Tag: Politics

Testing Peace and Grace

Hello there, friends! I really must apologize for my extended absence, but I have a confession… I’ve been cheating with Facebook Pages. I know, it’s not as nice or as good as Word Press, but it seems to get more looks than this site, so I thought I’d take it for a test run. You forgive me, right?

Lately, I feel like a great many things have been a test of some sort or other. Take today for example; My husband and I had a misunderstanding, and I figured a little time apart might do us both some good, so I went to the library to do some research and editing. While there, I met an interesting 90 year old man, who struck up a conversation with me about a great many things. He was a cynical, and grumpy democrat with some opinions which were vastly different from my own, but it was an interesting conversation, and he was polite. We got along well, despite our differences.

Fast forward about thirty minutes. The library is bustling with recently released school children, brimming with excess energy, and no volume control. Their feet carry them up and down the isles at a rapid rate, as they giggle and laugh. The two librarians at the front desk, not far from where my new friend and I are chatting, are engaged in lively conversation about the grandchildren of the elder. A baby is fussing, as his mother searches for the perfect fantasy novel – her one sinful escape, read a few stolen minutes each night while the baby sleeps. She’s probably hoping she can finish it before the three-week due date comes around, but if not, she can renew it for another three. People are interacting. This is by no means, a quiet library.

Amidst all this, my phone – which has been set to silent – lights up and I answer as quietly as I can, and still be heard. The caller is my pastor, who’s trying to set up community service hours for my soon to graduate son’s high school credits. As I have what I’m attempting to make a quiet conversation as I quickly begin to gather my many spread out papers, notes, binders, and word processor, so I can leave the library to have the phone conversation, a man a few feet away, and located behind my new elderly friend, says quite loudly, “Get off the phone! It’s a library, for God sake!” I am taken aback, but apologize to him nonetheless.

His extremely rude outburst throws me off track, and I am having a difficult time concentrating on what my pastor is saying, but I listen intently as I stuff my now very disorganized things into my bag, and attempt to juggle the bag, my phone, and my cane. I answer a question from the pastor as quietly as I can – the library as loud as ever – and the rude man now shouts at me to “Get the h*** off the d*** phone or get out!”, which I’m very obviously trying to do. I have a temporary loss of composure, saying to the man, “You do hear all the other noise, do you not?” as I wave my arm in exasperation. “It’s a library!” he exclaims loudly, “GET OFF, OR GET OUT!”

At this point, my juggling fails, I accidentally hang up on my pastor, and apologize once more – this time to everyone else BUT the rude man. My pastor calls back, as I’m limping out the door, and I do my best to regain my whits as he gives me information which I forget almost immediately, because I’m so flustered. The poor man has the patience of a saint, because he laughs and explains again, promising to pray for me to have grace and peace. The rude man now exits the library as I am standing next to my car, on the phone. He enters his pickup, slams the door, fires up the engine, and flips me the bird as he speeds away. The phone call ends shortly after the pastor prays for me as he promised he would, thank you Lord, and thank you Pastor Dustin. I need all the grace and peace I can get at this point.

Now, I understand that what I should have done, was to either let the pastor go to voicemail and call him back once out of the library, or quickly answer and let him know I would call him back shortly. But in all fairness, the library was already so loud, I honestly didn’t think the call would bother anyone. Apparently, I was mistaken.

Here’s the thing – Under normal circumstances, I would certainly have followed the aforementioned protocol – apologize, while gathering, and leaving – once… maybe twice. But by the third time, I would probably have allowed my mouth to run away with my sensibilities, and said some choice, if not very nice, things to this incredibly rude man. Why didn’t I? Two reasons; 1. I was in the library with several other people, and I am not a rude person. 2. I was on the phone with my pastor, and honestly, would you swear or be rude if you were on the phone with your pastor? I doubt it.

Interesting lesson for me; I should walk through life, behaving and speaking as if I am always on the phone with my pastor, or even better… with Jesus. Because really, as Christians, aren’t we supposed to always be on our best behavior? Not just in certain situations, or when someone can see us or hear us, but always? Because when you think abut it… Jesus can always see and hear you, and me, and that rude guy, and even my pastor. So we should always strive to be the best we can be in every situation. So I count today as a test of my character and as a lesson in how to behave in all situations. I’m human, and I will probably fail to live up to the standard sometimes, but I will try anyway.

As for the rude man – I will simply hope he just happened to be having a bad day, and was having a human moment or two, and pray for peace and grace for him the way my pastor prayed for me. Because that’s what we all need from the Lord.

