Tomorrow is my parents' 45th anniversary. I think. I thought it was last year and wrote "happy 45th" in their card, only to be corrected that this year would be #45. :-) Five years ago or so, they started taking an overnight trip over to Ohio's Amish country, and this past Thursday and Friday was the days they took off for that.
No parent is perfect, but I am thankful that mine stuck with it, never even came close to separating - as far as I know. We kids never wanted for anything. We never lived an extravagant lifestyle, but had all we needed. They sacrificed to send us to a Christian school our our lives, even though for the first 6 1/2 years they were not Christians. They always celebrated birthdays and Christmas, trying to give us kids what they didn't have growing up.
Church attendance was sporadic until they became Christians, but then we were there for every service, and on time, unless we were sick. They were faithful to the same church for years, until the time we all felt we needed to leave, and even then, they did it quietly, and did not try to take others with them.
Mom was always home when we kids got home from school. We were all there for supper. Dad worked hard to support his family, and we never had to worry otherwise. We were disciplined when we needed it, spanked when necessary, which isn't popular anymore, even among Christians.
They taught us to work, to pick up after ourselves, to respect others, and be polite, and most of all, they taught us that the most important thing in life is not to have a successful career, but to make it to Heaven.
No parent is perfect, and they all make mistakes, but I am thankful for the ones I have, who even now have let me stay with them as I try to get on my feet and get my own place. Happy 45th anniversary, Mom & Dad, and hope you have many more.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Tomorrow is my parents' 45th anniversary. I think. I thought it was last year and wrote "happy 45th" in their card, only to be corrected that this year would be #45. :-) Five years ago or so, they started taking an overnight trip over to Ohio's Amish country, and this past Thursday and Friday was the days they took off for that.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I read a disgusting news story this evening that causes me to wonder how people get so off course. PETA (People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have sent a letter to the owners of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, asking them to replace the cow's milk they use in their ice cream with human breast milk. No kidding. http://www.wnbc.com/news/17539627/detail.html
How sad for our nation that we have so many people caught up in protecting animals to this extreme, that they try to get an ice cream company to use human breast milk instead of cows milk? Maybe it is because I was a bottle-fed baby, but the idea about nauseates me. And how ridiculous of an idea! Where would they ever get enough human milk for that? I won't even go there.
I am not for animal cruelty. I hate dogs, though puppies are ok.....but don't advocate being mean to them. (I also don't advocate letting them slobber all over oneself..... ) I love meat. If we didn't use animals for meat, we would soon be run over with them. I myself am not a hunter, and can't see why guys enjoy it so much. Been there, tried it, bored, and got lost, but I love the results of others who hunt. Bring on the venison! And rabbit, squirrel, and moose! (never had moose, but if its good for Sarah Palin, its good for me!)
I digress. Anyway, if deer were not hunted and killed for meat, there would most likely be 100's more car/deer accidents than there already are.
Ironically, from what I have seen and read, PETA people are most often pro-abortion, so although they find it wrong to even drink milk from an animal, much less eat meat, they have no problem with an innocent baby being torn apart in its mother's womb. Wonder how they would feel about abortions on animals..........
People like causes. There have always been, and will always be, people who go overboard with causes: anti-war, animal rights, environment. Sadly, it seems more people go overboard for causes that don't matter as much in the light of eternity. We should care about how animals are treated, but more than that, we should care about the value of human life, and it seems most animal rights people are more worried about animals than human life.
I hope the day never comes that because of PETA, that killing animals is illegal. Another reason we need to be careful who we elect to public office.
Monday, September 22, 2008
When I decided to use my right to free speech to blog about my concerns & issues with homeschooling, I expected I might get a few comments disagreeing with me. What I didn't expect was the vicious tone and wording of some of those comments. A friend of mine who is not a home school enthusiast was reading my blog and emailed me "man, those home school moms are vicious!". I emailed some comments that I didn't publish to another friend, including one by Buckeye Mom (who I think I have run into on another site) - in it she told me I needed to be more Christ-like. My friend's response to me was it sounded like she was the one that was having the problem - he saw her comments I didn't publish.
Why this vicious attack on someone for pointing out weaknesses in home schooling? I fully admit there are places in Christian Schools that could use improvement, why can't they face the same thing about home schooling? I jokingly referred to it as almost a "cult", so someone of course replied that Christian schools are a cult. Funny.
Since I made a bunch of dragon breathing carnal women so ticked off with home schooling comments, I am now going to address some advantages of Christian Schools. All you haters don't have to read this. :-)
I feel it gives them more discipline and structure. They have to get up, get dressed, and go to a school building 180 days, approximately 8 hours a day. Yes, in some schools, they don't work all day, whether because of study halls, or due to ACE (which I am not a big fan of) - but they are there under someone elses' authority other than their parents. It helps them learn to respect authority and realize there are other people in the world they have to obey (unless the parents are the type to always take their kids' part).
It gives them some social structure. They are around other kids than just their siblings. They have to learn to get along with other kids besides the ones they live with.
