Monday, March 13, 2017

Purchase the Clay

While the general idea started many, many years ago - maybe even when I read this book....

I feel quite sure somewhere in that book the author talks about Lemonade Stands and children selling things on the neighborhood corner.

But what if the children live in the country?  I will answer that in just a moment.

I am dedicated to Podcasts!

I have just a few to listen to - my favorites right now are:

**Malcolm Gladwell - Revisionist History (so incredibly good)
**The Wealthy Contractor
**The Minimalists Podcast
**Austin New Church
**And ....

**Blue Babies Pink

It is the Blue Babies Pink podcast that actually prompted this blog entry.  I was driving home - listening to Brett Trapp and my phone dropped on the floor, about that time - the episode ended - and because I am somewhat technology challenged - the podcast did not advance to the next episode.  And Brett's story is captivating - so I desperately wanted to keep listening for the next 10 minutes.

In the meantime -

2 boys, holding a sign, with a cart - obviously selling something on the side of the road - in the country - away from the advantages of the typical lemonade on the corner business opportunity.

For a while now our family has subscribed to the philosophy of stopping at any of those neighborhood business franchises that we encounter.  We just believe in the entrepreneur spirit.  Sometimes we just donate money - sometimes we purchase (and never eat or drink because we did not really want sugared red koolaide) - and sometimes one comes home with clay.

So I turned around - picked up the phone while I was stopped safely on the side of the road - headed back to the 2 boys selling clay and continued listening to Brett.

Brett's story isn't something I ever dreamed I would want to hear.

I grew up in such a sheltered - controlled - perhaps a bit unrealistic world.

Brett grew up in a very similar world.  In fact at one point in time I suspect that we lived less than an hour from each other.

Brett's podcast is worth your time.  I share that with a slight hesitation - you will need to be more open minded than perhaps you are now.  You must be okay to laugh, hurt, cry, and worry all the while listening to a friend share their story.  You will benefit from truly grasping that Jesus is about Love.  And his requirement of us is Love.  And at the end of the day - that is probably all I really want to be about - is love.

And a disco ball.

Yes - Kerry is teaching Sunday School this next week - his lesson might just be entitled:

Are you a wall, a mirror, or a disco ball?

I strive to be that disco ball.

I strive to purchase clay, sugared drink, cookies from a package - from any kid I see setting up shop (and the same goes for those that have the courage to come to my door selling some school stuff)....

Thank you Brett Trapp - your courage inspires me.  Can I get a Roll Tide?

And to that first Lemonade Stand owner - you have inspired countless children!

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Missing Something???

As I watch or rather listen to the news this morning - I am just......

Or maybe I am ....

But I am probably ....

My first mistake might be to consider myself intelligent and to recognize that Kerry is intelligent too.   After all - as intelligent people we can figure all of this out.  The bewilderment comes from just simply not understanding all the stuff.  I really want to use the word "crap" but my mom hates that word - still difficult for me to put in print.  Seriously - we got in trouble for using that word!!!

So I listen and watch the news and hear of all the difficulties and sometimes I don't see it from "their" side and take that statement whichever way applies to you.  Sometimes I do not understand the "liberal" viewpoint and sometimes I don't understand the "conservative" viewpoint.  I am just clueless - I simply do not understand.

Are we in a panic or are we really going to do what others are saying we might?

Why didn't the visitor get his credentials to stay?

Why do we have to verbally speak our minds when that speech is hurtful - ugly - and just mean?

Do we care about people?  This one goes literally both ways - are the "liberals" caring about the "conservatives" are the "conservatives" caring about the "liberals"???????? (good grief).

Kerry and I are simply not always on the same page.  I tend to be much more "liberal" than he is.  He is "conservative".  We live in the same house - we are married - we love each other.  We cannot bash each other - we have to find a way to be on "sides" yet tolerant and understanding of the other.

I would say at times I am arguing my stance and at times it is him.  I also believe in some situations we have changed the viewpoint of the other.  But we do not totally agree.

