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Wednesday, February 25

12 Great Reasons to Love a Great Country ~ All About America

Anyone who really knows me, understands that I am a passionate patriot. I love America immensely. It offers freedom, hope and opportunity like no other country in the world. Henceforth, I will be posting All About America every Wednesday, because I am proud to be an American! The content will vary and may include photos, facts, commentary, quotes, excerpts of speeches, etc. I will use different sources and make every attempt to site the source. I hope you’ll come back and visit often. And may God Bless America!

This has been taken from my second favorite book of all time, The American Patriot’s Almanac. It is filled with tons of amazing information and history, and anyone who loves history or consider themselves to be patriotic, will love this book. I did a full review of this book and if you would like to see it, simply click here.


Why should Americans love their country? Here are a dozen good reasons to be grateful and proud to live here.

1) The United States was the first nation in history created out of the belief that people should govern themselves. As James Madison said, this country’s birth was “a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human society.” The U.S. Constitution is the oldest written national constitution in operation. It has been a model for country after country as democracy has spread across the continents.

2) America really is the land of the free. There are large parts of the world where people can’t say what they think, learn what they’d like, or even dress the way they want. There are places where people spend years in jail or disappear if they question their rulers. Less than half of the world’s population lives in countries where people are truly free. In this nation, as George Washington put it, the love of liberty is interwoven with every ligament of American hearts.

3) No other country has done a better job of establishing equal rights for all citizens. Certainly there have been times when the United States has fallen tragically short of its founding principles. But especially in recent decades, no country has worked harder to eliminate discrimination and protect the rights of minorities. There are plenty of nations where people’s ethnicity, religion, or gender, define them as second-class citizens. In contrast, America has been a pioneer in striving toward the ideal that all are created equal.

4) This is the place where dreams can come true. U.S. newspapers are full of stories that read almost like fairy tales: the son of a laborer who grows up to be a doctor, the stay-at-home-mom who turns a hobby into a flourishing business, the immigrant who becomes a movie star and governor. The United States has long been the country people flock to for the chance to make better lives. No other country has built a sturdier ladder for people to climb to success.

5) We enjoy one of the world’s highest standards of living. Americans live longer, have better health, and enjoy safer and more comfortable lives than the vast majority of the world’s people. Ours is one of the most prosperous nations in history. U.S. companies provide some of the best jobs in the world. They have also built countless hospitals, libraries, and parks; created great universities; filled museums with works of art; found cures for diseases; and improved human life in countless ways.

6) No other country has welcomed and united so many people from so many different shores. From its beginnings, the U.S. has been the world’s great melting pot. Never before have so many people from different backgrounds, races, nationalities, and religions lived and worked together so peacefully. In no other nation has the spirit of cooperation and brotherhood accomplished more than it has in the United States.

7) The U.S. military is the greatest defender of freedom in the world. Twice in the twentieth century, the United States led the way in saving the world from tyranny – first from the Axis Powers, then from Soviet totalitarianism. Throughout history, other superpowers have used armies to conquer territory and build empires by force. America, with its unrivaled military, has chosen a different course. The United States has liberated more people from tyranny than any other nation in history.

8) America is a world leader in scholarship and invention. The United States is home to the world’s finest collection of universities and research institutions. Name just about any subject – from ancient philosophy to quantum physics – and chances are good that leading authorities work here. The record of American inventions and discoveries goes on and on, from the mechanical reaper to the microchip. American medical research facilities are among the best in the world. The United States leads the world in space exploration. The computer revolution started here.

9) Americans are among the most generous on earth. The United States has built the most extraordinary collection of charitable, philanthropic, and civic organizations in the world, and this country is the planet’s largest source of humanitarian aid. American government programs and private giving constitute one of the greatest efforts to help people in history. In 2007, Americans donated more than $300 billion to charities. When disaster strikes overseas, Americans are among the first to offer help and support.

10) The United States is the world’s greatest marketplace for the free exchange of ideas and information. In some countries, governments shut down newspapers and broadcast stations they don’t like, and limit access to the Internet. Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are bedrock principles of American democracy. The staggering volume of information traded here every day – via books, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, TV, and radio – makes this country the liveliest center of thought and debate in history.

11) This nation possesses an amazing capacity for self-renewal. Time and again, Americans have been able to address the country’s problems and flaws. Think of those Americans at Philadelphia in 1787 who devised the most miraculous political document in history just as the young nation seemed to be falling apart. Or Americans in the Civil Rights movement prodding the country to right the wrongs of segregation. The American people have a genius for self-correction. Sometimes it takes awhile, but in the end we find our way.

12) America is a nation that looks to God for guidance. It was founded to be a place where all are free to worship, or not to worship, as they please. Never before have so many different religions, creeds, and beliefs coexisted so peacefully in one country. Amid this diversity, the vast majority of Americans draw strength from faith in God’s goodness and wisdom. In God We Trust is our national motto, and we have never had a president who has been reluctant to say, “Let us pray.”

Tuesday, February 24

Choosing Life Through Adversity

I am very excited that my Choosing Life column for Take Root and Write is now being published twice a month, on the second and fourth Monday of each month. As such, I’ll republish my article here, within a day or two after it posts on my column there. TRW is a wonderful place to read amazing articles from over 40 different columns and women. I encourage you to check it out – I’m sure you’ll find something there that you’ll enjoy very much. You may even decide to become a guest contributor yourself!

Special Note: This post is actually from my column from two weeks ago. I mixed up my re-post, so the most recent one, I posted here on 2/10 and now I’m posting the one from 2/9. Clear as mud? Good!


