Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Twist on T'was the Night...

T'was the Night...
-Margie Knight, submitted to a newspaper by Heidl Hayes

T'was the night before Jesus came
and all through the house,
Not a creature was praying, not one
in the house.
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf
without care,
In hopes that Jesus would not come
there.
The children were dressing to crawl
into bed.
Nor once ever kneeling or bowing a
head.
Mom in her rocker with the baby on
her lap,
Was watching the Late Show while
I took a nap.
When out of the east there arose
such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was
the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a
flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up
the sash.
When what to my wondering eyes
should appear,
But angels proclaiming that Jesus
was here.
With a light like the sun sending
forth a bright ray,
I knew in a moment this must be the
day.
The light of his face made me cover
my head.
It was Jesus returning, just as he
said.
And though I possessed worldly
wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw him in spite of
myself.
In the "Book of Life" which he held
in his hand,
Was written the name of every
saved man.
He spoke not a word as he searched
for my name,
When he said, "It's not here!" my
head hung in shame.
The people whose names had been
written with love,
He gathered to take to his father
above,
With those who were ready he rose
without sound,
When all the rest were left standing
around.
I fell to my knees, but it was too late!
I had waited too long, and thus sealed
my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of
sight.
Oh! If only we had been ready tonight.
In the words of this poem, the meaning
is clear,
The coming of Jesus is fast drawing
near,
There's only one life and when
comes the last call,
We'll find that the Bible was true
after all.

Revelation 1:7
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him,
and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth
shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Poems Found in Photo Album and Newspaper

"What You Are"
-Author Unknown

You tell what you are by the friends you seek
By the very manner in which you speak.
By the way you employ your leisure time.
By the use you make of dollar and dime.
You tell what you are by the things you wear.
By the spirit in which you your burdens bear.
By the kind of things at which you laugh.
By the records you play on the phonograph.
You tell what you are by the way you talk
By the manner in which you bear defeat.
By so simple a thing as how you eat.
By the books you choose from the well-filled shelf.
In these ways and more you tell on yourself.
So there's really no particle or sense-
In any effort of false pretense.

"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Apply
thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to
the words of knowledge."
-Proverbs 23: 2a, 12

Every friend is like a Snowflake
Unique in beauty and design.
Each sparkles in a different way-
some are playful, some refined.
But, unlike fragile snowflakes
that fade when the sun appears,
friends grow yet more beautiful
with every passing year!

Which are You? By Ella Wheeler Wilcox in Harper's Weekly

There are two kinds of people on earth today,
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

Not sinner and saint, for 'tis well understood
The good are half bad, and the bad are half good.

Not the rich nor the poor, for to count a man's wealth
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life's little span,
Who puts on airs is not counted a man.

Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears,

No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift, and the people who lean.

Wherever you go, you will find the world's masses
Are always divided in just these two classes.

And oddly enough, you will find, too I wean,
There is only one lifter to twenty who lean.

In which class are you? Are you easing the load
Of overtaxed lifters who toll down the road?

Or are you a leaner, who lets other bear
Your portion of labor and worry and care?

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Poem Found While De-Cluttering the House

And God Said, "No"
by Claudia Minden Weisz

I asked God
to take away my pride,

And God said, "No."

He said it was not for Him to
take away, but for me to give up.

I asked God
to make my handicapped
child whole,

And God said, "No."

He said her spirit is whole,
her body is only temporary.

I asked God
to grant me patience,

And God said, "No."

He said that patience is a
byproduct of tribulation,
it isn't granted, it's earned.

I asked God
to give me happiness,

And God said, "No."

He said He gives blessings,
Happiness is up to me.

I asked God
to spare me pain,

And God said, "No."

He said, "Suffering draws you
apart from worldly cares
and brings you closer to Me."

I asked God
to make my spirit grow,

And God said, "No."

He said I must grow
on my own, but He will prune me
to make me fruitful.

I asked God
if He loved me,

And God said, "Yes."

He gave me His only Son
who died for me,
and I will be in heaven someday
because I believe.

I asked God
to help me love others,
as much as He loves me,

And God said, "Ah, finally, you have the idea."

Monday, October 14, 2013

October-Domestic Violence Awareness

Because October is the month set aside to be reminded of the reality of domestic violence I wanted to copy a poem of Marilyn Nelson's here that I think is relevant to anyone who has suffered any kind of violence by the hands of family or close friends. Although the poem is from the perspective of a deceased slave, I think the themes he expresses in his treatment on earth can be the anthem of anyone whose body was used and abused.

Not My Bones by Marilyn Nelson

I was not this body,
I was not these bones.
This skeleton was just my
temporary home.
Elementary molecules converged for a breath,
then danced on beyond my individual death.
And I am not my body,
I am not my body.

We are brief incarnations,
we are clouds in clothes.
We are water respirators,
we are how earth knows.
I bore light passed on from an original flame;
while it was in my hands it was called by my name.
But I am not my body,
I am not my body.

You can own a man's body,
but you can't own his mind.
That's like making a bridle
to ride on the wind.
I will tell you one thing, and I'll tell you true:
Life's the best thing that can happen to you.
But you are not your body,
you are not your body.

You can own someone's body,
but the soul runs free.
It roams the night sky's
mute geometry.
You can murder hope, you can pound faith flat,
but like weeds and wildflowers, they grow right back.
For you are not your body,
you are not your body.

You are not your body,
you are not your bones.
What's essential about you
is what can't be owned.
What's essential in you is your longing to raise
your itty-bitty voice in the cosmic praise.
For you are not your body,
you are not your body.

Well, I woke up this morning just so glad to be free,
glad to be free, glad to be free.
I woke up this morning in restful peace.
For I am not my body,
I am not my bones.
I am not my body,
glory hallelujah, not my bones,
I am not my bones.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Heartfelt Moment


I have special eyes, or at least medically important eyes. Every year a charity medical service called Angel Flight takes my mother and I to the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C. The geneticist of these hospitals takes pictures of my eyes and prescribes an experimental medical treatment called cysteamine eye drops.

     I use these eye drops because I have crystals growing on the cornea of my eyes. This is what makes my eyes so special that doctors in America’s capital city want pictures of them.

