Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Father's Day


My dad admires Henry Ford so much that he has a room full of Ford memorabilia in his basement.  So even though this is not a Father's Day quote, this is something that I see in my dad.  For he strives not to get attention, but to see how his best looks.  

My dad is also a patriotic man.  I rarely see him cry, but as we were watching "Saving Private Ryan" the other day, he cried.  He always cries at the playing of "Taps" too.  He didn't get into the military because of his bad back, but he wanted to.  

Being a father and a husband are the most important things to him.  He has never been much of a demonstrative man, and he has always been a man of few words.  His words aren't cheap.  But he is a man of principle.  He lives by his conscience, whether it is popular or not.  He doesn't care what others think.  

He is the smartest man I know.  Smarts don't come from a degree.  It comes from using your brain.  And he has and always does.  

I have always admired him, and looked up to him.  He is a humble man, not one to toot his horn.  He doesn't brag, but has a quiet dignity that brings respect.  

I am so very thankful for my dad.  For his wisdom and foresight to provide for us, then, now, and in the future.  I am thankful for a dad I can trust to be honest and real.  What you see is what you get.

I have learned a lot from this man.  He taught me what matters.  He is not perfect, no person is.  But he is the person I needed.  He demonstrates his love and commitment through his actions, which speak much louder than words.
So I hope you have a very happy Father's Day, dad.  I love you.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

See Something, Say Something


I saw this sign in the subways of NYC, where I went with my family a few weeks ago.  For some reason, it stuck with me.  Maybe I felt responsible as I was guiding my family through the mazes of the subway system.  Maybe it was because it was the day after flying into JFK and hearing this being said over the loudspeaker numerous times.  Nevertheless, it stuck with me.

Later that week my mom and I were in a Starbucks when I happened to see an unattended bag.  I remembered this sign and how in the airports they tell you to report an unattended bag.  I showed it to my mom and she pointed me to two police officers nearby.  I went to them and directed them to the bag, of which another unattended bag appeared.  I told my mom let's get out of here, envisioning a horrible explosion ready to take place. As we were at the door, five men walked by us,. two holding those same bags.  The police officers had asked if those bags belonged to anyone, but I don't know what happened between that and the men leaving.  They didn't look happy though, and so as not to appear non-PC, they looked mighty suspicious to me.

I don't really know what those men were doing there, or what was in their bags.  But I knew I was in a city that has suffered the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor, and I wasn't going to take any chances.  

Sometimes I feel so helpless about the war on terror.  I want to do something but all I can think of is to pray.  Not that that isn't effectual.  But in WWII, every one participated in some way.  Everyone was involved in the war effort.  Now most of us aren't.  We go about our every day lives barely noticing anymore any attacks anywhere.  Even when Manchester was hit on Monday, I didn't see anything about it until later that evening, and it had happened earlier in the day.  Why so late?  Why was there no breaking news?  Have we become so apathetic and complacent that we don't even notice anymore?  

I think we can all do our part, we can all join in the war effort.  First thing to admit is that there is a war, a war between good and evil.  A war against those who practice extremist Islamic jihad.  If we can't call it what it is, we have already lost the battle.

We have to make a stand for what's right, and against evil.  Evil that throws homosexuals off of buildings, evil that straps bombs on children, evil that closes all schools except for madrassas.  Evil that takes away a woman's identity and makes her a slave, evil that destroys all works of art, and evil that eliminates any source of joy and peace.  

This is not what I signed up for as an American.  But just waiting for the government to fix it, or just depending on our armed forces to win it, is too much for them to bear.  I may not be able to do much, but I can

SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day


I owe all that I am and hope to be to my angel mother also.  I do also feel this way about God and my dad, but yesterday was Mother's Day, and I want to thank her for that.

Last night I watched a show about how a mother advocated for her daughter, and fought for her to get whatever she needed.  Sometimes the enemy is too big, and the mother has to step in to speak for their children.  And that is what a mother is supposed to do.

My mom spoke up for me with doctors, schools, and rude parents with ruder kids. People might not have liked her for it, but a mother does that when her child is suffering and needs her help.  A mother fights for her children.  And my mom did, and still does, even to this day.  

I am thankful my mom taught me to be strong myself.  There will always be people who don't like me for what ever reason, and who will not help me with what ever I may need.  Sometimes my family and I are on our own, against a world that doesn't want people like me around.  

True, there are some good people out there, and true, I am not an easy one to deal with.  But when it come to a child with a disability, a mother has to always be ready for a fight.  And a mother has to teach her child to advocate for themselves.  She also taught me to advocate for others, to be a voice for those who have none.

She taught me that life doesn't have to be the way it is.  We can fight for right.  We can fight for justice.  Sometimes we won't get it, but unless we try, we will never know.  

Thank you Mom, for all you have done for me.  I love you.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

9-11 Museum and Memorial

My family and I finally made the journey to NYC, admonishing my father to not fall off any more tractors!  We did the usual Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Central Park, Rockefeller Square, and Times Square.  But the one place that moved me to take pictures and now to write, was the 9-11 Museum and Memorial.  Please note that I can't find info on the pictures I took, so I am going on memory.  I encourage every American to see this stirring museum themselves.  


This was the last pillar standing in the attacks.  The numbers are those who perished in each first responder departments.
                                    


These are the survivor's stairs, where hundreds of people were able to escape the towers.








 On the left is part of the TV and radio antennae from the towers.

On the right is an elevator motor from the towers.  






On the left is a marker that was made after the first WTC attack in 1993.  On the right is a set of many girders that melted and bent from the heat and the collapse.   











On the left is a window from a plane.  On the right is a fire truck that was at the scene. 








After the attacks, there were missing posters all over the city.  The right is a quote to remember those who lost their lives on this horrendous day.  "No day shall ever erase you from the memory of time,"  from Virgil. 





These are the memorial pools.  The towers fell on these very sites.  All the names of the victims engraved around the pools.  






My pictures do not do the museum justice, and these are just a few of the remnants found there.  I hope that as in the Holocaust, we will never forget.  This is my generation's Pearl Harbor, and we must never waiver from the duty to remember those who lost their lives on that fateful day.  And we must never forget.


Monday, April 24, 2017

I Believe in God


This past weekend my church started a new series that you can see in the picture about.  If you would like to watch the sermon, click on the words below the picture.  

This is a timely series as a new movie is out called, "The Case for Christ," which is based on a book by the same name, written by a once atheist journalist who came to belief.  I've read the book myself and highly recommend it.

The sermon was good as always, as I had already worked out in my mind and heart why I believe.  The pastor talked about how there seems to be a dichotomy between science and religion.  But I think both can co-exist.  I do think that evolution has a place, as we can see that animals and humans adapt to their surroundings over time and space.  But I do believe we are not evolved from animals.  The proof for me is our sense of morality and theory of mind.  Theory of mind is our conscious thinking.  We know we are thinking about our thoughts, feelings, values, etc.  Animals don't have a sense of morality, they act on instinct.  They do have thoughts and feelings, but not like we do.  It's hard for me to explain.  People might think I don't love animals because of this.  But it is my love for animals that contribute to this. It is not fair to humanize animals, expecting from them what they are not able to give us.  Yes, they are far more intelligent than we give them credit for, but as I've said, their thinking is different than ours.  They don't think about God, eternity, etc.  It is because we are higher than animals that we are commanded to take care of them and respect them.  It does not mean that we can use them for our own purposes, or to make them more human.  

But I digress.  One more pint about science.  Even if the big bang were true, what caused the big bang?  Eventually you have to admit that something or someone created the circumstances for that to happen.  Noting exists out of a vacuum.  Therefore, I believe God created the world and all that is in it.

This makes all life have value.  At the turn of the century (1900), eugenics was very popular, which was based on evolution.  Eugenics is the belief of a superior race overcoming an inferior one.  This fit nicely with the Nazi's goal of creating a pure race and eliminating what they perceived as inferior.  There is no value in individual life in this theory.  On the other hand, being created by God gives value to all people and things.  Personally, I like this as I would have no value in the eugenics theory.  My life would not matter, and if not eliminated, as least not given the chance to pass on my progeny.

Morality exists, whether we want to admit it or not.  Most of us believe that murder and abuse are wrong.  We have laws to punish those who do this.  We may disagree on other actions that may or may not be explicitly wrong, but that doesn't mean we do away with all morality. Most religions have a sense of right or wrong.  These religions form the basis of governments around the world.  Communism is anti-religious.  No one life has value.  All are for the country.  No one has rights.  No one can exercise free will.  

