It is 4:29 in the morning and gratefully I am awake after five hours of sleep. God usually whispers “Come with me” at this time. This morning He and I will discuss the COVID-19 vaccination. Again. Our appointment is at 8:15. Today is the day. We comply with the government’s request to take this preventive measure.
No, I am not sure about this.
Our household of three had COVID in December of 2020. Of the three of us, I am the one with lasting side effects. My eyesight was weakened. I am also the one whose immune system and health history make me more vulnerable to take anything “experimental”.
For me the more the government pushes this vaccine the more I hesitate. Why?
Simple, no one can be trusted to speak the truth. Certainly not Dr. Falsely. (Misspelling intended). Nor the CDC or WHO. Neither can government officials. My own health care providers listen to my concerns and reply with the same assurances. Like every one is reading the same cue card. The risk is minimal, take the vaccine.
By nature I am a rule keeper. But, this time I am unsure. Let’s be frank, the whole COVID experience is fraught with too many questions and too few answers.
For all those assuring me the risks are minimal I wearily reply that they themselves have no idea what it is like to be in that small percentage. I do.
Herd mentality is aggressively pushing us to shut up and take the shot, get in line again and take it again. Oh, and be prepared to repeat the process in six months to a year. Wear a mask, wear two no three masks! How selfish to even think about non-compliance. I am not prepared to be an obedient cow on this. Are you?
What I am sure about is God not allowing evil to prevail. I am confident He knows the future and that He will walk me through whatever the outcome of this vaccine is for me. I am reminded that the moments and minutes I live and breathe right now at 5:18 in the morning are miraculous. I have been on the literal edge of death before and God chose to spare me for this morning.
He is trustworthy. By His very nature He is not a liar. When that needle slides into my arm later this morning I am sure that my Heavenly Father loves me and is with me. Plus, if He does not want me to take the shot He will clearly show me this too.
As much as I do not want to get political on this blog much in me longs to speak my truth, my perspective on a few things.
I am in mourning. Grief is again a daily companion. Since COVID hit, the pitiful displays of all areas of leadership, the loss of lives, the riots, peaceful riots turned anything but and the hatred tangible in our streets I have mourned the loss of America. It has stirred within me, its jagged edges bringing forth blood. It has wrapped its tentacles around my heart and threatens to drown me in vileness. With the future in question, (Would we even live through it?) there seemed no safe place but the arms of God. And my belief in Him could cost me my life and the lives of my family. How do I walk away from the core of my existence?
In my artistic eye I have a vision of a neglected graveyard where the headstones mark the icons that bring America to mind. I hope to turn it into a multi-medium painting. Meanwhile, as I emerge from grief and shock my question is, “What now”?
How do we salvage America? As our enemies foreign and domestic are circling like we are now the greatest feast ever in life?
Where are our leaders set aside by God already to lead us? Have people of good moral character, honesty and trustworthiness already passed from this planet? The lack of decent government at all levels is apparent. Even in our small town our mayor has been arrested for ethic violations and our city council does not have its populations needs on their radar.
People are believing what the all to powerful media “reports” even when lies and cover-ups are exposed in their own coverage. They are arrogant in their spread of false and misinformation. Journalism has become at the least a joke but truthfully a disgrace to their forefathers in the field. A thorn in America’s flesh. This group keeps doing what they do because the majority enjoys wading in the stench as it suits their agendas.
Hope is a bubble in my heart. Healing is a possibility but it will come at a personal cost for each of us. Our forgiving those who have hurt, threatened to harm, whose perspectives and beliefs are opposite of our own. We have to give up the idea of forcing people to behave in the way we want. Most of all we have to admit where we are drowning in a flood that we caused by dancing the rain dance recklessly. We can be a better America than what we are now. Who is with me?
“When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7
Taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978 by the International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Been thinking about elected officials a lot, especially the last two presidential elections. For the last 20 years as I have witnessed the caliber of candidates running for official offices I find myself asking “Who is their right mind would run for any office”? Especially for President of the United States. “Who is worthy of holding the office?” “Whose life, not just their own lives but their family’s and anyone else who knows them, can withstand the scrutiny?”
Should your life survive the search for dirt or any thing that could be blown up to be dirt it doesn’t matter. Your opposition, whether a person or a political party or the media, will gleefully invent one on you. Then these same people will never let the argument against you winning die. Ever.
