Tuesday, March 17

President Farkas and the Growing Frustration - Guest Blogger

Do you remember the scene in the movie, “The Christmas Story” when Scut Farkas, the consummate bully goads Ralphie into crying after pelting him in the face with a ginormous snowball? Something snaps in the mild mannered Ralphie, and he commences to unleash a torrent of tiny fists and swear words in an unknown tongue rendering the bully humiliated, bloodied, and reformed.

Well, smack dab in the middle of the winter of our economic depression, the spirit of Scut Farkas has been channeled into the US government. They have pitched snowball after taxing, hypocritical snowball toward the quiet, unassuming Ralphies across the country. How many more snowballs will it take to reach critical mass? What will be the final salvo launched to insight the bullied and bespectacled to punch back?

For the record, I believe that we should pray for our leaders on every level that we may live a quiet and peaceable life. I would never advocate anarchy or revolution; however, I firmly believe if the government continues its current pompous taunting of the citizenry, some will respond in an unprecedented fashion. Atlas will shrug.

Today, the current checks and balances are breaking down and people are starting to understand the intentional destruction that is taking place. At least I want to believe it is intentional and not borne completely out of idiocy.

Since the inauguration we have systematically alienated our closest allies and opened new doors to welcome our enemies. We have shaken hands with Syria, pledged to give $900 million to Hamas (er, Gaza), and spit in Israel's face.

We are genuflecting before Russia and telling the Poles and Czechs to take a slow train to Siberia. Do you know that Poland is such a strong ally that within our intelligence community some refer to them as the 51st state?

In the middle of a recession, we are turning down sales of fighter planes to Taiwan because we don't want to upset the Red Chinese.

We just gave the British Prime Minister 25 DVDs in exchange for priceless heirlooms and blew off a joint press conference. With friend like this...you know how it goes. As far as I'm concerned, the President would have done worse only if he had urinated in the Englishman's tea.

But at the same time we are falling over ourselves to hug the Taliban and sing kum-ba-yah with Islamic terrorists around the globe.

Farkas gave us about a quarter raise ($13 a week tax break) at the exact same time he was lifting our wallets so that he could max out all of our credit cards while buying environmentally friendly golf carts, paying for our neighbors' abortions, building a snowmaking facility in Minnesota, and upgrading intercoms in Alaska. Incomprehensible!

President Scut armed with even more snowballs and insults (aimed at freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms, among other things) daily treads closer and closer to that imaginary line in the sand for so many.

Whatever faith there was in the government has now dwindled down to those who lazily stand with an outstretched hand crying for someone else to pay for their mortgage and put gas in their car. Like a parasitic side kick they look to big brother Farkas to fix it all.

But one of these days that last frozen missile will plant itself for the last time in Ralphie's face. The gloves will come off and the landscape could look dramatically different. Although I'm not a betting man, my money's on Ralphie.

Written by Michael Andrzejewski for The LaGrange Daily News.

Monday, February 16

Save the trees but kill the children??

