To My Husband

I Love You Now, Even More

Katty Curry©

Kathy and Frank Cruise writing

As I sit in our living room and watch you sleep,

I think back all those years, now thirty and seven and remember.

I remember when you were so tall and straight and proud.

I remember friends calling you  Li’l Abner, a with your six-foot frame.

I loved you then with all my heart, I love you now, even more.

 

I remember finishing the crossword puzzle with you,

Remembering those cues, looking at each other with questioning eyes;

“Is that a word?”

Then celebrate with another cup of coffee as we conquered yet another puzzle.

I loved you then with all my heart, I love you now, even more.

 

The baby would cry, and we would both jump up, one to heat the milk,

The other change his clothes, so proud of our newborn son.

The look of wonder and pride in your eyes as you watched your newborn son.

I loved you then, I love you now, even more.

 

I remember the tender way you held me, your powerful arms so strong and firm.

I remember your eyes, how they would sparkle and dance;

How your laughter, so smooth and carefree would ring through the house.

I loved you then with all my heart, I love you now, even more.

 

I see you now, aged and bent.

I watch you struggle with your cane

to navigate a room.

I see you struggle just to eat and fear what is yet to come.

I loved you then with all my heart.

I love you now, even more.

To me, you are still that tall, strong man

Who filled a door, and held me gently in his strong arms.

To me, your eyes still sparkle with chips of blue.

You are precious and what you were, to me you are.

I loved you then with all my heart, I love you now, and will forevermore.

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I am Pro-Life and Why

In high school, I wanted to be a nun, a bride of Jesus Christ.  Not just any nun, but a Maryknoll nun.  One who would minister to the poor, bring them the knowledge of Jesus Christ.  I loved Jesus, loved my rosary and did not fit in too well with others.  I was unsure of myself and quite shy.  There were stresses at home that added to that.  I graduated high school never having been asked on a date, never attending my Senior Prom, still waiting for that first magical kiss.  I was afraid to tell anyone I wanted to be a nun.  After all, they were smart and I wasn’t.  They expected you to go to college, learn Latin.  No, that was nothing someone like me could do.  So you can see, I had a self-image problem, from the very beginning:  too fat, not pretty enough, not good at sports,  not good at school work, few friends.  I had no idea what kind of future I could have not with a pedigree like that! There she was, no skills, few friends, no social life.  She discovered a place where none of that mattered, where she could just be, she found dance clubs.  Finally, she was not a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.  The local military base made one club her favorite as was no shortage of handsome young men to dance with, sometimes take her out on a date.  It did not happen often, those dates, but going to those clubs made her feel more like a part of life.

My parents had sent me to secretarial school, but my typing was sad and my shorthand worse.  Before they kicked me out, I dropped out.  I did not want my parents to know that I wasn’t smart enough to do what my mother had no trouble doing.  It seemed better to look the rebellious teenager.  So Mom and Dad got me a job at a local bank.  There too, it seemed I was another square peg in a round hole.  The other tellers only talked to me if the absolutely had to and would make sure I knew I was not part of the group.  Well, I quit.

In the process I did find a place where I fit in, on the discotheque or dance club scene.  Every now and then I would actually have a date.  One Saturday night my date stood me up.  I announced to no one in particular; “Well, I am going out anyway.”   Mom warned me that it wasn’t right, a lone girl going into a bar alone. “ Oh Mom, it isn’t a bar and I know everyone there.  Besides if he shows up I don’t want him to think I didn’t have anything better to do!”    I had no idea how right my mother was, but I had gotten into the habit of arguing and doing the opposite of whatever my parents said.

I headed on out to my favorite club which was a ways from home, but it was near a military base so obviously to an eighteen year old, the best possible place to go.  When I got there I waved to the owner and the bartenders and then saw a young man I had been wanting to know better.    We made small talk for a bit and then he asked if I could run him back to the base so he could grab some more money, he was running light. It was a pretty common thing so I didn’t think much of it.  One had to hold a certain rank to be permitted a car and many of the non-coms just hadn’t been in long enough to make rank.

