Category Archive Just A Thought…

ByEmily

My Thoughts on the Matter

Disclaimer: This will more than likely be my only personal thoughts shared on this matter because I typically like to keep it between me and God. I despise the constant bickering that has become social media and with that being said, I will not be engaging in debates or arguments. I just felt compelled to share my feelings so here I am. I also want to go ahead and inform you that you will not find arguments in support/opposition towards Law Enforcement, Black is Good/White is Bad, White is Good/Black is Bad, or my political viewpoints in this post. If you are trolling, this post is not for you.

For starters, I ask that you don’t jump to conclusions as to what my thoughts are before reading this post, seeing as I am a conservative white woman. This isn’t about I’m right, you’re wrong, vice versa. I do not exclude myself from being a receiver of this post just because I am the one writing it. As the old saying goes, I had to eat it first.

I am not a racist. I believe God looks at the heart, soul, and spirit of a human being, not the outward appearance or skin color. I have met many beautiful people with ugly souls, and I am a firm believer that what’s on the inside is what counts. I have family of all race and nationalities. They aren’t my family by blood or marriage, but by choice. Not only am I speaking about my brothers and sisters in Christ, but also about those I truly count as family, as though they honestly were blood.

In fact, one of the sweetest women in my family is a black woman who was my worship leader until marriage led her to a different area of the state. (GASP!! I belong to a multiracial church!) She has been my friend for many years and we refer to each other as Twin. Believe it or not, people actually get us confused. I refer to another black woman I know and love as Auntie. My kids have never known her as anything else. Then there’s the black man who pastors in a neighboring county and coincidentally shares my last name. My husband affectionately refers to him as his brother, not just in Christ. All 3 of these, and many others not mentioned, call my in-laws Mama and Papa. And these are just the ones in America.

I also have black siblings in Ghana, West Africa. My father-in-law very recently had open heart surgery and my sister in Ghana has not failed to send me a daily message asking how her Papa is doing. Our pastor friend over there calls my mother-in-law Mama Linda and even named one of his daughters after her. Yes, her name is Mama Linda. This doesn’t even begin to include the many others who are white like me, or Mexican, Indian, Native American, etc. that make up my family. I could never mention them all by name.

Anyway, that is not the purpose of my post, just a real glimpse into the background of my heart.


The point is this- I am not in any way, shape, or form surprised by the current events and chaotic state of our nation. It didn’t surprise me this week, last month, or even last year. Why? Yes, there is the whole thing that according to the Bible certain things have to be played out, but that’s not even it. It’s because we are living in a Godless nation. I 100% believe the United States of America has turned her back on God.

What is God? 1 John 4:8 says that God is love. When there is a Godless nation, it becomes a loveless nation. A nation without God and His love can only be filled with evil and hate. It’s as simple as 2+2.

This is the reason why these sad and depressing current events don’t shock me at all. What more could we expect from a broken, ugly, cruel place that has denied the love of Jesus?

Black lives Matter. White lives matter. Police lives matter. Christian lives matter. All lives matter. It’s all overwhelmingly heartbreaking that it has come to this. Apparently if you support one you’re automatically against the other and it’s ridiculous. And as ridiculous as it all is, do you want to know who I am really grieving over? The Church.


Please don’t stand up and applaud yourselves if you feel you fit this category.

I am grieved in my spirit because I am beyond disappointed in The Church. I have prayed this past week and even had to rebuke my own thoughts. I do my best to stay out of the social media circus because all it does is harm instead of help. And you know what I’m seeing? I’m not seeing God’s people shine His light in the midst of all this chaos. I’m seeing what is supposed to be His Church tearing each other apart with their words and actions. I’m scratching my head trying to figure out what part of all this we think is going to lead us into heaven.

See, as I scroll through my news-feed and I find I can’t tell my churchgoing friends apart from my non-churchgoing friends, I am grieved and disgusted. I’m not saying you aren’t allowed to be upset or even mad, but I do know the Bible says in Ephesians 4:26 to be angry and sin not.

Now, I’m not talking about the “Christians” who are nothing more than modern day Pharisees, Sadducees, and Hypocrites. I expect that from them. I’m talking about us that call ourselves the True Church of the Most High God…you know- the one that is supposed to be washed in the blood of the Lamb. The one Peter wrote to in 1 Peter 4:8 that is supposed to have fervent love for each other cause it covers a multitude of sins. The one Jesus expected to keep the greatest two commandments in loving God with our all and loving our neighbor as ourselves.

Listen, we do not get to pick and choose our neighbors. How can we honestly say we love God when we’re picking which neighbors to stand up for instead of operating in the love of the Father? When the True Church begins to operate in the same hate as the world, we might as well forget about being there 10,000 years, bright shining as the sun. We won’t be going. And that is a shame.