Oh, boy, here I am. Many of you may be intimately aware of the truth, that when you speak on or teach about something, the message is for you too. That’s something I’m walking through right now. This series is about choosing life daily, in our thoughts, words, actions, attitudes, habits, relationships, etc, because I seriously believe this. That doesn’t mean however, that I don’t go through things myself and have to make a conscious effort to practice what I preach, because I do, and I am.

Facing adversity is just one of those things we all have to do in this life. And the reality is most of us don’t like adversity. Why would we? It hinders us from getting or having what we want. It can be frustrating, confusing and painful. Sometimes it can be downright awful, something we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy. But, truth be told, facing adversity will make us stronger, better people, if we choose to allow it too. We can learn much through our adversity, if we choose too, things like compassion, mercy, perseverance, patience and faith, to name a few.

Yep, adversity happens to us all, like it or not. We can overcome it, or conversely it can overcome us. Either way, it’s up to us. If we have a victim mentality, a defeatist attitude or hateful thoughts (toward ourselves or others), it’s a pretty safe bet that the adversity is going to overcome us. However, if we have a victor mentality, a positive attitude and life-affirming thoughts, we will overcome it. This is thinking through adversity. It’s choosing life through adversity.

Often times, we look at adversity as something to stop us, kill our dreams, or keep us down low, but that’s not it at all. Just because something isn’t easy or doesn’t just happen the way we want it to, doesn’t mean that it’s not meant to happen. On the contrary, it’s a rare thing when something really meaningful, important or amazing comes easily. I think of the movie A League of Their Own, when Dottie (Geena Davis) decides to quit the team because it got too hard, and the coach (Tom Hanks) responds with “that’s bull, it’s the hard that makes it great!”

In order to have victory over the adversity you face, you have to be deliberate about it. Choose your thoughts, your words and your attitude wisely. Speak life to your situation! Do it out loud! Tell God how big your problem is, yes, but don’t stop there, turn right around and tell your problem how big your God is! Be intentional in the thoughts you think – we are told in Phil 4:8 “Finally, brothers, 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.”

There is one thing in particular that is very hard to do when we are experiencing adversity and that is to persevere. It is so hard to continue on when we are discouraged by the circumstance that is stopping us from having or getting what we want, especially if it goes on for a long period of time, but we must not allow discouragement take hold of us and we must not give up. There may be a time to stop pursuing a desire, but we should know when that is, and not just give up because it got too hard.

Furthermore, we also need to take a chance and trust. We have to trust that God is for us, not against us, and that He loves us and knows what is best for us. We also have to trust Jesus, when he tells us in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Yes, adversity/trouble happens, but Jesus has overcome it and we can too! However, overcoming adversity doesn’t just happen, we have to be proactive about it every step of the way.

Earlier, I mentioned that I was walking through this right now. We have been trying to grow our family for five years now. We are forty years old, so time is not on our side. We do have a beautiful daughter, who is such a treasured gift to us and we are so thankful for her. But we’ve had problems too, with two miscarriages and a long time between pregnancies. It has been really tough at times, but I know my God and He is always faithful. We are rapidly nearing the time that we gave ourselves as a deadline to stop trying. Should that time come without another baby, I will still trust, follow and serve God. I know He has a plan, and whatever that plan may be, I trust that it is even better than what I could plan for myself.

In the meantime, I find myself having to speak life to my womb, and think life-affirming thoughts, and draw comfort from God’s Word, because it doesn’t just happen naturally. This is how I am being proactive about overcoming my adversity. I am deliberately and purposefully thinking positively through this adversity. Yes, the negative thoughts come, but I know that if I take them captive, they will not take me captive. This is how I am choosing life through adversity. How about you?

Thursday, February 19

Freedom of Speech ~ Current Events Wrap Up

Ok, so this is my 2nd Current Events post for today. I simply could not pass this up. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

An Oklahoma man was stopped, had his personal property confiscated, and was told he was now under investigation for having an anti-Obama sign on his van. The offending sign reads, “Abort Obama, not the unborn.” The officer said he thought that meant he was going to kill Obama. What? To abort means to stop something in the process, not assassinate. To end the life of an innocent baby still in the womb, not the life of full-grown, real live, living and breathing man (even liberals typically call that murder – not abortion). The man stopped said he was referring to desiring Obama to be removed from office. Upon investigation, the man who did this has been cleared and is not deemed to be a threat, by the Secret Service.

Seriously, what happened to free speech? Does it only apply to liberals, Democrats and sicko-kiddie-porn peddlers? Has everyone who ever had an anti-Bush bumper sticker been stopped by the police and investigated by the Secret Service? Where is the ACLU, and why aren’t they screaming at the top of their lungs that this man’s freedoms, guaranteed under the Constitution and Bill of Rights, have been violated. Is there a lawsuit against the officer and the police department for this egregious violation?

Ok, I’m done with my rant. For more information on this story, click here. Any thoughts on this?

Nadya Suleman ~ Current Events Wrap Up

Ok, it’s Thursday, and you know what that means… It’s time for The Current Events Wrap Up meme, hosted by the amazing Julie Arduini at her The Surrendered Scribe blog. The Current Events Wrap Up meme is the vision God gave Julie for discussing what is going on in the world, nation and even our own lives. This is really a fantastic meme and we would love to see it grow. There is so much happening these days and it would be amazing to have a team of conservative commentators discussing their thoughts. Please go and check out Julie’s blog, and if you like current events or news, think about joining in and/or spreading the word!

