Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Not Another Ordinary Day

November 22, 1987.

30 years ago today.

On this date…

 Dale Earnhardt won the 37th NASCAR Sprint Cup.

The Patriots shut out Indianapolis 24-0.

Jack Sikma (Milwaukee) ended his NBA free throw streak of 51 games.

Two Chicago television stations were hijacked by an unknown pirate dressed as Max Headroom.

Lots of other things happened, too.  Babies were born; people passed on.  It was the Sunday before Thanksgiving, so I’m sure people were traveling to see loved ones around the country.  Some went to the movies.  Some went shopping.  Some stayed at home and cleaned, cooked, read books, watched TV.

For most people, it was an ordinary day.

But not for me.

For me, it was a “come-to-Jesus” kind of day. 

Literally.

November 22, 1987, was the day I was baptized into Christ.


I did not grow up going to church; it was not a regular “thing” for me.  Sure, I went if I had a sleepover with a friend who went, but I knew absolutely nothing about faith. 

I’m not going to go into details about the events leading up to my salvation; suffice it to say that I was rapidly spinning out of control as I feel deeper and deeper into my dark pit of despair.  I was deeply depressed, hopelessly lost, and felt completely empty.  I was a complete and utter disaster – a suicide waiting to happen, or a college-girl-statistic yet to be counted.  Things were so dark for me that I can’t tell you much about my week in Atlantic City that September, because it’s a literal black hole in my memory (nope, I didn’t do anything to get into trouble, because I was too young to drink or gamble – it’s just a blank spot, my “rock bottom,” if you will).  It was my semicolon.

I returned from Atlantic City broken and empty, needing to be filled with something, anything, other than the depression that was sucking me down like a mastodon in a tar pit.  Only then was I willing to go to church with a couple of friends, who had been trying to get me to go with them for several weeks.

Why was I so resistant?

Because I knew that “they” would see my sin.  “They” would know how unworthy I was.  “They” would judge me, and give me “that” look.  And no god in his right mind would want me.

But I was wrong.

I don’t remember the subject.  There had been a marrieds’ retreat, I think and a couple of people shared their experiences.  The Pastor (“Evangelist,” in the church I went to) shared a sermon, and I cried through the whole thing.  All of the years of anxiety, depression, desperation, loneliness – everything came pouring out of me that very morning, in that very pew.  Two girls came to talk to me, and I will forever be grateful to them for their acceptance, friendship and godly love. 

Wendy, Judy and I began to meet weekly to study the book of John, so that I could learn who this Jesus really is.  I learned that He is the Son of God – not just some “good” man who once lived on the earth.  I learned that he was obedient to his parents and that he loved to listen to and challenge the “teachers of the law” as a young boy.  I learned that he had a sense of humor.  I learned that he had great compassion for the “sinners,” but seriously challenged the “religious” people.  I learned that he made a choice that he didn’t have to make, for me and for you and for everyone else, all while knowing full well that many people would choose to reject his gift – because we’ve been given free will. 

He gave it all anyway.

We studied more when we were done with John.  They taught me about discipleship, what it means to follow Christ, and how we won’t be perfect, but we are expected to try to do the right thing (1 Pe 2:21, Eph 5:2, Mt 28:18-20). They taught me what sin is according to the Bible, and how it is what separated me from God (Gal 5:19-21, Ro 3:23, Isa 59:2, Eph 4:18).  They taught me about the cross – what crucifixion is, what Jesus experienced during crucifixion, and why His choice to stay on that cross, even though he had all the power of Heaven in His pinky finger, is such an incredibly powerful thing for us all, and how it is what makes forgiveness of my sins possible (Eph 2).  They taught me that, according to the Bible, I am washed clean by the blood that was shed on that cross (1 Jn 1:7). They taught me about grace, forgiveness, mercy, healing, and how very much God loves me (Ro 5:6-8, Col 3:12-17).  They taught me about baptism, and how I would be buried with Christ in the water, and raised to a new life in Him.  ( Mk 16:16, Ro 6:3-4, Eph 4:5, Col 2:12, 1 Pe 3:21)  I would be clean.

We cried, we prayed, we confessed sins, and through it all, I found hope.  Hope that I wasn’t trapped in that dark, murky pit of despair forever.  Hope that I was worth something.  Hope that I was loved more than I could ever understand, despite what a wretched, broken, imperfect person I was.

Hope that I would be okay.

I was baptized late on the night of November 22, 1987, and born into a new life.  I have never forgotten my confession of faith, “Jesus is Lord.” He is still the Lord of my life, and always will be.  I am clean.

I do not claim to be perfect; I never have.  I do not claim to know it all; I never will.  But I do claim Jesus as my Lord, and God as my ever-loving heavenly Father, and the Holy Spirit as my guide and counselor.  Although I fall short often and make mistakes daily, I still try to live as He wants me to live.  Because He loved me first. 

For more information, download the YouVersion Bible app. It’s free. I’d encourage you to read the books of John, Acts, Romans, and Ephesians.  Seek the Truth.  Find a church.  Fellowship with others who believe, because it gives us strength and encourages us to remain faithful.  Reach out to your friends and neighbors, and share the Hope for which you live. 


You are loved more than you can ever understand.  Wholly.  Deeply.  Unconditionally. (Jn. 3:16)


Resources:
https://www.youversion.com/
https://www.biblegateway.com/
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/animals-trapped-in-the-la-brea-tar-pits-would-take-months-to-sink-6006035/


https://www.onthisday.com/date/1987/november/22

Friday, July 8, 2016

Madness...

I woke up today, wanting to name-call and finger-point and throw a temper tantrum, all while climbing under my rock. I can't. I won't. I am called to be loving to all, to extend the Grace which was extended to me. ***sigh*** It's hard sometimes... Two wrongs won't make it right -- nothing and no one can undo what has been done, or undone. Name-calling and finger-pointing and temper tantrums will not fix things. Climbing under a rock doesn't make it all go away. We HAVE to find a way to end this cycle of hatred. Drop the labels. Stop with stereotypes. Call evil what it is. We must find a way to unite beyond the boundaries of color, orientation, religion. We must stop taking things so personally, being SO sensitive -- stop living as though the world revolves around our lone self, like some spoiled toddler who doesn't get his/her way. We need to take pride in our humanity, compassion, caring, and uniqueness. We are all different. We all have "history." We have all walked our own difficult paths, and no two are alike. Your struggles are real. So are mine. So are my neighbor's. So are my kids'. Let's stop trying to one-up each other, reducing the other's struggles to a speck so that ours can be "the most important thing in everyone's world." My daughter was in the ER last summer, in excruciating pain. Her dad and I were very worried. It had been a very rough time (she hemhorraged after her tonsillectomy), and we were all exhausted. They gave her pain meds, and told her to press the call button when it wore off. It never worked, so we pressed the call button. No one came. Several nurses walked by, but she wasn't "their" patient. Finally, someone came in to see what she needed (her pain meds weren't working), and left. Outside our "door" (curtain), he said, "I hate that people come in here thinking that their emergency is the worst one here." Umm, exCUSE me? For every person in the ER, their emergency is just that -- an emergency. I get that they triage, yada yada yada, but his callous response to what we were going through, whether directed at our situation or not (it turned out her IV was not in correctly, and the pain meds were not going into her vein -- they were spilling into her tissue in her arm), was completely uncalled for, and extremely insensitive. To me, my daughter's complications were terrifying; to the person in the room next door to us, their problems were terrifying. To the person next to them, THEIR problems were terrifying. Get the point? Don't you see? It's all in perspective. It's all about what we bring to the situation with us -- our past hurts & joys, successes & failures. Who are you to judge my experiences? Who am I to judge yours? We need to dig deep and find our compassion and empathy. We need to throw off our predjudices and preconceived ideas about the people around us, and take them for who they are. Actions may speak louder than words, but video doesn't always tell the whole story. We rely so much on social media for our news (go ahead and tell me you don't -- I won't believe you, because I see what you post), and we are so quick to have a knee-jerk reaction to "social wrongs," that we forget that people make mistakes, and there may be more to the story than meets the eye. I don't believe that cops go around shooting people for pleasure. I know too many, and they are good people. But they are faced with garbage (literally) that we know nothing about. A friend's hubby was filling his squad car with gas, and some lunatic ran up and dumped a garbage can on the hood of his car. Why? Another local officer was berated with profanities and insults for pulling a woman over who was speeding. Why? Likewise, I don't believe that every protester out there is hell-bent on chaos. Please, I'm begging you -- dig deep. Forgive. Look for the positives. Overlook "insults". Don't become so filled with hate that the cycle continues. Don't assume that because I am sympathetic to the plight of our officers that I think corruption is okay -- it's not.
The struggle is real. I still want to cry and scream and stomp my feet and pound the floor, name-calling and finger-pointing all the way to my hole in the ground. But I won't. I can't. I have a responsibility to my family, to model the behaviors that I hope they will exhibit. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Gentleness. Faithfulness. SELF-CONTROL. And I have a responsibility to my Savior, to model the behaviors that He modeled for me. Grace. Forgiveness. Strength. Expectations. 2nd chances. LOVE. "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."  (1 John 4:  7-12, NIV)

Friday, March 11, 2016

Drowning....

