WHAT???? I mean... seriously. WHAT???? How - how - HOW do people do this kind of thing? How could people STEP OVER this man and consider the THINGS they were going to purchase more important than what injuries he might have??? I know - it was probably all over the news yesterday but I skipped the news yesterday - I figured it was going to be a "dooms day" report with the media telling us not enough people were out yesterday and didn't spend enough money so... I skipped it. This morning I learn about this and I just started to weep. Weep. HOW????? WHAT is wrong with us, people? How do we miss the.... oh ugh - when did we stop SEEING each other?????
Please... please pray. Pray for this man, his family, his co-workers and most of all pray for those who stepped over him, for those who did NOTHING to help this man.
Have a blessed day!
My top ten list for Fall 2008:
1. New table and hutch for the dining room. Buying furniture right now, when times are so tough, was an incredibly difficult decision to make. A few things motivated us, though, to step out and make the investment. One, our former dining room table & hutch had been purchased in 1985. I bought it with my first husband, a gift from my former in-laws. It has seen a lot of meals served, parties enjoyed and simply life and it will be missed. It served me well for an incredibly long time. However - the hutch, when we assembled it in this house, was leaning a bit and it was starting to look a bit precarious, the table legs weren't actually secure and I was waiting for the table to collapse on us at dinner one night and honestly? My husband hated the set. He tolerated it because he thought I loved it. I didn't say anything because of the money issue. *sigh* Such communication...
2. Watching my two sons & oldest son's girlfriend carve pumpkins and spend a "fall day" together. Pumpkin patches and carving have been a bit of a "thing of the past" for me since I no longer decorate for Halloween but we did do that this year. I love any moment I get with both of my sons together, my oldest is an awesome big brother and the little one definitely adores the older. Every time I talk to them, see them or even just think about them I thank God for the amazing, awesome blessings He gave me with them. I am so proud of who they are and who they continue to grow into being.
4. Fall colors. I don't know if this is an exception to the rule type of year but I do not recall ever seeing so many trees with so much vibrant color hang on for so long out here. I'm from the east coast so fall leaves, changing colors, etc. are something I've seen a time or two. When I moved to Washington, though, one of the things I have always remarked upon and been amazed about is just how fast the leaves completely fall off of the trees out here. If you see a tree and blink, you have missed it turning and it was most often red. Not this year, though. Reds, oranges, yellows, golds...such rich, incredible color in the leaves and they stuck around. Weeks upon weeks of color. Everywhere. I took what feels like a bazillion pictures because I don't know if this will ever happen again in my lifetime and I wanted the memory to last.
5. Two trips to Oregon! Usually I consider myself fortunate if I make it to Memorial Day weekend and then Thanksgiving. This year, though, I managed to make it down there twice between the two holidays. What a fun trip it is, too. I love watching my young one play with his cousins and often their friends. They run, laugh, yell, pull wagons, build birdhouses, play Monopoly... all of those things kids are supposed to do together and then they have their "sleepover" and start all over again. If only I could go down there once a month! It's such an easy get-away and I absolutely love spending time with my brother and his family.
6. Mission devotions. I know - they aren't just the fall but the fall brought about the necessary change. It was a great partnership, too, with the women and it was nice to work with them in the right way to bring about that change. We'll see how it pans out from here - I've gone from doing them every Sunday in the morning to twice a month in the evening. The women aren't super-thrilled with my new schedule, I'm not there enough they say but we're committed to one another so we've put it in God's hands and we'll see what He chooses to do. That is a highlight, though - those women have made me feel so loved, so wanted, so cherished I almost cry at it. They are such beautiful hearts and I am truly blessed to have them in my life. Even the tough ones.
7. Surgery. It was not something I would have volunteered for but since the problem arose and the answer was there, it needed doing. Once it was done, all I can say is Thank You, Lord! It has been the BEST decision ever made.
9. The election. Yes, the election. It drives me crazy to watch all of the mud-slinging. I do truly wish that political advertising would be outlawed. No TV commercials. No radio spots. No computerized phone calls. You want to tell me why I should vote for you? Send it to me in a pamphlet. Tell me your strengths, your beliefs. Apply for the job - don't try to distract me by telling me why your opponent is bad for the job - tell me why YOU are good for it! Wait...I digress. I am still incredibly thrilled about the entire election process. I am absolutely humbled that God allows me to live in a place where I can speak what is on my mind, from big things to small things. We are so incredibly blessed in this country and we really have no idea. Being able to cast my vote reminds me of that in bullhorn-level sound.
