Sunday, July 30, 2006

LMC's Sunday Smorgasboard

Drawing Credit: Real Clear Politics Toon Credit: Glenn McCoy Several people have posted the first drawing and it applies to Hezbollah as well as Palestine. The more I watch the news the truer the drawing becomes. Hezbollah sits among Lebanese civilians shooting at Israel and if Israel fires back they are blamed for killing innocent civilians. I saw a Lebanese woman crying on Fox News because some of her family had been wounded and killed. She blamed and hated Israel for the attack. I sat there incredulous. Hezbollah purposely used her family as a human shield and yet she blames Israel. It shows you what an uphill battle Israel faces. Toon Credit: Michael Ramirez As soon as I found this cartoon I got excited. It totally describes how I feel about recent events. I still remember how much flack W got for bringing up the axis of evil in his 2002 speech. I was talking to a liberal relative of mine afterwards and she was joking about how N Korea wasn't a problem and they must've been in shock after hearing W's speech. I looked at her in disbelief and said N Korea has been and is a big problem. She had no clue and also wasn't aware of how much her favorite president Bill Clinton had aided our enemy N Korea. So I found this cartoon extremely fitting and wish I could show it to my lib relative and say Ha! myself.   ACLU & FRED PHELPS I still haven't gotten around to doing my factual post on the despicable Fred Phelps and his cult. But it should be no surprise to those of us who are acquainted with this evil man that the ACLU is joining forces with him to overturn the ban on their picketing of soldiers' funerals. Most of the Netflix movies I've watched recently have been duds but I finally found one I absolutely love!! It is entitled "The Outsider" and it is about a woman who is part of an Amish type group who helps the wounded, gun-fighter cowboy. They fall in love and have to combat the disapproval of her group and the evil cattle men who are trying to steal her land. I am a hopeless romantic and a Western girl so I loved every aspect of this movie. The reviews said that men would like it also because of it being a western but most women will love it because of the awesome romantic plotline. There must be something about the title Outsider because of one of my other all-time favorite movies is "The Outsiders" that was based on SE Hinton's awesome book and had the stellar cast of Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillion, Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez and others. It was the break-out movie for a lot of them. Well, the kids and I are going to Michigan (Shoprat's corner of the world) to see my parents for the next week and a half. I'm not sure how much time I'll have to blog or visit but I'll try and I'll see everyone when I get back.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Why I Love Ronald Reagan--Part 1!!


Mike over at Mike's America celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Reagan's inauguration by posting about him this past week. He invited others to post about Reagan and linked to them as well. There is a bunch of really good stuff over there that I encourage you to take a look at. I had Reagan on my list of conservative profiles to do so I figured now was as good a time as any. But what an overwhelming task. How do you fit all you want to say about Ronald Reagan into one post? I decided I can't so this profile will have at least 2 parts.

Before I share all the things about Reagan that I love I want to share my personal odyssey of coming to know him. Unfortunately, I wasn't paying attention to politics during Reagan's presidency. I was 10 yrs. old when he became president and 18 when he left office. Oh how I wish I had been paying attention to all those important events that happened during that time.

So how did I come to learn of Reagan? .
After graduating from College it hit me that I should know something about current events and I started paying attention. As I listened to Rush he kept talking about what a great man Reagan was and I wanted to find out for myself. I was also really into Presidential biographies about all the presidents. So I read lots of books on the presidents and I watched documentaries. I also listened to Dinesh D'Souza's "Ronald Reagan" and Peter Robinson's "How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life" on tape.


But Peggy Noonan is the real reason I grew to have such a respect and admiration for Reagan. Her book "When Character Was King" did an awesome job of capturing the man who was Ronald Reagan. She enabled you to see his heart and who he really was. It gave me a love for Reagan and a great appreciation for Noonan as an author. It is one of the best books I have ever read. She was honest about his strengths and weaknesses. And even his weaknesses made him likable because it showed that he was human.


A brief factual biography:
Ronald Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois to a poor family. His father was an alcoholic but his mother was a woman of faith who passed her faith onto her son. He graduated from Eureka College in 1932 and then became a Radio Sports Announcer. His film career lasted from 1937 until about 1954 and by the time it was over he had acted in 50 films. He married Jane Wyman in 1940 and later they had a daughter Maureen and adopted their son Michael. In 1941 during World War II he spent 3 years in the army in the Motion Picture Army Unit. In 1947 he became President of the Screen Actors Guild. Also in 1947 they lost a baby who was born 4 months premature. In 1948 Reagan and Jane divorced. In 1952 he married Nancy Davis and they later had Patricia and Ronald. In 1954 he began to work on a GE TV program that lasted for 8 years. In 1962 he officially switched from the Democrat to the Republican party. And in 1966 he ran for Governor of California and won and was also re-elected. In 1976 he ran for the Republican nomination against Gerald Ford and just barely lost. In 1980 he won in a landslide against Jimmy Carter and again in 1984 against Walter Mondale. He was shot in 1981 by John Hinckly Jr. In 1994 he announced he had alzheimer's and on June 5, 2004 he died at the age of 93.


