIONAL AGRICULTURE WEEK!  A few people can say they are self-sufficient when it comes to providing food for their family, but most of us don’t have our own garden, milk cow and wheat field.  Most of us rely on the great American farmers who make their living seeing that we are well fed.

As a kid I listened to the agriculture reports every day with my grandpa.  Of course, they meant something to him.  To me, it was more of a lullaby of sorts.

I don’t know how accurate this statistic is, but for years I’ve heard that one Kansas farmer feeds 128 people and me.  There are signs along the highways of Kansas that say it too.  Judging from the condition of those signs, they have been there a while.  Like I say, I think that stat is probably outdated.

There’s a facebook page if you’d care to check it out!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/One-Kansas-farmer-feeds-128-people-you/121495644603738

Some people don’t think farmers are ever really happy with their crop, and sometimes they can seem a little disappointed if there’s been too much rain or not enough rain.  It’s only that they have sunk so much time and expense into the planting and tending of the crop.  They want the very best harvest they can get – of course!  A good harvest equals more money.  If anyone prays for just the right weather conditions, it is the farmer!

I enjoy the You Tube videos the Peterson Farm makes – they crack me up!  There are a lot of them, but this is my favorite.

Christian farmers are great because they know where their bounty comes from and they know if there’s not a bumper crop, God is going to make a way through the lean times.  He always has and He always will.  It may involve some creative planning on the farm family’s part (and every member of the family has to help) – but farmers know that God gave man a brain to think and intelligence, so it’s a matter of praying and seeking God – then following.

I know when we walk into a grocery store, it’s not automatic to pick up a gallon of milk and say a prayer for the one who provided it – but maybe we should start doing that.  Farmers are just people making a living like everyone else, and they need prayer too.  When you pick up that next loaf of bread, make sure you say a prayer for a Kansas wheat farmer.  Thank you!  🙂

VISIT A CEMETERY DAY

TL 10-26 VISIT A CEMETERY DAY

My father died very suddenly at 63… For a long time afterward, I’d ask myself, Why didn’t I ask him to play golf more?  Why didn’t I spend more time with him? …  There’s nothing you can do about it.  So you just forge on.  – Clint Eastwood

My daddy died at age 63 also – weird.  I called him at the hospital the evening before he died.  I suggested that mom and I should come visit, but he insisted that we wait until the next day as he was scheduled for surgery.  He died during the night – I wish we had made the trip to the hospital to visit him.  But – we do indeed have to forge on and find a way to forgive ourselves.

10-26 I'VE COME HERE FOR A VISIT

Today is VISIT A CEMETERY DAY!!!  There are more obvious days to visit our loved one’s final resting places – like Memorial Day, but today is a day to set aside to honor our loved ones again.  Even though those who have passed do not know we visit them, we know.  It’s important to honor them in any way we can.  On occasion I like to visit cemeteries to photograph unique gravestones and read epitaphs in an effort to know the ones buried there.

I am a confessed taphophile  (“taph” from the Greek for tomb and “philia” meaning an inordinate fondness).  The art involved in engraving gravestones fascinates me.  My husband and I have purchased our plots and our gravestone.  These days, a gravestone is a personal expression of who you were in life.  When a person reads your stone, they should get some idea of what your values and personality was – would you agree?   My husband had his badge engraved on his side and I had an angel and the treble clef  first line of the song PRECIOUS LORD, TAKE MY HAND engraved on my side.  We also had our names (obviously) and wedding date engraved.  There was not much space left – especially on my side.  LOL!  Once I can no longer speak, I want that stone to speak for me.

Everything comes to pass, nothing comes to stay.  – Matthew Flickstein

Taphophilia involves epitaphs, gravestone rubbing, photography, art and history of famous deaths.  Many taphophiles enjoy walking cemeteries to find lost relatives.  They are the ones who are seriously engaged in genealogy.

