Saturday, September 6, 2008

something to check out

We have an unwritten rule in our house (made by me :) ) "No political talk after 10pm" Partly because I dream so vividly that whatever Michael and I discuss towards the end of the evening, usually makes its way into a dream.

Most of us are sick of the squabbles between the candidates at this point. Myself included. However, I watched a VERY good interview on YouTube yesterday. It was the Saddleback Civic Forum. If you have a minute - watch it. It is broken up into 5 parts. Rick Warren states at the beginning that each candidate will be asked the same questions in the same order. It was more of a relaxed and informal interview which I loved because you could seem to see their character a little clearer. A question may have been asked an you could see Obama cough, wiggle, or not be confident of his response. It was good to to hear the perspective from both sides equally and fairly.

I have since become in conversation with a friend on Facebook. She is an avid Obama supporter and I am clearly not. I do not trust that man. I am very excited about McCain's experience coupled with Palin's fiery convictions. After a long post on my message board, I responded to her praise of Obama and her disagreements on McCain. At the end of the day, God is on the throne, not McCain or Obama (THANK GOODNESS) but I wanted to post my response simply to hear any input you may have and if you haven't already, watch the Saddleback Civic Forum! I would love for you to post your comments.

My response to her email...

You are exactly right. We will not see eye to eye on this so it is better to agree that we will disagree. The good news is that at the end of the day McCain or Obama are NOT on the throne - God is (thank goodness) so whatever happens is not by chance. Bear with me as I know this is REALLY long.

I do understand your respect for Obama because his passion for the poor. From being in the school system for 3 years, teaching in the inner-city of Louisville and now at a low income school where we have 80% free reduced, I see a lot of poverty. I see children who come to school for the 3rd day in the same clothes, I see kids who beg to save their milk instead of drinking it at lunch so they have something that night at home, and I've seen kids who live in dumps with no electricity and no where enough space or safety in that neighborhood (one of my kids last year- I went to his house to get a field trip permission slip) Yet, just down the street there are beautiful neighborhoods with picket fences and lawns mowed. On the other hand, I have seen every way to work the system. For instance, a student we have this year is on free and reduced lunch (which means the government covers the deficit of $.30 a meal instead of $2.60) and yet the parent was outraged that the afterschool program was $50 a week. We are required to keep students anyways by law. The funny thing, the parent drives a new car, has a new cell phone, and according the student - has an HDTV at home so they don't like our classroom TVs. The sad thing is- this is SO MANY families that are being assisted. The issue is priorities, NOT poverty. On the other hand, I know a lady who is raising her 4 great grandsons and has made a way for herself. She has been promoted at the hospital due to her work ethic (not a degree) but bc she is making "too much money" her food stamps have been taken from her. This is a women who has sacrificed everything for her grandchildren because they are family. She also told me that she could foster them and cut a bigger check but she knows that is not right, so she will cut a smaller check to know no one can snatch her boys. This is a lady I greatly respect and the govt. is not working in her favor. I am convicted about this issue of poverty bc the reality is - it ISN'T and shouldn't be the govt job to aid those who make poor choices, we as the church need to step up and provide for these families. At school, there is a church that comes in every Friday and does just that. They package microwave meals and snacks for families in need so the children can eat over the weekend. We need to step up as the church in America, not the govt.

We have children in our schools systems, who are NOT legal citizens. By law, we are required to give all children an education. Not very securing to me that if a child doesn't have a social security number, the school system is to assign them a "pin" number instead. These are not just Hispanic illegals but from various countries. Your tax dollars are paying for this. Children of families who are here on "a free ride" while we are working 60 hour work weeks to make ends meet. There is something terribly wrong with this. Obviously this is not the result of one loophole but many.

When it comes to the war. Who does like it? Who does want to stay in this state of turmoil? I don't see many people raising their hands to this one. However, it grates on my nerves when the soldiers are referring to being "sent" or "forced" at such a young age. We do not draft men or women to serve our country. They willingly sign up to serve. A man that works with our youth at church has a wife, 2 kids, and adopting the 3rd, has been to Iraq serving with the Army for almost 2 years. He has been home about a year and a half and is about to head back out. Why? He sees the great relief we have been giving to the Afghani and Iraqi people. They have since the time we have been there been able to establish themselves and women and children run to our soldiers as they look to them as their own heroes. The pictures from there are unbelievable. Within the past two weeks, our military turned over complete security to Iraqi military of the Ambar Province of Iraq. Where was that in the news? I wish our news channels where more balanced on the good that is occuring there, not just the sad case of how many men we as Americans have lost. It is a new day in the media. We have lost a little over 4,000 men in this war over the course of 6 years. Although this is a sad loss, these men knew the cost of sacrifice. They knew the price they were willing to pay. What saddens me more, is how as a country we have FORGOTTEN the events of 9/11. Just the other day I was getting my hair cut by a lady who I discovered moved from NY because her apt was next to the towers and she had lost everything, including 11 family members and friends. I immediately told her how sorry I was that we had forgotten Sept. 11 as a nation. We lost over 3,000 people in one day from an unexpected event that sadly could have been prevented. Those people that were in the towers and on the planes and those family members are who we should remember to grieve for, not just for our soldiers. Are you aware that the media is not allowed to show the planes hitting the towers on national tv? why not? yes - it is devastating and no one wants to relive that day but what a reminder of the blatant evil we are up against and what we are being naive to.