No, I am not suggesting that just anyone should be able to be the President of the United States, a senator, a representative, governor, supreme court judge or dog catcher. These people in these leadership positions in our country should be men and women of integrity, honesty, sound judgment and whose life reflects wise discernment. They should also not be a person who has been on the wrong side of the law or who takes the law into their own hands. Their work and life should give them the experience to take what they know, listening skills, and a sense of right from wrong and put it to work for “we the people”.
Every person on planet Earth is a flawed human being. Because of that we cannot live perfect lives. Show me one man/woman who makes the claim they are perfect, never making a mistake or failing to exercise good decision making skills and I will show you a liar.
In John 8: 1-11 Jesus was questioned by the teachers of the law and the Pharisees who had brought a woman accused of adultery before him for his take on the matter.
“Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ ”
The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1973, 1978; The Zondervan Corporation.
Who fits these qualifications? In the movie Courageous the dad whose young daughter was killed in an automobile accident asks a large congregation, Where are you men of integrity? Since it was a movie multiple men stood. Real life is not a movie and can not be scripted. My question though is still, “Where are you people of integrity? You people of character and sound judgment? Who will stand in the gap* for all American citizens and not be bought off?”
*”I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30 NIV)
The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1973,1978; The Zondervan Corporation.
Can we really ask for candidates and leaders who are perfect? In doing so we, if honest, would eliminate everyone before they signed the paperwork stating their intention to run for office. I have felt like I was casting a vote for the least of two evils for the last twenty plus years. Prior to those years I didn’t exercise good judgment when voting. Not quite understanding the connection between my vote and the weight it carried when it came to running this country.
For example, I remember voting for Bill Clinton once. Why? Because I agreed with his policies? Proposed ideas? No, he was a guest on Arsenio Hall’s late night talk show and he played the saxophone. I thought it was so cool that a president would be so “normal” so “cool”. I learned a powerful lesson in that thought process.
Where are candidates who possess character? (Character as in truthful, doing the right thing in a situation or standing up to the influence of evil to do the right thing.) Not character as in, “What a character they are” that everyone laughs and jokes about. The latter we have more than enough of!
Right now I can not name one politician that I would put my trust in. Not one. I try to understand people’s reasons for voting for someone and I end up shaking my head. Here in our state we elected a former SEC football coach to be a senator. He worked in the football arena for 40 years. But his coaching is not a record on which to base a political career. He was even a legal resident of Florida when he agreed to throw his cap into the senate race. This man was not qualified to run and yet because citizens of our state were sick of the one he was running against, the coach won easily.
A consequence of political games is that in the event of and aftermath of bad leadership American’s are sick and tired of games as usual. We have no one to truly trust. In the lack of someone standing in the gap for us, we are hurling ourselves off the edges of cliffs and there are no safety nets.
I repeat, “Where are those people of integrity who we need to help seek political office”? They will not be found trying to bully anyone with an opinion or way of life that differs from their own, They will not be found breaking into any thing, a federal, state, city or personal piece of property. They will not be found setting fire to businesses. They will not be found murdering anyone whether in seemingly righteous anger or any other kind of anger. They can not be found among criminals. They cannot be found in abusing the power of any badge or office. They cannot be found if among those who have no respect for all life.
These are all things that in my opinion alter our appearance, often drastically. Or leads other people to believe we are not who we actually are. Perhaps not singularly as much as multiples of them in/on the same person.
Picture with me two people, complete strangers, meeting somewhere sharing a meal, chatting and exchanging phone numbers. Or maybe sharing this special date via Skype or some similar program. Time passes and eventually they physically meet and are alone. Can you see the surprise when Person A begins taking off all the artifical? By the time Person B has a look at the real Person A they do not know whether to stay and get to know this “new” person or run for the nearest Uber driver.
Or maybe when Person A gets finished with their reveal Person B begins theirs?
As members of the human race we go to a lot of work and spend a lot of time and money covering up what we look like. Denying even who we really are. Technology, inventors, scientists and some doctors have spent a lot of time helping us. What other “good things” could have been discovered while all these intelligent minds were rushing products to the shelves to help us hide. What good could have come from that time and effort being invested into other areas?
I know, I know, you want to look your best. Who honestly can even think its an even playing field when some humans are “born beautiful.” All the well meant and best intended advice that “you are beautiful where it matters, on the inside” does not usually translate into a date any night of the week. Looks also matter in the employment field. That or the money to be connected and so you can name drop or smile your way into a great job.
