Things I Learned From Watching Cartoons

 

Daffy-1-[1]When I was a kid, I enjoyed watching cartoons. My parents would let us watch them for about an hour on Saturday mornings. Then we would have to get dressed and do our assigned chores. In high school, I would watch them every now and then just to enjoy the wit of those who wrote the scripts. 

Some people think watching cartoons is a waste of time, but I have learned some important things from them:

1. If you are a Coyote trying to catch a Roadrunner, DO NOT open a box marked ACME. It won’t end well, you will be making a trip to the ER. You can bet on it.

2. If you and your girlfriend are Russian agents, stay away from a talking Moose and Squirrel. They will outsmart you every time and you will get caught by the authorities.

3. When watching Daffy Duck, always keep a dictionary nearby. He will be using words you cannot understand.

I had to put that last one on the list because I learned the most from watching Daffy Duck. He was a rather excitable character and expressed his emotions well. He also had a great vocabulary and wasn’t afraid to use it.  When I was little, I had to look up some of the words he used. Some of those words I still use today. 

One of my favorites that he used was the word palaver. It can be used as a noun or a verb, but when used as a verb it means “to talk unproductively and at length.” That word allowed me to categorize excess verbiage when I heard it. If I was trying to buy a car and the salesman would go on and on, I was listening to him palaver. If I was in a class and the subject was boring, same thing. If I was listening to an opinion show and the guest was going on and on at length without saying anything constructive, you guessed it, palaver. When I am trying to discern the truth about something, I try to ignore the palaver and listen for any facts in the discussion. 

Palaver…we hear it all the time. It is so nice to put a word on it. And to think I learned the concept and the word from watching a cartoon!boom-2028563__340[2]

 

(With apologies to Wile E. Coyote!)

Youth In Asia

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Several decades ago, while in high school, I was elected State Vice-President of the International Relations League. The Board met four times a year and one of our main responsibilities was to plan the agenda for the State Convention held each Spring. We chose several topics and were supposed to familiarize ourselves with one as we each were expected to lead a discussion group on that particular subject. We talked about what would be on the agenda and what we should discuss. Two of the topics I remember were: The Palestinian Refugee Crisis and Youth in Asia.

I was more familiar with the Palestinian problem and chose that one to prepare for. A few months went by and the date arrived for the Convention. I packed my suitcase and left for a city about three hours from where I lived. I got to the University campus, checked into my room, and went to the first day’s meeting. I received my Syllabus and sat in the front row of the auditorium with the rest of the Board. 

You can imagine my shock when I opened the Syllabus and looked at the Agenda. The topic “Youth in Asia” was nowhere to be found; the topic was actually Euthanasia. I thought I knew what was going to be discussed; I actually did not. I was as far off on that particular subject as I could be. At the time of the meeting, I had not heard the word many times, let alone understood the real meaning of the subject. It just goes to show you how wrong you can be about something you believe to be true.

Last week, I heard a prominent politician say that people in his political party were NOT for infanticide. And yet, partial-birth abortion and late term abortion are actually affirmed as a woman’s right by most of the feminist leaders in his party. Sometimes, we only think we know what is going on in our particular sphere. Unfortunately, many times we do not. We are as far away from the truth as we can possibly be. 

“Youth in Asia.”  Anyone want to lead the discussion?

Mengelian

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Josef Mengele, Nazi SS physician, was notorious for his work at the camp at Auschwitz. He was an ardent believer in Nazi Racial Theory and Eugenics. He was interested in twins, identical or fraternal, and did experiments on Jewish and Roma children in the camps. He was especially interested in eye color and many children were maimed or killed in order for him to complete his experiments on them. Was he the only doctor at these death camps doing this kind of work? No, he was just the most infamous and was known as the “Angel of Death” at Auschwitz.

When we think of the Nazi SS and their death camps, we are outraged. We just had Holocaust Remembrance Day and we mourn the six million Jews who were murdered at the camps. But they were not the only ones that were scheduled for extermination. Fourteen million people were murdered by the SS: Jews, Romas, the old, infirm, disabled, mentally ill, and those physically or mentally handicapped were also scheduled for death in order to help establish a pure race.

