Be careful how you judge.

This was the news which I had pulled up this morning.

I was fascinated, since, I had been telling people this for years. Be very careful of your bigotry. You just may find you are one of the people you hate. This is so ignorant to hate a class of people for their ethnicity. It really comes down to a fear of what one doesn’t understand.

The Jews were scattered and the tribes ended up all over this planet. Always hiding, because of the hatred others had toward them. The Lord told us that in the last day, they would be restored and I see evidence of this everywhere. But remember, these people were chosen, for good reason. And how do you know that you are not of these people? Even if you are not a descendant, remember also, by faith, we are grafted into this vine, becoming heirs of the covenant made with Abraham.

Isn’t it amazing how the Lord turns our gaze, back to ourselves? He warned us many times, to be careful how we judge, and this story is such a picture of this scripture being revealed. “Be careful how you judge, lest you be judged by the same measure you use.”

Of course, this is happening more and more, as the ability to trace our genealogy, becomes easier. These days were also referred to in the book of Daniel. The angel told Daniel that the things he witnessed, “would not be revealed until the time of the end. When people would be running to and fro, seeking knowledge.” Of course, with the advent of computers and all of this technology, we know this age as, “the information age.”

When we see all of these things happening, we can be sure that the Lord is standing at the door. I believe we are living in the most exciting times, biblically speaking. And now it is time for people to get their households in order. Find out who you are, in this ‘family tree.’ The Lord tells us, “I am the vine, you are the branches, and all who abide in me, shall bring forth much fruit.”

He also told us to, learn of me. Jesus was born of the nation of Israel for a reason. There is a purpose and a plan in everything God did. Learn of Him, and you will find out who you are as well.  This is not a religious experience, but an intimate relationship with your creator! He has told us, “not one jot or tittle, shall pass away, before His return. If you want to know what that is, they are the smallest characters in the Hebrew alphabet. He is telling us that, every single, word, has meaning and purpose.

The information age, indeed. Find out what this information means to you!

The Cantankerous Crossing Guard

This kid is looking for trouble!

This kid is looking for trouble!

As I drove my son to school this morning, we  were chatting.

He was trying to eat a bowl of sugary, frosted flakes without milk and drink a glass of orange juice. Never mind that he has ample time to do this at a table. He seems to like to grab as he goes. It’s a common theme in my house, since I have been a flight attendant for most of my life. And as everyone knows, we can only eat while standing since so much of our time has been devoted to eating in galleys on airplanes.

As I watched him stuffing the dry flakes into  his mouth, I said, “you know I saw a show the other day and they said that a bowl of cereal like that is equivalent to eating about 6 chocolate chip cookies for breakfast.”  “So?” This was his response, “And your point is?” I started to laugh as if it just dawned on me, that I was not conveying this important health fact to a friend of mine, but to an 11-year-old boy. I’m sure he would have much rather had the chocolate chip cookies. They sure would have been a lot easier for him to handle in the car.

Next, I drove a few more blocks and had to sit in the line that attempts to merge together with oncoming traffic. We must make our turns into the school driveway and I have to leave my house  30 minutes early for this, even though I’m 5 minute’s from the school.

“There she is,” I tell my son. “The cantankerous crossing guard. She’s probably going to stop me again, like she did that one morning, to reprimand me, since she had not yet stepped her foot back onto the curb.” Never mind that I have watched countless others doing the same thing. I also thought it humorous that she had to walk a longer distance to me, just to say something, than to get onto the curb. She seemed to single me out as she approached with her Stop sign that day. I told her, “everyone has crossed.” “Yes, but I’m still in the street!” Hmm, now I wait until she’s done and I watch to confirm that indeed, she had it out for me.

“Hey,” I said to my son. “Did I ever tell you about my brush with fame?” “No.” “Well, when I was in elementary school, I was a crossing guard. That’s right, a Lieutenant. My friend Romaine, was the Captain. Of course there were only two of us, but we were powerful. When I put on that orange belt, (Romaine’s was yellow) I commanded attention.

