11.30.2005

New Website (Update)

As you know, this week I launched the new Just A Woman website. I'll still be working out some details. However, I'm posting there every day.

Please let me know if you're finding it okay. If you're having any problem at all, please let me know.

See you there!

11.29.2005

New Website!

I'm very happy to announce that Just A Woman, the website, is now live! There are a few minor graphics details that I'm working on. However, I hereby launch the new website.

justawoman.org will get you there. But, I will now only be posting on the new site!

See you there!

Lores
Just A Woman

11.16.2005

Undermining the Commander-in-Chief...again

Virtual treason.
Undermining the President.
Betrayal.

This is some of the language used to describe the events in the Senate yesterday. To keep it very simple, here's what happened. Senate Democrats began by proposing that the President unveil a timeline to get our troops out of Iraq. Here's what one Colorado talk show host had to say, "Today, Senate Democrats tried to force the US military to surrender to the terrorists next year..."

He may sound like an over-the-top talk show host. However, outlining a timetable for our troops to get out, for all to see, would have that very effect. All our new household names--from bin Laden to Zarqawi--would get to sit back, have a beer while watching their fans on Al Jazeera. Vacation would end the day that our men and women would leave Iraq. That simple.

Thankfully, that proposal was shot down by Senate Republicans (and a few Democrats, including 4 who are up for re-election in red states next year).

"Even so, the Senate's political statement was clear - and made even more stinging when the vote was held with Bush abroad, in Asia, an embarrassing step Congress often tries to avoid. With Democrats pressing their amendment calling for a calendar for withdrawal, Republicans worked to fend off a frontal attack by Democrats by calling on the White House to do more." (reports AP via My Way News)


The report goes on to say,
"The Senate then voted 79-19 in favor of a Republican alternative stating that 2006 'should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty,' with Iraqi forces taking the lead in providing security to create the conditions for the phased redeployment of U.S. forces."

"It does not require the administration to do anything. Rather, it simply calls for the Bush administration to 'explain to Congress and the American people its strategy for the successful completion of the mission in Iraq' and to provide reports on U.S. foreign policy and military operations in Iraq every three months until all U.S. combat brigades have been withdrawn."


While I am glad that they did the right thing for the nation to not vote for the timeline, I am very disappointed in the Senate's obvious political motives. If they were serious and had real conviction about this matter, why did they do this while the President was out of the country?! If I had real issues with my boss, I would request a meeting with him in his office. I would not wait for him to go out of town and then make a public statement to the rest of the staff and all our clients/customers/etc. This is what the Senate just did.

I understand that Congress already receives periodic reports on Iraq. If adjustments needed to be made, they should have taken it up directly with the man with whom they have the issue.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., admitted to some potential political motives for the proposal and for the support it received. "I think it speaks to a bit of nervousness about the public perception of how the war is going with respect to 2006."

If Republicans think that their behavior is going to do anything to gain votes next year, they're missing it big time. You do not have to agree with the President to be respectful to him. You don't have to throw him under the bus in order to win an election. I suppose that if they don't figure it out now, they will get it in, oh, maybe in about a year or so.


Let your Senator know what you think about their shananigans: 202/225-3121

11.15.2005

Tri-partisan Agreement?

As pundits and analysts attempt to decipher the purpose of the Senate Republican request for the President to unveil his plan to pull our troops from Iraq, Scrappleface seems to have figured it out.

Jordanians Shocked

Upon reading some initial reports to the terrorist activity in Jordan last week, I had the same reaction I have had about previous attacks. It's evil. It's wrong, vicious and far from "righteous" to commit such acts against humanity. I don't care what religious book the victims read or in what region of the world they live or what language they speak.

I also don't care how "holy" and "right" the murderers claim to be. It only pains me to see women and children dragged into the ranks of suicide bombers.

When I read that
Jordanians were shocked, it didn't faze me. Of course, everyone is shocked. How devastating! This was their September 11! How could anyone, anywhere not be shocked anytime loved ones are ripped away, especially as innocent bystanders by such deceived, evil, wicked people.

However, the more I read, the more I'm seeing something my friend
Wordsmith made reference to in his comments yesterday. As time has passed, what we're hearing is more about Jordanians being shocked that Al-Qaida would strike fellow Muslims. Dennis Prager deals very passionately with this issue today. What a shame.

