Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dream On

Folks, this is embarrassing. Let me explain myself, here. Whenever I want to pick a person for something in Sunday school, I always tell the children "now, we're going to let God decide, because nothing happens by chance," so we always put every one's name in a bag or something and let some unrelated person pick one of them, and there's never any argument. Many of you do the same thing. So a little bit ago I put in the names of all of you dear ones who left comments telling about your dream for America. Remember, I promised that if picked, your dream would be posted and you would get a Cinnabon gift card. Well, I had my husband draw a name and guess whose it was? It was my daughter Bev! I tell you truthfully, friends--this was not rigged!!! In fact, Neesie is a bit sour about it because she wanted her name picked so badly.

So for His own reasons, the Lord wanted Bev to have the Cinnabon certificate (she LOVES these buns dearly, so much so that she often asks for them instead of a cake on her birthday). She was VERY happy when I called to tell her, and said "Yes!!! Thanks, Dad!"Maybe He (God) just wanted her to have this special treat during this last stage of her pregnancy. It also means that hers is the American dream that is to be posted for all to read.

Thanks, everybody who shared their dreams! You know what I noticed? Each person said something about God and/or Christianity or the Bible in explaining the hope they have for this country. I think we all share the same dream to see our freedoms protected so that our children can enjoy them and, most of all, to see America return to God and the principles on which this nation was founded. May it be so, for the sake of our posterity.

Bev's dream:

"My American Dream is that we would live in a country that recognizes God as our Father, that we would TRULY be a nation "under God." I wish my kids to grow up in an environment that doesn't hate and spurn the things that are true, right, noble, just and of good report. I would like to live in a nation that is less politically correct and more spiritually aware."

We're with ya, Bev.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Media

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair. 2 Corinthians 4:8

Neesie has to do current events for her history class, and I hadn't noticed this before, but the following words were in the teacher's manual under the current events' description:

". . . You will greatly influence the opinions your students form. Some of your responsibilities in this area will be guiding your students thinking, helping them to review the news in the light of the Word of God, and pointing out to them that what they read in newspapers or hear on newscasts is not necessarily the pure, unbiased truth. Newspapers adopt editorial viewpoints and slant their interpretation of current happenings to reflect editors' opinions. . . ."

My goodness! The copyright date on this manual is 1998--ten years ago. See how mildly and sweetly put it is? I wonder what the people who wrote this are saying now? I wanted to say quite a few things about the media, folks, but I don't think I can get the words down properly, I am so disgusted and frustrated with what I have been seeing happening during this presidential campaign. With but a few exceptions, I have been offended, repulsed, annoyed, and a few other verbs which you might think of, including nauseated. It's almost reached the point where I am having difficulty turning the radio or TV on or reading what the Associated Press and all those other guys are feeding the public. It's as if all sense of fairness and truthfulness in reporting has died. So the American public is suffering. Many are being fed a steady diet of slop and swallowing it, wherein those seeking the bare facts are struggling across a desert, simply wanting to find just a sip of truth. We have to look here and go there, trying to get at the root (the truth) of what's being reported.

Where does this leave us? How do we fight so gigantic a foe as the media, and the world of entertainment? Prayer. Pray to our God, friends. If you'd like to see integrity return, ask Him to help us and direct us. Maybe He'll show us what we can do. Pray that He will defeat whoever the enemies may be of truth, especially where it affects the future of our country. Pray that all reporting that is founded on lies, bias, and partiality will be turned back upon the heads of the ones who are responsible. God is able to do this.

Yesterday our pastor mentioned in prayer that we must not fret and worry over this election. We must remember Who is in charge of all things. I need to be reminded of this over and over again.

Here is a site where I have found reports which don't seem to be quite as slanted. If I run into any others, I'll let you know. If you know of any, please let the rest of us know. The site is Politico. com.

Update: Even though I have found some pretty balanced news reports on Politico, something came up today that caused me to suspect that they too need to be carefully monitored for fairness. I don't want to lead anyone astray!

Note: See the
first post in this series for the ground rules on comments.