Chapel services. Sure, there is religious training in the home, but I have seen and known of many times in Christian schools that young kids sought God in a chapel service, something that might not happen as quickly at home.
Field trips. I know, parents can still do this, and some may even get with other groupies and do it, but for the most part, I don't believe most home school kids get as good of an experience in that area.
Homework. A nasty word, but it is all part of school, and it sounds like most home schoolers don't have much, or any, in some cases.
Then the extra stuff. Like the school picnic the other night. That was fun for adults and kids, but especially the kids. Christmas programs. Thanksgiving banquets. Gift exchanges and Christmas parties at school. A normal graduation. Awards banquets. PTA meetings for the parents.
I really think parents are robbing their children of some important things they will miss out on my staying home all day with Mom. They can try to substitute and make excuses, but home schooling is a poor imitation of the real thing.
One last advantage that may not hit until the kids are grown, but personally speaking, it has made me appreciate all the years my parents sacrificed to send us kids to a Christian School. I am sure it wasn't always easy. Public school or home school would have been cheaper, more convenient. Some years, it required my mom driving us a few miles to meet a ride to school, then picking us up in the afternoon, but for 18 years, they sacrificed so we could get a good Christian education at an actual school. And it isn't over. I know my parents help out with my nieces' tuition and other school expenses. (Joey's is paid by his church since he is the pastor's kid).
I have said it before: I was picked on a lot and bullied in school, but still would go back and pick going to a Christian school. If I could change anything, I would fight back, and would not have made myself an easy target. Thank God for the Christian School, and for those who have sacrificed to make them possible.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Last night my nieces' school had a picnic for the school families, and whoever else from the church wanted to come. Obviously, the families that don't have their kids in the school didn't show, and they would have enjoyed it, I am sure.
I didn't want to go that badly, mainly because I have been feeling anti-social lately, but am glad I went. There was a lot of good food, and a lot of desserts. After we ate, a lot of the older kids and the adults were playing tennis and volleyball, and the younger kids played on the playground. I just sat and chatted with the people that stayed at the pavilion, and kept hitting the dessert table. :-)
My nieces all love their teachers this year. It is kind of neat: the young lady who is teaching both Katie & Allie is someone we watched grow up and went to the same church for years. What is cool though, is her mother taught Vicki (and I a little) and now her daughter is teaching Vicki's kids. Her mother also has my oldest nephew for a class or two at his school. Stephanie has Lori Lavan, and really likes her. She didn't want to leave the park last night because she was having too much fun playing tennis with Lori.
The girls stayed here last night and the electric being shut down at bedtime didn't seem to bother them - yes, we are on day 7 of no electric, and of using the generator. It is really getting ridiculous. Nice thing is, when the girls stay here, they want a good breakfast, so we had french toast and sausage. :-)
This week-end Lisbon shut down most of the town for the Johnny Appleseed Festival. They used to have it on the main street of town, then moved it to the fairgrounds for a few years, now it is back to being on the main street of town, spilling onto a couple of other streets. It is a cool little festival. There are rides set up, food, people selling things, a lot of things to do with apples. They had a parade today, so we took the girls down to it. Here are some pictures I took:
This was close to where we watched the parade from - some people making apple butter. It actually didn't look too great when I looked at it, but it wasn't even the right color yet.
The picture above is just a view of the part of the main street that has been shut down for the food stands to set up. That is about half of the main street of Lisbon you are looking at - big place huh? :-)
This was a float I thought was cool. It was done by an area church, and I think it is their pastor dressed up as Johnny Appleseed.
I took this one because I thought the little Johnny Appleseed was a cute little guy dressed up like that.
One of many older or classic vehicles in the parade. This one was one that I thought was really cool.
And lastly, a horse-drawn entry. Pretty cool.
Before the parade started, I walked down to the library book sale. I ended up with one book for myself, and several Nancy Drew books for my oldest niece. Then to combat the Obama signs being handed out, we walked down to the Republican Headquarters, but they were out of signs, but we met a nice lady and young guy who were working it, and the guy and I exchanged shaving head tips. :-)
After the parade, we wandered around a bit, got some funnel cakes, and I got some awesome chicken fried rice - why is is so good at places like that? And expensive! We also watched the dunking tank, which really intrigued my nieces. They were dunking the football team, but later were going to be putting up some of the many political people who were in the parade. Stephanie was bummed out we didn't stay longer - there was a woman she wanted to see get dunked. :-)
All in all, it was a fun day. The last time I saw a Johnny Appleseed parade was when it was at the fairgrounds, and believe me, when you can see the whole parade at one glance, it isn't too exciting, so this was a welcome change.
And a closing "hello" to "Buckeye Mom". I know who you are.................... :-)
Thursday, September 18, 2008
There has suddenly been several articles and people talking about the race issue in this campaign. The left is insisting that the only reason Obama is not further ahead of McCain in the polls is because America is full of racists who will not vote for a black man for president.
Oddly enough, race has not been mentioned by conservatives/Republicans. All of the race comments are coming from Obama himself, or his supporters.
