America in Name Only?

I hope the title got your attention. That was the intent. I know those who follow politics are aware of Republicans in Name Only or RINOs as they are less than affectionately called. This is not that but it IS related, sort of. They both end the same way – In Name Only.

I just finished reading If You Can Keep It, the latest book by Eric Metaxas. Continue reading America in Name Only?

Top 5 Posts from 2015 + All the Rest

Happy, Happy, HappyAs 2016 begins I wanted thank all who have stopped by and read, commented, and shared any of the words I have posted here on this blog in 2015 so here it is…

Thank You!

I do appreciate your time and input and hope to be able to post something that might interest you again in 2016. Looking back it is always good to see what interested most readers last year, what worked and what didn’t. Based on total number of views here are the top five most popular Peculiar Perspective posts of 2015. Continue reading Top 5 Posts from 2015 + All the Rest

9-15-01

I still get mad every year when I am reminded of 9-11-01 and what the coward Muslim terrorists did to America. I pray for all those families directly affected by this act of cowardice. If you were alive at that time and live in America you were affected too, maybe not directly by having a family member or friend or someone you know killed or hurt, but you were affected.

Often Reminded – Will NEVER FORGET

I am reminded of this event every time I go through a security line at the airport, which, at that time in my life I was doing rather often. I was working as a consultant, living in Tallahassee and flying to St. Louis every week. I would normally fly up on Monday morning and home on Friday afternoon. I had flown to St. Louis on Monday, 9-10-01, as normal. On that Tuesday just before I walked out the door of my apartment they were reporting a plane had hit the first tower. I heard about the plane hitting the second tower, the Pentagon and Flight 93 later at work. My purpose here is not to recount these events that occurred on 9-11-01. Never Forget_911That has been done and, hopefully, will be done in the future so we, and those who follow us, will Never Forget. I do hope this will be taught truthfully and not through the revisionist filter most history is taught today but know that is probably an unrealistic hope in today’s world.

Meanwhile, back at home

Sharin, as normal, was taking care of things on the home front, which included our four kids AND working as a substitute teacher at the time. On Tuesday, 9-11-01 she was substituting in a first grade class at North Florida Christian School. Three of our children were there but Sarah was at Chiles High School which became an issue when a state of emergency was declared in Florida by Governor Jeb Bush after the attacks. Parents were coming to pick up their children but she could not leave to go get Sarah because of her responsibilities at NFCS. She did ultimately get them all home.

Flights

As you probably know, all air traffic was grounded that Tuesday and did not resume until Friday. I had decided I was going to go home and flying was how I planned to get there and was able to get a Saturday flight scheduled. My thinking was flying was probably the safest way to travel as the likelihood of another terrorist attack via airlines was very slim. I remember we did have to wait for our flight crew on Saturday because some flight crews were just not showing up, some due to the previous days of canceled flights and some because they did not want to fly again yet. I believe the airlines were giving them that option at the time, understandably. There was plenty of room on the planes as I remember too.

Routine and not so routine

 

I did get home that Saturday and gave my family great big hugs. Sarah, Amy, Rachel and Thomas were 14, 11, 7 and 5 respectively at the time. We probably went to Sonny’s for supper that night as that was one of our favorite places to eat and, on Saturday night, kids ate free, so that was our normal routine.

It was also our normal routine when getting the kids to bed to have them say their prayers and pray with them and that is where this story gets good for me. While putting Thomas to bed we talked about what had happened that week and if I was scared by it. I told him I was more angry than scared but everyone also had a right to be scared because what just happened four days earlier was unprecedented and scary. I probably used smaller words at the time but he was pretty fluent in the language for a 5 year old. He had started having conversations and coffee, as he called it, with his PawPaw when he was three. He would often surprise and amaze us with some of the “big” words he would use and use them correctly in conversation.

Anyway, he said he had been thinking a lot lately and a lot this week especially about asking Jesus into his heart to be his savior. He knew what sin was and that he had sinned and he needed a savior and he wanted to get this settled. This was not unexpected since he had been in church since he was an infant. We talked a little more and then he prayed and asked Jesus to come into and live in his heart. This was an exciting time for us and I know the angels in heaven were rejoicing too. I told him from that moment on he did not have to worry about where he would spend eternity. He would be spending it with his sisters, parents, grandparents and all others who have made this decision to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus offers. Our parents and grandparents are all there waiting for us now.

