How Do We Navigate The World From A Christian Perspective?


venice-italy-outdoor-scenic-161980.jpegSmooth sailing…that’s what we all would like, isn’t it? Navigating through the issues that this world presents is anything but smooth sailing. We are constantly bombarded with information and news about problems in all parts of the world. How do we sort it all out? How do we make sense of the things we need to? Can we find the time to contemplate the really important matters that face us? And what about the issues behind the issues? I don’t have all the answers, but I would like to share my thoughts on some of the subjects we all deal with. And I would love your input, too. Come join me as we learn to navigate the world from a Christian perspective.



Mystery Blogger Award

A big THANK YOU to Joni for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award.  Joni writes Grief to Life, an inspirational blog by a single mom who is raising kids after her husband passed away. Please check her blog out…one read and you will be as hooked like I was.

Mystery Blogger Award

The Mystery Blogger Award was created by Okoto Enigma’s Blog…in her words…”The Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers and their ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. they are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.”


1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.

2. List the rules.

3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.

7.  Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

8. Ask you nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).

9. Share a link to your best post(s).

So here goes:

Three things about me: 1. I love ancient history. 2. I have a vivid imagination. 3. I live on two continents (in my mind…because my family lives on two continents).

Answers to Joni’s questions:

1. Why did you start blogging? 

I was NEVER  going to blog and one day I felt like I was supposed to start and so I did.

2. If you had to change your name, what name would you choose and why? I would choose Valeria as my first name and my mother’s maiden name as my last name.

3. You are about to get into a fight, what song comes on your soundtrack?  “Stop, in the Name of Love.”

4. If you could write one new law that everyone had to obey, what would it be and why?  My law would read: BE KIND.

5. What’s the meanest thing you have done to someone to get back at them? I stood on the kitchen counter and waited for my older brother to come home from school and punched him in the face ( I was pretty small at the time). He was not hurt but he didn’t make fun of me any more!

Link to one of my best post (favorite) post: The Ultimate Flea Market Flipper.


R.W. Morgan – Grand Narrative

Lydia Reyes – Planted by the Rivers of Water

Dawn Running Strong

Through Ink and Image

Confessions of a Type A Woman

Quo Vadis – Jack’s Blog

Jane Duquette

The Fashioned Woman

Ruins and Rosemary

Historical Ragbag

A big thank you for the inspiration you have provided to me in the past year!

Five questions for my nominees:

1. If you could live in any other time period, when would it be and where would you live?

2. Which historical character would you have liked to have been and why?

3. What is your favorite book?

4. What is your favorite quote?

5. What is the quirkiest thing you have done?

Thank you again to Joni – Grief to Life for the nomination. I encourage all of you to check out all of these blogs! 











Guilt – Discerning the Real from the False

Guilt – just say the word and we think about the times we have felt it. It is an easy emotion to feel for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes we have done something wrong but other times we have had unrealistic expectations of ourselves and when we don’t meet them, we feel guilt. Others can have unrealistic expectations of us and try to make us feel guilty for not measuring up to them. There are two kinds of guilt – real and false and we need to learn how to discern between the two.  

adult alone boy building

Photo by Pixabay on

Have you ever done something wrong and you feel bad almost immediately? That emotion is called guilt and it is built into us. We all have a conscience and when we do something wrong, our conscience lets us know and we feel guilt, real true guilt. We have crossed a line we shouldn’t have crossed, we have lied, stolen, or hurt someone. That conscience has been built into us by God and it is there to help keep us on track.

What do we do with that guilt? We feel awful about what we have done and now, how do we make it right? The Lord has given us a way to feel okay inside again in His word. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 God, himself, knew we would transgress his eternal commandments and hurt others and he provided a way for us to be clean from our wrongdoings. We “confess” our sins to him. We talk to him and agree with him that we have done wrong. Many times, he then requires that we go and make it right with the other person.