Ok, this week is just a little different from the previous weeks. Julie has suggested a specific topic for this week’s discussion – Nadya Suleman and her situation. (Way to stir up the hornet’s nest, Julie! *wink*) There are lots of aspects to this that can be discussed and lots of opinions – passionate opinions. So without further ado, here is mine:

In case you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know who Nadya Suleman is, she is the 30-something year old single mom living in CA, who just gave birth to eight babies, in addition to the six she already has, all of whom were conceived through IVF. That’s right, a total of fourteen young children, ten of which are age two or under! Three of her previous children have been diagnosed with disabilities (autism, ADHD and a speech impediment, I believe), and she has been receiving disability payments for them along with food stamps. She does not however, consider this to be welfare, but rather “In her view these are just payments made for people with legitimate needs and are not, in her view, welfare. She just believes that there are programs for people with needs and she and her children qualify for some of them.” (Mike Furtney, her publicist said) Huh? Isn’t that what welfare is?

Personally, my opinion is that this woman is out of touch with reality. She just doesn’t get it. Her way of seeing things is just not real. She has said that she intends to go back to school in the fall, finish her degree and support these kids on her own. I’m not sure how she thinks she’s going to accomplish this, but ok. Another thing she has said is that she is providing for them by being available for them and loving them. That’s great, but hugs and kisses cannot nourish, clothe, bathe, teach, buy and change diapers and raise children.

As a woman who has first and second hand knowledge of the pain associated with fertility problems I understand the longing to have children. But part of being a parent, or good parent anyway, is being responsible and able. I’m not so sure that really describes Nadya. There is more to being a good parent than just desire and love.

Nadya states that for each IVF treatment, there were six eggs implanted. Four times that resulted in one child and one time it resulted in a set of twins. If this is true, then I’ll give her the benefit of doubt, that she had no idea that the result of the final IVF treatment would result in eight babies. While I’m not thrilled with all that has come to light in regards to the mother, these children need help. And to withhold help to the mother because she’s not liked will hurt the children far more than it will hurt Nadya. Science has allowed this to happen and I would like to see science help her raise them. What I mean by this, is the (wealthy) doctor who assisted in all of this, who is in part responsible for all of this, should be held responsible financially. In my humble opinion…

The thing that really gets me going about this though is not Nadya or any part of her actual situation. Once again I find myself muttering what the heck is wrong with people!? To hear of the death threats that Nadya, her family and the hired publicist have received is beyond ridiculous. It is a despicable sign of depths to which factions of society have fallen. Seriously, death threats? There are many people and situations I don’t approve of, but I don’t threaten them with death or harm. Once again, the depravity of fallen man has reared its ugly head. Now, in addition to requiring the necessity to meet the physical, emotional and mental needs of this family, there also appears to be a need to provide security for them.

I’m not thrilled with Nadya Suleman, or many of the choices she made (I do understand though her refusal to abort any unborn babies and applaud her for that). But she needs our help in multiple ways. If you would like to help financially, you can do so by going to her website at If you do not wish to, or are unable to help financially, please remember the family in your prayers. That is something we all can do.

Tuesday, February 17

President Ronald Reagan ~ Character Counts

The Character Counts Meme posts every first and third Tuesday of the month. I’d love to have you join me for spotlighting, celebrating and honoring people of good character, who’ve led exemplary lives and who’ve lived with honor, integrity, dignity and sacrifice, and those who’ve inspired others by overcome great obstacles in their own lives. I believe that when we celebrate and exhort good character traits, we can turn the tide, and see more of them. At least I’d like to try! If you are joining us, please leave your name and link at the Mr. Linky down below and don’t forget to leave a comment! Blessings!


They say timing is everything, and I have to admit, for this meme, so far that has proven to be true. Once again, it was really easy to choose the person I wanted to spotlight and honor for Character Counts. And yet again it is has to do with timing, though I really didn’t plan it that way, it’s just how the calendar lined up with the Character Counts schedule. Since we’ve just celebrated President’s Day, I’ve chosen to spotlight and honor someone I look up to greatly – President Ronald Reagan.

While this was an easy choice, it is also a daunting task. President Ronald Reagan was a great president, great leader, and great man of God. He was not perfect, but he was a man of honor and integrity, who loved his God, his country and his wife passionately. He inherently believed in the triumph of good over evil, and that America was blessed by God and the last best hope of man on earth.

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampico, IL on February 6, 1911 to John ‘Jack’ and Nelle Reagan. Reagan had a particularly strong faith in the goodness of people, which stemmed from the optimistic faith of his mother, Nelle, and the Disciples of Christ faith, into which Ronald was baptized at the age of eleven. The Reagan family was quite ahead of their time in their opposition to discrimination. They truly believed that all persons were created equal and that discrimination was evil, at a time when that was not an accepted belief. To that end, a young Ronnie once brought home a black family, to stay with his family for the night and feed them breakfast the next day, when they’d been turned away from a local inn simply because they were black.

The man who would become the 40th President of the United States, began his life much more humbly. The Reagan family was not well-off financially and Ronald obtained his job during high school. At the age of fifteen, he took a job as a lifeguard at a local pool, where he is credited with saving seventy-seven lives. After high school he went to Eureka College majoring in Economics and Sociology, where he was very involved in sports, particularly football.

Following his graduation from college in 1932, Reagan began working in radio broadcasting, where he primarily did sports announcing. This led to his acting career, where he achieved moderate success, but was often overshadowed by bigger talents. During his acting career, Ronald co-starred with and married actress Jane Wyman. The two had two daughters, Maureen and Christine (who died one day after birth) and adopted a son, Michael. Wyman filed for divorce in 1948, citing a distraction due to Reagan’s SAG union duties.