To God Be the Glory

Thomas was the last of our children to make this decision. He IS the youngest so that was really not unexpected either. Our primary goal as parents was to see our children come to know the Lord and then see them walking in the truth. This event fulfilled that first goal for us. That second goal is a daily work in progress for all of us. I am proud all our children are walking the walk usually much better than I do. I learn as much, probably more, from them as they do from me. We knew from that moment on, regardless of when any of us are called home to Heaven, we will all be reunited there one day and that is an amazing truth we all cherish. It was not an accomplishment we achieved but one He achieved and I still thank Him for that every day.

Thomas went forward that Sunday morning to make his profession of faith public. We met with Pastor Ray that afternoon and he was baptized that night. He did not want to wait but wanted to get it done and get it done that day.00400834297020110427134028999 (2)

9-11-01 – 9-15-01

So, when 9-11 comes around every year I do remember what happened on 9-11-01 and I get mad all over again and pray for all the families whose lives were changed forever that day; but then my thoughts turn to 9-15-01 when Thomas made a decision that would change his life forever and that makes me happy.

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

With a Firm Reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence

The words below are what set our course for the Independence we now celebrate annually on the 4th of July every year in America. In the midst of barbecues, beaches, family, friends, parades and fireworks as you celebrate the anniversary of this declaration take a few minutes to read these words. They remain profound in wisdom, boldness, courage and are still today quite revolutionary.

This is The Declaration of Independence declaring independence from the King of Britain but it is also a Declaration of Dependence as these men pledge to each other their Lives, our Fortunes and sacred Honor “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.” This document is

God Bless the United States of America!


 declaration_of_independence_stone_630

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  • He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  • He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
  • He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
  • He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
  • He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  • He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  • He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
  • He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
  • He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  • He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    •  For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    •  For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which    they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
    •  For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    •  For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    •  For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
    •  For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
    •  For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province,  establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries    so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the  same absolute rule into these Colonies:
    •  For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and  altering  fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    •  For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with  power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  • He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
  • He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
  • He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
  • He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
  • He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

 

 


There are numerous places online where you can get a copy of this document if you want one. Here are a couple for your convenience.

The Charters of Freedom

The Heritage Foundation

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 07/03/2015

Shopping Can Be Fun

Jaclyn Smith_StanJust reminiscing a little bit today about what we were doing a year ago and a few things I learned.

I am sure most of you have your own stories about shopping – good and bad. This is one shopping experience I was fortunate to participate in one year ago today and it was a good one (Understatement #1).

Shopping can be fun!

It started on November 23, 2012 when I entered a contest on the Sears/Kmart Shop Your Way Rewards web site. The contest said,

You could win a trip to LA and a shopping spree with Jaclyn Smith!

I enter contests regularly and often. I figure someone has to win these things and it might as well be me. Of course that doesn’t always happen but I have learned that I don’t win every contest I don’t enter.

No-Brainer

Of course I had been a fan of Jaclyn Smith for many years. I think I was in junior high school when Charlie’s Angels was one of the most popular shows on TV and I suspect most boys my age were fans. She is one of the most beautiful women in the world. It would be before Christmas and we did need to do some Christmas shopping,

It seemed like a no-brainer to me.

To say I was surprised when I received a phone call on November 27th telling me I had won would not be accurate. I was shocked! (Understatement #2) After talking with Sharin for about 2 minutes we decided we would go after we confirmed the details and this was really real. It was one of those moments when you think, “Is this really happening?” or “This is too good to be true. It can’t be happening to me.”

Alabama to LAX

Well, it was really real and on Monday, December 10th we flew from Alabama to LAX, drove to the Hilton Los Angeles Universal City, which is located at the entrance to Universal Studios. After checking in and getting settled we walked around Universal City Walk and had dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

You might be thinking, “You were at Universal Studios. Why didn’t you go to the park?” Well, we had already planned to drive to Disneyland while we were there so we were saving our energy and our money. Our original thought was we would go on Monday after we arrived but we decided to wait until Tuesday, after our shopping spree, since we expected that would not last much longer than the allotted hour. That expectation proved to be false in the best sort of way.

