Friday, January 28, 2011

"Shades of Blue" by Karen Kingsbury

This is fantastic fiction.

I've never read Karen Kingsbury before and I know I will be reading more from her.

Her record of the effects of Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS) are incredibly accurate.  I had trouble believing that she hadn't suffered through it herself.  She also was able to write about such a dark and depressing subject in a really non-depressing way.  She was thorough in regard to the effects of abortion to all  possibly involved or affected.  Amazing.

This has to be one of my very favorite books.  Read it!  Buy a few copies and give them as gifts.  This not only is a great story, but there is a deeper, more noble cause and it is that the truth of abortion must be exposed and women must find healing.  Sharing this book is a really casual, non-condemning, non-judgmental way to do it.

"I don't know karate, but I do know ka-razy ...and I will use it." ~Owen Wilson, Shanghai Noon

I recently discussed with a family member the subject of movies and their agendas.  One comes to mind:  A stunning creation but so densely saturated with ridiculous agenda that I couldn't ever actually purchase the movie and show it in my home to support such nonsense or to feed the idiotic ideas into the minds of my children.

Uh, no.

Anywho...this person says to me that he doesn't care about the agenda, he just enjoys the film.

I'm an uncompromising, activist type so just enjoying stuff and ignoring agenda doesn't really work for me.  Actually, it totally doesn't work for me.

This isn't to condemn or affirm your movie-watching habits, I'm just babbling my personal weirdness.

I was having an emotional breakdown over the ills of society the other day and was so upset over a particular issue near and dear to my heart, that it seemed abnormal to be so impassioned over it.  I mean who thinks this hard about the things that I do!?!?  I looked at my husband (who patiently listened to every fervent word) and told him how sorry I was that he's married to a crazy woman.  LOL!  He assured me that I wasn't crazy and imparted to me his wisdom and encouragement.

In a life where several in my family think I am a total freak-of-nature and think my uncompromising standards are absurd, it sure is nice to know that the one who knows me best (my precious hubby) validates my heartfelt ideals.

Now, how in the world did I end up with him?  He's SO logical.  Weird that he doesn't have me taken away in a straight jacket.  There must be some purpose for someone like me.

To quote Sally Clarkson (again): "God uses each of us within the limitations of our own is Him in me that will reach the world."  This brings me great comfort.  Especially since I know I can easily drive people nuts with my wild views and boldness to actually say what I think.  There are so many "limitations to my personality," but it's me.  Lord, may I take my numerous weaknesses under the control of the Holy Spirit. Help me!!! :)

Bless you and your personality "limitations",

Lessons from Horton

"Should I put this speck down?..."  Horton thought with alarm.
"If I do, these small persons may come to great harm.
can't put it down!  And I won't!  After all
A person's a person no matter how small."
~Horton Hears A Who
How I connect with, not because I view myself as an elephant (at least not in this case), but because of his passion to protect the innocent and to secure their survival.

Reading this story twice through with my boys tonight for the first time and I wonder what the great Dr. Seuss was alluding to.  Obviously some innocent, helpless being.  

To the Mayor:  "Don't give up!  I believe in you all!
A person's a person no matter how small!
And you very small persons will not have to die
If you make yourselves heard!  So come on, now, and TRY!"

"...I'll not be silent..." Psalm 30:12

I've spent the last week captivated in the pages of Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury.  I cried and prayed my way all the way through the story.  I relate to the author's heart to expose abortion for what it really is and what it really does, and to do so without condemnation or judgment.  How important it is to get the word out; to uncover the truth.  Don't be silent.  Spread the truth!  Share my story.  Talk about the in-womb babies as the little people they truly are.  Rejoice with a pregnant mom over the miracle being created within her.  Give someone this beautiful piece of fiction - read it yourself.  It is wonderful!

