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Seven Days and Counting

Earth Day: October 26, 2020An American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr composed the following prayer in 1932. “Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know one from the other.” If it sounds familiar, it’s because several versions of this prayer spread quicky, most famously in song lyrics and poetry, and in 1955, Alcoholics Anonymous adopted the following: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”I prefer the original sentiment. “Father, give us courage to change what must be altered. . .”Courage always comes before acceptance, courage to acknowledge and accept, to face and admit, that things have to change. “[S]erenity to accept what cannot be helped. . .”Only after ALL has been done, then can one accept the consequences of the outcome. “[A]nd the insight to know the one from the other.”This will be my downfall because…
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Fourteen Days and Counting

Earth day: October 19, 2020A friend is planning her wedding and I’ve followed along as she counts down the days. I witnessed the dating, the engagement, and now, the preparations for the big event. It is days away and while she looks forward to the wedding, she also dreads it. I understand her trepidation. Getting married is serious business. It’s trusting in the future and in your own judgment. Not to take away from her happiness (which I pray she will have loads and loads), but this is how I feel about the upcoming election. Back in 2016, I was undecided which of the two Presidential candidates I would pick. Finally, a woman, a strong one at that, was running for President. At one time I admired her, but lately I questioned some of what she had done for the sake of her party. I questioned some of her statements when cornered by inquisitive reporters. I questioned if she would lead our country in the right direction. The alternative was a crass, pushy narcissist with no experience in…

Twenty-One Days and Counting

Earth day: October 12, 2020A little over three months ago, I decided I was through with “social media.” Though I have accounts on several sites, I am a daily Facebook user. I visited with friends, posted pictures, and scrolled through funny memes, but as the 2020 Presidential Election neared, so did the increase in fake news and vitriolic posts.The Bible quote, the food recipes, and the cute pet videos lost in the algorithm scramble that placed politics first. All because we were lured by the scandalous headlines.Do you know that 2.3 billion log onto FB each day? Of those, 46% or more use FB for its ONLY news source. Multiply that by the fact that the pandemic has housebound all of us for the past 8 to 10 months, so FB has been our major link to the outside world. This is the 2016 pre-Election season magnified. The press and the machine that wants to influence our vote learned a lesson in the past four years.To get to the people, you have to flood social media.Their real goal is to co…

Twenty-eight days and Counting

Earth date:October 5, 2020I hate evil – Satan, Hitler, pedophiles, but I don’t let it consume me. I hate in the sense that I wipe it from heart and mind and prefer to look at the light. When I was eleven, I was molested by a family member who took advantage of my innocence, my love, and my trust. I escaped and ran to safety, but instead of being protected or consoled, I was told to keep quiet. If I uttered one word, the shame and the outrage would tear my family apart, and it would be my fault. The crime and the punishment were placed on my shoulders, and I felt betrayed by the adults who were supposed to protect me.Though my voice was silenced, my feelings refused to be muted. If the man who molested me walked into the room, I looked past him. If he talked to me, I ignored him. I was scolded for my rudeness once and I fired back. I would keep his secret but no one could force me to forget or forgive what he had done. I didn’t hate him, but whatever feelings I once felt for him were g…

Thirty-five Days and Counting

Earth date: September 28, 2020With all the noise that the November 3rd Presidential Election results will be contested regardless who wins the electoral college, it is imperative that our votes be secure throughout the process. Here are a few suggestions: 1.Vote in person; do it during early voting to avoid the rush. Don’t forget your mask. Have your voter’s registration card with you, your ID, and in order to do it quickly and safely, take a marked sample ballot with you where you have preselected your choices. 2.If you have a mail-in ballot and your voting place will take marked ballots, make sure you take your ballot, your registration card, you ID, and a mask to the drop off, but do not hand it to anyone but a registered poll worker. 3.If you have a mail-in ballot but you prefer to mail it, don your mask and walk into the post office. Do not drop it into the mailbox. Go early and tell the clerk you want to witness her stamp the date on your ballot. Ask for the clerk’s name and rec…

Forty-two Days and Counting

Earth date: September 21, 2020Four years ago. my husband and I took dance classes. We had tickets for a jive dance party for later that month, and we wanted to get out on the dance floor and pretend to know our stuff. We got home late that Tuesday night and turned on the TV to watch the election results. To our surprise, our choice was winning. For months, the polls had predicted that the other nominee was a better candidate, better qualified and better liked. I had followed her career for years and I came thisclose to voting for her, but at the last minute, I went with my conscience and voted for the other guy. If he was going to lose, no one would notice my one vote, and he and I would go down together. Everyone was stunned. On all channels, these sophisticated, urban reporters were shocked and angry. They had done everything to get their nominee elected, but the ignorant masses had disobeyed orders. I was horrified by some of the comments. They were abusive and demeaning. They call…

Forty-nine Days and Counting

Earth date: September 14, 2020One of my favorite movie moments was in History of the World, Part 1 where Mel Brooks playing Moses comes down Mount Sinai carrying three stone tablets. “The Lord Jehovah,” he says loudly for all to hear, “has given us these fifteen.” He accidentally drops one of the tablets onto the rocks, smashing it to pieces. He looks at the mess at his feet. “Oye. Ten,” he yells, “ten commandments for all to obey.”I was in my thirties when I first saw this movie and this slapstick scene caught me so off guard that I burst out laughing and crying at the same time that I forget whatever scene came after. In the years since, I have wondered what if the Lord HAD intended for there to be fifteen Commandments instead of ten, but only ten survived to be mentioned in the Exodus and Deuteronomy. The first four Commandments honor and respect the Lord God, and the other six honor and respect the people and community around us, so maybe the last five were intended for us to reac…