…and he turned out just fine.
…and he turned out just fine.
It’s Friday, the perfect day for some Veteran’s Day inspired internet stuff…
Not in my job description …
no link here today, just my thoughts. The businessmen and women of Sept. 11th who were just showing up for work that day, or just boarding a plane to make a meeting…were just doing their jobs. A description I’m sure, that they would have not signed up for had they known what was to come. Our military men and women who responded also lost lives, but for a job that they knew exactly what the risks were. Maybe some went in a little naïve, hoping to get a free education, respect from their parents or a new start in their lives. But many knew exactly what they were taking on. Both of my grandfathers served in World War II.
One of my brothers was in the Army during Desert Storm, another is currently enlisted in the Marines. The latter is out on medical leave, injured during a raid in Iraq, awaiting yet another of multiple surgeries. To hear some of the stories he has brought back, would break anyone’s heart. One wonders, has he become hardened? To speak of things with such ease, familiarity? I think he’s had to become hard to survive, otherwise who could emotionally process everything and still come out of it sane? But really, he is still the brother that I know he was before. Just..a little different. A little fiercer pride in his country and his fellow Marines, a little (lot) more worn physically from his battles, a little tougher emotionally because of what he has seen. But he is still my brother. And he not only knew of his job description as a Marine, he anticipated it with pride and carried it out with courage and endurance, despite the obstacles…for a cause that he believed in and that was greater than himself.
This could describe any number of military men and women, past and present. So how about..not just today..but every day that you see someone in uniform, shake their hand. Tell them thank you. Whether you agree with the decisions made by leadership or not, you still can respect those that are sacrificing their lives, health and families for your sake.
Why do we … observe Veterans Day?
You should read this…about Dakota Meyer
And on this day in History…
1918 – World War I ends
1942 – Draft age is lowered to 18 during World War II, however blacks are still passed over for the draft
1967 – VietCong release US prisoners of war
It’s Friday, the perfect day for some random internet stuff…
And on this day in History…click on the links for more info, or info that only sort of relates (but not really)
Pumpkin seeds are pretty tasty when toasted to perfection. My husband would disagree. This tradition of mine has not carried over well to the “us” of our post-vow holidays. This is our second Halloween married. Last year the kids and I skipped the whole pumpkin thing. I’m not sure why, I don’t remember very much of anything well. I’m guessing I was too busy and tired from working full time for my regular job, and working part time for the church. (which really is like working 2 full time jobs since working part time for the church counts for more hours because then you’re all “doing more than you should” like “what would Jesus do”). But this year, Momma only has ONE job! Well, plus I’m Momma..which is like..it’s very own job/blog topic. But today I won’t go there. So this year we bought pumpkins. My son and I gutted them which is WAY more fun than the actual carving process. Carving = frustration + a very sharp knife held by a frustrated clumsy Mom. Not a good combo. After the seeds were collected and rinsed, it was time to lay them out to dry. A few hours later we come back, gather them all into a bowl and start the seasoning process. My son wanted to add hot sauce (he read my mind), but then we remembered my husband doesn’t like hot things. Except for me, of course. So we just had to use regular boring spices. After toasting them in the oven, we pulled them out for a taste test. I was excited to share this tradition with my husband so I called him into the kitchen. This was probably not a good idea since he was watching football and coming into the kitchen made him already not like whatever it was that I was calling him into the kitchen for. So anyway, he sits down and I pick out a couple of really good looking seeds and wait expectantly while he pops them in his mouth. Then, I kid you not, he SPITS OUT THE SHELL CASING.
Me: “Umm, WHAT are you doing?? You are ruining the experience here!”
Him: “Aren’t you supposed to shell it?”
Me: “NO, you are NOT”
Him: “Are you sure?”
Me: “Some people do, but most just eat the whole thing, it’s good for you!”
Him: eyeing the next one in his hand “Are you sure?”
Me: “yes, just try it..eat the whole thing”
So then he tries it..but apparently his tongue overruled his brain and spit the casing out. I was frustrated with his stubbornness.
Me: rolling my eyes “really? You’re just going to keep spitting it out like that?”
Him: “Isn’t it just like sunflower seeds? You peel those when you eat them”
Me: (thinking…umm..I don’t peel sunflower seeds. I eat the shell and all. It’s tasty and crunchy..but then he’ll question my judgment with the pumpkin seeds) “uhh…yeah..but you don’t peel a pumpkin seed, it has fiber..it’s good for you”
Him: “Well, that’s weird”
Me: “YOU’RE weird”
Him: “I’m going back to watch the game.”
