Archive | August, 2014

Post-Racial America, Part IV: A Courageous Pastor Explains why Blacks Fear the Police

27 Aug

Agree or disagree with Thabiti, his voice is a valuable one in this summer of our discontent.

Unhelpful Things to Say after the Beheading of James Foley . . .

26 Aug

I saw a British jihadist who was interviewed on BBC World News last weekend. He showed some of the fallacies the Western World believes in relation to the extremists of the Muslim faith.

Most chillingly, he plainly said that, even if we don’t come after them in the Middle East, they will remain at war with us. In fact, they will come get us here. They hate our system and want to destroy it.

Remember, a British citizen beheaded an American citizen in Syria last week . . .

One thing about British jihadists is that they don’t agree with the group among us that says, “Well, British jihadists are better off than people in the Middle East–they have more rights in Britain, too.” You see, they don’t compare themselves with citizens of the Middle East. Since they are British citizens, they compare themselves with other British citizens (as they should). And they conclude that they are worse off than other British citizens.

Some of that may be due to self-inflicted isolation within British society at large, but . . . there it is. That is the perception.

These radicalized individuals are very dangerous and . . . they will not grow safer if we ignore them.

Let’s Grow Old Together . . .

26 Aug

PhotoScanToday I met my best-friend-for-life for brunch halfway between our two houses (we live almost four hours away from each other) at the Cracker Barrel in Ashland, Virginia, where we have been meeting for, it seems, almost half of our lives. Ha ha!

Kimberly and I met at college in 1977, her freshman year, my sophomore year. From there we started developing a friendship of two people with many similar preferences, but enough differences to spice things up a little. It has only gotten sweeter every subsequent year.

We have interacted in Michigan, our home state, in Virginia, our adopted state, and in London, England, where she visited me for a couple of weeks while I was working at the naval headquarters there. I know, American Navy in London–go figure!

I was her maid of honor in her wedding; she was my matron of honor in mine.

I came to Washington, D.C. for a conference right after the birth of her first child and was able to see the little one several times before I had to return to Germany, where Noel and I were living at that time.

Kimberly and Larry came down right after our Joey was born and visited me in Portsmouth Naval Hospital, where I had an extended stay with the baby for almost a week.

Together, we have probably talked more history and theology than most individuals do in a lifetime with every person in their lives put together.

We have shared books and prayers and recipes.

We even went to a women’s conference together with her church once.

And as I have just had my 56th birthday, I calculated for Kimberly today that I have known her for 37 years. Almost 2/3 of my life. As my eyes are getting to the stage where they need reading glasses (or enlarged type on my iPad), I realize that there are certain things about me that are never going to go back to the way they were when I was 19.

But, oh how precious it is to have not only my husband of 25 years, but my amazing friend and her husband to walk fearlessly into that aging process with me.

Alone, it would be scary for me. But Jesus never asked me to go it alone. He is with me, but He gave me people in the flesh to walk beside me, too.

I think we are going to really kick it in the aging process!

And, when the end comes for the first one of us, we will all remind each other that it is just the beginning . . .

Thank You, Jesus!

Four Positions on Ferguson . . . (Maybe We Really *Don’t Try to Understand Each Other)

25 Aug

Good piece for helping us gather our thoughts and form our own conclusions about Ferguson . . .

Open Carry and the Ohio Walmart Case . . .

24 Aug

This is sobering. If people are going to be shot for open carry, then maybe we need to do away with it.

Certainly you can’t have it both ways, telling people it is legal to open carry, but telling police officers they can shoot people who do . . .

Being an Aficionado of Classic Films . . .

24 Aug

I have loved old films for as long as I can remember. Probably because, when I was young, bonding with my dad (and sometimes with my mom) came during shared viewing of classic films on “The Late Show” (or even “The Late, Late Show” on very special occasions).

I have had times in my life, especially when I lived overseas, when I watched old films almost constantly. When I first got my VCR, while living in Germany, I rented films from the rental shop on base almost every night. Didn’t understand much German television!

So it is fun to discover that I have married into a family just like my own. When Noel’s nephew, his brother’s son, stayed here with us for three months, we found we have a common passion for classic films. It helped to share that, especially since we are Christians and our nephew is an atheist (although the most tolerant atheist ever–he came to church with us three times a week).

Yesterday, Noel’s 91-year-old aunt explained that Noel and his brother, along with their siblings, get their love of classic films from their mother and her (she is their mother’s sister). As she said, “When we were young, television had not been invented yet. Films were all there were. And we went constantly, as a way to socialize with friends and family.”

Now, these last two summers, I have rediscovered an old friendship with a woman with whom I taught children at Bible study for over five years, back when our kiddoes were little. Patty, too, is from an extended family of classic film aficionados. And they are also all Christians. We knew we had the latter part in common; we have just discovered the film connection!

Patty, her daughter (whom I taught in Bible study), Patty’s sister-in-law Karen (who also was in Bible study with us), Karen’s daughter, and Karen’s father/Patty’s father-in-law all gather on Monday nights during the summer for the Classic Film Festival at our independent cinema, the Naro. They invited me to come along once last year and . . . I got hooked.

There is one film a week for seven weeks–this year I attended five of them and Noel joined us for three. Joey even came once. We meet at the YNot Pizza next door to the cinema at 5:30 so we can eat outside and jump into the line before it gets too long! This is a hard core group. LOL!

What fun it is to share this common interest. I didn’t know that there were that many people who could quote lines from the Golden Oldies with me, let alone that they are all in the same family!!! What a great time we have, as fellow believers in Jesus who have found an outlet for good, clean fun.

This year, we saw Casablanca, Diabolique, East Side/West Side, Rebecca, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The final night, we have an informal “Oscars” night. We, the audience, nearly got “Cat” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s the best supporting actor award as a write-in candidate. That was funny!

God has richly given us all things to enjoy in this life. We are to be a reconciling force for His Name, reconciling people to God as the Holy Spirit works in their hearts. When we glorify God in all things we do, including hobbies, His mandate to us can become a reality in our lives.

Summer is over. I will miss our Monday nights . . .

Surviving Ebola . . .

23 Aug

What an amazing story of compassion and love. God is good, even in the midst of turmoil!

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