I wrote this during a particularly difficult time in my life.  I'm happy to say that things DO get better.  My hubby and I are still together.  My kids are all still alive, and we still speak. Life is good.

My point:  Things can seem bleak. Hopeless. Dark.  Lonely.  Sometimes, we have things that weigh so heavily on us that we can't bear it.  When everything is dark, seek the light.  When all else fails, PRAY.  We are not meant to carry our burdens alone.  Lay them down, at the foot of the cross.  Lay them down.  

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Romans 8: 38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

See? We aren't alone.


"Drowning"
No one knows my silent hell. 
No one knows the constant emotional pain I endure. 
I have no one to tell. 
No one.
I am alone. 
Some days, I feel like I'm going to explode.
***KaBLOOEY***
There goes my head.
Today is one of those days.
So much pressure.
So much responsibility.
So.much.PAIN...
I have no one to talk to.
Well, no one I feel like I can talk to.
My friends are busy.
My spouse is in a mid-life crisis.
My kids have issues.
I have issues!
Other family members wouldn't understand...
(or, I don't want to even try to explain it)
Days like today, I feel alone.
But I know that this isn't really true.
On my darkest, saddest days, there is
     One who is listening.   
     One who is supportive.
     One who is here.
I just can't "see" Him.
Sometimes, I wish He would pull up a chair, or burn a bush and talk to me.
Especially right now.
My life -- my self -- is at a breaking point, and
     I don't know what to do.
     I don't know if I have the strength to go on like this.
(No, I'm not contemplating suicide!)
If I could support my kids alone, I would leave.
But I can't.
Not financially. 
Not emotionally.
Not while I'm battered and bruised.
I don't want to be here
     in this house.
     in this "place."
     in this part of my life.
Can I just move on now?
Help me.
I'm drowning.
Seriously, something has to give.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I am SOOOO not a feminist!

A friend posted this meme on her facebook, and I wrote the following reply.  I decided not to post it, because it's not right for me to hijack her page. Instead, I thought I'd post it here.  


Don't believe everything you read online.  There's more to the story than what this meme says.  

The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, and signed into law by Kennedy; there should be no need for a new one – just the need to enforce laws that are already in place.  It's been widely reported that Obama pays his female staffers less; Wendy Davis paid her female staffers less from 2009-2013. This is a people-problem – NOT a party line problem – and the law needs to be enforced on Capitol Hill, as well as in the general population.  

As for the pay-gap, when you compare job-to-job, women are usually very close to men's pay, if not equal-to (and frequently paid more) for the same work.  However, if you're comparing the pay of waitstaff (predominately women) with oil workers (predominately men), there will be a HUGE gap in gender-vs.-pay.    

I was hired to do the same work as another woman in my office, but she is paid quite a bit more than I am.  She's only been in the job about 3 years longer than I have, but I can't make the same amount, even though I had similar (not identical) experience.  Yea – it’s unfair, because I work more hours than she does, and manage a program that's twice the size of hers – but there is nothing I can do about it now.  I accepted this job, at the pay I got, so I can't do much other than a) find a better-paying job, or b) fight to try and get a raise.  OH – did I mention she's a minority? – maybe I should file a lawsuit because I have been discriminated against because I'm white....  That would be absurd!  Did I also mention that EVERY person in the hiring process – my boss, her boss, her boss's boss, and the HR veeps – were ALL FEMALE (no men were involved in the deal I was offered).  My point is that, YES, women should be paid equally; yet, while equal pay for equal jobs looks good on paper, there are often other reasons for the differences.  I failed to do research regarding what average pay is for my job – that’s now MY problem.  If you don't like your "underpaid" job, maybe it's time to find a new one...