Do not all these things we do to ourselves give us equal opportunity? No. That’s a 100% honest and unvarnished piece of truth. There are hundreds of things that can keep someone from having the “big success” in career, social life, marriage, social economic status. Looks is one of them. All these items to alter your appearance? To project a person you are not on the inside? Do they help? Maybe. Depends on the people you are trying to impress. Then I question who is this person so turned by a pretty face or a fat checking account or a well known surname?
Then you spend even more time keeping up the image, pretending everything is perfectly okay, you are on top of every square inch of your world. With each second that ticks and tocks away deep down you are constantly see-sawing between all you have created to be you (the lies) and who you are (the truth).
Regardless of how much “magic” one manages to purchase to give them opportunties that felt to be impossible one thing is status quo, inside you are who you are. Sure, you can change bad habits, diet, get more education, move up the financial and social status ladders but those aren’t “quick fixes”. These changes require hours and hours of determination, dedication, hard work, scarifice and money.
How long before the artifical changes are revealed as just one big lie? Come on, admit it. Do you know who looks back at you from that mirror? The one you do a mental checklist in before you go out into the world?
The illusion is even easier to pull off for a longer time with the internet and especially the pandemic going on across the world. We are becoming faces behind a computer screen instead of flesh and bone people.
Counting myself as an “ugly girl” my offense in the artifical “not me” would be when I had the funds I had gel nails and I’ve worn a wig a couple times. Once to hide damaged hair from medical issues and yes, once to gain more attention at a Navy Officer’s Club in my 20’s. (Yes, I know how that wig worked it’s magic. It had a life of its own. It became my identify.) I got tired of that wig though. Tired of keeping up the pretense the intensive curly long mane screamed I had become.
Then I got tired of the second wig because it was so hot in humidity ripened 100 degree weather. Even though this time it was a much more day-to-day, much shorter wig I put it in a box tucked away somewhere.
A lack of funds meant a choice between artifical nails or bills getting paid, so the nails went to the by-way.
Honestly, too I am thinking of again wearing a wig and with medication ruining nails I once could grow for myself, I long for them too. For what reason? Fifty-six or not, I still want to look in the mirror and see a woman with hair. Not splitting or breaking a nail picking up a paperclip would be wonderful too. Maybe that’s why everyone else does it too. Medical reasons. Keeping a spouse happy (dangerous reason). It just makes you happy.
Either way it saddens me to witness the great by-pass of true realness. We joke about it. The 6’2″, well built, ruggedly handsome man on the computer screen turning out to be a 5’6″, pudgy man living in his parent’s basement. Or the incredibly beautiful female with perfect skin, hair, nails, clothes and body shape who really looks like the average woman with fussy hair, not-so-perfect body and a chip in her nail polish now and then. For just a few seconds lets forget all our reasons for being artifically attractive. What does this drive communicate?
What does it say to our daughters? What lengths are we teaching them to go to in order to “have a partner/companion”? What are we showing our sons to measure a woman by? Are we showing our children that whatever it is we are trying to “overcome” in our lives it is something or someone elses fault?
What are we saying to society as a whole? Do whatever it takes to level that playing field? Better yet put yourself in a higher position to catch the prize and if you haul tons of grudges, hatred and anger with you so what? Does it matter if you crush anyone you came upon? Once you are on top you will be kind then? Life is never going to be all the same for everyone. Everyone’s mind, physical make-up, soul and hearts are not the same. Everyone’s motives are not the same. Are we human beings or have we been replaced by some yet unknown artifical intelligence?
It reminds me of faternity and sorority hazing. Whenever I would ask a full fledged member why the degredation, humilitation and pain were necessary to become a “brother or sister” I got bluntly honest answers. Bottom line always came down to, “I went through it so they have to do worse. I suffered so now they suffer even more.” Never have understood that. Not sure I ever will. If every pledge group is treated more harshly than the previous as some revenge or payback how long can it continue?
These events in a persons life I believe reveals their true self.
Being in a situation where your dying is the likely outcome.
Having the opportunity to make a change and doing it. Will you treat everyone you perceive as mistreating you the way you want them to treat you?
Becoming a parent.
Standing before God for judgment.
Why bring your attention to such a trivial matter? Who really cares if humans “fake” a bit, it is not hurting anyone right? I propose it is.