At that point, we have come full circle. We have done wrong, confessed it and made it right. The guilt we felt was a positive thing because it caused us to acknowledge our wrong doing before God and many times to the person we have offended.

monochrome photography of woman wearing cross necklace

Photo by mohamed Abdelgaffar on

But what about false guilt? Does such a thing exist? I think it does and I have experienced it many times. We do something right, something we were supposed to do and we are struck by a wave of guilt. Does this guilt come from our conscience or does it spring from our own insecurity or some other insidious force? It can come from many places. I know because I have experienced it a lot. I think we all have.

Just the other day, my husband asked me to type up a speech he was going to give at a graduation ceremony. He left and I wanted to surprise him while he was gone, so I went ahead and typed it up. He was not there to answer any questions I had, so I just typed it up the way I thought it read. I gave it to him and thought he would find it perfect, or at least almost perfect. Instead, he started reading and correcting it. There were several corrections in it and I could hear him writing on the printed copy. I began to feel bad. How had I missed so many things? How could I have made so many mistakes? Did I really do a bad job? For about five minutes I felt really bad; I felt false guilt.

He handed the papers back to me to correct. I looked at them and there were not near as many corrections on them as I thought there would be. Some of the things he had written were additions, but my mind had imagined they were corrections and I had done badly. Where did those feelings spring from, my own insecurity perhaps? I don’t know, but I know that for a while I felt really bad. I felt that false guilt that can attack us for no reason and pummel us with negative feelings.

False guilt can also be put on us by others. Perhaps our friends or family members have expectations of us that are unrealistic and they want us to meet them. When we don’t, they can say things that make us feel guilty. But have we done anything wrong? No. We have just not lived up to someone’s idea of what we should be doing. “Should” is a word that is often associated with false guilt. We say to ourselves, “I should have done something different. If I had, others would be happy with me.”

We have to be on the lookout for false guilt because it can attack us at the strangest times. We can do something good or something right and we can begin to feel guilty for no reason whatsoever. We can question our motives and let that questioning take us down a wrong path. We have to be really discerning about the emotions we feel , because many times what our emotions are telling us is not true.

How do we do this? Well, we can speak truth to ourselves and try to listen and hear that truth.  If that doesn’t work we can call a friend. I have one friend I can call and she will listen to whatever I am feeling and help me sort out my feelings. She will tell me if what I am feeling is false guilt and that I need to let it go. If you can’t hear the truth from yourself or a friend, go to God. Ask Him to help you discern what you are feeling and let go of the false guilt. He is always there to help you!

Guilt, it’s a big one…we all feel it and we all have to learn to deal with it. How do you discern between the real and false guilt in your life?     


Faux Feelings


Faux…the French word for false. We have been using it in the English vocabulary since the 1600’s. Since the 1980’s it has been used in the general vocabulary to denote something that is a false version of the original. It does sound so much better than “fake” when we are talking about marble, leather or fingernails. It verbally puts a shine on whatever we are referring to. Unless of course, you are talking about fur. Faux fur is in…we don’t want to see people walking around wearing the real thing (unless it’s raccoon, then we can laugh our heads off). So faux fur is a positive thing…nothing wrong with a fake in this category!

So the word faux can refer to something positive or negative depending on what it is modifying. Have you ever thought of faux in regard to your feelings? Or more to the point, have you ever thought about the word faux when you expressed an opinion on something you didn’t really care about? It has happened to me a few times, and this is how it happened.

I would be sitting with a group of ladies having lunch or dinner and a subject would come up in the conversation. Maybe I would not have any opinion one way or the other, but because I wasn’t expressing myself, I felt like I wasn’t contributing to the conversation. So I would say something, something false, something faux, that I wasn’t really feeling, just to be part of the conversation.

After I left the group, I would begin to feel uneasy about the way I spoke on that subject. I knew I didn’t really care about that issue and I expressed a false opinion. It happened to me a few times and I decided change the way I handled the situation. Now, if I am in a group and a subject comes up that I really don’t care about, I just sit and listen. If I am asked about an opinion, I can tell the truth, whatever that is. Even if it means saying, “Oh that, it doesn’t really bother me at all!” I know, it does brings the drama quotient down a few notches, but I feel much better about just being honest.