“I caught all kinds of kids trying to walk against the light and sometimes they even tried to jaywalk!” At this my son just started cracking up! All kinds of flakes flying in my car.All I could think of was, that I would have to deal with kids like him every morning. All jacked up on that cereal with the equivalence of 6 cookies, along with their syrupy orange juice. That combined with the rebellious parents that refuse to stay put, even with my stop sign, made me cringe. I’m starting to feel a little bit sorry for this woman. Gee, I hope I can get the WalMart Greeter job, instead of this, I thought.

Of course, this job did offer greater perks. In my day I didn’t get to hold a stop sign,Oh! That would have been the greatest. This must be the updated uniform. But then, the ‘cantankerous crossing guard,’ doesn’t get to wear the belt. Perhaps that is just what she needs to get respect.

Respect Your Crossing Guards!

The person behind the sign!

I have been driving my son to school and since the beginning of the year, I have noticed her absence. My one and only Cantankerous Crossing Guard. I have posted the link to my post in her honor. I have no idea where she is, but I intend to find out.

After all she’s scared the crap out of kids and adults for some time, and I had a profound respect for her. I had a love/hate relationship with her. I saw the gentle loving way she waved and almost turned immediately to wave that Stop sign and chase down violators. I happened to have been one  of those, violators, and after her chastising me, I never did it again. I actually think I had  nightmares about her.

It’s because of her, that I take time and notice my crossing guards. There is another woman who has taken her place, and although she is not as colorful, she deserves respect, none the less.

I notice the guy on the other corner, and my daughter is convinced he’s using his power to attract women. He stands with his leg resting on a fire hydrant, as if he’s way too cool to direct his wards.

I laugh every time I see him, at the thought that he could actually be flirting with the parents driving by. I mean, I think of a conversation taking place, as he’s trying to impress one of the mother’s of the children. “Yes, I was once a pedestrian, and now I own this street! I have the power to make your kid stand all day, if I don’t cross him!

My son laughs, when I say this. I have come upon that street on some mornings, when Cantank( my son’s nickname) was not there. “Oh my! Those kids are going to be stuck there all day!” I tell him.

The day that I saw her taking that Stop sign and physically pushing a kid, on his bike, backwards, onto the curb, I knew that little woman was powerful!

I decided that these unsung heroes, deserve all of our respect. I think I will get some pictures for my album. So many without any recognition. As a matter of fact, they should have a National Crossing Guard Day. I think I will suggest this to the Whitehouse. Those Crossing Guards should  get a paid day off. I guess the kids would as well, since there would be no one to get them across the street!

So,  I’m posting this in recognition of these people. Here’s to a job well done!

Is it Possible? Love At First Sight?

I would have never thought it possible. I was unprepared. From what I’ve heard, it happens, but I had no personal experience…until a few years ago.

It was totally unexpected and although nothing has ever transpired,  Even now, I  feel his presence in my life. I have been at once, in awe and depressed at the whole meeting. I was afraid at the intensity of my feelings. I didn’t understand and tried immediately to extricate him from my life. A fear of being hurt and also a confusion about my role. So accustomed to being used as a shield, I wanted to keep him at a distance.

 At times, giddy at the thought of him. At other times, wishing I’d never met him.I found myself  longing for him and feeling a spiritual love, growing stronger with each day, yet seemingly impossible to pursue.Thinking, how strange. I don’t really know this man at all. But yet, that isn’t true either. I have had much indirect contact and long enough to find out about his character. I had tested the man, to the limits, and he still remains constant. A calm and gentle demeanor, with a perfect mix of strength. Unlike anyone I have ever known.

I am beginning to understand so many verses in my favorite book, Song of Solomon. The greatest book on love within scripture. The woman says, “if only you were like my brother, I could take you in secret and kiss you.”

Well obviously she is not speaking of incest, but rather the fact that the man she loves, is too prominent or illusive to be seen with. It is a deep longing she has,  Powerful enough to make her seek him out at risk of being in the dangerous places and outside of the law. She goes alone without any thought to her safety.  There is a strict curfew which she violates because of this desperation to see the object of her love. She is caught and beaten by the ‘watchmen,’ for her indisgression.”All night long on my bed I looked for the one my heart loves; I looked for himbut did not find him. I will get up now and go about the city, through the streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves. So I looked for him but did not find him. The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city. “Have you seen the one my heart love”? Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go.”(Song of Solomon 3:1-4)

But he risks just as much as she does. He longs to see her and will arrive in time, for just a glimpse. In spite of the fact that it is danerous for him, as well. He tries, in vain, to bring this to it’s conclusion. But a heart’s love cannot be thwarted. Not for either of them.

