Tag Archives: newspaper

Happy Birthmonth, America

  • In Philadelphia on the 2nd of July 1776, a vote was taken that changed the way the world thought.
  • On the 3rd of July 1776, a small sentence on the second page reported the results of that vote.
  • On the 4th of July 1776, the final draft was submitted to be published and eventually – signed in August of 1776.
  • Thus, the date everyone in this brand new country saw as they read this small document was July 4, 1776.
  • Independence Day.

It was [is] not a perfect country, and it was [is] filled with controversies.

  • Natives vs Europeans vs Africans vs …
  • English vs French vs Spanish vs Dutch vs …
  • Catholic vs protestant vs Jews vs atheists …
  • Tory vs Yankee vs Rebel vs Republican vs Democrat vs …
  • Slave vs Free vs indentured vs …
  • Rich vs middle vs poor vs homeless vs …

The divisions continue to swirl in growing concentric circles over and over and over.

We are human and we tend to make mistakes – sometimes – very big ones. Unfortunately, we also tend to dwell – focus – ruminate on those mistakes over and over. Giving it new names – justice…punishment…pay back…unfair… bias…bigotry…  But what if instead of concentrating on the mistakes, we concentrated on the knowledge and the wisdom gained from those horrible mistakes?

Walking dogs are always a great way to meet people. A couple of years back, one of those people encounters introduced me to some new concepts that I’ve just started re-reading this past week. Typically (for me), I get side-tracked by daily craziness, or whining about this or that, and do not pursue things with great intensity. (After all, I am reitred and “deserve” to be a little lazy, right?) I guess that laziness was a mistake because…(ready for it?)…guess what popped up in a devotional today? You got it!  Not one but both ideas in one short devotional. One God giving a one big hint. Gotta love those God hints.

The first idea is called Appreciative Inquiry by David Coopperrider and Diana Whitney. Essentially – it is looking for the best in any situation.


The other is a 2004 documentary called “What the (Bleep) Do We Know?” The content of this movie explores a spiritual connection between quantum physics and consciousness.


Now the first idea relates a little more to my world. After teaching for so many years, I’ve trained my self to look for the best in most everything (although like everyone, I can get caught up in negative situations). Quantum physics and consciousness is a little out of my realm – well – more than a little. Although, I have picked up a lot of scientific facts from reading National Geographic, Discovery, ect, I really struggle with the in-depth study of it. Thank God for my children who seem to have taken after hubby and are much more adept at understanding such things so they can help explain it to me.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” ~ Phil 4:8

Fairly obvious advice from the WORD. Think on the admirable, the excellent or the praiseworthy. What if we tried to do that more in our world today? What if we did that with our friends? Our enemies? Our state? Our nation? A couple political conventions? A lot of people would complain that we are only hiding our heads in the sand or taking a “Pollyanna” approach. Yet, if we acknowledge the injustice, the damage, the pain and accept that we can find knowledge, wisdom and discernment in our mistakes, is it ignoring the problem or moving forward with new insights? I need to keep reading, but now I have a spiritual underpinning for this thought.

“Then Balak said to him, “Come with me to another place where you can see them; you will not see them all but only the outskirts of their camp. And from there, curse them for me.” ~ Num 23:13

The second one takes us a little deeper and back into the OT with Jewish wisdom. I have always skipped over stories that I don’t understand or can’t figure out why it is in the Bible. Drives me crazy. Like a jigsaw puzzle that takes forever to put together. I will read and re-read a story trying to figure out why it is important for me to know and after a while – I will just push it out of my mind and go on to the next puzzle. Obviously, I don’t know this Bible story well, so again, I will have to go back and re-read it a few more times. Essentially, Balak, King of the Moabites, hired Balaam to curse Israel. The hitch was that they had to see the people to make the curse work. You might be wondering what this has to do with Quantum Physics? Lucky for both of us, the rabbi who wrote this devotional had the answer.