     My body has a disease called cystinosis. Instead of processing protein, my cells hoard the protein which causes crystal growth on major body organs. So far only my kidneys, eyes and muscles have been affected.

     When my mother and I go on these medical vacations, we stay at a place called The Children’s Inn. The Children’s Inn is similar to Ronald McDonald House Charities. It is a place for patients and their families to spend the days and nights needed while going to important doctor visits at the nearby National Institutes of Health.

     There are playrooms filled with toys for kids, a teen room complete with ping pong table and shelves of books, and movies to borrow. On the main floor there is a piano. On either side of the main floor are two staircases leading to the second floor where kitchens, dining rooms and bedrooms are located.

     On our first visit to the Children’s Inn, I walked over to the piano and gently caressed the black and white keys. I decided to sit on the hard, black bench and play a melody my youth group sang. My heart was filled with the nervousness that comes from seeing a new doctor and I blocked out the fear as I sang the words of the spiritual song “As the Deer” in my head: As the deer panteth for water so my soul longeth after Thee, You alone are my hearts desire and I long to worship You. You alone are my strength my shield, to You alone may my Spirit yield, You alone are my hearts desire and I long to worship Thee.

     The song ended and I jumped at the sound of applause. I looked around and seeing no one, turned my head upward. Moms and dads and children were looking down at me from the circular banister. In my effort to bring comfort to myself, I had brought joy to other families facing medical decisions. I had never felt so close to God as I continued playing piano that afternoon, this time the popular love theme “My Heart Will Go On” from the movie Titanic.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Poetry Discovered This Summer

Here are a few poems I have read this summer that I thoroughly enjoyed:

The Song of Wandering Aengus
by William Butler Yeats

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

Crazy Jane On The Day of Judgment
by William Butler Yeats

'Love is all
Unsatisfied
That cannot take the whole
Body and soul';
And that is what Jane said.

'Take the sour
If you take me,
I can scoff and lour
And scold for an hour'.
'That's certainly the case,' said he.

'Naked I lay,
The grass my bed;
Naked and hidden away,
That black day';
And that is what Jane said.

'What can be shown?
What true love be?
All could be known or shown
If Time were but gone,'
That's certainly the case,' said he.

Three sonnets from Sonnets to Orpheus
by Rainer Maria Rilke

Mirrors, no one yet has really described
what you are in your true nature.
You, as if filled with nothing but the holes
of a sieve, the intervals of time.

You, spendthrift, still giving yourself away to the empty
       ballroom--
when the dark dawn comes, as wide as forests,
and the chandelier goes, like a sixteen-point stag
through your impossible gateway.

Sometimes you are full of paintings.
A few seem to have entered you--
while others you sent shyly past.

But the loveliest girl will remain until,
there to her withheld cheeks,
Narcissus, clear and set free, shall force his way.
                      


Full, ripe apple, pear and banana,
gooseberry...all these speak
death and life in the mouth...I perceive...
Read it from a child's face

who tastes them. This comes from far away.
Is something slowly becoming nameless in your mouth?
Where once were words, discoveries flow,
startled and set free from the flesh of fruit.

Dare to say what you call Apple.
This sweetness, which first condenses,
is quietly put down into taste,

so as to become clear, thin and transparent.
ambiguous, sunny, earthy, familiar--:
oh, experience, feeling, joy--enormous!



Spring has come again. The earth
is like a child who has learned poems by heart,
many, oh many...by working long
and hard at her lessons, she has won the prize.

Her teacher was strict. We liked the white
in the beard of the old man.
Now, if we ask her to name the blues,
the greens: she can, she can!

Lucky, vacationing earth, play
now with the children. We try to catch you,
happy earth. The happiest will do it.

Oh, what her teacher has taught her--so much!
and everything that's printed in roots, and long,
difficult stems: she sings it, she sings!

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Christmas Memory for July


A Very Special Christmas

     Fourteen years ago, my family and I had the unique privilege of spending Christmas inside the Children’s Hospital of Minnesota. I had been diagnosed with a critical cancer called B-Cell Lymphoma and was given only three months to three years to live. Christmas during this time was special to me because it was the first time I remember having my eldest brother (then ten years old) tell me “I love you”.

     The hospital let my family stay at the Ronald McDonald Children’s House. The “RMCD House”, as it was called, provides a place for families to stay who have a loved one going through extensive treatment. On Christmas day, the RMCD House left a huge red sack full of Christmas presents for my brothers. Not only was that sack there but another sack was left for my family anonymously. Inside we found a play station and a CD player. The gifts were awesome reminders that people were thinking about our family on Christmas. What meant more to me that season, however, was hearing my brother Evan tell me he loved me.

     Many dear people came to see me and many people I did not know wrote letters and prayed for me. Whenever I think about my time with cancer, I am overwhelmed how good God really is, The kindness, hope, strength, and love I saw in people showed me Jesus was with me and He was holding my hand. The wonder of Christ’s birthday is how much Jesus loves me and the wonder of my twelfth Christmas was hearing and knowing my brother’s love for me.
 
 
 
Cancer Equals Love
I was lying in a hospital bed
dying from a lump with the name B Cell Lymphoma
when my mother, father and brother
came into the room to hold my hand.
The silence in the room was killing
us all softly when my dad and mom
whispered, "I love you".
I looked at my brother who couldn't seem
to speak.
The cancer had reached inside him and began
to hurt him too.
My dad nudged my brother to tell your sister
I love you
and I heard him. I heard him say
"I love you".
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, July 12, 2013

My Anchor Holds


     Trust. Noun: Which means it is a person, place, thing or idea. Trust is an idea I practiced early in life or rather is a thing I believed I had and could place it on someone or something else. Examples: I knew mom and dad took care of me and loved me. I knew I had a brother whose name was Evan who I could argue and play with. How it feels to me: To be able to have this knowledge of people caring for me and loving me felt light as air. Like I could fall from the tallest precipice or highest plane and still feel surrounded by strong arms and a safety net.