It’s not always easy, though. A lot of the things that may bother others may not necessarily bother me. When I sit there quietly, I don’t feel part of the group and I feel different, especially if the subject is discussed for any length of time by all the girls, and if the emotions get higher and higher the longer the conversation goes on.  I am getting used to being a bit uncomfortable for the sake of not expressing a faux opinion about something. I’ve decided it’s okay to be different and to think differently.

How about you? Do you struggle when you are in a group? Have you ever expressed a faux opinion just to be a part of the group and take part of the conversation? How did you learn to deal with it? 





There are a lot of things I don’t understand. There are also a lot of things that I know exist but I cannot see them and I don’t understand how they work. Take the connections between people for example; I know they exist but I don’t know exactly what they look like in the unseen realm. 


When two people marry, they become connected. The Scripture says, “and the two shall become one flesh.” Mark 10:4 We know that marriage produces a physical union but there is also a union of the spirit, soul and mind. Within a few years of being married to my husband, I could be sitting in a room thinking of something and he would bring up that same thought or subject within a few minutes. Now, after several decades together, it happens all the time and I know we have a real connection. This connection I understand because we are so close.


What about the connection we have with our children? They are our own flesh and blood and there is a bond there that is undefined but it is almost as strong as the bond between husband and wife. It is not the same kind of connection, though. Even when my sons were living at home, I could be thinking about something, and rarely would they bring up the same subject. And even if they did bring up the subject, we didn’t necessarily agree on the topic.

What astounded me about the connection, though, was when I saw it in action. Years ago, our youngest son was stationed in Kuwait somewhere along the Iraqi border. He was in a time zone that was eleven hours ahead of us and he rarely got to call home. There was a SAT phone in the compound and every few weeks at a different time, he would call us. Day or night we would speak to him for about twenty minutes. Without fail, within about fifteen minutes of that call, our oldest son would give us a call. He was living in another city, and of course, was concerned about his brother. We would tell him the news, but I was always surprised that his call would come so soon after his younger brother’s.  Why was he prompted to call us? It must have been the unseen connection he had with his brother and with us.


Photo by MabelAmber. Courtesy of Pixabay.

What about the connections we have with our close friends? How does that work? The Scripture gives us an example of that when talking about Jonathan and David. In 1 Samuel 18:1, it says that, “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”  I have had a few friends in my life whom I have had that kind connection with. For whatever reason, we have connected and as time passed, our souls became more and more knit together. Many times, I will be thinking about my friend, and she will call me or visa versa. What does that look like in the unseen realm? I don’t know. If I did, I would draw or paint a picture of it.

Connections…I don’t really understand them. But just because I can’t see them doesn’t mean I don’t believe they are real and that they exist. What about you, how would you explain the connections you have with others?

All Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used with permission.



First there were The Thought Police, then the Political Correctness Police and now The Cultural Police….What’s Next?


Many of us went to colleges and universities and took classes from certain professors that insisted we think the way they do. They had a prescribed philosophy and gave us books that agreed with their train of thought. If you didn’t agree with the professor when you turned in your papers, you were downgraded to a low C, D or F.  These professors were part of “The Thought Police” and they were sanctioned by the university to penalize you if you didn’t fall into line with them. 


We got out of school, and we thought, “Great, I don’t have to be subjected to that kind of thought control anymore.” But no, that didn’t happen. We got out in society and we found out there was a different kind of police, “The Political Correctness Police,” and they were very real. If you got close to anyone on either end of the political spectrum, be it on the right or left, you could be arrested by one of “The Political Correctness Police” because you didn’t actually believe exactly the way they did. What a shock it was to find out there were people outside of academia who were trying to control what we thought politically.


Now, there is a new kind of policemen in our midst. They are known as “The Cultural Police.” Step out of line and you will be shamed for improper cultural appropriation. The fact that this is all subjective, depending on the policeman who arrests you, is immaterial. You break the law, boom! You are arrested and shamed on facebook, twitter or other social media.

So what kind of policeman is next on the horizon? Who knows and what can we do about it? How can we stay ahead of whatever will be the next kind of thought control that will be thrown our way?