“The gift of sight allows us to take in so much information about the world around us. Not only do we receive facts and knowledge by looking at something, we also may receive inspiration or good feelings from what we observe. However, what we often don’t realize is that when we look at something, we aren’t just on the receiving end. We are also contributing and affecting the world around us, even if we don’t know it. Quantum physics confirmed this concept through an experiment that was set up in order to ascertain whether matter was a particle or a wave. I’m not here to give a physics lesson, but the end result was startling. When not observed, matter behaved like a wave. However, when the matter was observed, it changed into a particle. In other words, scientific evidence proved that an observer does influence what is being observed. That means we all affect what we look at, and how we see things affects them profoundly.” ~ Rabbi Eckstein.

America has completed her 240th year.  For those who are moving and shaking and those who are just observing. it looks like the 241st year will be another decisive and derisive year in many ways.   I wonder how and what I am learning today relates to those facts, yet – I know it does. I need to do some more reading on both of these ideas. I need to read more American history. I NEED to read more of the WORD. Knowledge always comes first, and if I’m observant, wisdom and discernment will follow —- eventually. Right now, I do know that America and Israel are tired together in more ways than the one that is written on paper and stored in Washington D.C. I know God is moving more than just me. I’m just not sure why I’m on the journey that I am walking. It makes me smile, because there is always something unexpected and uncontrollable that Our Father will bring my way – if I have the courage to stay the course unto its completion.  One step at a time…

In the meantime – Happy Birthmonth, America. It is promising to be an interesting – if somewhat scary – yearus-1443698_960_720


sept 11Today I pulled out a 14 year old shirt. An old shirt with stains around the collar from the iron in our water at the Perrysville house. A shirt made with tears and love. A shirt crafted by a talented co-worker in the late night hours after the lights in the school had gone dark. Dark.
“In all their distress He too was distressed,
and the angel of his presence saved them.”
img322I pulled out a shirt today to remember when our world turned incredibly darker. Where we were is etched in our mind. The ordinary activities tied tightly to the immoral act unfolding on our TV screens. The school, which is normally full of various voices, jovial jokesters, and trivial trips here and there, was abnormally quiet as I worked through the doors. TV’s rarely used were strongly speaking, conveying pictures of the unbelievable darkness.
I had already cried and prayed on the way into my school. I was only img323working part time, so the first plane hitting a tower was fresh in my mind. I remember being in the kitchen, stopping what I was doing and walking into the family room to see the unbelievable. The second plane played out over my car radio. God shook my land and I prayed for wisdom. Like most teachers across the nation, all lesson plans became inconsequential. Almost 15 years prior to 2001, my 6th grade class and I watched Challenger blow up on live TV. Lesson plans on grammar and reading can wait when the land is shaken and its people humbled.
“In His love and mercy He redeemed them;”
By the time, I arrived, the school was silent. The principal’s office was img324fielding parental calls, but gave the okay to turn on the TV. I went to my room and began taking notes on the giant post-its that hung on the wall. The kids filed in silently,pulled out their own notes, and we began to talk and write softly. We established time-lines as best we could. We watched in horror and sorrow. Some wept. Some stoically held the hands of those closest to them. Then we began to write. Some wrote poetry. Some newstories. Some drew pictures. Some wrote editorials. We had a newspaper to produce.
With the help of the school counselor, we added (what are now) iconic colored pictures of that day. It was the only time our small student img325newspaper ever used color. This issue was too important to charge money for it. The students chose to give it away (we usually charged a quarter), but we took donations to send to NYC. The editors walked through the seats, laying a precious newspaper on every seat so that parents coule read what their children had observed and thought about the tragedy. A usually boistrous gym was silent as the students and parents silently filtered in that old gym. The choir teacher led the choir in songs of sadness and patriotic songs that we all sang. For a short time, the flags flew high. The people mourned. The land humbled itself and prayed. And for that brief moment, we were truly – “one country under God – indivisible…”
“He lifted them up and carried them
all the days of old.” — Isaiah 63:9
Today, I pulled out a 14 year old shirt and prayed for our country.1392058_656269047740859_1552776889_n