The Nation's 40th President was loved and hated. He inspired many but was controversial to others. When asked once what his place in history would be this is what he said: "What I'd really like to do is go down as the president who made Americans believe in themselves again." Reagan was hopeful and optimistic and he was exactly what America desperately needed in 1981. JFK had been assassinated and we had had four failed presidents after that. Combine this with watergate and the American people were starting to lose their faith in America. Reagan helped restore that. When Peter Robinson was asked how to sum Reagan up he simply stated "conviction and joy". How true that is. He stood up for his strong convictions in the face of fierce opposition and he did it all with optimism, humor and joy. Ronald Reagan himself said: "There's no question I am an idealist, which is another way of saying I am an American."

Tomorrow in part 2 I will share stories and quotes and examples of his heart, his convictions, his response to criticism, his belief in freedom, his faith and his optimism.

SOURCES:
Biography of Ronald Reagan
"When Character Was King" by Peggy Noonan
"How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life" by Peter Robinson

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

For Those Sarcastic Moments...



Toon Credit:
Calvin & Hobbes

VBS has been kicking my butt so no time for a heavy post. So I've been saving these sarcastic sayings for a fun post. A friend sent these to me via email. They are supposed to be work sayings but I think they apply to most of life :-).

And your crybaby whinny opinion would be...?

I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.

I pretend to work. They pretend to pay me. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.

Does your train of thought have a caboose?

Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.

A PBS mind in an MTV world.

Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.

Suburbia: where they tear out the trees & then name streets after them.

Well, this day was a total waste of makeup.

Not all men are annoying. Some are dead.

I'm trying to imagine you with a personality.

A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.

Stress is when you wake up screaming & you realize you haven't fallen asleep yet.

Can I trade this job for what's behind door number 1?

I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.

Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

Macho Law prohibits me from admitting I'm wrong.

Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?

Chaos, panic, & disorder -- my work here is done.

I plead contemporary insanity.

How do I set a laser printer to stun?

Meandering to a different drummer.

Let me know which one is your favorite :-)!!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Voting Has Begun


Some of us made it to the finals. Here are the different places to go to vote for various people.


To vote for Suzie from Assorted Babble in the Military blog category go here.


In the Chick and Mommy Blog category Kelli (I Read So You Don't Have To) and Angel (Woman Honor Thyself) made it so go here to vote for them.

In the random category go here to vote for Cajun Tiger. Go here to vote for Patrick and Blogs for Bauer.


And then here is where the difficulty comes in. Little Orange Fox (The Outlaw Republican) and I both made it to the finals for Political Blogs. I think you can only vote once a day so today you could vote for me and tomorrow for Little Orange Fox or vice versa :-). Go here to vote for me..

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Vacation Bible School & Israel


This week is Vacation Bible School (VBS) at our church. We are using LifeWay's Arctic Edge program. My friend and I will be teaching the 3rd & 4th graders. I love VBS and its actually a lot of fun but also a lot of work. I am always exhausted at the end of the week.

I think VBS's create great memories like summer camp and you learn about God at the same time. We are at a smaller church but this is one of the things we do well and we bring in a lot of kids from the neighborhood. We have a morning and a night program. Tomorrow I will be teaching about Elijah and the Courage to Know God.


Patrick, Suzie and others have joined "The Friends of Israel". And since World War III has broken out in the Middle East I was inspired to join as well. I am now a proud friend of Israel and if you can say that also I encourage you to join as well.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Who is Hezbollah?

Toon Credit: Glenn McCoy

"...the Hizbollah movement has occupied a central position as the "A-team" of terrorist organizations with a global reach for successive American administrations. Prior to 9/11, Hizballah was charged with being responsible for the greatest number of American casualties worldwide in terrorist attacks..."--From the book The Making of a Terrorist, Chp. 15--The Hizballah Training Camps of Lebanon by Magnus Ranstorp

Before 9/11 I didn't know much about Al-Qaeda and similarly before now I didn't know much about Hezbollah and Hamas. I decided to do some research and do some posts on the background of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, Iran and all the connections. I'm going to start with a post on Hezbollah. I had heard many people say that these groups are all linked to Iran and Syria and I found that to be oh, so true.


"The conflict with Israel is viewed as a central concern. This is not only limited to the IDF presence in Lebanon. Rather, the complete destruction of the State of Israel and the establishment of Islamic rule over Jerusalem is an expressed goal."--From the political platform of Hezbollah, first published in 1985

"As a political entity, Hezbollah is dedicated to the destruction of Israel."

