…Help! This isn’t who I brought home!

Art & quote by dfav.

Photo filters.

Posting pictures of our pets, flowers or quotes as profile pictures on social media all the time.

Posting pictures of people other than ourselves and claiming the one pictured is us. (You do know this is the first move of a catfisher, right?)

Weaves. Wigs. Toupees.

Artifical nails.

Shapewear. Shoe lifts. Knock-offs.

Cushioned “help” in the buttocks and chest area.

Colored contact lenses.

Fat injections. Botox. Liposuction. Cool sculpture.

(This is not an exhaustive list.)

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?
  • Marriage.
  • 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.


“…who is THAT woman?”

Husband and I at the 2019 Butterbean Festival with a Chick-fil-a cow.

Fifty-six is not a terribly high number. A lot closer to sixty than I want, but still, not bad. Right? My own mother passed away when she was fifty-four. Given my health issues and the number of times my husband and I have been told I probably would not make it through the night alive, fifty-six is a gift.

In December of “the year that shall not be spoken” our daughter got COVID-19 on her job as a health care worker. Then her father and I did too. Our daughter is 19, healthy and aside from feeling bad she recovered quickly. It hit my husband and I much harder. Between the two of us, I was the sicker one although none of us had to be in the hospital. (Sincerely, thank You Father!)

Finally “recovered” I looked in the mirror, down at my hands and my one foot left after the amputation and recoiled in disbelief. Who was this old woman staring at me with wide eyes and mouth agape?

Where had these gray hair come from? No kidding, they were not there three weeks ago. The flaky skin? The hands covered with hundreds of little wrinkles? After I inventoried every part of me I had to face the harsh truth, my body had a parade march across it and every thing left its mark.

I have never been a girly-girl but I enjoyed the times putting on the glitz and bling felt wonderful. Now, I am not kidding COVID-19 took ten years and added it to my face and hair.

Do I start wearing a wig again? Good option but they are hot in summer. Wigs provide “more hair”. My own thinned out in 2004 when I was incredibly sick (and the doctors kept promising it would grow back in) and COVID took more. So having more coverage is good.

Another option is hair color. It is an option that is going to require constant maintenance and it will not thicken my hair. Although I could go blue except for the bleaching of my hair which would damage it further.

This far I’ve been battling the flaky skin with exfoliating scrubs all over and tons of the best moisturizer and rehydration creams I can afford. Looks like a change in foundation (make-up) is also required. The one good thing about having to wear a mask when outside is that I do not have to line or use lip color on my lips surrounded by fine lines all of a sudden.

Yet, the saddest damage is to my heart. Just as quickly as COVID-19 invaded our household the feeling I am only a shell of the woman I was took residence in my mind and heart. This is going to sound even sillier than anything else I have shared but I am mourning things lost that have been gone for a decade or more. Like having a biological child. There is no need to imagine the look on the face of my face when the lab reports a positive pregnancy test anymore. Or the faces of my husband and daughter!

Passion seems to be a faded memory as well. Understanding those complicated relationships I always thought I would get later in life when I was “grown-up” does not seem to be happening either.

The good news is that aside from the health issues I knew about before today, my new doctor (my doctor of 20+ years retired when I had COVID) was pleased with how I am handling my health. Yes, I do have a few COVID “leftovers”. My left eye has a bit of black spot in the first half-hour/hour when I wake up. There is fluid build-up in my ears that causes me to hear things differently than they are said. (Or maybe my family needs to stop mumbling?)

My heart though still looks at myself and thinks, “Who is this woman with my mind, heart and soul but with all this gray hair, flaky and dry skin and fine wrinkles”?

Stick around and when I figure it out I will clue you in!

Suddenly old,


…what was revealed at worship this morning?

Location: LFBC, Alabama. Photo by dfav. 11/08/2020

With COVID, my husband’s illness, my lack of mobility when I am alone, we’ve not been blessed by being able to attend church services steadily once our state government made it possible again. Until the last month when it depended on physical strength, breathing and a whole lot of wanting to.

This morning, for the first time in eight months my bass singing husband was able to stand up with the worship team and sing again. It was a tremendous faith resulting event for both of us, our church and wholly the work of God in our lives.