When we got to the car he reached for my keys,  “I’ll drive,” he said.

“Oh no you don’t,” I said laughing.  “You’ve had too much to drink.  I don’t want my car wrecked!”

SLAP!  The blow landed hard across my face and almost knocked me to the ground.

“I said “I’ll drive!'” he said again, anger edging his voice.  He picked the keys up from where they had fallen out of my hand onto the ground and opened the passenger door for me to get in.  Now, I should have ran immediately back into the club screaming my head off, but at eighteen I was nowhere near as sophisticated or street smart as I thought myself to be.    I got in quietly, afraid to argue more, too naive  to be smart.

He be-bopped around her car and slid into the driver’s seat;   “Boy, you have short legs,” he remarked as he pushed the seat back.  They were not bucket sets so the entire seat slid back.  I did not respond, just looked out the window and wondered if she was going to have a black eye.  I will never forget him trying to joke me into a party mood.

He maneuvered the car out of the parking lot and turned right.   “Wait, the base is left, why did you turn this way?” I was afraid he would hit me again, but was afraid he had forgotten his left from his right.  He wasn’t drunk, he knew exactly what he was doing.

“Oh, just a little something I wanted to show you.” he remarked casually.

I had heard of these tryst spots and did not want to have anything to do with one.  What went on in those spots was something I was not ready for and did not want to learn about.  “I don’t want to see, let’s just go to the base.  I promise I won’t say a word about what happened and you can get another ride back to the bar if you want, I just want to go home.”

“Aw, come on, I promise, nothing will happen, it’s just a nice quiet place, you’d like it.”  He never took his eyes off the road.

I felt  helpless and lost and moved closer to the door wondering if I could just open the door and fall out of the car.  I looked around and didn’t recognize anything and was too afraid to jump from a moving car.  So I stayed put and hoped for the best.  I just wanted to go home.

He stopped in a deserted area facing a swamp that opened eventually onto the Atlantic Ocean.  She was truly lost.  There was no water to see,  just cattails that belied the wetness of the area.  He had driven pretty far in so they were surrounded I couldn’t tell other than by the back of the car which way we had come in.

He reached over and tried to pull me to him.  I resisted.  He chuckled and moved across the bench seat himself and began to try to seduce me with gentle kisses; but those gentle kisses became harsher and angrier as I tried to push him away.

SLAP!  POW!  I saw stars.  The slap had not been too bad but the punch, I had never been hit so hard in my  life.  I was terrified.  I didn’t know what to do next but knew what he planned and what he would do.  So there I was, in the middle of who knew where with a man who had no problem beating me up to get his way.  How far would he go?  How much did I want to get hit?  I stopped, stopped resisting, stop responding in any way.  I just laid there.   This was my  first experience with a man and I was beyond terrified.

After a time, he seemed satisfied and sat up and started the car and drove to the base.  No words were exchanged until he stopped the car in front of his barracks.  “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that,” he began;  “If I ever want a date with a really nice girl I will call you.”

I just looked straight ahead.  Again I could have called for help, could have told an MP what had happened.  I was still so afraid, and now so ashamed.  Mom had been right;  now I was used.

On the way home, my car started to act up with loud backfires and billows of black smoke.  I   got as far as my girlfriend’s house.  All the lights were out but  the car would go no farther.  The entire family got up.  I scrubbed my face with my hands, put on a smile and asked if I could spend the night.  Once in Deb’s house, I ran upstairs to her bedroom and looked at my panties.  Tthere was the proof of innocence stolen, they were covered in blood.  I screamed  a loud, horrified scream and fell on the bed sobbing.

“Is everything alright?  What is wrong?  Did something happen to you?: Mrs. Rizzi called up the stairs.   Deb ran to the door.

“Everything is fine, she was just a little nervous and then tripped and scared herself.  She is fine,” Deb called down, trying to cover for me.

Mr. Rizzi called my dad to advise where I was.  He shared that he thought something bad may have happened.  Kate had not realized how bad she had looked, pale face, in a state of shock.

