Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday's Word: The Refugee Crisis

cades cove, great smoky mountains

I see a lot of mixed commentary about the Syrian refugees. It is not an easy situation to assess, but I think I’ll weigh in, just the same.

Opinions are strong and diverse, and like all other issues, everyone thinks their own opinions are the right ones. The arguments range from Biblical quotes to terrorist statistics. There is a lot of fear, understandably so. There is some burying of the heads in sand, as well. I agree we should help when we can. Definitely, we should. Would I want someone to help me? Yes, I would. But, we cannot save the world.

Answer this:
How can we house/clothe/feed/provide medical care for thousands and thousands of Middle Eastern refugees when we can’t even take care of our veterans? HUD estimates over 49,000 homeless vets…and that doesn’t include over 500,000 homeless men, women, and children already here in addition to the veterans. Where’s the money coming from? Are we being good stewards of our money? The Bible tells us if we don’t take care of our own, we are worse than an infidel. (1 Timothy 5:8)

(I won’t even discuss how the US State department denied visas for persecuted Assyrian Christians…)

Money aside, are there any safeguards in place to ensure that in all the bringing of refugees, we aren’t giving terrorists a free ride? (Answer: No. States getting refugees aren’t given much information other than the number of bodies they are getting.) It’s a dangerous day in which we live, and we have to consider that we have had terrorist acts on our soil already. We do have a responsibility for our own safety. Reaping and sowing…you bring terrorists in, you reap destruction. It is my humble opinion that we fix the massive homeless problems we already have before adding tens of thousands more to the equation. Or, help the refugees build a safe refuge in their own country.

It would be dangerous thinking to believe that Islamic extremists wouldn’t use an opportunity such as this refugee crisis to gain entry on to American soil. If I were to speculate, I would say ISIS is already here. It all sounds so nice and pious on this side of the spectrum…let’s help all these refugees!…until we are looking at it from the same side Paris is now, or from the same side we were looking at it on September 12, 2001, or after the Boston marathon bombing (lest we forget the Tsarnaev brothers were reportedly refugees).

We must consider that we are no longer a Christian nation. Americans have repeatedly elected ungodly leaders, and the majority have essentially turned their backs on God. In doing such, Christians largely remain silent as we watch as our leaders make one detrimental decision after another for America, forgetting that God used the unjust and the ungodly to punish His children when they did not serve Him. We are NOT a nation so strong we can stand without God. God let the Children of Israel be taken captive for their disobedience. Do we really think America will escape if we do not repent? And we WILL repent, my friends. I just hope and pray it is before we are living in a war torn country.

For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not
flash forth their light; the sun will be dark when it rises 
and the moon will not shed its light. Thus I will punish 
the world for its evil and the wicked for their iniquity; I 
will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud and 
abase the haughtiness of the ruthless. I will make mortal 
man scarcer than pure gold And mankind than the gold of Ophir…
Isaiah 13

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Musings

somewhere in the great smoky mountains
My musings have been jumbled this morning, my thoughts bouncing from Paris, to Bernie Sanders, from Keely Mullen to people who profess Christianity but disagree with what the Bible states as sin. None of these topics are related other than they are current events...and they are just too heavy a discussion for such a fine Monday.   (Please continue to pray for Paris...I know I will be.)

If I were to choose one of the above subjects to talk about, it would be Keely Mullen. Just in case you missed it…she thinks she is entitled to free education, no education debt, and a $15 minimum wage for students who work on campus. I’d like to point out that many regular employees do not make that much!

The reason I won’t discuss Ms. Keely any further is because I cannot do so without “snarcasm” (snarky sarcasm), nor could I manage a kind attitude. My mom often told me, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” I have not arrived there just yet, Mom.

Bernie Sanders is another one I can’t discuss without a measure of snarcasm because every time he opens his mouth, I wonder if anyone sane voted the man in office.

Instead…I’ll share this funny video of bad lip reading from the previous democratic debate…

There is also one for the Republican debate. You’ll have to forgive me, I find these “Bad Lip Reading” videos pretty comical for the most part...the one below is a little more juvenile in humor, but mostly funny.

I hope your Monday is a peaceful one.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday's Thoughts, DIAW, Y'all

the fungus among us
America has quite an epidemic of DIAW Syndrome. People exhibit the disease every day, and every day there is a new victim….and the victim is not the one with the disease! I think I may be exhibiting a few symptoms of it myself! Why? Because I’m offended at the offended!

Casting my narrowed eyes 
toward the infected, I say, 
“I don’t want to be like them!”
(Funny how the acronym for people 
offended by offended people is POOP.)

Yes, this…this worm…seems to be taking America by storm! Actually, to call it a worm insults the worm.  We'll stick with fungus.
“Do I have it?” You ask yourself 
“How can I protect myself?” You wonder. 
“What IS IT?” you scream!

I will tell you!  It is having one’s Drawers in a Wad.