I think I should mention here that while I want to stay away from accusations against others in comments, I feel that since this is my blog and series, my making this accusation of unfairness by the media is legitimate and it definitely impacts this election. But feel free to respectfully disagree with me if you think my contention is unfounded. Basically, this post is one of many calls to prayer which you will see in this series. Thanks for understanding!


We interrupt our regularly scheduled program for a brief announcement. . .

You folks all know how I am about my teams, so I would like to take this opportunity to proudly announce that the Phillies have, for the second year in a row, won the National League East division. So, again, they are in the playoffs and I hope they can win at least a game this year. I had a lot to say when they won the division last year, so I just wanted to make this short announcement. It's my understanding that the Phillie Phanatic stayed relatively calm this time, unlike last year when he fainted on the field towards the end of the game and had to be carried off on a stretcher.

Now, back to regular programming. . .

Friday, September 26, 2008

Our Messengers

As Jacob said when he was reconciled to Esau: "[These are] the children which God hath graciously given thy servant." (Gen. 33:5). Yes, friends, these are the two children whom God saw fit to bless my husband and me with. And He chose to bless us with these two girls by the wonderful avenue of adoption. One was born in 1980 and the other was born in 1992, both after the landmark decision of Roe vs. Wade, which brought about the legalization of abortion in our country. There were two people who could have taken that "legal" route, but chose to give these two girls life. I don't need to tell you how thankful we are for those two women and the decision they made. We have been blessed with two grandchildren, as well. One is delighting our lives and growing as kids do; you've seen her picture many times on this blog. The other is still in the womb. I will talk about them soon, Lord willing. Hey, I just thought of something. Maybe I'll take this picture into the voting booth along with a copy of my prayer from yesterday. I'm not kidding.

I view these two girls as our "messengers." There was a quote I read once, and haven't been able to locate again, but it said something like this:

"Children are messengers we send to an age we will not see."

I don't know the origin of it and would appreciate it if anyone else does, that they'd let me know, but these words are deep, friends. Think about what this person was saying. Do you view your children this way? Are you preparing and sending them forward with your dream for this country and for life itself? What an awesome responsibility we have! While we're thinking about the nation we'd like to see for them, maybe they can make a difference!

Now that my older, Bev, can vote, my prayer is that her choices will be a reflection of the message we hope to send to the future. Then, I hope she places the baton into her children's hands to pass on. I hope this is true not just for this election, but in everything life brings. And now we're priming Neesie to go forward.

My goodness, that quote grabbed me when I first heard it! Think about it--does it grab you, too? Even if you have children who are grown, it's not too late to influence them to make good and righteous decisions for the future, especially the future of America.

Adios, until Monday or so, when I have a few things I want to say about the media.

See the original post of this series for the rules on comments.

Financial Mess

I don't know about you, but I've been completely at a loss trying to understand this financial situation in our country. Of course it impacts the election, but how and why and all the talk and rheteric about it can get your head spinning. Anyway, a blog I read had posted this link to an article which helped me get a better handle on what's going on. The part that says "Root Causes" was especially helpful. Thought I'd share the link here to: "Standing Athwart Bailout"

Also, I just discovered a post by my friend Barbara which fits in nicely with this crisis. She reminds us of an important passage we should be remembering right now.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Dream

Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them; the Great, the Mighty God, the Lord of hosts, is his name. Jeremiah 32:17-18.

Well, I do thank all those who have responded so far. I have LOVED reading your dreams. They're all great ones! Keep them coming, folks, between now and next Tuesday when we see which one gets posted, but then even after that it will still be fine to send them in. Thanks for all the sweet words of encouragement and anticipation I've received by email and comments. I must admit, it makes me even more nervous about this. But I will press on, with the help of the Lord. I believe and sense that we're treading these waters together. Dream on, my dear friends. Don't let go of the hope that our country can be what what we want it to be. Do whatever you can, legally and morally, to bring it about. If we guide our children with our dreams in mind, isn't that a big step?

I thought it's time to tell you my dream. After all, since I'm the one who started this thing, shouldn't others know what I'm hoping for?