Is race an issue? Due to the fact that the Klu Klux Klan still exists in America, I am sure there are people in America who will not vote for Obama simply because he is black. But, I believe most people who are voting for McCain are not doing so out of racism, but because they are against Obama's policies and what he will do to America. That is my reason. If a black person was running that I agreed with on most of his policies, I would vote for that person, but Obama scares me to death. If he wins, I think change will come, but not the kind of change we will want to live with.
Most black people will vote for Obama because he is black. They don't care what he stands for - all they care is one of "their own" could be the first black president of the USA. That is 100% racism right there. If I voted for a white guy just because he was the same color as I am, I would be branded a racist, so why is it ok for blacks to do the same thing?
I think one reason Obama has as large of a following as he does, is the media has stoked the Bush hatred so much, that they want nothing close to Bush, and they view McCain as cu from the same mold.
This is outside the subject of my blog, but what has Bush done that is so evil? When 911 happened, everyone wanted to go after Iraq. He was a hero. That has been turned around, and he is evil for going into Iraq, even though 99% of the US wanted him to. Everyone was sure there would be another attack on America, but there hasn't been. Thanks to his efforts to keep America safe, there has been no attacks. Yes, the economy is bad, but it was heading that way when Clinton left office - he just inherited it. And the gasoline prices have gone up during a Democratic controlled Congress. The same Democrats that refuse to drill, because it won't help soon enough - something they have been saying for 10 years. Had they drilled when it was first brought up, we wouldn't be where we are today.
We received a DVD called "Obama hype" in the mail, so I popped it in my computer and watched all 95 minutes of it. It was rather enlightening, and made me wonder just how many people know what he stands for, who his buddies are, and what kind of changes he wants to do. I learned things I didn't know.
Here are a few reasons in a nutshell I am not voting for Obama: he wants to raise taxes, he wants to raise the minimum wage (sounds good, but the higher it goes, the higher prices go everywhere to make up for it), he is the most pro-abortion candidate to ever run, even opposing care for aborted babies who survive an abortion, he is very pro-gay, and wants to do much for those supporters.
I still believe he has Muslim ties, and we all know how the Muslims feel about us. I believe he hates whites: he said in his book that he felt oppressed by the whites - if he feels that way, what might he do if he is president. He wants to do away with our nuclear power, and do other things that will make us more vulnerable to other countries. The idea of him in charge of our military is a very scary thing.
Not to mention his ties to the racist freak who was his pastor - how could he be so close and not have the same ideas - and the guy who has bombed places in America - if McCain or Palin had ties to people like that, the media would crucify them.
John McCain doesn't represent what I believe 100%. There are things I wish he were stronger on, but he stands for more of what I believe than Obama, who doesn't stand for anything I am for. May God have mercy on America and not give us what we deserve - Obama as president.
And though I am not a racist, I am so against Obama becoming president, and fearful of what could happen to us as a nation, I really don't care why people don't vote for him, as long as they don't.
I will close with a hello to a big fan of mine - Buckeye Mom. ;-)
Monday, September 15, 2008
Man, I don't know how the Amish do it. It is 7:30 pm, and we have been without electric for at least 24 hours, and it isn't any fun. Rumor has it that the electric could be out until Thursday. How exciting. Most of Lisbon seems to be without, a lot of Salem, Leetonia, and who knows where else. My nieces didn't have school today because the electric was still out there, but I think it is on now. Vicki and Steve are fortunate enough to not have lost theirs. My friends Kimmy and Kevin are out in Leetonia.
We are fortunate here. There are a couple of big trees, and they weathered the wind pretty well. The yard was covered with small branches and twigs, but nothing like I saw in other people's yards where whole trees and huge limbs are down. The neighbor lady had a fairly large tree go completely down - nice it fell in the direction it did, or it would have fallen across Mom and Dad's garden. And thankfully we have the generator, though it will be shut down at bedtime.
My friend, the generator. Only thing is, it uses gasoline, and we all know how much that costs nowadays..........
View #1 of the downed tree. Oh well, the neighbor lady sells firewood and seems to love cutting it up.
Close-up of the tree. OK, I was bored!
Final view of the tree. Looks like she has her work cut out for her.
And here is what the covered over creek looks like now. Grass is starting to sprout up. I guess September is the best month to plant grass seed, so it should do well.
Congrats to my favorite group, The Booth Brothers. They walked away with their share of awards at the National Quartet Convention last week. They got favorite artist, trio, album (Carry On), song (Look For Me), favorite lead (Ronnie Booth), and tenor (Michael Booth).
The Hoppers, another favorite of mine, got the favorite group award, Kim Hopper of the Hoppers, took the favorite female award, and Sheri Easter received favorite alto.
