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California Christianity/Religion Courage Devotionals Integrity Life Photography

Today’s Dash of Wisdom

Two things that will give you peace.

1. Saying: I don’t know.

………..Sometimes we take more on ourselves than is necessary. We are not required to have answers for everything, nor is there need to make excuses for not knowing, nor reason to stretch out the responsibility . . as in, “I’ll find out and tell you tomorrow.”

2. Absolutely, with no reservations, forgive someone.

…………..They wronged you. It was ugly, mean, ungodly, despicable. You are deeply hurt and furious. Forgive them. Merely saying the words doesn’t count. I mean, FORGIVE THEM. Hug them, invite them to lunch, tell someone of their good qualities, in prayer weep over them.

Do these two things today. You will feel better. Promise.

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care for humanity Christianity/Religion Devotionals Goodness of man Integrity Life ministry

I’m OK.–You’re OK.

Once upon a time, a person who is dear spoke sharply in response to something I had said. I was puzzled, as my “offending” words seemed innocent to me. I said nothing, but closely examined the conversation, for the relationship was important to me. In replaying the incident in my head I listened to my tone of voice and asked myself if there had been any snippet of innuendo that had tagged along with my words.

Within the last hour I watched a video of the late Rev. J. T. Pugh being interviewed by Rev. Paul Mooney. During that hour or so as Brother Pugh was reciting some of his ministerial experiences, he mentioned the book, I’m OK.–You’re OK. then went on to explain that the real truth of life reveals that I’m not okay and you’re not okay.

My mind reverted to the scenario I mentioned in the first paragraph here, and I resolved to continue my quest. Although I know I am a bitter example of such, I truly want to reflect Jesus. I want His mind. I want Christlike responses to be those that come automatically to my lips. I pray my tone of voice will be clear and kind, and that accusing or indicting innuendo be absent from my vocabulary.

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America California Christianity/Religion Church Conferences/Seminars Culture God Goodness of man Integrity Life Pentecostal Photography Religion Social The World

Leaving Racism

“You don’t leave racism at the door (of a church), you leave it at the altar.” Rev. Johnny King NO LIMITS CONFERENCE Sacramento, CA.

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Christianity/Religion Courage Family family celebrations God Goodness of man grandparents Integrity Life Marriage/anniversaries

My Jerry of 62 Years

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credit for photo to Buxton Photography

Vividly I recall the moment. Tulsa was the place where my eyes first swept across  his image.  A chapel service. Apostolic College. Both of us students. A number of days (maybe weeks) later, I looked across a room and had this “knowing.” I would marry him.

And I did. Sixty-two years ago. At Swan Lake he had asked the question, and on June 27th in Marshfield, Mo. a pastor said his words, we told our vows, and we became a couple.

Doubtless God ordained this coupling, for our lives together have been unusually happy, and I like to think we have made positive contributions to God’s work, and to our society in general. I know he has. He has taught in both public and private schools, pastored two churches, founded a still-thriving Christian school in Rialto, CA., then when he was 75 years old, well after he had officially retired, we went to Lake Havasu City, AZ. and there he planted a church. When we left 3 and 1/2 years later the group averaged 40 to 50 people, and our top attendance had been 92. Statistically, this represented a remarkable accomplishment.

Husband. He was–and is– my husband. I was young, so very young, lacking a few days being 18 years old, naive, not worldly-wise at all; I could have been utterly fooled. That June night as I changed into a lovely negligee in the small bathroom of the Circle C motel we had selected at random as we traveled on our three-day honeymoon toward Kentucky where we had our first revival scheduled, I recall a panicky moment. For a sudden understanding had come to me. I really did not know this man with whom I was about to share a bed.  (No one knows. Ever. For scarcely do we know ourselves.) But God had directed both of us. We had listened, and today find ourselves elderly, showing a few physical imperfections, happy, still full of faith in each other, and in God, who throughout all these years as been the center, the core of our home.

We started with little. Everything we owned was in that car of Jerry’s –well, it was sort of his, his and the finance company’s. One suitcase held all my clothes, Jerry’s outfits were meager, and his wallet was far from bulging. My dad had cast a doubtful eye on the car tires, and before the wedding had seen to a new set being mounted. We climbed, stared-down challenges, were faithful, kept our vows, and that wonderful husband God gave me has carved out for us a beautiful home. Our four children are of the highest calibre, all God-fearing, upright peoples of this earth. Our grandchildren are beautiful and smart. They leave notes around when they visit and occasionally they call us. Our little greats show promise, no doubt on their way to being exceptional!

No better husband could ever be than my Jerry. He is kind, thoughtful, giving, handsome, consistent, romantic, grateful, and humble. He is a man of God. How blessed, unusually blessed I am.

And so at this moment, in this way among others, I will say I love you to my charming, unusual man, My Jerry. My lover. My husband. Happy anniversary!

