Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Freedom Isn't Free

As I reflect upon the approaching holiday, (Friday will be the 4th of July)I can't help but focus upon freedom and it's cost. I think as a whole, we are slowly losing perspective on what it really costs for us to be free. Sometimes, as Americans, we seem to trample on the grace that freedom really allows us. For instance....there has been an awful lot of discussions about Hobby Lobby on Facebook lately. They won their Supreme Court case against being forced to pay for abortions dealing with insurance. People are appalled at this decision....yet they should be down on their knees thanking God that the Supreme Court will still allow some of these freedoms. We have the right to open businesses and choose how we run them. We still have our right to bear arms...but for how long. America is slowly being indoctrinated by the media and government that it is a good thing to slowly give up all of their constitutional rights and have mandated rules and regulations (not by the people) but by whoever the people in charge feels is necessary to do to get the people to all mindlessly follow. If we speak out, and try to fight against our rights slowly being taken away, we are sometimes even condemned by our own peers. And believe me, if the word "Christian" or "religious" happens to be attached to it in some way, there doesn't seem to be much tolerance at all. It won't be long (already happening to some degree), when church denominations will not be allowed to exist because,their differences are too offensive or divisive. We are entering a socialist world view. Is that what America really wants to become? Is that what you really want to see happen? Because we are only about one generation away from becoming that. America has become fat, selfish individuals who want more, more, and more! We are living in a material world and only crying injustice if it affects something that we happen to care about. We donate billions of dollars to save the puppies, whales, seals, owls, prairie dogs etc, then turn around and donate and support pro-choice institutions, killing our future the pretense that this is about the women, ignoring the fact that this is a real baby. Now, don't get me wrong, we should be taking care of the earth and of women and all the other things....but where is our perspective? What is happening to our hearts? Why are we becoming so callous and selfish? Millions of men and women and eighteen year old boys have died for the freedom of America and it's almost like Americans are yelling at their graves.."Well, we didn't ask you to!" But do you realize that in order for you to be able to have the right to do the things you can.....your freedom, America's freedom, cost them their lives. Why are we so abusing the grace of this freedom? Yes! It is your right.....because as of today...we are still free! But how much longer do you have before the doors burst open and you surrender all your rights and become slaves to the government or worse the United Nations. Pornography is running rampant in our country...yet we are still free to choose to look at it. We should take pride in our country....but we still have the freedom to burn the flag and bash our president. We can post some of the most disgusting things on Facebook and utilize our Freedom of Speech in whatever foul way we want....because there was a cost to this freedom. We still live in a land that allows you the freedom to pretty much "do whatever you want". We are seeing this freedom implemented in Colorado with the legalization of pot and the same sex marriages. We can still go to church and talk about God (although it's getting harder to talk about Jesus). Guess that name has a little too much divisiveness and intolerance attached to it. I guess what I'm really saying is....think about the freedoms and opportunities that affords you to pursue your dreams and desires (whether they be honorable or dishonorable) to the people who gave the ultimate sacrifice for you to enjoy this freedom at this very moment! Please, take this freedom seriously! Don't be willing to sell your birthright (America's freedom) for a bowl of soup! Don't trample the grace that allows you the freedom to live life abundantly. Freedom isn't free! There is always a cost or a sacrifice involved. This fourth of July.....Enjoy Your may not be here tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Parable of the Playground of Life my parable begins...."Life is like a teeter-totter. Sometimes you are up. feet swinging underneath you, laughing and giggling,....and sometimes you are down....bumping on the ground with a swack! And so life goes...Up! Down! Up! Down! And if you are going to stay on the ride....that is how it goes. When you are young and unhindered by are light and free and spend most of your time in the air. You just don't understand the weightiness of how the game works. But as the heaviness of life begins to take it's toll, you spend an awful lot of life sitting on the low end wondering when it will be your turn to be lifted up again. You begin to learn that only someone with weightier problems than yours are really able to lift you up.....and so rather than deal with all their wisdom along with their burdens, I felt it was time to hop off of the teeter totter and move on to the next ride. I probably dropped the ball, when I let that teeter totter drop, maybe even hurt someone on the other end, but I didn't think much of it. After all, there are places to go and people to I ran on. I hadn't minded the ups so much, but those downs of life became too much for me to handle....I ran to the Merry Go Round. This looked more my speed and I loved the music. The carousel is an endless ride around and around, and it goes slow enough for even the most unadventurous. For awhile, I was enamored by it's hypnotizing lull and smooth ride....but in actuality, you never really go