Outrage and sadness, that is what these kinds of policies evoke in most people. That happened in WWII. It is over, we will never have to face that kind of inhumanity again, or will we?

Last night on the news, I heard about a policy just signed into law in New York. Abortions will be legal up to the time of birth. Any child deemed unwanted, unnecessary, mentally or physically unfit can be killed at the moment of birth if that is what the mother wants. 

Is this law an aberration? No, it is the latest in a series of laws that some states are trying to adopt. I heard the Virginia governor, a pediatric neurologist no less, advocating for the passage of this same law in his state. He explained rationally how the baby will be killed right before birth and if the mother changes her mind when the baby is delivered, they will try to revive it.

These policies are Mengelian, plain and simple. Americans are divided on their stance for abortion, but seventy-one percent of us are against late-term abortion. If we don’t want these laws to stand, what can we do?

1. Use our Voice: Just like those in Nazi Germany who stood against the SS and their inhumane practices, we must use our voice to stand up against these laws.

2. Use our Hands: We can write to our State Senators and Representatives to not allow these kinds of laws to be passed in our states. If we live in a state where this law has been passed, we can ask our Representatives to rescind the law allowing these practices.

3. Use our Checkbooks: We can donate to organizations that will work to have these laws taken off the books. My husband and I will donate to The American Center for Law and Justice and encourage their work on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.

We must know that even though we are just one person, if we stand together, we can change what is happening in our legislatures. I, for one, will stand up against this form of evil. Will you stand with me?

“Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31: 8-9

Betting on the Wrong Horse

Have you ever gone to a horse race and bet on the wrong horse? If so, you went to the window and bought a ticket for your horse to win, place, or show. You may have paid a small amount for your ticket or you may have bet a lot. Sometimes, you may even have bet everything you had. If your horse was not a winner, you may have lost a little or a lot. One thing you do know is that you “bet on the wrong horse.”

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Even if you don’t bet on horse racing, it is easy to “bet on the wrong horse” in life. Perhaps you broke up with someone really nice thinking that the latest person you met was better, more exciting. Your new relationship begins to sour quickly when  you see that the new person is selfish, self-centered and toxic for you. You begin to realize that you “bet on the wrong horse.” This can happen in the job market also. You have a pretty good job, but you think you need a different one, one that will pay more so that you can get that fast car you have been wanting. Perhaps, you quit the old job and found that the new job is not what you thought it would be. Your new boss is a tyrant and expects you to work a lot of extra hours with no overtime, you’re now on salary. Again, you realize you “bet on the wrong horse.”

What should we do when we have made a bad decision, one that is costing us more than it is worth? The first thing we need to do is admit to ourselves that we made a mistake. We usually know it, but we must say it to ourselves. Then we need to honestly evaluate our situation. What else do we need to do in order to turn around and get going in the right direction?

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The next thing we must do is tell someone else. This step is a little harder to take because it involves our pride. We must be willing to admit our mistake to another person. The best kind of person to admit this to is one who can be trusted and is a lot wiser than we are. A parent, pastor, teacher or other counselor can usually help us get turned around and get moving in the right direction. Many times we don’t want to admit our mistakes to others but the truth is that those closest to us already know we have made a mistake. They are just waiting for us to see it for ourselves and seek their guidance.

What do we do if we have “bet on so many wrong horses” that our life is filled with losing tickets? We have completely messed up in so many areas that we don’t think there is any way to get turned around and get going in the right direction? That’s when we need to go to the One Person who can help us. Yes, I am taking about God. He is more than willing to take us where we are and bring restoration into our lives. The word “repentance” is sprinkled throughout the New Testament and it is from the Greek “metonoai” which means to change one’s mind. When we change our mind about our decisions, we can then come to God and seek His mind on the matter. We can admit to Him that we have messed up and ask Him to help us.

