Posted in Freedom, God, Impossible, life, Obstacles, Possibilities, Random, sanctity, Uncategorized

In which I choose on principle…

I’m not voting for the two front-runners. I’m not voting for the libertarian either. I’m voting my conscience.

See I get it. I get voting for the lesser of two evils, which is different depending on which side of the party line you fall. I also get not voting on principle because we’re “citizens of another world” and this world holds nothing for us beyond a temporary resting place for our weary souls. I even get the people who threaten to run away to Canada or some other country if their candidate doesn’t get elected (even though they rarely do follow through on said threat)…

I can see the justification for all of those, even if I strongly disagree with them.

I can see it because we’ve become a nation of the fearful sheep vs. the power hungry. The rich vs. the poor. Religion vs. Secular. Right vs. Left. Black vs. White.

We’re no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave, though there are still those who fight for those principles. We’re no longer the land of a government BY the people, FOR the people, OF the people…and yes, I know I got that mixed up, but the point still stands.

We’re the nation of individual rights trumping the freedom of many. The nation that kills its young and helpless and oppresses its powerless and poor.

No longer do we stand for Truth and Justice and Liberty and Peace. Now we applaud evil and laud the ones who flaunt their crimes. We riot in the streets, we pit one man against another and we rejoice when one’s personal preferences destroy another’s livelihood.

All in the name of what? Do we even know what we’re fighting for anymore? Who we’re fighting for?

I can tell you. We’re fighting for ourselves. Our own selfish desires that we promote as “rights”. Yet when push comes to shove, we deny the responsibility that accompanies those rights. We deny the consequences of our selfishness and our bitter agendas, all the while wailing about the injustices and destruction of a nation without a true north. We throw away moral absolutes in favor of pushing our own pride and prejudices and opinions. Then we wonder why our nation can’t seem to hold it together and why the rest of the world mocks us.

Say what you will, but this nation is a laughingstock and an embarrassment to the principles on which it was created. We’ve fallen SO far from our founding father’s intent and beliefs and we call them archaic, old-fashioned, and destructive to our liberty.

All the while, the very liberties that our founding fathers believed in and toiled over and shed blood for, are being trampled on this twisted, warped idea that we’re entitled to “our rights” regardless of the cost. We even raise our kids to believe they are the center of the universe. Then we wonder why they grow up demanding free schooling, free healthcare, free handouts, free food, free housing…and the list goes on.

We have a history built on hard work, religious freedom, moral uprightness, kindness for our fellow men and women, equality for all mankind. Did the founding fathers screw up? Of course. They were not infallible by any stretch of the imagination.

The difference is, they admitted it. Washington admitted that his temperament was alienating and volatile. Jefferson condemned slavery loudly, even penning his opposition of the detestable practice in the original draft of the Declaration. Yet he owned slaves and blamed the British for its presence in the US. Hamilton touted fidelity and yet he couldn’t seem to follow his own rule, maintaining a two year affair with a young, married woman even as his own wife silently bore the shame of the very public scandal.

Not one of them claimed to be free from sin and responsibility of their actions. And they built a nation on the very true claim that ALL mankind are created equal. They built a democracy founded on Biblical principles and there are enough writings saved from that time period that will confirm this. Not because they were self-righteous, religious snobs determined to shove their personal beliefs down the throats of their constituents, but because they believed that to have a thriving, successful secular government, they could not separate the secular from the sacred. They believed in a higher power, stating it most emphatically in the documents that shaped our government. Namely, the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution, with its lack of any mention of God, shocked the majority of Americans at that time, mainly because they worried that such a lapse would threaten religious liberty. NOT religious liberty to control the government, but the opposite. They feared a government that would interfere in their religious liberties, liberties that permeated every aspect of their culture at the time. They feared a government that would one day refuse to acknowledge God’s authority and would abuse those who DID adhere to this belief. In answer, the First Amendment was written. Obviously, we see the controversial debates regarding its intent. But back then, it was a confirmation that religious beliefs and convictions would NEVER be taken from the people.

I could go on, but I digress.