The next morning  mom and dad came out to pick me up.  They wanted to see the condition of the car and what it might need.  The car engine had blown up and the men decided there was no point even having it towed home so the appropriate arrangements were made.  I climbed into the back of Dad’s car and  did not utter a word all the way home.  Mom and Dad tried to find out what had happened but I stayed tight lipped.

In in those days, a girl was either good or nice.  A good girl was a virgin, married a nice man and raised children.  A nice girl was the town tramp.  I was no longer a good girl, I was a tramp.  With that in mind I began to act the part in the way I dressed, talked, and acted.

Dad found this out, what I had become when he  was talking to someone who was new to the town.  He started to talked about a town tramp he had heard about who was pretty friendly.  He only knew her first name and had a general description.  As he described her and finally gave the name, her father froze.  The man had described his daughter, Kate down to her name.

Mom and Dad tried to get me into counseling which I refused; they tried to restrict my activities by locking me out if I came in too late or threatening to kick me out.  I would give them a blank stare and say  “If that is what you want.”  I didn’t figure I deserved much else.

Finally I became pregnant.  My parents had no regard for the man I had been dating.  I was in love with him and had daydreams of us raising this child in a land of rainbows and lollipops.  Dad ordered him to marry me.  Well you didn’t order Frank to do anything.  He refused.  I was in such a state of confusion and denial I just sat there.   Dad and Frank had a pretty bad argument and Dad decided I would never marry him.  I was whisked off  out of the country for a very illegal abortion.

He was a real doctor and did a number of abortions for people in the States.  He was all business and never thought about the placement of the equipment.  The vacuum tube ran right next to my face.  As the babe was pulled into pieces as the suction machines do, the tube would vibrate as larger parts of my now  dead baby were pulled through the tube.  I will never forget the sound or the vibrating of that tube. suctioned out.  In the recovery room I cried the tears of a mother who lost her child.  In my mind an entirely new persona was forming.  I had been just a tramp.  Now I was a tramp and a murderess.  I was worse, I had murdered my baby.  What could possibly be lower or more disgusting?

This all took place a few days before Christmas.  When I returned home, I slipped out of the house to return Frank’s Navy sailor shirt and other things to him.  We sat down on the steps at his rooming house and he apologized for everything and said he thought we should get married.  I responded with one sentence; “It’s too late.”  We sat in silence for a while and then I got up and left.  The next night we found ourselves at the house where he rented a room for Christmas Eve.  Mom and Dad were trying to get me to leave the room where Frank was and sit in the dining room with them.  My deviant behavior kicked in and I began to jump up and down as hard as I could.  I refused to stop and the more people told me to the harder and faster I would jump.

I started drinking heavily and had a brush with alcoholism.  I quit drinking for two years but prior to the shock of possible alcoholism; my hard drinking would drown out either what was happening to me or give me the false courage to drive my car into the big oak trees that grew in my neighborhood.  The car would never seem to cooperate as my suicide weapon and sometimes I would scream in frustration and fury.

Even though I stopped drinking, my destructive behavior continued and Mom and Dad finally talked me into seeing a psychologist.  He did not seem very caring or interested so I put on my show face.  I was sent to a  woman but I was having no more of it.  They couldn’t change what was or had been and in my mind they were putting me down, pointing figers at me.  Secular psychiatry offers a hurting person no help, no answers, at least it didn’t for me.  They did not see what I needed.  I needed to have my soul treated first.  They were starting in the wrong place, putting the cart before the horse as it were.  No one realized I still wanted to be a nun, dedicate my life to God, but a murderess, a killer of babies?  I deserved hell and I knew it.

Years went by and she produced another pregnancy, out of wedlock.  I was forced out of the Navy, harassed by the Navy wives, abused by the doctors who would examine me and I found myself back home with Mom and Dad, this time an unwed mother at twenty five.

When I let it be known that the baby’s father was Philippine I was told I had to put it up for adoption.  Besides, it would be better for the baby, what could I possibly offer it, someone like me.  I was loose and a single parent.  I had finally found an obstetrician who treated me with kindness and compassion.  He gave me permission to keep the baby.  Erick’s birth did not fix me.  I was still the tramp who had killed her baby.  I was a good mother or tried to be but I always saw myself as garbage.

