1halffull's Blog

Praying for the President and Others in Authority
November 4, 2012, 8:48 pm
Filed under: Barack Obama, Change, Democrats, God, Government, Politics
Today I’m giving over my blog to this article written by Dr. Charles Stanley because I think it is worth the read, whether or not you’re a believer.  Dr. Stanley is a man of wisdom and clarity and someone who speaks truth.  May his words cause you to really give thought to what is taking place here in America.
     The final debate is over and our focus is on the finish line. If you’re like me, you are watching the news and the polls, attempting to discern who our fellow citizens would like to entrust with one of the most difficult and important jobs on earth—the presidency of the United States. At times it seems that the whole country is tense with anticipation.
But as I think about who the president and our congressional leaders will be, I am reminded that regardless of who wins the coming elections, God is clear about our responsibility to our nation as believers. In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, the apostle Paul writes, “I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
     In no uncertain terms, the Lord calls us to pray for our leaders. This is because no one person or group of people can change a country or get it back on track. And when we consider how our fellow Americans are suffering because of the downturn of the economy, rising unemployment, the deterioration of family, and escalating conflicts on the world stage, we quickly realize that only almighty God can truly help us.
     Our nation urgently needs our intercession. We do not know who the next president will be or who will hold the seats of power throughout the land. But we can be confident that the Father honors the prayers of those who love Him and is faithful to answer us (James 5:16; 1 Peter 3:12).
     Therefore, please pray the president and other elected officials would:
1. Realize their positions of authority were obtained either by God’s choice or His permissive will.
2. Recognize their personal inadequacy for the task of governing our country and look to the Lord for the wisdom, knowledge, and courage to succeed.
3. Restore dignity, honor, trustworthiness, and righteousness to the office of the Presidency, to the Senate, and to the House of Representatives.
4. Readily forsake their political careers and personal ambitions if it is necessary to do so for the best interest of the country.
5. Reverse the destructive trends of humanism and atheism—which attempt to dethrone God and deify humanity—because they ultimately result in an ungodly society.
6. Respect, honor, and obey the Constitution of the United States—the protector of our freedoms.
7. Reject all counsel that weakens our defenses against aggressors or endorses agreements that would do so in the future.
8. Refuse to promote a way of life in which citizens of our nation become increasingly dependent upon the government for their needs, thus surrendering their freedom to prosper.
9. Remember their accountability to almighty God for their attitudes, motives, behaviors, and decisions that affect our nation.
10. Resolve that their terms of service will be dedicated to returning America to its position as first among nations—where people can prosper individually, feel secure, and take pride in their American citizenship, and almighty God is recognized as the Source of all our blessings.
     I often say, when we fight our battles on our knees, we win every time. And as we lift our nation up in prayer, I know we can make a difference regardless of how difficult our problems may be because we are taking the burdens of our country to the One who understands the way to victory.
     So please join me in lifting up the United States and its leaders to the Lord, confidently knowing He will move on our behalf. Certainly, our loving Father will hear our prayers and heal our land (2 Chr. 7:14). May God bless you and may He continue to bless America.

The Surprises of Life…
April 4, 2010, 5:05 am
Filed under: Change, Dad, Friends, God, Happiness, Humor, Jesus, Kids, Legacy, Life, Love, Memories, Nostalgia, Parents, Travel

For the average person, there are very few really big events that take place in our lives.  You’re born – but you probably don’t remember that.  You learn to walk – don’t remember that either.  Your first day at school – maybe.  Your first visit from the tooth fairy – yep, pretty sure you remember that.

 The first date…the first kiss….the first ‘real’ boyfriend.  High school graduation then college.  Getting engaged then the big (or small) wedding day.  The birth of your first child, and every child after that.  The death of your mom, then your dad; your grandmas and grandpas if you were fortunate to know them at all.  There goes your favorite aunt and suddenly you’re so much older than you’d have thought you could get when you were 20.

 For me, most of that happened in the first 30 years.  It was a lot to pack in there.  They were all a big deal at the time….some remain a big deal in my heart, my head, even now.

 Someone once said that it’s the little things that sneak up and grab a hold of you.  They were right.

 Some of my ‘little things’ include, in random order….

 Going fishing with my dad and catching more fish than him.  He let me.  I loved the lake.  Still do.

 My friend deciding that I wouldn’t be able to deal with a club meeting when I got home after my dad’s death.  She put herself in my place and took care of it so I didn’t have to.  A little, but thoughtful thing.

 My dad poking his head into my room, handing me a $20 bill as he told me that he knew all I’d been doing around the house to help out.  Demonstrated appreciation that meant so much to me under the circumstances.

 Aunt Betty who invited me to visit her in the summers and allowed me to see myself as a valuable person like few others did.