Peace and Grace

Many Blessings, and may you find peace and grace in your human moments, too.

C.A. Bennett – Writer

A Woman’s Place

I was having a conversation with my husband, in which he made a joking comment about how I would turn the Christian world upside down with my point of view on a woman’s place in the world and in her family. By this, he is referring to my stance on how women are not to be treated as subservient to men, but to be equals.

What must be understood about this, is that when I say “equals” I actually mean exactly that. I don’t mean above, or below, I mean alongside, next to, or together if you will. Equals. Why? Let me tell you… when the Lord created Adam, it didn’t take long to see that he was lonely, so the Lord decided to create woman, to be his helper. He did not take a bone from Adam’s foot to create Eve to be tread upon like a doormat. He did not take a bone from Adam’s skull so that Eve could rule over him. The Lord took a bone from Adam’s ribcage, so that Eve would walk through life alongside him. Notice the word “helper” here. The bible does not say “servant” in regards to Eve. Never once does it refer to Eve as beneath Adam in the Lord’s eyes.

Now, I need you to understand this, because it’s important, and in fact crucial to your understanding of my point; The bible was inspired by God, but written by man – or humans, if you will, so as not to dump on the males of our species, because that is not my goal nor my desire here – and it was written in a PATRIARCHAL CULTURE. In other words, it was written at such a time in history that women were considered the weaker sex and were treated more like servants than like equals on a pretty regular basis. In fact, women were often treated quite badly, and I am sad to say there are still places and people who still subscribe to that way of thinking. Not cool.

However… as a bible scholar and Religious Studies major, I have done a good bit of research on the topic of a woman’s role in life, and let me tell you, we are anything BUT subservient! Female rulers have played a huge part in history, and often in very positive ways. Queen Elizabeth I for one, brought a war-torn, financially unstable kingdom into the greatest military and financially stable status they’d ever seen. So much so, that her reign is referred to as The Golden Age. Elizabeth refused to be treated as lesser just because she happened to be born female. By the way, she is my personal favorite female historical figure.

Another wonderful example is Deborah from the book of Judges, who was a prophet, and leader of the nation of Israel at that time. Deborah is referred to as  “The Mother of Israel”, and lead the Israelites into battle against the Canaanite army, defeating them quite smartly. So what did you see there? A woman – who was married, by the way – became the leader of a nation, a military force to be reckoned with, a prophet, and the fourth judge of Israel. She was one tough chick! Does that sound subservient to you? Me either!

So let’s talk about subservient vs. submissive for a minute, because too many people get those two mixed up, and they are very different! In respect to the biblical use of wives being submissive to their husbands, we are talking about the family being a body, and the husband being the head of that body, and generally speaking, a body should only have one head. Submission to ones husband can be defined as, “a commitment to lift up your husband, encourage him,  and be his helpmate through life. ”

As a Christian woman, I firmly believe in giving our husbands their place as head of the family, valuing their contributions & hard work for the greater good of the family body. That said, I fully expect to be treated with the same respect from my husband, valued for my contributions and given the same consideration for my thoughts, feelings, and opinions as he is. Why? Because we are equals. We are also equals in our intelligence, both having an IQ of 130, which kind of adds a bit of credibility to the whole equal thing, in my opinion. Anyway…..

Subservient: “Prepared to obey others unquestioningly. Less important, subordinate, serving as a means to an end. Servant or slave.”

Ladies and gentlemen, no man, woman or child deserves to be slave to anyone, regardless of sex, color, creed, race, or religion. I will be subservient to no one, and neither should you!

Genesis 2:18-24 NIV

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones

    and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called ‘woman,’

    for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Many Blessings!

C.A. Bennett – Writer

On Writing, & That Which Is Temporary….

notesI won’t lie – the past few days have taken their toll on my writing. The election hype and the ensuing backlash have left me feeling exhausted, depressed, and utterly uninspired. I spent yesterday in tears for the most part, because of the emotional turmoil associated with family squabbles, which lead to my God & Family First  article.

That had me worried. I began to doubt every word I’d written up to that point and even questioned whether or not I should be writing at all! I quickly realized I was being a tad mellow-dramatic and duly chewed myself out for it.

See, I’m the person who’s always writing something, no matter what. If I don’t, I feel like I’m cheating somehow, when really – the only one being cheated is me, because I’m not doing what I love, which means I’m sacrificing my own happiness. That, in turn, causes more grief and sorrow, which turns into a vicious cycle, until guilt sets in. Guilt feeds into resentment, and well… Not cool.