I married Bob, a monster.  He beat Erick to a pulp, this made my final failure complete.  I had allowed a monster to beat and possibly permanently damage my child.   The marriage lasted five months.  Again, she was back with her parents, dependent on them as she could not earn a living wage to feed her and her precious son.   He had become her identity, for she had none that she was willing to look at.

As a single parent, I was shunned by married women as a threat to their marriage.  I knew they had nothing to worry about, but evidently they were not secure in their marriage.  I hated them for that and had “fun” with their attitudes and insecurities.  Deep down it hurt so much, but  I was used to it.

I met Frank number 2 and we married and I had two more children.  I asked Jesus to come into my heart, to be my Lord and Savior, to forgive my sins.  Jesus did, I did not.   I lived under the guilt of what had happened so many years ago.  Eventually I lost sight of why Jesus could possibly love or forgive me.   I would reach out to Him – I knew then and know now that he is truth and salvation, but how could I have that I was a  murderess, worse, the murderer of my own baby.

The trials of life continued, my younger sons made  disappointing choices, I buried my parents, suffered merciless nightmares begged God, apologized to Him, became unbelievably defensive.  I was coming undone, not much was mattering any more.  All she could see was baby killer.

One sad night Jesus came to me,  a dream a vision, I can’t say, but He was there.  He dressed me in a white gown and put the most beautiful white veil on my head.  He told me I was pure just as my name, Kathleen meant.  I shook my head and He stopped me;  “You are pure because of My blood.  You are my bride and you are pure with no stain of sin.”  For forty eight years I  had punished myself for that act; longer still for the rape.

Sexual sin, be you the sinner or victim damages you for the rest of your life.  I was that girl, I am now that woman and fir the first time in almost fifty years I am beginning to put that sin, the sins it led to, the guild it caused behind.  I still give praise because Jesus took what was broken and through His love, mended it, mended me.  I am still mending.

 

 

 

 

We Are Resolved

 

It was March of 2017 and a new president had been elected and sworn in.  It was amazing how quickly he got Congress to pass his proposed legislation.  He had literally shredded the Constitution and the citizens were in shock.  Although the House and Senate still met, they now had little power.  With the retirement of Justices Ginsberg and Kennedy, the new appointees guaranteed the new president would rarely face open controversy.

The citizens of Mentone, AL, a small town near Lookout Mountain, stood in a solemn, quiet line in Christ’s Word Church, the largest building in the area.  All were required to register and be assigned to a community worker’s group.  The new president believed in community participation and required each citizen to participate.  Of course, the leader of each community group would be keeping very specific records as to the “voluntary” work and the comings and goings of each family under his “care.”   On preliminary review, the reason seemed logical: research indicated when a family was about to or in the process of facing a crisis and this scrutiny would help the government to put the appropriate agency or assistance in place.

There were soldiers present were menacing with their stoic faces and blue helmets.

The Chief Community Leader stepped up to the microphone at the pulpit. “In the interest of community spirit and cooperation, we ask that every individual cooperate: first, whoever has any, turn in illegal or restricted books, tapes, or other reading material.  This includes Bibles, in writing or on tape, movies or stories using the Bible, or other books, movies, or tapes trying to foist the lie of the Bible over the public.

Second, turn in any weapons and ammunition you may have in your home.  Again, this is for your own safety.

Third, allow us to implant an ID in your wrist it is far safer if your social security number is implanted into you.  President Saunders believes this will cut down on the problem of identity theft and preserve more of your rights.

Finally, select the styles of the state provided outfits you like.  You can always purchase more for a nominal fee.  The colors will identify your place in our community such profession, religious belief, ethnicity, etc.  We promise to get you in and out as quickly as possible.

“If you do not cooperate with these directives, troops will enter your home to recover the contraband and you will be sent to a re-education facility,” reminded Mill Sikes, Mentone’s appointed leader.