I can not feel satisifed with myself if I am constantly seeking something else I can add, raise, suck out or tuck away on my body. I only feel that okayness with who I am and what I look like if I have aligned my heart with God the Father. There are times when I question who I am, what I look like and how much more my medical issues will take from me. I learned the hardest way possible that when we let our careers define us, when they are who we are the time will come when that career will be stripped from you. Its a hard crash to come back from. But, God is always there. I am being me in this un-me world.
What if we deverted 10% of the time we spend in make-believe to spending time with God? To telling others about Jesus the Way of Life? To being a witness for all God has done for you?
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:9-11:
"For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am who I am and his grace to me was not without effect. No I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me."
The Holy Bible, New International Version. 1973, 1978 by International Bible Society. The Zondervan Publishers
Let’s try being who we are in the grace of God. Maybe then we can make the changes in this world so needed if we can do a couple things. Be honest about who and what we are and taking care of our business instead of other peoples.
Continuation of yesterday's blog, "...what happened to Fox News? (Part 1)"
During the Summer of 2020 Murdoch and Trump had an argument.
Trump accused Murdoch of “encouraging” Fox to run negative reports about him. Though not supported by Ecarma’s* piece, it was, it appears, a decision made by Trump to question Murdoch’s support that lead to a negative consequence. It is not to far a step to see that if Murdoch used his influence to have news coverage that was positive towards Trump promoted he could use it to be stopped. Problem is, if this was true, it could just as easily backfire on Murdoch, Fox News as well as Trump.
Trump did allegedly confront Murdoch during the Summer of 2020 in anger. It’s incredible that so close to the November 3 election that Trump would do anything to risk Fox’s support, it makes little sense. But, to do so appears to fit with his personality.
Prior to the research done for this blog I witnessed several news coverages of press conferences. I noticed from what he himself revealed or people around him said, that Trump has many positive attributes.
One, he is a hard worker, survives on little sleep and expects the same dedication and work ethic from those around him.
Two, Trump is willing to make personal sacrifices for the United States of America. While there are those in our country and among the politicians of today who are calling for the wealthy to give up their wealth to assure someone else a boost up, (or level the start line for success for everyone) I never heard any of them willing to point out that Donald Trump was doing that already.
The man donates his salary as the President of the United States to various charities, keeping only the $1 required by law. Yes, it does mean he can get a tax credit for his charitable contributions but that is available to everyone who contributes to charities, non-profits, and churches for example. Of course, take that away from the wealthy and evidentualy it will mean it will be taken from us all.
Three, President Trump has kept his promise and hasn’t played “politics”. This, in my opinion, has as much to do with who Trump is as it does with how he’s been treated by Congress. He’s not been able to count on back-up even within the Republican party because he wasn’t playing the political game the way they’re accustomed to playing.
When his dedication, hard work and sacrifice goes unappreciated and unnoticed his feelings get hurt. When his feelings get hurt he does not do himself any favors by Tweeting or addressing the press. Some people find him rude, bossy, crude and worse. The picture they would paint of him, to me, is that of a bull in a china shop wearing a size 22 double pair of shoes. Although, it is that, I believe which attracts supporters of Trump to him. People are fed up with politics as usual. Whichever political party you support, you should be hearing that message by now.
It’s my opinion that Trump may not be the only person who, when they feel unappreciated, act in inappropriate ways. I believe Murdoch reacted to Trump’s words and accusations and did use his influence to pull Fox’s support.
The Murdoch’s are trying to explain their betrayal so they can save their money. Already it seems Fox is beginning to pay the cost of folding to Murdoch’s pressure. Conservatives, who made up the highest percentage of Fox viewers are pulling their viewership. Fox is in the same boat as all the other main stream media and the name of it is “Untrusted”.
This blogger repeats, Ecarma in his article in Vanity Fair HIVE, nor Maass in The Intercept made the same tie-in I did to that argument between Murdoch and Trump. We watched that coverage change right before our eyes. Not only did Fox begin to mock Trump and trash him they along with all the other main stream media they certainly do not act as if finding out the truth matters at all anymore.
Will the recount, investigations into any of the occurrences of suspected voter fraud change the result of the election? Maybe not enough for Trump to win but it will sure begin to restore the American people’s trust in our voting process and procedures. No relationship can sustain itself, grow in a healthy manner, resolve conflicts and thrive if the foundations of truth and honesty do not exist. No such foundation exists now.