It is true that religion sometimes has caused harm, like in the Crusades or the Inquisition, but those are caused by people, not religion.  Religion does good.  It brought the plight of the poor, disabled, and mentally ill to the forefront.  It stopped slavery.  It brought the civil rights movement.  My point is, again, you can't throw all of something away because of the few bad people that would use anything to take power from the people.  

My beliefs have been developed over years of study.  I don't just believe what others tell me, I want to find out through research and study.  God gave me a brain, He expects me to use it.  The more I study about Him, the more I am convinced He is real.  History, science, and literature tells me so.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter


The Easter message and music was just what I needed in my miserable estate of having a flu/cold/virus.  I was coughing so much I was unable to sing, so I just sat during the worship, sucking on a cough drop and sweating profusely while having a coughing fit.  

If you click on the words below the picture above, you can watch the sermon as well.  Along with that are discussion questions that i thought would share with you how I would answer them.

They asked about my hope.  I thought to myself, I don't just have hope, I know Jesus is real, and He lives!  That is what I hang my hopes on, for nothing else is as perfect as His love for me.  True, I have family and friends and pets that love me, but we are all human, we all hurt each other from time to time, and it is really not fair to totally depend on a human or thing for everything.  I made that mistake with Chocolate.  

I do believe I have been transformed by Jesus.  I know sometimes I don't show it, which I regret.  But I know in my heart and mind and soul, that I have peace, real peace, that comes from knowing Him.  Not only that, I have true contentment that I am blessed, and I have a good life.  It is not perfect, no life is, we all have problems.  But I know I am not alone, ever,  He is with me always.

Finally, they asked about relationships.  My relationship with God is, I think, growing deeper each day, as I read His word and pray.  I must confess I still get depressed and anxious.  Living with a mental illness, like a disability, is something you never get rid of.  You just learn to live with it, like whatever weaknesses a person may have.  Through that,  I can believe that God can bring something good out of it, which He has, like my writing, and my support group.  My relationships with others tend to fluctuate over time.  When I was away at college, I had a great group of friends that I still keep in contact with to this day.  Now I am home, and my friends are married with dependents, I have my family that I am close to.  So I think God has always provided me with others that I can talk to, have fun with, and help when needed.  

So there is my hope.  And in retrospect, I can see that following Christ has been the best thing for me.  I have hope, I have peace, and I have love.  What more do I need?  The rest is just gravy!

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Zookeeper's Wife


I just finished reading this excellent book, and the movie is now out in theaters, although I will probably not see it as it involves animals dying, which always sends me over the edge emotionally.  

It is a true story of a zoo keeping family in Warsaw, Poland that helped the Underground and hid Jews during WWII.  I had read a book a few weeks back about what happened to the Poles during WWII, and now I have read this.  Before these books, I had no idea of what happened in Poland, except for the Nazis' taking all the Jews from the Ghetto in Warsaw.  I wondered why I have not heard of these things until now.  I never realized the whole impact of WWII upon the European populace.  I suppose no one, but God, will ever fully know the impact.

The Nazis seemed to have an obsession with not only creating a pure race, but also a pure world, with nature and animals included.  At least what they considered pure.  So when they came to the zoo, they took the breeds they wanted to breed to its original state, and killed the rest of the animals.  

They came in and changed the floral and fauna, desiring to turn Poland into a pure German/Aryan country.  Thus, not only were Jews carted off to the camps and crematoriums, all the intelligentsia and political figures were killed.  They came in and destroyed Warsaw, obliterating it to ruins.  

Why did they hate the Poles so?  From what I can gather, and I may be wrong, Germany had considered the land Poland was on German, and it was right between Germany and Russia.  The Nazis had intention to invade Russia all along, but they had to take over Poland.  Russia wanted Poland too, so they agreed to divvy up Poland between the two parties, until Germany reneged on the deal.  I am surprised that Russia was stupid enough to trust Germany, considering they were just as ruthless.  

The Polish Underground was the greatest one in Europe, well organized and well managed.  They helped each other out, hiding Jews from one place to another.  They left animals at the zoo, know the family would care for their pets.  The Poles helped the Jews transform their appearance so they wouldn't look Jewish, but German, or at least Polish, coloring hair, teaching mannerisms, even cosmetic surgery.  

I guess Germany was mad that they lost so miserably after WWI that they wanted to punish the world.  Not all of Germany, of course, but when the Nazis came into power, they were  a murderous mob bent on destruction.  It is amazing to me how people can hate others so much that they indiscriminately kill, maim, or destroy.  