On Saturday I posted a hymn called "God of our Fathers," which you might want to read if you haven't already. It's a wonderful hymn which was written at the time our nation was turning one hundred years old. One of the reasons I posted this particular one is that the lyrics are a prayer and they closely align with my American dream. You see, I think all of our dreams could be expressed as prayers, and that's how I want to express mine, guided by the words written by Mr. Roberts. If we look at it that way and ask "are these high hopes for our country attainable?" then I say yes, because with God all things are possible.

I've decided that I'm going to print out this prayer, my dream, and pray it every day between now and November 4th. Maybe you'll want to do the same. This may sound silly, but it wouldn't be out of character for me to take it into the voting booth with me.

"Dear Lord, the God whose mighty hand created and controls this magnificent universe, we gratefully lift our hearts to you in praise. By your lovingkindness you have led this nation in times past, so that we have enjoyed freedom like no other country on earth. We need you, Lord. We have no other to whom we can look who can safely rule over us, guard us from our enemies, guide us in right ways, and keep us during our difficult days. Our Father in heaven, we pray that the leaders you appoint over us would make your Word their law once again, and make decisions which are righteous in your sight.

"Lord, if we turn from you, we have no one to defend us from our enemies. There may be those who will rise against us, and there may be calamities all around us, but if you are with us, we will prevail. But only if you are with us, Father. Even so, we pray for peace, but more than that, we pray that we will once again see true religion flourish in the hearts of the people of America. We have sinned in many areas and need forgiveness. We pray that you will bring revival to this land, bringing the refreshing waters of salvation to many, especially those in high positions. It is then that you will lead us out of the darkness of sin which has been spreading from shore to shore. Fill us, Lord, the citizens of these United States, with your love and grace, that we may love one another and that we may give glory, praise, and honor to your great Name forever. Amen."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The American Dream

It's that time again. Cool breezes refreshing us. Football season. And ah yes, another election. And this time it's a biggy. Actually, I would say this is the most significant one yet. There's so much at stake, so much emotion. I've never cared for politics, finding them uninteresting and distasteful. But this year, as each one of you knows, we've been bombarded with the presidential campaigns. I have never in my days seen an election year with more controversial issues and drama. If all of this were in a movie script, we would probably say it is too fantastic and overdone. Well, I have to make a confession: I've gotten pretty captivated by the whole thing. During the past couple of weeks I've been to many news sites, many blogs, and bookmarked many candidates' sites. I've learned much, and quite a bit of what I've learned hasn't been pleasant, I must say. Having the busy life that I do, it's been necessary for me to "steal" moments to do this, taking some time between various activities of homeschooling and homemaking, after the evening family devotions, or during lunch break. I've listened to news broadcasts and talk radio while tackling some needed fall cleaning projects.

As time has gone on with this, I've gone to bed quite a few times feeling unsettled and disturbed. There have been some inward stirrings that are really difficult to explain. Somewhere in the midst of all this, after prayer about it, I've decided to start my own series related to this election. Treading into this territory with a little fear , I have to say that I'm trying hard to stay away from the usual bitterness and hard feelings that so often come with political issues. It's a sure way to lose friends, you know. But I have these strong urgings in my own heart and conscience to have at least a little input, but hopefully in a positive way. So this series, which I'm calling "The American Dream," will be posts containing reflections, links, articles, quotes, news clips, whatever seems appropriate to me to accomplish what I'm attempting to do. You'll better understand this as it goes along.

Let me say at the outset that I'm not impartial. I'm not in the center. I'm not moderate. I'm conservative. This is something I'm neither embarrassed nor proud about. It's a statement about who I am in my views and political beliefs. I see most issues from that perspective. It has always had bearing on what I post and say here and this series is no exception. But what impacts my life and this blog the most is that I am a Christian. Sorrowfully, people have different meanings when they say they're Christians. My meaning (which I wholly believe is biblical) is that I'm a blood-bought child of God, through Jesus my Savior. I believe that the Bible is clear that there is no other Savior. The Scriptures are my rule for life--the whole Bible. I may not understand it all perfectly, but I try as best I can to follow its teachings. This is all said to let you know where I stand and what guides me in whatever I do in life, including this blog.

