Monday, February 20, 2017

President's Day


I don't know if anyone noticed, but during Obama's administration, there were never protests about how he is not our president, there were no accusations of fake news, and the media fawned over him and his family and rarely said anything bad about him.

Let's set the record straight.  Fake news have been around since the fall of man.  It's a fancy word for a lie.  Our president is our president whether we voted for him or not.  And I thought family members were supposed to be protected from verbal assaults.  Finally, there is such a double standard between the parties.  When Trump was accused of sexual assaults during the campaign, what about the many similar accusations about Clinton?  

No party, religion, or other group of people have a monopoly on fake news, or on being all good or all bad.  Everyone (most) has some good and some bad. Judgement should be applied across the board, not just against people we don't like.  

And fake news to one may be truth to another.  Sometimes it seems that if someone doesn't like something, they can cry fake news.  What they are doing taking something out of context.  They are twisting something to fit their already set agenda.  

Okay, I think I've said what I have wanted to say but have yet figured out how to do so.  So what do I do?  
First, when I am on Facebook and I don't like what someone is sharing, but I still want to be friends with them, I click on the top right arrow of their posting, and it will ask me if I want to hide all posting from said website.  

Second, I try to get my news from various news media that balance each either out.  I have my local fox news app, USA Today app, and the BBC app.  So I have local, national, and international news.  I like USA today as it does have opposing views sometimes.  And I like the BBC app as it is well known for news and journalism, and it informs me about  what is going on in the world.  But I recommend that people find what works for them, for this is one of our rights, a free press.  

Third, I remember that our country is the only one of it's kind in the world.  We are a republic with the rule of law, which is based on our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  And we have checks and balances, such as three branches of government, two main parties, and two houses of congress.  We have the same structures in all our states, and each type of government, whether local, state, or federal, have specific responsibilities with boundaries set in.  

So no matter who is in the White House or the Capitol, these most important documents keep things in check.  It's not a perfect system, but no system is.  But I think it is a good one, and I am darn glad I was born in this country, where I have freedom of religion and freedom of speech.  Whether people like it or not, I am independent, and damn glad to be that way!  God bless America! 


Monday, February 13, 2017

Baptism


This past weekend my church had baptisms during the service.  I have never seen baptisms during the service, except when I was growing up in the Lutheran church.  Where I got baptized as an adult at Bethel Evangelical Free in Fargo, ND, that was also not during the service.  So at first I was irritated that they had this during the service.  I usually like to walk out during special events at services.  Maybe because they were so much a part of church growing up and I never knew the people nor cared.  Which is sad to admit today, but that was I way I was.

I cried when the first two young girls did it, I assumed they were sisters, and as they came up from the the water, they hugged each other.  Some just smiled, others cried, but all were cheered by the congregation when they came up.  And for the first time, I cared about these people I didn't know.  I remember how meaningful my own experience was so many years ago.

My grandma Gladys came, as she and her husband Bill were my godparents.  Before the baptism, we could say a little something.  I don't really remember what I said, but my grandma seemed to like it.  The experience was meaningful as I chose when I would be baptized.  I wanted to share with everyone that Jesus was my Savior and Lord, and He was the One who transformed me, and gave me hope.

Now after all those years, I look back on the turbulent life that I have led.  I wondered if any one that knew me as a child could see the change in me.  I wondered it myself, could I see it?  The word that popped into my head was hope.

I had no hope growing up.  I had no idea what was wrong with me physically, and I didn't understand until years later that I had a mental illness.  I just thought I was going crazy.  I was lonely and bullied in school.  I just hated my life and everyone else.  

Now, after all those years, I love my life and everyone else.  Okay, some people I could stand to live without, but I think that Jesus transformed me.  He gave me hope.  He gave me help.  He gave me love.

And because of all that and more, I can rejoice with others who rejoice, I can have compassion on others without hope.  I can love myself as I am, and I have accepted myself.

True, there are times that I feel sorry for myself, especially when I get my period!  But usually, I am a happy single woman who loves to learn and teach others.  

So I am happy that I got to share in the experience of baptism at my church.  It made me feel a part of something bigger.  Even as the introvert thatI am, I still seem to need this.  And I will always need Jesus. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Superbowl




I rather enjoyed this year's Superbowl.  I especially loved this video (link above), with one of my favorite Johnny Cash's songs.  And I loved Lady Gaga's performance.

I had steeled myself for political statements made right and left, as they were last year during Beyonce's performance, which I found offensive.  But I was pleasantly surprised.