Sally, whose parents had owned the local café, leaned over to Mayor Mike Calloway, “Mayor,” we can’t do all this, what are we going to do?”

“Pass the word, quietly, be careful who you tell; ‘Meeting in the cave in two hours.’”

Sally nodded and moved away.

Two hours later, Mayor Calloway was facing about 20 men and women.

“Okay everyone, they expect us to register and follow their rules.  I say no.  You signed a resolution about this place.  Now are you ready to make a resolution to God?  One that means we will be true to him no matter what the cost?

“I resolve!”  was heard from one end of the cave to the other.

“Pastor Roberts, does this mean it has started?” called Ben.

Pastor looking up and gave the answer everyone was dreading.  Yes, Ben, that is why so many people are missing.  This is the beginning of the Tribulation.  There was a collective sigh and without any direction, everyone decided to talk to God.  “Lord God, stumbled Mayor Mike, I ask you to protect these brave men and women.  Even though they erred, their repentance is genuine.  Please protect them and keep them save in your loving arms.    The people turned quietly and left to go get what they needed to prepare for a long stay to hide from the oppressors, the government.

Calloway turned to Paul Roberts, the pastor.  “Well, Paul, I think it is time for that closet you talked about.”  Both men turned and walked deeper into the house Thessalonians 1:11-12English Standard Version (ESV)

11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Clash of World Views

It happened in the days of Adam, in the days of David, in the days of Jesus and still happens today.  Worldviews are a politically correct way of explaining why people put their own ideas in front of God’s ideas. The majority of the world follows a post modernistic or an Islamic worldview (which will not be discussed).  Postmodernism is a term used to describe a way of thinking ruled by humanistic relativism.  Its beginnings can be found in the writings of Nietzsche, Marx, and Freud.  These ideas are very close to new age thinking  which allows each individual to create his own reality and morality.  God and traditional teachings tend to be ignored.  There is no absolute truth, no absolute right and wrong.

This flies in the face of a Christian or Biblical worldview which is founded on the Bible and accepted by Christians and Jews to be the infallible Word of God.    It sets moral boundaries as found in the Ten Commandments and requires a total commitment to all of its tenants.  If you disagree with one part, you must then disagree with all.  In addition,  if you agree with a Biblical world view, as stated in James, you must live it for faith without works is dead.   A Biblical Worldview requires action while a Post-modernistic worldview requires adherents to do nothing.

We are constantly under a barrage of messages from a worldly view of today’s society through the  TV shows we watch, the commercials we see, the emphasis in most news reports to even the teachings in the classroom.  Just recently this country celebrated the legalization of gay marriage.  And those who would normally offer services for wedding ceremonies and would prefer not to be involved in such a union can be sued and their lives and livelihoods destroyed.  Those who did not agree with this were called intolerant, homophobic, haters, and a raft of other unflattering names.  Similar things happened in the days of Noah, people had left what they knew was right and fell into sexual sin.  As a result of the sinfulness, which went far beyond deviant sexual appetites, God had Noah build an ark and He flooded the world and started again with Noah’s family.   But people again fell away from God and it became most apparent in Sodom and Gomorrah which were eventually destroyed once Lot was rescued by angels.

It does not take long to see that although those with a post-modernistic view may say that everything is relative and truth is relative; adherents become extremely intolerant of a Biblical world view.  Those who believe in public prayer, disagree with sex before marriage, abortion, selling of fetal body parts, transgenderism, same sex marriage and the right to adopt and raise children are ridiculed, targeted as the object of crude jokes, skipped over for promotions, or run out of business.  The two philosophical concepts are totally diametrically opposed, there is no common ground.