This year’s election is just a symptom of a larger problem. We no longer choose our leaders based on integrity and the idea that ALL mankind are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights. We choose based on popularity, poll ratings, and the ability to make the prettiest promises regardless of the fact they aren’t actually intending to keep them.

We say One Nation Under God, but we don’t even believe in that God anymore. We trust in our leaders blindly, electing corrupt, arrogant, power-hungry individuals and we wonder why law and order is a thing of the past, why racism is even more violent and divisive than ever, and why millions of innocent children are sacrificed on the altar of our selfishness and disdain for the sanctity of life.

I cannot trust in our government and no one else should either. Governments are fallible, they come and go, and they are only as strong as the people they represent. The people who represent our nation are cowards and divisive enemies of liberty. We were once a nation who represented integrity and liberty of all mankind to governments around the world intent on tyranny and despotism.

Now we wouldn’t know the difference between tyranny and true liberty if they hit us between the eyes. We think power means being the biggest bully on the playground. We think helping the poor means enslaving entire families in a never-ending cycle of government handouts and sub-par housing. We think our rights involve lawsuits against those whose religious beliefs contradict our personal preferences. We think life only begins when one is able to contribute to society and anything less than that is a leech or an inconvenience. We think that murdering children in the womb is a right because it’s OUR body to do with as we please. We think that skin color is more important than kindness to others and the sanctity of ALL life. We think that we are entitled to free education, free money, free healthcare, and freedom from responsibility.

We want ALL of this without acknowledging the responsibilities and consequences that go along with said “rights.”

We’re no longer a nation based on freedom and liberty. We’re a nation based on selfishness and entitlement.

And voting for any candidate in this upcoming election is NOT going to change that.

The ONLY way we can change the destructive path our nation is walking, is to acknowledge that our rights come with responsibilities and consequences. And THEN, to live accordingly. Not just acknowledging them, but accepting them and living accountable to the Higher Power on whose authority our Founding Fathers believed and acted.

It’s not going to happen in Washington D.C.

It can only start with each of us as individuals, on into our families, our communities, our towns and cities, our states, and finally our federal government.

Frankly, unless a revival of principle and morality and a belief in the authority of God occurs, I’m afraid our nation is doomed to repeat the history of a thousand other nations who turned their backs on God.

Posted in Book promotion, Books, Celebration, faith, Family, God, grief, Home, Humor, Joy, lessons, life, life and death, life lessons, Love, Reading, reviews, sanctity

Book Review: All My Belongings

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This book has become another favorite. I read it in one night (about three hours total) because I knew the busy week ahead would hold little time for reading. I woke up exhausted the next day, but it was completely worth the lack of sleep. 🙂

Warning: There are spoilers, though I will not tell the ending…just for your information.

All My Belongings is the story of a woman trying to find home when home is a place she cannot wait to escape.

I resonated with this, even though our reasons for running were vastly different. I came to a point in my life where home was full of bitter regrets and stifling rules without the saving grace to buffer me. I did not know who I was apart from the four walls of what I imagined at the time to be my prison cell.

I know now that there is healing and grace and forgiveness in the relationships and bridges I tried so hard to burn. I found Christ for myself, though I knew Him all my life, in the great big world. I discovered my identity in the Savior and realized that running away would never fix the wounds I carried. So I found home again, in the arms of those I loved and with new-found perspective to see them for the children of God they really were.

This book is exactly that. And it’s a whole lot different too.

Because I never had a father who practiced the crime (or art depending on who you talk to) of mercy killings. In the stylings of Kavorkian himself, Jayne’s father helped (or forced) many people to take the final step into the afterlife–including her own mother. Even before she walked in on him administering the fatal dose (and reported him to the authorities) her parents had shut her out of their lives and their home. Oh she was still present physically, but she was unwanted and a necessary annoyance in their world of disease and devastation. She gave up everything–her hopes and dreams–to care for her ailing mother and it all fell down around her with her father’s devastating choices.

To escape the stigma attached to her name after her father’s trial and conviction, she changes her name to Becca Morrow and moves across country to take care of the sister of her dear friend and mentor.