Speaking of the Booth Brothers and the Hoppers, I will be going to see those 2 groups November 15th, God willing. They will be at Fisher Auditorium in Wooster, Ohio. I am looking forward to it. :-)
Winds from the hurricane that has done so much damage came our way last night. The power went out in church shortly after the preacher got up to preach. He was encouraged to go ahead and preach - had I had a vote, I would have been for leaving then - nothing against the preacher, but it was dark and hot. He did keep it brief, and we came home to find we had no power. We still don't, as of 2:43 pm on Monday. Thankfully, Dad has a generator. He ran it for a while last night, then shut it down overnight - figured we didn't need power while we slept. I slept horribly - I had taken a nice nap in the afternoon, went to bed earlier than normal, as I couldn't read or do anything online, and I couldn't sleep with a fan on - something I am used to doing. It was too quiet!
I drove up to Salem to cash my long overdue rent deposit check, and was amazed at the damage around here just from the winds. Trees, limbs, and wires down all over. I think Salem, 10 miles away, was hit worse than we were here in Lisbon. I saw a few people carrying big bags of ice. Makes me very thankful I was as far away from the actual hurricane as I was. I cannot imagine being in one.
Supper could be interesting. In spite of the generator running, Mom can't seem to get the oven to work. Wouldn't work last night either, and meat loaf was going to be supper. Oh well. Hope it doesn't stay off til Thursday, which I guess is a possibility.
Friday, September 12, 2008
OK, if anyone reads this and home schools, I am not trying to attack anyone who does, or say they are a bad parent. I have thought about blogging about this subject, but a great friend of mine home schools, and I was afraid I would offend her. We recently had an exchange of ideas on the subject though, and it went well. :-) I am extremely anti-homeschooling, except in cases where there is no other option, or a very good reason to not send to the local Christian School.
My parents didn't become Christians until I was almost 12, and was in 6th grade. With a little persuasion from my mom's stepmother and my dad's mother, they sent me, and later, my sisters to the Christian school, even though they were not Christians until halfway through my schooling. I gained an appreciation for Christian education, especially in a school setting, and for their sacrifice. A friend of mine expressed surprise that I am not all for homeschooling considering the fact that I was picked on and bullied for so much of my school years. As I was telling my sister, if I could go back and change anything about the situation, I wouldn't pick homeschooling, I would pick that I would fight back and not let myself be a target.
If anyone is considering homeschooling, I hope they run into this blog and it causes them to reconsider. If you home school, and you aren't doing it right, and are determined not to send your kids to a Christian school, I hope it causes you to examine your methods.
One of my main concerns with homeschooling is the fact that it is slowly whittling away at our Christian schools. Every year, they get smaller, and smaller, and largely in part, due to homeschooling. Should this trend or craze continue, the day will come when no one can afford to run one. It has happened in the past. My one brother-in-law went to a Christian school in Alliance, Ohio, but it got to the point that "parents were deciding they could do a better job teaching their kids than the school did" (his words, not mine). And the school did end up closing, due mainly to homeschooling.
Another concern is too many do not do it right. A family in my church home schools, and their oldest daughter brags that she is done with her homework by noon. Most days. My niece Stephanie, 7th grade, and younger than this girl, has homework almost every night. What kind of discipline and structure does this other girl have if she is done with her work by noon and the rest of the day is play time? No wonder we see the mother and kids out shopping all the time. How fair is that?
My sister Vicki got in a discussion about homeschooling with one of the librarians at Salem library. This women is against it also, and says her daughter-in-law does it, but does it right. The kids are in school 8 hours. They get 2 hours of homework (2 hours seems a bit much, but hey, its homework!)
Along this line, I don't think there is enough accountability among home school moms. I think they should have to be accountable to someone about how much time their kids are actually being schooled, and if they are done at noon, should be brought to task for it. I don't wish homeschooling to be abolished, for some people do need it, when they have no good Christian school around, but I do wish for more accountability with the education system and homeschooling.
Authority. If kids only have mom all the time, when are they going to learn they have to obey other authorities? A friend told me the parents need to train the kids thus - true, but telling them, and the kids actually having to do it are two different things. I think homeschooling would be detrimental to my nephew at this point. That is the main reason he doesn't like school - they make him mind, and he is only used to his parents in that role.
I have seen too many home schoolers that are clingy with mom and babish way past the time they should be. The same family in my church comes to mind, though I have seen others. Kids need to be away from their parents! Otherwise, the apron strings will be chains by the time they are adults. :-)
My sister Vicki said she could never home school. As much as she loves her girls, it is nice to get them out of the house sometimes. She said summer was so tough - the girls never wanted to go grocery shopping, and would gripe and complain about it, and it so nice to do it while they are in school. If she home schooled, when on earth could she do that?
I don't know why any mother would want to home school - when would they ever get anything else done, if they do it right? But it has become the "in thing" to do. I read a comment left on a blog welcoming someone to the world of homeschooling, and said it was nice that it was becoming more "accepted now". Becoming more accepted? Sounds like they are talking about some until now frowned on sin or something - (no I am not saying homeschooling is a sin!)
I really do feel by homeschooling, all too many parents are doing their kids a disservice. Often no structure or needed discipline of a classroom. Usually no other kids to help their social skills develop with other peers. Often having a teacher that never went beyond high school - yet the same people wouldn't want their kids in a school taught by only high school graduates.