There are many “Christian” churches that are not Christian at all.  They have set aside teachings in the Bible and replaced them with statements such as “God is Love” and theorize from that statement that God loves all mankind and would never sentence anyone to an eternity in hell.  While it is true that God does love all mankind He loves the sinner, but hates the sin.  Thus, if the sinner does not repent of his sin, there is no alternative but hell.  For if we do not accept the mercy offered by Jesus Christ, we must face the judgement of the law.  As Jesus stated in John:

John 3:16-18 (NIV)

“16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

One can say that he believes in Jesus Christ but then again, so does Satan.  It is not enough to acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God and that He came to die for our sins.  One must repent of sin and acknowledge that His only way to heaven is through the blood of Jesus Christ.  To purposely live in sin indicates that in your heart and soul, you have one accepted Him as your Lord and Savior because you are following your rules rather than His.  Think of what Psalm 19 says.

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.

If the law of the Lord is perfect and his statues trustworthy and the precepts right, then it is incumbent on a believer to follow them.  If an individual can set aside emotion and simply compare the two worldviews, it begins to become obvious that some serious introspection needs to be done.  I will leave you with one more bible verse to consider.

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body,                                                                                       but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your                                                                                          bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?                                                                              You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies.”  

1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Staying Safe

Staying safe in today’s world takes more than if you arm yourself with the best tactical folding knife made or a powerful stun gun or  a pepper spray, they could prove to be more of a disaster than a deliverance.  It takes more than arming yourself with defensive items, if you do not plan using a purse of the right size and accessibility and practice how you will hold yourself, how you will keep your hand free and on the defensive spray you could be worse off than if you had nothing with you at all.

Allow me to give you an example of what I mean.   I had an item on layaway in a store and went to pay for it but they had not upgraded their system so my chipped VISA would not work.  As a result, I had to drive to the bank and get cash from the ATM.  There were a number of people from the next county and they were angry, loud, and arguing with each other.  There was a younger, powerful looking black man behind me and he has started to try to talk to me. Another heavy set man was leaning over his car and had been leering since I had gotten there.  There I am in this group of people holding $440 all in twenties.  That is a big wad of money and was difficult for me to hide.  I had an excellent tactical folding knife in my purse along with some pepper spray but forgot I had any of it.  I couldn’t get back to my car fast enough and hit the door lock button and with shaking hand started the car, backed out and took off.  If anyone had walked up behind me I would have knocked them down.   By the time I got back to the store, I was shaking badly.

That should not have happened, in fact, I knew better.  I found I had been too sure of myself, too convinced that I could handle anything.  Since I have been out of the classroom, I have become lax.  After several conversations with my sons I realize several things, in no specific order:

  1. Do NOT deal with a store that does not have an upgraded system in place as a chipped card will not work in an older system, causing the problem I had to deal with.
  2. Make sure the purse you carry is roomy enough that you can keep defensive equipment in an easily accessible place. Do NOT carry a small purse that is over stuffed, you will be at a disadvantage.  Make sure you know how to use the defensive item.  If you have a knife, do NOT pull it.  Use your pepper spray or stun gun.
  3. When possible, do not go alone. Take a girlfriend, a group of friends, significant other or husband.  Those who mean someone else ill, will target a lone individual before they will two or more people.
  4. Watch some video’s on YouTube about self-defense using pepper spray and then stand in front of a mirror and imitate the move until it is automatic and smooth. Continue to practice once a week or so to keep the movement fresh. (Here are some I watched:  https://youtu.be/Xf5LjaE_JQ0 or  https://youtu.be/GIkB9r1oe8U  and https://youtu.be/pdjcF8stAgo )
  5. If you see a situation developing that has a potential for trouble, leave. You can purchase the item later, go to another ATM, see the movie another time.   The first rule in self-defense is to diffuse and avoid.
  6. ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings; nearest exits, where people are, what they are wearing, how they are acting.
  7. Make sure you present a confident, self-assured image. Shoulders should be back, steps purposeful, meet people by looking them in the eye.  As a high school teacher of special populations (mostly emotional handicapped) I have stopped many a confrontation with teenagers while teaching high school by staring them down.   You are supposed to be scared; you don’t have to let anyone else know.  Make them think you know something they don’t.  Act like you do have that concealed weapon in your pocket or purse.  If you hunch your shoulders, look at the ground, act in a timid fashion, you are inviting problems.  Confidence will cause people looking to give you a problem to think twice.
  8. Use your voice. It should be bold, confident, and never belie any fear or concern.  YOU are the one in charge, act like it.  People will often back down just by seeing a take charge attitude.  I don’t care if you are five foot two and ninety-eight pounds soaking wet or a five foot eight body builder, a take charge attitude and voice goes a long way.  If that is not your usual demeanor, practice it.
  9. In a situation such as I was in on Saturday, do NOT brandish a weapon. It is uncalled for.  You can probably get yourself out of it just by a confident walk, meeting people in the eye as a take charge person, and using “the voice” if you need to talk.   Part of the responsibility of carrying a concealed weapon is having the common sense of when to use it and when not to.  In nine situations out of ten, you will not need to pull it.