I challenge you to get your info regarding what Republicans and/or conservatives want/believe/philosophize from sites that are not left-leaning – and for the opposite to hold true, as well.  You might be surprised to learn that they are not as evil as most liberals like to believe.  Study history, and see who made what policies, who freed slaves, who passed laws to provide better pay for minorities, etc. Study farm-bill history. Get your information from time-honored sources, and not places like the Huffington Post or the major news outlets – all of which have obvious political spin.  I try to look at both points of view through the eyes of their own particular party – if I only believe what conservatives/Republicans post about liberals/progressives/Democrats, I would never even SPEAK to one, let alone call him/her my "friend."  

It's time to put the partisan negative talk to bed, and get educated about the truth.  I'm tired of being told, or hearing that, I'm stupid, lazy, evil, healthcare-hating, woman-hating (Hellllloooooo – I AM a woman!), poor-hating, minority-hating, etc., because I am conservative. To the contrary, I am educated, intelligent, ridiculously compassionate, and dream of solving world hunger problems; I also oppose entitlements (for those able to work, but milking the system), the ACA/Obamacare (they should've fixed Medicare/caid, rather than pushing us toward the single-payer system that they want), and am staunchly against what appears to be a socialist agenda.  I oppose amnesty for the masses of illegal immigrants, but fully support those who seek immigration through legal means (and I support fixing the system so that it isn't so difficult to immigrate legally!)

I work for a non-profit, which falls under "entitlements," and I see how our elderly are treated by our government.  How many people do you know on food stamps?  I know families of 4 or 5, who get $700-$1000/month for food stamps, plus who knows how much welfare – and are perfectly able-bodied to find work, but have stopped looking (they’ve told me they’re good with what the government gives them, so why bother?).  My senior volunteers, who want to work but are at an age that it’s getting very difficult to find a job, get an average of $800/month is Social Security, and an average of $16 (yes – SIXTEEN dollars) a month in food stamps.  Their food stamps were cut from an average of $125/month to $16!  That's WRONG.  

So sure, we can sit around and whine that we aren't paid equally because we're female; I, however, think we need to focus on the bigger issues that are going on around us and stop being mean to each other.  Stop pointing fingers. Stop blaming conservatives, Congress (there are 3 branches of government, people!) and George W. Bush.  Wake up, people – we are actively giving up our freedoms to an out-of-control government that shames us for being exceptional.  As I’ve said in previous posts, for hundreds of years, people have risked life and limb to get to America. Why?  Because we ARE EXCEPTIONAL.  Don’t you think it’s time that we start acting like it?


Other interesting articles on this subject, and related...

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sweet? I think NOT.

“I must really have people snowed.” 

That was my thought yesterday when I was joking with someone about being a trouble-maker.  She said to me, “There’s no way you’re a trouble-maker; you’re too sweet.” 

“I’m too sweet?” I wondered to myself.  “Since when?”

I’ve never thought of myself as sweet.  I’m friendly.  I’m mostly well-behaved.  I’m polite.  I try to be respectful and kind.  I hold doors open for people, offer to help with projects at work, and generally try to be cheerful.  I have empathy and compassion.  But, “sweet”?

I often think of 1Peter 3:3-5a: Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves.  I’ve never been accused of being “gentle and quiet,” so this singular passage has been one of the proverbial thorns in my side.  It’s also how I viewed the description of “sweet.”  Uh -- NOT me. I’m big. I’m loud.  I’m talkative.  I blurt.  I often feel like a bull in a china shop – I have been known to trample, no matter how “accidentally”—people’s feelings.  Without exception, I leave gatherings and wonder “what stupid thing did I say now?”  My insecurity knows no bounds.  I’m not a meek, mouse-like creature, though – I am big, loud, and have a big personality!


This morning I was listening to Fernando Ortega sing a fairly old song that I don’t hear as often as I would like to.  “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us”.  It’s a beautiful thought-put-to-music about how God loves us so deeply, he gave his only Son, and made me, “a wretch, his treasure.”  The lyrics speak of how God turned away from Jesus on the cross, and of the pain that Jesus must of felt.  But what stopped me in my tracks (figuratively speaking, since I was driving!) was this line:

Behold the Man upon a cross, my sin upon His shoulders!
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.

Did you see it?  Did you see what stopped my heart?  No, not that the Man was upon the cross, bearing my sin – that’s something that I think about, and pray about, every day.  No, the next line: “Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.” 