Nothing is safe from this wedgie effect.  From the Starbucks cup to the Washington Redskins; from a Target Christmas sweater to a racist Halloween! How about banned words like bossy, or “sorry not sorry,” because apologizing for not apologizing makes so much sense. Even pronouns are not safe! It may be offensive to be called “she” if one if female, or “he” if one is male.
an old fox squirrel 
And words! They can be so offensive! Here are a few examples for you to run by your offended meter to see if you have DIAW symptoms because you feel personally insulted:
  • If someone says “black sheep” instead of “outcast.”
  • If someone says “guys” instead of “friends” or “folks”
  • If someone says “girls” instead of “women”
  • “Failure” instead of “non-traditional success”
  • “Manhole” instead of “utility hole.”
  • “Fat” instead of “person of substance” or “horizontally challenged.”
If I were get to the real nitty gritty, I’d throw this out there:
  • If someone suggests “adoption” instead of “abortion.”
  • If someone believes “creation” instead of “evolution.”
  • If someone is “conservative” instead of “liberal.”
But I won’t go there. That might bring some seriousness into my post.

more fungus (of course it would be in my own back yard!)
People who have DIAW waste a huge amount of precious time carefully watching and listening for the next offense, and too many want a piece of Offended Pie. The First Amendment doesn’t mean you will like everything you hear others say, but it does mean they get to say it. And when they say it, and you don’t like it, that doesn’t always make them racist, discriminatory, or prejudicial. Tolerance doesn’t mean you have to bring them around to your way of thinking. That, my friends, is pseudo-tolerance.

If you find yourself offended every day by what others say,
you are paying too much attention to others' words.
Disengage! Walk away! 
 Go have some fun somewhere!

cataloochee valley elk (GSM)
Is it more acceptable for a person to act like an idiot than it is for someone to point out that they are idiotic?  (And then be left to wonder if it’s really just an act.)  My first instinct for the is to help them in their offense, because if someone whines about some silly word like “bossy,” I find I want to toss it into my conversation as much as possible.  I don’t always act on my first thoughts, thankfully.

What should we do when confronted with someone who is in obvious throes of DIAW?  Rise above it.  Ignore them if you can.  If not, treat them with respect, or just take them to Starbucks because, as we all know, the most important thing that happened this week was a red Starbucks cup.

If you are or around the Shoals area...check OB's post on this place in Rogersville HERE and HERE

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Musings

Great Smoky Mountains Scenery (Circa 2006) ...Have I ever mentioned how I love that place?

It’s Monday. Monday is the day each week when fat folks give thought to starting a diet. Sometimes it’s only a thought, other times, there is some success, albeit that success is often limited. I thought about it this morning. I haven’t acted on it one way or the other. I vacillate between “I ain’t never doing that again!” and “Maybe I should…”

Something I wish I’d known years ago: If a chronic dieter had lost only 2 pounds per month, every month for the last five years (you know, those five years we spent alternating between binges and diets, losses and gain, tears and celebration) she would have lost 120 pounds. Anyone can lose 2 pounds a month…without extreme dieting or extreme exercise! Or…a five pound loss per month for two years? Yep, 120 pounds!

I’m looking around for my passion. I haven’t seen it in so many years I am not sure I ever had it. The novels I’m going to write are still in my head, and I am certain there are more than one!

I have been batting around an idea for the 2016 A to Z Challenge. I am thinking of writing that unwritten novel (well…it would be more like excerpts of it, but serial short stories.) What do you think? Good idea or lamebrain? Maybe if I began actually writing it, I would gain passion for it.

I did agree to do a series on Esther for the Ladies Group at my Mom’s church in January. Maybe I’ll develop a passion for teaching. Then again, maybe they’ll never ask me to teach again. We’ll see. I love the story of Esther. It has all the necessary elements for a fine novel, and it is a true story!

I am looking for a good app to aid in memorizing scripture. Do you use or know of one?   I have trouble remembering my age at time...that might not be so much of an exaggeration.

Have a good week, y’all.

Monday, November 2, 2015

What Have I Done?

I'm not overly fond of the look of my blog…but I think it’s just too early for Christmas d├ęcor…of course, retail is not worried! I probably won’t be too worried in a week or two, myself.   I've been a long time away from this blog, but I have worked on the motif for the last few weeks, changing and tweaking, getting ready to start writing in it again.

The spider, the Ol’ Brown Recluse, is back. I’ve been designing new ones…what do you think?

Traditional Christmas Colors

It is almost alarming how quickly time is passing. In my youth, the wait between January and November seemed as if it were five years, now it seems like all of five weeks! It is now November and what have I accomplished for 2105? Not much. My books are still not written, my blogs lie dormant, I’ve found most of the weight I lost (I suppose that could be an accomplishment), and my house still needs its spring cleaning.

I have decided to dedicate a little time out of my days to write. Something. Anything. I may or may not post what I write, but I have found in the last few months that the longer I don’t write, the easier it becomes to lay aside my God-given talent and waste away the days doing mindless tasks. Not that I have all that much to say, as this particular post proves.

I love Fall, the anticipation of the colors of fall, and my annual Great Smoky Mountain trip to see the mountains alive with vibrant hues. This year, I made the trip a little too early and saw mostly shades of green. It was beautiful nonetheless. Now we are sliding right into my most favorite time of the year, “The Holidays!” I worked retail years ago, and November/December were merely blurs. Now I have more time to enjoy the season, and enjoy my family.

With my parents aging and my realization that life really is but a vapor, I find myself wanting to drink in every memory, every tradition (though we really don’t have set traditions in my family). We meet, we eat, we visit; we go about our business. But that is our tradition. At Christmas, we open gifts as well. We catch up with one another, laugh, joke, pick at each other, and comment how we should get together more often throughout the year.

I am not arrogant enough to not know that I am blessed beyond measure. God has given me a wonderful family. My little parents are still together pushing 60 years of marriage, both are alive and in reasonably good health. My entire family are free from catastrophic disease, though we do suffer with health issues here and there, we are blessed.

I know that Christmastime can be too busy (and therefore less enjoyable) for some. I know that people are missing those who have passed and won’t be here for the holidays, and grief is often compounded during November and December. I also know that money (or lack thereof) can be a real issue for some. But I hope you find rest in the midst of the busyness, and peace fills the empty places your heart.

Happy November, my friends.

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