ORIGINS

Hezbollah made its appearance in 1982. It became public in 1985. Aliases of Hezbollah are: Islamic Jihad, Organization of the Oppressed on Earth, Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine, Party of God, Revolutionary Justice Organization, The Islamic Resistance. It is a Lebanese Shia Islamic group that got its inspiration from the Iranian Revolution in 1979.


Their current leader is Hassan Nasrallah. The U.S. government estimates there are several thousand members.
Here are some of the basics from wikipedia:
"It was formed primarily to combat Israeli occupation following the 1982 Lebanon War. The United States and Israel say that Hezbollah has received financial and political assistance, as well as weapons and training, from Iran and Syria. Founded with the aid of Iran and funded by it, Hezbollah follows the distinct Shia Islamic ideology developed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Hezbollah is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States the United Kingdom and Canada."

TERRORIST ATTACKS

Since 1982 Hezbollah is believed to be responsible for nearly 200 terrorist attacks that have killed more than 800 people according to The Terrorism Knowledge Base.
Here is a listing of some of the attacks:
--The suicide bombing of the U.S. Embassy, which killed 63, including 17 U.S. citizens
--The 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut which killed 241 U.S. servicemen
--The bombing of the French multinational force headquarters which killed 58 French troops
--The bombing of the replacement U.S. Embassy in East Beirut on September 20, 1984, killing 20 Lebanese and two U.S. soldiers
--The 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 en route from Athens to Rome
--Attacks in Argentina in 1990 and 1994
--Israeli Embassy attack in Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 17, 1992
--The AMIA (AsociaciĆ³n Mutual Israelita Argentina) bombing, the building was the headquarters of Argentina's Jewish community, 85 people died (mostly Jews) and over 300 were wounded

They are also suspected of kidnapping and torturing 32 westerners from 1982-92.

CONNECTIONS TO IRAN AND SYRIA
"Hizballah was established by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who came to Lebanon during the 1982 "Peace for Galilee" war, as part of the policy of exporting the Islamic revolution. It receives substantial amounts of financial, training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid from Iran and Syria. Published reports that Iran provides hundreds million dollars of aid annually are probably exaggerated. Iran probably provides financial assistance and military assistance worth about $25-50 million.

Hizballah is closely allied with, and often directed by, Iran but has the capability and willingness to act independently. Closely allied with, and often directed by Iran, it may have conducted operations that were not approved by Tehran. Though Hizballah does not share the Syrian regime’s secular orientation, the group has been a strong ally in helping Syria advance its political objectives in the region."--GlobalSecurity.org

ATTEMPTS TO DISARM HEZBOLLAH

Hezbollah has defied numerous attempts that have been made to disarm them. In 1989
"the Taif Agreement that ended the Lebanese civil war, required the "disbanding of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias" and required the government to "deploy the Lebanese army in the border area adjacent to Israel."
Ofcourse this was never enforced and Hezbollah was allowed to continue. Then in 2004
"the UN Security Council adopted UN Security Council Resolution 1559, coauthored by France and the United States. Echoing the Taif Agreement, the resolution "calls upon all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon" and "for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias." Lebanon is currently in violation of Resolution 1559 over its refusal to disband the military wing of Hezbollah."


What I am incredulous about is how it has become the biggest joke that you can commit genocide, mass murder, terrorist attacks, commit human rights abuses and what will the UN do? They will draft a resolution!!! Will they ever enforce it? No!! Does everyone know this? Yes!! So evil people have nothing to fear and thus the UN is worthless. The UN and the rest of the world is still upset that the US actually had the gaul to do something about Iraq and give some teeth to the 17 resolutions that Iraq violated. Resolutions mean nothing unless you back them up with consequences. This is basic common sense 101. If you threaten a child with punishment but never punish him he knows he can get away with murder. And with Hezbollah that is literally true. Since no has called them to account for violating Resolution 1559 they have continued to attack and murder people.


And in another example of how appeasement never works it is reported that Hezbollah gained a lot of respect in the Arab and Islamic world when Isreal left Lebanon in 2000. The pullout did not bring peace but only emboldened Hezbollah to continue its aggression towards Israel.

Isreal is defending itself right now against Hezbollah's terrorism. It has been stated that Iran and Syria are getting nervous about losing their hold on the Middle East. As they see Iraq becoming a democracy they are getting scared that their time may be running out to grab control. I think this is all true. If the citizens of Iraq enjoy freedom and Iranian and Syrian citizens see this they too will want to taste freedom. Thus we must support and stand with Israel as they fight their branch of the war on terror. And when the time comes the U.S. will have to take our stand against Iran and Syria.