*Reference quoted in Part 1. “Is Rupert Murdoch Completely off the Trump Train?”, The Vanity Fair HIVE by Caleb Ecarma, 10/15/2020
Among the conservatives I know and whose comments are posted on social media, the one main stream media company trusted was Fox News. When allegedly Fox changed the overall tone of its coverage of President Donald Trump on the November 3 Election Night from supportive in nature to deliberately damaging, people noticed. People questioned. People felt betrayed. This writer included.
During researching what sparked this change in Fox the first search lead to who owned Fox. Rumor had it that Disney owned the media company. As with most answers you can find them if you follow the money and consequently, whose money it is.
The initial breadcrumb started at Century 21. Century 21 was owned by multiple people/corporations but the majority stockholder was the Murdock Family via trust with Rupert Murdoch having the most voting power. Plus, one quickly understands Fox is split into multiple pies. Fox News, Fox Sports, Fox Business, Fox Studios, groups of or individual Fox stations for example.
Disney came into the picture in June of 2018 when they were planning to acquire Fox for $71.3 billion for the film studio and TV assets. The buyout was put on hold when Fox shareholders sued and halted the acquisition process. In the acquired certain pies or pieces of pies but not the entire buffet of pies.
However, with a search into directly the Disney buyout status, this blogger discovered two things. One, the acquisition has now gone through. On March 20, 2019 Disney acquired Fox studio and TV assets. Two, Rupert Murdoch, and the Murdoch family retained control of the other Fox pies, whole and in pieces.
Rupert Murdoch was a personal friend of President Trump and financially contributed towards his 2016 and 2020 campaign. It appears the children of Murdoch did not support their father’s choices but he retained the voting block of their trust. Up until the night of the election Fox was the only main stream media that gave positive coverage to President Trump’s 2020 campaign. Then as their viewership watched, Fox turned on Trump like a piece of rotten seafood. Why?
“A behind-the-scenes struggle that could determine the extent of post-election violence in America is breaking into the open, but it’s not at the White Housse of inside the GOP. It is within the billionaire Murdoch family, the owners of Fox News.”
“As Trump is Defeated, the Murdochs Try to Dodge Backlash for Fox News”, The Intercept on theintercept.com, November 6, 2020, written by Peter Maass.
This same article quoted Kathryn Murdoch’s tweet from Friday, November 6, 2020 that read, “I agree with this”. To what was she agreeing? Another Tweet by Jeremy Barr.
“CNN’s Jake Tapper, who says he doesn’t normally talk about competitors: “The Murdochs and the people at Fox have an obligation to put their country above their profits. It is very important that people make it very clear–that there is no credible evidence of widespread fraud.”
Tweeter posts by Kathryn Murdoch @KathrynMurdoch and Jeremy Barr @jeremymbarr. November 6, 2020
By Friday evening the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page skeptically noted that the Trump campaign would have to provide credible evidence of voter fraud. They, along with all the main stream media outlets were denying all evidence, even eyewitness reports and previous news coverage of dumped ballots, and still are despite proven fraud at the writing of this blog. Fox joined the trash Trump campaign calling for him to concede to Biden despite legal means in the works to continue to prove fraud in voting.
These are news outlets. When I went to journalism school we were taught to keep our personal bias out of the news coverage and to report the facts, discover the truth. What passes for journalism now is what was once referred to as yellow journalism and credited to such publications as the National Enquirer. According to this article Fox just suddenly had their eyes opened by the more up-to-date Murdoch’s and tried to save their professional reputations by turning.
I am not quite buying that argument. Why not? Because of another article on October 15, 2020 in the Vanity Fair HIVE online publication titled “Is Rupert Murdoch Completely off the Trump Train”, written by Caleb Ecarma. Normally I would not seek news coverage from Vanity Fair. However, this article brought out a nugget of information that could explain Fox’s drastic change to no longer being supportive of President Trump. An argument it was after all.
Anyone in America that claims not to know there’s a presidential election on November 3, 2020 must have been off the planet since 2014. Following that election those on the losing side have been trying to undo the results of that election. It doesn’t set much hope for this election either.
As a country we’re electing a president. His running mate is going to be vice-president. The President and Vice President of the United States of America. Regardless of who I’m voting for tomorrow, the most important thing is to know who I’m voting for before I enter the poll. This is no time to feel pressured to make a decision. I’m sickened by it all and sick of it all. Can’t we just vote?