What a terrible shame. Is human life not precious in every land, in every faith, in every language? Is the loss of human life not worthy of grief and compassion? Is it not the one connection, one hope for any understanding that transcends boundaries and cultures? It is obvious that the answer to my questions is "NO!." I guess I don't like to remember the pictures of Muslims cheering and rejoicing over our 9/11. I can hardly think about those scenes without getting choked up...as much for them as for us.

I wish I could say that I am shocked to hear people say that their expectation was that Muslims would be immune and that only Christians and Jews would be subject to Al-Qaida's wrath. I'm not. I am, however, grieved at the thought that anyone would celebrate death anywhere.



More on the Jordan bombings from Michelle Malkin
.

11.14.2005

Five Questions

Listened to Dennis Prager this morning. He poses "Five Questions Non-Muslims Would Like Answered." A must read.

Medical Miracle?

Did you know?
  • By the end of 2004, an estimated 39.4 million people had HIV
  • 4.9 million people were infected with HIV in 2004
  • 3.1 million people died from Aids-related illness

A report in the UK's Independent reveals that 25-year-old Andrew Stimson tested positive for HIV in 2002. The following year, with no treatment or medical intervention, Stimson tested negative for HIV.

Researchers are asking whether it might be beneficial to investigate to find the key to a cure for AIDS within Stimson's immune system.

I believe that if there is a possibility to find a cure for people with AIDS, then we must do the research. Too many people are dying of this devastating disease. And, they aren't just homosexual men. They are babies in Africa; they are men and women; they are homosexual and heterosexual alike.

I visited South Africa about 2 years ago. Some friends ran a Christian group on the University of Cape Town campus. At the time, they had about 500 students who were part of the group. They informed us that one of their challenges was the number of deaths that occur among the group. Praying for the sick and attending funerals of those who'd died of this wretched disease played a significant part of their ministry on the campus. One out of every five people in South Africa dies of AIDS. It's not just those doing drugs and having illicit sex. We must seek a cure.

I feel compelled, however, to raise a critical point. One that I rarely hear brought up with this issue. In every discussion on heart disease, there's a note on prevention. In every report on obesity--even in ones revealing genetic connections--there is a mention of exercise and diet. However, it seems to be politically incorrect to say, "do not participate in activities that will put you at risk." That is, if you are having anal sex, stop. If you are shooting up, quit. If you're living a promiscuous lifestyle, change it.

We do people a disservice by telling them that they cannot change their behavior. We are not afraid to say it when it comes to food and exercise; but, we stay silent on matters of sexuality. If it's a life and death situation, we must speak up. (In reality, there are spiritual and emotional issues which also get ignored.) We cannot remain silent on issues that could save lives.

I do hope that the Stimson story will provide an important link for modern medicine. However, that will never take the place of prevention. So, if you are having anal sex, stop. If you are shooting up, quit. If you're living a promiscuous lifestyle, change it. Your life is worth more than that.

11.13.2005

Chronicles of Irony

The much anticipated release of The Chronicles of Narnia is less than one month away. The movie will tell the story of the CS Lewis classic, Chronicles of Narnia. The story is an allegory of the message and life of Jesus Christ. Aslan, the lion, eventually gives his life to save the life of a child (Edmund) and is later resurrected.

Ironically, in Florida just one week after Banned Books Week, during which schools celebrate books that have been previously banned, there is a call to remove Chronicles from the reading list in public schools. See the entire World Magazine article here.

The director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Barry Lynn, said this: "This whole contest is just totally inappropriate because of the themes of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It is simply a retelling of the story of Christ." (italics mine)

We want to teach our kids to have open minds, to think critically, to make their own choices. To be be tolerant, appreciate other people's differences. But, we dare not expose them to "the story of Christ." No, not that! Hmmmm... Thank goodness we are so open-minded and tolerant.

Gene Edward Veith writes in the World Magazine article that if we try to eliminate all that is Christian from our culture, we will have nothing left.

Too often, Americans have forgotten that it was Christians who risked their lives and the lives of their family members in order to create an culture to allow people freedom of expression and of religious choice. The people made mistakes, because they were human. We know about Salem. We know about the shame of slavery whose mark continues to stain the pages of our history.

However, there is no denying that what we find today is a war against the Judeo-Christian worldview. We hear little about the book Heather Has Two Mommies being read to elementary school children. Lynn doesn't appear to have a problem with students being encouraged to read Harry Potter. But, an allegory about Christ. God forbid...uh, well, maybe not God...

11.12.2005

The Lighter Side: Don't You Hate It...

Many, many years ago, I was a fan of Saturday Night Live. Back in those days, Martin Short was one of my favorites on the show. He and another guy did a hilarious segment. In it, they would say and do stupid and unlikely things and end each story with, "I hate it when that happens. Don't you hate it when that happens?!"