anywhere on the Merry-Go-Round. The journey is the same day in and day out I began to get bored with it. You just keep passing by the same people in the same ruts and the scenery never changes. How much can you learn about life on an eternal road to nowhere? I glanced a few times at the gigantic slippery slide, although it's promise of adventure looked very scary to me. And matter how high you eventually have to come down a slippery path to where??? I'm not much of a thrill seeker. I like things that are safe. I'm seeing a pattern here, I think. Adventure can get you to a higher plane, and the exhilaration might be worth the risk, but always involves more than you are willing to give, or fear that won't allow you to give it. So I passed it by, at least for now. Was their nothing in this playground of life for me to enjoy? I did stop to smell a couple of flowers on my way to the swing set, but again, I remembered that these, too, must die. I did swing for a couple of minutes, but not too high, and not too long. After all, life wasn't meant to be fun....was it? It just seemed selfish of me to do what I, I didn't. I can still feel the breeze blowing through my hair and hear the giggle that rose in my throat. I felt free! For a moment, I forgot the worries of life and just enjoyed being! I decided that I like the swings....but it seemed to me like pleasure brought with it, guilt. How sad to want to soar in a swing, but feeling the pleasure and enjoyment of it is wrong. I went and sat down by the biggest tree in the park and cried! I cried for things that can never be, and I wept for things and the way they are. I yearned to be a child again, but alas, I am not. I am growing old. I have forgotten what a playground (or life) if you will, is really meant for. I have strayed away from the very thing it was created to be. The wonderment of little eyes, the tiny barefooted freedom of the green grass or squishy mud between your toes. The awe of a child's hands that explore, and grasp, and feel. Oh, and especially the ears that hear the wind whisper it's secrets from an ever present Creator who runs and plays next to me. I am my Father's child, although I am already fifty-five. He still sees me as if I were the newborn baby in my mother's arms. As the ups and downs of life weigh heavy on these fifty-five year old shoulders crying under the tree, Jesus came to me in my sadness and lifted me to my feet. Grabbing my hand, he pulls me to my feet. "Come play with Me," He says with an impish grin. He drags me to the slide first and tells me He has my back. The way looks steep....but He is right behind me. We giggle and laugh as the speed of the slope takes me to the bottom. He sits on the teeter totter and I am high in the air waving my feet and smiling. "Will there be bumps?" I ask warily. "Yes," He replies, "but I will be there to pick you up and brush you off. And at the end of life's ride....I will be there waiting for you to come play with Me in the kingdom My Father and I have created." He starts to leave me, and I cry out to Him. "I can't do this alone! This playground is too hard! Too many ups and downs! Too much loneliness and sadness. And Jesus, I say, "Things DIE here. It hurts when you have bumps. Sometimes, the pain is unbearable to my heart. I have so many questions...Why? Please, don't leave me. The playground is getting darker all the time." Jesus looked at me with sadness in His eyes. "In this world you will have troubles, Cathy. But rest assured, little one, I have overcome the world." Jesus motioned again for me to follow Him. "Come, it is my pleasure to give you the kingdom." I started to follow at a distance, than began running to catch up with him. I smiled as He began skipping. It's funny...although my weary old body couldn't skip very spirit began to skip...and it didn't take long for my heart and soul to follow.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Playing Catch Up

Holy cow! I haven't been on here in a very long time. I still love that isn't the problem. A lot has been going on in the year it has been since I last wrote. My husband, Gregg, had a pacemaker put in in December of 2012 and then in May of 2013, he had an ablation of the heart, which is surgery where they burn around the heart in order to stop the atrial fibrillation. He had some problems early on, but we just went for his appointment on April 2014 (Year) and he is doing really well and gaining his strength back. It's been a long haul, though. They make it sound easier than what it actually don't buy the talk that it is a piece of cake. It isn't. Then our youngest daughter had a complicated pregnancy. She was told that the baby has downs syndrome and delivered a month early on April 23rd. After 3 days of doing okay, the baby had to be flown to Denver. After a week in the NICU with really high jaundice count and really low platelet count, she is finally rallying around. Things are looking up! Our faith has been tested and hopefully proven true, however, I must confess that I got a little testy with God a few times. I will feel much better down the road a little farther, however Aspen Ariya is a beautiful gift from God and we are so grateful for her. Mostly, you just see how kind and loving all your friends and community are and how all the prayers said on her behalf are so important to you when you are going through something like that. So, I guess, I would have to say that we have had our fair share of prayers lifted up lately. We have seen love come in the form of kind words, gifts, money, and prayers. Facebook really shows you how many people and connections you have in the time of need. Both experiences have shown me how important it is for me to be in tuned to others' needs at critical times in their lives, also.
Anyway, welcome to our family, Aspen! I can't wait to learn so much from you. And to my blogger friends.......I've really missed talking to you. I'll be back soon!