His words don’t matter.She still longs for him and she is warned over and over again, “Daughter of Zion, do not arouse love, before it desires.” She is wise to this point, as she realizes that there are way too many, which give this warning no serious thought, therefore, they haven’t experienced this incredibly powerful and very rare, love. Her love is to be protected and there are many who seek to destroy it. “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” (S.O.S. 2:15)

It is the love which is spiritual and lasting, with a final consummation. It is deep and abiding. Eternal.

The unfulfilled desire and longing in the heart, seems frustrating and at times it is the expectation of connecting again, that seems is impossible to bring it to fruition. In some cases, it is. This is also expressed in S.O.S. I can relate to the sadness at her hopes dashed. “Hope deferred makes a heart sick.” I know that this is the way we are to wait on the Lord.

 Lives, have obligations and many people are responsible for not understanding the verse, “Do not arouse love before it desires.” Many in this world have entered into relationships after a physical connection had taken place first, and were influenced by the passion. Then passion, as it is known to do, drains from the relationship. Now the reality of what is left, begins to reveal itself. Sometimes it is not too appealing.

I understand this. I know so many people who have gone through the ‘crisis.’ Sometimes the couple stays together, for the sake of their children, finances or other obligations.  Either way, it is a difficult thing.

 At times I know that my heart can speak and he hears me. It’s that “Radar Love,” which is sending messages to him. He knows he is the one. He probably doesn’t know why he’s different. But he is. He had something which my heart  loved, the minute we met. So it was not so much love at first sight as it was  ‘love at first knowing.’ A recogniztion of who he is. I believe it is mutual. He has proven his love. He claimed ownership. I certainly  never expected this person to do the things he’s done for me. He went the extreme distance to show his position in my life.  I cannot help but love him and I certainly cannot stop it.

If the day ever arrives and he comes to me, I will certainly not turn him away. But for now, I believe he is my picture.

In many ways I believe the Lord placed him in my life so that I had a comparison. I could see that there is a person who could be a physical example of God’s love. I had no concept of this before. I prayed for many years that the Lord would give me a picture of this. A person who can love another without expecting anything. A protective and selfless love. I pray that everyone can have a picture of this in their lives.

Now when I read the Song of Solomon, it becomes more real than it has ever been. “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”

Are You Lemonade Qualified?

Life Can be full of lemons

Well, as they say, “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade!”

Apparently, that is not an easy task for some people and it requires explicit instructions.

I was working  a flight once, with another girl, and we opened up the beverage cart, only to find, instructions, with illustrations, on how to mix the lemonade!

We started laughing so hard, and decided, it just wasn’t explicit enough. We added our own illustrations. As we sat on the jumpseat, we entertained ourselves as we drew and laughed. A passenger in front of us got quite a kick out of watching us. He laughed, although he didn’t know what he was laughing about. “Looks like you’re having a good time!” He said.

 “Now, wait a minute,” I said. “We are required to evacuate an airplane if necessary, but we are completely and utterly confused by the mixing of lemonade!”

As we laughed, she drew a hand, a spoon, a fork and knife, on the flyer. She added that whatever, was convenient, could be used to mix this concoction. Then we added the amount of water, with a picture of a water spigot and the stream of water, for those, who are unfamiliar with a water faucet. Geesh, the seatbelt is difficult enough! All this on one flight!

Next the pitcher, and the little container of lemonade mix, was illustrated. These flight attendants! What in the world have they been doing up until this point? I can only imagine, as we already had the lemonade on the planes for quite a while. Someone probably did something ridiculous as using the ‘blue water,’ from the toilet or something. Surely it must have been extremely silly, for an expense such as this! I mean to print this many flyers, and insert into each cart on all of these flights!

It certainly could not instill public confidence to know that we are perceived as a child and unable to do the simplest task. All I could think of is the waste of money and it probably involved a whole Power Point presentation, just to get this idea on the table. Yes, I’m sure it was a room full of executives, all nodding their heads in agreement. Patting someone on the back with kudos for this revolutionary idea! He probably was elevated to Vice President status!