SOURCES:
Main source-Wikipedia-Hezbollah
The Hizballah Training Camps of Lebanon--Magnus Ranstorp
Hizbollah--GlobalSecurity.org
Hezbollah--Council on Foreign Relations
Hat Tip to Mike for being my Resource guy

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I'm Extremely Proud of My President


Bush Vetoes Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill
I'm so proud that Bush used his veto pen to veto this bill. I am very disappointed in many of the Republicans that supported this bill but so glad Bush had the backbone not to endorse it. Here are just some of the Republican senators who supported it: John McCain, Arlen Specter, Trent Lott, Bill Frist and Orrin Hatch. To see how all the senators voted go here. I am used to McCain and Specter and many of the other liberal Republicans jumping ship on issues of morality but very disappointed in Lott, Frist and Hatch.

There is no question this is an issue of protecting life in its earliest stages. The part I don't get is that we don't need to do this. Adult stem cells from cord blood has proven to provide a lot more results than embryonic stem cells and yet we insist on destroying life because we MIGHT find a cure for something. I also don't get how someone with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's would want babies to die on the possibility they might be cured. Here is what the President said today when vetoeing the bill:
"In this new era, our challenge is to harness the power of science to ease human suffering without sanctioning the practices that violate the dignity of human life," Bush said in the East Room of the White House after vetoing the measure.

Bush announced his veto surrounded by 18 families who "adopted" frozen embryos not used by other couples to have children, otherwise known as "snowflake babies."

"Each of these children was still adopted while still an embryo and has been blessed with a chance to grow, to grow up in a loving family. These boys and girls are not spare parts," Bush said after several interruptions of applause from supporters. "They remind us of what is lost when embryos are destroyed in the name of research. The remind us that we all begin our lives as a small collection of cells. And they remind us that in our zeal for new treatments and cures, America must never abandon our fundamental morals
."

Here are some more excerpts from the Fox News article:
With the Senate's passage of the legislation Tuesday, the bill was put on a virtual collision course with the president's desk. In August 2001, Bush permitted existing federal research to continue, but has fervently advocated against increased government funding. He and others argue that stem cells that come from human embryos — unlike stem cells derived from adults — can only be harvested through the loss of a human life.

"The president believes strongly that for the purpose of research, it's inappropriate for the federal government to finance something that many people consider murder. He's one of them," said White House spokesman Tony Snow.

Bush argued that the bill would have crossed a line and "once crossed, we would find it impossible to turn back."

At the same time, Bush announced he had signed another bill, passed unanimously in the House and Senate, that would pre-emptively ban "fetal farming," the prospect of raising and aborting fetuses for scientific research.

And with this vote I have yet another reason to add to the very long list of reasons on why McCain should never, ever get the Republican nomination for president!!

Blogs of Summer

Toon Credit: Calvin & Hobbes

I am doing a bunch of research for a Hezbollah post and then I spent last night in the hospital so I decided to post this fun stuff first and then post my Hezbollah one tomorrow. My husband had emergency surgery last night to get his appendix out. Two days ago when he told me he was in pain and was going to the Dr. yesterday I was concerned. My husband never goes to the Dr. and has a pretty high tolerance for pain so I knew it was a big deal. But the surgery went well and he should be able to come home sometime today.



I got an email about joining the Blogs of Summer and about the Blogs of Summer Awards. I talked him into adding political blogs as an additional category. Here are the details:

Welcome to the Blogs of Summer Awards!
Nominations accepted Wednesday, July 19 (I couldn't wait!) through Sunday, July 23.
Voting will occur July 24 - July 27 (at different blogs, watch for details).
Winners & awards will be announced back here on Friday, July 28th.

Nominate the Best of Summer Blogs
Each Category Will Be Posted Tomorrow!

UPDATE: We've added a 6th category - the Best Political Blogs of Summer.
So, the 6 categories accepting nominations are:

1) Chick & Mommy Blogs
2) Humor & Satire Blogs
3) Milblogs/Military Support Blogs
4) Random Blogs That Don't Fit a Category
5) Kitty Kat Blogs (And Other Assorted Pets)
6) Political Blogs (Back by Popular Request)


Use either Blogger or Haloscan comment popups for your nominations.
You can nominate up to 5 blogs in each category (including your own).
No vulgar, hate, or anti-God blogs accepted. No anonymous nominations.
The Top 10 Nominations will make it to the final round for the official vote.
(Ergo, you actually want lots of people to nominate you - so go solicit votes :-)
Will list the nominations in each category as soon as possible so you can visit them

I will nominate my blog and some others in the different categories. So I'm encouraging you guys to spread the word and ofcourse I am soliciting nominations and votes :-). Go here to nominate and vote.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

LMC's Smorgasboard


Okay, I found this awesome pic at Skye's. I was waiting for some really important post about the troops to post it. But alas I couldn't wait so it is posted here for mine and all the other chics' enjoyment and ofcourse to re-iterate how much we love the troops :-)!!

Blogging Friends:

I have a couple of mentions here. I started noticing some great comments made at Cajun Tiger's blog by someone named Ron. He really made my day when he came to my defense over a liberal troll who was whining about being banned from my blog. He started commenting here and thats when I started encouraging him to start his own blog. He has and its entitled Ron's World. I encourage all of you to check it out and pay him a visit!!