If we want to stay ahead of the next kind of policeman, we must begin to think critically. Ask questions, do research and don’t fall into a hive mentality where we go along with the crowd just because it is the easiest thing to do. It will take guts to think outside the box and take a chance on not agreeing with whoever is trying to force us to think the way they do. Remember as my father used to say, “God gave you a good brain, use it!”








Friends, Family & Acquaintances – Lepidoptera or Hymenoptera?

We all know a myriad of people and whether we know it or not, we categorize them in our minds. Which people are safe to be around? Which ones make us feel good? Which ones are toxic for us? And finally, which ones do we need to be around for our own good? All legitimate questions and all ones we need to figure out. Sometimes a good visual, taken from entomology, helps us sort out the categories. 


Lepidoptera is the order of insects that includes butterflies. I’ve never actually met a person that did not like butterflies. They are beautiful, varied and couldn’t hurt you if they tried. It’s great to have people like that in our circles. They add beauty to our lives, speak with gracious words, help us up when we are down and encourage us to go forward on paths that we wouldn’t otherwise move forward on. These people are safe and we love to be around them. 

Like butterflies, these people are not always around us. When we run into them or they call us, they are a delight and their presence is a gift to us. They speak healing and life to us and their “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb – sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24. We can not have too many people in this category in our lives.


Then there are the people in the Hymenoptera category. Hymenoptera is the order of insects that includes wasps in it. Just the name wasp brings up negative feelings within ourselves. We try to avoid wasps and spray their nests with insecticide to keep them away from our yards and our houses. The above is not a pretty picture. Wasps can sting you and not die and live to sting you again should you get near them. We want to stay away from them because they can do us real harm. Their venom is toxic to say the least.

We all know people like that within our circles of friends, family and acquaintances. We see them coming our way and we turn and go the other way. When we are invited out to dinner with them, we politely decline. We would not dare tell them anything of importance or relevance about ourselves because they would distort it and use it against us. Wasps are very good at gossip and the tales they have told about us are probably still circulating to this very day. We know we want to avoid wasps like the plague. When dealing with wasps our hope is to know that “Discretion will preserve you, understanding will keep you to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things.” Proverbs 2: 11-12.


Are all the insects in the order of Hymenoptera negative? No, not at all. Take the honey bee, for instance. It will sting if threatened, but only to its own demise. The honey bee will die if it stings you and because of this, it is usually not aggressive. The honey bee does many wonderful things including pollinating flowers and fruit trees and producing that wonderful substance we call honey.     

Just as I value honey bees, I value people who are like them. These people will tell you the truth and though it stings for a moment, the correction they bring will bring life and healing to your soul. They produce good things inside of you because they are willing to put themselves at risk in order to keep you from going in the wrong direction. I value the correction this kind of person brings to my life because “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:6. Ultimately this kind of friend brings a sweetness to my life that I find invaluable. Honey bees are at a premium today and so are good true friends who will tell you the truth with the intention of helping you become the person God created you to be.

I know I’ve placed the people in my circles in their proper categories. How about you? How do your friends, family and acquaintances stack up…Lepidoptera or Hymenoptera?

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used with Permission.




Of Professors or Prophets…Who Should You Trust?

One of the first classes I took at the University was “After the Revolution, What?” It was an upper level Political Science course taught by one of the Chicago Seven. For those of you who don’t remember, there were seven men – political radicals, who were accused of conspiracy to riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. We were to read the books assigned and talk about what life would be like after the political revolution in America. The books assigned were politically to the far end of the left and the discussions were along those same veins. There was even an exercise you could participate in if you wanted extra-credit. One weekend a prison camp was set up and the students were to be the prisoners who had been condemned by the leaders of the revolution. I chose to skip the exercise as I didn’t want to entrust myself to the T.A.’s who were going to be the guards. The next week in class there were several disgruntled students who had been prisoners. Apparently they were not treated well; the young women were especially unhappy with the treatment they had received. 


photo by geralt, courtesy of Pixabay

Within a week or so of taking the class, I realized that I did not agree with the things that were being taught and that I was reading about. There was little talk in class of non-violence when it came to getting your political agenda across. It was perfectly acceptable to force your will or political views upon the population by whatever means necessary, including force.

