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Do you stumble over your own feet? Precision doesn’t have that option!

Some people are generally clumsy.  That is an opposite of being sure-footed.  My husband, who is 6ft 5inches is often asked if he was a basketball player.  His response is “I couldn’t chew gum and walk at the same time!”  Those who want to be their best at coordination, especially within a group, find that there is no room for error. We found that true when we were treated by our son to an evening at La Nouba Cirque Du Soleil, which is an excellent show, with high wire performances to take one’s breath away and special acts that require expert precision.

Precision is defined as being precise or having exactness.   .   The dedication in becoming so perfect as being described a the ultimate in precision is a talent that takes months…if not years…to achieve.

A quote about perfection is as follows:  One minute was enough. A person had to work hard for it, but a minute of perfection was worth the effort. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection.

This may be true for no matter how hard a person or team has to work at achieving this moment…once it has happened…there will always be the chance for a mistake which will be noticed more than any of the other moment of exactness.

Why do we want to be a part of a chance to do something others cannot…or will not …do.  Either they are too lazy or the lack of self-discipline to try….or they do not see the value in trying to go beyond what is the norm.   Take the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon as an example.   The self-discipline and the ability to work as a unit is almost mesmerizing.  (See video below).  It is hard to believe that this many men can achieve such “perfection”…or at least exactness.   Does it build character?   You have to believe that it does.   How many times did one of the rifles fall?   How many times did all get the movement right except one…to have to redo and redo it again?   This is the physical world…the no-nonsense desire to achieve…to make something as totally correct as it can be.   It may be a goal that one sets for himself.   We can be the best that we can be.  This is, of course, if we have the determination or courage.

In the spiritual world, we are told we can “do all things in Christ Who strengthens me.”   Determination…strength of spirit…fortitude…all take drill and practice.  One will say, “No one is perfect.  There will be something that is not exact.  Yes, but the trick is to make it so minute that it is totally unnoticed.

Horowitz plays Rachmaninoff with the New York Philharmonic

Horowitz plays the passionate compositions of Rachmaninoff.   For your Sunday pleasure….up close with a great pianist.

Freedom of Speech…is it going out the window?

Freedom of Speech2One thing most bloggers, internet users, publication and book writers, reporters (etc) cherish more than anything is to have the opportunity to write or read what they wish.  There are parts of the internet that I would never make a part of my reading routine.  Nevertheless, what I disagree with and what I appreciate should be my option.

The Constitution of the United States guarantees this freedom to me. It is the document that we look to for keeping liberty alive. US Constitution - We The People

When the cold war seemed to be over,  people, who had never had the openness that we enjoy in the West, rushed to find out what this new freedom was all about.   No one challenges that the ability to contact the world through the internet and social media has become a tool for information…both good and bad.   It seems obvious that this is where the choice of the person comes into play.   Those who want  a friendlier, happier world will use the internet for good.  Those who don’t and have their own agenda for destruction will use it for evil.  Such is the way of the world.  It is made easier and quicker by this new media.Freedom of Speech4

During World War II, radios were taken from the homes of people.  This was, of course, to control information and only allow the subjected people to know what the dictators wanted them to know.  That was then…but the same is true now. It leads us to a question:  Could your freedom of speech eventually go “out the window” regardless of where you live?

Recently, Russia has made laws about the use of the internet  under the pretense of keeping “terrorists” out….(Good luck!)  This may be a new restraint to come for other nations that want to silence their people.  Along with women who are being suppressed  by so-called laws of reform, the laws of speech reform is another type of control.

Freedom of speech is not something one can touch. It is in many ways  like the wind we don’t see. It is powerful and should be recognized as one of the greatest liberties one can have.

Read full account below:

NEW INTERNET LAWS IN RUSSIA

Blue Grass Music …even kids think it’s COOL!

Blue Ridge Mountains of N.C. and VA

Blue Ridge Mountains of N.C. and VA

The great areas of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina have the sound of “down-home” music that  they have been playing for many years.  The music, through festivals and sing-along jamborees is being passed down from generation to generation.   Yes, kids and teens have found it to be “cool”!  No, the ones you will see on the video are not southern boys…but New Jersey kids who know how to really play blue grass.

My family has roots in the Carolina mountains.  My Great Grandfather not only served in the Confederate Army, but was a self-proclaimed country doctor, who was credited for saving lives when people did not know how to bring down fevers.  He wrapped them in wet sheets and many of them lived to farm, sing, and strum another day.    For me, personally, there’s nothing like looking out over the blue mountain range…and feeling the breeze in the  face.   The fog rolls in and the thunder careens back and forth between the bluish, purple hills.Blue Ridge Mountains3

 

Much of the music stems from faith…tradition…and songs and dances that were brought by those coming to the New World.   Below are some videos I think you will enjoy:

First of the fiddling boys and then a history of the Blue Ridge area.

History of Blue Grass Music in Virginia and North Carolina:

Religious Cleansing….

tomb of Jonah destroyed tomb of jonah destroyed2

Sacred Tomb of Jonah is destroyed

Sacred Tomb of Jonah is destroyed

Christians throughout the world should wake up to what is happening to Christians in the Middle East.

Judge speaks out and challenges the Pope and world leaders to stand up for Christians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Middle East is not the only place where Christians are being persecuted. Take a look at this picture in China.

The AP reports the following:   In this photo taken July 16, 2014, a church member of Zengshan Village Christian Church stands near rocks piled up in front of the gate to prevent government workers from moving in equipment to demolish the cross, in Zengshan village, Pingyang county of Wenzhou in eastern China’s Zhejiang province. The red banner invokes the legal protection of religious freedom, saying the church and the cross are protected by the Chinese law. Across Zhejiang province, which hugs China’s rocky southeastern coast, authorities have toppled, or threatened to topple, crosses at more than 130 churches. (AP Photo/Didi Tang)

Christian Church in China

Christian Church in China

The Love of Food….is the greatest love?!

Food“There is no love so great as the love of food”  reads a slogan on a restaurant take out bag.  This is one truism that seems to be a part of every living thing.  Of course we are not including the love for God…or His love for us in this statement.

People just  don’t know when to stop eating…or refuse to eat what is good for them.   Thus, the cries of the health critics.  Every January, the “lose weight” commercials ring in the New Year!    People get out the tape measure and decide if this is the year to “make it happen”.   My hat is off to those who actually follow through and change their health for the better. Sometimes it is truly a matter of life and death. overweight people

School children are told to eat a “healthy lunch” as they pass by the apples and pick up the french fries. I don’t know about yours, but my dog will eat most anything.  Actually,  she spits out his apples sometimes too.

As the world trembles in war-torn areas and food is in shortage, we remember what Mom used to say about the “starving people in Africa”. She would have to add many more nations in her reprimand today. We also  know that a nation of much…is also a nation of waste. Recently, I was served an over-cooked piece of salmon in a restaurant. The waitress insisted that she take it back. That was a hard decision…to pay for something not cooked properly…or know that the returned entree would go in the garbage…unless they had a stray cat out the back door!

I’m a southerner…originally from North Carolina.  There is nothing like a real “country spread”.  Everybody brings their favorite dish.  Recently we had a family reunion.  There was enough fried chicken to sink a battle ship….not to mention the homemade desserts.   Afterwards, we divided it all up…and the coolers were loaded down with another meal for another time. Heavenly!

We also have our favorite foods. I picked up a book the other day entitled “Just Pass the Chocolate and Nobody will Get Hurt.”   I think the book was really about  over-coming stress…not the demands for food.  It was a clever way of getting attention because almost everyone loves chocolate.

 

Scarlett OHara Scarlett OHara,  a character in Gone With the Wind, lived during the Civil War, when everyone was hungry.    She swore “I’ll never be hungry again!”  Another one of her lines was “I’ll think about it another day.”  That’s usually what we say about pushing back from the table.

Food…we love it! How thankful we are that we don’t have to go to bed without it!

There is something about a filled tummy that makes us feel lazy.   Think I’ll go to bed now.

 

 

 

Take a look at these guys…who, by the way, seem to think food is pretty great also.

Choosing to die…that another may LIVE

Dying that another may live is the greatest gift that anyone can give or receive.  This is what our Lord Jesus Christ did for us. His sacrifice for the sins of the world…and for every person is hard to put in words.  Maybe we can understand it better if we put it in a different context.  We hear so much today about the rights of a woman to have an abortion…if she so desires.  It is especially stressed by some, that an abortion would be acceptable if the health of the woman was at risk.  Some women know that risk and are willing to take it that her child might live.   Let me share a true story of one such woman.

Liz Joice and her husband, Max, found out they will have a child after thinking they will not be able to do so.  The mother refuses a test and treatment that may harm the fetus. She loses her own life in this choice, but gives the gift of life to her child and to her husband and family.  Having made this comparison to the greatest sacrifice of our Lord  to  that of a mother and a child, here are some details as told to the news media about Elizabeth Joice and her baby, Lily.

Liz and Baby Lily

Liz and Baby Lily

Cancer survivor Elizabeth Joice was told the chemotherapy that helped her beat sarcoma in 2010 would also leave her infertile, so when she and husband, Max, got the news that she was in fact pregnant, he said, “It very much felt like a miracle,” he tells CNN.

The happy news, however, was short-lived. Just a month into her pregnancy, Joice’s cancer returned, and though surgeons removed tumors from her back, there was no way of knowing how far the cancer had spread without a full-body MRI scan. But the dyes used in the scan could harm the baby, meaning she’d need to end the pregnancy before undergoing the procedure.

Joice opted to continue with her pregnancy but began having trouble breathing in her third trimester; an X-ray revealed tumors in her lungs.  Jan. 23 brought both joy and devastation.   Joice had a baby girl, Lily, via C-section, but “there were tons of tumors…” her doctor tells ABC News. “It had spread all over her abdomen.”

Tumors were also found in Joice’s heart and pelvis. She died six weeks later, on March 9.  Still, her doctor remembers the first time she saw Joice hold her baby. “The joy on her face was just incredible,” she says.

“She said, ‘This is worth itI would do it all again to have this child.'” 

Lily Joice

Lily Joice

Elizabeth Joice died to save her child, Lily Joice.   Jesus died to give us life…and to give it abundantly.  “No greater love has any man (or woman) than to lay down his (or her) life for another.   (as paraphrased from John 15:13)

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