Who you’re choosing to vote for, in my opinion, doesn’t matter as much as you voting. Exercise you’re right to vote. It could save your other rights. “Please, please vote. I hope you VOTE. Fulfill your obligation”.
It’s our daughter’s first time to vote, period. We know she’s backing another candidate rather than our’s. That is her privilege, her decision, her right. But, the agony of waiting my turn to vote in person is gnawing at me. Really it’s the unknown of what either side will do or leave someone else to do that is frightening.
Remember 2016 when colleges had to call classes off because kids were so upset President Trump won and not Senator Hillary Clinton? Crayons, coloring books and pizza were brought in. Students were wailing on campus lawns. Professional counselers stood ready to help.
Who or what will they do this time?
You’re getting close to the deadline to vote. This time tomorrow it will be over.
VOTE FOR WHO YOU BELIEVE TRULY CARES ABOUT OUR COUNTRY!
Way back in March of this year my husband and I had been planning a small getaway to the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. Right at the time COVID-19 was causing shutdowns, back-ups in medical care and my husband became deathly ill. Prior to this it had been nine years since we took a “vacation” and fourteen since we went anywhere just the two of us.
My husband grew up in Knoxville and his mother, sister and her family still live there. His mother had just recently had knee replacement surgery and this was one of multiple hospital stays for various reasons in the last few years. We both felt it was important he see her. Plus it had been fourteen years since we saw her.
We talked about our missed getaway and decided to tack it onto our trip to Knoxville. Then, yes, we went to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Yes, we dared travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. I assure you, it’s possible if you plan ahead and are prepared to practice safety measures in the area you are in at that time.
First, lots of people criticized Tennessee for reopening too soon. As a state and from what we witnessed, the citizens are taking COVID-19 seriously. All but one movie theatre was closed. Many fast food restaurants had their indoor dining closed but drive-thru’s were doing a brisk business. Eat-in restaurants operate under limited seating and capacity. All business, including any based on food service, had limited hours they were open.
The one open movie theater afforded us a delightful experience. A movie on a true big screen with complete surround sound. Cinemark, the theater that was open, had some seriously preventive measures going on to stop the spread of COVID-19.
First, there is great encouragement to purchase tickets online and choose your seats. They in turn blocked off all other seating within six feet of you. You run the risk of not being able to sit together with the people you come with or getting tickets at all if you show up and purchase tickets at the time of the movie showing.
Second, movie times were staggered so people from one movie weren’t waiting for concessions, even six feet apart, at the same time. People weren’t just hanging around in the lobby either.
Third, Cinemark had some serious sanitary equipment in operation between movies, before opening and at closing. (And their seats are the big cushy recliners with a heat feature.)
Fourth, facial masks were required, social distancing mandated.
Fifth, concession prices were lowered.
We ourselves always followed the requirements for safety on this trip. But, not one time did we have to wait to enter a store, even at 50% capacity. We did have to wait outside for a table at two restaurants. We took extra sanitary precautions in our hotel room and kept our hands to ourselves going through lobbies. We also didn’t go in anywhere that we didn’t have a real reason to go. We had a bottles of hand sanitizer in our car, my purse and our hotel room.
We drove into the mountains and were amazed at the fall foliage. To witness the change of seasons after being shut up inside our home for seven months was like seeing it for the first time in our lives. Shopping was limited to outlet stores for specific items and there was no extra “just looking”. One of our great treats was from Ben and Jerry’s, we had the best tasting ice cream because we had it outside at a little table where no one got to close. The traffic, which is legendary in this area, wasn’t that bad either, as if the 50% capacity applied to traffic as well.
We left Tennessee much re-energized and more relaxed than when we left home. We’d done it. Managed a sweet, brief trip on our own schedule. Back home all of the realities were waiting. I for one, find myself allowing my creative side to have more freedom. Inspired by the colors, the people, the sights and the sounds my senses rediscovered.
If you’re thinking of a getaway or a vacation as a couple or as a family/group you have to be smart about it. Don’t go to any place with known issues. (Recent outbreaks, riots, upswing in crime.) Go to places where measures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Follow those requirements. Know where you’re staying, how it’s cleaned, keep your hands to yourself and be prepared to take precautions on your own. (Wipe down surfaces with a disinfectant for example, in your hotel room.) But, if you can’t go without stressing over COVID-19 then I’d say stay home. You won’t have a good time if you can’t get past the possibility of a crazy virus being near you.