But of course, the news and social media had to politicize it to demonstrate their view that all these videos and acts throughout the game were jabs at Trump's latest executive order.  

Whatever one may think about his order, this is not how I viewed the show.  Not even when those three ladies sang a patriotic song before the game, which I thought they did a fabulous job of it. 

Apparently, they were from the musical Hamilton and they somehow tweaked the song to reflect some political statement.

Who knows, really.  Who knows what is fake news and what is not?  Can't we just enjoy the game and music without something politic shoved down our throats?  Can't we just enjoy the game for the sake of sport, the music for the sake of art?  Why does every thing have to be so political nowadays?

I used to be political myself, until I realized that it just made me angry.  I don't want to go through life being angry all the time.  I can write what I really think on this blog or on Facebook, but I'm usually just preaching to the choir, and it is getting more and more difficult to disagree on things.  

For once, couldn't we just agree that the Superbowl is a tradition to bring people together, even those who, like me, don't  like football?  For once, can't we be united instead always divided?  

Is that too much to ask?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Jesus is my Crutch


The other night I was thinking of that quote that people say about how religion is a crutch.  I smiled to myself as I said out loud, "Jesus is my crutch!"  I am quite happy with having Jesus as a crutch.

A crutch helps you walk when you are unable to on your own.  Well, I don't know about you, but I am unable to live this life on my own.  

People and pets die, or they hurt you in some way.  Not that you can't trust them, but I learned, and yet keep learning, that I can't fully put my faith and trust in them.  It isn't fair to them, to expect people to be perfect like God.  That is too high of an expectation that they can't bear.

I was humbled last week, when I realized that I had done it again, put all my trust in people.  I won't go into details, that isn't important.  What is important is that once again, I have to learn the lesson that God is enough.  

He alone is enough for me.  Sure, I can trust my family and friends, but to expect them to be more than they are, is not fair, to them, and I will only be hurt eventually.  

So I learned this lesson again, and will probably need to relearn it at some time in the future.  I don't know why it is so hard to keep this in mind.  

All I know is that God id enough.  And Jesus is my crutch. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Lilac Girls


I just finished reading this book by Martha Hall Kelly.  It is a story based on real events during and after WWII.  It is about the Polish "rabbits" who were experimented on in the only Nazi woman's camp.  Here was also the only woman doctor tried at the Nuremberg Trials.  Finally, it is about a NY socialite who helped get the story out about the Polish women and got them the medical help that they needed.

The Nazis plowed through all of Europe, taking over their countries and installing the Nazi regime.  This included imprisoning or killing anyone who stood in their way.  They had no respect for non-Germans, and thus seeing them as objects, had no qualms about killing or torturing them, including the medical experiments.  The Polish women had one leg operated on, inserting foreign objects in the legs, and allowing the legs to be infected and eventually killing some of them.  After the war, Germany didn't have to treat them as they didn't help those who were part of the communist regime of Russia.  And Russia didn't have the means or the desire to help them.  

The socialite in NY helped the Europeans in Americans during the war, and after the war, she was asked to help these Polish women.  With a donation drive throughout America, there was more than enough money to bring them here and get them the help they needed.  She also eventually got them reparations from Germany. 

The female doctor who experimented and killed prisoners was let out of jail after only five years.  She set up a family practice, obviously never repenting of her heinous actions.  The socialite and the Polish women were able to get her license revoked.  

I always think I know all about what the Nazis did during WWII, but I should know by now that I don't  German women were considered breeding machines, and were encouraged to make pure Aryan babies that were taken after birth and brought up by the regime.  Christianity was replaced by some weird worship of Nazism.  Everything was done "for the good of Germany," including the invasion of Europe, takeover of governments, installation of Nazism, and the murder and torture of millions of people.   

I don't suppose we will know the full extent of what happened during that time.  It is shocking to me that there are still neo-Nazis out there still today that hate all others, and want to take over Europe.  They are the most evil of peoples that I have ever known of, and I can't imagine anyone with a sane mind would want to follow them.  What kind of messed up mind thinks it's OK to kill and torture others?  How did they manage to have so much control for so long in Europe, with no one to stop them?  It just boggles the mind.

I hope that we never forget, we must never forget.  I suppose I am preaching to the choir here.  But I feel like as we get older and the survivors of this horrible time die, it is easier to forget.  We get consumed with our own problems, including myself, that we forget how good we have it here in America.  We are all free and equal, we have rights of speech and religion.  We have plenty and are safe.  Granted, there are some major problems, but these can be fixed, if we have the will.  We have the Constitution to protect us.  And whether people want to believe it or not, we are a Christian nation, founded on Judaeo-Christian principles.  We have Christianity everywhere, from the crosses by the side of the road, to the many churches that dot the countryside.  

