9.30.2005

Equal Rights?

"When women decided they wanted to be equal to men, they lost their superiority over men." - Dennis Prager


One of my greatest frustrations with topic of women's rights is the confusion between the concept of equal value and sameness. The fact that men and women are equal in the sight of God and should be in the sight of all men and women does not mean that they need to act the same way and do the same things. I don't place a greater or lesser value on doctor who is a heart specialist and one who is a brain surgeon. I'm thankful that they each have their function; each of critical importance.

Women's activists assume that in order to be equal, we need to hold all the same positions and titles as do men. I think it's pretty clear that there are the obvious physiological and even emotional differences between men and women. There is a reason for the myriad of books on the differences in communication styles of each. There's a reason for the Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus craze. I haven't read the book. But it serves as a good example of the communication differences. One of my favorite newer books is He's Not That Into You. Yet another example of relational differences.

It's a sad thing that we don't appreciate the God-given differences we have. Everyone misses out. Men get mixed signals about how to treat women...and whether to be strong or sensitive with women. Women grow dissatisfied with their own identity and too often unfulfilled in the endeavor to do it all.

We will revisit this topic as the 2008 election approaches. However, for now, I wanted to highlight what I believe is an example of the logical and tragic conclusion to the confusion between having equal value and being the same. Muslim radicals are twisted enough for having young boys kill themselves for "the cause." Women get to be just as brainwashed.

God help us.

p.s. Thank you to Poison Pero for the Prager quote.

9.29.2005

Politicizing Disaster

"Planned Parenthood clinics in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are offering supplies and services at a reduced fee or for no charge for women with a valid Alabama, Louisiana, or Mississippi driver's license. In addition, Planned Parenthood affiliates in several other states are providing similar services to evacuees. " (Planned Parenthood)


I heard Hugh Hewitt make mention of this story today. And, I am disgusted.

Planned Parenthood, operating in its typical condescending and one-tracked fashion, is offering low cost and free abortion services to the victims of Katrina. Of ALL the possible ways that they could offer help! What a reflection of their sinister motives.

In the wake of Katrina, for whatever reason, everyone else (corporations, organizations and individuals) seemed to think that what people who'd just lost everything might need money, food and shelter. Strange how they all got the same idea, huh? Planned Parenthood was so much smarter. They saw what the rest of us failed to discern in this moment. Apparently, a woman in the midst of tragedy no longer wants to have the baby in her womb.

Why would PPH extend such an offer? Perhaps because they believe that children are dispensable; because they believe that children are a burden, not a blessing; because they believe it's only appropriate to have a child if you are rich and white (see Margaret Sanger's intention for abortion); because they believe Planned Parenthood knows better than a pregnant mother and her family.

What an insidious attempt to politicize and exploit victims of a disaster. That's shameful, even for Planned Parenthood.

LA Area Fires

Breaking News
The LA Times is reporting that Santa Ana Winds Spark Brush Fires.

Word has it that the President is being asked exactly what he knew about the Santa Ana winds and exactly when he knew it.

developing...

9.28.2005

Insightful Humor

A friend emailed this to me recently...

21 Ways To Be A Good Democrat

1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand.

2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.

3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese and North Korean communists.

4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.

5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical documented changes in the earth's climate and more affected by soccer moms driving SUV's.

6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.

7. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.

8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach 4th-graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

9. You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature, but loony activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.

10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

11. You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his own money to make The Passion Of The Christ for financial gain only.

12. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.

13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Gen. Robert E. Lee, and Thomas Edison.

15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.

16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and is a very nice person.

17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge.

18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and a sex offender belonged in the White House.

19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites, and bestiality should be constitutionally protected, and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.

20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the Chinese Government is somehow in the best interest to the United States.

21. You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast, right wing conspiracy.

9.27.2005

The Woman of Abu Ghraib

Lynndie England, the woman in the now infamous pictures of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse case, has been found guilty.

If you recall, she was the woman in the photos showing her holding a naked detainee on a leash and smiling as she pointed to prisoners in humiliating poses. Apparently, she had a relationship with the man who was the ringleader of the entire debacle. England's defense argued that she suffered from depression and that she has an overly compliant personality.

I can understand wanting to find favor with the man she cared for as well as with the other men. I can understand some sense of pressure to do what they were pushing her into. I can even understand the group-think phenomenon that might coerce her to agree with things that she would not even consider outside that facility.

