Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday Tickles: Because we’re all going to need a laugh today.

Today is a pretty heavy day. This election will determine greatly the direction our country is going to take. There is good and bad on both sides. And there’s no formula to figure out who’s voting for who. I have wonderful Christian friends who are voting Obama. I have wonderful non-Christian friends who are voting Romney. Religion, race, social status, gender…no stereotypes quite fit for this race. And that is rather a good thing.

No matter what, what’s to be done will be done. No amount of anger, bitterness, or hatefulness is going to change it. So please…don’t risk losing relationships because “your guy” didn’t win. It’s not worth it. The beauty of this country is our freedom to vote our conscious without fear of judgment. At least that’s how it’s supposed to be. Don’t be the one to ruin that freedom.

Because of the events of today, I felt we were all going to need a good laugh. And that is what I have found for you. When you start to get stressed out, worried, or fearful today, hit play on this video and forget about your woes for at least three minutes.

Ladies and gentleman, I give you…CATS!!

Musical Monday: The One Thing – Paul Colman

This is a huge week for the United States. Quite possibly one of the most significant weeks of modern time. By the end of the day Tuesday, no matter the outcome, things are most likely going into upheaval. And looking at it today (Monday), there is no telling what direction we are going.

There are going to be a lot of questions, a lot of fears, and, unfortunately, a lot of anger towards the eventual outcome. I confess I myself am a little unnerved.

Times like this can cause us to question many things. We question the integrity of our leaders. Are they making the right choices? We question ourselves. Are WE making the right choices in who we vote for? What are the important issues? How do we truly feel about this issue or that issue? If so-and-so wins, what does that mean for me? For my family? My job? My country? All these questions are being asked by a nation weary of questioning.

There’s a lot I don’t know. There’s a lot, come Tuesday, that I am fearful for. I’ve questioned so much recently. So much, save one thing.

“The one thing I don’t question is You
You really love me like You say You do
So hold me”

Oh, Lord, there are so many things I am tempted to question. So many things uncertain towards the future. I fear for my country and the road we are heading down, no matter the outcome of this vote. But I circle this promise, Lord, that is given in Your word:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” -Hebrews 13:8

That’s not a campaign promise that vanishes as soon as victory is won. It’s not a guarantee until circumstances change. It doesn’t cease to be true whether I voted wrong or right. Of all the things I have to question right now, You, God, are not one of them. And I praise You for that. Thank You, Lord, for being our Rock, no matter Tuesday’s outcome. Thank You for being the one thing.

Soapbox Saturday: Ode to the Presidential Elections

My favorite show comes on the air
I’ve waited all week for this!
I settle on the sofa, eagerly await
Then let loose a long, evil hiss

It’s that face! It’s that ad!
Why won’t it just go away?
Don’t you know when you talk smack
I don’t care what you have to say?

I’m sick of Obama! I’m sick of Romney!
I’m sick of this whole mess!
I’m quite ready to blow up my TV
I really must confess.

But no! It’s not just the TV
That harbors these annoying faces
On every website they can be seen
Fouling up the best of places

On my facebook. On my email.
On my Weather Underground.
On Yahoo and youtube, tcpalm too
These smear campaigns can be found

I wish I could know this will all stop
When Nov 6 finally rolls around
But alas, it’s only just beginning
Either way, we’re going down

Because it’s not solely on the President
To bring our country up to par
It falls on each of us to do our part
But face it, our laziness has gone too far

Welcome to the new normal, I say
Obama or Romney ain’t changing a thing
Because it’s our people that won’t step up
And it’s our own necks we wring

So as this election draws ever so near
Remember it’s our own conscience we have to fare
And because I want to sleep at night
I’m voting for Stephen Colbert!

Tuesday Tickles: Improved State Mottoes!!!

Ok, people. This is meant to be funny only! And if you can’t see the slight truth in the sterotyping as it relates to your state, just don’t bother reading it, lol. Don’t judge me, but one of my absolute favorties is Utah, lol!

Improved State Mottos

Alabama: At Least We’re not Mississippi

Alaska: 11,623 Eskimos Can’t be Wrong!

Arizona: Dehyd-rific!