Me? My mocking voice?  Ummm…

I have studied the cross in depth.  As an extremely empathetic person, I have spent countless hours thinking about the weight of my sin that He bore for me.  I have prayed countless prayers of gratitude, thankful that I no longer have to bear that weight.  And yes, I have even thought about how MY sin is what put him there.  I beat him.  I mocked him.  I pounded the nails in.  But it’s not something I camp on often. 

It’s easy for me to remember that He died for “us.” Collective.  Humanity.  Everyone.  But, do how often do I stop and make it personal?  Every Sunday I sing about how God loves me, how Jesus died for ME, so I suppose I think of that in a more personal way on a fairly regular basis. 
But MY mocking voice?

I want to believe that I was in his small band of supporters – that I was among those who cried at His feet, and who gently removed His broken and battered body from the cross.   I held him reverently, cleaning off the blood and wrapping Him in cloth and herbs, and giving Him a proper burial.  I was Mary, who sat outside His tomb, weeping.  I was she who discovered Him missing, whom He appeared to first.

Maybe I am.  Maybe I would have been.

But I was also the mocker.  I stood among the rest of the angry cowards, and shouted at Him.  I laughed at His followers who cried for Him.  I betrayed Him like Judas.  I denied Him like Peter.  I riled up the crowd like the Pharisees.  I pounded in the nails.  I pierced His body with the sword.  I was hate-filled, or scared, or na├»ve – whatever I was, I was LOST.

WAS.

But because of this greatest act of Love – because of the deep, deep love my Father in Heaven has for me – I have the most important things in this world:  Forgiveness.  Redemption.  HOPE.

How deep the Father's love for us -- how vast, beyond all measure! -- that He should give His only Son and make a wretch His treasure.

How great the pain of searing loss!  The Father turns His face away as wounds, which mar the chosen One, bring many sons to glory.

Behold, the Man upon a cross -- my sin upon His shoulders!  Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.

It was my sin that held Him there until it was accomplished.  His dying breath has brought me life; I know that it is finished!

I will not boast in anything, no gifts, no power, no wisdom; but I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection!

Why should I gain from His reward?  I cannot give an answer.  But this I know with all my heart: His wounds have paid my ransom!
©1995 Kingsway's Thankyou Music 
Words and Music by Stuart Townend


If you were to ask me, at this very moment, the reason for my faith – THIS would be my reason.  

This. 

God, the Father, gave His only pure and faultless and perfect Son so that I, a wretched mocker, can be His treasure. 

No matter how unworthy you feel – how wretched, mean, how LOST – you have Someone who loves you.  He already sacrificed for you, and gave you the most incredible gift – you just have to humble yourself and accept it.  I know how hard that is to do – I drug my feet about ever setting foot in a church in college, because I knew what a rotten person I was, and thought, “There’s NO WAY God will ever want ME.” 

I’ll write again about God’s love for us, and my thoughts about why Christians get such a bad rap, and what I think I need to do to help change it.

In the meantime, think about the words of Paul:

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!  For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Romans 5:6-10, NIV)


Hang in there, friends – YOU ARE LOVED.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

[My opinion post from Facebook regarding the article "EX-DISNEY STAR RENOUNCED CHRISTIANITY AND BECAME A PAGAN – BUT THAT’S NOT THE END OF THE STORY" by Billy Hollowell, about Matt Morris/Teo Bishop, a former Disney star who left Christianity several years ago to become a Druid.  Read the article here (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/11/25/ex-disney-star-renounced-christianity-and-became-a-pagan-but-thats-not-the-end-of-the-story/)]


“I’m overwhelmed with thoughts of Jesus,” he wrote. “Jesus and God and Christianity and the Lord’s Prayer and compassion and forgiveness and hope and judgement and freedom from judgement and all of the things which made (and make) me feel connected to the Sacred." ~Teo Bishop


That simple description, of compassion & forgiveness & hope... & freedom from judgement -- to me, THAT is what Christ brought us. Those who focus on the judgmental side of the people who call themselves "Christians" are missing the point of what Christ taught. Unfortunately, people (Christians included!) are imperfect. We are called to love the unlovable, and to be kind and compassionate, forgiving as we have been forgiven. We can have opinions, but opinions are not necessarily "judging."

Regardless of what he does with his new-found confusion-of-faith, this is an interesting read, and should challenge many of us to do a bit of navel-gazing, as we search out the meaning of our OWN faith. "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." (1 Pet. 3: 15b-16)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Once again, I find myself only posting things I've written on Facebook.  Perhaps I would be better off posting here, first, then linking to it on my FB page?  Is that too much pride and/or self-promotion? Whatever it is, this is my not-all-that-humble opinion.  On that note...

Back on the ol' soapbox...


Originally posted October 18, 2013

Hmmmm....  Just mulling over my soapbox speeches of the past.... I'm naively disappointed that some of my more liberal friends have not understood my point, that the hatred they display towards the right is highly offensive to me. 


Why are those on the right objectified as "white" and "christian," as though being either of those two things are bad? Especially when the majority of said liberal friends are one of those two things themselves? Yep -- I'm saying it here -- I am disgusted at how many of my WHITE liberal friends rip on white conservatives. WHAT is WRONG with you people?! I didn't choose my skin color, but I DID choose my religion -- as an educated adult, mind you! -- AND my politics. I don't like Obama's policies or politics, and his skin color has NEVER been an issue for me -- this is the first time I've ever even addressed it! So stop putting words into the mouths of conservatives, and SHUT UP. You think I'm being naive about race? Actually, it's quite the opposite. I've been the "victim" of prejudice, and I worked VERY hard to earn the respect of those who didn't trust me because of my skin color. I get it. I don't like it.  But YOU need to leave race out of your comments, because the only racist here is YOU.

When you post inflammatory comments, like "If you vote republican you're voting against women, clean air, babies and starving pandas," you're telling me that I'm against those things. How would you even KNOW what I'm for or against? Have you ASKED a conservative what they are for/against? Or are you just repeating the slander the media spins? Frankly, I'm sick of it. 

We all need to take a good, hard look in the mirror, and determine what it is we stand for; then, take a step back and think about how you come off to your "friends." Are you showing no respect for others by basically posting that they are idiots because they don't share your opinion? If so, you sound like a pompous windbag, and really need to put a sock in it. It would be one thing if you were posting opinions about issues facing our nation, but just spouting off about how awful an entire group of people are, and how it's so "funny that they are imploding! hahahaha!" is about as mature as a baby on a dating site. C'mon -- stop generalizing, and start showing the intelligence that I know you have. I work hard to try to understand where the "other side" is coming from, and it's time that you get down off your high horse and try to do the same. You show absolutely NO compassion or generosity or love by being flat-out MEAN. I don't have to agree with you to show you that I respect you; there are ways to disagree yet show love. 

So, yea, I will keep posting that I think that Obamacare is a colossal failure, and that the debt ceiling should NOT be raised -- we need to live within our means as a nation, just like many of us try to do at home. I will continue to post my opinion that our POTUS is the most divisive President our nation has ever seen, and that I think our media needs to get out of the opinion business and back in to the FACT-reporting business. I also will tell you that I am tired of being told that I'm "against the poor" because I am against a thinly veiled socialist agenda -- NO, I AM NOT; I just have a different idea of how the problem could be solved without breaking the bank. I'm not against immigration -- but I am against breaking the law to get here, and against a blanket-amnesty for all. I am not ashamed of our nation's EXCEPTIONAL past -- but I am sick of hearing from our media and many liberal "leaders" how it's wrong for us to be exceptional. How ridiculous is that? Isn't it what we supposedly are pushing for in schools? An exceptional education? How about on the job -- don't you want to shine? 

There was a reason, for hundreds of years, that people have risked life and limb to immigrate to our EXCEPTIONAL country -- their desire for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our free market society -- yes, friends, much to your chagrin our country became great largely because of capitalism! -- our rights to keep and bear arms, to pursue education, to vote, to choose whether or not we have health insurance, and the freedom to practice religion without interference from the government -- these are all things that have made our country one of the most exceptional places in the world to live.

I think it's time we all do a little research into where our country came from, what our forefathers INTENDED, and learn from the mistakes of other countries and societies who once excelled, but now suck. Take time to educate yourself about what the "other" side REALLY believes and desires, and stop spreading the hate-filled lies your friends and the media are spinning. And if, after reading this little rant of mine, you no longer want to be friends, that's OK, too; I'm still good enough, smart enough, and, doggone it, at least SOME people still like me! 

I've cleared my conscience; it's time for a good-night's sleep. Pleasant dreams of world peace, my friends....