I realize by the world’s standards the things we spew out of our mouths (which is essentially where we stand in our hearts—Luke 6:45) are justified, but we aren’t supposed to be living by the world’s standards. Remember? Or have our hearts lost focus?
If anyone had the right to rant and rave about unjust persecution and the loss of innocent life it was Jesus. And if I remember correctly, His only social outburst during those current events was, “Father, forgive them.” (Luke 23:34)

Whether they are right or wrong, criminal or innocent, honest or crooked, black or white—God calls us to forgive. Will it be easy? No. But it would certainly go smoother if we fight this battle on our knees in prayer and not with our words and actions.

As I previously stated, I am truly disappointed in what is supposed to be The Church and ashamed to be included in what the world is seeing us represent right now. What I’m witnessing does not in any way reflect the God we’re said to be serving.

It’s time for REAL men and women of God to stand up and stand TOGETHER with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of color, nationality, or background. It’s time we sincerely represent the God who is love and who has called us to serve Him and our neighbor. We must be careful in our claims as The Church. We must search ourselves. Wolves in sheep’s clothing will not be making the cut.

We are called to love in word, deed, actions, reactions, justice, injustice, and at all times. The world may be allowed to decide when love shuts off, but God’s people don’t have a choice- no matter the circumstance or situation. He calls for love and requires forgiveness.

I pray we begin to walk in this before it’s too late.

ByAngie

The Difference Between Veterans Day & Memorial Day

Bivouac Of The Dead, by Theodore O'Hara

THE MUFFLED drum’s sad roll has beat The soldier’s last tattoo; No more on Life’s parade shall meet That brave and fallen few. On Fame’s eternal camping-ground 5 Their silent tents are spread, And Glory guards, with solemn round, The bivouac of the dead.

Bivouac Of The Dead, by Theodore O’Hara

 

Many people do not understand the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. That’s alright! Don’t be so harsh on them. It is not their fault that they have not been told.

Even coming from a military family, in my early years I thought it was a day to remember all that had passed. Later on, I thought it was a day to honor all military that had passed away. Then came the internet, where all confused people join together, and being one of them I thought it was a day to just honor all in the military past and present. After nearly joining the military myself and then marrying a veteran, the true meaning of Memorial Day was quickly brought to my attention.

 

"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind "   Major Michael Davis O'Donell 01JAN70 Dak To, Vietnam

 

“If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind “


Major Michael Davis O’Donell 01JAN70 Dak To, Vietnam

 

Memorial Day is actually a day to honor all members of the military that passed away while in service, particularly those who died in battle. That is why we often quote, “All gave some; some gave all” (words that were first documented by Howard Osterkamp after the Korean war, but are said to go back further…) on this day.

So if you walked up to a veteran or member of our military today and said, “Happy Memorial Day!”, and then did not receive the reaction you were expecting, this is why.

Here are a few links on the subject:

FAQ about Veterans Day at VA.gov

Memorial Day at VA.gov

Memorial Day on Wikipedia

7 Facts About Memorial Day on Yahoo!

History of Memorial Day on About.com Military History

Lest We Forget: All Gave Some — Some Gave All on Yahoo!

Arlington National Cemetery 

 

In memory of those that gave all… Thank you to each and every one. For truly, our lives would not be what they are today were it not for them.

 

This Memorial Day, we thank all of those who gave everything they had.

ByKaren

Why Are Children So Messy?

I, for one, know that my house will NEVER be SPOTLESS. At least the one on this side of Glory. I have 4 children for goodness sake! lol Four, blessed, wonderful children, whom have to have fires lit under their bottoms to get ANYTHING DONE lately. (Not literally, of course. My children have not been harmed by fire or in anyway for the sake of this blog or for any other reason for that matter.)

I’m sure it’s not just my “chilruns” whom have become lazy and and unruly. They, for sure and certain, are getting their fair share of discipline. BUT, how hard is it to pick up your dirty clothes off of the floor? Can’t be any harder than sitting there building your Legos and reaching for your Hot-Wheels.

 

Why are children so messy?

Four, blessed, wonderful children, an amazing husband that is a great provider, a cute little dog “Chief”, and a partridge in a pear tree…

 

All four of them are old enough to know not to throw trash on the floor, but it doesn’t mean that the dog won’t drag it out or they’re not going to put it on the floor anyways. If you see trash on the floor, pick it up… DUH! If the trash can is overflowing, take the trash out…DUH!

They do think that our money tree over harvested this year… you know? The one in our backyard, right beside the pond made of liquid gold? Every time we turn around, our oldest needs money for one school club or another. There are countless fundraisers going on and of course, everyone wants you to buy from them but they don’t have the money to buy from you… Wait! Did you hear that? Ohhhh, just more money falling from my money tree out back. 🙂

 

Why are kids so messy?