Me: “Fine, more for me”
At least the kids and I like them. Though now I’m really wondering about this whole “shelling” thing. Are we supposed to be shelling it? Because that’s a lot of work and the whole experience would be a wash. At least now I know next year we can put the hot sauce on them.
I agree with most of what this article says..though for a full ACCEPTANCE of LGBT to happen from the Christian community is quite different. Agreeing that a person who is LGBT is still a person (of course they are) or that they need protection from bullying (again, of course they do) goes without saying. Even loving them as children of God I would dare say ALL of Christians should hold this bibilical stance. Where the line is drawn for most is the acceptance part. There is a difference between “I’ll love and embrace you and oh, here’s a pamphlet on how to pray away the gay” and full acceptance. Of course that’s where you get the different interpretations of different bible verses. But for the most part..a good article. Just don’t be led into thinking the LGBT community has yet gained full acceptance from the church for who they are, who God created them to be. Go read it. :)
“Students at a public high school in Hartford, Connecticut, recently walked out of a controversial play that was welcomed by school officials who feel students need more exposure to homosexuality to address the issue of bullying. The production titled Zanna, Don’t! depicts an alternate universe set in Heartsville, U.S.A. where homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuals are “outcasts” who are forced to keep their relationships hidden.” One scene in particular disturbed the audience and sent many climbing over chairs and screaming in an effort to leave the building. It was asked to be removed from the play beforehand but the Principal, Adam Johnson, decided to leave it in and just warn the students about it. The scene in question shows two male actors embraced in a passionate kiss. The premise behind the play reminds me of an episode of Twilight Zone (“Eye of the Beholder”) In that episode, a woman is thought to be hideous by the pig-faced society around her. When she is actually quite beautiful . Similar to Ayla’s struggle in Jean M. Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear. Where the play went wrong, however, was the passionate kissing scene. I don’t see that as being acceptable in any high school, even if the two kissing were heterosexuals. It appears that Principal Johnson pushed it a bit too far. Maybe he did have the best intentions in his attempts to knock out their problem with homosexuals being bullied. Unfortunately, it fell on deaf (deaf = screaming/ running) ears. Is bullying a problem? ABSOLUTELY. Regardless of the subject. Should it be dealt with? ABSOLUTELY. I appreciate Johnson’s efforts but I wish he had thought it out a bit more carefully. But, just as the homosexual community shouldn’t be forced to live their lives in a way that someone else believes is correct..so should they also allow those who do not agree, to live their lives. Let me be clear, there is an enormous difference between simply preferring/believing in another way of life (heterosexual Christians, for example) and displaying hate and contempt for those that choose to be different (unfortunately this sometimes also includes heterosexual Christians).
There is a story in the bible of a Samaritan woman at a well (John 4). Jesus has been traveling and is tired and thirsty when he comes upon her. In doing so, he breaks several Jewish customs. 1. He speaks to a woman. 2. She is Samaritan, a group the Jews traditionally despised. 3. He asks her for a drink of water, which makes him “unclean” from using her cup or jar. Jesus then talks with her about her previous husbands and that the man she is currently living with is NOT her husband. When the woman says that the “Messiah” is coming, Jesus answers that it is him. At this, the disciples come on the scene. They are shocked to see what Jesus is doing. The woman then returns to her town and invites the people to come see Jesus. The Samaritans come to the well and beg Jesus to stay with them and teach them. So He does.
Knowing she was socially unacceptable, Jesus still treated her with respect. He didn’t come up to her with a picket sign proclaiming “I hate whores” or “Samaritans Suck and are going to Hell”. He asked her for a drink of water, which she gave him. He spoke with her gently, not perspiration inducing/fist pumping holy rhetoric. He didn’t force his views on her, nor did he force his way to her town to “tell all the sinners how to get right with God”. They invited him into their village, eagerly. It’s hard for us now to understand how strong the hatred was that Jews had for Samaritans. Samaritans were a mixed race people (intermarrying with Assyrians centuries before). They were hated for this, and for having their own version of the bible and their own temple. The woman at the well was even shunned by her own people. Evidenced by her act of drawing water at the hottest part of the day, instead of the usual morning or evening times. She was rejected because of her own immorality (several divorces, living with someone who was not her husband). So here is Jesus, not only speaking to a Samaritan..but a woman that even the Samaritans shunned. She would have been considered by the Jews as “the lowest of the low”. And not only speaking to her..but drinking from her cup.
