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A Kernel of Radical Anger

 

I can get so mad when people don’t take care of those who can’t take care of themselves (like animals).   I don’t like to be mad.  It makes me feel bad, therefore, making me madder at what made me mad in the first place!

Recently a woman was standing in a line at the DMV in Missouri and fired her gun into the air because the line was too slow.  I don’t know if she calmed down after being thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and taken to jail.  My point is that this example, in its most basic form, is radical anger.

When a kernel of radical anger is planted, it grows from what it’s fed.  Today, political issues (groan) feeds this type of anger whether from public sources or in hidden back ‘rooms’.   Social media and different slants provided by different news agencies are often the triggers.

The good news from this is that our freedom allows us to choose our party of choice:  Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, Green and my favorite, Humane (animal rights).  There are more than 100 additional parties to choose from.  How good is that?

Sadly, the kernel of radical anger is growing in so many different directions that chaos is feeding radical anger. Humans have lost our ability to be both different and united. When did we stop thinking and deliberating on issues?  Recognition of differences, even if it’s not “your thing”, in and  of themselves should unite us; sadly, they do not.

So, do we risk an extreme reaction like the woman in the DMV line; or do we can choose a different method?

Why?

To find common ground for common causes, while respecting individual rights.

What?

By not feeding our kernel of anger and use:

      Truth over Lie.

     Kindness over rudeness

    Accepting your way is not my way – love diffuses hate.

Evidence of Success? 

Feed the kernels of honesty, respect and love as we remember what our country, and many other countries,  were founded on, which is (for purposes of today’s blog, my reference to county is America):

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

John Dickinson, Founding Father in his pre-revolutionary song, “The Liberty Song” wrote, “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all!  By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.”

We the people created this county. Let’s not demolish it.

America must maintain the identity of what God blessed America with.  We welcome all in our big ole’ melting pot, sharing, working, learning, and trusting our personal savior.  Every individual brings something to the mix, not to dominate, but by doing the right thing in the right way. 

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 Proverbs 15:18 “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.”

It’s just that simple.

A Book Review: Finding Mercy, by Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley

Finding Mercy Cover

You close your eyes and fall promptly to sleep, confident in whom you are, what your beliefs are, and what your future holds. You awake some eight hours later, your mind totally blank, with strangers taking care of you, in a land you know nothing about. You have lost all that you knew and all that you had hoped to be. You have amnesia.

Would you be able, without the filters of childhood and lessons taught; without the heartache of transgressions committed against and by you, without the confidence that comprised the sum total of you, be you?

Out of instinct, would you follow the same path of your birth? Or, would you begin anew, finally allowed to let the true you become your way of being? It’s the age old question of does DNA or environments determine who we are. Which would determine what you could be without knowledge of either of these?

Such is the story of Finding Mercy, written by Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley. It is the story of a young woman, born and reared in the south by a beloved father who is a plantation owner and master of slaves. He serves proudly in the confederate army, as does his daughter.

They both fight to defend their rights to maintain a life style that is the only one they know and understand. Yet, when this understanding is erased, Mercy becomes her own true self, following the end of the turbulent civil war and the subsequent reconstruction of the United States.

Mercy finds herself in a “no man’s land”. She believes she is loyal to the North’s cause, only to discover that she had actually fought and even killed to preserve the South’s side. Her life in danger, she flees hoping to find her true place and who she is. In the doing, she discovers many things about herself that she regrets, which ultimately provides her the choice to bridge the pain of her mistakes by helping those she has hurt. Forgiveness is really what Finding Mercy is about.

Finding Mercy is a thought provoking story. It causes you to think about what you would do if you woke up and had the opportunity to become the person you would want to be if all filters were removed. Beautifully written, it takes you back to a turbulent time of hatred and mistrust as Mercy finds her true self.

Official Family Christian Blogger

Life is for Learning

Just when I think I’m too old to learn new things, I learn I’m wrong.

This week, finally reaching that momentous event that sometimes occurs in life, I had cataract surgery. The world had been a dim, sometimes scary, place to be. My surgery was quick and painless, with little recovery time. Imagine my delight when I discovered a bright, fresh, and more colorful world!

I vaguely remembered that beauty, or the anticipation of all the unexpected wonders yet-to-be. Without realizing it, life grew a bit dimmer, along with my eyesight.  I didn’t take the time to appreciate the nuances of life. I was no longer delighted by the various shades of green in the tree line. I couldn’t remember when I stopped seeing, or appreciating, the life I had been given.

Pastor Mic once told me that God could have given us a world of black and white. We wouldn’t have known any other view, so why did He? “God didn’t need to give us color,” Pastor Mic said. “He did because He wanted us to find joy in the world which He had given us.”

A forty-five minute surgery changed my way of seeing. Learning changed my way of being. The way of being is all about living life; and isn’t life all about learning to live it?

In the past few years I learned that my career had a shelf life, and when I reached it, I retired and learned to live life in reverse. Not a “do-over”, I liked my life, but rather to do those things I always intended to “get around to”.

I’m learning to paint. Nelle, one of my dearest friends, will turn ninety in a few days. I had gone to Picasso’s Corner to paint, considering it a lark since I had never painted. Ever. They guarantee that you will walk out with a completed painting within 2-3 hours.

My first painting
My first painting

Nelle, whose paintings take my breath away, took one look at my painting and invited me to the painting sessions she attends each Tuesday morning. Being so busy with doing laundry, cleaning out the junk drawers and other such stimulating activities, I declined. Needless to say, Nelle has learned to get done what needs to be done in the most effective way over her first ninety years. Each Tuesday morning, precisely at 10:00 a.m. I’m standing on my driveway, waiting for her to pick me up for our painting sessions.

I’m also learning to write with clearer eyes.  My friend Liz coaches me to be better.  She introduced me to Julia Cameron, Anne Lamott, Natalie Goldberg and other authors who inspire me to write what I am meant to write.

As I sit at my battered old desk, piled high with papers, notebooks, reference books, fiction novels, pencils, – just the way I like it, the mess fades as I get lost in the words as they flow through my fingers to the computer screen.

I imagine. I type. I print. I get my pencil and edit. I don’t see the pictures I lovingly covered my office walls with. The colorful one from The Georgia Artist Series, the pen and ink of the Georgia state capitol and a caricature of me, both drawn by my good friend, Huey Theus, who died this year.

I don’t see the picture taken with Governor Zell Miller as he signed a bill into law that I had worked hard to get passed. I don’t see the diplomas of my BS or my MS degrees. I don’t see the bookcase with the publications containing my published works.

But, I do see the small window to the left of my computer screen. It is always open so that I can see the hanging basket,the red geraniums flowing over the sides. The Japanese maple tree, its fragile green leaves tinged red where the sun kisses it ever so gently, stands next to the soothing fountain, listening to its bubbling secrets.

I lose myself even from these things. But the one thing I always see are the two hummingbirds as they come each day to visit. They are so beautiful, their dark green bodies floating in their gentle activity, never stopping while getting nourishment and rewarding me with their whispers, reminding me to be still for that moment.

When they buzz away, my eyes are drawn to the scroll work of the metal cross that hangs by the window, just right of where the birds greet me with their gentle, relentless lesson.

I go still. I smile and say with great joy, “Thank you God for the learning.”

“Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,”
Proverbs 1:5 ESV

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