            Origins: I was sitting in junior church with twenty or so other children. The teacher was Mrs. Mary Owen and she sat next to a flannel graph board in front of the class. What is a flannel graph board? It is a board covered with felt that sits on a wooden stand. A teacher provides cut outs of people, animals, trees, buildings or anything to tell the story they want to tell. These cut outs have felt pieces on the back that stick to the flannel graph so the children can see the story being told.

            The story she was telling was about heaven and its streets of gold and gorgeous mansions. She told us we could live there someday after we die. What was my five year old mind thinking? I wanted to go there after I died! I didn’t know much about death but I did know I was afraid when people talked about it and if I could be sure heaven awaited me I wouldn’t be scared anymore.

            Trust. Definition: To be confident of something present or future; consolation; to comfort, that is, to strengthen; care and management. I raised my hand and Mrs. Owen talked to me about Jesus and how He was who I should place my confidence in to take me to heaven when I died. I could depend on Him to forgive me of my sin and rely on His forgiveness to let me into heaven’s gates when I died.

            I prayed. I prayed to Jesus so I could go to His heaven on the day I died. How it feels to me: Like fireworks were bursting inside my chest. I felt like I was full of life. I remember singing when my family returned home from church.

            Doubt. Verb. Which means it simply exists or it does an action to a person, place, thing or idea. Doubt began working on my trust. Examples: I was worried mom wouldn’t always be home. She might leave me someday. I was worried I would not go to heaven when I died. How it feels to me: Doubting feels like someone injected poison into your bloodstream and your whole body becomes frozen in place. I felt exposed and open to anything that hurt.

            Origins: I remember falling asleep thinking how badly I fought with my brother that day or how much I didn’t listen to what my mother was saying and how terrible I was. For sure, if I died I would be in hell or I would wake up and mom would be gone.

            Doubt. Definition: To question, or hold questionable; to hesitate to believe; to fear; to suspect; to distrust; to withhold confidence from. I allowed injection after injection to fill me so full of fear each time I disliked my behavior. I took back my trust in my family and Jesus so many times. I would cry and hyperventilate like I really was falling from mountain precipices and higher plans with no parachutes or nets.

            I was sixteen years old when I asked my English teacher about doubt. He told me to look up versus in the Bible that talked about what I prayed as a five year old when I put my trust in Jesus. If I was confident in giving to Jesus my trust then I had no fear of hell after death. If this was true, I had no fear in losing my family because I would have confidence in Christ. How it feels to me: Like a bird soaring the wide sky. Like a cancer patient pronounced cancer free. I needed to trust, not doubt. Why would I want to fly back into a cage or why would I want to be back in the hospital hooked to tubes for blood transfusions? I placed my trust in Jesus, no turning back.

            Look into: Romans 3:10; 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-13

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ramblings wRitten from 2011

Found an old notebook dated 2011. Here's what was on my mind a few years ago:

One major truth about the Bible I learned in Bible college was that there was one interpretation of Scripture but many applications. For example....Levitcus was written to the Jews concerning the law they were to live since God was their King (theocracy). As a Christian in 2011, I can look at the laws the Jews followed and had to perform and praise Jesus that He came and removed the sacrificing of animals from becoming a major ritual in Christianity!


This truth of applying Scripture to my life eliminates many doctrinal errors. Such as...some religions look at the fact that Jacob had multiple wives and interpret the Bible to support this way of life. The Bible condemns this way of life in the New Testament (I Timothy 3:2) by admonishing men to be the husband of one wife. The culture of the Old Testament books is definitely different than American culture in the 21st century.


Pastor Keith Gomez often states that God's economy and God's laws never change, when culture changes and the world's economy changes- stand with the truths of God's Word.


God is the constant. Life has many variables.


John 9:1-3 "And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made mannifest in him."

 

 

 

Why is a narrow mind prevalent among Christians?


Pride. If we as Christians can prove we can live rigidly perfectly we have somehow proven we are better than the rest of society, thus we can avoid the hard cases and questions that turn our world upside down because we have isolated ourselves in a mile thick protection bubble.


If we as Christians accept broader views our faith will be questioned and we will come to conclusions we don’t like and have to admit we are wrong in some areas. People, even Christians, don’t like people or things they can’t understand, but isn’t this what pure faith is all about?


Why the avoidance of people of color, mixed race, divorced, or handicapped? We as Christians claim the Bible has all the answers and God talks about these issues, but why don’t you or I know any of the scripture passages? Even if the answers are not obvious, we can still base our lives on Jesus Christ because He is the truth. We say we walk by faith but we really walk by rules we have created because our finite minds need a reason for our rhyme.


Sometimes “pressing toward the mark” (Phil. 3:14) means deviating from man’s script for a godly life. God’s will is different for everybody, it’s never contrary to His Word, but it isn’t the same pathway as the next Christian you know. His Word should be each Christian’s instruction manual for clean living, not a robots manual for sameness. The infallible Bible was written to mankind to apply the principles to their lives not to rewrite their own dictations for a group to act out. The Bible does have one interpretation but so many applications. God meant exactly what He wrote and He expects today’s Christians to use the Holy Spirit to apply His truths to their lives. We are living with the Holy Spirit as Christians, are we not? When was the last time you felt the leading of the Holy Spirit of God on your life? Truth never changes but the application of the truth looks different in every life because circumstances, time and people change. God’s will is not rote. God’s will is not only ministerial career choices. If a person is a Christian, their “career” is glorifying God and living like they say they live!









 

 

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Chronicles of Comforting the Heart of a Child in a Broken Home


(The following Scriptures and thoughts came from Rebekah Palmer’s journal dated May 25, 2007)


II Chronicles 12: 1,7,14 “And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him.

And when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.

And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord.”


God loves truth. The truth is that I am a sinner who is in need of a Savior. God will not forsake me unless I forsake Him. He will return to me if I humbly ask. God loves me.

 

II Chronicles 13:10, 11

“ But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and the priests, which minister unto the Lord, are the sons of Aaron, and the Levites wait upon their business;

And they burn unto the Lord every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: the shewbread also set they in order upon the pure table; and the candlestick of gold with the lamps thereof, to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of the Lord our God; but ye have forsaken him.”