“Hey, I said, “you know, I think that they should add a day to our emergency training for this, don’t you?” She laughed, “Yes, “LQ Training!” (Lemonade Qualified) We should be getting some kind of certificate, to prove that we are Lemonade Qualified. Wow! Just think. With a legitimate license to mix lemonade, I could go virtually anywhere! The little lemonade stand on the corner, or maybe even one of those cool places in the mall! I’d be rolling in lemons!

All of a sudden the call bell rang from the back. “Oh-oh, I bet they’re calling because they aren’t Lemonade Qualified!” Hmm, I think I would like to teach that class. Then I will get the vp position!” She added, “Yes, I think I’ll be the vice president of pretzels!”

Upon arriving at our domicile we promptly placed our new instructions for everyone to see, in our lounge. I think that a flyer of this importance, needs to be where everyone can see it. Just think of the large group of us that have stumbled in the dark, trying to figure out this complex task.

Thank God, we are looking out for each other, or your lives would definitely be full of bitter lemons, with no hope of having lemonade!

“I Make All Things New!” Jesus Christ

I received news of my aunts passing, early this morning. It was mixed emotions which I had. She had created turmoil in our lives, yet the Lord does use all of these experiences to “work together for good.”
As a child who had experienced, much pain and separation, at such a young age, this particular aunt was the one, whom I held the biggest grudge. That is, until I became a believer, and the Lord healed my heart.
Yes, I was a small child, when I was thrust into an adult world. She was the last stop before the final ‘stripping away,’ of everything and everyone, I held close.
She would scream and yell at me, when I lived with her for a very brief time. I became the scapegoat for everything which was wrong in her life. I had just lost my young brother, and even though, it was quite traumatic for me, somehow I could take the blame for this as well,
I didn’t clean the house enough, I didn’t love my father enough, I didn’t help my mother enough. I had supernatural powers, which every child believes, when they suffer this kind of loss. We take all the weight of the world and bear it for the adults.
Of course, I had no idea, that this aunt had some problems. I internalized everything she said to me.
When decision was made, not to care for us, but to place us in a Children’s Home, I believed that was my fault as well.
Surely, there must be a reason, for all of this.
I shared the quarters with children, who had been physically abused. Some still wet the bed in their teens. Other’s just abandoned. How would I know that I didn’t deserve this special punishment?
My mother, was ill, and she was furious to find out that her own children, seemed to be ‘tossed out,’ like yesterdays garbage.
Yet, her sisters had no idea, what to do, and they didn’t understand the tenacity, which my mother had. This event made her more determined than ever, to recover.
Now, as I said, I did not process things as an adult would, so I had no idea, that this aunt had serious issues as well. All I knew, was that I was angry. All the terrible things she spoke to me, and the cruelty of her behavior, only exacerbated my anger, when I was in this home.
But the Lord “is close to those who are brokenhearted, and those who are crushed in spirit.”
Yes, it is true. I had a nurse who I remember, to this day. Rocking me in a chair as I wept, and consoling me with the words, “Your mother will return for you.”
I also remember having a Sunday School, which we went to on the grounds. I was given my very first bible at this school.  I still have it, and have read the words written on the cover many times. “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey, Robert, the Sunday School teacher.”
Yes, we don’t always understand the impact we are having on a young child’s life, when we say and do these things.
But God knew, that one day, He would heal my deepest hurts in a most miraculous way.
I became a believer, and I started to see the things which I harbored in my heart, were a stumbling block, to the transformation which the Lord was going to bring about.
I started to pray for certain people, who I knew were assigned to me in a special way. Those who had brought the deepest wounds to my soul, would be at the very top of the list. The Lord reminded me, that I may be the only one praying for these souls, and if not, then the power of combined prayer, would be even more dynamic.
As I prayed, I was reminded that it really wasn’t about, ‘how I felt.’ This enabled me to lift them up to my Father, and release the anger, I had felt.
I knew when I took a step in faith, and this being the act of my will, the emotions would follow. As I could see a changed heart, I would perceive this person differently.
Well, with this aunt of mine, the Lord brought the visual picture full circle.
She had been such a painful part of my past, when my mother had her breakdown. After losing everyone close to me, the last person in my life, who was part of the decision to place my siblings, and I, in the home, was this aunt.