Last week the boys and I spent some time learning about Martin Luther King, Jr.  I was struck at his passion for freedom for his people, for ALL people.  Upon learning about his four children, and understanding that he was determined to peacefully bring about a change in culture even if it meant pain, imprisonment, and even death.  I wonder if Martin Luther King realized the cost to sacrifice himself for his children or even generations beyond his own immediate family...should it have taken that long.  And now, how he would be stunned that a black man is in the White House (though we may disagree vehemently with his policies).  Certainly, such a feat is a result of the great Martin Luther King, Jr.  
Like Moses, the Pilgrims, our Revolutionaries, and our Founding Fathers who fought for a life of freedom knowing they may never actually acquire it for themselves, but kept their eyes on the hope that freedom might come to "their posterity."  Martin Luther King, Jr. is no less a hero than these great ones.  Do we have that revolutionary spirit within us today for the sake of the unborn?  A significant part of culture refused to recognize blacks as people - seeing them only as property or "lesser" people.  There is no difference in how much of culture views the unborn: "a mass of cells", "tissue", not a whole person.  When the reality is that there are 10 fingers and 10 toes, brainwaves, and a heartbeat for every baby aborted.  An abortion will not occur earlier than 7 weeks.  The above-mentioned developments are well underway by then.  How deceived we have allowed ourselves to become.  

You have a voice.  Please, use it for those who do not.  Be as bold or as subtle as you feel comfortable but do something.

I exhort you -"Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." ~James 4:17

"Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die." ~Proverbs 31:8 (emphasis mine)
You just may be able to influence another to see the truth too!

"How true!  Yes, how true," said the big kangaroo.
"And, from now on, you know what I'm planning to do?...
From now on, I'm going to protect them with you!"
And the young kangaroo in her pouch said...
"ME, TOO!"

You have a voice and you have influence.  Use it and be deeply and overwhelmingly blessed!  And stay tuned for more lessons from Horton.  This book is filled with them. ;)

Much love to you, 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jame!

I have a real-live hero living under my roof.  He catches bad guys.  Helps those in need.  Comforts those who suffer loss.  Brings peace to hostility.

Who's the hero?
My husband, of course!

Jamie is a fantastic officer.  Trustworthy, just, compassionate, kind, firm.  Well-balanced.
Jamie is an awesome dad.  Loving the boys.  Tickle monster to them.  Creator of squeals from little lungs.  Counselor.  Corrector.  Hugger.
Jamie is a considerate husband.  Thoughtful.  Sacrificing.  Preferring.  A servant, leader.  Generous.  Kind.  Selflessly loving.

He's funny and fun.  Quiet and wise.  Sarcastic and practical.

And I totally don't deserve him.  Poor guy!  He could've done so much better. ;)

Happy Birthday, Sweetie.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Grams

83...she would have been, but she made it only to 76.  I wish she would have been with us until she was 100 because she was the best grandma and the kindest woman I ever knew or ever will know.  She was firm, but loving.  Full of laughter and rarely without a smile.  I am quite sure she trained herself to always have a smile on her face.  I asked her about it once when I was very young and she didn't even realize she was smiling.

I was a lucky one.  My parents divorced when I was five and because of that, I live with my grandparents for a couple of years.  No, I'm not an advocate of divorce.  But, I know a blessing when I see one and being in my Grandma's presence as much as I was was one of those "good" things that God made out of bad. (Romans 8:28)

She was a wise and beautiful woman.  Hardworking.  Dependable.


It seems such a cruelty that she left this earth the way she did.  Cancer is a wicked and horrid thief that rips loved ones, treasured ones away - out of our arms and far away from us.  And it doesn't care how it takes my beloved ones:  peacefully, violently, painfully, sleepily.  Cancer is not a respecter of life.

"The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18)  
How often that verse played over and over in my mind 
and on my lips her final days.  