II Chronicles 15:2 “…the Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.”

II Chronicles 16:7, 8, 9, 12 “…Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the Lord thy God,

…yet, because thou didst rely on the Lord, he delivered them into thine hand.

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

…yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians.”

 

God does not show Himself strong in the behalf of those whose circumstances are perfect, but to those whose heart is perfect toward him.

 

II Chronicles 19:2 “And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord.”

 

Who am I in alliance with? Who is my acquaintance? Do not hide or seek comfort in helping the ungodly or those who hate the Lord.

 

II Chronicles 20:9, 15, 17 “If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.

…for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.”

 

If I stay close to God during troubled times, He will fight for me and I will have no need. This family battle is not my battle, but God’s battle.

 

II Chronicles 20: 35-37 “And after this did Jehosophat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly.

And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish: and they made the ships in Eziongaber.

Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehosophat, saying, Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the Lord hath broken thy works. And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish.

 

Do not make friends with the world to comfort myself from troubles!

 

II Chronicles 21:6, 12 “And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord.

And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus saith the Lord God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehosophat thy father…”

 

II Chronicles 22:3, 4, 9 “He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counselor to do wickedly.

Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the Lord like the house of Ahab: for they were his counselors, after the death of his father to his destruction.

And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, they buried him: because, said they, he is the son of Jehosophat, who sought the Lord with all his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom.”

 

My life (how I walk, whether good or bad) is my responsibility, not my family’s. Stay away from the evil brought home and turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the influence.

 

II Chronicles 24: 16-18, 22, 25 “And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward his house.

Now after the death of Jehoaida came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them.

And they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.

Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said, The Lord look upon it, and require it.

And when they were departed from him[Joash], (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings.”

 

My God and my Christianity or it will die with the ones who taught me just like Josiah let the faith die with Jehoiada.

 

II Chronicles 25: 2, 9, 14-15, 27-28 “And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart.

And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this.

Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them.

Wherefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent unto him a prophet, which said unto him, Why hast though sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand?

Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the Lord they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent to Lachish after him, and slew him there.

And they brought him upon horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.

 

Stay with God though come what may— He will give me much more, if not now, in his timing.

I cannot seek solitude or freedom away from God. If I will feel loved and healed during and through this time, I must have God.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Conservative View of Marxism, Cultural Studies and Race Studies

Below is my final paper I wrote for a critical theory class in college this Spring 2013. I read different essays by Marxists, Cultural Studies, and Race Studies and wrote my take I what I felt was important about their writings. Number 1 is my Marxist review, number 2 is my cultural studies review and number 3 is my race studies review. 


1

“The relentless unity of the culture industry bears witness to the emergent politics. Sharp distinctions like those between A and B films, or between short stories published in magazines  in different price segments, do not so much reflect real differences as assist in the classification, organization, and identification of consumers.” –Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno (1944, 1947)

     As Americans living in 2013 we pride ourselves in post feminism and post racism, we claim to be holders of equity and justice, but have we really embraced human dignity no matter gender or skin color or practiced more fair and just treatment of mankind since the 1940s?The ever hypnotizing culture industry, also known as the entertainment industry, continues to lure society into complacency and passivity, dictating how American people are to live far into the 21st century. Horkheimer and Adorno, in their essay The Culture Industry: Enlightenment As the Mass Deception rightly express the hollowness behind the moral, righteous façade of the current generation “Thus the omnipresent and impenetrable world of appearances is set up as the ideal”. (Horkheimer and Adorno 432)
     Behind the glitz and glamour, Americans are beastly consumers feasting off of every brand name, fashion style, lifestyle, and religion celebrity’s offer up on the silver screen. Alas, the endless line of product “variety” offers up a certain level of “sameness” that leaves the buyer with choices already defined for them.As Horkheimer and Adorno say, “The schematic nature of this procedure is evident in the fact that the mechanically differentiated products are all the same.” (Horkheimer and Adorno 418)  This consumption of culture, to have what everyone else has, shapes desire to consume more culture and refrain from criticizing culture in any large and meaningful way.       
     When have you not seen advertisements or athletes and movie stars telling you how to look, behave, think, and want while the economy provides only those clothes, styles, theories, and desires to keep the masses satisfied and hungry for things only entertainment can advertise? When no one stops to question what the industry and economy are controlled by or whom, the culture industry has manipulated and controlled a whole society and “the fight is waged against an enemy who has already been defeated, the thinking subject”. (Horkheimer and Adorno 433)
     From the 1940s to 2013, the area I feel most troubled by the culture industry is their success in romanticizing human suffering. People have been conditioned to feel only when there are props, laughter or sad melodramas, to cue them in on when it is appropriate to guffaw or sob. When I can walk out of a movie theater and hear how moving an actress has been and how terribly one now feels for such a person in her (the character’s) predicament but see that same person turn their nose up at helping people and community members in the same reality performance, I have to wonder if the only way American society expresses any humanity is through a Hollywood set or a Broadway soundtrack. The specific example I am referring to is Anne Hathaway’s recent performance as Fantine in Les Miserables. If you were not biting your tongue to keep from crying out and were not tasting blood during the protistution scene because the poignant song she sang could not have gone fast enough, do not express how great Anne Hathaway portrayed the role. Fantine is fictional. Women in prostitution are not and they live every day with what is done to them and their soul dies with every act committed against them. The difference between Hathaway and a real Fantine? They just don't have a song to sing through their life because all feeling has left them as a living corpse. I'm sure women with sexual assault or sexual trafficking in their lives aren't talking about how moving that scene was. Why would watching a man take advantage of a woman be a most memorable cinematic event? Because it was set to a great song and a Hollywood actress was portraying a prostitute? I'm not upset that you enjoyed the movie. I loved it. I'm not upset that Anne Hathaway did do a wonderful job as her character. I think she was casted well. I am upset because the people who gush over that scene have already forgotten it and are waiting for the next silver screen tragedy and have moved on to their lives of worrying about how much they were taken advantage of by Wal Mart for overpricing their favorite soft drink or whatever. Remember the Sandy Hook tragedy? The people involved there do; in fact, they had Christmas and New Years and now 2013 looms ahead of them in a very different way than last year. Real people experience what Fantine did every day, or are living with memories of experiences they want to forget. Every day is "I Dreamed a Dream" to them. Suffering is not ten minutes long, sometimes it is never gotten over. There is no Hollywood script for lifetime hardships because pain does not slot for two hours at a time.
2
“The girl’s sexuality is understood and experienced not in terms of a physical need or her own body, but in terms of the romantic attachment…her life has meaning through him.” – Angela McRobbie (1977, 1991)