(Update: Although Martin Short was one of my favorites, so was Bill Crystal. It turns out it was Billy Crystal, not Martin Short in the skit. Thanks to David for the heads up on that.)


Here's one of the transcripts. It's just as ridiculous and almost painful to read as it was to watch.

For example, one of them told the story of how he stuck his head in his oven, turned it up to 400 degrees and kept it in there until it felt like his head would explode. He ended the story by saying, "I hate it when that happens. Don't you hate it when that happens?" To which his partner would respond, with a nod and a sigh, "Yeah, I hate it when that happens."


Things that don't just happen. It's ridiculous. It's code for, "Why in the world would you ever do that? That never just happens. You did it to yourself!" Each week, the two would culminate their stories of almost masochistic proportions with, "Yeah, I hate it when that happens."

I saw a story in the headlines this week that is actually quite sad. But, it reminded me of SNL and Martin Short. The Washington Post ran a story entitled
"NY Man Accused of Throwing Dog Out Window." My first thought, upon reading the headline was, "Don't you hate it when that happens?"

Sometimes I hear people talk about the choices they make. And, it feels like an "I hate it when that happens" moment. I'll just tell you one story. Some good friends of mine have several children. (I'll use different names in order to protect the accused.) Recently, two of them were playing together and got into a fight. Later when I asked the mom what happened, she said little Joey just ran right into his big brother's fist.

Don't you hate it when that happens!


Any other SNL favorites? Or, other "hate it when that happens" stories? (HT: David)

11.11.2005

Making Women God

I've heard it said that "We have made woman God" and this week's California embarrassment, called the Special Election, has validated this statement. The election doesn't prove this to be true. It only reflects what it is we have believed about women and about men in our culture.

God creates life and knows when and how life will end.

Woman carries life in her body and confuses that with the authority to decide when and how that life will end. A man may possibly never be notified of his wife's decision to abort his child.

God is the ultimate authority and does not need to consult with anyone for what He does.

Woman can have a hysterectomy and at any age get an abortion on demand without even notifying anyone else. A man is required to have his wife's consent for a vascetomy.

God does not need to explain Himself. Because He is all good and all loving, His actions always have our best in mind.

Woman is presumed to be all good and, therefore, does not need to consult or seek consent from anyone before having an abortion. In reality, very often the issue is simply about independence and convenience. Man (especially a white one) is perceived to be slow, selfish and stupid.

When God speaks, His word is settled and without dispute.

A woman's accusation against a man is worth gold. A man is presumed guilty until proven innocent.

A woman who has an affair is a victim. A man who does the same is a predator.

I believe that it was California State Senator Mountjoy who made the above statement. (I can't seem to find the reference, though.)

I don't mean to be hard on women or the intent of the women's movement. I know that things had to change and there are things that still require change. Women should never have been treated like second class citizens. Women should never have been treated like property and valued only for their bodies. However, that same movement calls a woman who gets paid to have sex that is not filmed a whore and one who gets paid to have sex for a movie a porn star.

I think it's very important that we are valued as important as are men yet cared for uniquely as women. It both saddens and frustrates me to see the consequences of the women's movement today. I believe that we have turned women into God. And, that's not good.

If women are treated as women, and not as God, we'll all be better off.

11.10.2005

Lessons from Election 2005

Here's my first blogcast commentary. Click here to listen :)

I’m still reeling over Tuesday’s election results. I’ve read both conservative and liberal analysis of the election. But, I have to admit that one of my favorite posts was Hugh Hewitt’s open letter to the Governor of California.

To quote Hugh, who quoted Nixon: you can’t win with just the conservatives but you cannot win without them.

If there’s a lesson to be learned from this election as well as this last political season esp. with regards to the from the Harriet Miers debacle, THIS is it. You can’t presume on the conservative base. It’s not merely about having that “R” tagged on to the end of your name; it is about standing and fighting for conservative core values; it’s about “living it” to quote Hugh again.

As much as it may hurt, I would much rather the pendulum swing in the other direction in order for conservatives to figure out what they stand for and then “live it.” We would never have gotten George Bush if we hadn’t lived through the Clinton Era…just like we would have never been blessed with Reagan if the nation hadn’t been fed up with Carter.

This reality, however, does not justify conservatives staying home for any election. We bear the responsibility to stand for our values as much as we expect our representatives to do likewise. While I don’t believe that Prop 73 (which proposed parental notification for a minor going in for an abortion) is a partisan issue, I am disappointed that conservatives and Christians did not show up en masse to make a statement: not about abortion but about parental rights. THAT is a shame on us.

As we head into next year’s fight, my hope and my prayer is that we take to heart what just happened this week. Conservative politicians can’t take their base for granted. But, the base had better wake up. Conservatives and liberals have let the family and minor girls down this week. I cannot help but think of Edmund Burke’s admonition: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” When good conservatives and liberals do nothing, we all suffer.

I pray that the lesson of the 2005 election is not wasted. We have one year to learn it. Let’s live it.

11.09.2005

Only in California

I have only a few minutes this morning to comment on the results of yesterday's election. So, I'll limit my remarks to what happened in California. (More on the national returns later.)

What I thought were a few "no-brainer" propositions apparently did require a brain. To NOTIFY parents of their minor's request for an abortion! I was talking with friends the other day and found out that a man who goes in for a vasectomy is REQUIRED to have his wife's approval and has a 7-day waiting period.


How is it that a 30+ year old man, who has four children needs his wife's APPROVAL and a waiting period for a procedure on his body while a teenager has unilateral authority?! She doesn't even need to tell, much less be required to have the consent from anyone, for a procedure that affects her body and takes the life of another's.

I will write more later. But, for now, I will leave you with a quote I heard from Dennis Prager this morning regarding teachers: "Why are teachers exempt from excellence?"

California Election Results

The most up-to-date results from the California Secretary of State.

11.08.2005

France in Flames

"...almost every article I read about it talks about what horrible conditions these immigrants live in, having low employment. Well, has anyone bothered to ask what conditions they had while they lived in North Africa? Algeria is not exactly a worker's paradise. In fact, conditions were much worse where they came from and you do not see these kinds of riots against the government in the Muslims nations in general and North African Muslims nations in particular. Something else is going on beyond economic discontent." --Chris (aka Layman)

My friend, Chris, raises an interesting question. I've been reading the same type of reports. Hugh Hewitt has been one of the few sources who has addressed the Islamist element in the riots. I also came across a piece by Debra Saunders, of the San Francisco Chronicle, that proves very insightful.


P.S. It's election day. I will post on the election as soon as the results are in. If you didn't see my review of the ballot initiatives, go
here.

Also, two of my friends have just started blogging. In their honor I have started the "Mama Blogger" Category on my blogroll. I'm happy to introduce you to:
Mom of 4 and Sleep-deprived's Things My Kids Say.

11.07.2005

California Special Election

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
--Edmund Burke

It's time for the controversial California Special election. Governor Arnold has taken quite a bit of heat for the measures on this ballot. It's now time for the commentary you've been waiting for :)

I must confess that I'm writing this for more than one purpose. Sure, I think these are critical issues that are at the forefront of both state and national politics. However, I do have an ulterior motive. Every election day I get a ton of phone calls from friends who ask me to, in essence, tell them how to vote. So, this post is dedicated to these beloved last-minute voters as well.

The summaries below come from a Concerned Women for America voter guide. I will comment on just a few of the ballot initiatives.

Prop 73 Requires that a parent be notified 48 hours before a minor can undergo an abortion procedure. Measure provides for judicial bypass and has an emergency exception.

YES: In public schools today, a student may not receive an aspirin from the school nurse without permission from a parent. When I was a teacher, even I would not be allowed to request an aspirin on behalf of one of my students. And, believe me, I tried.

How is it that the state does not currently already notify parents when their minor daughter is going in for a procedure of such consequence?! This measure is not about parents giving permission; this is about parents simply being notified. This is not about abortion; it's all about parents' rights. I believe that a YES vote on 73 will begin to correct one of the ways the state has usurped the authority and responsibility of a parent.


Prop 74 Extends probationary period for teachers from two to five years and allows for more streamlined dismissal of poor performing teachers.

YES: Again, I cannot help but draw from my experience. The year I began teaching, there was a science teacher who had been transferred from another school in the area who spent all his time in the school library. I didn't get it. Well, there was a story. It turns out that our school worked out an exchange deal with another school. It was common practice. In this case, our school sent a math teacher who'd just been caught kissing a female student for this science teacher who was a rehabilitating drug addict. Why didn't they just fire these guys? They were tenured.

Our children deserve better!

Prop 75 Requires annual written consent from union employees before dues for political purposes can be deducted from their paychecks.

YES: Here I go again. I thoroughly resented being required to join a union that spent my money on causes I would never support. As a matter of fact, they were sometimes causes I completely opposed. What happens to pro-choice advocates when it comes to this? I am pro-choice when it comes to how other people spend my money. I want the choice to opt out.

Prop 76 Provides budgetary reforms, including placing limitations on state spending and allowing midyear budget corrections. Prop 76 is a constitutional amendment.

YES: Why does government get to play by a different set of rules? We would never teach our kids or run our businesses the way we have handled finances in this state. Let's get some order and accountability. Isn't this why we elected Arnold? No more double standards.


Prop 77 Changes the redistricting process to make legislative districts more compact and, in some cases, more competitive. The goal is better representation for Californians overall. Prop 77 is a constitutional amendment.

YES: Another one that intellectually honest liberals and conservatives should vote for. Smaller districts translates into better, more accurate representation.

An estimated 5% of registered Californians will get out and vote. If you ever doubted whether your vote would matter, doubt no more. With voter turn out being so low, each vote will carry that much more weight. People around the world are dying--literally--for the right to vote.

John Quincy Adams wrote, "Posterity, you will never know how much it cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it."

Let's make good use of our right and our privilege as citizens of this great nation! Get out and vote!

11.06.2005

On Church and State

Billy Graham said that "bad politicians are elected by good people who don't vote." I think the same is true of "bad propositions" passing because good people decide to stay home on election day.

This Tuesday, California (among many other states) has a special election. Statistics say that an average of 5% of registered voters get out to vote in an off-year election. What's worse is the truth so beautifully, yet sadly, written by William Butler Yeats': "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." Where is the passionate intensity in those who are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world?

My pastor has asked me to take a few minutes to share with the congregation the importance of voting on the issues on the ballot for the upcoming election, in particular Proposition 73 (more election coverage this week). He often asks me to share before elections or on national holidays regarding political matters. This makes some people nervous. It shouldn't. The Internal Revenue Service has laid out clear guidelines for churches and non-profits in the 501 (c) 3 category regarding political matters.

Churches can discuss the issues. Churches can talk politics 10% of the time! There are 52 weeks a year. That means that a pastor taking five full Sundays every year to discuss political matters in the nation would not risk losing the church's tax-exempt status. Here are more guidelines.

Beyond the permission churches are given by the IRS, I believe that people of faith are obligated, in order to hold true to their convictions, to speak the truth in love in all matters, including political issues. If the truth we hear within the four walls of a church does not apply outside that building, then I have to question either that truth or the integrity of the believer.

If you are in a state with an election this week, vote. You have the right to complain about our government. But, it sure is wasted if you don't do anything with your right to bring about change. Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." I urge you, do something!

P.S. For those who didn't see where Hugh Hewitt linked to yours truly, here's the link. It was quite an honor! :)

11.05.2005

Security Blanket?

My friend Chris (aka Layman) from Christian Cadre sent me this cartoon. I think you'll appreciate it as well!

Happy Saturday!

11.04.2005

Gender-Neutral Blogosphere?

My friend Mark Daniels raised an interesting question this week. He finds that most of those who comment on his site are women. I find that most of the commenters here are men. Incidentally, neither Mark nor I have any problem with the imbalance.

Before meeting Mark, my theory had been that the blogosphere, like talk radio, has a primarily male audience. What I realize is that like political talk radio, it is news and political blogs whose audience is primarily male. At least that's what I've assumed to explain the imbalanced ratio (at least in those who post comments). I could be wrong. That's happened before :)

Here's part of the comment I left for Mark in response to the question he posed about the disproportionate numbers of female readers to his blog.

1. Pre-packaged. Your content varies and is approachable regardless of one's previous knowledge about any given subject. If you've got women who are moms reading, their computer/research time is extremely limited and (if they have young children )relegated to approximately 10 minute segments. Your posts are user-friendly in that way. Perhaps it's the teacher in you :)

2. Content. You cover a broad range of content. I have found that I have more women responding on my "non-political" days now. Not that they can't comment on politics. Maybe the non-political strikes our relational capacity. I don't know. I do know that even I have loved the kind of discussion (like the Pet Peeve day) that has ensued on those days. Many more women were engaged on that topic.

What are your thoughts?

11.03.2005

Reaping What We've Sown

Imagine...

You have a child attending a fine public university. He is a popular guy around the campus. He's a bright kid, studying history. And, even gets good grades. You taught him well.

One day, while at school, absorbing every ounce of the open-minded, tolerant and non-discriminating values and teaching of higher education, he decides he is going to spread his wings in this open and safe environment and make a porn movie.