That being said, please bear in mind that this series is not being written to endorse any particular party or candidate(s). You'll probably be able to figure out where I stand on this, but that's not the point. Who cares what I think about any candidate? I really want this to be a series that makes all of us think--about the ideology behind what we do and about our country. I hope we'll all think not about what's "in this for me," but what's in this for America as a whole. You see, I have two children and two grandchildren, one who's still in the womb. What is the America that I want to see for them? You probably have children/grandchildren or maybe someday will have them. What is the America that you want for them?

It's hard to sort through it all, isn't it? You go to MoveOn. org and they're making their charges in one direction and then you go to Rush Limbaugh.com and they have a set of charges going back the other way. That's why we have to dig deep and check out everything, as best we can, as to how each side - all the sides - measure up in leading us to the nation we hope to have for our posterity. The stakes are as high as they've ever been, folks. BUT, more than anything, we need to dig deep in our own hearts and determine, as I heard someone say on the radio, just what are the fundamental building blocks in our lives--is it our faith or something else? These impact the choices we make.

So here's how I want to get this series going. Let's start out by thinking about "The American Dream." You've heard of it, I'm sure. So as not to take up too much space here (this post is already long), I'm linking to the Wikipedia article on it. We all know this term has evolved to encompass various meanings, somewhat different than the original one. But this is what I'm asking you to do--I'm asking you to answer this question: What is the "American Dream" that you have for yourself and your children? What is it that you want to see for our country? Actually, I'm not asking you to define what the original term means, but that you redefine it so that it is an expression of your hope and desire for America. It can be in just a few words or a paragraph. Years ago, Dr. King voiced his dream for this nation and it wasn't all about financial prosperity. It was about something intangible. So, what's your dream? Would you help me out in starting this series by writing a comment which conveys your hope and desire to the rest of us? And may I ask that you not mention a party or candidate in this particular comment? I definitely believe that if you do think seriously about this and commit your dream to prayer, it will help you in making your choice for the next President of this country that we all love.

Note: As I begin this series, I think there should be some ground rules about comments. I'm going to have to insist that all thoughts expressed maintain the spirit of courtesy and respect that has always been my desire for this blog. I cannot and will not allow any comments that violate this requirement. The following are examples of the types of comments that will be deleted:

  • Any containing profanity.

  • Sarcasm and distasteful jokes or unkind remarks about a person or group. (Of course, we all may have concerns about the practices of those with opposing views. We can express those views without being belligerent or disrespectful.)

  • Unsubsantiated accusations. Actually, this isn't the place to make any accusations, even if you think your claims are substantiated.

Would you join in with this little series of blog posts by this insignificant housewife, who has limited knowledge of the subject, but a love for her country and God? Please do! Please start by telling us all your American dream!

[Btw, do you like Cinnabon? I have a ten dollar Cinnabon gift card which I've been waiting for the opportunity to give it to someone. This seems like a good time. A week from today, we'll draw a name from the people who comment (so you don't want to put "Anonymous", which won't count) and announce the winning comment and what was said. Then the winner can email me so they can claim their prize and we can hook up with the address, etc.etc. Needless to say, in this case each person will only be making one comment--one "dream."]

Saturday, September 20, 2008

God of Our Fathers

It's been a long time since I posted a Saturday night hymn. Too long. This one, written by Daniel C. Roberts in 1876, is a prayer, and it's an appropriate choice during this election campaign. Mr. Roberts penned it to commemorate the 100th birthday of the Declaration of Independence. I'm preparing for a little series, hoping to enliven myself and maybe some others for that big day on November 4th. This is a good prelude to that series, I think. Read and digest these words, dear saints and citizens:

God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies,
Our grateful songs before thy throne arise.

Thy love divine hath led us in the past;
In this free land by thee our lot is cast;
Be thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide, and Stay;
Thy Word our law, thy paths our chosen way.

