Evening news….

Evening news reports grow more dire with each passing day. Many things are happening that cause my heart to grieve and my mind to question the sanity and sanctity of life in this world.

Among things that I ponder:

The refugees that are trying to get to safety in Europe. I can’t imagine having to leave my home, my extended family, my friends, my stuff, my whole way of life, and risk my life, along with the lives of my spouse and children, to get out of my home country and to try to get to some sanctuary. To take the gamble of putting my loved ones on an overcrowded boat and hope it makes it to the other side of the sea.
Added to all of that is the fact that once we arrive on the other shore, if we survive the trip itself, we run the risk of being turned away from the only place we can go for safety.
And the final heartbreak of the boat capsizing and those I love drowning.
Just because they tried to get to a safe place.

My heart aches.

I wonder about those who are trying to cross into our country. Are they truly desperate in their homelands? Are they also willing to leave behind everything, everyone, that they know and love to get here for a new start?

And are they met with rejection?

Could we not do better for these folk? Could we not get them into a place where they are safe and manage to get them work so they can earn money to feed and clothe and house their families? Where are we in comparison to the European countries regarding refugees and immigration?

The next news item that wrecks havoc to my thoughts is that of the releases of the planned parenthood videos. I have never been a supporter of planned parenthood. I have always consider life, before or after birth, to be a miraculous gift from God. To see people who are taking tiny little babies and reducing them to parts to be sold just grieves me. And it makes me grieve for those women who had been the mothers of those babies, who felt there was nothing they could do in their circumstance, other than to abort the “fetus”.

Is there something we can do to help those women through the darkest time of their lives? To offer them hope, to help find a home for the babies they carry?

And then the mess in Kentucky about marriage licenses for gay couples and the clerk who is now in jail for refusing to give licenses to same sex couples, based on her religious principles.
I have friends who are same sex couples. And I have friends who have strong beliefs that such marriages are against God’s plan.
I have spent a lot of time reading through the U.S. constitution, particularly the 14th amendment. I have spent time looking at that Supreme Court ruling. I stayed up late looking at the marriage laws of the state of Kentucky. I have scoured my Bible to find references about homosexuality.
And I came to the conclusion that everything is in total conflict with everything else.
I don’t see the 14th amendment speaking particularly of marriage.
I did see that the laws of Kentucky (and several other states) prohibit marriage licenses to same sex couples
I don’t think the SCOTUS has the right to make laws…although they should defend a person’s right to the pursuit of happiness regardless of race, age, gender and or sexual preference.
I did read places in the Bible where homosexuality is not condoned by God. I also saw that God is loving and forgiving. And that it is not my place to be in judgment. It is my place to be a friend to and to love others. Regardless of their sexuality.

I don’t know if the clerk should have taken the religious standing against a government process. I think that she could have possibly denied the license based on the state law. And I think the state is really dodging the issue by not changing the law to fit the SCOTUS decision and allowing her to be a scape goat (not a martyr) in the process. Why have a law on the state books if it is illegal and in direct conflict to that of the higher
Authority?

I have read many comments about the “gay agenda” to push Christians (or anti-gays) out of public office. I have never seen or heard anything like that
from those gays that I personally know.

So I ponder this story. Can we (as Christians) give a license to marry to people who don’t believe what we believe? Is it our place to even have any say in such a matter? Is there a gag order on Christian thoughts? Is there truly a separation of church and state?

I have no answers.

But I am praying for peace for all of these (and more) stories. For those refugees to be given asylum. For our country to work with those desiring better lives. For babies to not be created outside of loving homes, and if they are then for them to be placed with loving families. For laws to be made that reflect common sense.

Just a few things on my list.

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Til the Storm Passes Over….

I was rudely awakened last night by alarms from my phone, telling me that there was an intense thunderstorm in my area, resulting in high water in low crossings and to not attempt to drive through places with running water over the roads. I appreciate the weather channel giving me such important information, but at 3 a.m., I’m not going out to cross the streams and ford the rivers!

Besides, I already was aware that we had a severe thunderstorm in progress. I have three little furry critters who are my storm alerts. They all get very anxious when a storm in approaching, and head for cover when it hits. “Cover” usually means under a pillow upon which my head happens to be resting. So, at about 2:30, I had already had my furry alert. Dixie and Beau had been squeezing themselves higher and higher on the bed, until they were eyeball to eyeball level with me. And with the first crack of thunder, Dixie managed to squish her way under the pillow. Jinx had managed to find his spot on the opposite corner of the bed. It appears that the feline and canine critters take a cease fire during thunderstorms. No hissing or spitting or growling when taking cover. So, with the fur babies in place, I had just settled back down to enjoy the sound of thunder and the rain as it hit the patio cover. I could see the flashes of lightning as I dozed in and out…and my thoughts turned to a wonderful song that I have loved for many years, “Til the Storm Passes Over…

I first heard this when I was a very young girl, in a very sweet church in Sunnyslope. It was sung by the “ladies’ trio” which consisted of Jo Hart Price, Pauline Pearson, and Loretta Chenault. Actually, the first time I heard it was when Jo played a record (a real record, an LP made of vinyl, played on a stereo) that was made at her brother’s church in Indianapolis. Back then, we would play a song over and over and over, and write down the words as we listened, and then practice singing it until it sounded “about right.”  I was always in on the practice, but never in the public performance.  sigh. But I digress.