Exceeded Expectations

Well, Tuesday arrived and we arrived at the Kmart a little before 10:00 as planned. Everything that happened after that was both surreal and real at the same time. Never having spent much time with a celebrity, (Understatement #3), we were not sure what to expect. We expected it would be an enjoyable once-in-a-lifetime experience, of course, but the time would be limited according to the itinerary. We were wrong. It was an amazing day, far beyond anything we could have expected. Here is a link to a short video Kmart created. We did get the Christmas tree mentioned in the video.

Jaclyn Smith Christmas Tree_2012-12-20 02.50.08

Once-In-A-Lifetime Experience

I know this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Jaclyn. I mean really, how often does she get to meet a couple from the other LA (Lower Alabama) and go Christmas shopping at the Burbank Kmart with them? I expect this was the first and last time, thus, the once-in-a-lifetime description fits. I am sure she would agree. She did say “it was a highlight of the season meeting the two of you.”

Shopping Couple from LA_IMG_1423 (2)

In case you were wondering, it was also a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us.

What Did I Learn?

I knew that Jaclyn Smith was a beautiful woman. I learned that Jaclyn Smith is a beautiful person.

I was reminded it takes a lot of people working behind the scenes to make an event like this work and look effortless for those participating. There are many that deserve thanks for this. Kim, Leah, Shana, Amanda, Rena, and Clarine – you all made us feel special and made our day special. Thank you all again. To the local Kmart folks – Mark and Victor – thank you again for your Southern (California) hospitality.

USA_JACLYN SMITH
The St. Jude Christmas Bear Ornament

While watching Brooke shop for the kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital I learned Kmart is their number one retail supporter. That was fun to watch too.

I learned that shopping can be fun, especially when you are pushing the buggy (shopping USA_JACLYN SMITHcart for anyone confused) for two of the most beautiful women in the world and they are doing what women do while shopping – talking, laughing and having fun. It was definitely a win-win for me.

I learned that Jaclyn Smith is a prophet. On the autographed photo she signed before we went shopping and shown above she said, “I know we will have fun today.” She was right!

After the shopping was done

Probably the coolest part was after the shopping was done – her commitment was complete – she invited us back to have lunch with her, Rena, and Clarine, her team. She did not have to do that. She could have just used the down time to relax but she chose to spend it with us. That was special and will not be forgotten.USA_JACLYN SMITH

We ate lunch and just talked for probably an hour or more about kids, pets, new cars, etc. – just life like most people talk about. She was concerned about her new car that her husband was driving that day. She is a breast cancer survivor so she talked about that and the importance of the annual exams. We talked about Sharin’s upcoming Disney Half-Marathon in January as well as the Ability First Stroll and Roll event she was planning to participate in to support children and adults with special needs.

I learned Jaclyn Smith is a very nice down to earth person, mother, wife and humanitarian in addition to being one of the most beautiful and gifted models and actresses in the world.

You don’t have to fly to Los Angeles and go shopping with Jaclyn Smith to have fun shopping. Although, if you do ever get this opportunity I highly recommend it (Understatement #4).

It is the Giving Season

When you are shopping and looking for that perfect gift enjoy the time with the person you are shopping with and imagine the joy you will receive when you see the recipient open that gift. When you receive a gift remember that joy you received and accept any gift you receive with gratitude and allow the gift giver to experience that joy as well.

I just saw a quote from Andy Andrews about giving that fits well here I believe,

“Giving is an unbelievable action that continues to produce returns that are unexpected in nature.”

Just a note

If you look at my profile picture and the smile on my face you now know why I was smiling so much. I was having a good time shopping!

 USA_JACLYN SMITH

And, just in case you were wondering, we did make it to Disneyland too.

IMG_1453

IMG_1443

Until next time…Happy Shopping!

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 12/11/2013

 

 

All Part of the Plan

The Joker in The Dark Knight is portrayed by H...
The Joker in The Dark Knight is portrayed by Heath Ledger. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About five years ago The Dark Knight with Heath Ledger as the Joker was the most popular movie around. In my opinion he turned in one of the best acting performances ever as that character. That is one of my favorite movies. I think I paid to see it in the theater 4 times and I haven’t done that for any movie before or since. One of the classic lines from the Joker in that movie was, “It’s all part of the plan.”