Today, however, I went on a much needed grocery shopping excursion with my husband, Rob, who found loads of fun things to make! Now with a huge pot of organic chicken noodle soup simmering away on the stove, and a hot cup of Irish tea at my side, I find I am refreshed, and ready to take on the typewriter with renewed enthusiasm!

All things are temporary, whether good or bad, positive or negative. We must strive to keep going no matter what the situation looks like, because the world doesn’t stop turning. Life will go on whether or not we choose to participate in it, and if we don’t take an active part in our affairs, chances are, someone else will come along and determine them for us. Do you want that? Neither do i!

As mortal human beings, we only know what we see, hear, and feel. I find comfort in knowing that no matter what is going on in my life, God is always working behind the scenes. There are blessings in the works that I don’t even know about yet, but will when the time is right. When God decides the time is right.

And so, my dear friends, I leave you with this; 2nd Corinthians, 4: 16 – 18:Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Well…. As Rob says, “That book ain’t gonna write itself, ya know!” so back to work, I go!

writing

 

God & Family First 

​What people need to remember is this; We’ve reached a point in our nation, where it doesn’t even matter anymore who’s leading us. There are so many angry, frustrated people who’ve lost so much more than they’ve gained. Whether it be Trump or Clinton in the big chair, there would be riots, race wars, and fighting amongst ourselves.

 — THE MOST IMPORTANT THING — 

ABOVE ALL ELSE, KEEP YOUR FAMILIES TOGETHER! LET NOTHING COME BETWEEN YOU AND THE PEOPLE YOU’VE ALWAYS CARED FOR THE MOST!  

I pray God watches over us all, guides us all, and saves us all, in Jesus’ name, amen.

A Prayer for Our Country and Our New President.

Dear President Elect, Donald Trump –

I would like to publicly congratulate you on a very suspense-filled victory. Your words to Secretary Clinton were, in my humble opinion , very supportive and classy. Thank you for showing grace at a time when you could have easily gloated. I admit, Mr. Trump, I was hoping for Dr. Ben Carson, but you were my second choice, and I’m glad you won. 

I would like to offer a prayer for you, your family, and America , if I may…

Dear Lord,

Thank you for a great victory for President Elect – Donald Trump. I ask you to watch over him and his family through what will no doubt, be a difficult time in their lives and ours.

Though it comes to them and many of us as a victory now,  I am certain there will be many struggles and obstacles ahead. I pray that you guide and lead Mr. Trump over the next several years, to do as you will for our country.

I pray that we see great and wonderful things happen in our United States of America, and that only good comes to this land and it’s people.

I pray, Lord,  that you watch over all of us, guide all of us, and bless all of us. Please heal our country and it’s people, but more importantly still – please help us all seek you first in all we do.

In Jesus’ name, amen!

Tools of the Trade

2016-11-02-08-17-40My husband of 28 years and I, have very little in common when it comes to our interests. Movies, music, comedy, activities of all sorts, for us, are on opposite ends of the spectrum. What makes him laugh, makes me cringe. He works out regularly, and aspires to go to the CrossFit Games, I would rather sit on the couch and knit, while sipping tea or hot chocolate. We even differed greatly in terms of how best to raise the five sons we created together, but thankfully, they all survived our mutual parental ineptitude and made it to adulthood with all their parts and sensibilities intact! Good job, mom and dad. Good job resilient kids!

We do have a few things in common, however. Some very important things, in fact. Our political opinions are almost exactly the same. We also have our Christian beliefs, which is a HUGE thing when in a lifelong relationship with a person you must share a room with, believe me! We have some of the most wonderful conversations about God and faith, and nary an argument about it to be heard, with the rare exception, but brother, when we debate, we debate hard!

My husband and I also have tools in common. He has an incredible array of tools for any number of jobs. He has worked as a mechanic, and then an automotive and aircraft painter for thirty-plus years. He can fix the mechanical inner workings of almost any wheeled vehicle by getting under the hood, (or under the car, in some cases) and getting grease up to his elbows. He can make the outside of anything from a bicycle to an airplane beautiful again, by pulling and filling dents, and applying paint and a host of decoration. He is a hobbyist woodworker who has spent countless hours measuring, cutting, hammering nails, screwing screws. gluing, and creating something from seemingly nothing. The man owns a LOT of tools, some as new as purchased two days ago to fix my Buick, some – like an antique wood planer – one hundred years old and in dire need of restoration. He loves the old ones best. No matter which one he uses, the job gets done.