Two days before my beautiful Grandma slipped out of this life, I stood at the foot of her bed.  The hospice chaplain holding her left hand.  She hadn't woken in a day or so, but when we entered the room to see if we could pray with her, her eyes were open.  A conscious moment!  ...And at the very minute we approached her about eternity.  We were amazed...yet we ought never to be surprised at the tenderness of the Lord.
I will always treasure in my heart the hours rubbing her legs.  I will always treasure the dozens of short walks around the house close behind her so she wouldn't fall.  I will always treasure surrounding her, my arms around her to hold her up as she brushed her teeth.  Lifting her out of the chair and being so grateful for my dancer's strength so I could be strong for her when she needed me.  How many times had she been strong for me?
I will always treasure that the last words I recall her saying were, "Hi, sweetie pie," when I set 5-month-old Brandon on her bed days before she died.  
I will treasure her stubborn sass over how to scramble an egg or do the dishes.  Never mind that I was helping her.  Haha! :)  She always knew the proper way to do everything.
So, that Tuesday, as I stood at the foot of her bed, I told her what a good person she was and how I know she believed that good people went to Heaven.  "But, Gramma, that isn't the truth.  Grams," I pleaded, "Jesus died on the cross.  He wouldn't have done that if we could find our own way to Heaven.  Jesus is the only way.  And we must invite Him to be the center of our lives.  Gramma, squeeze the man's hand if you want to pray to ask Jesus to come to you."
After days of lethargy and zero response, 
she turned her head to the chaplain 
and squeezed his hand.

Thank You, Jesus!

"When someone you love becomes a memory,
That memory becomes a treasure."

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Is your name written in Heaven?

2 Peter 3:3-7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth are held in store for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.  
The Greek word for destruction is apoleia which means "losing, loss, the state after death wherein exclusion from salvation is a realized fact."  That definition sends chills up my spine.  A moment will come, at the ushering in of eternity, when every lost man and woman will be confronted with the staggering loss of his or her salvation. Remember, Philippians 2:10 says that "every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father."  The lost will suffer a horrible threefold realization:  they will realize that He is LORD, that they are LOST, and that it's too LATE.  Another definition of the word apoleia is just one sobering word: waste.  Their lives will have been a total waste.  A life without Christ is a wasted life.  All the energy, all the pain - for absolutely nothing.  Praise God, with reverence, that your name is written in the "book of life."  (Beth Moore, Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit)
This has stunned me today.  And brought to mind many names of people I love dearly who do not know God and are not saved.  Beth goes on with the reminder that our life is a vapor, here for a moment and vanishing quickly.  But eternity....  How long is eternity?  From our death to forever.  Where will you be?  You will not just cease to exist.  You will exist and it can either be in the lake of fire or in the presence of God.  Please, know that I do not say this so matter-of-fact-ly with no emotion.  I am deeply grateful that mine and my children's names are written in that book, but I know of dear family who are not in that book and it is devastating me right now.  How can I reach them?  How can I communicate to them the severity of an eternity apart from God where they will suffer endlessly?  How my heart breaks at the thought.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

knowledge abounds

In the last days knowledge will abound.

And so, here we are.

I don't know why but this verse has come to mind frequently in recent weeks, maybe months.  Knowledge abounds and increases.  Every t.v. show I turn on is full of information.  Most of it very interesting albeit useless in the long run for one individual to be required to know...unless you want to go for the gold in Jeopardy.

I attempt to plan my school day with the boys and find that I don't know where to start...or actually, I do know where to start but I don't know where to end and I certainly don't want to overload them with a bunch of information just for the sake of information.  What really matters?


Of course these are fabulous subjects but I am a woman of passion (have you noticed?!) and I want a cause to pursue and I want the necessary info to just naturally come with it.  Is that too much to ask?

It seems it would be too much to ask.  But if I have learned anything from home schooling, it's that God can make great lessons out of the most unplanned circumstances.  So, why don't I just relax and let things happen as they may?

Because occasionally I feel as if I have someone peering over my shoulder comparing my children to the products of the public school system and then I feel pressure, pressure, pressure.  When I really shouldn't since they are doing just fine.  And so am I.  Most of the time.  As long as I take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

So what is that verse really?
"Many will go here and there to increase knowledge." ~Daniel 12:4  The context is that of the end times.  A time of distress.  Deliverance for everyone written in the book (yes, that book).