Upon meeting the elderly woman and her handsome son, Becca realizes just how difficult it will be to keep up the facade her life has now become.

How does one continue a lie when one is desperate for truth and love? When one is desperate for a home to call her own?

Just as Becca is settling in to her new life and finding peace in the midst of a new normal, tragedy strikes again. She’s once more at the center of a murder investigation, only this time, she’s the chief suspect. The victim? The mother of the man she’s fast falling in love with, and he doesn’t even know the real Becca Morrow.

I love the redemptive power in this story. Not only is there reconciliation with her past, there is a genuine chance to start fresh in the beauty of an identity that is God-given. No longer is Becca homeless and destitute and unloved.

She is a daughter, a friend and beloved. The pain of the past is not erased. Her wounds have to be reopened for true healing to occur. But she finds home in the most unlikely of places and a chance for redemption in the loving arms of her Savior.

Cynthia Ruchti has the amazing ability to take such raw, emotional topics and weave them into a powerful story of forgiveness, healing, and the binding up of the captive’s wounds. She writes of tears and laughter and life and hope that glows in the dark. I find myself swept up in another tale that doesn’t have all the loose ends tied up in neat packaging with easy answers and quick fixes. It’s one of the reasons why her stories restored my faith in the Christian novel. Because life is not always neat and wrapped up pretty.

Life’s actually a lot like guacamole…you can’t get the good stuff without getting the mashed up bits.

And life’s really good with chips and a side of guacamole..

Posted in abomination, abortion, child, grief, hypocrisy, life and death, sanctity

In which I shed tears and tell hypocrisy to go to hell

January 22, 1973
The nation waited with bated breath, to discover the Supreme Court’s decision on one of the most stunning cases in the history of the United States.

Up until that era, the question of human life and its sanctity was rarely debated. I’m not saying it wasn’t taken for granted or abused or destroyed. The taking of another human life is as old as Cain and Abel. Abortions have been taking place for thousands of years and the methods used have been varied. Anything from poisonous plants to forceps to salting the womb to a myriad other absolutely abominable practices have been utilized.[1]

It’s nothing new.

Laws were created to prevent abortions and to allow them.[2] Both sides had legal arguments regarding the right to a woman’s life, the child’s life, health, exceptional cases of incest and rape, etc. The point is, abortion is not a modern concept and it’s been fought against and defended on all continents since the fall of man.

It’s ironic, you know. One of the very first acts of Creation involved breathing life into a human being. The very name ‘creation’ invokes visions of Life. Even the fictional Dr. Frankenstein creating his monster claimed that he’d given life to the mass of organic matter on his operating table.

At 8 weeks after conception, the tiny little being in utero has a heartbeat. I know. I’ve seen those four chambers pump at 150 beats a minute, two different times in my womb as I watched the ultrasound screen to confirm that yes, I was really with child. I find the complexity and wonder of conception so completely mind-boggling and so absolutely amazing. Two human beings come together and in the middle of sin and death and hell’s curse, they create something so pure and so innocent—so untouched by corruption and decay. Until they leave the womb, there is no active dying process—it’s ALL life.

And by God’s amazing, creative grace, my own body—already in a slow, invisible dying process—is able to sustain and nurture that life.

Today is January 22, 2013. It’s been forty years, since a single, pregnant woman sued the state of Texas for its strict laws concerning abortion. Up until then, most states had treated most active forms of abortion as murder or at the least, a felony.[3] Able to be prosecuted by the law. In MOST of the country’s minds, abortion was the taking of an innocent life, and it was a crime. Same as murdering a child of three or a geriatric adult. It didn’t matter that the infant in utero could not, in some stages, survive outside of its mother’s protective womb. It was still murder.

I could go into all the inconsistencies of the case. How the pregnant woman had two children prior to this third pregnancy, how she claimed she’d been raped in order to get a doctor’s orders for a hospital or ‘safe’ legal abortion, how she eventually rescinded that claim, stating she’d lied about the rape. How she gave birth to the child anyway, but the Supreme Court still ruled in her favor. How she gave up that child to be adopted on the advice of the local attorney assisting her and THEN continued to press the charges.