I can see why they have the EU.  They just don't want to go through that again.  And yet, there is a rise in neo-Nazism and antisemitism in Europe.  I don't get that.  Every where you go there is a museum about WWII and what happened.  Why would they want to go through that again?  Why would they deny something that is so obvious?  Are these people so brainwashed like in a cult that they just can't see what is in front of them?  It boggles the mind.

I don't suppose these questions can be easily answered, as we see this type of systemic destructive thinking and behavior all over the world, from gangs and cults, terrorists and extremists.  These systems give individuals a sense of power that they think they don't have.  And their solution is violence.  


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

To Walk Invisible


This past Sunday the PBS TV channel broadcasted this movie about the Bronte sisters.  I didn't know much about them, but that one wrote Jane Eyre, one of my most favorite novels, and another sister who wrote Wuthering Heights, which I did not like so much.

The three sisters never married, and lived at home with their reverend father and alcoholic brother.  The brother tried to make it as a writer but failed.  The sisters, ever mindful of their brother, used gender neutral nom de plumes partly not to upset their brother, but also partly because they lived in a place and time where women generally were not encouraged to work, and publishers didn't believe they could write.

My favorite sister is Charlotte, the short one, who wrote Jane Eyre.  She was a feisty and independent spirit, who expected a lot of herself and others.  She knew full well what people thought of her, short and homely and not capable of not much of anything, but her book was the most successful of all the sisters, and is still widely read today.  

She reminded me of me.  I think when people look at me and listen to me, they don't think much.  But I know I am capable of so much more than they think.  I may not have a book widely published, but I do have a Master's degree, and I still write, even though I will probably not ever be famous.  Even so, I still have a voice, and still plan to use it, like these sisters.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Eagle Brook Church


This coming weekend, the Anoka campus will open its doors for the first time.  I am excited about it, as I have been going to this church, in other locations, for about 6 months now, and it is so cool to me that it will be right next door to me.  Little did I know that the old K-Mart that closed down a few years ago, would become the answer to my prayers, in more ways than one.

After the changes at Church of the Open Door happened that I was not happy about, I searched about for  a new church home.  I had heard of this place for years, but never wanted to check it out as I was quite happy at Open Door for about 20 years.  But now with the unwanted changes, I decided to check it out last summer.

And I was glad.  I felt at home right away, and a sense of relief, and peace.  For so long I had not gone to Open Door, for various reasons, and I actually missed going to church.  I used to hate church growing up, I thought it was meaningless.  But after I chose to follow Jesus, I found a church that I liked.  Now I was on the search again.  Thankfully, the search didn't last as long as 20 years ago.

Not only that, ever since I moved here to my own place, I had been praying for my neighbors, along with others.  I hate to admit that I get impatient with God in answering my prayers.  But when I heard Eagle Brook was building a church in my own backyard, I was ecstatic!  I couldn't believe it, how much closer could God get?  

I am trying to learn patience these days.  Sometimes I can get pretty good at it, but sometimes my moods swing, or someone irritates me and I lose it.  I guess for me, it is a day by day process. I am trying to learn to be at peace no matter what, and to be patient.  To remember that God has answered my many prayers over the years, and He has watched out for me for many years.  

Even so, I sometimes forget, or get impatient and want my way.  But I must remember that it usually works if I just give it to God and let Him do things His way.  If I take over, I usually muck it up.  But if I let Him takeover, He is faithful and will never leave me nor forsake me.  Amen.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Daylight Savings


This is what happens to me every year.  My sleep gets all screwed up.  It's amazing to me how one hour can affect me so much, but it does.  I don't know if it's depression, anxiety, or hormones.  But it is quite irritating and I question every time why we have to do this.  

So this week I have no idea what to write about.  I have plenty of what to complain about, but I don't want this blog to be a forum for complaints.  Especially when I think about how blessed I am to live in this place and this time.

So, what would you like me to write about? I need ideas!  Thanks!





Monday, March 6, 2017

Sudan


This is a picture of South Sudanese women getting food from Samaritan's Purse.  I had read on my BBC app last week that the people of South Sudan were facing starvation at epic rates.  

It never seems to end for the Sudanese.  Ten, twenty years ago they were embroiled in a civil war between the Arabic Muslim north and the African Christian south.  The lost boys of the south were coming in droves to all over the world in the hopes of a better life, after losing everything they had ever known because of the militia in the north.  I had read a book about one that wound up in Fargo, ND, of all places.  I had seen short pieces about them on news programs.  Our world was so different from them.  I couldn't imagine what it would be like.  

