Saturday, January 28, 2012

Until a few years ago, I never paid much attention to anything historical, or political, or for that matter didn’t even care much about current events unless they affected me personally. I spent most of my life living ego centrically.

The last few years have been spent scrambling trying to frantically research things I never cared to learn. What is funny, is that most of my desire to learn came as a result of reading scripture and growing in my faith.
I came across an interesting tidbit a week or so ago. Someone mentioned to me a DVD called “Nine Days That Changed the World.” If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and get a copy.

The back cover of the DVD says:

“In 1979 Pope John Paul II made an historic pilgrimage to Poland.
Millions of Poles, almost 1/3 of the nation turned out to see the Holy Father in
person, while the rest of the country followed his pilgrimage on television or
radio. Within sixteen months, Solidarity became the first officially
recognized free trade union in the Communist bloc, with over 10 million
members. The momentum of this nine-day visit would eventually lead to the
fall of the Berlin Wall in November of 1989 with the dissolution of the
Soviet Union in 1991.”

Watching the DVD my heart was pierced as I learned more about the struggles of the Polish nation and the utter destruction and annihilation of so many of its precious human beings. I was spellbound seeing the hope in their eyes as they gathered along the roadways hoping to get a glimpse of this new Pope... a man who was not only the leader of their religion, (which was virtually forbidden), but a World Leader who was one of their own.
One of the things that struck me during this DVD was a clip from Ronald Reagan’s famous speech, the one that we have all heard quoted so often. “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" I was watching all alone and found myself clapping wildly as if I was sitting in an audience filled auditorium when I heard the end of Reagan’s speech- the part no one seems to ever talk about. He said:

“In a word, I would submit that what keeps you in Berlin is love--love both profound and abiding. Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West. The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront.
Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower's one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere--that sphere that towers over all Berlin--the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.

As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German
unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young
Berliner: "This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality."
Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.

Thank you and God bless you all.
President Ronald Reagan - June 12, 1987

President Obama do you see what happens when God isn’t put in handcuffs? Do you see what happens when we don’t keep our belief in God hidden behind a wall? He uses his hands to tear down walls, he uses his hands to build bridges.
So Mr. President PLEASE…“Tear Down That Wall.” that is keeping God out of our national policies. Let God’s principles reign.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


In memory of all who lost their lives in an act of terrorism, or in the act of heroism. We honor your memory. May this day of rememberance help to heal hearts and souls.

God Bless you and all whose lives you have touched.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Giving Up Control

I just finished reading my cousin's blog. I can strongly identify with her struggles. Case in point, she doesn’t want to go to her WW weigh in because she knows she’s up in weight. She’s struggling to get pack on program. Right now I have the same issues. I'm eating more and moving less. Like Paul say's in his letter to the Romans:

For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

I think our mutul problem must be in our gene pool. Both our mom’s died sooner than they should have. The years of smoking did them in, but the extra weight compounded the lung issues they both had. As long as I can remember, my mom always said she wouldn’t live a long life. Both of her parents had died younger than the norm, and she was sure she would follow suit.

I hate the term “morbidly obese”, but that’s what my mom was. Her sedentary life style kept the weight on and kept the lungs from clearing out the nicotine. As a result, in her early 60’s mom developed congestive heart failure. She began falling asleep at the kitchen table, and usually with a cigarette in her hand. The doctor explained she was slowly asphyxiating herself. She wasn’t able to breathe deep enough to take in the good air and expel the bad.

Every morning she would sit on the edge of the bed until she could catch her breath. One morning she fell asleep sitting there and slipped off the bed. My dad couldn’t get her up by himself and called an ambulance. She was in a coma for several days and also on a respirator. She was in the hospital long enough to curb the physical craving for the non filtered Camel cigarettes she smoked for 50+ years but the mental desire to have a cigarette with her morning coffee was still there.

On my first visit to her after she came home from the hospital, she asked me to go to the store and buy her a package of cigarettes. I emphatically told her no, and in a huff walked out the door. But on the drive home I suffered a guilt trip and drove to the store. I bought the cigarettes home with me hoping mom would change her mind. No such luck.

The first thing bright and early the next morning mom called asking me if I'd gone to get the cigarettes. I was fuming mad that she was putting me in this position of enabling her habit. Nevertheless, I drove the quarter mile down the road to her house. I walked in and slapped the pack on the kitchen table, and fighting back the tears I said “Don’t ever ask me to do this again. Maybe you don’t care if you die, but I do”.

I started to leave but mom asked me to get something out of the cupboard for her. By the time I got whatever it was down, mom had finished scarfing down her first stick of nicotine. I wanted to throw up when I saw her reach into the pack and take out a second cigarette right away. She held it in her fingers for a second or two and then reached into the pack for a third. She turned and opened the drawer of the cabinet next to the kitchen table and dropped both inside a little dish, and then handed the rest of the pack back to me.

Mom lived another 10 years, and often she would tell us not to let ourselves get to the point she was. She had always assumed that the cigarettes and the extra weight would probably cause a massive heart attack that would kill her instantly. She never imagined that she would have to live for 10 years as a prisoner in her home, confined to her motorized scooter, and that she would have to relinquish the independence that she loved so dearly.

Going through mom’s personal belongings after she died, we came across the two cigarettes still in the same spot she’d placed them ten years earlier. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was moms’ way of assuring herself that there were still some things in her life she had control over.

My mom has been on my mind a lot lately since her birthday was a week or so ago and now with Thanksgiving just around the corner, family memories are flooding my head. I really had no intentions of making this post all about her. I was actually going to talk about my own self control issues I'm struggling with, but I've run out of time. Guess it will have to wait until tomorrow.