That line has come to mind lately in regards to the roll-out of the insurance exchanges required to be set up by Obamacare. The official name of this law is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act but effects of this law are anything but affordable and I have not heard of any patients it has protected. If you have a lot of free time on your hands or insomnia you can read the final bill (H.R.3590 – Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) as passed here.

News reports are not good

Much of the news coverage about the implementation of this law is about how the implementation is failing, the health care exchange web sites where people are supposed to go to sign up for the health insurance are not working, are not secure, and once someone creates an account there, if they persist and are able to do so, their private information can be shared with anyone the government chooses and the account cannot be deleted. That is all true.

Opportunity or Tax Penalty?

Then there is the “opportunity” for those who do not have health care to be able to get health care promised by this law which I wrote about earlier (see Opportunity) which is really a requirement or mandate or tax penalty, not an opportunity. This “opportunity” is there for everyone and if you don’t take advantage of this “opportunity” the IRS will assess a penalty on your tax returns next year.

This personal mandate or personal tax penalty is the one the Republicans recently tried to get postponed for a year as well but the President is opposed to that idea because it would not force people to the exchanges in the numbers required by his plan.

Forced participation is required for success

If the younger, healthier citizens do not sign up for health insurance and pay 5-10 times or more than would be required for their normal risk class, if this was really insurance, then the law will fail. The deductibles on these policies are so high the likelihood of these policies actually being used is very small. This forced participation by the young and healthy is required in order to pay for the older and less healthy citizens.

I am not going to try to cover all of the details of this law. That is done now daily by many others, even mainstream media outlets. That is not my goal here. If you do want more information on how you might fare where you live you can find that in this article How Will You Fare in the Obamacare Exchanges?

What I want to point out here is

If that is news to you then you have not been paying attention. This information has been available since before this law was passed. It is just now becoming verifiable since the law was enacted October 1st.

Reality doesn’t match promises

Many have already received letters from their health insurance providers indicating their policy is not being renewed because they are no longer doing business in that state. Some have received letters saying they can keep their policy but the premiums have doubled, tripled, or worse and their deductible will have a similar increase.

Others have received letters from their employers saying they are no longer providing insurance for employees since the employer mandate has been postponed until January 1, 2015 and directing them to the exchanges for their health insurance.

Others have had their hours reduced to less than 30 per week to make them part-time status so the employer is not required to provide them health care coverage even when the employer mandate does take effect. There was much of this done the first half of this year before President Obama postponed the employer mandate for a year.

In case you are not following this, the result is less private health care options to choose from, less health care provided by employers and more people being forced to the Obamacare exchanges to buy insurance that is more expensive, not less as promised, and many are trying to pay for this added expense while working less hours.

Also, in case you missed this year’s tax increase anyone who has a flexible spending account option with their employer the maximum allowed was reduced to $2500 beginning this year so that was a tax increase for anyone who was funding this plan more than that amount prior to this year. I was one of those.

What was said about this law before it was passed and denied by its supporters is now being realized and is not very hard to verify. This law was never intended to be successful in providing health care for the long-term. It was just a stepping stone to a single payer system controlled by the U.S. Government. The fact it is failing in implementation now is all part of the plan. The only thing that might be a surprise to the administration is how quickly it seems to be failing.

The real plan in short is to force private insurers out of business, make the implementation of Obamacare as difficult and expensive as possible, and force as many people as possible to the Obamacare exchanges. Then you will see the same politicians who sponsored, promoted and voted for this law begin to say this is not working at all and is hurting the people it was designed to help so we, the government, must now take over the health care system in order to resolve this issue, that they created. There will be nowhere else for people to go since the private health insurance industry will have been decimated.

Let me restate that to make sure I am clear. The same people who wrote this law will be the ones saying the law is not working and they need to fix it. The fix they will say we need is a single payer system run by the federal government. The only question is how long this will take to play out. I am not sure they even know the answer to that but they are watching and will be ready when this law has punished enough people to make them want to accept their solution.

