Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Over There, Over There...."

I have just recently acquired a hard bound copy of photographs of soldiers and sailors from the Great War(It wasn't really called WWI, until we had another one). The book only contains information about the men and women who served from one particular county in Kansas. It's probably one of a set of thousands of books covering every county in the United States.
Among the hundreds of photos are pictures of four of my great-uncles.I only knew them as old men. But, there they are, in black and white, all in their 20's, each at the beginning of their long lives.
There's a lot of information in the book, both written and implied. Some entire pages are filled with men having the same last name. Their parents are listed, so many groups of brothers were inducted and fought side-by-side. Dozens of the men died at camps, while still in the United States, of influenza and pneumonia. The groups of photos are divided according to rank and branch of the service. They are also separated by race.
We can learn so much from history.

Precious Lord: We are but tiny specs in your gigantic universe, but we know that each one of us is important to you. We are so thankful for the wisdom and strength of all of those who came before us. Give us courage to stand up for what we believe. Give us wisdom to learn from our mistakes and the knowledge to gracefully pass on what we have learned to those who will come after us.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Go Where You Wanna Go"

I have always loved my children. And, about 90% of the time, I have actually liked them. As in all families, however, there have been occasional times of strife and discord, when the strong minds and wills of parents and children have collided. Thankfully, those times in this growing family which started out as two teenagers and now numbers 14 (with two more on the way), have been few and far between.
Today, is our daughter's birthday anniversary. At age 5, she wrote me a note to complain about my choice of clothes for her on a particular day at kindergarten. In her teen years, we disagreed on prom dresses, hairdos, designer jeans and a host of other trivial matters.
But, in spite of my poor choices, she has become a beautiful, intelligent woman with an equally beautiful, intelligent family. She has become a great mom, loving wife and brilliant in her chosen career.

Happy birthday, Amy. I love you.

Good Lord. Your steadfast love of your children is abundant and never ending. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to love our children in the same way that you love us. What a beautiful
Help us to lead, guide and learn from our children, forever. Watch over all of us.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness...old style

It's NCAA Tournament time for college basketball teams and their fans. I enjoy watching both the best of the men's AND women's teams compete. Almost every American has played on a basketball team, at some time in their lives, or at least bounced a basketball on a drive-way. And, since the advent of gender equality in the sports world, we see both great male and female players.
Years ago, however, it was a different story. My high school did not have competitive women's sports teams. Most girls back then, were just fans. We did, however, play basketball in our gym classes. Dressed in our one-piece, white gym suits, we played a type of basketball that no modern student of the game would recognise.
We played half-court basketball. Honestly, players could not cross the center-line on the court. I suppose there might have been a fear that we would injure our delicate ovaries or some other part of our young bodies, if we ran all over the court! According to the rules, you were designated as an offensive player (shooter), or a defensive player (guard), and you stayed on your end of the court.
Oh, and free throws were made by holding the ball with both hands, squatting down and lofting the ball, underhanded, upward toward the goal.
Is that funny or what?

Good God. We are a strange species. We try to take things, then mold and change them, thinking we always know best. But, we don't. You, our creator and mentor, allow us to think we are in charge. But, You are always the referee and official timer.
Continue to hold us in your all-powerful arms and push us in the right direction. Help us to hear your whistle when we foul.
We are so very grateful for your power.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fight AND Flight

My limited knowledge of self-defense had me believing, until this past weekend, that it was one or the other. When accosted or faced with a threatening situation, involving one's life and limb, the choice was either "to put up my dukes" or "turn and run".
Given the choice, I would always prefer to run. However, my age and girth is increasing at the same rate as my decreasing leg-speed. Running is becoming less of an option.
So, I jumped at (pun intended) the chance to take a class in self-defense. The brief instruction, called "Fight Like a Girl", focused on: 1)being aware and safety conscious: 2) recognizing an attacker's weaknesses; 3) striking back forcefully, and finally; 4) making a quick get-a-way.
So now, I may not be the "Jackie Chan" of the Senior Set, but I have gained some small sense of confidence that I can survive, at the very least, an attempted purse-snatching or car-jacking.
If you have to, put up a fight.............then, get out of there!

My Lord. Violence is frightening. Our prayer is never to be in a situation that threatens us or our loved ones. But, we know that there are circumstances causing some folks to turn to crime.
Be with us Lord. Remind us that fear is sometimes a necessary emotion, but that your strength will see us through. "I ask that your almighty arm establish me, put steel into me, and settle me so you will always be the solid ground and pillar of my love."(John Wesley, 1738)

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I have secretly harbored a fantasy for more than 50 years. It started when I first saw the Fab Four shake their mop-heads on the Ed Sullivan Show. Yeah, I was one of those teenagers, screaming and jumping in front of my family's RCA Television Set.
But, since 1963, Paul McCartney and I have never been single at the same time. Unfortunately, I haven't, in all those years, been able to "hook up" with Sir Paul.
In the meantime, however, I've enjoyed listening to his music and fantasizing about our future together.
His latest wife is named Nancy, so I think he might have been thinking of me, too.
All of this information is background for my take on his latest CD. Entitled, "Kisses at the Bottom", it is a collection of mostly old love songs from by-gone eras. It's good and it's my new favorite listen, but "the cute Beatle" definitely sounds like a 70 year old man.
OMGolly. Where has the time gone? Maybe, both Paul and I are getting a little too old for fantasy? Or, maybe not?
BTW, Happy Birthday to the real long-time love of my life.

Dear God: I am thankful for my many blessings. Life has it's ups and downs, but the blessing of life is truly in the journey. Your goodness endures forever. Your steadfast love endures forever. Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with joy of living.