Is it easy to go to God and tell Him we have made a disaster out of our lives? Not always, because again, it involves our pride. We must humble ourselves before Him and admit our mistakes. The good thing about it is that He, just like those closest to us, already knows that we have made mistakes. He is just waiting for us to see them, admit them, and ask for His help. His Word is full of examples of people just like us, who made mistakes and needed His help. 

Betting on the wrong horse…easy to do. Admitting to ourselves we have made a mistake…not so easy. Admitting to others and to God we have messed up…a little harder. But getting turned around and getting a reset so that we can go in the right direction? Always more than worth it!

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

The Covington Students Broke the Commandments

This week the Covington Students were excoriated in the media. They broke the commandments. We better know them and be careful or we will be next. What are they?commandment-1431061_640 image by aitoff, courtesy of Pixabay

1. Thou shalt not be white:

It doesn’t matter where your relatives came from, or whether they held slaves or not. Or perhaps your relatives fought and died to set the slaves free. The facts are not important.  If you are white, you will be judged by the color of your skin and will be forced to carry the collective guilt of others of your race.

2. Thou shalt not be male:

Masculinity itself is a crime, it is now toxic in some circles. Never mind the fact that no one would exist without a male figure in their lives or that the influence of a father can be very beneficial.  Being born a male is now something to be discriminated against.

3. Thou shalt not believe in God:

Any belief in a personal God is tantamount to heresy. The secular humanists will portray you as stupid and brainless if you believe in a higher being.

4. Thou shalt not support the current president:

Anyone caught supporting the current president must be punished, period. No exceptions.

5. Thou shalt not go to a private school:

As flawed as the public school system is, you must be punished if you choose an alternative. You will be targeted and condemned as “privileged” if you go to one, especially if it is a religious institution. Never mind the fact that many who go to these places of learning have scholarships because they cannot afford it.

6. Thou shalt not be pro-life:

Anyone not supporting abortion is to be punished. You must support abortion on demand up to and including nine months.

7. Thou shalt not be from a state that has a high poverty level and lower educational scores:

If so, you will be judged as ignorant and bigoted.

8. Thou shalt not be a teenager:

If so, your behavior will be held to a higher standard than the behavior of the adults in whatever situation you are in.

Are these all of these commandments? I don’t know. We must all be careful because if we are ever placed in the limelight and we do not fit the current orthodoxy or line up with whatever the “group think” is at the time, we will be punished on social media.

Ask yourself, are you breaking any of these commandments? 

 

Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid!

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Most of us recognize that saying as a reference to Jonestown and what happened to the people who lived there. For those of you who are not familiar with this incident, there was a man named Jim Jones who was head of the People’s Temple. He was a charismatic leader and  several thousand people followed him. His services were known for faith healing and mind reading. Although the People’s Temple was involved in outreach activities in their communites, Jim Jones did not treat his own followers so well. They were humiliated and beaten and were told that if they left the People’s Temple, they would be put in government-run concentration camps. When the press began to look into his activities, he moved several hundred people to Guyana and they lived on an agricultural commune there. Eventually the relatives of some of the people who lived there were concerned about their welfare, and they contacted their representatives in Congress to look into what was happening in Guyana. A group of people went there, including a Congressional representative, and some of them were shot and killed. Fearing government retaliation, Jim Jones instructed his followers to drink a fruit juice laced with cyanide and about 900 people drank it. When the authorities came in response to the murder of the Congressional delegation, they found most all of the followers of the People’s Temple dead.

The lesson for all of us is not to blindly follow those that lead us. No matter who the person is that we are following, we must always evaluate what they are telling us. If what they are saying sounds a little off, we must take a step back and take a good hard look at what they are teaching us. Do they have an agenda and are they trying to shape our thinking according to that agenda? Are they living what they are teaching or are they exempt from what they are espousing? Are they fomenting racial hatred and fear? Are they treating those that don’t agree with them fairly or are they demonizing them?