Reagan first became involved in politics by serving with the Screen Actors Guild, which he eventually became president of and served in that office for seven years. He was adamantly opposed to communism and the influence of communist in the motion picture agency. While originally a Democrat, he began leaning toward the ideologies of the Republican party in the early 1950’s and officially switched parties in 1962. When asked why he left the Democratic Party, his response was, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. It left me.”

While serving as the SAG president, Reagan met actress Nancy Davis, who became the love of his life. The two married in 1952 and they had two children of their own, Patti and Ron. One press secretary said of the couple, “They never took each other for granted. They never stopped courting.” Throughout their long life together, their love and devotion to each other was evident to all.

In the late 1950’s, Reagan began working as a host for General Electric Theater, a series of weekly dramas on TV, which became very popular. As part of his job, he was required to tour GE plants and give speeches (up to fourteen per day) to the employees for ten weeks out of the year. This is where he developed such strong writing and speaking skills, which would later earn him the title of “The Great Communicator.” His speeches often were politically charged and held a conservative, pro-business tone. He was fired by GE in 1962, when his speeches were deemed too controversial.

Throughout the years, Ronald Reagan became more involved in politics, becoming the Governor of California in 1967 – 1975. He set his sights on the Presidency as a truly conservative Republican. He challenged incumbent President Ford in 1976 for the bid to become the Republican candidate, but narrowly lost. He tried again in 1980 and ran against President Carter for the presidency, stressing in his campaign the importance of less taxes to stimulate the economy, less interference in government into people’s lives, more rights for the states, and a strong national defense. He won in a landslide election, gaining 44 states and 489 electoral votes, to Carters 49. In 1984 he ran for President again, against former Vice-President Walter Mondale, and this time too, he won in a landslide election winning 49 states and 525 electoral votes, the highest amount in history.

During his Presidency, Reagan faced many difficult issues. It began in a dramatic manner, with the releasing by Iran of 52 U.S. hostages after 444 days, during his inaugural address. And obviously, the assassination attempt on his life was not an ideal way to begin his Presidency. Beyond that, he had had the Air Traffic Controller’s strike, the collapsed U.S. economy, the Beirut barracks bombing by Muslim Terrorists which killed 241 American Marines, the escalation of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, the Challenger space tragedy, and the bombing of Libya to name just a few.

During a time when U.S. was struggling and facing great adversity, President Reagan offered strong leadership and hope, and helped his fellow Americans to once again believe this was a great and noble nation and to be proud of their heritage as citizens of the United States of America. His wit and warm personality won over many people, but none more important than that of Secretary General Gorbachev of the Soviet Union. Reagan spoke harshly and often against communism and called the Soviet Union the axis of evil. He worked diligently to build up our military force in anticipation of protecting our nation, but he also formed a genuine and lasting relationship with the Soviet leader while doing so. He firmly held to the belief in peace through strength. His efforts proved effective with the fall of the collapse of the Soviet Union. He is credited with winning the Cold War without a single shot being fired.

The faith of President Reagan permeated every part of his life. He often quoted Scripture in his speeches and personal prayer was prevalent – he even began his cabinet meetings with prayer. He believed he was placed upon the earth for such a time as this. His strength was in his dependence upon God. Ronald Reagan was a man of faith and conviction.

President Reagan died in died in his Bel Air home on June 5th, 2004, after suffering with Alzheimer’s disease for 10 years. His death was felt and mourned by people world-wide, not just by Americans. His body was laid first at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where more than 100,000 people came to view the coffin. It was then moved to D.C. where he became the 10th President to lie in state, and once again, more than 100,000 people came to pay their last respects. His state funeral was attended by (among others) Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher who gave a eulogy. June 11th was declared by then President George W. Bush, to be a National Day of Mourning. He was flown back to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where he was buried.

His burial site is is inscribed with the words he delivered at the opening of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library:

“I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph and that there is purpose and worth to each and every life.”

While there is so much I haven’t covered, like all of the awards he’s won, honors he’s received and the legacy he’s left, for sake of time and space, I’ll end with this. The quotes below are indicative of the beliefs he held and the character of the man he was.

Quotes of Ronald Reagan:

~ Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.

~ All great change in America begins at the dinner table.

~ Democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.

~ Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we've ever known.

~ Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.

~ Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.

~ Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.

~ Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.

~ Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They're just braver five minutes longer.

~ I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.

~ I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life.

~ If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.

~ If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.

~ Let us be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time, that in our time we did everything that could be done. We finished the race; we kept them free; we kept the faith.

~ Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.

~ Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.

~ Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours.

~ Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15th.

~ The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.

~ The taxpayer - that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination.

~ There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.

~ There are no easy answers' but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.

~ We are never defeated unless we give up on God.

~ We have the duty to protect the life of an unborn child.

~ We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.

~ We should measure welfare's success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added.

~ We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free.

~ Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.

~ Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.

~ Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure.

Saturday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to post these delightful love quotes by children. I hope you enjoy and have a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

~ Love is that first feeling you feel before all the bad stuff gets in the way.

~When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.

~ When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.

~ Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.

~ Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.

~ Love is when someone hurts you. And you get so mad but you don't yell at them because you know it would hurt their feelings.

~ Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.

~ Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.

~ Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.

~ Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.

~ If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you don't like to play with.

~ Love is hugging. Love is kissing. Love is saying no sometimes.~ When you tell someone something bad about yourself and you're scared they won't love you anymore. But then you get surprised because not only do they still love you, they love you even more.

~ There are two kinds of love- Our love & God's love. But God makes both kinds of them. Love is important to God.

~ Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day.

~ Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.

~ During my piano recital, I was on a stage and scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.

~ My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.

~ Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken.~ Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.

~ Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.

~ I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.

~ When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.