It does almost sound like a cult. :-) I mean that in a joking way. Mostly. :-) I was following comments on people's blogs trying to find people I knew, and kept finding all these home school moms raving about how wonderful it is, like their life is worth living now that they are cooped up with their kids playing school all the time. :-)
Why all this hype? Why is everyone so determined to not support their Christian school and make social hermits of their kids? I almost get the feeling from reading blogs that some mothers are doing it bcause it sounds fun, and they can jump into this new community that has risen up and blog with friends about it all.
In closing, one last interesting point - at least to me. :-) Most of the families that first jumped on the home school bandwagon from my church and school, have all gone an easier way now. They don't believe in the holiness way and standards. Was homechooling the cause? I really doubt it, but their drift began by withdrawing from the church and school social network. They ceased to be involved in the school, because their kids didn't go there anymore. Wednesday nights quit being important. Soon Sunday nights were sporadic, then Sunday mornings. Then before you knew it, they weren't there at all, but were going to the more liberal church downtown.
I hope I haven't ticked anyone off. That isn't my intention. Just as passionate as some people are about homeschooling, and want to blog and blog about it, I am just as passionate about my feelings against homeschooling, and my support of the Christian school. Where would I, and a lot of people, be without it. I am thankful my mom wasn't a home school mom, but sent us to a Christian school, and supported that school.
I know Christin schools aren't perfect, and have their faults, but I also believe the Christian school is fought harder than the church, and have heard preachers say so, so that isn't just my idea. Could it be that homeschooling is a very subtle attack on something Satan would like to see gone? I won't say for sure, as to not incur any more wrath on my head, but who knows?
Recently, there was an attack on homeschooling in California. I am glad it failed, but it does make me wonder how soon they will really go after homeschooling. The Christian school will follow, I am sure, but if homeschooling is made illegal, all of the people who didn't think the Christian school was good enough, perfect enough for their kids, will be frantically searching for one to enroll their kids in, but by that time, there may not be any left.
In closing, I honestly was not singling anyone out, or trying to attack home school mothers. Just figured since so many people are singing the praises, it wouldn't hurt to present the other side. So I have done. If I have offended you, forgive me, and pray for me. :-) If I have convicted you, consider the local Christian school, or improving your methods. :-)
One last note: I am aware that some familes may have a very good reason to homeschool even when they have a Christian school, but that is what it should be. A very good reason.
A P.S. If you homeschool, and leave a comment, I will approve it to be shown if you put in it how many hours your kids are in school a day. :-)
Rumor has it that Joe Biden is worried about his upcoming debates with the new heroine of the Republican Party, Sarah Palin. For one thing, he doesn't know where she stands on the issues. One has to wonder if he is second guessing his decision to accept the nomination. He has set up to work with a woman who is good at debating to give him some experience debating a woman. Sounds like a worried guy to me!
In other Palin news, the celebrities are starting to weigh in on Palin. Matt Damon, movie star, has said Palin would be like a really bad Disney movie. Pamela Anderson, blond movie star with a seeming brain deficiency, has said "I can't stand her! She can suck it!" (What did poor Sarah Palin ever do to her?!)
The closer we get to election time, the more celebrities that will be quoted. Why do they ask their opinions, and why do they think we care? Actually, the more liberal Hollywood bashes someone, the more sure I am that I am voting for the right person.
Back when Bush was running for the first time, and also the second, several celebrities declared that if he won,, they would move to Canada. Wish someone had made them sign something and then forced them to keep their word..........What are they going to try this time? Say they won't make any movies if McCain/Palin are elected? That would be a crying shame too.
I am eager to see how Palin does in a debate. I watched her speech at the RNC via live feed online, and was impressed with how she spoke, carried herself, and what she said. I don't think Biden will be able to scare her off in a debate. Were I a betting man, my money would be on Palin. May the best woman win! :-)
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Note of caution: I really got carried away on this post and went longer than I thought I would. :-)
On one of his earliest CDs, country super star Garth Brooks recorded a song titled “Unanswered Prayers”.
“Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”
Even though the songwriter had a good idea, and the song is a decent song, it never caught on with me because of the “man upstairs” part, but the song does have a good point, and something that happened today got me thinking along these lines, and made me think of the song.
My oldest nephew is in first grade this year, and has to go to school 5 days a week, something he is not happy about at all. My sister prays for him every day before she send him off to school, which is something homeschool moms can’t do- the kid is stuck with them all day. ;-) (sorry Kim! – couldn't’ resist!) This morning, Pam told Joey to pray. He proceeded to pray that the school would blow up, so he wouldn’t have to go anymore. J
I had to laugh when I heard about it, even though it was bad, and I hope he got scolded. I told Mom it is a good thing that not all of our prayers get answered.