Me? I have tools of different types, but they are tools nevertheless. I have knitting needles and crochet hooks for creating a lovely array of warm clothing for the many children and their respective significant others. I have spinning tools that can make fine thread or bulky yarns depending on my mood. I have weaving looms that can make very fine and delicate fabric, or cloth which is utilitarian in nature. I can even create a simple tapestry if I have the inspiration and the motivation.

But my favorite tools, are my writing tools. I love to write! I write periodically throughout the day. I write in my personal journal every  night before going to sleep, no matter how tired I am. I even take a notebook with me to write on the go when the mood or an idea for one of my three novels-in-progress strikes. I’ve even been known to use the note app on my phone when I’ve been in a rush and forgot the notebook. I write. It’s as much a part of who I am as the color of my eyes, skin and hair.

My writing tools vary greatly. I have six notebooks, a binder, my 2014 Acer laptop, a 1992 Smith Corona Word Processor, and a 1956 Royal Aristocrat manual typewriter. As soon as I can afford it, I’ll purchase a newer Royal Epoch manual typewriter for it’s lighter weight, included carrying case, ease of use, non-electrical versatility, and the plain, simple fact that I would like to preserve my cherished vintage models by not beating them to death – occasional use for nostalgic sake, not withstanding, of course. No matter what I write with, the story gets told.

We – the hubster and I – also have different tools for our biblical research and edification. He prefers the New American Standard version of bible and has one his mother gave him many years ago, which bears the autograph of Hall of Fame baseball player, Reggie  Jackson, who was baptized at the church my husband and his family attended when he was a kid. He also has one that is an extensive study bible I gifted him with on an anniversary many years ago. I, myself own a lovely prophecy study bible given to me from my husband on a birthday a few years ago, and is the New King James Version, which I prefer, and Halley’s Bible Handbook, for greater understanding. No matter how old or which version, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever” – Hebrews 13:8.

So what’s the point? The point is, it doesn’t matter what version of what tool you use as long as it gets the job done! Find what works for you, then go forth and DO IT! “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17

May you be blessed in all things, and in all things may God have the glory, in Jesus’ name – amen 🙂

Liberal vs. Conservative

I don’t know what disappoints me more – the lies that people come up with, or the sheer number of people who believe those lies.

Also…. the practical application of the term “liberal” is an oxymoron in our society.

The actual definition of Liberal is – “open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values. Concerned mainly with broadening a person’s general knowledge and experience, rather than with technical or professional training.”

Some of the most self-proclaimed “liberals” I’ve ever met, are also some of the most unbelievably militant beings of the face of the earth, who will yell at me and anyone else who opposes them because we disagree with their supposedly open-minded points of view.

The worst is when a conservative who happens to be a Christian, attempts to “agree to disagree” in an effort to prevent undue discord, and preserve the friendship. THAT’S when Christianity itself is attacked by the “liberal” and we (Christians) are all grouped into one category of insufferable judgmental jerks who deserve whatever bad thing happens to us, while the “liberals” attempt to force their incredibly militant policies on us.

I’m sure I’ll catch some flack for this, but if you are a “liberal” and you attempt to force your policies and your beliefs on me, while forcing your opinion of who gets to use what bathroom, who said what to whom, who grabbed whom, and why that’s somehow worse than someone who makes it their life mission to cause mayhem, death, and destruction to anyone who stands in their way, then you and I must agree to disagree.

If that means we can’t be friends then so be it, but that’s clearly your choice, not mine. As a conservative Christian, one thing I’ve learned is that sometimes you just have to love someone from a distance. Happy Thursday, and may you be ever blessed.

Separation of Church and State

When I see the statement, “If we’re going to save our children, we have to put God back into the equation”, it occurs to me that spiritual guidance and growth begins at home.

Proverbs 22:6 says,

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

In my humble opinion, each person has the right to make their own choice when it comes to religious beliefs. If, for example, a person does not believe in God that’s their prerogative, but they have no right to force their status as a non-believer upon me or anyone else. Nor do they have the right to condemn me for being a believer.

Alternately, as a believer, I would never seek to force my beliefs upon another, however I do expect to be allowed to worship in peace and to raise my children with my belief system. The problem with this country, is that there’s this idea going around that we all must conform to one way or another, and there is no happy medium.

God is not a forceful God. He allows each of us to choose whether or not to believe in Him. Do I think the world would benefit from having more people worshiping God? Yes. That said, if anyone chooses to believe and worship then they should be left in peace to do so in their own way. “Separation of church and state” has nothing to do with it.”