Had I done this type of preparation, I would not have panicked in the situation I faced on Saturday.  When you are prepared and know what you are going to do, you are far less likely to panic and over react.  The time it took me to calm down was time wasted.

So to wrap this up, it does not matter how good your defensive equipment is if you are not familiar with it.  So practice using it, voice and tone are important, no weak voice, be sure to be firm, meet your confronter and stare him in his eyes, do not look away, that belies weakness.  Walk with power, shoulders back, taking in your surroundings, nearest exits, where groups of people are.  Be sure you select purses that allow you to have a special spot for your defensive gear and practice keeping your hand near it and shopping with one hand.  Never, ever carry a weapon, even if you have a concealed carry permit, until you can develop that powerful, alert presence.  A scared person is a danger to herself and those around her.  It is just like anything else, practice, practice, practice.

There is no reason why you cannot go out, enjoy yourself, and have freedom of movement.  In today’s world, you simply need to understand the potential for violence and prepare for it!

 

 

 

Papa Learns to be Wise

 

It was a sunny afternoon in July and Papa Frank stopped by to see Jackson, Jasmine, and Jackson.  They had been to the beach and had just gotten home.  Momma had just given each of them a shower to get rid of all the salt and sand and was getting them ready for nap.  Of course, nap was not a favorite thing and they were complaining bitterly.

When Papa came to the door, Matthew, greeted him.  “Hey, Dad, come on in.  Is Mom out shopping again?”

“Her and her shopping; she’s getting her nails done too.  I just don’t understand what all the fuss is about.  Women are always worrying about nails, make-up, new clothes all the time.  I’ve been wearing this same pair of jeans for … oh I don’t know, three years now.”  said Papa Frank.

Matt chuckled; Teresa is the same way, when we have the money.  I think it is some sort of urge women are born with.”

“Daddy!  Daddy! Do we have to take a nap?” cried Jasmine as she ran out from the bathroom all clean and refreshed from her shower.   “I’m not sleepy and if you make me go to bed I will be very sad. “

“Hi Papa Frank”

“Hi Princess “Papa Frank responded. “Did you have fun at the beach?”

“Oh, yes,  Daddy and I built a sand castle but then my brother runed it;  and we went in the water.  I stepped on a star fish, I did not like that so Daddy threw it in deeper water.    We saw little fish swimming and then a heli…helichopper came and told everyone to get out of the water because there was a shark!  We waited and waited but Mommy and Daddy said we had to come home.” Jasmine said.

“Well it sounds like you had a wonderful day.”  replied Papa Frank.

“Yeah, but it’s nap time and I hate nap time!  It’s not fair!  I’m not sleepy, I don’t want a nap!”

Momma was just walking out of the bathroom with a very fussy Jackson who also did not want a nap and said, “Now you know tonight is the first night of Vacation Bible School.  You want to be ready for that, don’t you?”

“Oh, Yes Mama!  We are going to King Solomon’s Court tonight!”  Jasmine was jumping up and down with excitement.  “Is my shirt ready?  Did you finish my special hat?”

“Everything is already,” Momma assured them, “and you need your nap so you can have fun in King Solomon’s Court tonight.  Remember, we are learning about being wise.”

“What’s wise, Daddy?”  Jackson looked up at his dad, yawning.

“Well son being wise is knowing how to make the right decision even when you really want to do something else that seems to be more fun.  Having wisdom is very hard unless you look to God and know His Word.  We are not wise, but we can be wise by reading the Bible.”

