Category Archives: America

Ideas To Support The Candidate You Didn’t Choose

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I want to be quiet. To rest in it. The political noise has hurt my senses.

I don’t do political posts. That is not my niche’. I don’t claim to be vastly knowledgeable about either candidate. I will be honest, I definitely did not want Obama. I hoped someone who seemed to appreciate democracy and had a strong business background could strengthen this wonderful country. I shed tears with shock when Obama was re-elected. Then, I determined to get on with things and look ahead.

Let it not be said that I agree with anything Obama appears to represent. His character seems questionable to me, that is my personal impression. Let me clarify, that although my heart leans that way, I am always willing to be educated further. (Please save the nasty comments and emails, respectfully offered information, however, is gladly accepted).

I will not be one who is interested in further division in this country. I am sticking with a verse I heard last night, John 3:17 that impacted me in a fresh way. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” I was fortunate to hear Chonda Pierce last night at a comedy concert. She took a serious turn when she offered insight into how the non-Christian world sadly views most Christians. And I knew, that I would work harder to make it clear that if Jesus is not here to condemn, let it be understood that I am not either. I am here to love. I love people of all faiths and backgrounds.

People we can have vastly different points of view. But, I ask you in all sincerity, where is the profit in slandering others? The public venom I see from Democrats, gloating angrily at Republicans? Perhaps there also is stories where the reverse is true.

I might not agree with you. You might disagree with me. There is no reason, none, that we can’t reach out and try to understand each other better. I hope you will join me in this pursuit. Please. Our country is great, full of wonderful people and ideas. Division won’t heal our rifts. Don’t gloat if you feel victorious. Don’t be bitter if you feel dejected. I am moving forward.  Love heals.

If you support Obama, please…do share here. Why? I don’t mean that you appreciate his health care or support of certain rights. Tell me about this man, what am I missing? I want to respect our President. Help me.
Five Minute Friday

Jeep Run In High Desert

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I thought it would be fun to share what my parent’s do for a hobby. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “Jeep Run”, in CA they have many areas that Jeep owners gather for to off-road. My girls were fortunate to come visit this week during an organized run in the high desert.  It was a thrill for them to spend the day slowly climbing, dipping and balancing. Someone rolled their jeep off the trail, down it went until it hit a tree. The community spirit is part of the draw. It is typical for fellow Jeepers to stop, figure out some way to right the Jeep, and get it moving (whether that means continuing the run or getting back to camp). There is often someone whose Jeep is damaged. Part of the risk, part of the sport, and avoiding it is part of the skill. It takes practice, talent, and a friendly support to guide drivers over precarious areas. The days can be hot and dusty, and in the desert the night can cool off dramatically. It has been many years since I was able to go along, but the night sky left a lifelong impression. Truly, the experience is amazing.

 

Levi Coffin House and The Underground Railroad

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Julie Campbell from http://juliecampbell1.blogspot.com/ is my special guest writer today. You’ll enjoy her post about the Levi Coffin House in central Indiana, and the connection to the Underground Railroad

Underground Railroad Adventure

A few days ago, I walked in the long-forgotten footsteps of runaway slaves.
My feet touched the same smooth ash floorboards as theirs did over 170 years ago when they were rushed through a side door and silently led upstairs to a cramped hiding place.
My hands touched the same walls that symbolized refuge and safety to these refugees seeking a better life.

My children sat in the same wagon that had smuggled these brave souls past slave hunters to a red brick house on the Underground Railroad. On one occasion 17 slaves hid in this small wagon…

And I thanked God for freedom.
I wondered what would motivate men like Levi Coffin risk their lives for people they didn’t even know.
Was it love for their fellow man? The ability to look beyond color and see slaves as who they really were – people just like themselves? Conviction? Faith? Bravery? Maybe all of the above.

Whatever the reason, Coffin’s house still stands brave and strong in Fountain City, Indiana, a monument to the man who helped more than 2,000 escaped slaves taste freedom.

