Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Table Topics: Journaling

A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with my friend, Matthew, prior to his European Summer Extravaganza.  Somehow the topic of journaling came up and he indicated he journals, pretty regularly.  I was shocked.  A man journaling?  Get outta here!  He said, "How else will my grandchildren know about me?" which was a brilliant reason.  Given Matthew is somewhat of a unique soul, I challenged him to find two other men that journal...and we did.  Wow.  Revelation!  

This caused me to take this to the men that are my Facebook friends and survey the audience.  Again, I was surprised at the number of men that did journal regularly or had in the past and wanted to resume that practice.  Fascinating.  I found that more men have or do journal than I imagined, and I find that very endearing.  If you are a man who journals, Brava!!  

Now that I've fininshed my MBA, one of the items on my MBA Bucket List is to start journaling again.  I have done it during certain seasons in my past, but with school added to the mix of my busy life, journaling was far from my radar to continue.  I've ordered a nice composition notebook that should arrive Friday and I'll be on my way.  I may never have grandchildren, but someone might like to read them one day.  

That brings us to today's Table Topic.  

Do you journal?  If so, why?  

Get your pen and paper ready....or your fingers nimble...and discuss.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Love Wins

Last week the Supreme Court passed the decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states of the United States.  The decision passed by a slight 5-4 margin.  Unless you live under a rock, the information world has been all a buzz about this with both sides speaking loudly regarding their stand.  Rainbows are everywhere and even the White House was lit up like a rainbow.  

I've hesitated to respond at all to this discussion, but after much rumination, for which this blog is named, I think I finally have my thoughts together.  No matter which side you are on, I plead with you to read this entire blog post.  Some of it you may agree with, and some of it you may not.  But here in the land of the free, I'm glad I have the freedom to express it.

I do not believe in same-sex marriage.  Why?  Because I believe the Bible clearly indicates that marriage is between one man and one woman.  A wise person once said "you can't legalize morality" and for that, just because I believe the Bible in its entirety doesn't mean I can force my beliefs on you.  But men and women died for me to have the freedom to believe that.  And practice that.  Though I may not be a supporter of the Supreme Court decision, it doesn't mean I'm forlorn for this world.  God is still on His Throne, and one day all things will be made right.  And I can pray for my nation and my leaders for the days ahead.  

I would like to address the people on both sides because I feel there are things I want to say to everyone.  I have friends and acquaintances that are homosexual or support the gay lifestyle.  And I still love them.  

To those that support same-sex marriage:  For you this decision was a long time coming and many of you feel very vindicated for what has been withheld from you for so long.  The right to marry legally.  Though I don't agree with your lifestyle, I hope what has occurred will provide you fulfillment.  I don't believe any Supreme Court decision is the answer to life's questions, or will solve all your problems.  I do ask that you respect those who believe the opposite of you.  The freedom you have now to marry legally is the same freedom others deserve to practice what they believe to be truth from the Bible.  Denying those of that freedom is no different than the denial you've had (until last week) to be recognized as a legally-bound union.

To those that do not support same-sex marriage:  First off, God has not crawled off His Throne.  God loves the homosexual just like He loves you.  The response to this should not be hate, but love.  This can be discouraging to those who believe strongly in God's Word.  But if you do, the Bible warns of these times to come, and more than ever the Gospel needs to be the foundation of all we do.  I fear we Christians have not done a good job at honoring the marriage covenant and taking it so lightly with adultery and other fornication that it truly is no wonder the definition of marriage is skewed.  I pray that as Christians, we will stand more strongly for marriages to be God-centered and God-honoring and help repair what we've torn in two, allowing a non-biblical union to appear more solid.  

By now you may have decided to unfollow me, unfriend me or block me.  I hope not, but understand if you feel the need to do so.  There is not one friend or acquaintance I have that supports same-sex marriage that I don't respect and/or love.  And that's what I hope you leave with.  Love.  Not hate.  Not judgment.  But love.  

Jesus loves me this I know.  And that, folks, is how Love Wins. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Law and The Media

Last Friday, John Stamos, the actor known best as Uncle Jesse on Full House, was arrested for DUI.  Now you may not have heard about this incident because in the media, it was somewhat washed over.  When I first heard of it, the news focused on the fact that he thanked the policemen and how honorable that was. Um, yeah, but, he was driving drunk.  His friends said they were hopeful this was just a one-time mistake, but that he had struggled with alcoholism in the past.  He fell apart when his Mother passed away last September and they suspect that event might have triggered this incident.

Full House is still running as reruns on various cable networks and the much-hyped sequel, Fuller House is still on target for production.  No harm no foul.

Just a month or so ago, evidence surfaced that Joshua Duggar of the famed 19 Kids and Counting had been involved in sexual molestation as a minor.  He publicly apologized for this and stepped down from his job at the Family Research Council.  Consequently, 19 Kids and Counting was pulled from the TLC lineup and there are expectations the show will be canceled.  

Recently on Fox News, Megan Kelly interviewed two of the sisters that were victims - Jessa and Jill - and Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar - about the situation and details surrounding it.  It painted a bit different light on the situation.  To date, Joshua hasn't been interviewed by a news outlet, and part of me wishes he would.  I'd like to hear from him.  The silence is somewhat deafening after an enlightening group of interviews with Megan Kelly.