10. My Christmas shopping is almost done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What could be better than that?
This is still the United States of America. The home of the free, the land of the brave. This country was not founded on forcing someone to believe what you believe or hating them because they don't. This country was founded on the idea that God created us equal and we are to live our lives as He directs us.
Because I believe Jesus Christ is the One, the only True Savior that is how I'm going to live my life and that is what I'm going to share with you, hopefully more by who I am than by my words but my words will not betray my Savior, either. I do, however, know that only God can change hearts and that it is not up to me to force anyone else to accept Christ as their Savior - that is between them and God. When I write about something that is faith based, I don't expect everyone to agree with me. What I also don't expect is to be talked to as if I am some sort of non-human because I believe what I believe.
These comments aren't limited to opinions of faith but those seem to be the ones that draw out those who might otherwise either not comment or comment more moderately. To me, that is a shame because the thing the Pilgrims were running from was religious persecution and what they went running to was a place they could practice their beliefs without fear.
The fear others express in their angry or hateful words also spits in the face of those fought so hard through the Revolutionary War. Their lives were upturned, families were lost and much blood was shed so we could have the freedoms we have. Men, while disagreeing with each other, spoke respectfully and argued respectfully. Even if they did not like one another there was honor in how they dealt with that. For those who toss their words around so callously and carelessly - where is their honor? Where is their shame? Freedom of speech doesn't include the freedom to insult, berate or degrade others when they exercise that same right.
Recently I read a blip in Discipleship Journal (I can't recall which month or which page or which section it was under) where it stated that Americans today are not interested in speaking to people who hold a different opinion from them. Whereas in days gone by, lively discussion and differing opinions were welcome and accepted, today people only want to hear from others who agree with them. They want their opinion validated - not questioned.
Where is the growth in that? Where is there honesty or true friendship in that? If I surround myself with "yes" people, how am I ever going to break a hurtful habit? How am I to learn if my facts aren't straight if I refuse to listen to anyone who may be more informed than I am?
That works both ways, of course. If I am to be told I am mistaken, there is a way to do it without insulting me or my intelligence. I may be wrong about something but that doesn't make me stupid. My opinion may not be completely thought out but that doesn't make me lazy or absurd. I only become those things when my reaction to constructive criticism is with hateful and angry words.
When we offer one another our thoughts and opinions, we also offer opportunity. An opportunity to see a perspective we may not otherwise see. If we offer it in anger, or with foul words and in a defensive manner, opportunity is lost on both sides. It is a true loss as well as God did not make us out to be quiet, intimidated creatures. He gave us our thought processes in order for us TO grow, TO learn, TO discuss. By attempting to quash that in someone because their thoughts differ is simply cowardice.
Jesus tells a young, wealthy man what he needs to do to inherit the kingdom of God. One of the things He tells this young man is to "...love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 19:19) and that is something we should all do but often fail to follow through. If I speak to someone as I would want to be spoken to, then the hateful and angry words are often kept in my mouth - not falling out of it.
In commenting on a blog, it is easy to post "anonymously" and say things when there is the protection of a computer. We are not face to face - how brave we can be. How free we can be with our words! How foolish and cowardly it makes us... We still have immense power to inflict pain and it's a cheap, easy shot to take. How is it so many of us fall right off the high road, trip and land in the mud and pretend to like it there? How is that loving your neighbor as yourself?
We will probably never stop the hurtful comments - there are those who consider themselves self-righteous enough to have to "educate" those who are "wrong" and there are those who just simply find saying mean things funny.
How many of us can relate to Paul: "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it." (Roman 7:18-20)
Hopefully those who make such comments realize their power in pain and apologize for causing it. If not, I hope they take a moment before making their next comment and choose to take a kinder, gentler approach. We live in a fallen world so it will not be perfect but perhaps it can get a bit better, one small choice at a time.
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Go on... go enter! The giveaway ends Sunday, November 16th at midnight and they'll be announcing the winner on Monday morning.
Best of luck!
No one sits as a ruler unless appointed by God. Daniel 2:20-22 reads "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him."
May you look to His light and invite him to dwell with you, Mr. President-elect.