I Could Feel Her with Me today

I could feel her with me today
as I sat on the pew surrounded
by song and peace and love.
I could feel her in the calm,
in the courage, and in the hope.
She was with me in that space,
with me in my thoughts,
and she was real – as real as you
and me and the music.
As long as I can love, she’ll be with me –
and her love will live on in me –
whether it’s on a trail in the forest,
lunch with dear friends, or a church
on the corner of 6th and Cedar.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

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“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God…”
– Romans 8

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Quotes from the “Greatest Generation”

I’ve been watching The Right Stuff on television this rainy afternoon – and the men and women portrayed in that movie reminded me of the values, courage, and strength of my own parents – who were, like the astronauts and their wives, members of the “greatest generation.” My musings led me to dig up some quotes from my parents’ generation (and please feel free to add any quotes you find that you think would go well here)…

You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can’t, you do the next best thing. You back up but you don’t give up.
– Chuck Yeager (b. 1923)

My faith demands – this is not optional – my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.
– Jimmy Carter (b. 1924)

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
– Nelson Mandela (b. 1918)
I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said ‘yes,’ when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to somebody else.
– Mr. Rogers (b. 1928)

I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got.
– Walter Cronkite (b. 1916)

You never get tired unless you stop and take time for it.
– Bob Hope (b. 1903)

Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.
– Katherine Hepburn (b. 1907)

Tough times don’t last, tough people do, remember?
– Gregory Peck (b. 1916)

Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing a Jimmy Stewart imitation myself. I’d like people to remember me as someone who was good at his job and seemed to mean what he said.
– Jimmy Stewart (b. 1908)

You’re blessed if you have the strength to work.
– Mahalia Jackson (b. 1911)

I believe in living each day as it comes, to the best of my ability. When it’s done, I put it away, remembering that there will be a tomorrow to take its place.
– Ginger Rogers (b. 

I love to laugh. It’s the only way to live. Enjoy each day – it’s not coming back again!
– Doris Day (b. 1922)

Getting old is not for sissies.
– Bette Davis (b. 1908)

People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.
– Sir Edmund Hillary (b. 1919)

Why shouldn’t I be polite to other people? It doesn’t cost me anything.
– Dee Molenaar (b. 1918)

Said to the bigot in the Sears store: That family has as much right to be here as you or me! 
– Colleen “Moz” Molenaar (b. 1927)

 

 

Sexual Harassment

Dear class,

I’m wondering how many upstanding, well-meaning men are looking back on their lives right now and trying to remember if they’ve ever unintentionally done anything that might be seen as sexual harassment. And if you’re one of those men who’s going through the files in your head – trying to remember if you’ve ever done something that might have caused someone else to feel uncomfortable or awkward – bless your heart. I’m guessing you’re no Sen. Moore or Harvey Weinstein. I’m pretty sure neither of those guys have ever spent a lot of time going through the files in their heads, self-reflecting. (And if you found you’ve done something you now regret, don’t do it again, okay? Onward and upward.)

On another note – it might be helpful if we could all identify the difference between flirting and harassment: I think sexual harassment is a one-sided thing – one person gets something from someone else without regard to what that other person wants or needs. Sexual harassment leaves the victim feeling humiliated, disrespected, and/or repulsed. Flirting, on the other hand, is a back-and-forth thing – everyone involved WANTS to be involved.

Be kind to one another. Be thoughtful. Be decent. Do right by each other.
– Mrs. T.

Is this the best leader for our country?

It is my belief that Jesus wouldn’t have approved of Trump’s direction for our country. Jesus told us to love our neighbors and love our enemies. He told us to feed the hungry, heal the sick, provide shelter for the homeless. Do you think he would have wanted to deny the poor access to health care? Do you think he would have wanted to deny refuge to our neighbors in Mexico, and across the sea, who need protection and shelter? Do you think he would have wanted tax cuts for the rich? He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers” and he said it is harder for a rich man to get into heaven than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. He said, “…whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant…” 

Do you think Trump sees himself as a servant?

We don’t have to hate Trump to recognize that he’s not fit to be the leader of the United States.

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Answers to a Political Survey

A friend posted a link to a conservative political survey on Facebook. Here are some of the questions and my answers:

How would you rate the current direction of our economy?
Corporations are running our economy. I would like to see the power go back into the hands of the human citizens.

Which issue would you like to see prioritized more?
I would like to see our nation’s representatives fight for the middle and lower classes, rather than be in the pockets of the wealthy and corporations. I would like to have the people who represent us recognize that global warming is a real danger to us. I would like to see all the citizens of our country – including the poor and disenfranchised – have access to affordable health care. I would like our President to actually care about EVERYone he represents – and not just wealthy white males. I would like our President to realize he works for us, and that we don’t work for him. I would like women to have control over their own bodies.