While I don't condone or approve of either of these actions, I'm a bit baffled at how the response has been so starkly different.  Had John Stamos hurt someone driving drunk, or, heaven forbid, kill someone, would we pull Full House from the lineup?  Would the production of Fuller House be in jeopardy?  I can argue that the target audience of Full House is partially made up of younger kids who could be heavily influenced that getting a DUI is ok.  It's definitely not a "breaking of the law" as serious as molestation.  And, to some degree I would agree.  What we see here are the consequences of actions, and not the action itself.  But breaking the law is breaking the law.

John Stamos was arrested while driving.  Joshua Duggar came forward admitting to his problem.  Yet, it seems one crime is less important than the other one.  I grieve for Joshua Duggar and the family as they deal with this and pray that this addiction he has is under control and he has strong accountability.  But I also grieve for John Stamos who apparently took this DUI lightly.  I pray that he takes this for the warning it is and drives responsibly lest a life be taken from this world because of his actions.  

Both of these situations sadden me.  And I think what makes me saddest is knowing that the media uses the contra-popular life of the Duggars - being public about their Christianity - to fuel the fire behind this situation.  If Jim Bob Duggar had been arrested for DUI, would the show be pulled from the air?  Quite possibly.  

Funny how Phil Robertsons' comments from Scripture on his stand on homosexuality now fade in the background of Duggars, Jenners and Dolezals.  

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Top Five Things I Learned from My MBA

I'm down to 33 more days left before I will be finished with my MBA.  Wow, these two years have flown by!  Overall I've enjoyed my studies but I am more than ready to lead a busy life instead of a super busy life.  Apart from the grace of God, I have no idea how I did all that I did the past two years and stayed focus on my studies.  In light of my impending freedom, I decided to compile a Top Five list....and now from the home office in Campbellsville, Kentucky...the top five things I learned from my MBA.

5.  I actually enjoy reading business journals.  Much of my study included research of academic and business journals covering interesting topics.  I literally think I would read business journals after I graduate for the knowledge alone.

4.  APA Style is really named for American Psychological Association.  It's a true test of your psychological stamina to stop and cite every unoriginal thought.

3.  When under extreme pressure, I can execute quickly.  I've had some circumstances in my life that caused me to turn around papers and assignments in less than human time frames.  I actually accomplished it and finished well.  See: Grace of God.

2.  I never would have made it through school without PERRLA.  If you don't know what PERRLA is, check out their site.  This simple piece of software plugs into your Word application and allows you to easily write papers in APA Style or MLA Style.  One of my doctor's nurses turned me on to this and I think I owe him my degree.

1.  Group projects stink.  They are the game of Survivor in academia.  I firmly believe that we only have group projects to teach us how to deal with lazy and difficult people.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Different Kind of Derby Day

Derby Day is one of the biggest days in my hometown.  For a local like me, Derby Day is pretty exciting and makes us proud for the world to be tuned in to our festivities for the most memorable two minutes in sports.  For me personally, the last two Derby Days have been less than joyful.  In 2013, on Derby Day, I spent it watching the festivities from my Dad's ICU room.  He was less than interested and most of my day was spent trying to get him to eat.  I was concerned, but was hoping this was just part of the recovery.  It wasn't.  I ended up back at the hospital late that night as my Dad passed from this life into the next.  Forever Derby Day will bring back those memories of my last day with Dad on earth.

Last year, I don't really recall what I did for Derby.  I most likely did what I do when I'm in this type of memory mood and stayed at home, watching the festivities and thinking about the good memories of Derby pasts.  My Granny lived within blocks of Churchill Downs, so most Derby days I spent at her house sitting on the back porch listening to the races being called...and enjoying her cooking!

This year, I have started a new tradition with a sweet friend from church, Martha.  Martha has known me since before I was born and was a good friend of my Mom.  It's like having a piece of my Mom still here.  Each month on the first Saturday, we have a lunch date.  We lamented how we needed to get together last year and after our planned lunch on the first Saturday in January, we decided to make it official.  I couldn't have been more excited to have one of our dates fall on Derby Day.  

To celebrate, we went to a place in Shelbyville, Kentucky, called Science Hill Inn.  This was the home of a girls' preparatory school, opened in 1825, and has now been converted into a gallery and restaurant.  It was the perfect place to spend Derby Day with Martha enjoying their buffet.  Stepping into the restaurant was like walking on to the set of Gone With the Wind.  I expected to see Scarlett stroll down the steps in her hoop skirt and greet us.  We were seated by a window overlooking their gardens and the serving staff was simply lovely.  It was a great way to spend a day that brings back some sad memories.

The day got even better when a young teenage girl walked up to our table and said, "Would you mind if I prayed for you both? The Lord just laid on my heart that His Hand is upon you and urged me to come pray for you."  You could have knocked both of us out of our chair.  We, of course, agreed and it was a beautiful prayer of blessing.  After she left with her parents, our server told us that her family comes in a lot and are really great people.  Her Dad is a pastor of a church in a neighboring county and they have done of lot for the staff there.  Our server confirmed she was a high school student.  Wow.  

On days when I feel melancholy or wonder what God is up to in my life, it's moments like these that make me feel His embrace in a way I could never explain.  Wonderful memories with a sweet friend.  The unexpected blessing of the prayer of a stranger.  The sweet knowledge of knowing I'm safe in the arms of God.