~ Love is when mommy sees daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.

~ You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget, and it's good for them to get reminded.

Friday, February 13

The Penance of Brandon Scott ~ Fiction Friday

Ok, it’s been awhile since I’ve done this but, I’m going to play along again. It is time once again for Friday Fiction, this week hosted by Julie at her The Surrendered Scribe blog. This was another entry in the FaithWriters Weekly Challenge. The topic had to do with Truth or Dare. If you would like to read more great fiction, or participate, please go to Fiction Friday. I hope you enjoy the story.


Brandon looked over the sea of faces that sat before him. The auditorium was nearly full with high school students, who frankly didn’t want to be there. They looked bored, cocky or disinterested. He saw the stares, heard the whispers and knew he’d get through to a few of them. Not all certainly, but if he got a few, then he’d done his job. He adjusted the mic as he waited for them to settle.

“Hi there. As Principal Wilson mentioned, my name is Brandon Scott. I’m here to, hopefully, get my message across. I know most of you don’t want to be here and, honestly, I understand that. I’ll try to be brief, so you can get on with your day. If you’ll pay attention to the screen above, there are pictures to accompany my story.”

“Not too long ago, I was like most of you. I got decent grades, was a star football player, had a girlfriend and was fairly popular. I had a bright future, with offers from 4 great universities for full football scholarships. See that picture above my head on the screen? That’s what I used to look like before becoming a Public Service Announcement.”

“As you can see, my life has changed significantly. Like many of you, I thought I was invincible. I thought I had it made. My life was all planned out, and it was good. What I didn’t realize, was how quickly things can change.”

“For me, that change came Homecoming night, senior year. We’d won, and were ready to party, so we did. It was a big party, lots of people and lots of booze. A group of us decided to play Truth or Dare, ‘cause you know, guys, girls how could you lose, right? After going round a couple times, it got more intense. My last turn, I chose dare. I was dared to street race from one light in our town to the next at 100 mph.”

“I accepted that dare, but asked how would I prove it without witnesses? So, 5 others agree to go with me – my girlfriend included. Here are their pictures. As you can probably imagine, I crashed. Here’s a picture of the scene. Pretty gruesome, huh? I came out of it a paraplegic, but I did come out of it. No one else in the car survived. Worse yet, I hit another car. One with a mom, her young daughter and two of the daughter’s friends. Here are their pictures. Pretty girls, huh? These young girls were having a sleepover, but begged the mom to take them out for late night ice cream. None of them survived.”

Brandon took a moment to let the words and the images set in. “Are you with me? Did you count along with me? There are 9 people dead because of my stupid, foolish and reckless behavior! Me – I did this. Because of me, all these families were shattered. I won’t call it an accident, because I chose to drink, I chose to play the game and I chose to take a stupid dare! I killed 9 people –girlfriend, friends, kids, and a mom. I did that!”

“Why didn’t I die too? I ask that all the time. My best guess is that God figured He could make something good come out of it. It was determined that I was unable to serve time in prison for what I’d done because of my condition. So I was sentenced to 5 years of telling my story. It may not seem like much to some, and honestly, I agree. But I have to live with this every day of my life and I relive that night every time I tell the story. My 5 years were up 2 years ago. I paid my debt that was meted out by the court, but I will never pay the debt I truly owe. Now I do this for my own penance, because it’s the right thing to do.”

“I’ve found I’ve been forgiven by some of the family members. I don’t know why. Others can’t, or won’t, and I understand that. I’m unable to forgive myself. But if I can get through to some of you, maybe the deaths of my victims won’t be in vain.”

“You’re young. You have your whole lives ahead of you. You’ve probably never given any thought to your own mortality. I can assure you there are no guarantees in life. You have the power to make your own choices. I beg of you, think before you do! I’ll be available to answer any questions you may have. Thank you.”

Brandon finished his speech, and looking around, figured a few of them got it. Sporadically, a few of them began to move forward to where the audience mic was. Good, he thought, if I can just prevent another tragedy, then maybe I’ll find peace.

"Yes, I'll take your question."

Thursday, February 12

Salma and The Census ~ Current Event's Wrap Up

Ok, it’s Thursday, and you know what that means… It’s time for The Current Events Wrap Up meme, hosted by the amazing Julie Arduini at her The Surrendered Scribe blog. The Current Events Wrap Up meme is the vision God gave Julie for discussing what is going on in the world, nation and even our own lives. This is really a fantastic meme and we would love to see it grow. There is so much happening these days and it would be amazing to have a team of conservative commentators discussing their thoughts. Please go and check out Julie’s blog, and if you like current events or news, think about joining in and/or spreading the word!

Special Note: Next week, Thursday, Feb. 21st, Julie is doing something special. She is asking for lots of participation in discussing a very hot topic - Nadya Suleman and her 14 children. Please prayerfully consider joining us. If you would like the details, please click here.

Once again, there are a couple of things I would like to discuss.


It seems like I’m doing celebrity stuff a bit more lately, but hey, it is Current Events! I read a story today, which brought tears to my eyes, in a very good way. Salma Hayek was on a trip to Sierra Leone w/ (I believe) UNICEF in September as part of her involvement in the fight against tetanus, one of the reasons the country has the highest infant and child death rate in the world.

While there, she met a mother with an infant she was unable to feed because she had no milk. It apparently touched her deeply, so she took the starving, yet otherwise healthy baby and breastfed it herself. While she was in the process of weaning her own daughter, she still had plenty of milk to offer. I have no idea if she did anything further to help the mother and child, but this act itself is pretty amazing. (For more info, click here.) Bravo, Salma!

