A NY Times staffer claims to be “disturbed” by see the national flag of the United States of America. Really? Yes Here’s the story link if you don’t believe me:

That makes me wonder. Is it the national flag of EVERY nation she finds disturbing? Or just ours? Somehow, she sees a piece of cloth as a non-verbal threat. Lady, you’ve got some serious issues it seems.

This is symptomatic of the way we have failed to instill basic values into our children. They have no pride in their country, no knowledge of the freedoms they have compared to most of the rest of the world, no sense of history. They have not been taught the value of hard work, and the pride of a job well done. Many have been taught, consciously or unconsciously, to think that other people owe them a living., that selfishness is a good thing, and self-indulgence a virtue.

Is the USA perfect? Absolutely not! The only perfect country will be the New Heaven and Earth when Jesus returns to rule forever. So no matter where you live now, there are problems, problems that need to be addressed and dealt with. But judging everyone else to be “racist,” or “biased,” or “hateful,” or whatever is by definition THOSE VERY THINGS you’re judging others for! It is NOT our job to judge! Here are some hard truths:

  1. No one OWES you anything
  2. Life is hard – stop whining.
  3. If you don’t like the country you live in, MOVE. No one is preventing you.
  4. You CANNOT change either yesterday or tomorrow, ONLY today!

More and more these media employees, etc,. are sounding like toddlers crying because someone looked at them oddly. “Everything is a problem. everyone is hateful, everyone is wrong.” But we are supposed to mature and become adults, and look at the world properly, and not as a two year old does.

As for anyone’s problem with the American flag, sorry. I will fly it, display it, be proud of it. THAT is my right.

Dear Miss Austen

For some reason, this older blog post from 2015 showed up today. I enjoyed rereading it,perhaps you will too!

Dear Miss Austen

My dear Miss Austen,

I pray you will forgive any familiarity in addressing you thusly, but I feel as though I know you, although ‘as through a glass darkly.’ You see, I am a devout fan of your writing that I presume to write to tell you just how ardently I admire you. Yes, I understand you sought to remain unknown for your world considers it most unseemly for a mere woman to write – simply scandalous! But I wish to assure you that your writing has had more influence that these small minds could ever conceived!

On my part, dear Miss Austen, I have learned about the dangers in judging either by one’s own prejudices or by another’s appearance. Oftimes, I have learned the lesson in looking backwards, but learned it I have. You have also taught me of the value of kindness and loyalty; of the difficulty of adhering to a moral standard when the world around you scorns such standards; of the importance of friendship, oh, and so many more lessons that I find myself unable to fully express them all!

May I also say that your words have shown those of us living in a less gracious time a glimpse into how to act with more civility and courtesy (even while your rather pointed barbs at conceit leave us with sides aching with laughter!) I believe that one reason that we are still so devoted to reading and talking about your writing is that we long to experience some of this same civility in our own interactions.

In closing, I just want to thank you once more for your wonderful words and characters, Miss Austen! Rest assured your novels will continue to be read as long as there are people of good sense and good taste.

Most sincerely,

Your devoted reader

Roads “Scholar”

Some of the phrases I’ve been hearing a lot lately are “Why don’t you come to…?” Or, “I’m going – why don’t you?” Or even, “We’d love it if you came!” Who knew I was so popular! LOL!

In the last 6 months, these words or variations thereof have led me to flying to Nashville, Tennessee, for Christmas to see The Oak Ridge Boys, and while there, had me agreeing to drive 7 hours one way to Ohio in June to see the Boys! As if that wasn’t crazy enough, now they have me planning out a 13 day road trip to: go to Ohio to see the Boys, go to Cincinnati to go to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter, and going to the Louisville, Kentucky, area to see JD Shelburne’s Hometown Show in Taylorsville!

I just calculated an estimate on the mileage for this little jaunt – just driving to the hotels and venues is 1650 miles! I must be crazy. But, I’m going. I’m fed up with stupid, and ready to just do my own thing without allowing strangers dictate to me what I can do, where I can go, etc. I’m outta here, and hitting the road. Now, you’re probably wondering how this evolved from a simple weekend trip to a full-blown road trip.

Well, I blame it all on JD Shelburne! (Not really, but he’s young with broad shoulders – he can handle it!) JD is a talented singer/songwriter in Nashville. I began listening to him at the start of the “lockdowns” in March 2020, because he was doing a live mini concert every night on Facebook. I fell in love with his music. He’s got the cutest wife, and as of September, the sweetest little baby boy! I had planned to see him perform in December when I was in Nashville, but he had to cancel.

He has been trying to rebook his Hometown Show which naturally didn’t happen last year, and he finally did. Of course, I have been teasing him on Twitter that he wasn’t allowed to book it for when I had tickets to see the Oak Ridge Boys. He didn’t. He scheduled it for the Saturday after the Boys’ show in Hartville, Ohin! But Taylorsville is 15 hours one way from my home! So I tweeted that I probably wouldn’t be able to come.

Wouldn’t you know he tweets back, “But you have to come – I want to meet you finally!” I answered that there was no way this old lady could drive 14 hours round trip one weekend, then 30 hours round trip the next.

But, I promised I’d see what I could work out. The next day, it occurred to me that I had been planning with two friends on a bus trip to see a couple of attractions somewhere in Ohio or Kentucky. So, found the catalog and, yep, Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter. Northern Kentucky, southern Ohio area. And only 4 hours from Hartville!

So now, the planning began in earnest. First 3 nights were already booked of course. On to Cincinnati! Turns out, the airport hotels are only about 30-40 minutes from both attractions. Done.

Kentucky was a bigger problem. First of all, it would have to be 6 to 7 nights, since the show is on Saturday. Decided 7 was better, that way I have a full day to rest after what could be a long day on Saturday. Also, I planned on a stop in West Virginia halfway home, so as not to be driving 15 hours.

So there you have it. Is this going to be fun? You betcha! Am I crazy? Probably. As a matter of fact, I may be certifiable! But guess what? I don’t care! I’m going, I’m going to have a blast, and I will continue to travel as long as I’m able!

So look out, world! I’m on my way!

How Well Do You Love?

Today is Maundy Thursday, the fifth day of Holy Week, the day before Jesus was crucified on the cross, and 3 days before he rose up from death into eternal life. But I did not know until this morning what “maundy” meant, or the implications and challenges of that word.

I was listening to Kris Langham on Through the Word app, and Pastor Kris said that “maundy” meant mandate. So I researched it. Here is what I found:

Maundy is derived from the Latin word for “command,” and refers to Jesus’ commandment to the disciples to “Love one another as I have loved you.”

In his study for Holy Week and specifically Thursday, Pastor Kris explains this ‘mandate,’  Jesus says, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”  (John 13:34 NLT )  A new command?  Hasn’t Jesus previously us to love each other?  Yes, but in that instance, he was quoting the scriptures, specifically Leviticus 19:18: “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” And of course, this teaching of Jesus’ led to the illustration of just who our neighbor is, through the parable of the Good Samaritan.

But here, Jesus departs from Leviticus, and makes it new: love as I have loved you! Radically different!  How?  Well, did Jesus, the Son of God, in possession of all the power, might and glory of God, not just strip his cloak off and wash the dirty, stinky feet of 12 men?  If Jesus – the creator of the universe – can be so humble as o do such a menial task, have can we not pay attention and do likewise?!   He does indeed go on to tell us to do so.

There are no trivial, menial tasks in the Kingdom when done to show the love of Jesus for everyone around us.  But the challenge remains for you, for me, in the doing of this, in being obedient to this new commandment of Jesus!  And how we all struggle with this! 

Well, they like this president, so I can be mean to them.  They believe this is a good policy, so I can call them names.  They think that is acceptable,so I can gossip about them. But, can I?  No, not if I want to truly follow Jesus, because when I don’t treat others well, don’t respond kindly, then I am disobeying Jesus’ commandment!  I am not showing the world who Jesus is!  But praise God that He is merciful, and forgiving.  Every time we catch ourselves NOT loving as Jesus does, we can stop, say we are sorry (and yes, if necessary, to the person we wronged!), and ask God to forgive us for our behavior and attitude. 

So my prayer for you, for me today is that God would put a rein of our tongue AND our fingers on the keyboard, and keep us from the sin of not loving. I pray that as we seek to follow Jesus that it will become easier and more  part of our nature to respond in the love of Christ to every one!

A Gift

A dear friend sent me this in an email today. Now, I’m sure this was part of an email “chain letter,” so I have no idea where it originated. Of course, if you do, please feel free to share in the”Comments” section.

Since it seems to be public property, share it with some of your friends! Let’s use social media for positive thoughts.

My Gift to You –

“One day I had lunch with some old friends. Jim, a short, balding golfer type, about 85-years old, came along with them; all in all, it was a pleasant bunch.  When the menus were presented, my friends and I ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups, except for Jim who said, “A large piece of homemade apple pie, heated please. I wasn’t sure my ears heard him right, and the others were aghast, when Jim continued, completely unabashed….”along with two large scoops of vanilla ice cream.”

We tried to act quite nonchalant, as if people did this all the time, but when our orders were brought out, I didn’t enjoy eating mine. I couldn’t take my eyes off of Jim as I watched him savoring each bite of his pie a la mode. The other guys just grinned in disbelief as they silently ate their lunches.

The next time I went out to eat, I called Jim and invited him to join me. I lunched on a white meat tuna sandwich, while he ordered a chocolate parfait. Since I was chuckling, he wanted to know if he amused me. I answered, “Yes, you certainly do, but you also confuse me. How come you always order such rich desserts, while I feel like I must be sensible in my food choices?”

He laughed and said “I’m tasting all that is possible for me to taste. I try to eat the food I need and do the things I should in order to stay healthy, but life’s too short, my friend. I hate missing out on something good. This year I realized how old I was. He grinned. I’ve never been this old before, so, while I’m still here, I’ve decided it’s time to try all those things that, for years, I’ve been ignoring.”

He continued, “I haven’t smelled all the flowers yet. There are too many trout streams I haven’t fished. There’s more fudge sundaes to wolf down and kites to be flown overhead. There are too many golf courses I haven’t played. I’ve not laughed at all the jokes. I’ve missed a lot of sporting events and potato chips and cokes.

“I want to wade again in water and feel ocean spray on my face. I want to sit in a country church once more and thank God for His grace. I want peanut butter every day spread on my morning toast. I want untimed long distance calls to the one I love the most.

“I haven’t cried at all the movies yet, or walked in the morning rain. I need to feel wind on my face. So, if I choose to have dessert, instead of having dinner, then should I die before night fall, I’d say I died a winner, because I missed out on nothing. I filled my heart’s desire. I had that final piece of pie before my life expired.”

With that, I called the waitress over. “I’ve changed my mind, ” I said. “I want what he’s having, only add some more whipped cream!”

This is my gift to you – We need an annual Friends Day! If you get this twice, then you have more than one friend. Live well, love much, & laugh often – Be happy and enjoy doing whatever your heart desires. You only go around once on this crazy planet.

SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS including me, if I’m lucky enough to be counted among them.*

Be mindful that happiness isn’t based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we like, respect, and enjoy spending time with.
Remember that while money talks, ICE CREAM SINGS! “