My first term I was also asked out by a visiting professor and I went on the first date. I did not want a second date and avoided the man; however he would call my dormitory and would conveniently show up where I was many times. I would not say he was a stalker, but whatever the category is right below stalker, he fit in. After two semesters there, I transferred to a different college.

Were all of my professors like that? No. I don’t recall any other negative experiences with my professors in college. Most of them taught their classes and had at least a minimal interest in seeing their students do well. But my first semester taught me a few lessons.

The first was to not accept as truth everything I was being taught. Some of what I heard was an agenda that was being pushed by a professor or his assistants. Just out of high school, I did not have a grip on how to disagree with them in an intelligent fashion and so I stayed quiet. But I did not believe what they were saying and just read the books and took the tests. They could teach me facts, but they didn’t necessarily teach me truth.

The second lesson I learned was not to trust a person just because he or she was in a position of authority. Everyone did not have my best interests at heart and there were more than a few educators out there who had the moral equivalence of an alley cat.


photo by falco, courtesy of pixabay

By the time I was seventeen, I had a good understanding of right and wrong. I knew that forcing someone to assent to your beliefs by violence was wrong. I  didn’t have a thorough understanding of the Scriptures, but I knew they contained some universal truths that I could rely on and trust. I could use what I had been taught as a filter to sift through the new things I was hearing in class. Was it okay to treat people like animals in a prison camp? No. Was it okay to pursue people for your own selfish purposes? No.

Just as it was then, so it is for me today. I know that I can trust the Scriptures to teach me about moral basics like truth, justice, mercy and love. I can listen to a speaker and use my filter to see if the person is at trying to educate me or if he or she is trying to get an agenda across and is skewing the facts in order to prove their point. 

What about you? Who would you trust…the professors or the prophets?





I Wish I Would Have Read the Bible Before I Took “Western Civ”


pexels-photo-268424.jpegWhen I was seventeen I went to college. In my second term I took a required course in “History of Western Civilization.” I remember it well. I went to a large university and there were between one and three hundred students in the class at any one time. I sat in a large room and listened to a professor drone on and on about people groups and cultures I had never heard of. I did the reading, took the tests and passed the class, but I did not get much out of it.

Why? Because I had nothing in my mind that allowed me to relate to or put into context much of the information I was taking in. Sure, I had heard about the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans by that time in my educational process but many of the other people groups were new to me. I learned about them and placed the information in a dusty file in my mind labeled “Facts about Ancient Cultures and Dead People Groups” and promptly forgot about them.

I was twenty-four when I began to read the Bible in earnest. I read about people groups and countries that existed thousands of years ago. The information came alive to me because it was related to people; real people I was reading about who had lived millennia before.

I read about the Fertile Crescent and many of the people groups that lived there in ancient times. There were Assyrians, Chaldeans, Babylonians, Medes and Persians. The cultures and their gods were detailed and many of their battles regaled in Scripture. Further south of the Crescent, I read about Hittites, Amorites, Philistines, Phoenicians, Moabites, Ammonites and Hebrews. All of these people groups were related to other groups that were living at that time.

Ancient history began to come alive to me and all of a sudden the old maps were more than just pretty pictures with little known countries in them. As I read about the battles between the Seleucids in Syria and the Ptolemys in Egypt in the book of Daniel, my interest was sparked. How could this information be so interesting when a few years earlier it had meant nothing to me? 

It was interesting to me because it had suddenly been put into context. Real people who lived and their struggles and weaknesses were defined. Their gods were named and the strength of their war machines were detailed. Just like today, there were battles going on for land and for power. It was the kind of stuff that great novels are made of. 