He does it. He gets such a kick out of it that he produces a second one. This one is more professional. He hires a professional porn star and puts himself in the starring role, of course. This one gets shown on the university television station.

He is proud of himself. He gets more publicity than he'd ever received. Unfortunately, much of the attention is encouragement and validation for what he's done.

I wish I could say that this story is "imaginary." Sadly, it is very true. And, it is the result of the anti-absolutes, anti-God, amoral and relativistic thinking that prevails among higher education professionals.

It gets worse. The very people who fed him the garbage are doing absolutely NOTHING to help him out of this mess. Here's a segment of an interview (found at
Radio Blogger) Hugh Hewitt had with the student, Steve York.

HH: Has anyone stepped up to you and said Steve, you might not want to do this?
SY: You know, nobody personally has stepped up to me. No students, no administrators. They're very supportive of this, and that's the really odd thing.
HH: So, no one's come up to you and said Steve, what you're going to do is change your life, you're going to mark yourself forever as the guy who did the show at UCSD.
SY: Bill O'Reilly actually did, so...
HH: But I mean, I'm talking about on campus.
SY: Nobody on campus.
HH: I'm just stunned.


I think that many of us share Hugh's sentiment: stunned! But, in reality, this is the logical extreme of the ideas and the values schools are feeding this generation. If you didn't believe that ideas have consequences, believe it!

11.02.2005

Breaking News: Partisan Politics

In an unprecedented move, Senate Democrats played their hand at some partisan politics in the name of national security. It was a closed-door meeting. Republicans lingered in disbelief at the thought that elected officials would manipulate the American people with this public relations stunt. Simply unheard of.

The movie Wag the Dog hinted that such things might be done by public officials to distract from low poll numbers or personal and political messes. Senate Republicans interviewed on their way into the special session were dumbfounded, "We would never do such a thing." Even the President's announcement of Miers' withdrawal was purely coincidental with the timing aligning so perfectly with the news of Libby's indictment.

Senate Democrats persisted in their claim that their motivation was nothing but a concern for national security. This meeting had to happen today. The nation could not wait a day longer. This was the day we needed to discuss Iraq and the indictment behind closed doors. Yesterday's positive reports about the state of the economy, the new Supreme Court pick (who seems to be quite satisfactory to the Bush base) really have no bearing on the nature and timing of the meeting.


developing...


(Inspired by Andy Borowitz)

11.01.2005

Remembering Rosa Parks

"All I was doing was trying to get home from work." --Rosa Parks

Think about a long, hard day at your job, whatever it is (even for you stay-home moms). I don't know what the weather was like. But, I doubt there was either air conditioning or heating of any worth. Add to it being a minority in a pre-civil rights and pre-Politically Correct world. People had the same negative thoughts and feelings towards those they didn't understand. But, in her day, they expressed that prejudice in their words and actions.

It's so easy for us to talk about Rosa Parks as a hero, and she was. However, it is important to remember that this was a women who simply worked all day as a seamstress and had one thing on her mind: to get home. I would imagine that the conditions under which she worked were not the most comfortable or pleasant. Far from it.

She walked to the bus station, then dragged herself onto the bus. She went to the open seat in the front row of the colored section. Not the front of the bus, the front of the back!

Her refusal to let the white man take her seat was not planned. There was no strategy. She had no feminist movement or civil rights movement to join or to imitate. She was not trying to make a political, social or economic statement. No book deal to negotiate.

She was one woman, trying to make her way home.

So often, we associate heroes and celebrities with special status. They get to be super-human. They live in a world other than our own. They are somehow better than us. We can come to believe, perhaps subconsciously, that because they are inherently special, they are inherently courageous, articulate and virtuous.

Yet, what makes them special is that they are ordinary people just like you and me. They have the same struggles with insecurity and fear and the same love and concern for their loved ones. If they didn't have the same obstacles, then there would be nothing heroic about their actions. Rosa Parks was a normal, very human woman who could have done any number of things in the moment she was asked to give up her seat. She chose to stay. And, that decision changed the course of history.

As we take a moment to honor the "mother" of the civil rights movement, consider the opportunities facing us everyday. There is no way Rosa Parks, her family or friends could have predicted the weight and the consequence of that moment.

Every one of us possesses the same heroic potential. May we never forget the power of the choices we make. One man said, "When I consider the tremendous consequences of little things, I'm tempted to think that there's no such thing as a little thing."

Thank God for the "little thing" Rosa Parks did. We are forever grateful for and indebted to her.

God bless.