However, I have to ask, what were the core values with which she started? Had she thought them through before the subculture of the Abu Ghraib prison had developed? What gave the guys the idea that she might agree to such degrading, demeaning (to everyone involved) abusive practices?

I believe that there's another story here because of the male/female dynamic. (I wrote on a similar topic recently, "
Ladies and Gentlemen.") I wondered how things got started. How much did the guys push the conversation towards that which is unacceptable or uncomfortable among women? Did they watch to see her reaction to off-color jokes? Did she feel pressured to laugh or to simply smile quietly?

The Abu Ghraib abuse did not exist in a vacuum. And, while there were multiple factors that contributed to the flagrant display of inhumanity and debauchery, I cannot help but think of the insightful quote that "A lady is just a woman who makes a man behave like a gentleman." This is not to remove any blame from the parties involved. However, it is a sad commentary on what many segments and subcultures within our society consider to be appropriate and admirable female behavior.

The more women get the message that there are compromises that need to be made in a "man's world," the worse off we find everybody's world.

9.26.2005

What did he know and when did he know it?

Just wondering about how one particular segment of our population might tell the Hurricane Rita story...


It was doomed to make history. A Category 5 hurricane, they said. Local, state and federal government officials all said the same thing: get out. Get out now.

They followed orders. Some gathered family; others, friends. The goal: to get out before Hurricane Rita hit land. Sitting for hours in virtually stopped traffic, many ran out of gas.
Some died. The chaos was tolerated because of the fear of being left behind, the fear of a repeat of the Katrina disaster.

Just as the government led the people of New Orleans astray, they did it again. This time along with Texas officials. What did they know about Rita and when did they know it? Was this really about making sure people were safe? Or, was it the federal government flexing its muscles, overcompensating in its attempt to save face? A photo op?

Did he not do his job as president by giving the people of Texas ALL the information he had available to him? Apparently, this is typical fare for the Bush Administration: self-absorption. Bush doesn't care about the people in Houston. It's Midland that he loves. If it were Midland, we would have seen whole new freeways built in time to ensure an easy and safe evacuation process and/or an immediate report that the hurricane would not be as devastating as predicted.

He was sleeping on the job, yet again...'08 can't get here fast enough.


I hope it's obvious that I'm being facetious and sarcastic about the tone that some in the mainstream media take when it comes to the president. I would like to think that the accusations I make above are over-the-top. However, if you read/heard the way some Bush-haters addressed the Katrina situation, this is the typical fare.

9.23.2005

Women Impacting Nations

I apologize for the delayed post today. I'm attending a women's conference this weekend. I had the opportunity to speak at the conference this morning. I spoke on the ways women can impact entire nations.

A woman named Deborah impacted the nation of Israel by serving as a judge. When the nation went to war, she was called upon to take on the role of a military advisor. Because of the part she played, there was peace in the land for a generation.

Esther was a young woman, from a dysfunctional family, who found favor with the king. It was said that she was born for "such a time as (that)." Because she put her life on the line, she saved her people from genocide.

Another woman, Elizabeth Everest, was a nanny in England. She was just a nanny, a woman who cared for other people's children. Often, these children were most unloved by their parents. One of those in her care was often referred to as "monster" by his own mother.

She loved the child, she instructed him in the ways of God, she believed in him and prayed for the nation-shaping destiny she saw in him. That child would grow up to become the greatest leader of the 20th century. That child was Winston Churchill.

And, on his deathbed, there was only one picture at his side. It was a picture of his beloved nanny, Elizabeth Anne Everest, who had died 70 years before.

Never doubt that an ordinary woman, living a seemingly ordinary life can impact entire nations. Our world is crying out for men and women who become salt and light to a desperate world.

May every one of us find purpose in the ordinary ways we can have extraordinary influence.

9.22.2005

Public Service Announcements

On Wednesday's program of the Hugh Hewitt Show, Hugh shared a few "Public Service Announcements." I can't remember all of them. However, here are a couple:

1. If someone weighs more than 300 lbs, they should get two seats for price of one on an airplane.
2. In anticipation of the coming Category 5 Rita Hurricane, everyone living in Houston needs to get out. Repeat: get out of Houston.


That got me thinking about some of my own ideas for "Public Service Announcements." Here are a few to start.

1. When having a conversation with another person, please respect personal space. If someone continues to back up slowly, stop taking steps forward. You have committed a personal moving violation.

2. When driving, please remember that your windows are glass, not plywood. So, maintain only manners that would be acceptable in public. The fact that people can't hear you does not keep them from seeing you.