Now, with the election barely behind us, and the controversy about ACORN buying, or stealing, the election through the various fraudulent activities they’ve been caught in (I don’t have time or space to go into all that), now there is more. President Obama has announced that he is going to be having the Census director answering to the White House rather than leaving it solely to the Commerce Department. There are problems all over this.

Since the Census is what is used to determine congressional districts. In addition, it is used to determine the composition of the Electoral College, which chooses the President. And the Census is important in another way – the allocation of federal funds. The impact of this would be significant. Obviously if one party were in charge of the numbers, rather than an a-political, non-partisan organization, there could be significant skewing of the numbers to suit their needs.

Shockingly, I haven’t heard this reported in the MSM (mainstream media). I only found out about it through Fox News. I can only imagine what the reaction would have been, had President Bush, or any other Republican, attempted to do such a thing. (For more info, click here.)

Oh, and one more thing. In case you are interested in keeping any eye on the Spendulous Bill that is going to save our country, check out this site - Stimulous Watch

Wednesday, February 11

Ok, I'll Be Honest...

Ok, I’m going to play along again. I have been tagged with the Honest Scrap Award, by two very cool peeps, Billy Coffey (aka a Southern Gentleman and subtle fighter of liberal feminism) and KM Wilsher (aka gzusfreek, writer of Christian Sci-Fi and Fantasy w/ a way awesome looking blog)! It’s been awhile, so I might be able to come up with 10 things about myself that you don’t already know or remember from previous about me posts. Of course there are a couple of rules to this.

A) First list 10 honest things about yourself - and make it honest (hence, the award 'Honest Scrap'), even if you have to dig deep.

B) Pass the award on to 8 bloggers that you feel embody the role of the Honest Scrap. (This is an award only to display on your blog that everything you write on it is in truth, sincerity, and integrity.) Special Note: I am cheating. Because most everyone I know has already been tagged, I’m not tagging anyone specifically, but am inviting anyone who is interested to play along.


1) When I was a sinning single gal, most of my home-cooked dinners consisted of red wine and popcorn. If it was the weekend, throw in some ice cream and a video.

2) I love, love, love going to the movies by myself. It’s the ultimate picker-upper for me.

3) I got my first grey hair while I was pregnant with Sweet Pea, at the tender age of 38. And I cried!

4) I’m seriously debating using a pen name, rather than my real name for all this writin’ I’m doing. I was thinking Paige Montgomery, but the amazing Michelle Sutton came up with Paige Turner (get it?)… Whatcha think?

5) I used to have a “either love me or hate me” personality with nothing in between. People either loved me or hated me. Seriously, I’ve really… matured.

6) I have never, ever, sent a text message. I wouldn’t even know how.

7) I was (gasp!) arrested when I was seventeen for underage drinking, and when the officer put me in handcuffs, he tore off one of my nails (literally).

8) I hate talking on the phone, traffic, accessorizing, high heels, hot temperatures, snakes, creepy crawly things, mushrooms and baseball.

9) I love animals, rain, wide open spaces, the color purple (not the movie – though that was good too) mountains, classic movies, Venti White Chocolate Mocha’s, and the ocean.

10) I consider chocolate to be the most important food group.

And as a bonus, here is an extra:

11) I want a new engagement. After waiting for what seemed like forever to get engaged (thank you, honey), my betrothement happiness ended abruptly when the very next day we Americans experienced the horror of Sept. 11, 2001. I really want a new engagement!

Tuesday, February 10

Speaking Life, Not Death

I am very excited that my Choosing Life column for Take Root and Write is now being published twice a month, on the second and fourth Monday of each month. As such, I’ll republish my article here, within a day or two after it posts on my column there. TRW is a wonderful place to read amazing articles from over 40 different columns and women. I encourage you to check it out – I’m sure you’ll find something there that you’ll enjoy very much. You may even decide to become a guest contributor yourself!

Note: This is actually a slightly modified version of one of my first Choosing Life posts, here on my own blog. If you’ve read it before, you certainly don’t need to again, but of course I’m pleased if you want to!


"This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” (Deut. 30:19)

We’ve recently discussed what it means to choose life in our thoughts, and since our thoughts lead to words, I guess we’re ready to talk about choosing life in our words. Once again, it is important that we determine to control our lips, words, mouth and tongue. This is made pretty clear in Prov. 13:3, “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”

All day, every day, we have the chance to speak words that bring life or death. Whether we are talking to our families, peers, co-workers, strangers, or even ourselves, the words we use will either tear down our build up. It says in Prov. 18:21, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” This means everything we say, either leads to life or to death and that which we choose, we will receive. If we choose to speak in a manner that is harsh, hurtful, condemning, gossipy, dishonest, or deceitful, we are then choosing death. But, if we choose to speak words that are encouraging, peaceful, healing, kind, lovely, and uplifting, then we are choosing life. We find this to be true in Prov. 12:18, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

It often seems that negative words are easier to say, take root much deeper, and are far more common. However, that doesn’t make it right. Most of us probably beat ourselves up a bit verbally, from time to time, but we shouldn’t. Whenever we tell ourselves, I’m so fat, stupid, lazy, ugly, boring, or sinful, we are choosing death. Anytime we call ourselves names or put ourselves down, we are speaking death over ourselves, and worse we are insulting God, who created us in His image and loves us with an everlasting love. This type of verbal assault isn’t usually only directed inward at self, but it typically is directed outward at others also. When we insult others, lie, speak maliciously, or gossip, to or about other people, we are speaking death not only to them, but to ourselves too! We should be ever mindful to control the words we speak, as it says in Prov. 4:24, “Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.”