Well, knowledge is certainly on the rise.  And pride along with it.  And pressure.  When everyone knows everything, then what makes knowledge special?
We must observe our children and their gifts and we must depend on the Lord to guide us in our children's education.  And we must not allow the ridiculous influence and expectations of the world to intimidate us.
"Knowledge inflates with pride, but love builds up." ~1Corinthians 8:1
Don't you wish wisdom would abound instead?  And perhaps character?
"In Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden." ~Colossians 2:3
I'd rather impart to my children the treasures of wisdom and knowledge than just the pride of knowing random facts.

Relax, Kori.  
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge..."  (Proverbs 1:7)
"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you." ~Matthew 6:33
I sure can analyze circles around something when I ought to just start at the most obvious point, God, and remain there and let Him guide our educational course.

Stand up for your flag.

This Christmas was our first time attending Palm Springs' adorable Parade of Lights.  I endearingly call it the Palm Springs Electrical Parade since it must be inspired by the Disneyland Electrical Parade.  The boys and I packed our coats and chairs and blankets and arrived several hours before parade step-off time to reserve our seating.  The main thoroughfare of Palm Springs is incredibly charming and it has my very favorite imports store, The Alley, so really what more can a girl ask for?  Getting there a few hours early really is no hardship since we were able to leave our chairs and wander the shops and boutiques of downtown Palm Springs.

Throughout the parade, several color guard units marched soberly by with our most beautiful Star Spangled Banner.  My boys and I stood as that great flag passed us, and I quickly noticed that no one else within sight stood with us.  Every time that flag passed, my boys hopped to their feet and their mama followed, and every time no one else bothered to join us.

Now, I don't want to be the flag police, but come on, people!  We are a blessed nation and a great one!  Do not be embarrassed to stand...even if you are the only one...and even if you might block the view of someone else...maybe they'll get to their feet too!  I know there is a whole lot of apologizing going on for this great country, and it shouldn't be!  We are a brave, innovative, free people.  There is no other like the United States of America.  I am not going to allow that flag to go by unnoticed.  And neither should you.  Get off your tush and stand for the most beautiful flag in the world!  And train your children to respect that flag, as well.  It really is the least we can do, especially considering the thousands upon thousands of lives given in sacrifice for our freedom so we can still have that beautiful banner pass before us.

The Five Thousand Year Leap, principles 14-17

Ahem, I guess I should be a wee bit embarrassed that I have not posted on this book since August.  Oh well, I've been busy.   (For part 1, click here.)

Principle 14: Property rights are essential to assuring liberty.
"Land and the products of the earth were considered a gift of God which were to be cultivated, beautified, and brought under dominion."
"all property is an extension of a person's life, energy, and ingenuity." 
Work ethic is born of the desire to live, eat, and gain property.  If you work hard and well, you will reap the benefits of your hard work resulting in a home, food, and stuff.  Needs and wants are provided for by hard work.  If our right to property is not protected, then chaos would ensue and there would be no motivation to work hard and acquire anything for yourself...since it could be easily taken from you with no recourse.
"Without private 'rights' in developed or improved property, it would be perfectly lawful for a lazy, covetous neighbor to move in as soon as the improvements were completed and take possession of the fruits of his industrious neighbor.  And even the covetous neighbor would not be secure, because someone stronger than he could take it away from him."
(Sounds like Darwin's "survival of the fittest" which not surprisingly is pushed by those who also want communism.  We'd better be careful or we could be "evolved" out of existence.)
This would ultimately lead to an industrious person giving up trying altogether and cause people to live in a "hand-to-mouth" existence of just simply surviving because "the accumulation of anything would invite attack."

As we have moved into a welfare nation in the last century, we have opened the door to an entitlement and communistic mentality that the government should take care of us.  When we become dependent on the government, we are no longer motivated to provide for ourselves because anything we would work for would then be redistributed amongst the whole.  But in contrast, motivation is natural when we must work diligently to provide for ourselves and our family.

