Brave Enough to go Forward???

Posted: September 22, 2017 in World On The Edge

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Have you ever wondered why you were born to live today–in this moment, at the place you inhabit, with the circumstances you have? Is it an accident you are here, or were you born for this time and place?

It is no accident. There is a part each of us plays, and each part is important to the whole–God’s plan. Each of us has been given certain qualities to advance that plan.

How are we doing?

Maybe not so good.

Sometimes we ignore that we have a part in helping our world be the best it can be. Sometimes we are weak, or lazy, or without courage enough to stand strong against those things we know are wrong, and even participate in them ourselves.

Sometimes we don’t think for ourselves, but let the current political correctness cower us into corners meant to shape our thoughts. And sometimes, we are just plain scared to be labeled as intolerant, when intolerance is actually necessary to maintain a spiritual and moral code.

America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance-it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded. . . .  The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The Tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.
― Fulton J. Sheen

In an article in Crisis Magazine, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of The Ruth Institute, says this: “There can be no doubt: The sexual revolutionaries have infiltrated the churches. They are using the resources of Christianity to promote their views. The revolutionaries occupy the same buildings, wear the same vestments, and use the same labels. But they have invented a new religion, without ever admitting it. The sexual apostates, both Catholic and Protestant, are counting on no one noticing that their newly invented religion bears no relationship to historic Christianity.” http://www.crisismagazine.com/2017/nashville-statement-matters-catholics#.WcOmIDfQCCY.facebook  https://cbmw.org/nashville-statement/

Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?–The Book of Esther, 4:13-14

This is such a time, make no mistake. Your time and mine. Our world needs us now.

WALLS???

Posted: September 20, 2017 in World On The Edge

Walls‘ are getting a bad rap. The real meaning of ‘walls’ has been politically skewed as a thing of evil. Nothing is further from the truth.  A wall is a structure that defines an area, carries a load, or provides shelter or security.

To wall something in means to protect it, to save it from harm, as your own arms around your children protect them.  We build walls with sand bags to protect property from a storm surge. We build retaining walls to keep earth from washing away. The walls of a building are its structure, built on its foundation. Without them, there could be no towns, no cities, no homes.

Violence will not be heard again in your land, Nor devastation or destruction within your borders; But you will call your walls salvation, and your gates praise.– Isaiah 60:18

Today we are bombarded with the secondary meaning of the word, Wall. And that is to wall something out.

Any action taken or performed has a motive. The motive for building a wall on our border is being misconstrued by some who have other agendas than protecting our homeland of America. Because of the lack of leadership and foresight in the last administration, America has been seriously compromised.

We must look at the two motives for building a wall. To keep out people who are not legally American, or to protect the Americans within our borders.  Which is primary??

The facts are that the United States has always had a legal process to become an American citizen and there should be no shortcuts. To allow a lawless entry into America is trouble with a capital T–and that is obvious today.

For that reason, it is simple common sense to build a wall. To do otherwise is to see America and her people put at risk. Immigration to America should be undertaken legally, or not at all. After all, those who want to come here should shoulder a mature responsibility–to follow the rules and enter our country legally.  Sound reason says: This is our country, and those we let into it will make us, or break us.

Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work. (Nehemiah 2:17-18)

Americans ought to feel safe in our own country. It may sound harsh when we are talking about sheltering ourselves from other human beings created by God, but because they ARE human beings like us, they  must be held to the same accountability of obeying our laws.

We must take care of America first–our country, fought for many times at such high cost.

America is our security. Our shelter. A wall just makes sense.

Very, very interesting video showing only a fraction of the price paid for America.

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All you kids get out the back door
I’ve never seen her this bad before
She took all her favorite things down from the window
And broke ’em all over her clean floor

It’s Saturday at the mansion
The oldest boy walks with a slouch
The young ones are wild in back of the house
And she gave up and went back to sleep on the couch

Something as simple as boys and girls
Gets tossed all around and then lost in the world
Something as hard as a prayer on your back
Can wait a long time for an answer

When I was little I’d stare at her picture
And talk to the mother of God
I swear sometimes I’d see her lips move
Like she was trying to say something to me

When I was eighteen I moved to Florida
Like everyone sick of the cold does
And I waited on old people waiting to die
I waited on them until I was

Something as simple as boys and girls
Gets tossed all around and then lost in the world
Something as hard as a prayer on your back
Can wait a long time for an answer

So I’m wearing my footsteps into this floor
One day I won’t live here anymore
Someone will wonder who lived here before
And went on their way

I live too many miles from the ocean
And I’m getting older and odd
I get up every morning with a black cup of coffee
And I talk to the mother of God

Something as simple as boys and girls
Gets tossed all around and then lost in the world
Something as hard as a prayer on your back
Can wait a long time for an answer
Can wait a long time for an answer

Maybe it’s alright
Maybe we won’t fight anymore
Maybe love is waiting at the end of every room
I don’t know
I don’t know
But maybe, maybe it’s alright

–Patty Griffin

Worshipping Your Self???

Posted: September 15, 2017 in World On The Edge

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Half the harm that is done in this world
Is due to people who want to feel important.
― T.S. Eliot, The Cocktail Party

Worshipping Your Self???

Then you will destroy yourself.

Everyone wants to feel important in some way, and that is fine. But how we go about it is another story. Through the ‘lens of self’ we may come to see other people as only annoyances, and life as so routine that we actually become unaware of the beauty in it. Some days, it’s hard to see otherwise–we’re busy, after all, with jobs, children, and all those everyday things we have to do.  We can get so busy, with so many goals, that we’re not really aware of anything except ourselves and what we have to do. We can become extremely short with others, and easily put them down. A beautiful day goes unnoticed, the person struggling beside us is overlooked; we don’t even see them. Why? Because it’s not about them it’s all about us and what we have to do.

But we can decide otherwise. We can decide how to see our world through another lens. We can decide not to put ourselves in the highest place–because there is something here on earth that is higher than we are, something with beauty and order that we ought to esteem. And we can remind ourselves to look.

If we look through a deeper lens, we will see the presence of a much higher power than ourselves. You and I may know that power as God. Maybe others don’t believe in God. But listen to these words from David Foster Wallace, in a commencement speech at Kenyon College, 2005.

“In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.  And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship-be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles-is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things-if they are where you tap real meaning in life-then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you.  . . .Worship power-you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart-you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out.  .  .  . The capital-T Truth is about life before death. It is about making it to thirty, or maybe fifty, without wanting to shoot yourself in the head. It is about simple awareness-awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: This is water, this is water.”

—The late David Foster Wallace wrote articles, essays and novels, including 1996’s Infinite Jest, a sprawling comic tale of modern America.

Feminism OR Femininity??

Posted: September 13, 2017 in World On The Edge

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According to Oxford Dictionary, a feminist is an advocate of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. I honestly could not find a definition of femininity, except womanliness–but the only adjective used to describe womanliness was–demure. The meaning of the adjective, ‘demure,’ is “reserved, modest, or shy.” Wow. Talk about revisionism!

Some years ago–I was there to see it happen–Feminism developed into strong political movement, especially on the left. A group of women demanded equal work and equal pay–a good thing. But to accomplish that, they needed a lot of women to agree with them that a woman’s job, if she had one, was of the highest importance.  So feminist leaders spread their impressions of Femininity as being a sign of weakness–not a good thing, and actually ‘untrue.’

Today, if a woman calls herself a feminist, most everyone understands what she means. But though the word, feminist, is a derivative of femininity;  it is ,unfortunately, often the opposite of  what being feminine means.

What is a feminine woman? Is she strong, or is she weak?

My opinion? A feminine woman is extremely strong.

The ways of a woman are different from a man’s, and meant to be; the strength of womanliness lies in the very make-up of her humanity–her heart.  Over the course of a life, the heart does more work than any other muscle. It works continuously over an entire lifetime without ever stopping. No other muscle comes close!

The feminine, maternal heart of a woman can–and does–change the world. There is no one of greater influence on a child–male or female–than a mother.

Here is what Dr. Alice von Hildebrand says about feminism–in defense of femininity:

“The amazing thing is that feminism, instead of making women more profoundly aware of the beauty and dignity of their role as wives as mothers, and of the spiritual power that they can exercise over their husbands, convinced them that they, too, had to adopt a secularist mentality: They, too, should enter the work force; they, too, should prove to themselves that they were someone by getting diplomas, competing with men in the work market, showing that they were their equals and — when given opportunities — could outsmart them.

They let themselves become convinced that femininity meant weakness. They started to look down upon virtues — such as patience, selflessness, self-giving, tenderness — and aimed at becoming like men in all things. Some of them even convinced themselves that they had to use coarse language in order to show the “strong” sex that they were not the fragile, delicate, insignificant dolls that men believed them to be.