From war's alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be thy strong arm our ever sure defence;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

Refresh thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never-ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever thine.

~Daniel Crane Roberts

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Fightin' Phils

The above book is a new release by a man named Rich Westcott and I thought I'd show it to you because there's a chapter in it that's all about my husband Chuck! Many of you know that we root for the Phillies in baseball (I'm also a Yankee fan) and one thing that makes the team special is that my dh once played for the organization in the minor leagues.

Last spring I wrote a post about a man who had come to interview my hubby because he was going to be writing something about Chuck's career in the organization. The book has recently been released--it's all about interesting tidbits from the Phillies' history. Chapter 16 is entitled "The First African American Phillie" and that's the chapter about the Fightin' Phil who lives in this house! Recently we received a copy of the book in the mail with a sweet note from the author written inside. I just wanted to tell you all about it because it's pretty special to us.

I had reflections about all this which I shared in the post of last spring if you'd like to go read them.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In Commemoration of That Day

Let's all pray with our families, as President Hayes did with his at the White House each day:

"O Lord our Heavenly Father, who has safely brought us to the beginning of this day; defend us in the same with Thy Almighty power. Grant that we may not fall into any kind of danger and keep us from evil. May all our doings be ordered by Thy governance so that all we do may be righteous in Thy sight. Amen."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Well, Why Not?

They really are cute, you must agree. Everyone loves a wedding, isn't that right? This seven year old male monkey named Wukong and six year old female named Xiaoya got married on September 4th. I'm not going to say what I'm thinking, but you can just imagine.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

My Choice: Life

I cannot believe it's been two years, but it has. Tomorrow the above young lady, my granddaughter, will be two years old. We are so thankful for her and for her life. We cannot imagine how it would be without her. She had a little party on Saturday, and here in this picture, while wearing her new Dora backpack, she is enjoying one of the little candy apples made for the occasion. And now, by the mercies of God, we await another little one, due in October. Well now, is God not good or what? "Happy Birthday" from Nanna to her little Sweetie.

This blog started shortly before Selena was born, and my very first post was speaking to that very issue: her time in the womb. On another day, I plan to post it again as a dedication to my coming granddaughter. I want to especially do this in light of the current political activities going on in our nation. I never like to get into politics; I find them distasteful. But I've had some stirrings in my heart of late that give me a sense that I shouldn't remain completely silent about these things, even though I'm not thrilled with a lot of things about this election. I'm sure many of you will agree with me when I say I've become increasingly disturbed about the direction our country has been going and continues to be going. Actually, it's rather frightening.

The past few days, I've heard and read some things that have really pressed hard on me. Yesterday, I heard an ad about seven times on our local news station, and I already heard it today during the short time I had the radio on. It was a pro-choice ad about the election, and had phrases in it such as "take away our right to choose," we can't let. . . take away our right to choose," and "that's what's at stake." The voice was that of a woman, of course, and she was right about one thing: This issue of abortion is "what's at stake." It's not the only important issue by any means, but there is no issue more important than that of the life of a human being, even the one in the womb. Well, the soul of an individual is more important, but we're not going to be faced with that in November.

Then, I read a very good article, written by a pastor acquaintance of my husband's, who was writing on this very issue of abortion. In this paper, he mentioned the failure of certain people who call themselves Christians to change the conscience of our nation, [he was speaking to fellow pastors of his particular ethnic group] and among other things he said:
  • We may be so focused on our individual rights that we have forgotten our future and heritage (our children).

  • We forget the teachings of Scripture when we go to the polls.

  • We vote with our minds as men instead of our Bibles as believers!

He said much more, but these hit home for me, especially the part about our heritage. Selena's birthday brought that to my mind all the more. I definitely do not want to EVER forget about the future and what it means to my children and grandchildren. I most definitely do not want to forget about this when I step into the voting booth on November 4. When that day comes, I want the lady speaking in the ad to know that is one choice I'm thankful to have. For the sake of my conscience towards God and for the good of my country's future, I will choose life.