 Learning that my friend Avis daily sang ‘I have decided to follow Jesus’ in the final weeks of her life.  I’d always hoped she would.

 Playing a game of ‘keep the car moving till the light turns green’ when taking kids home from church – it’s a fun game – you should try it.

 Having a mother-in-law who patiently listened over the years, didn’t butt in, and has spent hours on the phone with me, talking about anything and nothing.  If we were running the world, it would be a much better place.  Thanks, mom.

 Going to the beach with the whole clan; all the kids playing together; sunburns radiating.  Sea creatures scurrying out of the bucket of sand while one child screamed and the others all laughed.

 My sister-in-law and I in the ocean – without our contacts in – screaming at ‘jaws’ coming for us then laughing our faces off when we finally could tell they were just shadows.  Another time laughing ourselves silly so hard in the card section that a man ‘just had to come see why we were so hysterical’.  “There are two sides to every divorce” the outside of the card said.  “Yours and the s— head’s.” (not my words – but how we howled and promptly sent it to a sibling who may still have it today)!

 Two little faces pressed against the window waving and calling ‘bye mommy’ as I’d pull out of the driveway on my way to somewhere else.

 The surprise 40th birthday party my husband gave me where I was totally surprised.

 The kids so excited to sleep in the van the night before a vacation started.

 All the Christmas videos we made that could be Christmas any year except for the changes in sizes, hairdos, glasses and voices.

 Howling at the moon from the causeway with my daughter.

 Taking my son for his first tattoo.

 Oh, the list goes on and on and is my way of saying, let the little things grab on to you and you hold on tight to them.  In the end, they’re really the only things that matter.

Sharing The Upper Hand
March 18, 2010, 12:50 am
Filed under: battle of the sexes, Change, God, Life, Respect for women

There’s so much power mongering these days.  There’s hardly a place you can go or a facet of life where you won’t find someone trying to wield power over another individual or group.

While you’d think that the supposed liberation of women over the last 40 years would have leveled the playing field between men and women, on a regular daily basis you will find that not to be true.  The reality is that many men are still hung up on dominating and controlling the women around them.  There are some who just ALWAYS have to have the upper hand.

I’m so fortunate:  My husband is not one of those men.  While he’s not a pushover, he’s also not someone who has to dominate nor always have the upper hand over me.  While he trusts in God, he doesn’t use the ‘wives must submit to their husbands’ scriptures in a way that presumes I should have very little or no say in our lives.

He works with women in his business life but never seems to feel the need to assert himself in such a way as to make them feel inferior.  Sure, he may get annoyed sometimes with their behavior, as he does with other men’s behavior, but he never takes it upon himself to denigrate them or make them feel like second class citizens.

In the church, where there can be an even greater tendency to try to put women in some supposed lowly female ‘place’, he is kind and values what the women have to say in the areas that he co-serves with them.  When he listens, he does so with an open mind and ability to help them know that he has heard and understands their point of view.  He doesn’t automatically presume that ‘because he’s a man’ he automatically knows best.  Nor does he behave in such a manner that they are made to feel as though their input doesn’t really count.  They are treated as equals whose input is incorporated into the overall plans.

I really like that about him.  He’s figured out that receiving many ideas from many people, men or women, usually gives a better quality to the discussion.  He knows that broader input builds trust and makes for better group interactions overall.

He and his cohorts don’t limit themselves by invoking some ‘men are the heads’ credo in an attempt to keep women in the pantry ‘where they belong.’  They’re actually evolved enough to be secure in who they are, without need to shout down any woman who they fear might have a better insight than they do.  They don’t insist on their way or the highway because they know this isn’t any way to navigate successfully and peacefully through the narrows of relationship building.  And isn’t that what life should really be about – relationship building?

So, the next time you think it’s all about having the upper hand, take a tip from my husband by opening your heart and mind to what the other person is really saying.  Let go of your prejudices and learn to understand that their input can be possibly even more valuable than your closed mind.  Maybe just once, open your ears and put your hands in your lap.

Everybody Poops
October 18, 2009, 12:47 am
Filed under: Bragging, Everybody Poops, God, Humor, Life, Love, Parents, Racism, Sadness, Storms, Unions, Work

billnyeThe book, ‘Everybody Poops’, was written by Bill Nye, The Science Guy.  Remember him?  He was a hit with kids back in the late 80’s and early 90’s I think.  The first time we saw the book, we giggled like school kids.  I mean, after all, it mentioned the word poop and that word makes everyone giggle at some point or another.  Well, unless you’re a person whose job is to clean it up.  Then, I suppose, you probably don’t giggle much about it.