Babylonian Tile – courtesy of pcdazero – pixabay

Over the years as I have read about archeological finds in the Middle East, the information I learned in the Bible has been confirmed. For centuries scholars did not believe the Hittites existed until remains of their culture was found. Iraq, modern day Assyria, Babylonia and Chaldea, is covered with archeological sites; including the Tomb of Jonah (recently blown up by Isis) and Abraham’s home city Ur of the Chaldeans. The site of the ancient palace of Nebuchadnezzar in ancient Babylon is a few miles from Baghdad and is being rebuilt today. Further north in Kirkuk, there is a shrine to the prophet Daniel.


Persepolis – courtesy of ballif – Pixabay

Iran, the ancient Persia of today, is also full of important historical information. Queen Esther’s tomb is located in Hamadan and the prophet Daniel’s tomb is in Susa, an ancient capital of Persia. The country has multitudes of historical monuments proclaiming the glory of their ancient kings that are mentioned in the Bible. Persepolis, the city constructed by Darius the Great and sacked by Alexander the Great has spectacular ruins. The tomb of Cyrus the Great is still to be seen in Pasagarde and was itself visited by Alexander the Great.  Some of the most striking historical monuments in the world are in Iran and beg to be visited by lovers of ancient history.


Old City Jerusalem – courtesy of Olaf Pictures – Pixabay

 Israel is also a hotbed of archeological information. The ancient city of Jericho has been discovered as have coins and reliefs relating to the Philistines. The remains of what is thought to be Sodom and Gomorrah has been found at the edge of the Dead Sea. Ancient coins and inscriptions relating to King David have been found in the last several years. Hundreds of finds there only confirm the information I have read in the Bible, never discount it.

As you can see, now I find ancient history fascinating. Reading the Bible has not only sparked my interest but has given me a context in order to understand and appreciate it in a deeper way. I only wish I had read the Bible before I took that class in Western Civ. I would have gotten so much more out of the course!








Will Cursive Go the Way of Cuneiform?

Cursive is on the chopping block in several school districts today. Common Core has taken it out of the curriculum and forty-one states do not require it being taught. Many educators do not believe we need to teach children cursive and that the time could be used to teach them more relevant subjects. So it got me to thinking, will cursive soon go the way of cuneiform?


Cuneiform was developed by the ancient Sumerians between 3000 and 3500 B.C. It was the primary script in Mesopotamia for over thirty centuries and was used by at least eight different people groups including the Assyrians, Hittites and the Babylonians. If you lived in one of those cultures, you might have thought that the use of cuneiform would continue on indefinitely. However, about 100 B.C. it was abandoned in favor of the alphabetic script. 

In the 19th century, British archeologists discovered about 30,000 cuneiform tablets near the Assyrian capital of Nineveh but they had no idea how to interpret them. Scholars worked on deciphering the tablets but it was slow going. They could make out the names of kings, but that was about it until Henry Rawlinson, a British soldier assigned to the Governor of Persia, decided to scale the Rock of Behistun. Darius the Great had written an autobiography and had it carved into the rock face of the cliff in three different languages. Rawlinson copied part of the cuneiform in 1837 and then went back in 1844 and copied the same part of the inscription in another language. By comparing both scripts, he and other scholars were able to piece together parts of the language. By 1872, a noted cuneiform scholar, George Smith, was able to translate the Epic of Gilgamesh. Soon other translations followed and men were once again able to read cuneiform.


Will it be that way with cursive? Within another century, will there only be a few people who will be able to read it? Will people have to dig out a primer on The Palmer Method in order to read an old letter from a deceased relative or examine documents written before the twentieth century? That begs the question, should we continue to teach cursive? Do we really need the skill in our society today?

As long as a person is required to sign his name on a legal document, cursive will be necessary. Perhaps students should take an elementary course in cursive in the third or fourth grades so that they are able to at least sign their names when required to. Other than that, hours drilling them in forming loops and circles might not be so productive.

Do I hate to see the skill go away? Yes, but I can understand why many educators do not see the value in it anymore. Children are taught printing at an early age and then keyboarding; those are the skills they will need most in their lives. Children need to be educated and prepared for the digital society they are living in.



http://www.ancienthistoryencyclopedia., “Cuneiform”, article by Joshua Mark., “The Rock of Behistun.”