Happy Birthday, America

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Things They Didn’t Tell Us in Bible College, Part 1

Church Politics

We graduated with stars in our eyes: ready to go out and save the world, build up the church, and serve God with all our hearts, souls, minds and bodies.

Courtesy of NASA

 

We never imagined that people could be so cruel, that people would (let alone that Christians COULD) say such things.

I’ve since learned that they can and DO say such things. They criticize you, your husband, your home, your children — even your pets, for goodness’ sake — behind your back, and smile and hug you on Sunday morning.

And the criticism can be very cruel and hurtful. And if all they do is criticize, one is fortunate. It gets ugly when they try to get rid of you using ungodly means, such as lying about you or your spouse, or simply withholding pay.

I don’t remember any warnings about the ugly side of ministry.

One thinks that after 4+ years of Bible college that one is prepared for ministry … One is never really prepared.

And who knows if we would have listened if they had warned us. Like I said, we had stars in our eyes and Jesus in our hearts. We were invincible.

The lessons learned are very painful. I am grateful that we have, so far, been shielded from the worst of the worst. But I know of many pastors and their families whose lives have been turned upside down by a church they served … by a church they served.

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Illegal Immigration and Miramonte

I think the whole country has heard about the scandal the exploded last week at Miramonte Elementary School here in the Los Angeles area.  I have listened to exhaustive coverage of the whole mess.

One of the things that stood out to me is that these people have preyed on the innocent and defenseless, and those more defenseless than most.  I am not a fan of illegal immigration, I think it is wrong.

And I think illegal immigration made this situation more likely to happen.  There’s an article in a Spanish language paper in which a parent complained a few years ago about a teacher’s aide and her inappropriate behavior to an 11 year old boy.  The parent was in essence told to stop making up stories.

NO American born parent would have put up with that for an instant.  But an immigrant, without knowledge of our system, was easy prey for the school system to shut them down.

Other parents complained along the way about one of these teachers, and nothing changed.

American born parents would KNOW when their child told them a tale of some of the goings-on in those pictures that it was not normal or OK.

Immigrant parents are also afraid that they will be deported.  They don’t know that the schools will do anything to keep their kids in school to increase class sizes and therefore funding.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is terribly broken  — the whole system is broken.  But that’s another post for another day.

Suffice it to say that illegal immigration, and the ignorance and fear it spawns, has a lot to answer for in this terrible tragedy.  Of course, the people who perpetrated these acts are mostly to blame, but illegal immigration certainly made it easier.

Please play nice with comments.  I reserve the right to delete any that are rude or obscene, etc.

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Gardening for Beauty

We all need to become avid rose gardeners ~ hunting for buds of beauty within our thorny circumstances. It’s a sure cure for complaining.
Rather than complain about the thorns on roses, be thankful for the roses among thorns.
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Lessons Learned

My new ride: the "Silver Surfer".

Cute, huh?  I think so, too.  In fact, a friend on FB said it was “HAWT!”  LOL!

It is also an example of several lessons learned.  First and foremost, when purchasing a used vehicle, at least in California, make SURE you see the registration and assure that it is current.  If not, you, the buyer, will be liable for the back registration and penalties.

In this case, the vehicle hadn’t be registered since 2008, and California is taking no prisoners in it’s tax policies.  It was very $painful$.

To be sure, we did ask about the missing license plate, and were told it was a personalized plate and had been transferred to another car.  That was a lie.

Also, don’t believe someone just because they say the “Carfax is clean.”  Check it yourself.  And be very careful in entering that VIN number.   Triple check it.

In our defense, we did not see any paperwork until the night I went over to pay for and pick it up, and what I saw didn’t alarm me.  Anything I questioned was answered readily, and it made sense.  It was only when we go to the DMV that things started to unravel.

Ah, well.  In all this, I still believe that God was guiding us.  Just not sure about how.

Update:

I wrote this in March, when we first got the Silver Surfer.  And we were worried that there were more expensive, hidden defects.  Is the vehicle sound?  Will it last us for a few years??  And we knew it needed tires and some belt adjustments.  What else could go wrong??

Well, I am pleased to say that God has blessed us with a pretty “sound” vehicle, according to the mechanic.  Yay!  It now has new tires all around (a great internet deal from Firestone, 4 for the price of 3, expiring on June 30th) and a front end alignment so those new tires will wear evenly.

Lessons learned, indeed.

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Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens April 1999

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Apple Blossoms

This is a test post.

Aren’t these apple blossoms lovely?

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