That is one of the hardest things for me to grasp in my Christian walk. It seems like 99.99% of my prayers have never been answered. OK, maybe that is an exaggeration, but why does it seem that way? A person likes to believe that God has a reason, but yet, it would be such a boost to people’s faith if more prayers were answered. It is kind of a vicious cycle. Pray, no answer, lose some faith. Pray more, no answer, lose some more faith…….
This whole answer to prayers thing is hard to get a grip on. I have been trying to sell my piano off and on for close to 3 years, but nothing. The only serious replies I have had were from a couple of people wanting to trade me stuff. One guy wanted to trade me drums for it, another wanted to trade me a guitar sound system. Sigh. I had interest this week and got my hopes up, but I think the age of the piano scared the guy away.
I admit my faith is very weak right now, and hope sometimes seems elusive. So why doesn’t God answer prayer faster and more? Does He enjoy watching His followers question their faith and wonder what they are doing wrong? Or does He really have a great purpose in every unanswered prayer?
Karen Peck and New River did a song back a while called “God Likes To Work”. “God likes to work when your back’s to the wall. When faith’s in the balance, and your’e just about to fall. So there will be no mistaking when He blesses and heals. God likes to work when nothing else will”.
Is the song right? Does God like to wait til we are about to give up so we will know it is Him? Not sure the total idea is 100% Biblical, but there are only a few things to believe:
1) God has a divine purpose for not answering a prayer, or several prayers.
2) God is just mean and vengeful, and ignores prayers to make us unhappy
3) God just doesn’t care.
If all the Bible says is true, then 2 and 3 can’t be right, so #1 must be the case. God must have a divine reason for every unanswered prayer.
A modern day heroine of mine is Joni Eareckson Tada. To think of all the years she has spent in a wheel chair, having to depend on other people for just about everything. Never being able to walk and do so many of the things that we take for granted. Surely, a lot of prayer has gone up for her healing, but it has never happened. It is possible if she were whole, she might not be serving God, and it is very likely that’s he never would have accomplished what she has done in her life were she like everyone else.
But does it always make sense? What about……….
The Christian woman, who prays that her husband will get saved, and he never does, leaving her to lead a rough life
The little boy or girl who prays that daddy won’t do those things to them anymore, but the sexual abuse keeps going on, year after year
The drug addict who is trying to quit, and no matter how hard he prays, the desire for the drug never goes away
The gay man or woman who prays God will change them, make them normal, but normal never comes
The young mother dying of cancer, soon to leave her husband and young children asking “why”?
The parents who pray for years for a child, but the womb remains barren.
The list could go on and on. There are people out there with problems so bad that it would make me look like the luckiest guy alive. So why does God let people hurt so much? Why does He let evil triumph over and over?
I’m not sure anyone really has the answer. Oh, we have our little pat answers we can give people, but do we really know? I don’t think so.
When faced with unanswered prayers, whether it be for a job, or trying to sell a piano to make extra money, or for healing of a deadly disease, we are faced with a couple of options.
We can trust God, no matter what. Believe that no matter how dark it gets, no matter how hopeless life looks, that He does love us, and has a reason that will be for our ultimate good, if not here, then in Heaven.
Or, we can lose faith, become bitter, unhappy, and end up losing out spiritually, and lose our soul in the end.
If God and all His ways were easily understood, what kind of God would He be? I don’t have all the answers. My faith is weak at times, and often hope does seem like trying to catch the wind, but if I want life to be worth the living, and want to make my home in Heaven, then I must trust Him no matter how rough the path may be, and remember that “we will understand it better, by and by”.
I did a post a few days ago comparing the differences in Obama and McCain on the issue of abortion. I had a comment left that took me by surprise, but thought I'd better clear it up for anyone else who doesn't know me as well as I thought they would. First, the comment:
"Just wondering why you chose to use the phrase "because their mothers were too stupid to use birth control". It seems the majority of women who have abortions are unwed. Is it OK to be promiscuous as long as you use birth control? And some methods of "birth control" do or have the potential to cause abortions, i.e., the IUD and the Pill."
First off, she knows good and well that I do not think it is OK to be promiscuous. It is stupidity, laziness, and things along that line, in women who have sex, not wanting to get pregnant, and do not use some form of birth control.
Sex before marriage is wrong. Period. Actually, exclamation point!! In today's world, even in a lot of modern churches, abstinence is rare. Those who do, are made fun of, as a story I read about the pop group The Jonas Brothers will show. But if they are going to ruin their lives by having premarital sex, which is stupid in the first place, to not use birth control, is even stupider.
I have no idea what the percentage of unwed woman getting abortions vs. married women who get them are, but I should have made the distinction that premarital sex was wrong. I just figured anyone who knew me very well at all, would know where I stand on that. My bad! Oh well, gave me a reason to post again about something that concerns me - abortion.
Onto birth control. She said that some forms of birth control cause abortions, and named the Pill as one. She is half right: some forms of birth control, such as the morning after pill, do cause an abortion, but she is dead wrong about The Pill. I had forwarded the comment to a friend of mine, and her reply was no way does the Pill cause an abortion.
Life begins at conception. If you are taking a pill before you have sex to prevent yourself from becoming pregnant, there is no abortion.