I look around and I see many people doing just those things. They have an agenda and are trying to influence the people who follow them. They don’t really care about the facts or the truth, they want to demonize those that do not agree with them and stifle honest conversation. Their agenda, their party line, etc. is what’s important, not the truth.

It doesn’t matter if it is a politician, news anchor, pastor, teacher, or other spiritual guru, we must not follow what they say without running it through a truth grid. If we don’t take a step back and honestly evaluate what they are telling us, we will buy into their agenda and make choices that will eventually be harmful to us. We must seek out the truth and be willing to listen to those of a different persuasion in order to evaluate whatever situation is going on.

We don’t want to be drinking their Kool-Aid. It may not be laced with cyanide, but hatred, false information and bigotry are just as deadly if it gets into our minds and hearts. Let’s do the hard work and seek to find out the truth in whatever situation they are telling us about, then we won’t be like sheep blindly following our leaders. 

Torn Between Two Countries

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I was born the child of parents from two different countries. My father met my mother while he was overseas in the service. She was Italian and her family lived in Milan. They were married and returned to the States to live. From the time I was little, I would hear stories about Italy and have letters read to me from my Italian family. I would look at the pictures they sent and long to meet them. 

Growing up, I never quite felt at home in the States. There seemed to be a part of me that was longing for another country, another family, another culture. When I got older my father decided I should go to Italy and get to know my Italian family.

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I began learning the language, made arrangements to go to school over there and flew to Milan. I met my family and spent several months with them. It was an experience I will never forget. They showered me with love and took me around to different cities and taught me about the history and culture of the country. Even though I loved my new family, the people and that country, there was a part of me that still didn’t quite fit in there completely. 

Eventually, I moved back to the States and married. I still kept in touch with my family in Italy and my heart was always torn between the two countries. I had people I loved in two different places and for better or worse I was now part of two different cultures. Since that time, I have never completely fit in the country I am living in because there are always people I love and want to be near living elsewhere.

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During this time I became a Christian so I began learning about another culture. I read the Bible and began to experience an entirely different kind of  life. I heard about a place where there was no violence, murder, or crime of any kind. I learned of a place where peace reigned because God reigned there. Again, my heart became divided. There were people I loved here on Earth, but I longed to be with my Heavenly Father in Heaven. There was a better place to live and more and more my heart longed to be there.

So again, I am torn between two countries, two cultures, two peoples, two places. There are people I love here on Earth but I hate the crime, division and the lack of love people have for one another. I long for that place where people will treat each other kindly and where love will reign supreme. 

I know that I am not alone. Most people sense that there is something not right here on the earth. We look around and know instinctively that there is not supposed to be hunger, thirst, disease, war, poverty, greed and all the other kinds of evil there is here. We were made for something different and we all have a deep longing for a better place, a better life. 

What about you? Are you torn between two countries also? Do you long for a better life and a better place? It’s available to you, all you have to do is ask for it.

“Then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when you come into Your kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 42 – 43.

“Take a God Look at it!”

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When you were younger, did your parents ever say to you, “Take a good look at it!” Usually you were in trouble and they were trying to show you the right way to do something or you were facing the consequences of your own bad behavior.  Possibly, you might have been with them in the car and there was someone strung out on drugs on the sidewalk. They would then point out what they wanted you to learn from the situation in question. That phrase was usually related to something negative, no doubt about it. 

Might there be another way to look at these negative situations? Take the homeless man on the corner, the drug addict sleeping on the sidewalk, or the people at the soup kitchen trying to get a hot meal. Do we need to “take a good look” at these situations or do we need to “take a God look” at them?

How does God look at people in difficult situations? Does He view them with compassion and have a plan to help them when they cry out to Him? I believe He does. His compassion extends to those who are stuck in the most unfortunate of situations. When we see them, let’s try to see them from God’s perspective. What would He have us do to help others when they are right before our eyes?

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Let’s not “take a good look at them,” let’s “take a God look at them,” and see how we should respond to the needs before us.