I made a female friend from Sudan when I was going to college at the U of MN.  She had been imprisoned for protesting the actions of the northern militia, but now she lives here.  I didn't know much about her, except about the imprisonment and how she had malaria multiple times.  I knew that she suffered discrimination at the U, despite it's supposed acceptance of all peoples.  I knew myself that the U was not accepting.  But that is a story for another day.

Now I am reading a fictional novel that takes place in South Sudan, and how there is war there.  Atrocities being committed by hateful men, against women and children.  I already knew this was happening.  Even though a supposed peace deal was signed a few years ago, it fell apart pretty quickly.  I know the South has natural riches that everyone wants, and that everyone is killing for.  Apparently it is worth millions of lives, according to the murderers.  

Most of Africa, if not all, was colonized by a European country.  By the time the second World War was over, most were out, or at least on the way out, of all the countries that they had colonized so long ago, all over the world.  

It was a race to get the most of the natural resources.  Then they just abandoned the people, when they could no longer afford to rule over them.  The people were left behind, with a broken country and a wasted land.  

Wars have been happening ever since.  

I don't know what the answer is.  People can say all kinds of trite things about it.  But there are no easy answers, no easy solutions.  

I wonder if this will ever be resolved in my lifetime.  I feel like I am world away here, safely in my apartment, typing on my computer.  

How easy we have it.  We know where our food is coming from, we don't have to worry about being massacred.  We have a government and militia that protects us.  I try to remember this when I feel sorry for myself.  I live such an easy life.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Anger


"21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Romans 7

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1"

Last week I was a very angry person.  I lost patience with people, and said judgemental words about them.  Sometimes it is so easy to lose my patence, and idt is so easy to judge others.

I can blame my hormones, or others that seem incompetent, but as I was reminded at church this past weekend, I have to take responsibility for my actions.  I can't blame my hormones or others.

I want to be patient, I want to be compassionate.  But it is hard sometimes.  But I was reminded that it is human to think this way, and it is only by the Holy Spirit can I overcome this habit.  But at least I do want to let go of anger.  

Romans 8:1 is my favorite verse.  It reminds me that I am not alone, and I am not forever condemned.  Jesus has given me a new body, a new mind, and a new heart.  I don't have to live this way.  I can rise above it, with Him.  
The first step is to acknowledge my actions, and take responsibility for them.  The next is to trust God to help me overcome it.  It will probably take a lifetime, as some habits are easier to overcome than others.  And we go through periods of life where habits are easier to stop than in other seasons of life.  

But I am not doomed.  I am no longer condemned.  

If you would like to see the sermon that I heard that helped me, here is the link: https://eaglebrookchurch.com/media-resources/weekend-messages/the-struggle-is-real/

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?  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Minnie

Minnie enjoying a puppuccino.

About two years and three months ago, my beloved cat, Chocolate passed away.  It took me a year to stop crying all the time about him.  Even though I adopted pets throughout that year, in the hopes that they would fill the void, I just wanted my Chocolate back.

So I gave up adopting and decided to live pet-free for now.  I still am not ready.  I think I gave all my love to Chocolate, and when he died, it went.  

I was too attached to him.  We were together 24/7 for 18 years, and I felt the void so deeply that first year without him.  

Minnie helped me through this time, and continues to do so.  She is like my part-time pet.  I can love her and spoil her, without making that full-time commitment that I am not ready to make.  

She helped comfort me in my time of loss, and she continues to make me feel special.  Minnie is always happy to see me, and I so enjoy being with her.  She makes me smile, without the worry of her state of mind.  
I know she is happy where she lives, with my mom and dad.  She loves to run around on their property, barking all the critters away.  She loves to sit on the old love seat in the garage on a warm, sunny day with the door open, feeling the heat cover her body.

She loves to have me pet and scratch her.  I think she would never tire of it, and she doesn't like it when I quit or have to leave.

It's nice to have a dog who loves me without worrying about her being happy in my home.

I know she wouldn't be.  She needs to run around outside.  She is so attached to my parents that when they are gone, she is despondent, and won't eat or drink for a while.  

She is a good dog, and a great blessing to my family and I.  I love her, and I am so grateful for her.