Back in the days of my teen years, I just loved this song because of the melody. I loved the words, too. And I loved hearing the ladies sing it. And then I borrowed the album and took it home so my parents could hear the song. And they loved it. And my dad would tap his toes in time to the music and hum along. And my mom would sing it as she did her daily chores. And so the song became a family favorite, along with many others, etched in the sound track of my memories.
It was a pretty song, one I could relate to when thunderstorms rolled across the dessert during summer months.

But the words really had no value yet, as I had not had any personal storms hit my life yet.

Those personal storms started hitting as time went by and I became a young wife and mom, and then a divorced mom of two, and then a remarried wife and mom and stepmom of two more, and then a “professional” in the education world. The storms battered me when those who had been my rocks and anchors in my younger years…my grandparents, my dad, my aunts and uncles… disappeared from my earthly view and became memories in my mind. The storms hit on every side, from finances to health to personal relations.

And through all the storms, this song has been a standard that has helped me through.

I wish I had a copy of the Ladies’ Trio signing it at the church in Sunnyslope.

I wish I had a copy of my dad trying to play it on his bagpipes.

I wish I had a copy of my mom and Papa Wayne singing it together in church at Utopia.

But I have none of the above, except in my memories.
So I’m sharing with you the song, performed by one of my favorite gospel singers, Ben Speer, at one of the Gaither concerts.  I hope it brings peace and comfort through the storms of your life. 

Drivers licenses

I recently received a nice little letter from DMV, informing me that I needed to renew my drivers license before it expired in January. So, I had a little free time the other day (on a Tuesday) and decided it would be great to get this done and out of the way. My goal this year has been to be ahead of schedule instead of perpetually behind, and so far, I’ve done pretty well. This would be great, as I can almost count it as a month earlier than necessary. Which effectively makes me WAY ahead of schedule. 🙂

I found that renewing one’s drivers license can be a multi-tasking experience. Not only can you get your new license, but you also can change your address, and register to vote. One also has opportunities to register as an organ donor, (which I have been informed by medical folks to not do, as my organs and blood are both on the Unacceptable list). And one can also donate to several funds while renewing. Which I chose not to do because I have several small funds within the family that I donate to now.

So I filled in my paper with just the simple renewal, new address and register to vote boxes checked. I was given a number (89) and told to wait. And so I sat down in one of the most uncomfortable chairs that filled the waiting room. They were all uncomfortable. Not just one. And I looked at the reader board and noticed that the current number on the board was 79. It shouldn’t be too long to go to 89…only 10 people. In a room full of at least 100 chairs.

I was told I could not use my phone for any reason while waiting.
Not even for reading on my kindle, or sorting the pictures (so much for multi-tasking), or sending messages. And definitely not for talking.

So I sat and twiddled my thumbs for 1 hour and 20 minutes for my number to be called. And I soon realized that the clerks were playing a great game of bingo with those in the waiting room. They weren’t calling 80 as the next number. Instead they called B160. And then B212. And then C15. Now and then they bounced back down to the double digits, and finally they got around to my number…89.

By this time I was bored and frazzled, thinking of all I could have been doing if I hadn’t been where I was. But I figured the worst was over and I would soon be on my way, with my new license in hand, good for 8 more years.

Wrong.

The lady at the desk started off with a pleasant “good afternoon.” I replied that it seemed to be a good afternoon, and they sure had a crowd. She then said it was always busier on Mondays and Fridays than any other days. I looked at her and asked if it was either Monday or Friday, as my calendar showed it was Tuesday. She said, “oh. They forgot to pull yesterday’s page off the calendar.” That should have been a sign for me.

She then told me that I needed to give her my social security card for “verification” of my identity. And I responded with “nope. I don’t have to do that.” Which then caused her to say that if I didn’t, she wouldn’t renew my license. Which caused me to say that my social security card says it is not to be used as identification. And I never carry it with me. I have had the same drivers license number since 1976 and I have never before been required to give my social security card to verify my identity and/or to renew it. So she told me I would have to come back another day with my card. And I told her no. So she sighed and pushed a few buttons and decided that she didn’t need my card after all.

Then she asked if I wore contacts and or glasses. And I replied yes.
Then she told me that I needed to remove my contacts for the eye exam.
I told her that I would not be able to see the exam without my contacts. She again told me that I had to remove them. I told her that they were disposable and once I removed them, I wouldn’t be able to reinsert them and thus would be unable to see to drive home. She said I could come back another day with my glasses so that I could see to drive home after removing my contacts. I told her no, I was not going to come back another day, and I was not going to leave without my license being renewed that day.

So, I sighed and removed my contacts and began the eye exam. She told me to read the letters of the third line in all three columns. I told her that there were letters in only two columns, one on the left and one on the middle. She said that I failed the eye exam because I couldn’t see the letters in the right column. I told her there were no letters in any line in the right column. Then she said, “oh, I forgot to push that button”. So she pushed the button and the letters in the right column magically appeared, and I read the letters to her. Most of them. I passed the eye exam with one point above failure mark.

Then she asked what color my eyes were. I told her they were still green. Same as last time.

Then she asked how tall I was. I told her I hadn’t grown an inch since my last license was issued. I’m still 5’6″.

And then she stepped on my last nerve.

She asked me how much I weighed. I told her that I weighed too much.

She looked at me.
And sighed.
And handed me my new license.

Good for another 8 years.

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