Sunday, August 13, 2017

What Derek Harbin Told Me to Do

Derek Harbin is my pastor.  Today he told me to do something in church and this is me, doing it.

Before we were dismissed from services today, Derek said, "You know how we experienced 9/11 and wondered why moderate Muslims didn't speak out? Now it is our turn to speak out against the racism which is tearing us apart."

In the aftermath of the inexcusable racism in Charlottesville, VA which culminated in the deaths of three people, it is imperative that all those who really love Jesus speak out against the white "supremacists."  

Please look at the picture above, re-posted from the Huffington Post.  We see a dignified young black cop standing duty. Behind him is a man in a dress with a red pointed cap on. Uh, who exactly is supposed to be supreme to whom?  All I see is a patriot in uniform with a confederacy of dunces behind him. 

KKK members, neo-Nazi's, and other affiliated groups who claim Christ and carry or use the sacred symbol of the cross to advance their racist ideology are apostate.

They have missed Jesus' entire message, which teaches that in Christ there are no superficial divisions.  


Galatians 3:28New International Version (NIV)

28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free,nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Jesus was a radical.  He touched a bleeding woman who was considered "unclean" under religious law and healed her. He ate with sinners. Jesus let a hooker wash his feet with tears. Women were among his loyal followers. He reached out to the ultimate foreigners, the Samaritans, and taught about himself. He helped the disabled and reached out to lepers willingly.  

Many conservatives don't want to hear this, but if Jesus had been in Charlotttesville yesterday, he would never have been walking with Jason Kessler's (organizer of this bloodbath) "Unite the Right" activists.  By the way, Mr. Kessler blames the police for what happened, rather than any of his group.

Let's all be as brave as Heather Heyer, the young paralegal who was deliberately run over by neo-Nazi James Fields, along with 18 other victims. Heather gave up her life doing the right thing.

How do you do the right thing?  Don't laugh at jokes with racial overtones.  Moreover, state your repugnance for such things. That's not hard.

Don't publicize Internet garbage attacking Muslims or any other type of prejudice.  Quit reading Facebook posts from those who continually spread fear of groups different from yours.

Do what my husband, Bruce, did in one of his Navy moments of which I am the most proud.  Another Navy Chief (and I use this term loosely) was a racist, a quiet one, but a racist. Bruce saw that a very worthy African American sailor was not gaining the recognition that he deserved. 

He arranged with the Chief of the Boat to write up this young man's accomplishments.  Brian Robertson ended up being the Commander of Pacific Forces Afloat Sailor of the Year, advanced to Chief Petty Officer, and became an officer. Tim, the other "chief" never spoke to Bruce again.  It was no loss.

We helped raise three inner-city kids through an odd set of circumstances. At the least, we were two white folks who treated them well. Lest I appear to be bragging, let me assure you that they gave us more than we ever gave them.

Do all your friends look just like you?  You might want to think about that.


Because of all the disrespect which my neighbors of color have experienced, I am careful to show extra respect by holding the door open, calling them Sir or Ma'am, etc.

Do you think that racism isn't such a big deal?  Let me tell you the story of my precious friends Billie (the wife) and Leslie (the husband) Walker and what racism did to them.

Les and Billie were both stationed with the Air Force at a remote location in Japan. They didn't have access there to a large military hospital like Walter Reed or Portsmouth Naval. Les had experienced a cough and tightness in his chest for months, especially while playing basketball.  There was only one physician for him to see.

Apparently, this physician didn't approve of interracial marriage. He never did a chest x-ray in all the times Les sought medical help and eventually accused Les of malingering to avoid work.

The racist physician went on vacation and the new doctor found that Les had bronchial aviolar carcinoma, which he eventually died from.  How much better would things have gone if he had a non-racist physician who treated the disease in its earlier stage?
Les did a tremendous amount of good during his illness.  He preached on the streets of Waikiki, he witnessed about Jesus to his doctors and nurses. He loved his friends and his family.

The last thing he ever said "to" me was when he was dying. Bruce slipped in to see him at the same military hospital in Hawaii where I was in surgery to take out my appendix.  Les said he'd pray for me. Humbling to say the least.

Racism is like a cancer.  It can be subtle or overt.  Subtle racism is when you cross over to the other side of the road when you see three black youths because they make you nervous. Something to try instead:  stay where you are and say "Hey how are you today?" You'll be surprised at the results.  

We saw what overt racism looks like in Charlottesville yesterday. It looks like death.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Murmuring and Complaining

My friend Debra recently wrote an excellent blog post regarding the dangers to our brains of constantly complaining. 


Two bloggers whom I otherwise love to read spend a great deal of time complaining about various ailments, problems with their homes that they feel helpless to fix, rudeness in today's society, fixed incomes, etc. Lovely pictures are taken and shared, their gifts and talents are amazing, but for the constant complaining.

A close relative (who will not see this) is a constant complainer. Folks who drive with bicycles on the back of their vehicles are "a-holes." S/he didn't like the conversation over dinner at a nice restaurant, so complained about that. Any one who doesn't follow this relative's lifestyle is subject to ire, even to the point of talking to the car radio or TV screen.

Another gloom and doom relative complained that s/he "had" (as in "was forced) to go on a luxury vacation in another country completely paid for by someone else. For months, I listened to the complaints and stress about it to the extent that s/he broke out into shingles the night before leaving.

Now s/he wistfully states that s/he would love to go back to this lovely country, but doesn't really have the extra money to do so!