The thing is, no one wants consequences for their actions anymore. They want to live in a free sex world, with no worries about what will happen afterward. When a pregnancy results, they don't want saddled down with a baby, so instead of sacrificing their desires and dreams, they sacrifice the baby.
I am guessing my commentator is anti-birth control. I personally think anyone who is married and does not use some form of birth control is an idiot. GASP!! Did he really say that?! Yes, I did. In today's society, it is almost a crime to have more kids than you can provide for. If you just leave it up to chance, hard telling how many kids a person could have. I believe God expects us to use responsibility. So whether the Pill, a condom, or whatever forms of birth control are out there - never had to worry about that! - I believe people should use common sense on when to start a family, and how many kids to have. If you can afford 20, and a house big enough - go for it! But if you are barely making it with 2 people, you'd better be careful adding too many to the nest.
Anyway, I want to go on record that yes. premarital and promiscuous sex is wrong. Yes, people are stupid to not use birth control. And yes, I am pro-life, pro-birth control.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
All along this election process, I have been for McCain over Obama for several reasons: the abortion issue, the military issue, I feel Obama is a racist and most likely has Muslim and socialist ties.
McCain, before the arrival of Sarah Palin, was getting my reluctant vote, because he was the "lesser of 2 evils". That has changed. I have come upon information that seals it for me: McCain is THE ONE for president. What is this information? A news story that polls overseas of 22 countries want Obama to become president of the US.
One has to wonder a couple of things: why are they polling people who have nothing to do with our voting process and will not have to live in a country that will go to hell in a hand basket if Obama gets in, and secondly, what business is it of theirs' anyway? Why do I care if Pierre in France, or Juan in Mexico want Obama as president?
Scratch that. I actually do care who other countries want. Because whoever they want cannot be good for us. Who really has our best interests at heart? France? Africa - makes sense they would want Obama - he is black - why do these people want a man as our president who will do irreparable harm and damage to our country? Did I just answer my own question?
I think we need to think about this. No one really likes us. Seems every country is jealous of us and would secretly or outright wish for our downfall. Do we really think they want a president in office in the USA that would be the best for the USA? Or would they more likely favor the candidate who isn't the best for the USA. My money would be on the latter.
To be honest, this polling of other countries and then publishing it in new stories here trying to swing people over to messiah Obama, really ticks me off. Obviously, they don't want McCain. Could it be partly due to the fact that McCain is a soldier, and will do all he can to strengthen the military and our defense, when it seems Obama is set on cutting back defense and doing away with our nuclear defense?
This boils down to the fact that I am more sure than ever that McCain is the right choice. We have other countries' word on that.
Monday, September 8, 2008
My Sunday School class yesterday was very interesting. One of the guys at church is having this whole month on current issues, and started it out yesterday with abortion.
Abortion is my biggest issue when voting. Yes, the economy is important, and many other issues, but if a candidate is against killing innocent babies because their mothers were too stupid to use birth control, they have my attention right off the bat.
Brad said that there are still a lot of uninformed voters: 13% still think Obama is pro-life (far from it!) and 10% of voters think McCain is pro-abortion. The class wasn't a political rally, but he did cover how Obama and McCain stand on the issue of abortion, and handed out a paper outlining it. I thought I would pass some of it along for anyone who is interested in how the candidates really stand on the issue.
1. voted to oppose Roe v. Wade.
2. Voted for the partial birth abortion ban act
3. Said about the ruling against partial birth abortion: "today's ruling is a victory for those who cherish the sanctity of life"
4. Voted in favor of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion through Medicaid.
5. Voted consistently against federal funding of abortion
6. Voted to support a bill that would have required an abortionist to notify at least one parent before performing an abortion on a minor girl from another state
7. Voted for legislation that provides protection for babies who survive abortions equal to protection received by babies who are spontaneously born prematurely.
1. Co-sponsor of the Freedom of Choice Act (this bill would make partial birth abortion legal again, provide for taxpayer funding of abortion, and invalidate virtually all state and federal limitations on abortion, such as parental notification laws)
2. quote "I have consistently advocated for reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President
3. quote " I am extremely concerned that Gonzales v. Carhart (ban on partial birth abortions bill) will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman's right to choose, and that the conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v Wade"
4. Voted against legislation in the Illinois Senate that prohibited taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortion
5. His campaign has stated that he "does not support" the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion through the Medicaid program.
6. Voted to block a bill that would have required an abortionist to notify at least one parent before performing an abortion on a minor girl from another state
7. Voted 3 times against a bill in the Illinois State Senate that would have provided protection for babies who survive abortions equal to protection received by babies who are spontaneously born prematurely.
These facts were taken from the national right to life organization, and can be found on their site: www.nrlc.org
Friday, September 5, 2008
For the first time, I am excited about the coming presidential election. John McCain is tons better than Barack Obama, but is not as conservative as I wished he were. Picking Sarah Palin has seemed to excite the Republican party, myself included.