The cemetery my folks are in is cared for and has large, mature trees.  It’s beautiful year around but especially in the spring and fall.  Shortly after my mom died, we bought a cement bench with a verse engraved on it.  We put it next to my folk’s graves.  I don’t go there to sit and chat with them like I thought I would, but it’s nice to know I could if I wanted to.  I’ve had a few picnic lunches with them, I admit.  I know they are not there – they are in heaven with Jesus.  I would never wish them back here after seeing the pain they suffered.  In heaven they are young and in no pain.  I miss them but I’ll see them again one day.  ❤

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What was your parent’s favorite song?  My dad used to sing this to my mom all the time:

It makes me smile to think Daddy might be singing this to Mama in heaven…  hmm – now that’s different, huh?

Hey – on a fun note – Halloween is around the corner.  Have you ever wanted to know how to make those spooky tombstones?  I’d probably make one that was funny – but that’s just me – LOL!  Here’s a tutorial on those tombstones:

 

 

 

 

 

RESPECT FOR PARENTS DAY

TL 8-1 RESPECT FOR PARENTS DAY

8-1 SHINE FOR GOD'S GLORY
If we are to respect our earthly parents, how much more should we be expected to respect and honor our heavenly Father?  What better way to do that than to shine – for Him?

You don’t have to be off the wall and dye your hair purple to stand out in kingdom work. I mean, if you want to, go for it. It’s not necessary and not mandatory. God can do amazing things through ordinary people because that’s what He uses – plain, run-of-the-mill people. Christians do not stand out in a crowd and we don’t wear capes or fly around the city setting trains back on tracks. We just pray and wait for God to open doors for us to walk through. When the time is right, we go. We shine because He is the light that shines through us. That’s how it works.

If you know God, you know that the good works you do here are never going to be enough. Nothing we do will “get” us any higher in God’s eyes. It’s ONLY through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary that “gets” us anywhere. On my works I can’t get to the parking lot – know what I’m sayin’???

Any “good” that is in us is a direct reaction to the goodness He gives. It’s not our “bend” to be good. In fact, it goes against everything natural to be good. We love because HE loved us first. It’s God that is good and true and perfect and faithful. Us? Hmm… not so much.

Shine today – but not that fake “put a smile on your face and grit your teeth” sort of shine (that’s annoying). Pray and ask God to shine through you. Be who you are – in HIM. That is what makes people wonder what you’ve got – and want it – and want to know Christ!

Do the best work you can do for Christ. When you pray and God opens a door, window or sunroof – go – move – DO what you’re supposed to do with the love and joy and peace in your heart that tells you that your Savior has your back and He won’t let you fall. SHINE – for HIS glory!!! ❤

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

TL I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE4

THE FRIDAY BEFORE DAD'S DAYGod can use anything to inspire a blog post! Yesterday I was reading through my news feed on facebook and noticed a post about how in days gone by, people who are left-handed were thought to be evil. I honestly did not know that. I knew that life for a southpaw was more difficult because let’s face it – it is a right-handed person’s world. Daddy used to tell me that it took him twice as long to learn how to use scissors – because when he was a kid there was no such thing as scissors for left-handed people. I remember thinking that was very mean and cruel. Daddy also told me that in school they tried to get him to do things with his right hand. He just refused to conform. Yep – that’s my dad! Left-handed and darned proud of it!

Evil, huh? Wow. That seems extreme to me. How could anyone think someone was evil just because they favor their left hand? That’s crazy.

Here are the real facts:

  • 10% of people are left-handed according to a report by Scientific American.
  • Geniuses are more likely to be left-handed – 20% of the top scoring SAT takers are left-handed.
  • 31% of Major League Baseball pitchers are left-handed.
  • Of the last 5 Presidents, 3 were lefties – Obama, Clinton and Bush Sr.
  • All lefties: Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Barak Obama, Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo da Vinci

I’m proud to say that my dad was a lefty and even though he did not go beyond the Eighth Grade in school, he pursued so many avenues in life! He went to school and earned a license to sell real estate. He took courses at night to learn specialized carpentry skills and made a very good living as a finish carpenter. In that way he combined his art with cabinetry. He made a living doing what he enjoyed most. He loved art and wood was his medium.