In regard to those truly in need - It has always been the way of compassionate people and the church to provide for those in need.  When the government is put in a position to be the caretakers of the needy, then the charitable people don't bother.  Not to mention that the Constitution doesn't have any provision for a welfare society.  "...the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the government the government should not support the people." (Grover Cleveland)
"Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character." (Grover Cleveland)

Principle 15: Free Market Economy equals high level of prosperity

  1. The Freedom to try.
  2. The Freedom to buy.
  3. The Freedom to sell.
  4. The Freedom to fail. 

Hmm, now I think I know about some recent company failures that weren't allowed to fail.  And the government BAILED THEM OUT.  This was a huge mistake.  Now the government owns banks, major car manufacturers, our mortgages, and now our healthcare.  
Let's see: 
money, check. 
transportation, check. 
homes, check. 
health, check.

Would you like to give the government any more power?  Is it possible?  How much more will we allow the government to tax steal from us?

This part I thought was VERY interesting.  
"All money was to be 'coined' precious metal.  Paper 'notes' were to be 'promises to pay' in gold or silver, not legal tender as such.  States were strictly forbidden to allow debts to be paid except in terms of gold or silver." (Article 1, Section 10 of THE CONSTITUTION)
This blew my mind.  I often exchange my coins for paper dollars.  When in reality, the coin is more tangibly valuable.  Paper is paper and basically worthless.  But metal holds some value.  As the economy continues to slide, the idea that our dollar will soon be of no value becomes more of a possibility.  And it was NEVER THE FOUNDERS INTENT to exchange paper notes as we do.  The book states that this is the one thing they never were able to implement.  Too bad.  They didn't even want banks.  What a different world it would be?  Now, what was that I heard on the news last night about raising our debt ceiling...which is already at $14.3 Trillion.  Stop spending for crying out loud!!!  Somebody cut them off and tell them that money does not grow on trees...well, actually I guess it does: paper = trees.  Maybe we ought to remind Congress (and Obama while we're at it) that the Constitution says they have to pay back their debt in silver or gold.  Does Obama have that much in his pocket?  Maybe George Soros does.  Oh, never mind, he's trying to RUIN us! Glad he's a good friend of Obama's.  I wonder when we'll raise the debt ceiling next.  And I wonder how long we can keep pretending that this isn't as scary as it really is.

Principle 16: The Separation of Powers
Legislative. Executive. Judicial.

America's Constitution was the first in the world to utilize separation of powers and make a government of laws and not of men.
"...the legislature could be tyrannical if the executive did not retain some of its power to check it." (Montesquieu)
 "...there is no liberty, if the judiciary power be not separated from the legislative and executive.  Were it joined with the legislative, ...the judge would then be the legislator.  Were it joined to the executive power, the judge might behave with violence and oppression." (Montesquieu)
Hmm..."the judge would be the legislator."
Roe v. Wade.
California's Prop 8.
I think my uncle said it best when he stated, "It's not 'We the people,' it's 'we the unelected judges.'"  Things are out-of-balance, how do we fix it?  Be loud, people.  And elect leaders who will uphold the Constitution.  Require that our elected officials protect their own domain...and not let another branch encroach upon them.  Be alert and be ready for a fight.  Raise a generation of true patriots knowledgeably embracing the intentions of the Founders.  Passivity and apathy have gotten us into the trouble we are in.

The executive: "...this responsibility should be concentrated in a single person who can make decisions quickly and decisively and cannot escape either credit or blame for the consequences."  (Montesquieu)

We have the perseverance and conviction of John Adams to thank for the adoption of the idea of the separation of powers.  He pretty much stood alone in his commitment to this idea and he succeeded.  Even against opposition, unpopularity, and ridicule, Adams stood his ground and clung to his convictions, accomplishing greatness.  How easily do we cave in to the majority when we have a cause to defend?  Stand firm even if you must stand alone.  Character is bred by nothing less.
" see rising in America an empire of liberty, and the prospect of two or three hundred millions of freemen, without one noble or one king among them." ~John Adams