Papa Frank had been listening to this.  He was quiet for a minute and then, in a soft voice said, “You know, it’s my naptime too.  But all this talk about being wise has made me remember a time when I wasn’t very wise.

“When was that, Dad?” asked Matt, sitting down with Jackson in his lap.  Jasmine clapped and scrambled on the couch to get close to Papa Frank.  Teresa just shook her head and sat down too, knowing the story would come before the nap.

Well, when I was younger I was in the Air Force….

“Did you fly those big fast planes, Papa?” asked Jasmine.

“No, Princess, I never piloted any planes, I did other stuff.

It was in 1971, before even your dad was born, the Air Force sent me to work in a country called Turkey.”

Jasmine giggled, “You lived in a bird?”

“No, Princess, it was a country like the United States where we live is a country.”

“Well, it sure has a funny name.” countered Jasmine.

“I’ll agree with you there, Princess,” chuckled Papa Frank.

“Well, what about this story about wisdom?” Teresa said.

“Turkey had a lot of people living there who did not like Americans or people who believed different from them.   They wanted to shoot Americans.”

“That’s mean, Papa.  Didn’t Jesus say we have to love each other?”

“Yes, Princess, but not everyone believes in Jesus and these people did not.  The Air Force told us we should not walk around the city alone so when we left our base, a whole bunch of us would go.  One night, we went to a place to have dinner and some fun.  We had a really good dinner and I was having such a good time I did not notice how late it got and did not pay attention to the group I was with.

After a while, I looked around and the people I came with had gone home, I was alone.  I had no choice but to go home alone.  That was very stupid.  I should have paid attention to what the rest of the group was doing. “

Jackson was curled in Dad’s lap, he had fallen asleep.  Jasmine was struggling to keep her eyes open; she wanted to hear the rest of the story and why Papa said he had been stupid.  She was not even allowed to say that word!

“The Air Force let me live in the city and I had to walk five or six blocks to get to my apartment from where the club.    I put my head down and walked as fast as I could.  I wanted to get home and be safe.  Suddenly I heard a car coming up behind me.  It didn’t go passed me just stayed going really slow behind me.  I figured it was those people who wanted to kill Americans.  I thought they were going to shoot me and I got ready to run.  I knew I was going to be shot, probably eventually killed and at first I was really scared, then something happened I decided They would have to kill me, they would never take me alive.  So I took one quick look behind me before I took off running and saw it was a sport’s car, a Mustang.  I knew that terrorists did not drive Mustangs and it turned out to be someone dropping off their friend.  But I had gotten myself so worked up thinking I was going to get shot that my knees got weak and I couldn’t walk too well.”

Jasmine, despite all her efforts had fallen asleep while in the cradle of Papa’s arms.

Papa looked down at her, “Looks like an angel, doesn’t she?”

Matt looked over at his daughter fondly, then at his father.  “I seem to remember that story, Dad.  Your point about wisdom was a good one.  You should have paid attention to your group.”

“That’s right, Matt,” responded Papa.  If I had learned my Bible I would have learned I can have fun and stay safe at the same time.  Solomon even talked about it in Ecclesiastes.”

“That’s right,” responded Matt.  “It’s in Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, a time for everything.”

“That’s right, son.  As I recall, pretty much all of proverbs is about wisdom too.”

“Well, we will have a whole week to talk about it in VBS and around the table at dinner.  Don’t forget, dinner is early this week because of VBS.”

“I’ll remind your mother, see if she wants to eat early when she isn’t working.”

“Good idea, Dad.  Hey, thanks for helping get the kids down for a nap.”

Papa laughed softly.  “Well, my stories are good for something!”

“Oh, Frank, they are great! “  said Teresa.

“Well, let’s get these young’uns to bed.  I’m ready for a nap too!”

 

 

Proverbs 4:5-9 (NIV)

Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get[a] wisdom.
Though it cost all you have,[b] get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.”

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-14  (NIV)

 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

*When fear is used in this way it means respect.