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Christianity/Religion Integrity Life Photography Social

Integrity

I gazed as she spoke the words: Words at once so awful that even at their long memory she surely had wept bitter, scalding tears, and yet so glorious that as the words fell about me it was as though I had been showered with a gentle holy rain.

He spoke with no rancor: Indeed he had moments before told of assuring within himself he held no bitterness nor unforgiveness. Tears sprang though, and his eyes reddened, this mature, handsome, godly man who had been wronged.

In the one case, a parent had lovingly, but frankly, warned a friend of the inappropriateness of a certain relationship with a beloved child.

In the next case, people in authority, aware of desperate flaws in a person, failed to be honest with my friend; a decision that led to grief as heavy and dark as that found in the coldest cave in the deepest earth.

Integrity: Its edges push against ignorance and the averting of an eye. Its margins dangle into difficult places far beyond that of sums and of products and of dividends.

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America Culture Integrity Outrageous Political insight

Shameful Back Room Deals Finagled by Our President

Although I read fairly widely and appreciate the research on any subject that others have done, I rarely use anyone’s full-length article for a post. Today is an exception, for this issue is crucial: No American will escape the consequences if this situation continues to be handled in such an irresponsible and immoral manner.  The misrepresentations by President Obama concerning health care are blatant, seemingly illegal backroom dealings are prevalent,  and this article is so concise and well-pointed that I bring it to you as posted today by the Heritage Foundation.

A SHAM OF A PROCESS FOR A SHAM OF A BILL

Speaking at a town hall meeting on August 21, 2008, in Chester, Virginia, then-candidate Barack Obama promised the American people: “I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We’ll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies … what we will do is, we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents … And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process.” The participants around Obama’s fictional big table may have changed depending on where he was speaking, but throughout his campaign the essential promise was always there: “negotiations televised on C-SPAN.”

Of course, Obama already broke this promise to the American people months ago. According to PoliFact, the backroom deals Obama cut with drug companies and hospitals last July already violated this pledge. But those were just preliminary negotiations. Surely when it came time for the final health care bill passage in Congress, Obama and his allies would welcome some transparency into the process? No such luck.

Politico is reporting that President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will meet at the White House today (joined by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) via conference call) to set the parameters for reconciling the House and Senate versions of health care legislation. However, instead of proceeding with the usual public and open conference committee process, the White House is going to take a very active role in secret behind-closed-door meetings between the House and Senate. The Sunlight Foundation explains the implications for the American people: “Both House and Senate rules require that all conference committee meetings be open to the public unless a majority of conferees votes in open session to close the meetings. Senate rules require all conference committee reports be publicly available for at least 48 hours prior to a final vote. Without conference, there is no mechanism to provide for openness in the final discussions regarding the health care bill.”

And there is plenty of reason the American people should demand transparency in the final stages of the legislative process. We previously identified Six Key Differences between the House and Senate bills, all of which deserve their own public debate. But one issue in particular is in desperate need of the disinfectant powers of sunlight: Sen. Ben Nelson’s (D-NE) deal exempting Nebraska from the costs of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.

Last week, after a group of 13 state attorneys general promised to file suit against Obamacare should the Nelson deal become law, Nelson called South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster to “call off the dogs.” According to McMaster’s office, Nelson said the deal was not his idea, was simply a “marker” placed in the bill, and that the issue would be fixed by extending the same Medicaid exemption to all states. Will the budget-busting Medicaid problem get “fixed” for all states? If so, how? The American people deserve to know.

There is more than one reason the American people have turned solidly against President Obama’s health plan. Americans believe Obama’s plan will increase their health care costs, decrease the quality of their health care, raise their taxes, and increase the deficit. And as former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has admitted, Obamacare is not real health care reform. No wonder President Obama wants as little public input as possible.

Truly, I fear for America. Something is not right.

Edit: One more thing. Today CSPAN–certainly not a bastion of conservatism–has challenged the government to keep its word.

CSPAN has sent a letter to the House and Senate asking that they “open all important negotiations” to electronic media coverage.

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Christianity/Religion Death Devotionals Family Integrity Life Religion

As I Lie Dying

Because of daily word of her tenuous grip on life, and the hearing of warm remarks from around the world concerning our dear Nona Freeman, I have spent a fair amount of time in the last few days considering my own death bed. I have deliberated long, and such reflection has given me a tighter grip on reality. Oh, not the reality of this steel and mortar which surrounds me, nor the dirt on which I stand, nor the constant scroll of  sky which shields my troubled head. No, I muse these long moments on authentic reality–that of the soul, of eternity–incomprehensible eternity–, and of God..of whom I live in awe, and before whom I stand in abysmal unworthiness when I even utter His name, or acknowledge His existence.

So, as I lie dying, I hope those who huddle about my bed will speak of God, and that I loved Him, and that I loved people, and that as pitiful and inconsequential were my efforts, I did expend my life in loving God and in sharing the Word of His Being. As I lie dying, I hope someone mutters that once I thrust a crumb of bread into her waiting hand, that one evening I mouthed a heartening word, that one hot afternoon I placed my hand on a weary shoulder and that one dark day I pressed a coin into an empty pocket. As I lie dying, I hope those who shiver by my bed will be secure when thinking of my destination, and that the Almighty Presence of God fills the room; that Scripture is spoken, and that hymns of the church are sung.