Not surprising, music is where God worked in my heart right away this morning.

For every day and night since the 2020 Presidential Election kicked into high gear I’ve really wrestled with trying to understand what was going on. After the actual vote I kept it up. As of this writing, the only ones sure of a winner of the Presidential Election are the national news media and the Democratic Proclaimed winner.

I still have many questions. Answers seem far away. Truth seems to have disappeared. This country, America, that I love, seems closer to peril than before the election. And yes, I really struggle with not reacting to posts, comments, and people whose actions, behaviors and thought processes are plain offensive.

This morning though messages I received that eliminated part of the struggle for me came from the lyrics of a song, “In the Father’s House” as sung by Cory Asbury.

"...my failure won't define me
That's what my Father does...
Ooh...lay your burdens down.
Ooh...here in the Father's House.
Check your shame at the door,
'Cause it ain't welcome anymore,
Ooh...you're in the Father's house..."

If in my quest to avoid conflict, confrontation with people I consider friends and even some of my family members, I kept the “peace”. Had it come at a dreadful cost? If so, I found assurance that it’s a failure that won’t define me. I know I voted the way I was lead to by God, the Father. Yet, I also know people who would say the same thing about themselves who voted exactly opposite of me.

If God was leading all of us, then how did we end up at such radically different decisions when our pens touched the ballots this week? If anything should absolutely mirror us the exact same, it should be the Word of God.

Now if you don’t believe in God, or His Word and have no respect for either or anyone who does, that would answer the question immediately. I’m not talking about those who choose this way to live. I’m talking about those of us who claim we do.

"The story's never over,
If the story isn't good,
Failure's never final
When the Father's in the room."

This portion of the son brought load of tears to my eyes. If I am the one who has sinned and refused to listen to the Father’s directive, “the story” isn’t over even if it isn’t good. God will take my failure and make something good out of it. That’s the kind of God He is. Now, He won’t remove the consequences of my sin (if in this case I am the one who is wrong) but He is prepared to help all of us through the next four years. The story doesn’t end here, in these moments.

After investing a lot of time into researching a lot of the candidates and their respective parties, I have come away with a cynical, very cynical view of main stream media. Plus, so many of the alternative sources as well. Add to that the candidates themselves.

For example, in my home state we had a long-term Democratic senator on the ballot for re-election. Not sure of the reasons why exactly the Alabama Republican Party put forth a former instate SEC football coach to challenge him. In my research this coach was a decent coach but he has no political experience and at the time of his nomination was a resident of Florida.

Was this the best we had? Maybe so. Would you run for a political office given the cess pool politics has become? I sure wouldn’t. Maybe that’s why our pool of choices was so limited.

I voted for the coach simply because my conscience wouldn’t allow me to vote for the now outgoing senator. He was the least of two evils.

"Miracles take place
The cynical find faith 
And love is getting through 
When the Father's in the room. 
Jericho walls are quakin' 
Strongholds now are shakin'  
Love is breakin' through 
When the Father's in the room..." 

With those words I could picture all of our prayers combining this morning, upholding one another, a crowd of around a hundred people (and more not knowing how many were viewing our service on Facebook or YouTube), lifting our hearts and voices in prayer.

I could almost hear the steady thump, thump of the feet of the children of Israel as they marched around Jericho in silence until the last day. Or were those our feet marching around Washington D.C.? The strongholds shaking were those of the past or of the current? Right down to the private ones we hid in our lives?

We were certainly reaching God. I could almost see the movement between us of the Holy Spirit. Was this same uplifting happening in every other House of Worship this morning? If not, why not? If we’re all worshipping the same God, how can we be so divided?

Not just on abortion, healthcare, taxes, jobs, foreign relations, racial relations, education to name a few, but on the foundational stones of our society and our lives? Things like truth? Trust? You absolutely cannot build any relationship if there is not 100% honesty so there can be 100% trust.

I’m blessed again by being able to say, I was able to understand all this even before our pastor preached. He too brought the Gospel and the truth.