I love you and miss you like crazy daddy!

WINSTON CHURCHILL DAY

TL 4-9 WINSTON CHURCHILL DAY

4-9 HE'S BEATING THE ODDS

What do Winston Churchill and type 1 diabetics have in common?  Combat against an enemy.  Churchill’s enemy was, of course the Nazis – but the enemy of type 1 diabetics is blood sugar.

I’ve met some truly amazing people in the Diabetic Online Community (DOC), and one of them is Richard Vaughn.  He’s agreed to share his story today.

I was diagnosed in 1945, a few days after my 6th birthday. After 67 years of type 1 diabetes, I have very good diabetes health. Still no diabetes related complications, except some mild nerve damage. I hope that the research being done on long-term type 1 diabetics, in Boston, will help explain my success story.

I don’t have any “secret”. I do the same things that many type 1 friends have done, but my routine seems to have worked better for me than it has for so many others. The research in Boston is attempting to find why us long-term, healthy type 1 diabetics have been so successful. The participants in the study are Joslin medalists, all of whom have had type 1 diabetes for at least 50 years. I participated in that research in 2009. The research is ongoing, and began in 2005. There have been almost 800 participants thus far. More than 100 medalists will be meeting in Boston this year, on May 10 and 11. There will be an update given on the type 1 study. I can’t wait to see what they have found!

The truly amazing thing about Richard is that he has managed his Type 1 Diabetes quite well and has absolutely no complications!  I must say this intrigues and inspires me.  I need to know what he does differently! 

One of the first characteristics I notice and admire about Richard is his optimism!  Every time we chat he has such an upbeat attitude and is so positive about everything – even Diabetes!  He’s encouraged me to keep going several times when I’ve just wanted to throw my hands up and surrender.  If there is one thing that he is not…  it’s a quitter!

He reminds me of the fact that he was diagnosed as a young child and does not remember much before his diagnosis.  I, on the other hand, was diagnosed at 21 years of age.  I remember thinking, “Oh great – now my life won’t ever be fun again!”  I was wrong – life is fine.  I just need to adopt a better attitude about it!

Richard offers all of us in the Diabetic Online Community (DOC) much-needed  help and support.  He keeps us all encouraged to keep going.  I really appreciate all of the assistance he has given me. He was born in 1939.  Insulin had only been around for a little over 20 years!  In his upbeat and uplifting book, “Beating The Odds:  64 Years of Diabetes Health” (available at Amazon.com), he outlines the challenges of managing diabetes using only urinalysis and a rather inaccurate nutritional guide that dictated sugar control as opposed to carbohydrate control. 

It’s a great book and definitely on my “you gotta read this” list!  Click on the link in the right margin to order the book.  It’s paperback and costs $12.50. 

We glean so much wit and wisdom from this retired college professor from upstate New York.  I must admit, most days I just chat with Richard to get a good laugh.  There are times I need the wisdom he offers, but I can always use a good laugh! 

When I was chatting with him about this post, I asked if he had a blog.  He said yes he does, but said he wasn’t very good at blogging.  I wrote back with a big LOL because it cracks me up when someone says they can’t blog – but they can write a book!  Wow.  He’s actually the second author to say that to me.  Maybe that’s why I can’t write a book – because I can blog.

I know I’m not alone in wishing Richard continued success in his journey with Type 1 Diabetes.  He is truly a blessing and a source of encouragement for all of us.  

I want to leave this bit of advice with Richard and all diabetics:

Keep calm and carry on.  – Winston Churchill

Thank you for all you do, Richard!  Well done!!!  🙂