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America the Beautiful

american flagJanuary 5, 2016

We have never been a perfect nation, but we have more freedoms than most countries. We are a large melting pot of many cultures, belief systems and religions but we were founded on the belief in God and Christ. We have our civil disturbances, our racial wars, our religious disagreements and every so often a terrorist will raise his/her/ their head and try to do something to cause us to fear them.

But we still stand strong. Many people do not agree with the way our government is and every facet of any government has it’s problems, it’s less than honest workers, and it’s failures, but you won’t find any country that has as many freedoms or benefits than ours.

Today I am thankful to live in America. I am disappointed in many different areas but I also realize that I am blessed to be living here than in a war torn, third world,poor country. I have a much better chance of being safe in my home, having a home, having clothes, medical care and food here than I would be in any other country.

I was born in America and raised to love her and respect her and I do. I love and respect the people who actually make up us this country, not the people in government offices that make the decisions about how the country is run, but the people who get up every day, go to work, take care of their families and worship God. The farmers that grow our food, the teachers that teach our children, the mothers and fathers who teach their children high moral values and all the others that really make this country great.

January 6, 2016

Her name was Kim. She lived in a nursing home in Clearwater, Florida. Each Sunday a van would bring her to the church, drop her off, and then come back later to pick her up. She would always ride her chair right down to the front row. She wanted to be close to hear the word of God. She quit showing up one month and we found out her family could no longer afford to pay for the van.

Ken and I went to the nursing home at least a couple times a month to visit with Kim and that’s how I learned her story. She was born with debilitating arthritis throughout her body. She had club feet and a form of dwarfism. She had never walked in her life and when her parents became too old, and her father died, she was put in the same nursing home as her mother.

Her siblings did what they could to make her as comfortable as possible. She had an electric chair, her portion of the room contained her television, books, nick-knacks, a radio and stuffed animals. While the other two women slept in the beds furnished by the home, she had a very comfortable looking, plush wood framed bed with built in bookcases for the headboard.

To speak with her, you would never know her plight in life. You would never have known she had any kind of disability if you couldn’t see it. She was very bright and intelligent. She loved watching movies, reading, playing board games and talking to people, and she was always giving God the glory. She never complained. Today I am thankful for the “Kims” God has allowed me to know during my life for they have shown me faith and love beyond any I have ever seen before. They’re example is what makes me realize just how small my problems are and how blessed I really am.

January 7, 2016

He didn’t pay the utility bills and it was the middle of Winter. He drank up all the money again and we just barely made the rent. We were cooking on a Coleman stove in the kitchen and heating water up for baths and washing clothes in the tub. We ran on candle-light at night and he hooked a TV to a car battery for us to watch as we sat around bundled up in coats and blankets.

We couldn’t buy fresh food or meat because there was no electricity so we ate canned and packaged goods. Once in awhile we would grab a 99 cent pound of bologna and have bologna and ramen noodles for supper. If the landlady knew the utilities were shut off, she would have evicted us and four adults and four children would have been out on the street.

Memories like this remind me of how it can be, how it was for several years until God intervened and started moving me up the ladder to a much better place. Memories like these make me thankful for the small things like heat, electricity and water, the things that many take for granted.

I’ve lived without the basics many times in my life, usually through no fault of my own, other than making the wrong choices in the people I was around. When the lord moved me on, he didn’t take away the memories, but instilled in me the strength to never live like that again. We make the choices of who we want to be with, who we want in our lives, and sometimes those choices can be a very present danger to us. Today I am thankful that God gave me the strength to change who I chose to be around.

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