And guess what????????

That is okay.

"Strength lies in differences, not in similarities" Stephen Covey once said.  

We make each other better as we muddle through the USA in 2017.  It is certainly different - and I completely wonder if I just missed stuff 8 years ago - and 8 years before that - and so on?  This time it is different but I know we had people on different sides of the fence before - we have always had differences.

When one looks for thoughts on tolerance - there are many people that have statements.  But I am also quick enough to realize that some of those will prompt the "other side" to not buy into the tolerance thought.... So I found one that surely all of us can respect and feel like the author has some credibility...

At the end of the day - that is what we are doing in my home.  We are tolerating the other viewpoint.  I honestly seek to understand and I know he is doing the same.

That is really what we should be doing with each other - with all of us.  Are we seeking to understand?

My friend Shane Claiborne had the perfect tweet this week  - okay friend is a relative word - I find myself agreeing and aligning with the things he shares - he is my friend just not one I get to hang out with -

I am agreeing with Shane.

Surely we can find a way to love and stand against hate.  We must.

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Learning History

It is really difficult to "not be political" these days in our country.  And I have decided that it is really difficult to "be me".  Maybe you feel the same.

I do not support the death penalty.

I do not support the right of a woman to have an abortion.  

I do not like the idea of someone without public education experience being the leader of the education system in our country.  

I am completely confused over the immigration rulings.

I believe racism sucks.

Heavens the list is long ------.   I am for LIFE.  Life for all.  I am quite confused how I have been against abortion for all of my life - yet I would have told you in my past self that I was in favor of the death penalty.  Not anymore - I cannot justify it in my mind.

That is the key.  Justify in MY mind.  These opinions are mine.  I am certainly not trying to influence anyone because I will not present enough valid information to sway an opinion (at this point).  But I hope we can consider a couple of thoughts.

Maybe WE can be the change we want to see in our world.  We can choose to be loving - kind - tolerant - etc....

Many times our change is one sided.  We want the other side to change but we many times are not willing to do the things we expect others to do.

And this is not an easy time ----- for either "side" - for any of us.

My thoughts....

What legislation impacts the issues that I find important?

What governmental agencies and groups impact "my issues"?

What is the history behind these issues?

What is the financial ramifications of change?  

What FACTS can I share - what FACTS do I know?  

Are my emotions charged because of FACTS or feelings?

The challenge is to not only talk about the work but to in fact do the work.  The civil rights legislation from the 1960s - did things that helped to create change.  The Montgomery Bus Boycott - the March on Selma - the March on Washington all of those events plus many many more - used their voice to impact change in laws and policies - and the way people were treated.

The SPLC actively monitors hate watch issues and provides a legal resource.  

President Trump - like him or not - he is doing.

Shane Claiborne is - with every ounce of who he is as a person - against the death penalty.  He is willing to protest on the Supreme Court steps - and get arrested for his stance.  

As I look to these leaders of the past and see leaders in our present setting - I want to make sure that I learn the historical accounts and when appropriate follow in their examples.  MLK - marched and boycotted to influence a needed change in our society.

What changes do I want to see?

death penalty - not an option anymore - what can I learn from Claiborne - if I find myself agreeing with his viewpoint - am I willing to join him?

racism - eradicated - eliminated - not an option anymore - what am I willing to do?

My homework must consist of reading - listening - and learning about the historical development of the death penalty & racism.  Not only how it impacts me personally but how those two issues have impacted us as a country.

Since it is the new year I have a new daily planner.  It took me about a month to figure out which one I needed (wanted).  I found one that I was able to design by Erin Condren - great product.  

It is not enough just to have an opinion without a specific action that eliminates oppression & violations of civil rights for any of us.  My hope is that we will monitor legislation - monitor court decisions - fight for injustice - and in the end be willing to stand on a hotel balcony. ~ Dr. Cannon Groves 

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.