Another similar blogger has been a wise commenter forever and a partner at Gayle's blog. He's another one I harassed, I mean encouraged to start his own blog. Old Soldier has and he has given this saturday the 15th as his official date to start posting. Check him out!!

The next 2 bloggers seemed to have disappeared for awhile but now they're back. Matthew (Robosquirrel) is in Peru and his having trouble with blogger so his site is temporarily at livejournal. Go check him out and encourage him as he is far from his family and has the deployment blues. Exile was gone for so long I was concerned he was never coming back but he has. And he seems to be in full-force troll butt kicking mode :-).



I was really bummed that I missed getting to do a Happy 60th Birthday post for W!! I was gone at the Memorial Service that day and didn't have access to a computer.


So I decided I would still do a belated HAPPY 60TH BIRTHDAY PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH!! My mother will kill me (maybe this will get her to finally make a comment here) but she turned 60 this year too!! I was telling her how awesome that was because all these famous people are turning 60 this year including Bush, Clinton (she's real happy about that), Dolly Parton, Donald Trump, Diane Keaton, Suzanne Somers, Reggie Jackson, Cher, Jimmy Buffett, Laura Bush, Loni Anderson, Susan Lucci, Patty Duke, Sylvester Stallone, Timothy Dalton, Tommy Lee Jones and Pat Sajak. So it's a great year to turn 60. I hope the President had a wonderful birthday.

Monday, July 10, 2006

1,186 Miles Later...


I debated between 3 different titles for this post. The one I've given it and the other two were "Why I'm So Exhausted" or "Full Circle". As I talk about my week you'll be able to see why those would all be appropriate titles. I really wanted to go to Marikka's Memorial Service (refer to this post) but it would take some manuevering to do. My husband wouldn't be able to take any time off to watch the kids and bringing 4 kids on a 1,000 mile roundtrip roadtrip in 3 days for a memorial service didn't sound like fun to me. So fortunately I had 3 good friends that had children the same ages as my 3 older children and I found a place for each of them for 3 days. And I brought my youngest with me.


I traveled from Missouri to Illinois on wednesday, then from Illinois to Wisconsin on thursday for the memorial service and then from Wisconsin back to Missouri on friday. Most of my driving time was spent in Iowa and the scenery in Iowa is extremely boring!! I always pass this Iowa 80 truck stop which boasts that it is the world's largest truck stop. Iowa may be boring but hey, they have the world's largest truck stop--woo-hoo!! Anyway, even though I had to stop often to get a coke to help me stay awake the trip wasn't too bad. Matthew was a dream kid to travel with. I had one of those DVD players that plugs into the cigarette lighter and the only problem he caused was having to go the bathroom at inconvenient times.

Wednesday night I got to stay at Linda's Bed & Breakfast and we got to have some good talking time. Not enough but enough for me to look at embarrassing pictures of me from highschool that she threatened to post on her blog :-).

Thursday morning I got to have breakfast with my friend Kelli and another new friend, Clare. Clare had 4 kids and Kelli had 3 and I felt weird only having 1 kid for a change :-). Again not enough time to talk but fun nonetheless.

Thursday night was the memorial service. It was sad in that we were mourning the loss of a special woman but nice to see friends that we hadn't seen in a long time and nice to know that Marikka was now pain free in heaven. My parents sang a song that Marikka had requested. Since Marikka had been sick for awhile she had planned most of her service. It was nice to know that all that was done were things that she had wanted.

It was difficult but her husband read some really neat things about her life. She grew up in Germany and had a hard life. Her mother died when she was 8 and she ended up in an orphanage because her father couldn't care for her for awhile. When she was 12 her father remarried and she loved her new mother. Her husband met her while in the service stationed in Germany. She didn't become a U.S. citizen until 1980 but was extremely proud of this and was able to vote in the presidential election shortly thereafter. I found out from her daughter that she did indeed vote for Reagan and was very excited when he won. I thought that was pretty cool!!

The pastor gave a wonderful message. I have extremely high standards for pastors having had some good ones that I measure everyone else by and also having gone to Moody and knowing what it takes to be a good pastor. I've visited a lot of churches and I've seen my share of bad pastors so I know the good ones are few and far between. The new pastor at Northside is awesome, and I don't say that lightly. His message was deep, good and personal. He exuded confidence but not arrogance. He had taken the time to find out a lot about Marikka and it showed and didn't come across as fake, he really cared. I was also honored when he quoted from my post about her in his message. And he stayed at the memorial service until the few of us left after midnight. His wife was honest and real and kind and it did my heart good to see such a wonderful couple at the helm of a church that was and is special to me.