The point though, is that in 1973, this country’s highest court decided that the woman’s right to her own body were more important than the child’s right to life. Not only did that decision spit in the face of the Declaration of Independence, (ALL men are created equal…endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness[4]) but it spit on the Creator’s face as well by declaring HIS creation to be unworthy of life.

I have to ask a question. Why do we mourn those victims of school massacres and terrorist attacks and wars? Why do we grieve when loved ones perish in accidents or nature’s fury or viral epidemics? What’s the point of grieving for ANY loss of life—natural OR unnatural—if we don’t even believe LIFE and the Creation of Life is sacred?

Today, the President lauded Roe v Wade while pussyfooting around with words like ‘minimize the need for abortions’ and ‘support maternal and child health’ and ‘reduce unintended pregnancies.’ Just like he does any other controversial topic. A whole lot of rhetoric and kissing up to the masses and I bet his speechwriters had a field day with it.

I agree with ONE thing he said in that speech…that the government shouldn’t be involved in the private affairs and rights of its citizens. (Which is another topic around the subject of hypocrisy…but I won’t go there because it makes me too angry to logically and rationally discuss it on this blog)
The government DOESN’T have the right to interfere with whether or not abortions can be done. That is the decision of each individual. It’s also our individual decision whether or not we want to pull the trigger on another person. What the government DOES have a duty to do, is protect the rights of EVERY last human life under its care. That’s why, the moment a finger pulls a trigger to end another life, the moment that life bleeds out on the floor, the law has the responsibility to make that murderer pay. (I am not talking about gun accidents or cases where the death was not intentional or planned…whole other ball of wax, though the killer SHOULD still make restitution in some way, shape, or form) Restitution is a Biblical and it is a Constitutional principle.

So who makes restitution for the unborn? Who is paying the price for the unborn child murdered in ways that Hitler and his Third Reich were punished for in the Nuremberg Trials? (They called it experiments, most life-supporting humans call it torture and murder)

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the power of forgiveness and the healing power of God’s grace covering all of our sins. I believe that the doctors and nurses who perform abortions CAN be forgiven. I believe the mothers who abort their babies CAN be forgiven. I am not callous and unforgiving. They are human beings too. I am a human being who sins daily.

I also know I don’t want to keep on sinning.

Unborn does NOT mean Not Human. Those phrases are not synonymous and we have enough technology to even SEE that now. The settlers called that proof of life ‘quickening.’ That happened right around the time the baby’s heart beats for the first time. We don’t even need THAT proof though. We argue that it’s just a bunch of cells, that until birth, it’s not really a human being. My daughter, my son, were human the moment conception began. Every last strand of DNA, every last programmed attribute and genetic puzzle piece was known by the Creator even BEFORE conception.[5] At the moment of conception, He breathed LIFE into that new human being.
So Mr. President and others who celebrate this Roe v Wade ruling as some major achievement in human history, I say this:

You are no better than those who stood by and allowed Hitler, Lenin, Mussolini, and the hundreds of other mass murders to commit those wretched crimes. You do not value human life, or you would value it at ALL stages of its development. You weep over the school massacres and you use your politics and power to wield the killings like a weapon against your opposition. You mourn for those victims of terrorist attacks and use them to start your own personal wars. You wax poetic about the sanctity of human life, the evils of slavery, the horrors of war (or your speechwriters do).
Then you praise the achievements of a base and evil court of law who has accepted and ALLOWED the mass murder of nearly 56,000,000 human lives in the last forty years.

Don’t you DARE tell me that you value the sanctity of and right to life. Don’t you DARE tell me that THOSE innocent lives didn’t count. Don’t you DARE tell me that you are mourning the loss of LIFE in the tragedies that have occurred around our nation.

You “mourn” THOSE innocents.

Who is mourning the 56,000,000 innocents who have lost THEIR lives at the cruel and callous hands of others?

I cannot even begin to shed that many tears, but I will spend the rest of my life trying.

I will mourn them.