3. Neither are your windows sound-proof. If I can hear your music more clearly than mine, you have committed a noise pollution violation.

4. Mass forwarded e-mails about the latest conspiracy against Christians should be banned...esp. since few of them are true. If you must forward, please check the facts first.

5. When speaking before a group of people (esp. at church) and asking to stand up, please refrain from using the phrase, "Stand to your feet." What are the other options? Hands? Head?

6. (Updated) I could not resist adding this one from my friend Mark: If you are stupid or incompetent, don't run for Mayor of New Orleans or Governor of Louisiana.


I'm sure I'll think of about 10 more after I post this. Maybe we'll revisit this topic periodically. What about you? Any ideas for Public Service Announcements that have yet to be made?

9.21.2005

Just A Woman on the Sean Hannity Show

Hey friends,

Here's a link to my call in to the Sean Hannity show the other day.

Thanks to Jamie Dawn for the idea. And, thanks to Wordsmith and Michael Whitt to actually help me do it.

Have a good day!

More Shocking News...Maybe Not

I wish I could say that I was surprised to hear that a survey revealed that most people don't trust politicians was news. It's not news to any of us. I wish I could say that I was taken aback when Republicans immediately defended the president and Democrats immediately attacked the president in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Business as usual.

Well, today's "news" is that Democratic leader Harry Reid is opposing the nomination of Judge John Roberts. Massive development, right? Wrong. I can--but won't--list all the people (myself included) who predicted that this is exactly what the far left of the Democratic party would do. Who would pass the "mainstream" test? I appreciate what my friend over at The Right is Right commented somewhat sarcastically (okay, really sarcastically) recently about John Roberts:

Don't you know it is completely unacceptable for a man to be a heterosexual, husband, with children?!?!?!Come on now.....He must be a complete nut to be all three (hetero, husband, father). I just know he has to be a religious zealot, bent on taking away the rights of every non-normal person. So he must be filibustered, by the keepers of the "mainstream"......You know, the "mainstream" of pedophilia, rights for terrorists, the Prenatal Holocaust, Mengelian science, Illegal Aliens, Fidel Castro, etc.
While Pero may be exaggerating a bit to make his point, he's not far off. What exactly would be acceptable? Why is it that Democrats are the ones who define "mainstream?" Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy all oppose the president's nominee? No kidding.

The fact that they disapprove is always a good sign as far as I'm concerned. My bigger problem is with whether Republicans will lead and stand strong against the opposition. I believe that Roberts will be confirmed and that Reid's opposition is nothing but empty, shallow rhetoric. Perhaps an attempt to flex what little political muscle he thinks he has.

But, if the majority party doesn't handle this right (no pun intended), we may as well crown Hillary dictator...oh, I mean president.

9.20.2005

15 minutes...or, uh, 15 seconds

As many of you know, I am a regular caller on the Sean Hannity radio talk show. I am "Lores from Los Angeles." As a matter of fact, I know that it is through the radio show that I have met (via the blogosphere) many of you! :)

Yesterday, I called into the show to comment about how Louis Farrrakhan, and other self-appointed "minority leaders," actually do more of a disservice to the people they say they represent than they do any good. Farrakhan's proposition that there was some conspiracy to wipe out African Americans in New Orleans is inane, unsubstantiated. The fact that the crater is actually beside a predominately white community seems irrelevant right now. His theory indicates one of two things: he either has WAY too much time on his hands or needs to get back on his meds.

Seriously, an arrogant, extremist "representative" of any people group who creates theories that do more to cripple and feed a victim-mentality than empower those people is no leader at all.

On the show yesterday, Sean gave me a shot at playing talk show host by taking a call from a "conspiracy kook," as Sean would say. I'm happy to say that he "graded" my performance an A-. Not to shabby ;0)

I have a question for my tech-friends reading this. Is there a way to copy my little couple of minutes from the stream/download (whatever it's called) and upload it onto my blog here?

P.S. Thank you for all those who heard and wrote in!! That was encouraging, especially after they edited out the blog URL :(

9.19.2005

Ladies and Gentlemen

It's been said that, "A lady is just a woman who makes a man behave like a gentleman." While this is not, by any means, an excuse to get men off the hook for their responsibilities, I cannot help but address the reality of that statement.