As I lie dying may there be little joy in those few trinkets I will leave behind; rather triumphant rapture at the thought of the Joy that I will soon, then, apprehend.

(Please. This post is not intended to gather positive comments concerning me. Rather I hope it will serve as a touchstone, urging each of us to examine our true reality. And I do want to hear from you in this vein, any thoughts you are willing to share.)

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America Christianity/Religion Christmas Culture Family Goodness of man Holidays Honor Integrity Life

Christmas Spirit Alive and Well in Long Island

In a disheveled world of daily upheaval seeming to feature immorality, lack of honor, crime and a confusing web of uncertainty, it is a relief to know such stories as this one, about which I learned today.

A Long Island deli owner who held a robber at gunpoint, then let him go after giving him $40 and a loaf of bread, says he got an anonymous letter from the crook that included a $50 bill and a thank-you for saving him from a life of crime.

Mohammad Sohail shares part of the unidentified repentant’s letter in which he apologized: “First of all I would like to say I am sorry at the time I had [no] money no food on the table no job and nothing for my family.”

Similar to comments he made on his knees during the incident last May, he said he realized that trying to rob the store with a baseball bat “was wrong but I had [no] choice. I needed to feed my family.”

“That’s the same guy I gave $40 to,” said Sohail, 62, displaying the typewritten letter at his Shirley Express deli yesterday. There was no return address. It was mailed on Long Island the week before

Thanksgiving.l

“I’m really thrilled,” said Sohail. “I’m very happy for that guy, because he is now doing good for the community.

“He has a job and he is a good person. I really feel great. Thank God he’s doing good. He’s got a new baby and he’s not in jail,” said Sohail.

What a cheering wonderful story, one worthy of note during this most beautiful of seasons, for people such as these are truly imbued with the Spirit of Christmas. Around such accounts may be experienced the ring of sanctuary music, the tinkle of hand-rung bells, the red of a Salvation Army Kettle, the appealing misspoken lines in a children’s drama, tiny shepherds dressed in bathrobes, and tough businessmen wiping away tears as they once more hear the carols of antiquity that speak anew of the greatest story on earth.

Source: Kieran Crowley NY Post

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Children Christianity/Religion Family Home Integrity Life love Religion

Tough Love and Jesus

“But what would Jesus do?” the man challenged.

In recent days I spoke with a parent who many times past the first has taken the “tough love” approach with his young adult child. He grieved as we spoke, was quiet and pale. I tried to console him by validating his actions, “You did the right thing, though.” I know this man well, am privy to all the sordid, long-lasting actions; know of his love and kindness and care of his now adult child. He has been more than fair, long-suffering, loving and supportive.

He stared at me. “Did I? I’m not sure.”

Seems that at the last encounter with his child, someone else was there, and that person castigated the father for not continually taking back into his home his adult child. It does not matter what actions have taken place; the blatant disrespect does not count, nor does the lying, drunkenness, disregard for others, disappearance for months on end, laziness, lack of dependability…“None of it matters,” in essence said the man. “This is your child, and no matter what he does, you should always provide a place for him.”

The man concluded his argument by looking straight into the father’s eyes and saying, “What would Jesus do?”

And now the hurting father looked into my eyes and said, “I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing. What would Jesus do?”

What would Jesus do? How would He respond? What steps would He take?

The Bible gives us at least two hints.

One.        He left the safe flock of sheep, went into the night, and brought home the wandering one.

Two.     He plaited a whip and drove from the temple the money changers who were disrespecting God’s house, who were making it a den of thieves.

Since my conversation with the troubled father a day or so ago, I have thought much about this subject, and, trying to be objective and fair have considered: “What would Jesus do?”

I believe He would do as did my friend, for He is a loving, kind Father. But He is not a wimp, and although His teachings include “turning the other cheek,” and “giving away a coat,” it also encompasses driving cheats from the temple, and saying to the rich young ruler. Give away your riches, or you can’t walk with me. And when the young man could not make that dedication, he walked away–sorrowfully, yes–but he walked away. Nowhere in scripture do we find that Jesus ran after the young man, saying, Oh now I’ve changed my mind. If you find my sayings too hard, just ignore what I previously said. Just do what you can. Come on now and walk with me.

It’s a grievous subject, one that causes deep inside weeping as I write. I know we have spoken of this before, but today it weighs heavily on me.

What do you think? What would Jesus do?

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America Integrity Life Outrageous Political insight

Should Senators Read 2,074-Page Bill Before Voting?

I’m simple minded, I suppose. It merely seems logical that our congressmen would read a bill before they vote on it. How is it that such a question could even be raised?

Hefty rascals, huh? The bills I mean. 🙂