…about forgiveness?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When it comes to love, people have a lot of expectations. Some of those are reasonable, good, and necessary. But, sometimes these relationships are unhealthy, unbalanced and even abusive.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Bible has a lot to say about love in all avenues of our lives.

Love between neighbors:

“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.” Leviticus 19:18a

The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1973, 1978, Zondervan Corporation.

Love for God:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5

The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1973, 1978, Zondervan Corporation.

Love for your enemies:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:38-42

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48

The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1973, 1978, Zondervan Corporation.
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Love between husband and wife:

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-24

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church–for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:25-33

The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1973, 1978, Zondervan Corporation.
Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Love between parents and children:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise–“that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:1-4

The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1973, 1978, Zondervan Corporation.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

What happens though, when the relationship isn’t healthy? What happens when the relationship is abusive? And there’s a whole lot of ways a relationship can be abusive.

A relationship between a church member and a church can be abusive if scripture is twisted and used as a means of control or to excuse sin. We tend to think of this relationship as between a cult and their members but I’ve known of it to occur in churches where leadership is uneducated, where tradition is taught more than scripture.

Relationships between husband and wife can definitely be abusive. The ways are many: physical, emotional, sexual, verbal, psychological, financial, and spiritual. These relationships do so much damage to the partner being abused. It can be either way, husband to wife or wife to husband.

Children can certainly be abused by a parent, older sibling, cousin, aunt or uncle, or another adult, such as a live-in partner. A child who grows up in an abusive home is likely to be an abuser or to accept abusive behavior toward them because it’s all they’ve ever known.

When abuse happens, when someone is swallowing their emotions, their words to avoid making the abuse worse at some point an explosion occurs, scores must be settled. Healing can and will take place if you are able to forgive.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Especially when you get yourself out of the abusive relationship and are working on moving on from it. The Bible is also clear about forgiveness.

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21-22

“So watch yourselves. ‘If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Luke 17:3-4

The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1973, 1978, Zondervan Corporation.

God’s Word is clear in His expectation we forgive those who hurt us. What that looks like, how that happens isn’t quite so clear a picture so I speak from experience.

My father was physically, emotionally, financially, and even spiritually abusive to us. There were times he struck our mother, many, many times he was physically abusive to two of his three children. He was emotionally unavailable to us usually except for the youngest child. That turned out to be abusive too.

The church we attended in my teenage years was spiritually abusive in that tradition was taught, scripture twisted to make their point. For example that women should not wear pants inside the church building. The first time I did after I left home for college I got nothing out of the service because I was afraid God was going to strike me with lightening during the service. It was a physical relief when I walked outside after service in one piece.

One summer between the first and second grade I was molested by a family member staying with us to help my mother with a sick child by caring for us older two. My parents were so angry with me.

As a young adult trying to make it on my own far away from home on February 9 I was raped in my apartment.

There have been a couple romantic relationships that were emotionally abusive.

Sadly, even a relationship with a family member became emotionally abusive as we moved into adulthood.

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

Each of these relationships have had an event that set me on the road to forgiveness for the abuser and myself. Sometimes, I can reach that point easier than others. But, each time I have forgiven, without giving that person the power to hurt me again.

There have been some relationships, some abuse that lasted longer in my life and I’ve forgiven, reforgiven and repeated the act, the prayer, the release multiple times, sometimes daily. But, I keep on doing it because God tells me He expects me to forgive for He has forgiven me.

When God forgives me He forgives the sin but He doesn’t remove the consequences of my sin. I had opportunities in life that I failed to take advantage of because my self-esteem was beaten down so low. God would have helped me had I been willing to try, but I was still convinced I was meant for the back row, not the front.

I encourage you to turn to God for help forgiving those who have hurt you. Live your life where God wants you. Forgive, forgive and repeat until the need lessens. Don’t expect the other party to ask for forgiveness, or to even acknowledge the pain they’ve caused.

Forgive because God expects you to.

Forgive because God loves you.

Forgive because God forgives you.

Forgive because it will keep you from carrying the burden of unforgiveness one moment longer.


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…what do you mean you traveled during this pandemic?

The fog looked like smoke at first but the closer we got, the heavier it became. Photographer – dfav, 10/22/2020

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 it feels “right” then why not?