In a corporation or a classroom, in the halls of Congress or the set of a movie, women hold the potential to shape an environment of respect and even dignity. The conversation in any given group will often rise or sink to the level that a woman--or, the women--in the group will tolerate. Think about it. A guy starts to tell an off-color joke. What does he do? He glances over at a woman and says something like, "I hope this doesn't offend you" or, "I probably shouldn't say this around you. But..." That's often the tiny window of opportunity to direct, re-direct subtly or not so subtly the tone of the conversation.

So often women miss the moment to step in. What's worse is when women don't care...or enjoy the coarse conversation. Where are the ladies?

There are many ways that I see evidence of the missing "lady" in our culture. Honestly, she's not just missing; she seems to be brainwashed into thinking that she has to act more like a man. More like a man in the marketplace; more like a man in the political arena; more like a man in relationships; more like a man almost everywhere.

Studies are increasingly revealing that diseases that were traditionally predominately male diseases, stresses that were primarily male and complaints that were predominately male are increasing in women. I don't think that's what was intended by "women's liberation" and "equality" among the genders. What's worse is that those things that even the things that are base and even twisted in men are increasingly showing up in women, including sexual abuse.

It seems as though every week now, we're hearing about another case of female teachers abusing their students. One 28-year old physical education teacher was just arrested for sexually abusing three of her male students. It's wrong and disgusting no matter who does it, man or woman. But, it has become an indication of something very sick in our society as more and more women preying upon children. It goes against the very nature of a women to protect and nurture children.

I'm angered and horrified when I read about men abusing boys or girls in their care. But, I am disgusted and mystified by what turns a woman into a predator.

I believe that just as our culture is hungry for men to be the strong, responsible protectors and defenders they are designed to be, that same desperate culture longs for women to take their place as ladies.

9.18.2005

Week in Review :)

Here is a quick photo tour of this week's headlines...from a child's perspective. Enjoy!





Dad's big meetings start. How cool that I get to be here!







He's gonna be the strongest man in the world after this.









Great start, dad. They're scared of you now.








Those guys are mean and not very smart.

This is really boring. Is it time to go home yet?

Good job, dad.

9.16.2005

News Flash

Please be sure you're seated when you read this. I don't want anyone blaming me for heart attacks or injuries caused due to fainting or shock. Are you sitting down?

Ok.

Here it goes.

A global survey just revealed that most people around the world do not trust politicians.

What? Are you kidding? Politicians are not trusted around the world? So glad to be informed...Ok, enough sarcasm. You know it's a slow news day when that makes news.


I believe that at the end of the day, regardless of
political party or geography, the same things matter:

1. Integrity vs. campaigning. Sadly, politicians make promises for the purpose of turning out the vote and not necessarily actually fulfilling those promises.

2. Transparency vs. 'relating' to people. They often talk and dress differently based on the people they're with at any given time.

3. Sincerity vs. manipulation. A politician can master the art of making people feel special, even while his/her heart and mind couldn't be further away.

4. Service vs. Selfish Ambition. Too often, politicians fall prey to the lust of fame and power.

5. Commitment vs. Pride. Sometimes elected officials forget that they were elected to represent their constituents, not override their will.



I really do wish this were a shocking survey. Unfortunately, it's very old news. That's why only 13% of the people trust their politicians. Well, that and because some of the best people for the job are driven off by the harsh, demanding and mud-slinging culture of the political arena.

I pray for the day that the tide has turned and that it is
only 13% who don't trust politicians because of the quality
of the character of the men and women in office.

As I watched the confirmation hearings this week, I feel like I saw two generations. The older, partisan, disgruntled members of the political machine and a fresh-faced, honest, family man whose only agenda is to do a good job in serving his nation.

Let's pray that God blesses this nation with men and women of competence as well as character and integrity.

Have a great weekend!

My Thoughts on the Speech

I don't pretend to know more about disasters or speeches or spending. But, I have just a few thoughts about the president's speech tonight.

What I wish were different:
Why was the camera set up so that he was looking down towards us as he spoke? Was that intentional or overlooked? Were they going for a "daddy is taking care of you" tone, setting him up as the leader we look up to? I didn't like that.

I don't ever think that having the president give out websites and 800 numbers during a national speech is the most presidential thing to do, especially since it has now been two weeks since the hurricane hit. If he was really concerned about missing persons, why the two week wait for the national announcement of the website? If it's just good information, it seems an unusual time to present it.

I wish that a limited government, private ownership, conservative president would stop breaking spending records.

What worked:
The president does well when he connects with the "common man" on the street. His attire was perfect. Top botton unbuttoned on a G W blue dress shirt. Sleeves rolled up. Looks like a working man. Good move. Good look.

He is also effective when he lets us see his heart. His compassion for the people, his concern for the region as well as his hope for the future. His sincerity and conviction win the hearts and minds of the American people every time.

His mention of the private relief efforts--individuals, corporations and churches. Honoring Americans for taking care of their own.

The commitment to improving emergency relief efforts and fighting racism appropriately addressed both legitimate and illegitimate attacks over the initial delayed response to the disaster.


I always wish he were a more natural speaker. But, I'll take sincerity over eloquence any day!


9.15.2005

Modern-Day Pledge of Allegiance

We have staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." --James Madison

We have come a long way from what the founders of the nation believed about God. And, we have one more example of that disconnect. I'm sure you'll be shocked to hear that the story comes to us from a court in California.

California courts never cease to amaze me. They have, once again, rendered a foolish decision. Be aware that according to U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton, "under God" is unconstitutional. Funny that it didn't make very big headlines. I heard it on Hugh Hewitt.

Last time this happened, with the Newdow case in the 9th circuit, I was appalled. I have come to expect inane rulings from the courts. Sad, but true.

I wrote a Pledge of Allegiance in honor of the judge in San Francisco and many of his colleagues around the nation.

"Modern-Day Pledge of Allegiance"
I pledge ambivalence
to the Flag of the United States of America,
and to the Republic which is attacked
by a nation of Judges
divisible,
with liberty as a license for gall.



"Pledge of Allegiance"
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.



God, help us!

9.14.2005

"Who says politics is boring!"

In case you missed the first day of the Roberts confirmation hearings, among the the critically important issues raised included this question from Chuck Schumer, the senator from New York:

"So my question is not the substance, but do you regret the tone of these memos, do you regret some of the inartful phrases you used in some of those memos, for instance, a reference to 'illegal amigos' in one memo?"

Are you kidding me?! Are there not questions of greater substance for the man nominated for the highest court of the land? And, this from the same people who challenged attacks on Bill Clinton's "inhaling" and, later, his extracurricular activities in the Oval Office. These are the same ones concerned about the use of "illegal amigos" in one memo?! That's hilarious.

Biden also showed off some of his brilliant oratorical skill. He drew on Roberts' baseball analogy. (Yesterday, Roberts compared judges to umpires in a baseball game: calling the plays as they see them. Not making rules.) He made reference to how everyone who understands baseball knows that "Rule #2" in baseball defines the strike zone. He then proceeded to misrepresent that zone. I don't know much about baseball and the strike zone. But,
Hugh Hewitt and Radio Blogger make it clear that Biden's definition was really off. How pathetic!

All the analysts and pundits predicted that Roberts would hold his own and would fare very well in the confirmation process. What no one predicted was the entertainment value of the opposition. Who needs Comedy Central when you've got Schumer and Biden!

I don't have any poignant statement to make. I'm just writing to say what I often hear when I listen to
Laura Ingraham: "Who says politics is boring!"

9.13.2005

True Compassion

He has become one of my favorite news commentators. He is passionate but not partisan. He is conservative but not condescending. He is fair and is not compelled to be balanced. He has experience on Capitol Hill but doesn't wear it as a medal. He deals with the facts and is quick to criticize or to commend Democrat and Republican alike. He is Joe Scarborough.

I watched his show, Scarborough Country, tonight. And, as often happens when listening to him, I was impressed by his passionate challenge to his viewers regarding Katrina relief. Joe told one story after another of government agents turning down, sending back and mishandling materials and supplies sent for victims in the affected region. These were first-hand accounts. One Katrina survivor who was interviewed echoed Joe's sentiment: "We got more help from our neighbor than we did from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)."

Joe's exhortation was similar to one Hugh Hewitt continues to encourage: give to local churches and organizations. Give to people who can physically get the goods into the hands of those who need it. It saddened me to hear about the sad state of our "emergency management agents" who would rather the people in their "care" suffer than give credit for the relief to someone else.

The other day I joked with a friend about her inability to be a good politician because of her overwhelming passion for truth and for people. While I'm encouraged to someone like Joe Scarborough, who is so committed to the truth and to the people, in the media, I wish there were people like him at every level of our government. I wish there were a man, like him, in the position of mayor. I wish a woman like him, moved by passion for the people and with a fortitude to lead, as governor. And, yes, how I wish that all those on the federal level--FEMA Director, Homeland Security Director and even the President--had been motivated likewise.

I don't say that to say that they all had selfish motives or any mal-intent. However, what went wrong (that could have been helped) was communication, coordination and some level of taking ownership for the people.

True compassion takes action.

I'm back

I have finally returned from a great time in Nashville. Not that downtown Nashville is much to look at. It's just that I was with some dear friends for what was a wonderful and beautiful wedding. It was very busy and tiring but in all the best ways. With so many friends in town for the wedding, it felt like a reunion...and it was very difficult to say goodbye. But, alas, I am back. Just in time for the Al-Quaeda warning to Los Angeles. Ha!

Thank you all for your patience and for the well wishes. Have a great day!

9.12.2005

September 12 LA Power Outage

From Los Angeles: There has been a massive power outage affecting much of Los Angeles.

My prediction: It's Bush's fault.

developing...

9.11.2005

Remembering 9/11

It was a beautiful Tuesday morning in Washington DC. I'd arrived a few days earlier so I'd gotten adjusted to the time difference. There seemed to be nothing special about this day. I was sitting with friends having very interesting political conversation over breakfast.

When the phone rang and we got word about one of the World Trade Center towers getting hit by a plane, our conversation naturally shifted to the news we'd just received. But only for a few minutes. "What a terrible accident" was the essence and conclusion of the discussion.

The phone rang a second time. Everything changed. The tone, the level of concern, the conversation that soon turned to prayer.

In the ensuing minutes and hours, our hearts and minds watched the pictures on the television set with absolute disbelief. How could this happen in this country? This is the kind of thing we see in movies. This cannot be real. I was beside myself.

But at the very same time, I found myself replaying stories in my mind. Stories my parents told of what it was like to live in Egypt, as a Christian. The persecution they faced. The death and the torture they witnessed. As a child, I'd heard the "This is what the radical Muslims do to Christians" so much that, I have to admit, I had written it off as a generalization and exaggeration about things that used to take place in a third-world country.

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001 all those stories I'd heard about the "radical Muslims" in Egypt became more real to me than I could have imagined. Those are the people doing this to our country. They hate us. They are the ones who took the lives of my dad's friends. They're the ones who burned and continue to burn churches in Egypt. They're the ones who torture, rape and murder women and children in the Sudan. These are the people who flew those planes into the towers and the Pentagon.

They targeted the icons of American wealth and power in the name of righteousness. They took the lives of 3,000 of our fellow Americans. And, they rejoiced in their accomplishment.

Four years later, I dare say they haven't forgotten. They continue to lavish in their success, threaten further disaster and plot further evil. They have not forgotten.

We, on the other hand, act like we have. Our borders remain porous. Our political leaders are back to infighting and even our fellow citizens appear to have lost the passion and conviction to do whatever it takes to never let another 9/11 happen again.

On this fourth anniversary of that very sad historic day, I urge all of us to say a prayer for the family and friends who lost loved ones that day. Many of us may act like we've forgotten. But, they never will.

God bless you and may God bless and protect our land.

9.08.2005

Another Wedding...

Friends,

Believe it or not, I'm in my second wedding in one week. This time, I'm off to Nashville, Tennessee. I will do my best to post while I'm gone. However, I'm not bringing my laptop. So, it'll depend on whether the hotel I'm staying at in Nashville has caught up with 21st century technology. I heard that they recently got indoor plumbing out there. Ha ;)

I'm thrilled to be a part of yet another precious union. The bride and her family are like family to me. I find myself overjoyed even in the midst of the busyness of preparations.

I hope that this weekend, in the midst of all that's happening in your world and in our world, you would find joy and gratitude for the life we have and for what we are spared from every day.

God bless!

9.07.2005

The Miracles

As I've been listening to Hugh Hewitt, I've noticed that he's made such a point to highlight and honor the heroes and the rescue efforts as much as he's addressing the questions of culpability.

I so appreciate him doing that because, honestly, I am sick and tired of the politicizing of this catastrophe. We have plenty of time to figure out what happened--good and bad, as the president mentioned. But, we don't want to miss the opportunity to recognize the miracles in our midst.

I read a
story about seven children who got separated from their families. Actually, they didn't just "get separated." Their parents had to choose who got rescued. And, they chose their children. Nothing like the love of a parent. One of the children was 5 months old. Can you imagine how difficult that must have been?!

The helicopter that promised to come back for the parents didn't. The parents ended up in San Antonio. Through www.missingchildren.com, the children were reunited with their family. Thank God!

This heart-wrenching story is just one of many. I'm sure we'll hear much more in the days ahead. Unfortunately, they won't all have the same happy ending.