During the fellowship time afterwards I was talking to Kelli and Sue (2 of my friends who had been the ones I would spend time with when our parents were talking for hours after church). One of our parents brought up that there was a grandchild from each family (our kids) playing together in the room. It was kind of a special moment to see our lives come full circle and to be back in that special church with our kids playing together. Kelli's daughter is just days older than Matthew and it was neat to see them get along so well.

That night my parents and I headed to the motel and Matthew had a pillow fight with my dad at 12:30. My parents and I talked for awhile but again not long enough. The next morning we said good-bye and Matthew and I headed back to Missouri.

To explain why I'm really exhausted I had another event that night and the next day. Weeks earlier my friends and I had planned an overnight event for the 3 of us and our pre-teen daughters to have a "Facts of Life" discussion. So I got back in town that evening in enough time to drop Matthew off at home, grab my swimsuit, talk to my husband and head to the overnight with my oldest daughter and friends. The other thing about this weekend was that I was leading the discussions. Ha!!!

But this is where the "Full Circle" thing really comes into play. I didn't have as much time to plan for this as I would like but Life had prepared me for it. My Pastor's wife, Linda who I have talked about many times had led my junior high and highschool sunday school class of all girls. She had talked to us about moral standards and had given us each these special journals. I dug that journal out and it helped me as I led my daughter and her friends in the discussions. The time went very well and I give God all the credit.

This week in many ways was a trip down memory lane as I dug up old letters and journals. God had used Marikka and Linda and my pastor to minister to me many years ago and now God was enabling me to pass these things onto others and minister to them. It was all coming full circle. And it was pretty neat to see!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day!!!



"Our fathers were men -- they were heroes and patriots -- they fought -- they conquered -- and they bequeathed to us a rich inheritance of liberty and empire
which we have no right to surrender."-- Noah Webster


I snagged these pics from a Canadian of all people :-). Thanks, Abfreedom!! I am one of those people that the MSM would probably consider an "extreme" patriot. I still get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes when I sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Bless the USA". So the 4th of July is a meaningful holiday for me.

Dave Barton has an organization called Wallbuilders. When I first found out about his stuff it was love at first sight. This man is a huge American history buff, specializing in the founding fathers and their Christian heritage. He has dug up original documents and writings of the founders and writes about what they believed and espoused. He dispels a lot of the myths about the supposed separation of church and state and many other things the liberals have indoctrinated our current generation into believing about history and the constitution. If you have never checked out his stuff, today would be a great time to do that. Go here and I also have his site in my sidebar.


So because of Dave Barton's love for our founding fathers I knew he would be the perfect place to go to for materials for a 4th of July post. I found this great 4th of July article written by him and I'm going to post a good chunk of it here. Before I do that I'm going to highlight the last paragraph at the top because its so important. Here it is:
"Preserving American liberty depends first upon our understanding the foundations on which this great country was built and then preserving the principles on which it was founded. Let's not let the purpose for which we were established be forgotten. The Founding Fathers have passed us a torch; let's not let it go out."

4th of July Article

by David Barton

"This year marks 230 years since our Founding Fathers gave us our National Birth Certificate. We continue to be the longest on-going Constitutional Republic in the history of the world. Blessings such as these are not by chance or accidental. They are blessings of God.

On July 2, 1776, Congress voted to approve a complete separation from Great Britain. Two days afterwards – July 4th – the early draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed, albeit by only two individuals at that time: John Hancock, President of Congress, and Charles Thompson, Secretary of Congress. Four days later, on July 8, members of Congress took that document and read it aloud from the steps of Independence Hall, proclaiming it to the city of Philadelphia, after which the Liberty Bell was rung. The inscription around the top of that bell, Leviticus 25:10, was most appropriate for the occasion: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.”

To see the turmoil in other nations, their struggles and multiple revolutions, and yet to see the stability and blessings that we have here in America, we may ask how has this been achieved? What was the basis of American Independence? John Adams said “The general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.” Perhaps the clearest identification of the spirit of the American Revolution was given by John Adams in a letter to Abigail the day after Congress approved the Declaration. He wrote her two letters on that day; the first was short and concise, jubilant that the Declaration had been approved. The second was much longer and more pensive, giving serious consideration to what had been done that day. Adams cautiously noted: “This day will be the most memorable epic in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.”

It is amazing that on the very day they approved the Declaration, Adams was already foreseeing that their actions would be celebrated by future generations. Adams contemplated whether it would be proper to hold such celebrations, but then concluded that the day should be commemorated – but in a particular manner and with a specific spirit. As he told Abigail: “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

John Adams believed that the Fourth of July should become a religious holiday – a day when we remembered God's hand in deliverance and a day of religious activities when we committed ourselves to Him in “solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.” Such was the spirit of the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of those who led it, evidenced even further in the words of John Quincy Adams, one who was deeply involved in the activities of the Revolution.