On the other side of this, there are words that build up. When we compliment praise and affirm, others or ourselves, we are speaking life. When we do the right thing verbally, like tell the truth or put a stop to gossip, we are choosing life. When we say positive affirmations to ourselves or speak the Word out loud, we are choosing life! (I mention positive affirmations because it’s been said that it takes ten positives to erase one negative.) None of us really have any idea of the power we hold to impact another’s life – a kind word, a sincere compliment, or a gentle affirmation might be exactly what someone needs to make it through another day. The Bible confirms this in Eph. 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” And further, in Prov. 15:23, “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!”

Just as it is important to guard the words we say, we must also guard the words we receive. Unfortunately, there will be times that mean-spirited or hurtful words come our way and there is little we can do about it. But, we do not have to receive them, accept them or give them credibility. We should tell ourselves, I reject that, and then move on. Do not let them take root within you.

Generally speaking, we must use words to correct, and, or, resolve conflict. There may even be times we have to take a stand for righteousness. However, it is possible to speak truth in love, correct with gentleness, give constructive criticism and rebuke with restraint. If we are not mindful of that, and choose our words, and our tone, carefully, we can hurt others and escalate the situation. Again, the Bible confirms this in Prov. 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” And too, in Prov. 17:27, “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.”

We are known by our actions and our words. Whether we like it or not, if we are a Christian, we are a walking testimony. If we say we are Christians, but don’t act or sound like a Christian, what does that say about our testimony (and our Jesus)? When we speak death to others, we chink away at the integrity of our conversion. We destroy our witness. This is beautifully and picturesquely addressed in Luke 6:44-45, “Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” We are known by the fruit we display. What kind of fruit do we reveal when we talk?

The Bible is literally filled with references to the tongue, mouth, words, lips, etc that pertain to the way we speak. I’ve only chosen a few. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that we are to control our speech, because the words we say lead to life or death. The Bible shows us how to speak in a way that gives life, Eph. 5:19-20 says, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” So please, join me in thinking before speaking, so that with our words, we build up, encourage and choose life, always.

Thursday, February 5

Michael Phelps and Sheriff Joe ~ Current Events Wrap-Up

Ok, it’s Thursday, and you know what that means… It’s time for The Current Events Wrap Up meme, hosted by the amazing Julie Arduini at her The Surrendered Scribe blog. The Current Events Wrap Up meme is the vision God gave Julie for discussing what is going on in the world, nation and even our own lives. Please go and check out Julie’s blog, and if you like current events or news, think about joining in and/or spreading the word!

This is posting later than I intended, but I’ve had a lot of catching up to do on things since we’ve all been sick for so long. As usual there is much in the news to comment on. Choosing a story, or a couple of stories isn’t always easy with so much material out there. But I have narrowed it down.

Earlier this week, I chose Kurt Warner to spotlight in my Character Counts post. He is a very talented athlete, who lives in the spotlight and is a true hero because of his character, not his status as a professional football player, a celebrity athlete, or his professional achievements. On the other hand, news and scandal broke this week surrounding the golden boy, Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps. Michael was photographed at a college party smoking marijuana.

Michael is about the most celebrated athlete in the world. He is immensely talented and driven. No one can dispute his achievement. But does this make him a hero? In my opinion it does not. It just makes him talented. Should he be held to a higher standard then? In my opinion yes he should. Some may say that this assessment is not fair – after all, he is a 23 year old college kid, and he should be allowed to make the same choices his peers make without fear of public opinion. But again, I disagree. He chose to pursue the path that would place him in the status of celebrity athlete and yes, in this day and age, people are watching – everywhere.

Now if I were to be honest with you, I was not a good example at the age of 23 either. But I was not in the spotlight and I most certainly did not have thousands, if not millions of fans, adults, young adults and children, looking up to me. Nor was I getting adoration and compensation simply because of who I was. Because of his achievements, Michael has millions and millions of dollars worth of endorsement contracts. And unfortunately, it would appear that there will be no repercussion for his actions from the companies who are paying him lots of money to endorse their products. Apparently his admitting he made a poor choice and apologizing is deemed enough these days. But is he really sorry, or just sorry he got caught?

This superstar athlete would do well to remember that he has a privileged life and to understand that youth around the world are looking up to him. He chose to put himself in that position. He should try to remember that to whom much is given, much is required. He should hold himself to a higher standard. And if he does not, we should.

One other thing I want to comment on. Locally, we have a very controversial sheriff. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is much beloved by some and hated by many more. He has been featured on the national news several times for the way he conducts business and has been called America’s Toughest Sheriff. We have big problems with overcrowding in the jails and prisons around here, so Sheriff Joe created what is called Tent City, a large, secure area of giant tents where prisoners are kept. We don’t have extremely cold weather, so it is not dangerous – just uncomfortable. Yes, we have heat, but with plenty of water and shade, it's not deadly, and they have plenty of both water and shade. In addition, they have to wear pink underwear and work on chain gangs.

Most who are kept at Tent City are non-violent criminals. They include those arrested for DUI, drug violations, bad check writers, deadbeat parents, etc. And illegal immigrants. As a border state, we have a lot of illegal immigrants, and we have a lot of crime associated with illegal immigrants. Sheriff Joe has taken a stand against this and has become public enemy number one with special interest groups, the ACLU and the media (by the way, most of us love him and he keeps getting voted back in landslide elections). Because of his stance on illegal immigration, he has been called a racist and likened to Hitler. He’s not racist by the way, he has many friends and supporters that are minorities, but they are not illegal.

Recently he has chosen to house all illegal immigrants together, for the sake of simplicity and cost (though I’m not sure what the difference with cost is). Now, all of a sudden Tent City is being compared to the concentration camps of the Nazi’s in World War II! I’d like to say I’m shocked by the comparison, but I’m not, after all isn’t that what liberal special interest groups do, make themselves, and others, out to be extreme victims? Seriously, concentration camps?! They have food, water, shelter, medical care, etc. They are provided for at taxpayer expense. They are there because they chose to be there by engaging in illegal activity. There is nothing unsafe or unhealthy about their situation. There are no emaciated people there, there are no mass murders or graves, no torturous medical experimentation going on and no killing for sport.

The comparison between the two is both ridiculous and disgusting. For fifteen years Sheriff Joe has been working hard to make a dent on crime. He wants Tent City and his jails to be places where people do not want to return to. He has even helped to rehabilitate criminals by instituting an animal care work program that has had tremendous results. He continues to have the support of the people and he continues to be a target for liberals – the ACLU, the media and special interest groups. He is a man who is not afraid to take a stand and do what is right and will not coddle to criminals. So for that I say, way to go, Sheriff Joe, way to go!

Tuesday, February 3

Kurt Warner ~ Character Counts

The Character Counts Meme posts every first and third Tuesday of the month. I’d love to have you join me for spotlighting, celebrating and honoring people of good character, who’ve led exemplary lives and who’ve lived with honor, integrity, dignity and sacrifice, and those who’ve inspired others by overcome great obstacles in their own lives. I believe that when we celebrate and exhort good character traits, we can turn the tide, and see more of them. At least I’d like to try! If you are joining us, please leave your name and link at the Mr. Linky down below and don’t forget to leave a comment! Blessings!


Once again, it was really easy to choose the person I wanted to spotlight and honor for Character Counts. And once again it is loosely associated with timing. I have lived in the Phoenix area for most of my life. In 1988, we got our first NFL football team – the Cardinals (formerly of St. Louis). It was rather exciting for us, but the Cards have just never really done much since they’ve been here. This year that changed, when they went to the Super Bowl as a Cinderella story, led by quarterback Kurt Warner. No, we didn’t win, but we certainly didn’t lose either.

I chose Kurt Warner, not because of the Super Bowl, or because he is a really good quarterback, but because he is a really good person and man of God. In order to maintain brevity, I’ll not focus on his professional history or accomplishments unless they pertain to a point I am making. Kurt doesn’t want professional achievements and statistics to be his legacy, but rather he wants to be known and remembered for serving and for using his privilege to help others. It was announced during the Super Bowl, that Kurt received a very special award – the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award (which is given by the NFL, honoring a player's volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field). As much as he wanted to win the Super Bowl, this means even more to him.

Kurt was born on June 22, 1971 and was raised in Iowa. His family was Catholic, but not devout. When he was six, his parents divorced. He grew up playing football for his high school and then played college ball for University of Northern Iowa. After college, his quest to be a professional football player was very rocky and filled with much adversity.

While in college, he met his future wife, Brenda, in a bar. Though they had a good time that night, when they were leaving, Brenda thanked him for the good time and said since she was a single mom of two children, one seriously disabled and the other a baby, and living in her parents basement, she understood if she didn’t hear from him again. He brought her roses the next day and asked to meet her children. (Brenda was a veteran of the U.S. Marines and was divorced. Her older child, a son named Zachary, was dropped by his father when he was four months old and became severely brain damaged, as well as paraplegic. Brenda became pregnant again when Zachary was two years old. When she was eight months pregnant, her husband left the family because he couldn’t handle it anymore.)

Kurt didn’t let these difficulties deter him from dating Brenda. The two dated for five years before they got married in 1997. Throughout this time, Kurt struggled to build his career and never gave up, despite the adversity he faced. When they married, Kurt adopted Zachary and Jesse, and today the family has expanded to a total of seven children. In 1996 Kurt became a Christian and became completely sold out for Christ. He now sees his role here is not to play football and win games, which is merely his job and platform. His role, purpose, is to win as many people as he can to Jesus.

Wherever Kurt and Brenda are living for his work, they are very involved in the community. He speaks regularly at churches, schools and other functions. They began their own charity, Kurt Warner’s First Things First, founded in 2001, to help those less fortunate in the community. Through the foundation, they’ve, given a house to a family who lost theirs in Katrina, provided a single father in need furniture for his home, taken (not just sent) needy families to Disneyland, and provided game tickets to disadvantaged and at-risk youth through faith-based social service agencies. Kurt has helped in community projects like building a school and filling stockings for 100 foster children at Sunshine Acres Children’s Home, in Mesa, AZ. (There are many other ways they are involved, but I’ll leave it at this.)

Kurt is both respected and reviled for his faith and good works. Some people (other players, media and ordinary folk) mock or avoid him for his faith, but that doesn’t stop him. You may not hear him mention Jesus in every interview, but that’s not because he’s not saying it. A great frustration of his is how often his witness and testimony are edited out of anything he says. He even brings his Bible to every press conference he participates in. He is a Christian who believes completely that to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48). Yes, he has his detractors. Still, a lot more people look up to him for his faith and good works, and also for his attitude, his integrity, his perseverance, his optimism, his experience, and his character. His very good character. Yes, I believe that Kurt Warner is a hero, but not because of his performance on the field. It is because of the life he lives, the way he leads and the example he sets. Kurt Warner is a man who knows that Character Counts!

If you are interested in finding out more about or contributing financially to Kurt's First Things First Foundation simply go to the website at

To participate in Character Counts, leave your name and url below, and don't forget to leave a comment! Thanks!