     The British young girl’s magazine Jackie has a targeted audience of girls ages 10-14 and claims to cover all the topics such young people are most interested in reading and learning. McRobbie reveals what these topics are, “The consensual totality of feminine adolescence means that all girls want to know how to catch a boy, lose weight, look their best and be able to cook.” (McRobbie 525).
     In the case of these young boys that are so bent on being snared by a girl, McRobbie tells us “Boys in contemporary capitalist society are socialized to be interested in sex although this does not mean they do not want to find the “ideal” girl or wife.” (McRobbie 536) The magazine promotes a young boy’s desire for nothing more than a good wife and a young girl’s want for nothing more than a husband: who she has to constantly keep interested or another girl will take him away. If another girl does succeed in taking her boy away it is only because he can’t control himself and your best girlfriend is not to be trusted.
    This message that Jackie is sending to youth, fulfillment in a boy if you’re a girl and a girl if you’re a boy is something for society to pay attention to.  Impressionable young people, primarily females, are learning that their self-worth is based on a male’s response: a wayward boy is her fault and a more attractive girl just needs to be out manipulated. This trash teaches a girl crying is an option for getting your way and only the proposal, marriage and honeymoon are life events to look forward to. It is an outright lie that a boy will always fulfill a girl and vice versa.
     McRobbie points out an interesting fact about the magazine’s characters putting forth such poisonous venom, “They are all older and physically more mature than the intended reader. Each character conforms to a well-established and recognizable standard of beauty and handsomeness and they are all smart, fairly sophisticated young adults, rather than adolescents or teenagers.” (McRobbie 533).
     As a young adult looking back to the time I spent in my church youth group, a magazine like Jackie would have been strongly preached against. In fact, many glossy mass marketed magazines were labeled “bad” from those who spoke behind the pulpit. I recently have observed that during my time in youth group I was fed the same message of finding fulfillment in a boy,only in the name of God. Instead of talking about the tricks to dating, many youth outings would be focused on praying about a future husband or behaving in such a way that a godly young man would notice and marry you, putting you into the ministry of serving Jesus Christ.
     I went on to Bible college after high school and successfully completed the degree program to be a secondary Christian educator, perfectly capable of serving Jesus Christ. When I returned to visit my youth group I was stunned with the lack of congratulations among my Christian friends. Here I had spent five years and some of my health to finish school in hopes of becoming a Christian educator and I was seen as a complete failure to what matters most in a young adults life: I had no marriage and no boyfriend. I am thrilled that I finished higher education and am glad that I learned how to find my fulfillment in Christ alone, for humanity is so unpredictable.

3
“The choice of language and the use to which language is put is central to a people’s definition of themselves in relation to their natural and social environment, indeed in relation to the entire universe.” –Ngugi Wa Thiong’O (1986)

     Without language, we as human beings cannot relate to the world, we cannot have experiences. Ideas emerge within language; different ideas will form in different languages. Ngugi argues African literature needs to be written in African languages because language is an approximation of culture. One cannot talk about certain ideas in English that one could talk about in Gikuyu or Kiswahili.
      British/French/Dutch (colonialism) make sense of the world in one way, while African languages make sense in the world in another way. Perceiving Africans by dominant culture (English) is African American not African. Ngugi sees problems and limitations with writing African literature in European languages that are legacies of European colonization of Africa. He sees the individual colony British advancement and not the African country: the whole African experience has been ignored. “We African writers are bound by our calling to do for our languages what Spencer, Milton and Shakespeare did for English; what Pushkin and Tolstoy did for Russian; indeed what all writers in world history have done for their languages by meeting the challenge of creating a literature in them, which process later opens the languages for philosophy, science, technology and all the other areas of human creative endeavors.” (Thiong’O 664) To deny a culture literacy and a voice is to enslave and oppress the human souls of an entire people. We must allow humanity to express how they relate to this life they are living. We must learn from each other to make a moral community.
     Languages provide different experiences and if we lose different languages a little bit of the human experience will be lost. Ngugi puts it beautifully, “Those experiences are handed over to the next generation and become the inherited basis for their further actions on nature and on themselves. There is a gradual accumulation of values which in time become almost self-evident truths governing their conception of what is right and wrong, good and bad, beautiful and ugly, courageous and cowardly, generous and mean in their internal and external relations. Over a time this becomes a way of life distinguishable from other ways of life. They develop a distinctive culture and history. All this is carried by language. Language as culture is the collective memory back of a people’s experience in history.” (Thiong’O 653)
     Communication, language, writing, and speaking are ways in which humans relate to one another. Think of the folktales heard as a child. Those were passed down in a language from a specific culture. We appreciate their experiences when we read or listen to their histories. Think of how painful it would be not being able to communicate with anyone because your language is not understood. You alone experience joys and sorrows and daily living and you cannot share what you have felt and learned with no other. Different languages must be heard and understood.
     I think it is sad that I am only able to speak one language. I live in American society which is monolinguistic. I am glad I go to a university where students are encouraged to study foreign languages. This helps me understand my community and my world better and it helps widen my influence and increase my learning.
  




 Bibliography

Horkheimer, Max and Theodor W. Adorno. “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment As Mass Deception”. Ed. Robert Dale Parker New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.

McRobbie, Angela. “Jackie Magazine: Romantic Individualism and the Teenage Girl”. Ed. Robert Dale Parker New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.