I'm impressed by the way Americans are responding so generously. Keep giving. I found out that if you donate clothes to the Salvation Army, they will sell the clothes and send 100% of the revenue to Katrina victims. Give. Then, give more. They need us. We can be their miracle.

I believe the time will come that in addition to requests for funds, clothes and labor, we may very well be challenged to adopt these storm-orphaned children. What an awesome responsibility. What an awesome possibility.

Lord, I pray for every child and parent who have survived to be reunited, and quickly. For parents who have lost children, comfort and heal them. And, for children who have lost parents, bring comfort, healing and good people to care for them. I pray that every one of us would have eyes to see a miracle and a heart to be a miracle.

9.06.2005

Never Again

A teenager I know was watching television at a friend's house the other day. They had it turned onto a cable news channel. The teen was shocked at what he saw (apparently, he wasn't watching the news at home) and asked, "Is that a third-world country? Where is that?"

Third world? I could see why. People starving, without food or water. People stranded on the roof of their demolished home. Women and children being raped while seeking shelter and safety. Men, women and children wading in
waters infested with bacteria and disease. People committing suicide out of fear of armed looters. Children wandering about searching for their parents. And, in one village about 20 bodies were found tied together . Sounds third-world to me...

However, I also saw a report about a ministry that put on a Tea Party for some of the women and girls. One woman said it was the first time she was able to get her mind of what happened to her and found herself grateful to God for her life. It was simply taking a step back from the emotions and circumstances that she gained perspective.

I hope that in the days to come, as we continue to assess the entire tragedy, that we would not miss the fullness of the moment. That we would not miss the frailty of life--in first and third world countries. That we would not miss the opportunity to pray for those finding themselves in such a horrific predicament. That we would not miss the value of life--in first and third world countries. That we would not take for granted every breath, even on "bad days."


I also hope that we would never again look at a tragedy in the third world the same way.


9.05.2005

Katrina Quotes

I thought I'd share some quotes I found this weekend related to the hurricane Katrina disaster.

I found these on Michael Whitt's blog. They came from a BBC report.

"Katrina has wrecked not only the physical corporality of civilization. Now there are unmistakable signs in the hurricane's aftermath of the collapse of ordered society. Communication has become virtually impossible. There is no power, no fuel, no food. And looters are at work. This in the United States, the most powerful nation that has ever been." - Australia's The Daily Telegraph

" Every natural disaster comes in two waves. First the wind and rain arrives, then the political storm." - Denmark's Kristeligt Dagblad

"Not even the monstrous Katrina will drag the USA into recession." - Prague's Hospodarske Noviny

"There must be truth to the adage that when the United States of America sneezes, the whole world will catch its cold." - South Africa's Mercury

And, on a more practical note... This is from Laura Ingraham's website.

From listener Jim M., Yuba City, CA: "American businesses should immediately start posting job opportunities to Katrina victims. Forget putting Katrina victims in camps where they will be idle? Not a good idea! Instead, put out a nationwide call for employers to offer a job (or jobs) where refugees could seek housing and be employed. Set up an internet list of skills so prospective employers can receive a resume and interview by phone. There could be a government tax credit to employers willing to hire those displaced by Katrina. Let's get these folks settled in decent housing and employment relative to their skills that might be permanent and free of subsidy."

Just some things to think about.

God bless and happy Labor Day.

p.s. My brother's wedding was WONDERFUL. It would have been a special time regardless of the circumstances. But, all the bad news lately, made it all the more joyous.

9.04.2005

Blaming God?

I remember on 9/11...That sense of righteous indignation about what happened on our soil drove the president to declare unilateral action, essentially in Iraq. When he tours the Gulf region today, I hope he will stand on a pile of rubble. And he will look up to the heavens and say to God, "You're responsible for this. And soon you will hear from us."

What we're looking at is an extraordinarily slow response, from someone who prides themselves in their overwhelming Christian response...We're not looking for al Qaeda. God is responsible for this. And in His own time, He will reveal why. But we are under an obligation as Americans, as people who care about Americans, to help rebuild their lives. And the president of the United States can set the tone for that rebuilding effort. Thank you, and...thank you.

(Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., Congressional Black Caucus Friday, September 2)



I'm curious who Representative Jackson believes he's representing on his exhortation to the president. How does the son of "Reverend" Jesse Jackson essentially tell the President of the United States to curse God and not get challenged by anyone in the mainstream media?! Is it because everyone agrees? Do his Democratic colleagues concur?