My sweet friend Abbye posted this on her blog and it echoed my feelings exactly. These are her words... "I know I will offend someone, so in advance, I apologize. I will not however apologize for what I'm going to say. In the background I'm listening to the news and I realize I'm getting a little stressed. If I think about it, life has gotten a little more stressful lately. News of "stimulus bills" that prayerfully will work, but realistically is just full of pet projects for the president, house speaker, etc... is worrisome when I think about how it will affect my childrens lives down the road. I worry that our nation's leaders have no moral compass, and have no concept that their votes, their actions, their bills will have consequences in the eternal. We will all be judged. Do people not realize that they too will be judged on the way they vote? I'm not saying God is a republican or a democrat. I'm saying in the eternal, the economy, taxes, healthcare and bailouts won't matter. Life matters. And when some of my friends, people who are close to me rationalize their vote and put more importance on the economy, than the importance of protecting life, my heart breaks. I don't think on judgment day God will say how glad he was that we voted to save our economy, that we voted for "change". I think he will ask why didn't we do everything in our power to protect the life he so perfectly created. I get angry that people will get rageful and protest and go on hunger strikes to save the trees. Is human life less important than trees? I don't get it. I don't get it. I also don't understand people getting upset about the genocide around the world, but vote for the womans rights to kill her own child. There have been more murders from abortion alone than genocide (I'm not saying genocide is not important). And yes, I did say "kill her own child". I'm tired of Christian pregnancy centers, the government and "politically correctness" telling us not to use the words "kills, death, die, murder" when talking about abortion so that we might not offend anyone. Am I the only one who is sickened by this? I'm tired of women being lied to, that abortion is an "option", just like parenting and adoption are options. What they aren't told is the percentage of women who try to kill themselves after an abortion. They aren't told the number of women who suffer from depression, eating disorders, alcoholism, self-mutilation, drug addictions, shame, hatred for themselves, insomnia, night terrors, ongoing health problems...need I go on? People who say they are "for women's rights" are lying to themselves. If women's rights are something that is so important, why then, are they being lied to, and not warned of the heartache that will follow an abortion? It may be immediately, it may be a week, month, year, or 30 years before it hits. And since people usually bring up the "rape" situation, I'll comment on that too. Rape of course is a HORRIBLE event, a tragedy. There is no argument that it is an ugly, evil and horrific violation. And when this results in a pregnancy, the majority of people, even "pro-lifers" give an "out" to abortion. "It's okay, but only in this case. The woman shouldn't have to be reminded everyday of what was done to her." I agree that the women shouldn't have to be reminded of what happened. The rape should never have happened. But take the focus off the rape, the rapist, the womans rights. A life was created, yes out of selfishness, violence and ugliness. But a life was created. A baby was created. Tell me, when God looks at that life, that baby, that child, that teenager, that adult who was conceived this way, does he look at this life and say, " I created you, but you are not good?" Do you think God looks at that child and says, "I love you less because of the way you were created?" I absolutely don't think so. Jesus didn't say "I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full, but only those who were conceived in love." That innocent life when born doesn't know he is so despised. That baby was still "beautifully and wonderfully created". Why do people have no regard or respect for life? I just don't get it. People of today are so focused on convenience, not being in-convenienced, not being uncomfortable in anyway, being instantly gratified and not thinking their actions have any consequences. I of course struggle with this thinking too! I want what I want when I want it! God has become a joke, a parody, and only something for "weak-minded people". Our nation has turned it's back on God, and I am deeply saddened. When our president is only in office a few days and lifts a ban on government funded abortions, how does God feel about that? Is God going to bless a nation who spits in his face? I pray for my children and the world they will grow up in. I grieve that they will never really know pride for their country. I grieve that society is "raping" their innocence with promiscuous kids programs, homosexual characters in their cartoons, homosexual education in kindergarten, murder is a common theme in video games and cartoons, sex is pushed on them in elementary schools, and God is not allowed in their schools! I grieve that kids are killing eachother and their parents don't understand why. But take a look in their homelife and all you see is a TV with violence, games with violence, internet full of porn and parents who leave other caregivers to raise their children and don't want to be bothered with the "inconvenience" of parenting. I'm not saying that parents who have their children in daycare are doing this, I'm saying parents who don't raise their kids, who don't teach, grow, direct their children. Parents who don't want their lives to be inconvenienced with the "boring" needs of their children. I know how it will all end, and I rejoice in the victory Jesus has already won! I serve the Creator, the Redeemer, the Judge, the Great Physician, the Lover of My Soul, Jesus the Son of God! He grieves along with me, with us, in how we treat eachother. What's so beautiful is He didn't just die for me. He died for and adores those who spit in his face. He loves those who have kicked him out of their lives mock him. How beautiful is that? He loves someone who does "good" and the most evil person the same. It's so hard to understand that! But the evil child-rapist, the most evil terrorist in the world and time is still His child. He still wants that child to be with Him in paradise. It's so hard to understand that kind of love. But he is Love. He IS Love. And I have to daily put my life, my childrens lives, my marriage, our family, our finances, and my worries at the foot of the cross. I need to be reminded daily what he did for me, so that I don't have to carry all these worries and questions. He is big enough to handle them. He has redeemed my life from the pit, restored what was stolen from me and has turned my ashes into beauty! Nothing and no one on earth can do what He has done for me. I don't live my life perfectly, and I am constantly wanting to do things better, to be a better wife, mother, woman, daughter and friend. I am learning that my first role and my priority is to be His daughter and dwell in Him. I can't do it all by myself, and I'm not supposed to. He is Love. And Love is full of Grace. I worship the lover of my soul, my creator, my Father." Please be in prayer for our new president and for our country....

