Sunday, May 21, 2006

Opposing Civil Rights is Offensive!

Dear Gentle Readers....

I am offended by those who would deny us our civil rights. Check out the link. (

You see, June 6th we will have the opportunity to vote against using our Constitution as a club of discrimination. That is our opportunity to express our displeasure with the current movement among politicians to pander to the religious right. That is our opportunity to say to our elected leaders, "Enough is enough!" That is our opportunity to stop this train and secure civil rights for ourselves, our partners, and our children.

I am offended that my elected leaders would seek to demoralize me and minimalize me in the light of the Constitution. I am offended that anyone would tell me who I am, what I am, and whether I am a fit parent. I am offended that my partner, who served nearly 15 years in the military, is told she can die for her country, but she can't live for it and enjoy basic civil rights granted to heterosexuals--simply by virtue of whom she loves! My friends, I am offended. I am offended by religious leaders spewing hate in the guise of love. I am offended by political leaders who would use us as political footballs, pandering to the religious right. I am offended by an administration who, regardless of their moral failures, would impose their fake morality on others. I am offended by a system which would deny me more than 1000 civil rights simply because of whom I love; who I AM.

I am offended, my friends, and you should be, too!

I try not to be an alarmist, however this situation we face is in need of one who cries in the wilderness! All we have to do is read the history of Nazi Germany and open our eyes! The Jews. The homosexuals. The infirmed. The mentally ill. They were all put on trains to their death just because they were different.

Do you hear the rumble of the train's wheels? You should. If you fail to vote on June 6th (and exercise one of the few civil rights you have), you will certainly hear them. If our Constitution, state as well as federal, is used as a tool of discrimination to deny an entire segment of the population access to the very same civil liberties as others, we will hear the rumble of the wheels.

Take time to pray for our government and our leaders. Take time to write your congressional representatives and senators. Take time to sign petitions and walk the picket lines. Take time to stand up to self-righteous bigots at work who would belittle you and joke behind your back. Be offended!

And then take time to go to the polls on June 6th and vote against using YOUR Constitution as a battering ram; a document of discrimination toward an entire segment of our citizenry. If not, you will certainly begin to hear the train wheels rumble.

May God prick your heart to be involved. As one great person said, "All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hurricane Katrina - Eight Months Later

Hi all...

I wanted to share with you our latest excursion to the MS Gulf Coast. We had to go to the VA in Biloxi on Friday and since we had some time to spare in between appointments, I suggested we take a ride down Hwy. 90 (the Beach Rd.) between Biloxi and Gulfport. Now, mind you, it has been eight (count 'em--eight) months since Hurricane Katrina slammed into the MS Gulf Coast, with the eye of the storm bringing a direct hit on Bay St. ouis/Waveland.
While driving down the beach road, I was overwhelmed by what I saw. Eight
months later, the roadway is still a mess. Houses are either a pile of sticks or an empty slab. People are living in tents in driveways or trailers in the yards of houses which look like they were put through a confetti shredder. Some houses have been razed. That's good, I guess. But, overall, I didn't see that much progress.

Where are all those contractors? You know, the ones supposedly paid for by FEMA? And what about the crooked insurance companies that took everyones' premiums for years and years and then bailed when it looked like they were going to have to pay?

I know, I promised a spiritual journey throughout the whole Katrina nightmare. And I know I have shared my spirit with you. But, this is simply anger at how we can live in "America" and be in this position. I fail to understand why we pour money (which we don't really have, by the way) into other countries and wars, when our own people suffer.

I think that is the base of this indignation. America, as I knew it, no longer exists. We used to care about our people, provide for their needs. Now social security is virtually non-existent. We are in an illegal war of opportunity to split a sovreign nation and control their oil. We are threatening another sovreign nation so our (p)resident can feel "yeehaw" on the inside. Our people are starving. Our veterans are living in the streets, homeless after serving their country honorably and being failed by a VA health system which has been raped monetarily.

What is the answer? My heart cries out in desperation to God for deliverance. This must be how Moses felt when he saw the Children of God being broken by a perverse and evil king. This must be what Jesus felt when he wanted to gather Jerusalem to his bosom and provide them with comfort. I'm not saying I'm anything like Moses or Jesus. But I am one person with a broken heart toward all people on this planet. White. Black. Yellow. Red. Brown. Young. Old. Rich. Poor. It matters not.

As Christians we are called to care for our brother; to be our brother's keeper! How can we say that when we continue to support this kind of evil against the world by a government which is corrupt? Unless godly people stand up against the "religious" and begin to follow our call to care for the widows and orphans, heal the sick, clothe the naked, and feed the hungry, we WILL NOT see the fullness of the glory of Almighty God. That is truth.

So, I say to those in authority: Get over yourselves and your egos. End this lawless war and return to those we have wronged that they may have their lives back. Take care of the people of America with tax relief and affordable healthcare. And bring relief to those in areas ravaged by natural disaster!

May God have mercy on us. Please continue to join me in prayer for the people along the Gulf Coast for relief from their struggle to survive. Please continue to join me in prayer that the truly godly would rise up in strength and bring the balm of the gospel to the hurting hearts and lives in our land. And please, please continue to pray for our administration that God would see our plight, hear our prayers, and bring us a deliverer--again.

May you truly understand the call to care.

If you're interested in seeing pictures, try this link.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Life Moves On

Dear Gentle Readers...

Hello again. Yes, life moves on. I apologize for my tardiness in writing. And thanks to those of you who yanked my chain about sharing my journey with you, as promised.

I love this picture. When Patti was deployed to Iraq, we used Lilo and Stitch as our alter-egos. If you see Patti, you'll understand. She looks just like Lilo. Me? Yep, I'm an alien life form with six arms and legs, no coordination, and a knack for getting in trouble.

That being said, the journey continues to be interesting.

We've been through so much. First, Patti's deployment to Iraq which took her away from me for 15 months (and only a month into our relationship). Patti returned only to battle post-traumatic stress disorder. Then the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. No home. No jobs. All lost. So much to handle in such a short time!

And even though I feel the stress of our everyday lives, I still remain amazed at the provision of God. Just because one has faith, does not mean one doesn't feel the strain! I think it's just the opposite. I think we feel the stress and learn to overcome by the power of God working in us. If it was easy, it wouldn't be worth the struggle, right? What was it they said of baseball in A League of Their Own? "If it was easy, everyone would do it." Christianity isn't for sissies.

So we move on. We face each day with the hope of a future. We face each day knowing that we will not beg for bread. We face each day knowing that not only does our God care for us, but our friends and families do, also. And above all, we are grateful!

At the end of the day when we think about where we are and where we have come from, we still stand amazed in God's Presence. I think of my friends, even those who are Christians, who are falling apart because of Hurricane Katrina. So many have lost their homes and possessions, but they've also lost themselves! I've received cards and emails that are heart-wrenching. I wish I could reach through the lines and tell my friends of the goodness of God!

All of these stresses are nothing compared to the blessings of God; the Glory of God. So, I write this to remind myself that we are cradled in the Presence of God, blessed as a joint heir with the Son, protected by the Spirit. And life moves on.

I challenge you to look at the struggles in your life as temporal; threads in the tapestry of time that make up our lives. Remind yourself through the stresses you face that God continues to be in control and sing the old hymn, "It is Well With My Soul."