I checked on a few websites today to see if anyone else was repeating the "curse God" mantra. Here's what I found:


  • The Democratic National Committee features a letter from Howard Dean urged all to give towards the relief efforts for the victims of hurricane Katrina.
  • The Move On.Org contained NO criticism of the handling of the relief efforts--or of God, for that matter, only a challenge to its members to donate. It has also set up a sister site to organize housing for the victims.

Clearly, these very left-leaning organizations are not chanting the Jackson mantra. At least not now. I have to say that though I disagree vehemently with the political views and actions of Move On.Org, I was very impressed by their organization and commitment to the victims above politics on their site today.

Congressman Jackson's inane remarks echoed nowhere. They were simply a desperate attempt to mock a political opponent who is unabashed in his statements of faith. He follows the comment on the president's "righteous indignation with a reference to Iraq. He follows his challenge to Bush's "Christian response" with a reference to Al Quaeda. Translation: "You used God to justify your actions after 9/11. You can't use Him now. He did this. I knew He wasn't on your side then. But, we all know He's not on your side now. He's the one who caused this. You're on your own."

Jackson's foolishness is actually not a reflection of some anti-God campaign. It's an anti-Bush campaign. Just politics. It's a case of the ends justifying the means. And, because Bush has re-introduced faith in the political arena, his critics are slinging mud at God now.

Self-interest is a powerful motivator. Better men have done likewise. I can't help but think of one man who swore to Jesus personally that he would NEVER deny or abandon Him. Before long, he had done it not just once but three times. Not because he no longer believed but because he feared for his very life. That man was Peter, of course. If happened to him, it could happen to anyone, including the Congressman from Illinois.

Congressman Jackson represents a radical segment of very scared, desperate politicians who are willing to do and say ANYTHING, however foolish or even blasphemous in their passionate endeavor to tear the president down.

Honestly, as I hear the news of Justice Rehnquist's death, I am saddened and concerned for yet another event of historic proportions to land in the midst of the rest of this mess. I can't help but think of one more biblical figure. One who suffered great tragedy, accusations and loss. He, too, was instructed to curse God. Job wasn't the smartest or best looking guy in town. He made mistakes. But, he did trust his God and did what was in his hands to do. [Hear me now. I don't want to turn this into a discussion about Bush's imperfections as a man or a president. I have been disappointed by this administration more times than I'd prefer to recount. That is not the point.] The point is that there are similarities between the men and their circumstances.

Perhaps the day will come, years after all this, when everyone will look back and see multiplied blessings far surpassing the death and calamity we see today, when we consider the life and presidency of George W Bush.

9.02.2005

Proud to be An American

"The liberal blogosphere is focusing its energy on relief for the victims of Hurricane Katrina."
--Sean Hannity Show caller, September 1

While the caller quoted above had a bit of a competitive spirit, I'm happy to support my fellow bloggers wherever they fall on the political spectrum. Yesterday, liberal and conservative bloggers alike made the same proposition to the American people: give. Give till it hurts. Because it won't hurt us as much as the victims are suffering in the midst of this tragedy.

It saddens me that it often requires such grave circumstances to bring the two sides of the aisle together. We saw it after 9/11. We saw it after the Southeast Asian Tsunami. We see it now. Unfortunately, it doesn't last. And, in this case, it seemed to last as long as a New York minute.

I've been amazed at how political a natural disaster has become. I didn't realize that a president whose intelligence and leadership has been eternally questioned by his opponents is now credited by those same opponents with responsibility for this disaster. Huh.

There is plenty of time to investigate and to place blame, if and where appropriate. Now is not that time. It's not the time to point the finger, to criticize.

We may not be able to do much about the politicians and pundits who are behaving in such a manner. But, I charge everyone of us--liberal, conservative, Christian and Hindu--to stand firm as Americans on behalf of our fellow Americans.

People are hurting and in trouble right now. THAT is all that matters.

God bless you. And, God bless America!


p.s. on a personal note, my brother is getting married this weekend. i'm so happy for a wonderful celebration after a very sad week. (that's also the reason for this short and very quickly written post. thanks for understanding.)

9.01.2005

Blog Relief Day

I am participating in Blog Relief Day today. So, I will leave my "No Other America" post up for one more day. I also encourage you to check out a round up of the efforts at Instapundit as well as Technorati's results on Flood Aid.

If you haven't already given, give. If you have, give more. God forbid any of us have such calamity befall us. Do what you'd want others to do for us if we were victims of a disaster of such devastating proportions.

Read more below.