Saturday, January 24

Don't make me count to five!!

Obedience. Something I expect from my children the first time. I have trained them to listen the first time, in preparation for obeying our Lord when He first calls them to obey. I have learned ( and continue to learn) that His ways are best. Most of the time I wonder WHY? Because I don't see the big picture. Just like a loving parent screams to their child to move as a car comes barreling around a corner. The child is scared and wonders why you had to scream to get their attention. They were unaware of their impending doom. In the same way our heavenly Father guides us (and yes sometimes he has to scream at me to get my attention) and I wonder why did He have to do it that way? If I do not listen to His voice, however loud or quiet it may be, I am facing impending doom!! His ways are higher than my ways! Being obedient is easy at times. It's not hard to say Yes I believe in Jesus Christ because then I am free from sin. But to LIVE for Christ is at times hard. When the Lord leads you in ways you have never dreamed and you know if you CHOOSE to follow Him others may look at you differently (or think you're off your rocker!!). That is where I sit these days. As God, in His perfect timing, reveals His plan for our family. We find ourselves sitting in an awesome place. Because we know we are right where God wants us. And we won't move until He says it's time. Until then please continue to pray for us. As we face these huge life changes pray that we would stand bold in our faith, be obedient and as we do we will fall more in love with Jesus...

Thursday, December 25

Good Friends & Good Food

This is the first year since being married that we have not had plans for Christmas Eve. We have always been home or made plans with friends who were also away from home. I thought we would just have a quiet day at home. However Matt and i both woke up yesterday feeling homesick and sad (I know we are pathetic, we have so much to be thankful for). It wasn't that we weren't thankful for our many blessings. Just sad to be so far away from family. So I began thinking what would make the day more fun. Back at home EVERY Christmas Eve my mom makes Cioppino. It's a seafood stew and before you turn your nose and say "gross" let me tell you about it. It is the best meal ever. My favorite by far!! These are few of the ingrediants... Butter, onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, chicken broth, white wine, bay leaves, basil, oregano, thyme...and the kitchen sink (there is more but you get the idea). Once all that is ready you add crab legs, scallops, shrimp and clams. It's so fun to eat because you get to dig in and peel everything apart at the table. So, yes, its amazing! So back to my story. Yesterday I decided I would make it myself and see if any of our friends were without plans too. Some dear friends of our were!! The Martins and there 2 boys came about 7. It was so nice to watch the kids play (Dodie and I met when we were both pregnant with our oldest kids, who are now 6). I had fun getting the house "ready". You know setting the table, making place cards, etc. Here are some pics. I forgot to take one of the group but you get the idea. Merry CHRISTmas!! (Oh, if your wondering why I am up on CHRISTmas morning posting a blog...my kids are still sleeping and it's almost 7:30. That NEVER happens!!)
Ready for guests to arrive.
Here are the table settings. I know I'm a total dork, but I had so much fun putting it all together!
Yummy seafood ready to go in the pot
The pot waiting for seafood
I guess it's time to wake up the kids. Matt just got back from feeding our friends dogs. I seriously can not believe my kids aren't up!!