It is insane if you think about it but it happens often in Washington DC. Does anyone remember the housing, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac mortgage crisis of 2008? We the people are paying for these political games both figuratively and literally and will be for many years to come.

Introduce a little anarchy

“Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order and everything becomes chaos.”

That is another memorable phrase from the Joker that I believe describes where we are right now with Obamacare – chaos. Remember who created the chaos when those same people say they have a solution for it. Also remember this law was passed with only Democrats voting for it.

“Those who fail to learn from history and are doomed to repeat it.” Sir Winston Churchill

So when the President and Secretary of HHS continue to say Obamacare is working they are not lying. It is working just as they expected it to. Most people just don’t realize what their expectations were. If you have read this far you cannot use that excuse any more.

Remember when those who passed this law begin to admit it has failed and say they have a solution; it was all part of the plan.

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 10/18/2013

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

April 10, 2005 – Revisit

April 10, 2005 is a date our family will never forget. Our two oldest daughters, Sarah and Amy were coming home from Dairy Queen, the unofficial Sunday night after church meeting place for our family and church at that time, and were hit head on by a drunk driver.

Sarah has written about this experience lately as only she can since she was the one driving and experienced this like no one else. She is doing a wonderful job describing what she went through and she is a much better writer than me so I am just going to let her speak for herself.

I am always amazed when I think of all she and Amy went through and how they both have handled it. They have taught me and others much from their actions. I am a very proud father as I expect their Heavenly Father is as well. Here is their story.

Be Careful What You Pray For

April 10, 2005 I was driving home from church with my little sister, and we were hit head-on by a drunk driver passing in a no-passing zone along a two-lane highway. Over the next month or so, I would like to use my posts on Fridays to share this story with you because I need to remember how faithful God has been in my life, and I need to share the story of his faithfulness with others… to continue reading  click here

April 10, 2005

The Accident

Writing about what happened that Sunday night has always been hard because I never know where to begin or how much to include. So bear with me.

After church on Sunday evenings we would always go to our local Dairy Queen, but this Sunday, I had a strong feeling that I shouldn’t go. I ignored it. To continue reading click here

The Hospital

After I was life flighted to a hospital in St. Louis, it was all kind of a blur–probably because the nurses gave me my first couple of doses of morphine…to continue reading click here

Hospital Life Lessons

One can learn a lot from an extended stay in the hospital. Here are my top ten lessons. To read more click here

A Change of Heart

Since I was hit by a drunk driver we had to go through a criminal trial against, Mr. Vancil, the man who hit me and my sister. This meant seeing him–which I wasn’t sure how I would handle. To read more click here

 

The Waffle Iron Anniversary

If you were to google “traditional anniversary gifts” you would probably not see Waffle Iron as one of the traditional gifts. I know. I looked,

I also didn’t see vacuum cleaner (still not convinced I did that), bowling balls or truck stop dinners either. Yet my wife, Sharin and I (and yes her name is spelled correctly), have experienced all of these in our marriage so far and we are still married.

Yes, I am a real romantic.

I am often reminded of songs when thinking about life or some songs remind me of life so I have included links to some I thought were appropriate here. They often express my feelings better than I can myself. With that in mind I think the old Alabama song that goes, “She and I live in our own little world, ain’t it wonderful” describes us pretty well. The video is pretty funny too.

On August 25th we will celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary and this one will be known as the waffle iron anniversary for us. You see, I did ask Sharin what she wanted for our anniversary this year and she said a new waffle iron. So, even though I do like to surprise her with gifts from time to time I have learned (maybe) over the past 33+ years we have been together that sometimes, probably more than I would like to admit, it is best just to forego the surprise and get her what she asks for, if she asks for something. Sharin has learned, I think, I am not a mind reader so if there is something she does want it is better to be just let me know what it is and if there is any way I can get it for her she knows I will.waffle-iron

So there will be no surprise when the waffle iron arrives from Amazon.com this week. She even picked out the one she wanted. I am looking forward to her using it myself.

We have given and received some of the traditional anniversary gifts over the years. For our first anniversary we tried the tradition of keeping some of your wedding cake, freezing it, and then eating it on your first anniversary. That was not very good and a tradition that could be discontinued in my opinion.