Because I grew up in a rather negative atmosphere, I picked up early on the habit of murmuring and complaining. I constantly work to ensure that I don't spend a lot of time complaining.

Okay so let's sum up, Five Reasons We Should Not Complain:

1. Ingratitude - This holds you back from receiving all God has for you.
2. Complaining shrinks brain size in the same way Alzheimer's does.
3. Complaining is ungodly and He hates it.  He called the Israelites a "stiff-necked people."  Their whining and moaning kept them wandering in the desert for forty years.
4. Complaining is demoralizing for all who have to listen to you.
5. I believe that when you repeat complaints instead of praise you block God's blessing.
Thanks to Pinterest and Notsalmon.com for these great images.

To Learn More:

http://m1psychology.com/complaining-is-bad-for-your-brain/

http://biblereasons.com/murmuring/

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Had a Bad Day

So I love this song from Daniel Powter and I love the video even more.  Here are some of the lyrics:

'Cause you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile, and you go for a ride


Had a Bad Day

So listen to it by clicking above

...trust me it is worth it.

So I went for a ride.  Right in the middle of a major metropolitan area of 1 million people, the tidal estuary shown above was a moment of peace, beauty, and tranquility.  And boy did I need it!

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made...Romans 1:20

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Some girls never grow up, so I played early in the morning with my dolls' house
Another girl, I'm not sure if she is a grown up girl or not, played with this dolls' house which I saw later on a drive.

It sits on the porch of this venerable old house:
Queen Mary of Great Britain was a great curator of Royal Family history and objects associated with the family.
We normally see Queen Mary as an imperious old woman, but I love this picture of her during the early days of her marriage.

Here is the dressing table from her dolls' house, an exact replica of the one she used for her toilette in real life:
Perhaps you'll enjoy this video of Queen Mary's Dolls' House:

Queen Mary's Dolls' House

Even royalty loves playing with a dolls' house. Queen Mary was quite elderly when this was completed and it delighted her.

You're as young as you feel. The Bible confirms this in Psalm 92:14: "They will still yield fruit in old age.  They shall be full of sap and very green."

Stay green and sappy!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Remember to Stop and Smell the Roses

Sometimes a walk on a Sunday is just what the doctor ordered.  
If you look closely at the top white flower on the right, a dear little bumblebee is drinking some nectar.
Consider the lilies of the field, for Solomon dressed in royal robes had not the wealth of these. - Jesus
Have a happy week and remember to stop and smell the roses!


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Be Still and Know that I am God



Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10  

On Owens Creek Portsmouth, VA

Saturday, July 29, 2017

This Victorian Life


So this book, This Victorian Life, has been one of the best books I've ever read. The Chrismans, Sarah and her husband Gabriel, live a Victorian life in the small town of Port Townsend, Washington.

In researching this couple, I saw a hate-filled Twitter review by an apparently angry young man, who used the "F" word 7 times in describing them. I'm not quite sure what about their choices infuriated him so much, but I daresay that his hatred of two folks he never met, spoke more about who he is than who the Chrismans are.  

Sarah's book struck a raw nerve among folks her age and got a bit out of control on the Internet.This whole non-controversy speaks a great deal to how intolerant we have become in America. 

The Chrismans support themselves. Sarah is a published author of 2 non-fiction accounts of their lives and of a late Victorian mystery series. She is also a massage therapist who feels her primary responsibility is to home duties. 

Gabriel, an expert rider of the penny farthing type of bicycles, manages a bicycle shop. Both of them provide historical interpretation of the late Victorian period for the public in various events and as consultants.

The Chrismans live the Victorian lifestyle 24/7; clothes, food, transportation, and in the make up of their home. They support themselves and do not expect others to live as they do. The vitriol, death threats, cat calls, and other antisocial behavior towards them has been unbelievable to read about.

Many folks in America claim that one political side is tolerant and the other is intolerant. Perhaps one side is tolerant in terms of progressive social issues such as accepting gay and transgendered citizens, people who use illegal drugs and alcohol to excess, and tolerance towards other like-minded folks who make choices like they do.

However, when people like the Chrismans make the choice to live like Victorians, the tolerance melts away. When Christian individuals or companies do not wish to pay for medical procedures against their value systems, they are considered hateful.  When another family chooses to have as many children as possible to live out their faith in their own way, there is no tolerance for that at all. 

What does the Bible say? 

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands,just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Sarah Chrisman has written a fascinating book about how they came to live as they do. We learn about her daily habits and read about the foraging she does in the woods for berries I never have heard of, such as salmon berries. I read it through in one day, up to 2 a.m. when I had to work the next day.  Yikes.
Do you think Sarah is so unusual? She's a strong woman living her convictions, but her desire to live in a time she prefers is not so different from many of my own practices. 
I often write and tend to dinner at the same time. I just got up and made mashed potatoes using a red World War 2 masher. 
Tomorrow's coffee was set up for brewing in a 1940's era stainless steel percolator with a bulb on the top, in which coffee bubbles up as it percolates. My re-wired chrome toaster once belonged to an elderly neighbor and dates from the 1930's.
Next to my desk is a 1940's tube radio on which I listen to AM stations. FM stations were not available when the radio was made. My desk is a Word WarII era enamel-top dinner table with a silverware drawer.
I make simple skirts from vintage sheets or fabric, hand stitching them.
Let's really be tolerant, peeps, regarding the choices of other folks, unless their choices hurt someone else or are against the law. After all, judge not, lest ye be judged.
And, hey, I'd love to hear your thoughts about this book.

For more information:

Chrisman Web Site

Sarah Alma Chrisman Facebook