Wednesday, December 24

Forgotten Pictures

I was reminded recently of these pictures. They were taken this summer while Matt and I were away at summer camp (helping with youth). She stayed with a sweet family we know (thanks again Nease Family). I just thought they were cute...The first is from the Grace Museum. The second one is the one I saw just the other day! I thought the story behind it was funny. Lauren had gone to the bathroom and she came back wearing this hat. Apparently it was pretty high up hanging on the wall in the bathroom. And while Lauren was taking care of business she thought "I have to get that somehow." Belinda still is not sure how Lauren was able to reach it...enjoy!

Tuesday, December 2

The 80's were like, totally radical!!

Although I was born in 1981 I still was old enough to enjoy the "fashion" and big hair!! At MOPS last week we had 80's day. I was so excited. I decided to go for an 80's rocker chic look. I had so much fun getting ready. However once I got to MOPS ALL the moms were dressed more like flashdance! So they were all in comfy cloths and I was wearing tight skinny jeans, pink leg warmers and 5 inch yellow heels (and fun makeup). Needless to say it was probably pretty entertaining watching me walk around. I had to take baby steps so I wouldn't fall. Then after 30 minutes I changed into my UGGS (they were popular in the 80's too). Here are some pics from my day!
Flashdance vs rocker chic
My best rocker pose...not very believable!
When we got home Hailey grabbed my heels and walked around the house for a while!! And it must be said...she was better at it than I was!!

Friday, November 28

Our little swimmer

Lauren has been swimming since age 2. She has always loved the water and as she has gotten older she has enjoyed it more! This summer she joined the Abilene Tidal Waves. It a USA swim team here in Abilene. It has bee amazing to watch her learn new strokes and improve on her times. Here are some pics from her first swim meet (this was about 2 months ago...sorry).
This is LC right after her first comp swim!!
Cheering on her team mates.

Wednesday, November 26

Not yet...

As we celebrate this time of thanksgiving we are blown away by how much we have to be thankful for. Last night as Matt and I lay in bed we talked about all that we had been blessed by in the past year. What blessed us the most was our realization of growth. As husband and wife, as parents and most of all our walk with Christ. We have walked through pain, loss, joy, triumph, and a call to missions knowing that God is sovereign and He knows all things. Being called to missions has been the biggest growing experience in our lives. Over the past 5 months we have been stretched in ways we've never experienced. God has covered us with His grace and supplied us with His strength when the enemy attacked (and he did!!). Today we received an e-mail from our consultant. God's timing is perfect and He is all knowing!! Matt and I have been praying for an answer from the IMB. The next step would be to go to conference, have face-to-face interviews, and get our assignment (in a nutshell). We have been preparing ourselves for a "not yet" answer. We both feel we need to take care of somethings here before we go overseas. Part of that is finances and part of that is finishing our degrees. The e-mail we received today said "not yet". I thought I would be upset, but I'm not. We are both relieved knowing we have more time for God to work in our lives, draw us closer to Him and we don't want to go a minute before He desires us to. Although it would be exciting to go now, we both want what God wants and in His timing. The IMB said to contact them in 6 months and let them know our progress and they will reconsider us at that time. Please be in prayer for us as we continue to follow His call on our lives... and PRAISE God for answered prayers!!

Tuesday, November 25

Breakfast Table

Here are some sweet pictures of Kevin and Hailey at the breakfast table. It normally takes them 30 minutes to eat because they sit there and make each other laugh!!

Monday, November 24

The difference a year makes...

This year has been amazing and totally different from last year. I am so grateful for the wise advice we received from other parents who have been down the same road. With a sick child we were faced with several hard decisions. One of them was to pull Lauren out of school and focus on getting her healthy. Although it was hard we were so blessed by our extra time with her at home. As the summer ended we were faced with another decision. Do we place Lauren in 1st grade or kindergarten?? Again we received great counsel and placed her in kindergarten. I was surprised to find that she was still not the oldest in her class (there are actually 5 kids who are older). It's been great to see her thrive and excel in her new environment. Her teacher also says that she is blessed by Lauren's helpfulness and fun spirit!! Thank you Lord for surrounding us with friends who give us wise counsel and pray to you on our behalf. Thank you for blessing us with encouragement and love. In Christ's name, Amen.