How many years, did I harbor this anger and hurt? I can say, for half of my life.
Then one day, after becoming a believer, it happened. This aunt called me.
Full of fear and extremely depressed, she had come down to my area of the country. She had lost her husband, spent a lot of money, while running, and systematically, ‘cut off,’ the communication with her own siblings and children.
Now she was calling me to come and help her. She had a breakdown and she was in a residence near me.
The thought first came, “Serves her right. The exact same thing has happened to her, and now she also lost her own children, by her own hands.”
How incredible was this, I thought.
Then the voice of someone close to me spoke. “Do you really believe that any of this is a coincidence? I mean of all the places for this aunt to be, in the whole world? She’s 15 minutes away from you? And not to mention, she’s in the same situation as your mother was.
Don’t you think, that the Lord is doing something?”
As much as I didn’t want to believe it, I had no other choice. If I were to plan a revenge, this would be similar, except the part about the phone call would have been played out in a different manner.
I would have instead, answered the call and twisted the knife. “Oh, you say you had a breakdown, like my mom did? Oh,, and you have no children to help you? Oh, and now you are calling me, the one child you tormented and placed in a home, oh so many years ago? Hmmm, that’s too bad. I’m very busy.”
No, I knew that this was not what the Lord had planned, when He said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.”
I saw this as something He was doing for me. After all, I had been praying for her.
Now, I made the drive to see her. Still feeling the remnants of my childhood anger, I arrived at this little shack of a house. It held a few rooms and a cafeteria.
As I asked one of the nurses, where my aunt was, she told me she was dining in the cafeteria. She pointed to a small,, circular window.
“She’s right there!”
“I don’t understand,” I told her. “Where?”
She pointed again, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It could have been that I was looking for the woman, who had always looked much younger than her age. Full of spunk, a full head of red hair, and wild as a young girl.
All I could see was an old woman with gray, unkempt hair. Much heavier than my aunt, sipping a spoon of soup, while hands trying to steady the shaky fingers, to her mouth, without spilling.
“That’s my aunt?” I was in shock. What had happened to her?
I realized at that moment, that I was filled with pity. I started to weep. All of the desire for any revenge, left my heart. All I wanted to do was give her a hug, and let her know everything would be ok.
Now, I realized that this was part of the Lord’s plan. Not just for her, but for me.
I sat with her, and listened to her tales woe. Knowing that she had been responsible, did not decrease my compassion. She was the ‘Prodigal Daughter,’ and I know that I have been her myself, many times.
So, I continued to grow closer to her, and pray fervently for her over the years.
I had gone up to pray for her since, finding out she had this heart condition.
I found in my bible, a prayer request listed from my church in 1989, for her salvation.
She was so blessed when I gave this to her. Just to know, I had been doing this for many years.
Yes, I have come to realize that the Lord doesn’t heal us, because we deserve it, but because we don’t deserve it.
This is true grace.
I reflected back on ‘Robert, the Sunday school teacher.’ And this experience which the Lord would one day use, for His own purposes. Who knew,if this aunt had placed me in this awful place, that I would be praying over her one day.
Yes, I am blessed.
Now, I heard from my cousin, yesterday, that my aunt had taken a turn for the worse.
I called and asked her caregiver, to place the phone up to her ear, so that my mother and I would be able to speak to her.
As my mother gave her words of comfort and love, I marveled at the things our Lord had done. But the ultimate healing is to be with Him. This was my message to her.
I reminisced of the fun times we’ve had and made her laugh  quite hard, as I recounted some of our experiences together. I told her to ‘hold on,’ to these funny memories, as the Lord came for her. Because it is true, the “joy of the Lord is our strength.
At about midnight, I received a message that my aunt had passed away.
I went to tell my mother, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen my mother cry like this. Even at the loss of her mother. Perhaps it is because of the long history with her own sister, and the fact that they shared the same womb.
I held my mother again this morning and was so comforted in knowing that I am with her, when she heard this news.
Yes, this is difficult, but I can say, “Thank you,” in spite of the circumstances. For the ones, who had given to the Lord. My life has truly been changed.
I will miss her, but the one thing I do know in this life, we will see each other again. In a place where there is no pain or sorrow.
Until that time, Rest In Peace, Aunt Dottie!

Pap Smears and Pedicures

I had been discussing the issue of insurance and commiserating with a fellow flight attendant. I was upset with the fact that my time is being wasted when I am at home, with doctors’ appointments, etc.

Why should I continue to waste all of  this time on layovers, in hotels, when I could accomplish these mundane tasks?  I work a trip and arrive at home to a million different errands. Can’t we consolidate this somehow? I began to think of ways to multi-task.

“For instance,” I said, “why not have my pap smears at my hotel? If we could get a doctor to do house calls and bring the equipment, it would be perfect! Hey, since my feet are in the stirrups,  I could even get my pedicure at the same time! Just think of all the time I would save!”

My flying partner totally agreed. “Yea!” He said, we should all be able to have our prostate exams and everything on our layovers. I said, “well, just imagine, relaxing with a glass of wine, while someone is doing a facial and an annual exam, at the same time.” All the leisure time you would have when you get home!”

 The next morning we met downstairs and I said “Hey, I had my mammogram last night.” He replied, “Yea, I had a colonoscopy!”

I do believe this should be one for Obama’s new health care reform. We could save time, and they could save money. I’m thinking I could probably have my hair done, while the mammogram is being performed. And I could even throw a manicure into that. Perhaps a little discount for added incentive. Put our tax dollars to work for us!  This is my own ‘energy conservation program.’ No more running as if I’m in a triathlon, when I come home for my few days off.Not to mention we would also be more environmentally conscious, as we would be conserving much more fuel.

The hotels should just have these medical people on staff and we could make our appointments as we check in. Perhaps the insurance companies could work out a special package with the salons and offer it to the consumer.

While I’m getting my teeth cleaned, I think I’ll have my legs waxed. I think anything that I could do in a salon, basically, can be added to the exam routine. Waxing, hair, nails, facial’s,etc. Why not?

As I was explaining my wildly ingenious idea, to my mom and daughter, this is the song which came to me and my mom was rolling in laughter as I was singing it. I’m sure many lyrics could be added. “Pap smears and pedicures, on company time, Insurance coverage, I don’t spend a dime!” (To the tune of Incense and Peppermints)

Yep, that’s a perfect tune, waiting for the lyrics.A one-stop shop, on our layover time, and it would all be a perfect package. Now  I say we vote on this as part of the plan. All who travel as part of their jobs, please weigh in… All in favor, say Yes!!!

Burning the Koran?

It’s completely idiotic and fans the flames of hatred. How does anyone propose to call this act, Christian? It is not.

Now I understand the pastor of this church has received death threats, and he’s wearing a gun strapped to his hip. Hmm, don’t quite picture our Lord facing off against Pilate, and taking this kind of radical stance.

Now, extremism, is a funny thing. We can see it in others, yet fail to see it in ourselves. The incredible delusion is in part, because thecontroversy a person is seeking for his cause, is perceived as the attention which is needed, to prove the validity of the cause.

Well, this is,in fact, the same radical beliefs which had been behind the terrorist attacks on September 11th. How could a spiritual leader and his followers, which are intent upon burning a Koran, think that this isn’t of the same spirit?

The enemy of our souls, at it again. He loves to “Rob, kill and destroy.” He will use whatever is convenient, and most likely use our fears to catapult his agenda. But this would definitely spark rage, from people everywhere. What a perfect plan.

But it isn’t Christs’ plan. His plan is to take a righteous stand. This is not a radical stand which caused more hatred, but  a stand which separated truth from lies. The darkness from the light. And this is all we are sent to do, in these last days. He will move His hand and do the rest.

When darkness is exposed, it is because the Lord is exposing it. We have no control over that.However, those in darkness will have a If they choose to continue in darkness, or surrender to Him. It is the purpose of His plan. It is always to bring men to a saving knowledge of Him.

We must pray that these, especially our loved ones, will turn from the darkness to His wonderful light!