This is a real lady. She is pretty. She is feminine, and she is conservative. A comment was made by a liberal feminist that all Palin and Hillary Clinton have in common is the same chromosome. She meant it as a slam, but it is true. They are both women, and that is all they have in common. Palin got the looks, the femininity, a husband who is more than likely faithful to her - so she definitely doesn't have much in common with Hillary.
We could very well end up with our first ever woman vice president. Wow. A female friend of mine said once that this country would be a lot better off if women had never been allowed to vote. That may be true. I'd say abortion would never have been legalized for one thing. I do know that Palin seems to be the type of woman who can handle being in charge without becoming a control freak, which is how Hillary strikes me.
Just listening to the announcement of her being McCain's VP pick, and hearing what she stands for, then hearing her speech, lit a fire in me. I felt encouraged, excited, and hopeful about election 2008. My feelings have become strengthened the more the liberal media and Democrats have gone after her. They know she was a good pick. They know this could pull more voters for McCain, and they are worried. From the messiah wanna be Obama on down.
The things they come up with are becoming more and more ludicrous. They pulled up a DUI her husband got 20 years ago. That is relative how? They questioned the paternity of her baby, claiming it is her daughter's, going so far as to demand a paternity test. The news that the daughter is pregnant now hasn't changed the biased media's ideas on that.
A liberal reporter on one of the TV news is a 26 year working mother, but believes that Palin should stay home with her kids since she is an evangelical, and we "believe that women should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen". It is ironic that the same people who are all for women working, getting out there and doing what men are doing, are being the loudest that Sarah Palin should stay home with her kids. You'd think that they would be happy that a woman is the VP running mate pick. Were she on the Democratic ticket, none of this would be brought up.
They are even picking that she didn't write her speech she gave at the convention. No one writes their own speeches, not even the great Obama, but yet they pick at her? More evidence that they are running scared.
This is the same party that had a womanizer having sex with an intern in the White House, and still furiously will defend him to this day, and would vote for him again, yet they pick at these small flaws in a Republican. Wow.
McCain still isn't my ideal pick, but with Palin at his side, I am more at ease with him being president.
I am not against Obama because he is black. I am against him because I believe he is a racist. I believe he has Muslim connections, and connections to a man who has tried to blow up government buildings. He wants to raise taxes, get rid of our nuclear power, thus making us more vulnerable. He is extremely pro-abortion, going to far as to oppose the born alive victim act. He wants to do away with the don't ask, don't tell policy of the military and open it to homosexuals, which could cause problems no one on the left will see. He is against drilling for oil.
He is promising change, but what kind of change will it be? He really scares me. God only knows what could happen to America if he gets in. Hopefully, McCain with his VP pick by his side will knock him out of winning. We can only hope and pray.
Monday, September 1, 2008
It was kind of hard to get excited about Labor Day when I always have Mondays off. :-) Plus, both of my siblings decided to do their own thing, which frustrates me - I would have liked to spend the holiday with at least one of their gang. Oh well.
Mom, Dad, and I started the day off rather early, leaving the house at 8:30, and headed for Boardman. We ate a great breakfast at Bob Evans - they had a gift card burning a hole in their pocket, then we headed over to Austintown - another part of Youngstown, OH. There is a big used clothing store there our family enjoys shopping at. They always have 2 colors of tags half off, and on Mondays, one of the tags is 50 cents - today that was orange. Even better, they were giving 20% off your total purchase. I love to shop for clothes, and since I have developed a taste for more expensive brands - Old Navy, American Eagle Outfitters, etc - the only way I can afford those, is to buy used. Hey, I'm not a snob. :-) (Just to be clear I am not into expensive brands to appear rich - I like their clothes!)
I am almost ashamed to admit the shopping spree I went on. I did go to look for polo shirts - I always have a hard time getting them to fit, so I looked for a size bigger. I started out finding 7 right off the bat, but then went on to find a really nice Gap jacket, and more shirts.......I walked out with 1 jacket and 16 shirts. Wow. That even looks worse in print! My dad says I need therapy. :-) But shopping IS therapy!
In my defense, most of my clothes are in storage, and it seems most of my shirts here are plaids - not sure why, but looking at button down shirts today, it seemed there are more of those than stripes, but I did manage to find some nice striped ones. Now I am more evened out. ;-)
We got gas for the lowest price today for a long time: $3.43. How sad that it seems cheap.
I spent the rest of the day mostly taking it easy. Playing Monopoly on the computer, reading the news, etc. We were going to barbecue chicken on the grill for supper, but it was spoiled, so it was hot dogs and hamburgers instead, which was good. Dad laid new carpet in the bathroom upstairs, so I helped with that a bit and also picked tomatoes. We ended the evening with a trip to Dairy Queen where I had a fudge brownie waffle bowl. Yum!
I would appreciate prayer about a job I am applying for tomorrow. It is right up my alley, something I would enjoy, and something I have thought about trying before. Just so happens that they need someone right now, and at least one job I had should give me experience in this job.
Happy Labor Day!