We the people…
We hold these truths…
Strong phrases that begin foundational statements and documents for our country. Upon these phrases are built the core values of our country. The freedoms we take for granted everyday were penned under these phrases. The freedom to speak our opinions, the freedom to own guns and protect that which we work hard for and the freedoms to worship. With freedom comes both responsibility and opportunity. Yes, we have the opportunity to take full advantage of our freedoms. But we also have the responsibility to not let those freedoms harm or keep others from living their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. These behaviors must be chosen, they can not be legislated. They are convictions of the heart.
We live in the greatest country in the world, founded on Godly inspired truths. Our founding fathers were as fallible as our political leaders are now. But they stood on God’s word and built a country. Today as we celebrate our freedoms, we recognize they came at a cost to thousands of others. Moving forward, we the people need to determine the future by first examining our own hearts.
There are dozens of theories about how the earth was created, evolved or banged together. I believe in creation through the power and spirit of one God. But even those who agree with me have thoughts about whether it was six literal 24-hour days or it took thousands of years. To this simple-minded, non-scientific girl, I say, who cares? The story of creation gives us more to discuss than how long it took.
First of all, God created the world and everything in it in a specific order. An order that provided for growth and sustainment. Think about it, the light and darkness came before the land and the water being separated. The land provided for the animals and plants, the water provided for the water creatures and the water that land dwellers would need.
Then came vegetation. All plants and trees needed to produce fruit and food was water, light and darkness.
Then came the sun and the moon. So what was the light and the darkness before we had planets to attribute? Who knows? Perhaps the light and darkness came from the control God had over his own power. Knowing our limited ability to comprehend Him, perhaps God is the pilot light of the sun, set it in space and let it be our reminder of the giver of life. Nonetheless, he gave us the sun and the moon as physical reminders of when we should wake and when we should rest.
He then gave life to the creatures of the sea, air and land. These creatures that would later sustain his favorite part of creation, man.
And 26 verses from nothing, God created his most sophisticated creature, man. Man was created in their image. God put him in charge of all he created. Man, imperfect, but God’s most trusted creation. And to create balance and order, he gave man a woman by which to partner and procreate. It was VERY good. Then he rested.
It is good from us to search the scriptures and have healthy debate. But in six days or 6,000, God gave more than our physical world.
- He taught us order. Do things in the right order for greater sustainment. There is peace and harmony in order.
- He taught us that nature was important enough to create first. Take notice and respect it.
- He gave us structure by which we schedule our life; day and night – seven days. Be productive and create for six days and then remember Him on the seventh. Rest in knowing that God is in charge of the big stuff like the universe AND the little stuff like caring enough to know the number of hairs on your head.
Your thoughts please,
Sunday evening it occurred to me that we would be going straight from Thanksgiving into Christmas. Like within a week. The first weekend in December my father and his wife are coming for their Christmas visit. Given that they will be staying with us and we will be hosting the entire family for a Christmas celebration I needed to make a list.
Actually, there are three lists. Groceries for Thanksgiving week, groceries for the week of their visit and the other “to dos” I want to make happen for it to be a wonderful time. By December 3rd my house will be completely decorated for the holiday and there will be cookies baked. That’s the goal that getting all the things on my list marked off will accomplish. Reviewing my plan and lists something was missing. Something was nagging at me that I needed to do. What was it?
The AHA moment hit when I laid my notebook and pencil down. As I let go of my plan, I realized I needed to be sure I took time to be grateful and enjoy the planning AND the doing. No matter how many things get marked off the list, my dad won’t care and my family won’t notice. It will be preparing my heart for the holiday and the time together that will be the most important thing to do.
Yesterday was November 6th. I was in the car alone driving. Having full control of my radio button-pushing habit, I cruised to 106.9. Let me set the scene. It’s Friday, cloudy and balmy, and about 70 degrees. The sun was fighting to come out. And what to my listening ears should sound? Christmas music, of course.
I’m from Kentucky. Here it’s just as likely to be warm or mild as it could be snowing at Christmas. But I was raised on Irving Berlin and George Baily. At least get me past Thanksgiving and into a hint of cooler weather before you blast me with songs about kissing Santa Clause and jingle bells rockin’.
The whole thing was like when Coke attempted to whoo us with clear Coke. It just ain’t fittin’.
Going away to college or just moving into the dorm at the college nearby was once an exciting prospect. Away from home and the parents. Out on your own and taking charge of your time. As parents, we spend the first 18 years of our children’s lives preparing them with the right jewels of wisdom. We hope and pray that by the time they leave, they are ready for all the good, and the bad that they will encounter.
We hope we’ve given them a firm foundation in their faith. We teach them that it will be only a matter of time when drugs will be offered to them and how to say no. We talk to them about sex and the virtues of not sleeping around. But there is a new issue on the block. One that our parents didn’t need to talk to us about – the lone shooter.
In the late 1940’s at the height of the atomic and nuclear bomb scare, students and citizens learned the term, “duck and cover.” There were drills in neighborhoods, offices and public places. Those of us who grew up in the late 60’s and early 70’s hardly remember these drills. And young parents today know them only as a section in their history books. Today, our “duck and cover” lessons need to be about what to do if a lone shooter comes into your classroom, dorm, mall, church, theater or any large public gathering.
Reportedly In the first 10 months of this year, there have been 10 university shooting sprees. That’s one a month. We don’t want to send our kids off to school in fear, but we need to add the terrorists to the list of “what to do if” conversations we have with them.
Thankfully, I still have some time for working this lesson into our conversation. I’m already praying for the wise words to use. We want to send our kids out into that big world with confidence and boldness. We want to launch them saying, “look out world, here I come,” just as we left home. To do so they need to be armed with the weapons of wisdom, discernment, faith, hope, positive disciplines in their lives and “what to do if.”
What do you think?
Sitting in my car at a stop light. Waiting for the green light. Watching. Getting ready for the green light. My plan was to turn left and continue to my destination. Without an arrow on green, the left turn must yield and wait for the intersection to be clear.
The whole three minutes made me think about the times in life when we come to decision intersections. To have an opportunity presented isn’t necessarily a green light. Sometimes its best to slow down and check the intersection for clarity.
Just a thought.
Tonight was the opening night for the 54th season of the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. The C. Douglas Ramey stage was set for a Midsummer’s Night Dream, but the atmosphere was a dream come true. Ten months ago Producing Artistic Director, Matt Wallace stepped in with a vision for a true festival and an expanded summer season. Matt has been in the wings directing elsewhere, waiting for his opportunity to direct back home in the park.
The benches were filled with an eclectic audience. There were business men straight from the office with a loosened tie relaxing with a Brown-Forman cocktail and over at the picnic tables a beautiful young earthy girl and a boyfriend who had plenty of piercings. A group of students gather on the back row ready to fulfill their extra credit requirements. The Louisville Food Truck Association is the star with a hot dog truck and a truck with desserts; or perhaps you bring your own picnic.
The spirit of William Shakespeare no doubt danced in perfect step to the pre-show roaming musicians. With the audience transported back 400 years, the actors took the stage and completed the journey to the mischief-filled night in the forest with Puck and his friends.
To celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday there will be 55 more nights in Central Park through August 17th – A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Henry V, and Hamlet. The Globe Players (youth) will round out the festival with Love’s Labour’s Lost.
Come to the park this summer and see where you will end up. Don’t think you can understand what’s going on? Ah, this is the magic of the theater – you will understand the story if not all of the words. Just go, and let your self be drawn into the action and expressions on the stage. You will leave the evening a changed person; possibly looking at love and life a little differently.
See you in the park,