The war of the sexes was on. Those who fell into the traps of feminism wanted to become like men in all things and sold their birthright for a mess of pottage. They became blind to the fact that men and women, though equal in ontological dignity, were made different by God’s choice: Male and female he made them. Different and complementary, a woman by her very nature is maternal — for every woman, whether married or unmarried, is called upon to be a biological, psychological or spiritual mother — she knows intuitively that to give, to nurture, to care for others, to suffer with and for them — for maternity implies suffering — is infinitely more valuable in God’s sight than to conquer nations and fly to the moon.”
http://www.hildebrandproject.org/about/alice-von-hildebrand

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It is foolish to ignore or tolerate something we know is wrong, especially in someone we truly love and care for, because doing so puts them in danger. Sincere loving requires action, and that action is not to bury our heads in the sand because we don’t want to rock the boat of our beloved.

Would we allow our toddler to continue peddling down a busy highway on a tricycle, or would we run out to snatch them back before they are literally killed? Would we watch our ten year old put a loaded gun in his or her pocket, and smile as he goes out of the door? Would we allow our teenager to pump himself or herself full of drugs just because he or she thinks it’s fun? Would we allow our spouse to jump into bed with a co-worker without a word of disapproval?

Loving someone presents many problems. One of the biggest is that even if we love a person, we don’t always love what they do. This is going to be true with parents and children, with spouses, with friends and co-workers. There will be times when we know our loved ones are going in a wrong direction. There will be times when we recognize that they are actually sinning, a word that our society often choses to overlook or bypass. Do we simply ignore it, or even cast them aside when they do wrong?

Or will we do our best to compassionately open their eyes in a Christ-like way?

Confronting sin in those we love (and in ourselves) requires courage–a compassionate courage which expresses to our loved one that we believe he/she may be walking in enemy territory, and that we want to help in any way we can. Sometimes only a mention will prompt a person to think about his or her behavior. Other times the ears we hope will hear us may seem closed.

If we do not care enough to act, if we do not care enough to attempt to help unravel risky behavior in those we love, then we do not truthfully care about them. Yes, we are just one person, but many, many people have given up sin and even become saints by the efforts of just one person. Maybe because of a mother, a father, a wife, a husband, a sister, a brother, or a friend.

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.–Matthew 9: 11-13

What’s the Truth About Me???

Posted: September 1, 2017 in World On The Edge

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We are often told to put our faith in something–a situation, a job, a person. We are also told–by parents and teachers–to reason things out.  And we can do both because our faith and our reason are two attributes of being human, though we use them in ways unique to our individual selves.

Faith and Reason are the two ways in which knowledge of  Truth comes to us– uniquely personal ways, geared to who we are–the way God created us.

Do you know someone who has only a elementary view of God, a person who may have a “simple” faith, but a faith that is truly genuine? On the other hand, do you know someone whose faith is complimented by an intellectual consideration of God?

We don’t have to be an intellectual, or the smartest person around, to be one of the most virtuous people around. But we can be virtuous, and intellectually savy, too. Neither cancels out the other.

Faith which needs no evidence, and Reason which is based on evidence, are in harmony with one another.  As human beings we have the capabilities of both. And in fact, we need both faith and reason if we desire to find genuine truth.

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves. (cf. Ex 33:18; Ps 27:8-9; 63:2-3; Jn 14:8; 1 Jn 3:2). Encyclical Letter, Fides Et Ratio, Pope John Paul II

By using faith and reason, we come to know the truth about ourselves, as well. We can reason that we did not make our own bodies or create our own souls. Then faith assists us in the realization that God created us, and that as His children, He loves us. Faith and reason, together, tell us this is true. God loves us whether we’re smart, or not so smart; whether we’re beautiful, or not so beautiful, whether we’re successful, or not so successful. He loves us without condition.

But do our actions show the knowledge that we are loved by God? Being loved so deeply ought to change how we treat others, shouldn’t it? So, how are we treating others, especially those close to us?  Are we bitter people? Do we hold grudges? Are we unforgiving, yet expect forgiveness for ourselves?

Or–are we empathetic to others,  try to understand and forgive them? Would we go welll out of our way for another person? We do have that ability.

God sees the ability to love within us because He put it there, knowing its capability to truly change the world, bit by bit. But since He knows everything about us, He must also be aware that we fall short of making use of our ability to love.

If only–through faith and through reason, we kept in mind the truth about ourselves!