I do not agree with Obama. I do not agree that his "change" is what we need. He can speak well. But a President that only speaks well is not appealing to me. I want a man of conviction. I value substance over style. Someone who is not seeking success in a career ladder but has "been there, done that" I heard someone say if you can't stand behind and support the President, stand in front and do his job. As for the Saddleback Forum, I don't care what "environment" he was in. It was apparent that on certain topics he was more concerned with others opinions of him than standing firm on an issue. Leaders are confident and lead regardless of their environment.

I have a MAJOR issue that he does not consider militant Islamic terrorist as evil. I also have a MAJOR issue that he is willing to negotiate with these terrorists. Within the last year, our soldiers have found floor plans of multiple schools in the US in places where Al-Qaeda had fled from. These men are willing to strap bombs to their own children and mentally handicap women in order to achieve a higher after life reward. THEY DO NOT CARE TO DIE. I am unsure if you have heard of "The Perfect Day" but it is the new plan of attack from Al Qaeda has threatened to the US. A similar strategy in Russia was successful a few years ago and our soldiers have found video footage (in these same hiding places) of "training tapes". This basically consists of causing some reason to evacuate a school building (fire alarm is what was used) When all children and teachers are outside they execution style kill innocent teachers and children. In addition, they have strapped bombs to their OWN children or themselves ( they are bus drivers who are hired illegals) and blow up multiple buses in the bus lane then attack the building. THIS IS REALITY. In Texas, buses have already reported missing. Scary. These people are patient. They are confident that the more that are killed the better rewarded they will be as they sadly misinterpret the Koran. On the same note, the Mullahs (religious leaders) as well as Iran's President, believe part of their role is to usher in the 12th Imam, which basically brings about their world domination. Therefore, negotiation is absurd especially when we know the potential of attack ahead.

Like I said before, we will agree to disagree. I believe that most of America's problems can and should be solved by America's people, whereas it seems you would argue that most of America's problems should be solved by America's government. Thanks for reading this, I know if was really long. Maybe this helps you see why I take the perspective I do.

Hope you have a good week!

Monday, September 1, 2008

a sweet summer ending

The last week of July Michael and I headed to Charleston, SC for a chance to sleep, eat great seafood, see some really neat historical sites, and just be with each other. Every summer for us is a normal person's work week times 20. No lie, we are at home about 20% of the summer. The rest is filled with camp for 2 weeks, mission trip usually for 10 days, bible studies and fellowships for the youth, and trying to squeeze family into the mix.

Every summer we usually go to the beach with my family but this year they went in May instead of July. Michael and I decided to head out for a week on our own since we hadn't done that since our honeymoon. We had a blast. What a sweet gift marriage is. Just living life with your best friend. We went to a friend's beach house for the day, the aquarium, the military muesuem, and many many other tourist places. We loved that we could walk everywhere and I ate crab legs 3 times :)

We heard before we got married Adrian Rogers always said, "Dialouge daily, date weekly, depart quarterly, and (we added) dream all the time" This week was a reminder that regardless of our schedules, our marriage and family are first. We are so blessed - this week was such a reminder of that.

The Lodge Alley Inn where we stayed

The beach. My favorite place......must I say more?

On the ferry boat out to Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter

It was POURING off and on at Fort Sumter so we took a
bike carriage ride back to the hotel. I don't think I would
ever want the summer job of being the bike driver.

The U.S.S Yorktown took us 4.5 hours to tour.
I kept referring to the "boat" to which Michael continued to correct me that it's a "ship"

Michael barely fit in some places

We ate dinner at Hymen's with dear friends, the Thomas', who were also in Charleston

A must see in Charleston. The military museum had artifacts from the war of 1812 to the present war in Iraq. You can't help but be overwhelmed by the sacrifice of all the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country for our freedom. Freedom is not free and this place was such a reminder of how thankful we should be to live in America.

The trees along the driveway to Boone Plantation

9 of the 22 original slave cabins remain on the Boone Plantation

It was a great, restful, memorable week!