Thiong’O, NuguiWa. “The Language of African Literature”. Ed. Robert Dale Parker New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

We are the Cure

*this is an article I wrote that was printed in the May Cystinosis magazine put out by the Cystinosis Research Network

Why is it that anything painful or anyone in suffering is an automatic undesirable person or a negative occurrence? I have observed in my culture and society that good health is equivalent to a better person, a better life, or a successful life. As someone whose lifestyle is defined by “bad health” am I a bad person, or not living my life as I should, or not doing as much because of the “hindrance” of my daily pain?

     Pain is not always a negative. Through pain, a person experiences growth, healing, and a heightened sense of awareness and compassion. Those are all positives!

     Cystinosis has always appeared in my imagination as an ice crystal. It was something so cold to destroy my body yet so beautiful because it creates such special people.

     I am a 2010 graduate from Bible college and have attended Christian schools my whole life up until recently enrolling in University of Wisconsin’s creative writing program. Lately, I have been pondering what people mean when they say the following to me: “I’m sorry you’re so sick”, “I wish I could take your pain away”, and “Well, we’ll just pray God’s blessings on your health”. I know all is meant for my good, but none of these phrases are comforting or encouraging to me as a human being living with terminal illness.

     I am not sorry I am “so sick”. Living with cystinosis has done something for me that you cannot teach in a classroom or understand through any amount of Christian education. It was through the pain of throwing up, medicines, treatments, and hospital visits that reaching out to God became a lifestyle for me, not just a Sunday morning ritual. It was through the sorrows of not knowing if I would live past the age of twelve that I have groped for the Hand of God early in life. It was through the sufferings of living day by day to graduate high school and college that I became a brother to Jesus Christ. After all, a title of His is man of sorrows and did He not bring the ultimate positives of this life, as in love and hope and faith, through extreme negatives?

     I am a better person living a better life and am a success story to those living with chronic pain and troubles. Unhealthy people and people in tough times have the blessings of God upon them as well. It’s not always noticeable bestowments like good health and riches. God’s presence is intangible and He pours His love on ALL, not a select group in the earth’s population. Look at the wonderful fellowship and support the cystinosis community has? It is through the children diagnosed with the “negative” of cystinosis that such a loving family has been created.

     You know what I see now, in every ice crystal of cystinosis? I see a lush, green stem poking through a chipped crack in the ice, because those living with cystinosis are a cure for the healthy by living every day, each day of their lives.

     I agree with singer/songwriter Laura Story when she asks, “What if your blessings come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near? What if trials of this life, are Your mercies in disguise?” Living with cystinosis is a redefined blessing and we are nearest God’s heart. Have a good day living your blessed life!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Speech on May 15, 2013

My classmates in English 284 have left an impression on my heart this semester. Through the speeches I listened to from their lips, I have come to realize how amazing each shoulder I brush past on my way to class truly is. Below is the speech I made to my classmates. I wish I could post theirs as they have affected my life for the good.

" I stand before you today not because of a great marriage or a good family, church or government that allows my existence. I stand before you today, a living soul, because the greatest relationship in the world, one that surpasses any institution or structure known to the human race, has breathed into me the breath of life. Sound cryptic? Hopefully, my words will make more concrete sense as I tell you what I as a person truly value and aspire to be as my years go by.

I come and speak to you today having gone through a past of sexual and emotional abuse and having lived each moment of my life to date in a body that is terminally ill. I am a daughter of a wonderful and fairly average middle class mother and father. I am a sister to two annoying yet amazing brothers. I have been a member of Baptist and evangelical churches. I am a citizen of the United States of America.  This defines me but does not tell you anything about my life.

Life has to be defined. Life has to be lived in boundaries. How do you know who I am unless I tell you what family I came from, what church I go to or don’t go to, or what country I live in? On the flipside, life is not lived inside structure. Structures have flaws. It was in the structure of my loving family that a recommended babysitter, trusted by small town Wisconsin, took advantage of my five year old mind and body’s innocence. It was in the country of America that I was denied life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with the three words I heard at the age of twelve: you have cancer. It was in the walls of churches that I consistently heard the words: you are wrong and you are selfish. 

Despite these flaws or sufferings that structures have let into my life, I have learned how to cherish ideas and concepts that do work in whatever category you find yourself defined in whether it is race, gender, sexuality, religion or political theory. I value truth.  Contrary to man’s speculations and theories there is a constant, unchanging God of the universe without limits Whose laws govern the ways of man. People and circumstances change; therefore, truth applied to different people’s lives will result in different outcomes because everyone has a different background, circumstance, and peoples in their life.

I value love. Who you love determines what you do. If you truly love someone, you put your rights aside so the object of your affection can have the best even if the best for their life is one where you are not in it. Is this not what Jesus Christ exemplified? I introduced myself as standing before you today because of a great relationship. I as well as every human being that has ever lived have broken standards and structures. Jesus saw this and instead of letting death and sin take me to rotten consequences and ultimately an eternity away from him He confined Himself in the body of man. God gave himself a gender and a race so He could perform the very act of love: dying on a cross and then defying death itself by being raised in eternal life all so that every human who was ever born could all come to a place of equality in such a defined space of inequality as earth. Every man standing before God is of equal value and worth and it is through Jesus that every man receives eternal life if he chooses to accept it. I did accept Christ’s love now I am living a forgiven life and a hopeful life. I am hopeful because I don’t have to depend on living a life by any nations or any person’s standard to feel fulfilled. I possess a freedom to love human kind because of Christ’s great relationship of love I embraced.

I value difference. General George Patton said, “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” The discriminations between people help us see abstract concepts such as love, hate, peace, conflict, ext. Fragmented pieces from others lives shows us our own shortcomings and encourage us to give support to one another. The absence of structure shows us how hopeless and chaotic the present can be. In the case of my experience with sexual abuse, I learned love is not equal to sex and it is only appropriate within a marriage structure. The presence of structure gives us a future and a place to perform and exist. In the case of my identity as a daughter and sister, I know I can be a caring, respectful human being, sharing myself in inside different human relationships. As a daughter I was taken care of in regards to terminal illness. My parents gave me my medical treatment every six hours until I learned how to be responsible for my own medical care. As a sister, I learned humility when I was treating my brothers wrongly and I also learned how to care for others when they are hurting whether I feel affection for them or not.