Arkansas: Litterasy Ain’t Everthing

California: As Seen on TV

Colorado: If You Don’t Ski, Don’t Bother

Connecticut: Like Massachusetts, Only Dirtier and With Less Character

Delaware: Please Call Before Visiting So We Can Make Room

Florida: Ask Us About Our Grandkids

Georgia: We Put the “Fun” in Fundamentalist Extremism

Hawaii: Haka Tiki Mou Sha’ami Leeki Toru (Death to Mainland Scum, But Leave Your Money)

Idaho: More Than Just Potatoes… Well Okay, We’re Not, But The Potatoes Sure Are Real Good

Illinois: Gateway to Iowa

Indiana: 2 Billion Years Tidal Wave Free

Iowa: Land of James T. Kirk

Kansas: First Of The Rectangle States

Kentucky: Five Million People; Fifteen Last Names

Louisiana: We’re Not All Drunk Cajun Wackos, But That’s Our Tourism Campaign

Maine: Cheap Lobster

Maryland: A Thinking Man’s Delaware

Massachusetts: Our Taxes Are Lower Than Sweden’s (For Most Tax Brackets)

Michigan: First Line of Defense From the Canadians

Minnesota: For Sale

Mississippi: Come Feel Better About Your Own State

Missouri: Your Federal Flood Relief Tax Dollars at Work

Montana: Land of the Big Sky, the Unabomer, and Very Little Else

Nebraska: Ask About Our State Motto Contest

Nevada: Whores and Poker!

New Hampshire: Go Away and Leave Us Alone

New Jersey: You Want a ##$%##! Motto? I Got Yer ##$%##! Motto Right Here!

New Mexico: Lizards Make Excellent Pets

New York: You Have the Right to Remain Silent, You Have the Right to an Attorney

North Carolina: Tobacco is a Vegetable

North Dakota: Um… We’ve got… Um… Dinosaur Bones? Yeah, Dinosaur Bones!

Ohio: Don’t Judge Us by Cleveland

Oklahoma: Like the Play, Only No Singing

Oregon: Spotted Owl, It’s What’s For Dinner

Pennsylvania: Cook With Coal

Rhode Island: We’re Not REALLY An Island

South Carolina: Remember the Civil War? We Didn’t Actually Surrender

South Dakota: Closer Than North Dakota

Tennessee: The Educashun State

Texas: Se Hablo Ingles

Utah: Our Jesus Is Better Than Your Jesus

Vermont: Yep

Virginia: Who Says Government Stiffs and Slackjaw Yokels Don’t Mix?

Washington: Help! We’re Overrun By Nerds and Slackers!

Washington, D.C.: Wanna Be Mayor?

West Virginia: One Big Happy Family — Really!

Wisconsin: Come Cut Our Cheese

Wyoming: Wynot?

My Labor of Thanks

Happy Labor Day!!

According to the US Dept of Labor, the reason we celebrate this day is as follows:

“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

We live in a unique country. There aren’t many other places in the world where someone could go from the pits to the penthouse in a lifetime. The idea of the “American dream” seized the world, as it would seem, and make people want to risk everything in the pursuit of it. Not bad for a country who, when it celebrated its first Labor Day in 1882, was only 107 years old and 17 years removed from a war that almost destroyed it.

What makes America so desirable, even now? What makes people still want to risk their lives fleeing to this country? Much of it has to do with what this day celebrates: our freedom to work. Not just to work, but to work the jobs we WANT to work and fulfill the dreams we WANT to fulfill. In the American dream, one can go from having nothing to having all with hard work and dedication. Those that have not, have not because they want to work not. At least, that’s the way it was.

It seems nowadays the American dream has become the American nightmare. Americans in the truest sense of the word are still hard-working, creative, and proud. They love their country and will do what it takes to support it. But it seems their country cares not to honor them any longer. This country was built and still stands on the legs of public servants, small business, and mom-and-pop storefronts in towns and cities all across this great land. But no one cares for them any longer. The days of their honor seem to have gone astray, and the only use those in leadership of our country now have for them is what they can get out of them. These are just my observations, but I know many that would agree.

But herein lies a choice for us. Just because our country seems to be going one way doesn’t mean we have to follow. Another one of the incredible freedoms we have in this great USA is the freedom to CHOOSE. We don’t have to be forced one way or the other. And so, on this Labor Day, here is MY choice: to say thank you and give what honor I can give to those who spend their lives working hard, making every dollar count, and giving their time, talents, hopes, and dreams a life, and a chance to try to make the communities in which they live better for them being there.

It’s not much, it’s not grand, and it will probably only be seen by a few, but it’s all I’ve got to give. From the bottom of my heart to you: small business America…those who work to keep us safe…those who educate us and help us grow to be as great as we can be…those hearts that still hold fast to the American dream…those who are established and the weary just starting…to all who have, are, and will continue to make this country great in honor and deed…

THANK YOU!!

“Well if you ask me where I come from
Here’s what I tell everyone
I was born by God’s dear grace
In an extraordinary place
Where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly

It’s a big ‘ol land with countless dreams
Happiness ain’t out of reach
Hard work pays off the way it should
Yeah, I’ve seen enough to know that we’ve got it good
Where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly”

**interesting sidenote about this video…it was shot in New York City a few weeks after 9/11. There was a group from my college there, and they are in the video! From 3:05 to a few seconds later, you’ll see a large group standing, and it focuses on a few. That’s them!**

CHALLENGE OF THE DAY: Do you know someone who could use a thank you today? Perhaps a small business owner or a public service worker or a teacher? If you do, make it a point today to say thank you to them. This is a day to celebrate those that labor to make our country the great nation that it is. So enjoy the break, stay safe, and celebrate the American dream!

Some thoughts on this day of political primaries…

**I wrote this back in 2008, right before the Presidential elections. I felt it appropriate to resurrect it on the day when those of us in Florida head to the polls for our primaries. Our country is is trouble. If there is any hope to save it, we have to make the move now, during this election season. The real question is, though…is there still hope? Or, rather, since it can be argued that there’s always hope as long as we stand…does our country WANT to be saved?**

I always find, when I talk about the Presidential elections with someone, that what you’re most passionate about dictates what you think about and who you’ll vote for canidate-wise. It was the same during the Republican primaries. If your main concern was the economy, you were more than likely behind Romney. If your main concern was the war, you were more than likely behind McCain. I’m finding that with the McCain/Obama deal. A lot of Canadians I talk to think Obama is the coolest thing since sliced bread. They don’t understand why I don’t really care for him. Well, I guess it’s because of what my primary concern is. It’s not the war, though that’s important. It’s not the economy, although it affects me greatly. Both of those things take a back burner to my primary concern: morality.

My primary concern this election season is which Presidental team is going to be morally right for our country. Forget the war, forget the economy. I believe a lot of the reason we’re in the state we’re in now, with the war and economy, is because of the loss of our morality, the basic principles this country, and humanity itself, was built upon. If you really think about it, why did Al-Qaeda target our country during 9/11? They blamed us for the immorality that was ruining their “world”. Our Hollywood. Am I saying that if we were a moral country 9/11 would never of happened? Absolutely not; they really wanted to attack us…they probably would have come up with another reason. But our immorality, what we are now letting slide, is attracting worldwide attention.

But this begs another question. Has the United States gone too far? Is there a point that can be passed where we can’t go back to the way things were meant to be? The way they were in the beginning? If so, have we passed that point?

Maybe I’m way offbase. But in my mind, I kind of parallel it with a section of Scripture in Hebrews. There is a section of verses in that book that I have never understood, that seemed to violate my beliefs of second chances and the ability to rededicate after backsliding. The NIV puts Hebrews 6:4-6 this way:

4It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

I will still confess I don’t totally understand that verse. But could this verse fit the principle of going too far? Is it possible to go so far against God that there’s no way you can come back? Or is it speaking with the foreknowledge that there are going to be those believers, who know the joys of heaven and salvation, who turn away and go so far that they wouldn’t want to be brought back?

If so, to parallel, if I may, has the United States reached this point? We’ve had it good for a long time, prior to September 11, 2001. We shared in the riches of innocence and power. We tasted the goodness of it. And slowly, through the many decades since the founding of our country, we’ve very slowly, almost gracefully, moved away from it, until now we are barely recognizable compared to the amazing God-fearing country we were known as. Can we ever come back?

CHALLENGE OF THE DAY: Today is your opportunity to exercise your freedom to have a voice, an opinion, in the government. It is a voice many sacrificed much, and some all, for, and a right which people risk their lives to come to our country for. Don’t take that responsibility lightly. Prayerfully consider as you go to the polls whom YOU believe is right for the positions listed, and not what popularity, friends, or family say. While that can be considered, you’re the one who has to stand by your vote at the end of the day. Remember, Jesus would have been the best vote if He would have ran for office, but He most certainly would not have been the popular or media choice! Vote your heart. You’ll sleep better tonight, no matter what the results end up as.

LOBLA