Anyway, we were talking today about people who think that for one reason or another, they’re at least a half head better than everyone else.  We all know them.  We work with alot of them.  They make it their business to make sure we know how important they are, even when they aren’t.  We watch alot of them on TV or in movies or on sports fields.  Then we watch them get all haughty because someone wants to take their picture or asks for an autograph and they don’t think they should have to participate.  Hey, bucko, you’re the one who wanted to get all famous, and I helped you get there, so suck it up and sign the autograph.

Which brings me to – Everybody Poops.  I started thinking about how we all want to point out the differences among us and Poopshow some of us even want to get all haughty about these differences.  Whether we should or not is another question.  

Just in case you ever get the idea you’ve got something to get all haughty over, I thought I’d give you a list of some of the things we do pretty much the same.  Here goes….

We all have skin covering our muscles, unless yours has been burned off in a fire.

We all have hair covering our bodies, unless you have alopecia.

We all have eyes to see, unless you’re an alien from another galaxy, then you might not.  Or if your haughtiness has blinded you.

We all have hands and feet and, generally speaking, ten fingers and ten toes, unless you were in a very bad accident or born without them.

We all have navals, I believe, without exception.  There is a difference in navals, as some people have innies and some have outties.  Even so, I see no reason to get haughty over it.

We all have ears, although some of us use them less than others.

We all have mouths, although some of us use them more than others and should think about that.

We all have butts, some flat, some round, some with kind of a table top effect, some sagging.  Maybe you can get all haughty over your booty if you want.  I wouldn’t lord it over others, cause the booty can change at any moment.

We all put our pants on one leg at a time, unless, again, you’ve been in a terrible accident, lost your legs to diabetes, or were born without them.  If you’ve got ’em, be thankful for them and keep on walking.

We all have brains, although with some people, you just can’t tell.

We all breathe the same air, but some of our bodies respond badly to it while others consume it regularly.

heartWe all have hearts that pump the blood that we all have, carrying the oxygen that we just breathed to all of the organs that we all also have.  Here there is a difference:  some hearts beat with love while others beat against love.  Again no reason to get haughty – those beating with love should strive to help those beating against love.

 We all came from the collision of a sperm with an egg and were ‘baked’ in a warm uterus until it was time for us to pop out.

We all have birth mothers; we don’t all have moms.  Those who have moms should share with those who only have birth mothers.

We all have access to God.  We don’t all choose to access Him.

We all have the capacity to love one another.  When we use that capacity wisely, without mixing love with power or control, we just might forget the reason we thought we could get all haughty and enjoy and benefit from the gifts we each can share.

If all else fails just remember:  everybody poops.  Sometimes, that’s a very stinky business, so try not to poop on anyone else.

Things that go bump in the night
August 25, 2009, 5:35 pm
Filed under: Boogey Man, God, Jesus, Storms

Remember when you were a kid? You’d lie in bed at night and, after all was quiet, hearboogeyman2 noises that you never heard during the day, especially if you lived in an older home. You might have let your mind run wild and think the Boogey Man was coming out from under the bed to get you! Or that the ghosts who lived in the closet were dancing on the ceiling.

If you were scared enough, you’d go flying into your parent’s room – sometimes much to their surprise – begging to get into bed with them and hide. Some of you were allowed into the family bed; others were escorted back to your own room where your parent showed you that there was nothing hiding under the bed or lurking in the closet. Well of course they didn’t see those things – they made sure parents never saw them!

Little did we know that this was just a precursor to the things we’d experience as adults where things don’t just go bump in the night but also go crash, bang, boom during the day!

When we become adults, often our bumps are much more hideous than any Boogey Man could ever be. There’s the cancer that just won’t go away or the accident that turns us into wheelchair bound vegetables where an athlete once stood. There’s job loss and spouse loss. There’s a child who commits murder and the aunt who was murdered and the moms who are left to deal with the aftermath.

As adults, where do we run when these trials come upon us?

Being a person of faith in God and His Son, Jesus, I run to them.

Oh, I’m no saint. I admit to being human just like everyone else. When the storm begins to rage, my stomach flips and my blood runs cold. My mind flies into a fit of ‘what ifs’, ‘I wonders’ and ‘how on earths’?

027mBut once the initial shock fades, the Lord comes in and reminds me of His past faithfulness in my life and I begin to think on those times and remind myself of the promises He’s made throughout the Bible. I know those to be true now and always and I find comfort there and strength to get through yet another storm.

I always go back to the place where it says ‘yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, because You are with me.’ That word ‘through’ is huge! It means I won’t be left alone in the middle of the storm but I will go through – indicating from one side to the other. YEA!

Knowing Jesus doesn’t mean I’ll get to skip the storms. The storms still come; they rage on. The difference is that I have every hope that they will end and that God will have walked me through, never failing, just as He’s promised.