In 1837, when he was 69 years old, he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Newburyport, Massachusetts. He began that address with a question: “Why is it, friends and fellow citizens, that you are here assembled? Why is it that entering on the 62nd year of our national existence you have honored [me] with an invitation to address you. . . ?”

The answer was easy: they had asked him to address them because he was old enough to remember what went on; they wanted an eye-witness to tell them of it! He next asked them: “Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?”

An interesting question: why is it that in America the Fourth of July and Christmas were our two top holidays? Note his answer: “Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?”

According to John Quincy Adams, Christmas and the Fourth of July were intrinsically connected. On the Fourth of July, the Founders simply took the precepts of Christ which came into the world through His birth (Christmas) and incorporated those principles into civil government.

Have you ever considered what it meant for those 56 men – an eclectic group of ministers, business men, teachers, university professors, sailors, captains, farmers – to sign the Declaration of Independence? This was a contract that began with the reasons for the separation from Great Britain and closed in the final paragraph stating “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

Dr. Benjamin Rush, the father of American Medicine and a signer, recorded that day in his diary. In 1781, he wrote to John Adams “Do you recollect the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the House when we were called up, one after another, to the table of the President of Congress to subscribe to what was believed by many at that time to be our death warrants? The silence and gloom of the morning was interrupted, I well recollect, only for a moment by Colonel Harrison of Virginia (a big guy) who said to Mr. Gerry (small in stature) at the table: 'I shall have a great advantage over you, Mr. Gerry, when we are all hung for what we are now doing... From the size and weight of my body I shall die in a few minutes, but from the lightness of your body you will dance in the air an hour or two before you are dead.' This speech procured a transient smile, but it was soon succeeded by the solemnity with which the whole business was conducted.”

These men took this pledge seriously. Robert Morris of Pennsylvania is an example of the highest level of integrity. He was chosen as the financier of the American Revolution. What an honor, except that there was no bank willing to give any loans to help fund the revolution. It was three years and the Battle of Saratoga before America got any kind of funding at all. After winning that battle, foreign nations like France, Holland, and others decided maybe we weren't such a bad risk and began loaning us money. So where did we get money for the first three years? Congress, at that time, could not have obtained a loan of one thousand dollars, yet Robert Morris effected loans upon his own credit, of tens of thousands. In 1781, George Washington conceived the expedition against Cornwallis, at Yorktown. He asked Judge Peters of Pennsylvania, “What can you do for me?” “With money, everything, without it, nothing,” he replied, at the same time turning with anxious look toward Mr. Morris. “Let me know the sum you desire,” said Mr. Morris; and before noon Washington's plan and estimates were complete. Robert Morris promised him the amount, and he raised it upon his own responsibility. It has been justly remarked, that: “If it were not demonstrable by official records, posterity would hardly be made to believe that the campaign of 1781, which resulted in the capture of Cornwallis, and virtually closed the Revolutionary War, was sustained wholly on the credit of an individual merchant.” America couldn't repay him because there was no money and yet Robert Morris never complained because he had given his word.

You see the same thing in the life of John Hart. He was a strong Christian gentleman and Speaker of the House of Representatives in New Jersey. He promised to help provide them with guidance and leadership. There were three things that were important in his life; his Savior, his family and his farm. Because of his signature on the Declaration, the British were seeking him (and the rest of the signers) to execute as traitors. John Hart fled his home after which his farm was ravaged, his timber destroyed, his cattle and stock butchered for the use of the British army. He did not dare to remain two nights in the same location. After Washington's success at the battle of Trenton, he finally returned home to find that his wife had died and his children scattered. He lost almost everything that was important to him but kept his word.

John Hancock, a very wealthy individual lived in a mansion reflecting his princely fortune – one of the largest in the Province of Massachusetts. During the time the American army besieged Boston to rid it of the British, the American officers proposed the entire destruction of the city. “By the execution of such a plan, the whole fortune of Mr. Hancock would have been sacrificed. Yet he readily acceded to the measure, declaring his willingness to surrender his all, whenever the liberties of his country should require it.” A man of his word, he demonstrated his integrity.

The 16 Congressional proclamations for prayer and fasting throughout the Revolution were not bland (i.e., the acknowledgment of Jesus Christ, the quoting of Romans 14:17, etc.); however, this is not unusual considering the prominent role that many ministers played in the Revolution."
To read the rest of the article go here.

Other Great 4th of July Posts:

Patrick has a great post about John & Abigail Adams.

Wordsmith has an excellent history post entitled: What Happened After We Gained Our Independence?

Skye has a post with a wonderful video and an awesome pic for the chics :-) that I have snagged to use in a future post :-).