Do you think immigration should be reduced until unemployment drops?
No. Immigration isn’t causing unemployment. Shipping jobs overseas is, however.

Do you think universities today indoctrinate rather than teach students?
No. Our students need to learn to question their own beliefs, assess information for accuracy and bias, and think critically. Students need to be taught the skills that will help them recognize that your question has built-in bias.

What else do you think the President needs to know about the real America? We’re listening.
No. You are not listening. If you were listening, you wouldn’t even be asking these questions. If you were listening you’d actually be trying to help all Americans have access to health care. If you were listening, you’d be lowering taxes for the poor and middle-class, and raising taxes for the rich – rather than the other way around. You are assuming that American citizens are ignorant, uneducated, and only out for themselves. You have become dinosaurs as the rest of the country has moved on. Catch up.

“Who’s (sic) fault is it?”

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So a letter came addressed to me from *The Weekly Standard*. Here is, in part, what it said (and those of you who know me might get a good chuckle out of this):
“Dear Fellow Conservative: We have both houses of Congress AND the White House, but important legislation still isn’t getting passed. Obamacare repeal and replace. Immigration reform. Income tax overhaul. And so much more. Who’s (sic – and any respected journalist should know it’s “whose”) fault IS it? President Trump’s? Mitch McConnell’s? Paul Ryan’s? And what about the vicious attacks from the liberal left? The non-stop flow of fake news coming out of the liberal media?”

Karen’s answers to these really profound and erudite questions: “Whose (edit) fault is it? President Trump’s? Mitch McConnell’s? Paul Ryan’s?” Yes. Yes. And yes.

Who’s to blame that things aren’t getting done when Republicans have control of BOTH the Senate and…

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I Am Bow Eyes and Rudder Pivots

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
– Aristotle

So a couple summers ago I bought an outdoor patio set – four deck chairs and a glass-topped table. All of these pieces of furniture needed assembly to actually become chairs and a table. But how hard could it be to put these things together, right? I was not ascared. I got out my trusty screwdriver and set to work. When I was finished I am proud to say that I had four dandy deck chairs and a glass-topped table that actually looked like four dandy deck chairs and a glass-topped table.  You could actually sit in the chairs. The legs actually pointed down instead of up. You could actually put stuff on top of the table without it collapsing.

The fact that I had a couple screws left over when I was all done did not concern me at all. Or only a little. 🙂

I saved the left-over screws. By themselves, of course, those left-over screws aren’t worth much – but maybe someday I’ll need them in another project – maybe someday they’ll be a part of something really cool.

I am, metaphorically-speaking, assembled patio furniture. Or… maybe a sailboat. Yeah, sailboats are awesome. I am a jaunty little  PocketShip.  I’ve got bow eyes, and rudder eyes, rudder pivots, and rudder rod keepers, anchor chocks, and CB sheaves, sails and an anchor, and a bunch of other stuff. By itself a rudder pivot or a bow eye or an anchor chock doesn’t do much – but put all the PocketShip parts together and you’ve got a vessel you can use to take you on all kinds of wonderful adventures.

I am a Christian Scientist. I am also a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a political progressive, an animal-lover, an outdoors aficionado, a photography buff, a wedding singer, and an author. Among other things. And all of those parts that make up the whole will sometimes find their way into my blog.

I’ve had Christian Scientists ask me why I post political posts on a blog titled “Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist” – and I think I can understand why other Christian Scientists might be concerned about this. There might, I suppose, be the concern that I’m trying to represent the beliefs and opinions of other Christian Scientists when I write my posts. But let me assure you, I’m not. I know there are other Christian Scientists who hold VASTLY different political views than myself. I like that about Christian Scientists. We’re not rigid monolithic automatons. The founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes, “The time for thinkers has come.” And that’s what those who are living Christian Science try to do: Think. And not “think” in the way of the Borg of the Star Trek shows, but as individual expressions of Love, with their own individual conscience.

Christian Science informs the lives of all who try to live it. Christian Science has given me a way of looking at the world that’s influenced and informed my writing and photography, politics, and relationships with others. If all I posted on my blog were Bible quotes and Mary Baker Eddy quotes and discussions about religion I would not be sharing all that Christian Science has given me. And so I post my posts about animals, and adventures in the outdoors, and politics, and relationships with others on my blog. Because all of those parts are a part of my life as a Christian Scientist.

The loss of man’s identity through the understanding which Science confers is impossible; and the notion of such a possibility is more absurd than to conclude that individual musical tones are lost in the origin of harmony.

This scientific sense of being, forsaking matter for Spirit, by no means suggests man’s absorption into Deity and the loss of his identity, but confers upon man enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace.

A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher realms. It raises the thinker into his native air of insight and perspicacity.
– Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures