Thursday, October 23, 2008

An Excerpt........

When the sun rises I work:
When the sun sets I rest.
I dig the well to drink;
I plow the field to eat.
What has the Emperor to do with me?
(A Chinese Country Folk Song)

I’ve read several books by Pearl S. Buck. (I actually found a small set of them on our trip up north in an antique store). For those who are not familiar with her writings, she wrote "The Good Earth". She was the daughter of American missionaries to China. She spent her childhood years there, growing up among the Chinese people and learning to love them for who they were. This is an excerpt from her book “My Several Worlds”. This is not the first of her observations of the Chinese people to ring strikingly familiar chords to what we are hearing in our own country at this time. Mind you this was written in 1951 about life in China during the early 1930’s………

As a matter of fact, the Chinese had always governed themselves. They distrusted governments and even held them in contempt. They were cynical to the last degree about official honesty and their ancient adage is that the best government is the one that governs least. And the Chinese people were quite capable of self-government. Their traditional family system was a sound basis for a new kind of modern democracy. In China, before Communism began its destructive work on the family system, there was no need for the expense of institutionalism which lies so heavily upon our own democracy. There were no orphanages, for the family as a whole remained responsible for the care of the child who had lost his immediate parents. There were no insane asylums, for the family cared for its insane. As a matter of fact, there were very few insane, for the family system provided individual security without disgrace, and thus removed one of the main causes of modern insanity, the lost individual. There needed to be no relief rolls, for again the family as a whole cared for its members who were jobless. Only in time of widespread famine and catastrophe did there have to be outside help. Business was stable in a large middle class, for the generations carried it on in the same family. The family was morally responsible for each of its members, and the disgrace of any member was a family disgrace.
Could Sun Tat-sen and his followers, and this includes the later Nationalist Government under Chaing Kai-shek, have understood the value of this family system and have built upon it, there is no doubt that Communism would not be ruling in China today. One proof of this is that the Communists have made their main attack upon the family system.

Isn’t it amazing that God set up the family the way he intended it to be, and as man has tried to alter, and even destroy it, he, in the process, has destroyed and inflicted injury on the very society he lives in?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Trip "Up North"

For those of you who read this blog, I have been gone for a 10 day trip with my three sisters and two of my cousins on a trip to northern Michigan. Thus the beautiful picture!

It is good to be home, although I must recommend such a trip to anyone who wants to see spectacular fall foliage. As we traveled north to Traverse City, the sun was shining on the trees, and they literally glowed. I commented that it was almost like God had plugged them in. My cousin Donna reminded me with a grin on her face “that He did it just for us.”

Our visit to Mackinaw Island was something that the anticipation was worth. It was on a typical Michigan fall day, with chilly breezes, drizzly rain, and cloudiness that sort of just “settled”, but it was the ideal environment to spend a day on an island where the mode of transportation is horse drawn carriage, or bicycle. It doesn’t suggest, but requires you to “slow down”; literally. The Grand Hotel is the cherry on top to remind you of a gentler time where propriety, and manners, gentleness and care were taken in all things. I recommend it!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Friends of Difference

I have a dear friend who is an Obama supporter. She has read his books, and has made it perfectly clear that she will vote for him on November 4th. Our political leanings are similar in some areas, and worlds apart in others. Our reasons for voting the way we will are our own.
I want to say though, that it is because of her and her reading and knowledge of the political playing field that I have been compelled over the last several months to research the reasons for voting the way I will. She has always been good for me when it comes to pushing me to find out for myself what I think, how I interpret information, and how it will affect my choices. She is intelligent and what I consider to be a well read, voracious reader, thus I feel she has only my best interests at heart, when she spurs me on in this fashion.
But I must give her credit when I say she has not pressured me to vote for her choice. In fact, with this election year becoming so heated, and downright ugly, we have agreed NOT to discuss politics, and place our years of friendship and love for one another above it.
Ours is a story that has put us on the same side in educational warfare for the sake of our children and on opposite sides when it has come to decisions of life choices, and politics, but we have found like David and Jonathan (don’t ask me who is who), that our friendship runs unbelievably deep through all of these things.
The scripture in Proverbs 27:17 comes to mind when I sit and regard the relationship we have.
As iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
I have several friends that I have sound differences with. The fact that we can sit and discuss these differences and continue to love each other and be there for one another is what I cherish most about these relationships. Our priorities are straight. We have placed our relationships above philosophy, politics, and distance realizing that variety is the spice of life, rulers come and go, and telephones, and email are a gift. We realize we were all created differently for a reason, trusting God to reveal it to us as we go through life. Heartache and challenges only seem to bond us closer together, for age, as it comes, seems to remove the layers of trivial issues exposing the valuable instead.
Maybe it is because we are women, maybe it is because of our differing backgrounds that we have found and latched on to each other, hanging on more tightly as time has come and gone. Whatever it is, it is a precious gift, and like most precious gifts is not tangible, nor should it ever be taken for granted. I will always be thankful for my friends “of difference”.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Who you gonna vote for.......God!

The media has either shunned her, or edited her to look like a stumbling bumbling inarticulate VP candidate. However, last night Sarah Palin showed us that under pressure she is a quick study, and can deliver when the situation demands it. Considering she is the Governor from Alaska, and not a U.S. Senator of 30 years experience in the Washington politic machine, I think she did really well. I was impressed how quick on her feet she was, and had obviously been doing some homework on policies, etc. I admire her willingness to be thrown, literally, into the deep end of the pool. I wouldn’t want to be in her position for all the money in the world.

Joe Biden was the well mannered elder statesman that he should have been. His answers reflected his years of experience, and he responded in the typical political lingo that we have all come to, ho-hum, expect from senators with his credentials, and qualifications.

Nothing splashy here. Nothing to get worked up about. Nothing to help us “decide” who would be the better at “the job” if it came down to it.

I do think that people are judging John McCain on George Bush’s 8 years in office, instead of his own record, and what he will bring to the office if elected. Obviously, it isn’t going to be business as usual, Sarah Palin is on board, and I can’t quite pigeon hole her in the “business as usual” category.

I ask someone the other day who they were going to vote for and they said Barak Obama. Why? They are ready for a change—she couldn’t tell me what kind of change, but she was ready for change.

I asked someone else a day or two later who they were going to vote for and they replied John McCain. Why? She didn’t think America was ready for a black president.

Answers like this scare the be-jeezers out of me.

I’m glad when people vote, I’m thrilled that they take the time to get out there and register, and vote, but OH MY!! The lack of information that determines those opinions is terrifying.

I’m not an expert on either political candidate, and I have to admit that my reasons for voting for whom I will vote for might seem just as inane as those mentioned above, but I’ve checked voting records, and I’ve read transcripts of interviews, and debates (we don’t get television), and I feel a little more informed than most of the people I ask about it. I don’t try to change anyone’s mind; I just go home and pray for God to be in control of what happens on Nov. 4th. I trust Him, and am actually taking him with me to the voting booth. I hope you will too.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Don't Have It All............

I have more.

By not 'having it all,' I've settled for something infinitely more precious than paychecks. I've become the guardian of new life, a builder of memories, a source of inspiration, and a central figure in my family's history. What I have contributed to their lives is invaluable and irreplaceable. -- Debra Evans in Heart & Home