I aspire today to tell the world that where they came from, who they are, what they did can all have a purpose in Christ alone. Governments may have failed your expectations of human rights, churches may have offended you, families and friends may have hurt you. There is a place you can go when the castles you and I build in the sky come crumbling down in a constricting universe. Jesus Christ offers you His boundless and limitless truth and love and it’s yours if you just take it.

An Italian proverb says, "When the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box.” Whatever story your life has, when it comes down to your final breaths, consider the eternity of your never dying soul and embrace the truth and love found in the God Who created your soul."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Poems about my New Found Love

Identity

He asks me to be myself
to not let his likes/dislikes influence me.
But who am I, really,
without someone suggesting, guiding, telling,
teaching, preaching, behaving.

"Do what you would do by yourself
without me here," he says,
"Then just include me into your life."

I would attend church at Wakanda on Sundays.
I would go to local theatre performances
at the State, at the Mabel, at the Grand.
I would drink coffee at the Raw Deal
and Grand Ave. Café.
I would read and write and dialogue.
I would stay in school for love of learning.

He tells me that's who he wants to be with,
that person who enjoys all those things
not the things he enjoys.

"Can I be a part of your world?" he asks.

"You already are," I say, "because you introduced
me to me."

My Boyfriend Shows Me How to Interpret My Mirror Image

Look. Just look in the mirror and see how cute
you are.

Rosy, red cheeks and nose, messed up hair.
You are cute.

Look. Just look at your life, how amazing it is.
You are wonderful.

Look. Just look at your smile.
You are happy.

See. I want you to see how you can give
the thing you want most to yourself: acceptance.

Just be you.

Just be the great person you are.

Surface to Face
suggested by Proverbs 27:19 "As in water face answereth to face,
so the heart of man to man."

He is a pool of water
clear to his sandy floor.
My face looks out of his eyes.
A reflection of my features
washed in his refreshing droplets.

"I want you to choose what is best for you
and what you need to feel healthy because
I choose you. Because I care for you very
deeply."

The words he whispers
satisfy the parched dryness on my heart.

I Want to Experience HARVEST

Happiness. Just once experiencing those
                   scintillating thrills of the fruits of a rewarding relationship.
Acceptance. Allowing myself to just be
                     content with the effort I put in and he puts in.
Rest. A place to practice acceptance
         in the time and space we have created.
Vivacity. Feeling alive
                with the joy and love surrounding us.
Earnest. Sincerity in what I am living
              in relationship to Harvest and he to me.
Set. A firm, specified place or position
       knowing who we are in this dynamic.
Telepathy. Communicate thoughts and ideas by sheer wanting to do so
                   and to fill the empty time and space when we are apart.

Knowing Love

Feeling each fingertip of pressure
as my love pats my back
I sigh in his embrace encompassing my body.

In the silence of the moment a burst of one
thousand pieces of glass like silver
confetti rain on my lap.

I HATE cystinosis. I tremble at the word.
"I just realized for the first time that I hate
...
living with a terminal illness."

"Shhhh. Sweetie. Look at me.
We're here now, okay?
I wouldn't want to be with anybody else."

My shoulders stop heaving
My eyes stop streaming drops of pain
I fall against his chest and am happy in the moment.

For if such an intertwining of
two different lives could result
in such deep affection for the
other life, who better blessed
to bestow this love on than the girl
forced to face her own mortality
every eight hours?

Who would sing the praises of a man
lonely since birth and who would
write the wonder of a God in Heaven
Who showers His love on humankind
than the girl who confronts her
demons of her past every night?

No one else but the soul who
has endured evil within her
being and without her body
could accurately describe
how victorious a life can be
when love's desire is fulfilled.

The hairline fractures of her heart
are fused together with tears
and the tears of her eyes are stopped
with the kisses of her beloved and that
is contentment; that is life set free
by the glories of God her King.
 

Where the Past Lives


So you’re walking home from babysitting your neighbor’s three children. It’s midnight; dark shadows have enveloped every house, driveway, road, tree and blade of grass presenting the illusion that all and everything is asleep. This is only the dream of life after 10 p.m. The darkness is masking an electric energy that only comes alive when it can be hidden by shadows. The black trees silhouetted by the shining moon carve gnarled branches onto the earth. A hooting owl startles you. A cool breeze stirred by the passing of a car washes the magic of the night over your body. As your feet grind the road’s gravel, you can see dimly ahead at the shapes of pine trees dotting your yard. You step foot on your driveway and reminisce about those events that make up your life, those things done years ago, the past, the touch of his hand, the force of his words. Your words of resistance and your cries for help that never vocalized, stifled by his presence. Suddenly, you wish the night was over, that those things your mind brings up could be chased away with the rising of the sun. For the shadows of the trees and the sound of the wind and the dark places around the mailbox, houses, and your own body have recreated an image of what had been. It seems the very ghost of your past has escaped its closet and has robed itself back in his flesh to haunt you. You can see the form of his body in the black shapes of the gnarled branches spread out on the lawn. You can hear his voice in the sounds being carried to your ear on waves of chilly wind. Your body is shaking with the thought of him being present and still having control of your mind in this space you thought had ended years ago. You run for the front door and beg your thoughts to come back to the light of day where he no longer is waiting for you. As you step into the warm light of a lamp lit waiting for your return, you breathe deeply the smell of escape. You walk to your room and lay down on your bed willing sleep to engulf you and transport you to a place where the sun is shining and you are moving on and making your own choices. Morning comes quickly and it isn’t long until you are stretching and looking out onto the beauty of the maple oak that stands proudly in your front yard along with a cluster of pine trees. You smile as you watch the robins fluttering their wings in the aged tree branches. The mailman has just opened your mailbox and slipped in some envelopes. The neighbor’s houses have a charming quality as a line of laundry is waving in the wind next to their garage doors. “All it takes,” you mutter, “Is a slight invert of light, a shadow of blackness, to remind me of what used to be. If it used to be, it should no longer exist, but it does, the past is the present, in the corners of my mind. How do I escape the night?” You turn from the warmth of the sunlight in your window and face the reality of today.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Patriotic Prose and a Few Poems


I was going through some of my old notebooks from high school (13 years ago since I was a freshman!) and found this little essay about America and a couple poems I thought were neat from that moment in my life. 