If you can travel and plan ahead to be extra careful I suggest going for it. I would avoid some areas like New York City though.
“If loving you is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. If being right means living without you I’d rather live a wrong than right. Mama and Daddy say it’s a shame, it’s a downright disgrace, But as long as I got you by my side I don’t care what my people say. My friends tell me there’s no future in loving a married man if I can’t see you when I want, I’ll see you when I can. If loving you is wrong, I don’t wanna be right…” ( —-If Loving You Is Wrong, as sung by Barbara Madrell, written by Homer Banks, Carl Mitchell Hampton, Raymond E. Jackson)
While I don’t suggest anyone base their values/morals on the lyrics of a country song, these lyrics do illustrate something. The person in this song has decided that having an affair, committing adultery knowingly, is okay because “it feels right”. Despite knowing she is choosing to become involved with and remain involved with a man committed to someone else with children involved. “Am I wrong to fall so deeply in love with you, Knowing you got a wife and two little children depending on you too.”
The lyrics echo is much of the decision making of the population today. “It feels right for me to ______________.” You can fill in the blank.
There are guidelines beyond the “social norm” that are meant to keep us at peace with God and with others in our lives.
"I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving out Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naïve people." Romans 16:17-18 (NIV)
Are we naïve, is that a reasonable excuse? The definition of naïve as an adjective is “showing a lack of experience, wisdom or judgment,” “natural and unaffected; innocent” or “of or denoting art produced in a straightforward style that deliberately rejects sophisticated artistic techniques and has a bold directness resembling a child’s work, typically in bright colors with little or no perspective”. (Oxford Languages)
The Bible speaks to that too. “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” I Corinthians 13:11 (NIV)
Reasoning that it’s okay to have an affair with a married person because it feels right is in fact wrong. It’s as naïve as a child eating so much sugar they puke even with warnings from their parent. The same goes for anything else you put in the blank, “It’s okay for me to do ____________ because it feels right.”
It feels right for me to lie, regardless of the hurt, pain or damage my lie may cause, because it feels right.
It feels right for me to abuse this child, because they belong to me and I can do whatever I think feels right.
It feels right for me to cover-up what someone else has done that is illegal, unethical, or dangerous because it pushes forth what I believe feels right to me.
It feels right for me to take my anger, disappointment and pursuit of my goals out on someone else, because it feels good. It feels good to vent. It feels right.
Yet, it’s so wrong. So, so, so wrong.
From the beginning of man’s time on Earth God has been giving directives of how to remain in fellowship with Him. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:15-17 (NIV)
Initially there were two rules. Work and care for the Garden and not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve was conned by Satan in the body of a snake to eat of the fruit of that tree. She allowed herself to be tricked. She in turn gave the fruit to Adam and he too ate it. It wasn’t an intelligent decision. It wasn’t based on truth. Read Genesis 3 – 4 and see the beginning of the outcome. It felt right to Eve and Adam too.
Thus the beginning of mankind. One book later in Exodus 20:1-17 and three books later they are repeated in Deuteronomy 5:6-21 those two rules had become ten. God hadn’t changed, but the hearts of man had and not for the better. If God had to address them in this manner, then the sins must have been prevalent in society.
1. You shall have no other gods before me.
2. You shall not make for yourself any idol in the form of anything or anyone.
3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
4. Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
5. Honor your father and mother.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not give false testimony.
10. You shall not covet any person or anything that is your neighbors.
There are lots of scripture pointing us to what values/morals/lifestyle choices we should make to live a life pleasing to God. If pleasing God isn’t your “thing” this same advice will point you towards making decisions that will lead you to a more peaceful life at the least.
When we as humans feel the desire to do what “feels right” even if a sin in God’s eyes it just proves that we all need GRACE. Every single one of us. Not just a select few.
"For it is by grace you have been saved through faith--and this not from yourselves it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8 (NIV)
God calls us to holiness, to live a righteous life, not to sin. To base our decisions not on what feels right but on WHAT IS RIGHT.
"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV)
Not everyone is the world believes in God. Believes in His Word. I accept that. It is your decision. But, even without taking God or His Word into consideration, take a good look around just the United States these days, how is the “it feels right” mentality working for all of us, not just yourself, not just your cause?