“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?


Have we so quickly forgotten 9/11/01?

With deep sadness I would answer to the title query, “Yes, yes way too many American’s have. “

Some display with their choices of actions and belief systems as evidence that they’ve forgotten America’s worst foreign attack on her own land since Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. It was also the “deadliest terrorist attack in world history”. The images of September 11, 2001 are only 19 years in the past, and were horrifying haunting.

The North Tower of the World Trade Center was struck by Flight 11 at 8:46:40 at a speed of roughly 466 mph. The plane was deliberately flown into the 93-99 floors on the north side of the North Tower. Yes, apparently some have forgotten.

The second plane, Flight 175, struck at 9:02:57 at 590 mph between floors 77-85. Both towers would collapse completely. Yes, apparently more than a few have forgotten.

In and around the World Trade Towers, 2606 people lost their lives. Included in that number were 343 firefighters and 71 law enforcement personnel. Over 6000 people were injured in the surrounding area. These people were representative of not just America’s but dozens of other countries as well. Yes, apparently some have forgotten.

I had a friend who volunteered to go to the scene in NYC to provide counseling on-site for those still searching for survivors and the clean-up. She shared with us about being with someone who discovered body parts, such as fingers, pieces of hands, arms, feet and bones on tops of nearby buildings. A lot more was lost on 9/11 than those listed on the casualty list. One can’t see that and ever be the same. Yes, apparently multitudes of people have forgotten.

The third plane, Flight 77 at 9:37:46 at 530 mph crashed into the Pentagon with a cost of 125 people lives, 55 military personnel and 70 civilians. Yes, apparently we’ve forgotten.

The fourth and final flight, Flight 93, over a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania crashed at 10:03:11 at 583 mph. This plane was also hijacked by members of the same terrorist cells. Learning about the other planes a group of passengers attempted to overtake the hijackers whose intent was to crash the plane into the US Capital Building. The hijackers then deliberately crashed the plane to keep the passengers from getting into the cockpit. A total of 196 lives were lost when Flight 93 crashed. Yes, apparently some have forgotten.

Only 19 jihadists turned hijackers lost their lives in the four planes. (Stats on 9/11/01 attacks and loss of life were taken from Wikipedia, Casualties of the September 11 attacks. Last edited/updated by Enwebb 9/11/2020.) Less than 1% of the total lives lost. Oh, yes, we’ve apparently forgotten.

In the days, weeks, months following the 9/11/01 terrorist attack something else changed in the United States. American’s packed churches, lined up and waited to donate blood, neighbors checked on neighbors, and volunteering became fulfilling. How frail the thread between life and death became vibrantly clear. When it comes to death, when is not our choice, usually.

Most of all we were all American’s, determined to fight back and prove to anyone watching we would not lay down and let anyone bring death, destruction and disrespect here. That is no longer the united message a section of our population are sending today. Yes, yes, yes apparently there are those who’ve forgotten.

New York was wrecked where once the Twin Towers had stood were gaping holes. Life forever altered on 9/11/01. But, New York recovered. Again, for it wasn’t necessarily that way before the Twin Towers were destroyed, but people could walk down a New York street again without fear of being a crime victim. Sadly, it hasn’t held onto that change. It’s clear the bonding as one people and other lessons we’ve learned from the events of 9/11/01 has been forgotten.

Today New York City is again devastated and the threat is a combination of foreign influence, internal turmoil, and incredibly terrifying leadership in our cities, states and Washington D.C. Across America there is little show of a unity of American’s.

Riots, vandalism, looting, burning buildings, harassment of those trying to live life on the slower end of COVID-19, burglaries in broad daylight, assault and rapes on the sidewalks, murders, assault on police officers… Yes, some have forgotten.

Furthermore, they are saying in behaviors, that some of them don’t give a damn. Come on, people are shouting in the streets “Death to America” and other things I choose not to repeat because of the language used. Yes, I would say, some have forgotten.

Not only are the 244 years of American history being “canceled” but that includes history only 19 years ago. Yes, some have forgotten 9/11/01.

What do you think?

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