The Young Man and the Flag
By: Rebekah Sharon Palmer
Suggested by Is. 53:1-6 and the song “Bring Back the Cross” recorded by Bob Gilley

Ezekiel 22:30 “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”

Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

Psalms 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”

       Once upon a time there lived a young man, his wife, and their two precious daughters. One day, as the young man walked through town, he spotted the majestic flag, Old Glory, under which he served. Stirred within his heart to recite the pledge, the young man was compelled to stop beside the road and honor his flag. After he finished, the demeanor of the flag seemed to change from proudly waving to dejectedly hanging. The once bright, glorious flag looked tainted and torn. As rain began to fall and slosh on the flag, it seemed to the young man that Old Glory was weeping. While he stood there gazing at her, the Star-Spangle Banner began to speak, “I’ve flown for this great country and out of all the years I’ve flown, this generation lacks great patriot heroes like the great soldiers and citizens of long ago. I receive no honor and I receive no loyalty, but more than these the most precious thing I lost was the thing that made me glorious and that is the Cross.”
        Stunned by the blunt and audible words of Old Glory, the young man kneeled by the side of the road, tears of confusion on his face. He looked up at Old Glory and asked, “What do you mean? America is still fighting under red, white, and blue! What’s this Cross we have taken from you?”
        The rain began to pour now, a puddle in each drop, and the American Flag began to sob, “The Cross you have taken from me is the Cross that built this very country. God died on that Cross in the form of His Son and freed men’s sinful souls with his own precious blood. America spells out freedom because of His sacrifice. Now Americans have taken Him out of schools, and are trying to take Him from my pledge. Americans have even taken Him out of some churches and the younger patriots minds. I’m trying to fly for a great country ruled under God’s strong hand, but I can’t fly for her proudly when God is not in control of this land.”
          His face now contorted in anger, the young man quickly said, “I still don’t understand. God isn’t taken out of schools. Children can pray, can go to church, and can learn in their own way. I don’t see how the Cross and America must together stay.”
         “I’m afraid it’s you who doesn’t understand,” the stripes of red and white replied, “prayer is being eliminated, too. Yes, you can pray, but not for the One who shed his blood and lives now for you, the One Who started our stripes of red as He was nailed to the tree, thus beginning the scarlet path of patriot’s blood flowing free. The people who started this once great country taught their children all about God and placed them in their minds. The people took their children to church, no argument made, the children said “Yes, sir” and went. Respectful and virtuous citizens couldn’t have been pure if it weren’t for the Christ who saved there lives. That’s where our stripes of white have started, purity in Christ and virtuous lives.”
         There was a pause and then the field of blue began to speak to the young man, “The royalty of Christ is when you become one of His and this gives a person respect and love for his country held dear.”
          The stars in their shining splendor twinkled and proudly said, “The Cross is the reason we sparkle so bright and the Cross is what our country and states have believed in.”
           Then the whole American Flag recited to the young man, “What is America doing now? She’s killing her own and calling it legal. She’s indulging in sin and believing in lies. She’s allowing wrong philosophies and everyone’s rights dictate her direction instead of Almighty God. Why aren’t Americans “In God We Trust” and “United We Stand”? It’s worked before…but then America had Christ.”
             As the impact of the Flag’s proclamations sank into the young man’s heart, he realized he needed to stand up and do his part. With a sobbing head bowed low the young man determined to bring back the Cross to America. But first he brought the Cross into his own life. Old Glory started smiling and the sun started shining. With his head raised high, the young man gave his life to God, Who alone saved his soul and Who alone can save this nation.
              What America needs today is other Americans, who, like the young man, bring back the Cross to their own lives and to our nation; for only then will America become “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 

Moments of Time to Cherish
September 20, 2000

Time, what’s it really mean?
Time, not a thing to me
Time, just one more thing to waste,
Time, what’s it really mean?

Moments, precious parts of time,
Moments, those memories divine,
Moments, golden themes of life,
Moments, precious parts of time.

Jesus came, was that a waste of time?
Jesus died, what’s it mean to me?
Jesus lives, did He do it in vain?
Jesus came, was that a waste of time?

Cherish, cherish the time I was saved,
Cherish, the time I made Jesus mine,
Cherish, my walk with Him,
Cherish, all his love for me.



Why? (January 2001)

Why did God send His Son?
His one and only begotten One?
To die upon a mean, ugly tree,
just to save a sinner such as me?

Why does God love me so?
When I turn from Him as I go?
Why did He make me?
Why, I ask?

God answers still.

I sent my Son because I love you,
I love you because I made you,
I made you because I want you to love me.

Why not accept God’s gift of love so true and free? 


September 11, 2001
-account on that day
May 15, 2002

My school, Immanuel Baptist Church School, in Menomonie, WI:

Everyone in their seats is silent,
not a word whispered at such violence
How could they do it?
to America the land of immortality?

Eyes are glued to the school’s TV.
gasps of horror escape each mouth,
knuckles turn white as each student
trembles,
How could this happen today?

Moments before, students in New York
were preparing for class,
but in one shattering moment
they’re blue sky turned black.
School’s out! No one shouts
but fear and trembling all run
out.
Where was God on September 11?
How could He who blessed us,
turn against us?

I’ll tell you where God was that
Day,
In the same place He was 2,000 years
ago when His Son died for you and
for me.

America, God wants your attention.
Bring back the glory we once knew.
America bring back the cross again.




The KJV BIBLE
 February 6, 2004 (My Junior year of High School)

The King’s Word is the highest Truth.
It is pages of the Prince’s Promises.
It will always be a piercing two edged sword,
Slashing and clashing against the cruel, wicked stone of man’s heart.
It will always be a steaming, steel hammer—
Shattering to bits the unbreakable stone.
It will always be a flaming fire—
Engulfing the icy stone.
Yet it is a crisp, cool, bubbly liquid,
Gushing over the stone made soft.
Yet it is soft, willowy feathers of a mother bird,
Comforting souls in anguish and despair.