"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Friday, March 27, 2009

QJO and Benise

Many years ago (about 1986 or 1987) I met Denise Prudhomme. She was a new Christian...I was a new Christian and we both trusted God like a baby trusts her parents to take care of her. We studied the word and began a prayer partnership that has lasted throughout the years.

We laughed when the children she babysat called her "Benise" instead of Denise. It stuck and that's my pet name for her.

We laughed when so many people misprounounced and misspelled my name...and she started calling me Quita Juanita Ouida...shortened to QJO.

Throughout these years, we've remained friends. She's married and lives in Charlotte...has a sweet son, Jacob...and her name has changed from Prudhomme to Goldman...but she will always be "Benise" to me.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I can't do this alone again.

I've had a new job umbrella (and I praise God that I have a job!). I am now working with Senior adults, benevolence...which I've always done, deaths, hospitals and grieving.

I can separate myself from someones pain. That doesn't mean that I don't feel anything, but I can be a lot more logical when someone else is going through pain than when I'm going through pain.

Last Monday a woman called. She's 61 and a single mom. Her son had a massive heart attack in front of her. He went without oxygen almost 20 minutes. She was calling from the hospital where the doctors had told her that she was going to have to make a decision on whether to keep him on life support.

I kept telling her that I needed her to calm down so I could understand her. Her sobs were coming from a place of twenty years ago, when her older son had been in a car wreck and the doctors had told her the same thing.

In her ravaged pain she said, "I can't do this alone again. I cannot make this decision on the only child I have left."

At that moment, I just started crying with her. She and I wept on the phone for about fifteen minutes. I asked her if I could pray with her and she said yes. Only God knows what I prayed...because my heart, the heart of a mother was praying not only for this woman's heart...but for my own children too.

Her son is still alive. A little brain function, kidneys are functioning...but nothing else. And she sits in the hospital, waiting on a miracle to save her only son. We've had a wonderful gifted lay pastor visiting with her who has taken a very active ministry role in her life and I know that comforts her.

Life is pain. But God is still good. Please pray for Jeff and his single mom Laura.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Praying Partners

I am so privileged to have so many praying partners. You women are indeed my wind at times my sails have collapsed.

Then I think of the times I've called you with good news. We laugh together and always one of us says...you remember we prayed for this.

I received the news from my dear daughter in law that Thatcher David Ray, at the age of 5 1/2 asked Jesus into his heart.

I cried.

I laughed.

I thanked God.

And I remembered...you and I prayed about this so many years ago...even when my children were yet children themselves.

And I become awed of the promises we have stood on all these years. God is good all the time. And your response?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"I want people to love me for whom I'm pretending to be."

Thank you if you are reading my blog. I have so many thinkisms that I think...and never write down. I REALLY need to be better at this.
On Facebook, the question was to look on page 56 of a book and write down the 5th line on the page.
I picked up Mike Williams' (3rd funniest man in America) book "Turkey Soup for the sarcastic Soul --Finding God in the simple, stupid and sarcastic moments of life."

The line read:
"I want people to love me for whom I'm pretending to be."

If you know Mike Williams...you know he cannot be serious for too long. But if you know Mike Williams...you also know his heart for missions and spreading God's Word through laughter. {PLUG: http://mikewilliams.tv/ }

So...even though the book is hilarious...and that line is about sitting in a therapist's office helping the therapist with jokes for an upcoming conference, Mike said, "I hate to talk to these guys. I always feel like they are psychoanalyzing me, and that makes the real me feel uncomfortable." And then he wrote the line in italics above.

That was the 5th line on the 56th page...and I can't get it out of my head.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Normally it's all about me....however

A friend sent me an email this morning...and as I read it I kept saying YES! So it meant so much to me and the way I feel at my age...thought I'd share it with you:
I’m Tired
Robert A. Hall

I’ll be 63 soon. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce, and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I’ve worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven’t called in sick in seven or eight years.. I make a good salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there’s no retirement in sight, and I’m tired. Very tired.
I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth around” to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy or stupid to earn it.
I’m tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to “keep people in their homes.” Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I’m willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the leftwing Congresscritters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them—with their own money.
I’m tired of being told how bad America is by leftwing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the religious freedom and women’s rights of Saudi Arabia, the economy of Zimbabwe, the freedom of the press of China, the crime and violence of Mexico, the tolerance for Gay people of Iran, and the freedom of speech of Venezuela. Won’t multiculturalism be beautiful?
I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family “honor;” of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t “believers;” of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for “adultery;” of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and Shari’a law tells them to.
I believe “a man should be judged by the content of his character, not by the color of his skin.” I’m tired of being told that “race doesn’t matter” in the post-racial world of President Obama, when it’s all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of US Senators from Illinois. I think it’s very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the emancipation proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less in an all-knowing government.
I’m tired of a news media that thinks Bush’s fundraising and inaugural expenses were obscene, but that think Obama’s, at triple the cost, were wonderful. That thinks Bush exercising daily was a waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example for the public to control weight and stress, that picked over every line of Bush’s military records, but never demanded that Kerry release his, that slammed Palin with two years as governor for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as senator as potentially the best president ever.
Wonder why people are dropping their subscriptions or switching to Fox News? Get a clue. I didn’t vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004.
I’m tired of being told that out of “tolerance for other cultures” we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America, while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.
I’m tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore’s, and if you’re greener than Gore, you’re green enough.
I’m tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don’t think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I damn sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I’m tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana.
I’m tired of illegal aliens being called “undocumented workers,” especially the ones who aren’t working, but are living on welfare or crime.. What’s next? Calling drug dealers, “Undocumented Pharmacists”? And, no, I’m not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic and it’s been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I’m willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic person who can speak English, doesn’t have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military. Those are the citizens we need..
I’m tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people then themselves. Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years—and still are? Not even close. So here’s the deal. I’ll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt.. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the girls were Christian.. Then we’ll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear.
I’m tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers—bums are bi-partisan. And I’m tired of people telling me we need bi-partisanship.. I live in Illinois, where the “Illinois Combine” of Democrats and Republicans has worked together harmoniously to loot the public for years. And I notice that the tax cheats in Obama’s cabinet are bi-partisan as well.
I’m tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.
Speaking of poor, I’m tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn’t have that in 1970, but we didn’t know we were “poor.” The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.
I’m real tired of people who don’t take responsibility for their lives and actions. I’m tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination, or big-whatever for their problems.
Yes, I’m damn tired. But I’m also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I’m not going to get to see the world these people are making. I’m just sorry for my granddaughter.
Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts state senate.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Black and White

I am such a black and white person. Either it is or it isn't. Either it's done or it is unfinished. Either it's dirty or clean. There's no in between for me.

It's a good part of my character and it's a bad part of my character. For me to say that goes against all my black and white stances.

It's called changing. I've asked God to change my character and part of that is the soap box I stand on when people disagree with me. When I'm right I'm completely right. No ifs ands or buts. When I'm wrong I admit it and am totally wrong and apologize until I'm told to shut up.

I have to laugh at this part of my personality on mornings like this. Sam and a whole bunch of nurses are packing medicine to take on their Medical Mission Trip to Guatemala this next Saturday. He asked me to type up several catergories of meds and wrote all of them down for me. Then he ran through the office and said they needed two more signs.

Antiseptic and I-meds. That's what I heard and that's what I wrote.

Laughingly, the nurses had a field day with I-meds. I assumed it was for medicine like Imodium.

Sam meant EYE-meds. I laughed. Apologized...and still feel like I need to apologize some more.

And then I laugh again.