The bottom line is this: Do not force someone to live according to your beliefs, whichever side of the fence you live on. Whether that is making a play containing a scene with 2 males kissing passionately a mandatory event, or displaying hate and anger to those who are marching in a Pride parade. Those for homosexuality, let it be a choice for those who are not. ..and for those against it…if you want to act out of anger and hate in the name of Jesus, you really need to check your resources. If you want to draw lines in the sand and refuse to associate with those living outside of your beliefs in the name of Jesus legalism, check your resources. I will leave with the frighteningly fearful and small minded words of “Leader” from “Eye of the Beholder”. Words that, although sometimes tweaked, are heard too often from the pulpit…
Leader: We know now that there must be a single purpose! A single norm! A single approach! A single entity of peoples! A single virtue! A single morality! A single frame of reference! A single philosophy of government! We must cut out all that is different like a cancerous growth! It is essential in this society that we not only have a norm, but that we conform to that norm! Differences weaken us! Variations destroy us! An incredible permissiveness to deviation from this norm is what has ended nations and brought them to their knees! Conformity we must worship and hold sacred! Conformity is the key to survival!
Well as mentioned before, I occasionally take breaks from my non-fiction reading list. Breaks from being made to think about anything, and just a few hours to escape into some easy reading. This Sunday afternoon was the perfect opportunity to do just that. A trip to a garage sale a few weeks back netted me a stack of easy reading books for $0.25 each. So, at the top of the stack was Dark Truth by Mariah Stewart.
Our heroine is Nina Madden, whose life was completed jacked up when her father was convicted of being the “Stone River Rapist” (and killer, I think he should be called the “Stone River Killer”..it packs a bit more punch I think). To escape the stank eye from the townsfolk she leaves her step-mother (her mother died when she was young) and moves away. Nina spends many years ignoring her jailed father, trying to forget that part of her life. Dad ends up getting an appeal but dies in a car wreck on the way to the courthouse. Fast forward a few years and the step-mom has now died. So 20 years after she left Stone River, Nina finds herself returning for her step-mother’s funeral. I’m not sure why she returned for it, she didn’t even like the woman. I have a hard enough time going to the funerals of people I like. She is presented with new evidence in the form of letters left by her father addressed to her and her step-mom. Letters stating his innocence. “You see, baby girl..I did sex those women up..I had a problem. But I did not kill them” <– paraphrase. He was a college professor at the time of his arrest and had been having affairs with many of his students. It was those same students who were targeted by the killer. So now we wonder..did he or didn’t he kill them? He had sex with all of them the same night they died. The original trial appears to have been a witch-hunt, grabbing onto the most logical suspect and nailing him to the stake. Until…(enter foreboding music) another college student turns up dead. Left in the exact position as the victims in the original killings. Details that were not released to the press. Leading the investigation is a hottie cop (of course) by the name of Wes Powell. Why are all the lead investigators and the heroines attractive? I want a book with some ugly people with hairy moles. Where they aren’t led to get it on by the adrenaline of a good murderer on the loose. Spoiler – it doesn’t say they actually “get it on” but it is implied it will happen in the near future. I won’t tell you anymore from here though..go read the book.
This is the first book of hers that I have read, so I was a bit skeptical going in. While I’m sure extensively researched (as all good writers do), it seemed to lack a certain polishing. A few chapters seemed predictable, characters falling into place a bit too easily. If this had been a movie we would have heard the foreboding background score too many times when a character’s name was mentioned, or they came onto the scene. However, in light of that it was still the easy read I was aiming for. I read it through to the end because my curiousity was piqued. Though for a 324 page book to have the principle mystery explained on exactly 3 pages (293-295) wraps it up a bit too cleanly for my tastes. I guess, for all of the foreplay I wanted more meat at the end. It felt like Mrs. Stewart spent considerable time developing characters and chasing leads only to leave me saying “that’s it?” at the end. Though I do give her a shout-out for leaving an opening about one of the character’s family ties. In the end, I have no regrets. For 3 hours Mrs. Stewart wove me a tale of deception, sex, unforgiveness and redemption. I met some interesting characters; rooted for a few and didn’t like several. I’m enough on the fence regarding the author to pick up another of her novels and give it a shot. Good thing there was another at the garage sale… :) Maybe next Sunday afternoon.