I am thankful that I live in the greatest nation on earth, whoever our leaders are.  God bless America!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

IBS


I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) about 25 years ago.  It used to be really bad where I had an IBS flare-up at least once a week.  Now it is at least once a month.  But it took many years of trial and error, and research on my own and not listening to doctors and dietitians about how I can control it.

The most popular thing people tell you is to use fiber.  That is great if you are constipated.  But not all IBS sufferers have constipation.  Some of us have diarrhea, or both.  I just have the diarrhea, never constipation.  During a flare up I had terrible stomach cramps and spent half my life on the toilet.  My butt was so sore I had to sit in the tub and soak my poor tush.  

Therefore, when I have a lot of fiber or roughage, I poop even more than normal, and I have an IBS flare-up.  People don't believe me sometimes, as if I am making it up so I don't have to eat healthy.  I love to eat healthy, but my body doesn't love it so much.  I tell them maybe they would like to sit with me while I am on the toilet half the day.  I call myself the poop queen of Anoka, or Miss Poops-a-Lot.  

My theory is that because I am so small, there is just not enough room in my torso for all my organs.  It seems when I have my period, my IBS also flares-up, thus the once a month excursion to the toilet.  When I was growing up, I could not chew meat or hard things like vegetables, so I often ate soft things.  Which didn't help me nutritionally either as I was and am still a very fussy eater.  Therefore, I think my body was not used to such roughage.

So now I try to watch what I eat, with little meat and vegetables.  I eat more breads, dairy, and fruit.  I try to eat low-fat as that also aggravates my IBS.

I have also learned that artificial sweeteners also trigger an IBS attack, like Nutrasweet (aspartame), and Splenda (sorbitol).  Sorbitol is a laxative, which is the last thing I need.  But they never tell you that.  So they put these artificial sweeteners in so many things, even things I had no idea.  We all know it is in gum, sugar-free soda and sugar-free candy.  But it is also in cough drops, cough syrup, and toothpaste.  I have to look at the label all the time to make sure it does not have this.  Sometimes it is like a treasure hunt, for they don't always make it easy to reveal what all the ingredients are.

So if you have IBS, congratulations!  And do your research, educate yourself, and don't listen to anyone who doesn't have this.  They don't know what it's like, and that it is different for everybody.  And they don't know how it can affect your life.  It's not a joke, and there is no cure.  But there is hope.  You just have to advocate for yourself, and do what you think is best for you.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Last Discriminated


I am sure that you have heard of the horrible video on Facebook last week about the four adults kidnapping and abusing an adult with a disability.  I couldn't bring myself to watch the video, thank goodness Facebook finally took it off.  I don't know how they allowed it in the first place.

But I was reminded, yet again, that the disabled are the last discrimination.  I can't count how many times I have been stared at, discriminated against, bullied, and generally disrespected.  It would take too long and get me too riled up.  I don't even consider myself disabled.  But because of my appearance and the way I sound, it leads to the impression that I am.

My parents never treated me different. In fact, they raised me to be tough and not expect help. I know some people think this sounds so pessimistic.  But we are realists.  We know what we would like the world to be like.  But we also know what the world is like.

It is a world where people like me have to cope with discrimination, prejudice, and bullying.  It is a world where google images have memes that mock the disabled.  As Freeman said, it is the lowest display of power.

People who mock and abuse the disabled are among the lowest form of beings in society.  They are the cowards, and there is no excuse whatsoever in this attitude.

People with disabilities don't choose it.  We are born this way or something happens to us.  We don't choose to be victims of violence, even though we are more likely to be.  We don't choose to be judged based on our appearance, instead of what really matters, our character.  Like MLK Jr., he dreamed of people being judged on their character, not their skin.  Or any appearance for that matter.  

As I always say, this body is just a suitcase for this earthly journey.  It may not be as pretty as other suitcases, but it has a lot of interesting things in it.  If only people took the time to open it and learn.

We must rise up and speak up for ourselves, because apparently no one else is.  The only ones that do are the ones that have a loved one with a disability.  Otherwise, there are no protests, no demonstrations, anywhere.  No celebrity talking about it.  No politician talking about it.  It is like we don't exist.  And when things happen, it doesn't seem to garner the level of attention other prejudiced groups do.  Why is that?  I know we are not glamorous or popular.  But we still have value. We still have worth.

When will people rise up?