For our 25th anniversary we skipped ahead to the traditional 50th anniversary gift and to Dixie, our golden retriever.

Dixie

Dixie has a sense of humor too!
Dixie has a sense of humor too!

The bowling ball anniversary was also in Birmingham and she got bowling shoes too and we went bowling. There is that romantic side of me showing up again.

We spent the weekend in St. Louis one year and went to see the Cardinals and Braves play baseball and went on a riverboat dinner cruise. That was a lot of fun even though it rained one game. We still enjoyed the time together and the game. I don’t remember if we were singing or not. Singing in the Rain works here in any case.

We went to Pasadena to see Alabama play and get beat by UCLA in the Rose Bowl one year but we were with good friends so that was a good time too, except for the loss, which is never fun.

The vacuum cleaner anniversary was really a year I don’t think we got each other anything but I did get the vacuum cleaner in July or August and probably did jokingly mention it was her anniversary present. It was our first Oreck! There is my warped sense of humor showing up again.

I cannot remember them all but do remember when it occurs every year, something I understand some men have a problem with.

What I do remember and thank God for every day is Sharin and the fact has put up with me and my warped sense of humor, flaws and shortcomings for the last 29 years of marriage. That is evidence to me that “It was no accident, me finding you. Someone had a hand in it long before we ever knew.” ~ Keeper of the Stars by Tracy Byrd

I know I am a better person as a direct result of having her in my life. She has been and continues to be the best mother our children could have asked for and the best wife I could have asked for and my best friend. I married way above my head and continue to be Amazed! “I don’t know how you do what you do. It just keeps getting better.” ~Lonestar

We have created many memories together over the past 29 years of marriage. Has it been perfect? No. I would be lying and you wouldn’t believe me if I said it was. We have learned marriage is a 100%/100% partnership, not 50%/50% as some describe it and you have to work at it and be committed to it in order for it to work.

I look forward to the next 29+ years, or as long as she will have me, as we will create many more memories, hopefully more good than bad. We are still learning, growing, and living life as we know it. As Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty put it and I paraphrase, I am in it for the long haul – until they put me in the ground. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t know what love is, a new song by Lonestar, does a very good job of expressing my feelings too.

So there you have the story of the Waffle Iron Anniversary and a little bit about us in less than 1000 words, not counting the song lyrics.

Old habits die hard. There is still a chance she might get a little surprise I think she might like before the week is over. We’ll see.

Note: If you did not click on the links go back and do so to get the full musical effect intended for this musically enhanced blog. 

Until next time…

Enhanced by Zemanta

Selective Forgetfulness

You have no doubt heard about selective hearing, which is just acknowledging what you want to acknowledge regarding what someone else has tried to communicate to you. You may not have heard of selective forgetfulness but I am sure you have experienced it. Let me try to explain.

Consider professional golfers

Professional golfers that achieve the highest level of success have the ability to forget or un-remember their bad shots and move on to the next shot. Their ability to just play one shot at a time and not be 2 or 3 or more shots or even holes ahead of themselves in their mind is what helps them perform at the highest level and win championships.

Amateur and weekend golfers, or two or three times a year golfers, like me, tend to remember our bad shots the entire round and that helps us create more bad shots to remember. One builds on another which builds on another to help us reach the high scores that remind us we are not as good as professionals, even if we did stay at a Holiday Inn Express the night before.

Of course their hours of deliberate practice, dedicated golf coaches and psychological coaches are factors also, but as Bobby Jones once said, 

The professionals have learned to forget what they don’t need to remember and focus on the good shots they want to repeat, or selective forgetfulness.

Consider historical events

Historical events need to be remembered so we can learn from them and not repeat the errors or mistakes made in the past. You might not have been alive when the holocaust occurred but if this had not been removed from your history books when you went to school you probably learned about it. Twenty years ago this would probably not need to be stated but the holocaust was a horrific event that should never be allowed to happen again.

Most people maybe 15-16 years old or older remember something about 9/11/01 and the death and horror caused by the Muslim terrorists. Sadly this attack by cowards, which happened not yet 12 years ago, is fading from the consciousness or memories of many. This event is not remembered and heeded as a warning that Muslims that have the same beliefs as those terrorists still exist today and want to kill anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs as much as they did on 9/11/01.