My children and I have been fascinated with the Underground Railroad ever since we read Freedom Train, a biography of Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave who led thousands of her people to freedom. Coffin and Tubman met somewhere on the Underground Railroad route, although the exact location is not known. I’m sure they hit it off instantly.
During the two-hour tour of this “Grand Central Station” of the Underground Railroad, we marveled at the facts and stories told to us by two very knowledgeable guides.
Here is just a sampling of what we saw and heard:
*Levi and Catharine Coffin were Quakers who moved to Indiana from North Carolina in 1826 because they opposed slavery.
*In the 1840s, strong, healthy adult slaves were worth $1,000 each – that’s around $26,000 in today’s money. On nee occasion, a      wagon concealing 17 – yes, that’s right, SEVENTEEN – slaves arrived at Coffin’s side door.
*A rare indoor well helped conceal the fact that there were more people living in the house than usual. If the Coffin children would have been seen going to an outdoor well for water 10 or more times a day, people may have become suspicious.

*Once, Coffin helped rescue two little girls from slave hunters by smuggling them out of a nearby house dressed as boys and hiding them INSIDE beds in one of his upstairs bedrooms. The girls were talking and giggling so much he had to put them in two separate beds!

*The most well-used hiding spot in the house was in the garret/attic in the upstairs bedroom. This was a tiny space under the sloping roof of the house, with a three-foot tall door leading to it. The door could be concealed by moving the bed in front of it.
Can you imagine hiding in this cramped space on a 90 degree day for more than 12 hours? Slaves were not allowed to move around at all during the day, but they were able come out of the garret in the evening. As I peeked inside the tiny hiding spot during our tour, I could almost hear their whispered conversations about freedom and their shared hopes and dreams of life as free men and women.
If you live remotely close to east central Indiana, I highly recommend a trip to the Levi Coffin house. History will come alive for students and adults alike who have studied the Underground Railroad.
The house is located at 113 N. US Highway 27 in Fountain City, Indiana (close to Richmond). Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children (ages 6-18). For more information, call the museum’s information line at (765) 847-2432.
( Ugh.Forgive any formatting errors, they reflect my own skill set today not the original writer’s! )

Special Olympics Summer Games

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We just returned from a trip to the Special Olympics to support my cousin. That is why we went, but it not why we’ll be going again every year possible. Turns out, that’s one of the funnest weekends our family has ever had. Hundreds of athletes, and make no mistake, many were amazingly athletic…meeting up to showcase their spirit and skill.

I was struck by the knowledge that out in everyday society many of these delegates might be stared at, misunderstood, labeled. Here? They were honored and valued guests. The heroes. They were loved, encouraged, and the givers of great inspiration. Each person was recognized not for their disability, but their ability. Allison, 100 meter walker. Chris, Shot Put Thrower. Sarah, Gymnast. It was beautiful.

As the athletes were awarded their medals, fierce applause rang out, often by the athletes. For themselves and for each other. Professional photographers snapping away. The experience was truly amazing.

And the Victory Dance, whew…do those Olympians know how to party! A DJ spun the crowd into a frenzy with the funkiest dance music imaginable. I have experienced countless fun things in my life, but this dance had to rate in the top 5. There was no way NOT to join in the fun. Every person dancing in their own way, without regard to self-image or rhythm. Even my decisively NON dancing family members boogied the night away. The energy was palpable.

When we were leaving my girls were hurriedly exchanging phone numbers and emails with their new friends. Genuine, solid, new friendships. They animatedly talked the whole way home about next year, every year after that how we had to come…how we could get involved in our own state…how wonderful each person on our team was. It was heartfelt. So next June, if you want to join us and get to know these Special Olympians, make sure you stay for the Victory Dance. Don’t let the party train leave without you

http://www.specialolympics.org/

Garden of the Gods

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Garden of the Gods is touted as one the most enjoyable places to visit in America. These pictures aren’t altered, it really is this gorgeous. The pictures barely give a hint of the depth of color that shouts out God’s glory here.

Can you find the “kissing camels” in the next shot?

And as you veer around another direction the landscape changes once again. Being at the base of the mountains we can face towards the flat plains of Kansas. Towards home…which is really the best view there is.