I will be out of town the rest of the week. I hope everyone enjoyed their 4th!! See ya when I get back!!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Some Chuckles & My Letter


This cracked me up although my kids do both. They read a lot and watch TV. My 3 older kids can now read on their own and I was amazed at how quickly they made it through their 5 Summer library program lists. My oldest daughter read to my son that can't read a lot yet so all 4 of them breezed through. Its amazing how quickly they can finish when they aren't waiting on me to read to them. I was going to simplify my life and only do 1 library reading program this summer but since they finished the one so quickly we are doing another library program too.

I just went and grabbed the paper and the KC Star printed my letter to the editor. If you click on that link it will take you there. My letter is the 3rd one down with the title "Weapons Found".

I need to get a 4th of July post up but until I have time I thought I'd put some fun stuff up. I've read the following before (maybe at Gayle's Friday Evening Post) but its good for a chuckle so enjoy :-):
The Pope Visits Alaska

The Pope took a couple of days off to visit the mountains of Alaska for some sight-seeing. He was cruising along the campground in the Pope mobile when there was a frantic commotion just at the edge of the woods. A helpless Democrat, wearing sandals, shorts, a "Save the Whales" hat, and a "To Hell with Bush" T-shirt, was screaming while struggling frantically, thrashing around trying to free himself from the grasp of a 10 foot grizzly.

As the Pope watched horrified, a group of Republican loggers came racing up. One quickly fired a 44 magnum into the bear's chest... The other two reached up and pulled the bleeding, semiconscious Democrat from the bear's grasp. Then using long clubs, the three loggers finished off the bear and two of them threw it onto the bed of their truck while the other tenderly placed the injured Democrat in the back seat.

As they prepared to leave, the Pope summoned them to come over. "I give you my blessing for your brave actions!" he told them. "I heard there was a bitter hatred between Republican loggers and Democratic Environmental activists but now I've seen with my own eyes that this is not true."

As the Pope drove off, one of the loggers asked his buddies "Who was that guy?"

"It was the Pope," another replied. "He's in direct contact with heaven and has access to all wisdom."

"Well," the logger said, "he may have access to all wisdom but he sure doesn't know anything about bear hunting! By the way, is the bait holding up, or do we need to go back to Massachusetts and snatch another one?"

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Remembering a Special Woman


The world lost a wonderful woman this week but Heaven gained one.

Last November some of you may remember that I lost my beloved Pastor and wrote 2 posts about it--One Life Can Make a Huge Difference and A Legacy. I came to the church he pastored at the time Northside Calvary Memorial Church when I was 13 yrs. old. Thats when I met my Pastor and his wife and many other special people. My family and I got very involved in this small church and in many ways it became my extended family. In fact most of my extended family lived far away and we even spent many holidays with people from our church.

There were several couples that my parents were friends with that all had kids similar ages. Many, many sundays my parents would stay after church for an hour or more talking and doing things around the church and so us kids bonded and/or found things to do or trouble to get into :-). Marikka and Bill were one of those couples. We would spend Fourth of July at their house and if we weren't out of town they would spend Thanksgiving with us.

My memories of Marikka are of a very kind, gracious and honest woman who had a great sense of humor. She was one of my mom's closest friends and very special to me. Probably the most meaningful memory of her that I have to share is how she reached out to me during one of the hardest times of my life. When I was 17 a very close friend of mine committed suicide. It was extremely painful and very traumatic for me. When you lose a loved one people don't know what to do or say and so sometimes they understandably don't do or say anything. You walk around with this gaping emotional wound and feel that so many don't understand.

But Marikka reached out and shared a personal story with me. It meant so much that she understood and cared and wrote a special letter to me. In fact I still have the wonderful letter that she wrote to me 18 yrs. ago. I dug it out and tears just streamed down my face as I read it. Please indulge me as I share some of what she wrote:
"Please, Dionne, don't let this crush you and destroy your joy in the Lord! Make it a reason to even more share with anyone you meet the gospel of our Lord and the new life we can have in HIm when we accept Him as Lord of our life! Make this a stepping stone for greater service for Him because one never knows how much someone we meet will need Him in their lives! There are many terribly hurting people around us like your friend; good at hiding their desperation and anguish! Rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit to show you the needs of people around you and to share with them about the Lord. You will experience much heartbreak yet also much joy as you grow and mature in the Lord. Through our darkest days we learn to trust Him more and more for everything and He is always faithful. In time He will turn your sorrow into joy again and by His power make you even more sensitive to the needs of people all around you. He truly is "A shelter in a time of storms"! Bring all your sorrow, confusion, pain before Him in prayer, trusting Him to ease the pain and He answers prayers!!! Matthew 11:28--Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."

As I reflect on that letter 18 years later I see everything she said in this letter came true. God used that tragedy in my life to enable me to empathize with others. And He was and is my shelter in time of storms and even though I couldn't imagine it at the time He did indeed turn my sorrow into joy.

Marikka will be greatly missed by all those that loved her but she is now in Heaven where she is free from pain and rejoicing with our Dear Lord and talking to my Pastor.

Linda's Post on Marikka