Whenever I go through security at an airport I am reminded this event has changed how we live in America.

Many have selective forgetfulness about both of these events and think they can never happen again. However, if events such as these are not remembered they can and will happen again. History does repeat itself.

Consider political events

Congress currently has an approval rating of around 13% the last time I looked. It could be even lower by the time you read this. However, even with this ridiculously low approval rating of the job they are doing it would not be surprising to see 60, 70, or even 80% of the existing congressmen that the people are supposedly unhappy with be re-elected in their next election.

How does that make any sense at all?

This is an instance when people seem to forget why they are unhappy with the performance of their representative or senator at election time. This is due, in part to their selected forgetfulness, but also due to some local project that has received funding from a bill that has nothing to do with that project. Think pork and not “the other white meat” kind. The recent farm bill that was really a food stamp bill is just one of thousands of examples of this.

Forgive and forget?

The forgiveness often comes but the forgetting part is much harder to achieve for us mere mortals.

Often, although we say we have forgiven someone for something we hang on to that memory and pull it out again during some unrelated discussion or argument many years later.

I know I have veered off my subject a little bit here with forgiveness. Please forgive me. That will likely be another subject for another day. I am trying to focus on the forgetting part of that phrase here.

Since I am here though, the way God handles forgiveness is the example we should all strive for.

That is something I don’t believe humans can achieve but we can strive for in our relationships with others.

Meanwhile, back at the blog…

Consider life events

There is a life event I am reminded of every year about this time and it happened 29 years ago. It was Saturday, August 18, 1984, a date that is easy to remember for me. I was at Shoal Creek Country Club in Birmingham, Alabama. I was following my favorite golfer and also the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus at the PGA Championship. I remember that round pretty well. Jack hit 17 of the 18 greens in regulation but could not make a put. Well, he did make one putt and shot 1 under par 71. He went on to shoot 69 on Sunday and tie for 25th. Lee Trevino actually won the tournament that year, another of my favorites.

Funny thing is, my wife remembers that weekend pretty well too and she wasn’t even with me.

Sharin driving her convertible.
Sharin driving her convertible

Actually she wasn’t even my wife at that particular time. She was still my fiancé and was in Enterprise, Alabama putting the finishing touches on the plans for our wedding, which would take place the following Saturday, August 25, 1984. That is how I can remember the dates so well.

She had obviously given me her blessing to go to the PGA or I would not have been there. I had complete confidence that she had everything under control with the wedding plans. However, it has been a source of conversation over the past 29 years when August comes around.

This is an event that I have not forgotten but I have learned my lesson and will never do this again. Of course I never plan to get married again either.

 

A golf ball.
A golf ball. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many of my life events that are marked by golf. I played quite a bit of golf between the ages of 11 and 22 and have been a spectator and fan for the most part, playing only a few times a year since then.

April 10, 2005 was the final day of The Masters and a life changing day for our family. I did not get to see the end of the final round live since it was not over before I went to church. I had a deacon’s meeting after church and Sharin, still my wife, was working the second shift in the Blood Bank at the hospital. Sarah and Amy were going to Dairy Queen, which was a traditional after church meeting place for many church members.

I had come home with our two youngest children, Rachel and Thomas, ages 10 and 9 at the time, and was eating a salad and about to watch the end of the tournament I had recorded when I received a phone call around 9:00 PM from Amy, telling me her and her sister Sarah, had been in an accident. Amy was 15 and Sarah 17 at the time. Her voice was a little shaky because she was shaken up and worried about her sister still trapped in the car on the side of a hill. I would like to be able to forget this event because I wish it had never happened but that is not possible.

I don’t want to go into any more details of this event now; maybe later. However, Sarah is writing about this now in her blog Be Careful What you Pray For if you want to read more. I highly recommend it. She is a much better writer than me.

So, how is your memory?

Memory and how good it is can be viewed from different perspectives. Being able to remember everything can be good. Being able to forget some things or selected forgetfulness can be good. It is like many other things though. We often cannot remember what we need to remember and forget what we need to forget at the time we need to do either.

Now, if I could just remember the point I was trying to make when I started this post.

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

Enhanced by Zemanta