Principle 17: Checks and balances to prevent the abuse of power
As mentioned above, we are seeing a usurping of the judicial over the legislative and even over the will of the majority of the people.  Each branch should be doing what they can to defend their own turf.
"The failure to use the checks and balances effectively has allowed the judiciary to create new laws (called judicial legislation) by pretending to be merely interpreting old ones.  Failure to use the checks and balances has also allowed the President to make thousands of new laws, instead of Congress, by issuing executive orders."
Regarding other countries who have copied our Constitution but failed to implement checks and balances:
"...scores of nations claim to have copies the United States Constitution, but failed to incorporate adequate checks and balances.  In those countries, the only remedy, when elected presidents have suspended the constitution and used the army to stay in power, has been to resort to machine guns and bombs to oust the usurper.  This occurs time after time.  What the Founders wished to achieve in the Constitution of 1787 was machinery for the peaceful means of self-repair when the system went out of balance."
"repair by peaceful means...requires more patience, but the results are more certain." 
It is really cool that the Founders worked so hard to make things as peaceful as possible.  And equally fascinating to see that those who seek to subvert the Constitution are those who claim to be the "peaceful libs," yet they follow the path of tyranny which could ultimately lead to Hitleresque violence if we do not stand up and resist it while we still have the freedom to do so.

Let's see if I can get to my next post on this book before June.

(For the next post in this series, click here.)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

He was there.

ok, so I already have an update on the whole cruise ship fiasco.

I think that since it has been such an unresolved experience for me, putting it out there and being transparent about it has opened up an opportunity for me to find some healing through many of you who gave some beautiful insight to what the purpose may have been. Also, wouldn't you know that God spoke to me about it through Steve's message on Sunday?  Sooooo good is our God.

I hope this new string of insights into my life isn't TMI (too much information), but I feel like if I am to be an open book, then I ought to just record it here.  My friend, Dan, asked me if I kept a record of these posts so my children could one day read them.  I have found a company (Blog2Print) that will print my blog into a book format.  I have had two printed thus far.  Memoirs of a life, I guess.  Not that I am any more special than the next person, I just want my kids and those I love to know and learn from my experiences, and to know that my heart's desire above all is Jesus.

ok, so back to the subject at hand:
If you'll remember in my story about the cruise ship (this scenario is in part 3), I describe a feeling of being God had lost me and didn't know where I was and how I would lean on the rail of the top deck of the ship in the dark night and look out over the beautiful Mediterranean and wonder, "God, do You know I am here?  Do you know how rejected and depleted I am?"  I really felt like I had taken a turn and God didn't see it, and He had lost me.
So, this past Sunday, Steve (my pastor) had us turn to Psalm 139.  Of course I am a huge fan of Psalm 139 since it so boldly speaks of God creating us and knowing our days before there was even one of them.  It is such proof that life begins BEFORE the womb and thus squashes the abortion argument.  Surprisingly, this was not the message for me that morning.  Verses 7-10:
Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Where can I flee from Your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.
Then Steve speaks these words (mind you, he does not read my blog):
"David in Jerusalem, looking out to the east and on the horizon there, the sun is just coming up, and the sun beams shooting like on the wing, flying across to the west to the uttermost parts of the Mediterranean.  I think that in a sense what He is saying is, 'If I were to hop on one of those sunbeams as it's coming up and fly with that sunbeam to the remotest part of the Mediterranean, even there You're going to be with me and You're going to help me.  I can't get away from You.  If I get in a boat and I flee west on the Mediterranean, You're gonna be there.'"
If you don't believe me that these were his EXACT words, feel free to listen to it yourself here.  (About 9 and a half minutes into the sermon.)

So, I guess that question is answered!

May Your Presence Go With Us 
by Dan Moen

If Your presence doesn't go with us
Lord we don't want to leave this place
Lord we need You near
As we go from here
To lead us by Your love and grace
May Your presence fill us everyday
May Your Spirit lead the way
Lord to You we call
Let Your glory fall
And may Your presence go with us

If we have found favor in Your sight
Show us Your ways O Lord
Cause we want to know You
And live in Your light For all of our days
Show us Your ways

We have our hopes
And we have our dreams
But we cannot go
Where You will not lead
Lord to You we call
Let Your glory fall
And may Your presence go with us

 (This was taped to my wall while on the ship.)