Our lives may not be perfect, but our lives are definitely more than blessed…

 

As I come to the end of this blog, I look around at the basket of socks begging to join their long lost partners; I see the few dog toys laying around because our dog can not stand for them to be put away; I see the pile of clothes that I folded a bit ago that belong to my oldest daughter, who has yet to put them away; The couch pillows are in desperate need of fluffing: and that’s just the living room… Dare I make my way through the house? Pray people, PRAY! I’m going in…

ByKaren

Forced Friendships

As a person who only has a very small handful of close friendships, I feel as if I can write about this subject from an insiders view.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a hard time making friends with people. My lifestyle just doesn’t quit mesh well with others. Growing up, I never got the invites that everyone else did, because I held standards that others did not. Everyone knew that I wasn’t the one to go ahead and do what I wasn’t supposed to do.

1206728_21045799Now, I cringe as I see my children going through the same thing. We raise our children with Godly standards. They know that they can’t do as others do. (Doesn’t mean that they are perfect or won’t try to do wrong, and I know that not all other kids are bad or do wrong.) They don’t get the invites that everyone else does. They struggle with making friends.

Essie recently was invited to a sleepover and it was her first one that did not include family. I was apprehensive at first, because she doesn’t know how to “play” well with others, on a normal level. Because of her ADHD, she can be more selfish than other kids her age. That’s just the way her mind works. I picked her up the next day, asked her how everything went, and she had fun. Of course I asked if she played with any of her classmates from dance, and she said no. I was disheartened at first, then she said, “Momma, there was one girl that played with me a lot.” I asked her what her name was and she didn’t remember, but knew that she had a lot of freckles! I was just glad that she found a new friend out of several that were in attendance!

1159995_79733938It’s hard to make her understand that just because she “knows” several people, doesn’t mean that she will have friendships with all of them. Some people just mesh well with others and are great friends from the first moment they meet. I have to remind her that she MUST be as polite as possible to everyone, whether they treat her the same way or not. She has a hard time with this concept.

My oldest, Josie, has a few friends that are more acquaintances. She eats lunch with them at school and such. However, when it comes to a true friendship, I believe she has 2. Her birthday party was a disappointment. We do not listen to secular music and because we wouldn’t play the junk that is popular today, most of the ones who came left and went to another party where the parents are more lenient. It was a hard lesson for her to learn, but she learned a big one about priorities and who will use you for what reason.

1159993_12104124My boys are pretty much the same way. They don’t really have anyone to claim as friends. It’s heartbreaking to hear your 12 year old son say, “Why don’t I ever get invited anywhere?” He literally has no one. He also has ADHD and had trouble when he was younger developing a friendship. He is not in sports and is more drawn to anything music/instruments related.

The “REAL” world is cruel. People look out for themselves and what they can gain from any given situation, and their children have learned these ways. It makes me glad that my children have honored the values that we have instilled in them. I just wish other parents would teach their children that “social status” and “popularity” is not everything. It often leads to a road of brokenness because you can’t always “Keep up with the Jones'”. I’d rather my children have 1 or 2 close friendships that mean something, than lots of fake friendships that destroy, compete, and tear you down.

If you are a parent, ask yourself “What type of child am I raising? Have I taught them the golden rule of treating others as they would like to be treated?” Or do you teach them, “An Eye for an Eye?”, or to look down on others who are not like them or share your beliefs?

ByKaren

Time To Change That Diaper!

There are some things far worse than seeing boys walk around, with their pants hanging down between their legs in public. But not many.

I can not stand the “saggin” look. Recently, my family was at one of the larger malls in Nashville eating at the food court. Low and behold, this group of young men walk by, strutting their stuff, looking like they had taken a big ol’ dump in their pants! One boy’s pants were so far down, he was literally walking with his legs over a foot apart to keep them up. My six year old daughter started pointing and laughing because it was so ridiculous looking. I looked at her and said rather loudly, “looks like his diaper is full doesn’t it?”

Now keep in mind, you have to be really careful saying stuff like that in public, because you never know when you might get shot, but it just popped out of my mouth!

He HAD to have heard what I said because he started “pulling” at his pants. Not pulling them all the way up, but just enough tug to look like he was embarrassed. He still had to look “cool” for his friends…

It was past time to change that diaper!

ByKaren

I’m Confident That I’m Insecure

Insecurity is something that I have dealt with all of my life.

Insecurity: not confident or sure : uncertain or : not adequately guarded or sustained : unsafe

Photo Credit Herman Brinkman

Photo Credit Herman Brinkman

I have to fake an air of confidence when I am around others, when in actuality, I am panicking on the inside. I really do not like being around a lot of people. Anxiety creeps in. I feel as if everyone is looking at me and judging me. Like the “elephant” in the room… A lot of it has to do with my weight.

“I am woman! See my rolls!… er.. I mean, Hear me roar!”

Photo Credit Mathew Presley

Photo Credit Mathew Presley

I don’t like attention. It’s just too weird…

Another part of insecurity involves friendship. When you are insecure, you have a hard time making friends because your heart is so guarded. I am afraid of being hurt by someone. I’ve been hurt many times before and it’s not a good feeling. Not something that you are ready to jump right back into.

I know that I am not the only one who deals with this. I can’t help but to remember the segments on Saturday Night Live, from when I was younger:

“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”-Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley