Saturday, August 3, 2019

Do Preachers Make Too Much Money?

I’ve been a Christian for 50 years. During that time, I’ve been in countless church meetings, conferences and Christian events. We always prayed and tried to choose a good church that taught the Bible wherever we lived. In all those years, I can’t tell you how many church services I was in where the preacher/pastor taught and encouraged people to give.

I get the reason for that. They’ve got a light bill and rent to pay. But as the years rolled on, the message changed from simple teaching about the benefits of giving your tithe each week to ludicrous messages. Preachers would actually encourage people to send them $1000. They would all but promise that if you would make this type of sacrifice, then God would certainly reward you with a big financial breakthrough.

They had so many stories about people who had done this and gotten huge cash windfalls. Of course, my husband and I were never in a place where we could send that much, but we did faithfully give larger amounts than we could really afford.

All these years later, I look back on that and I see it for what it really was and is. We made those preachers into multi-millionaires. And most of us never got that spectacular financial windfall.

What they should have taught is to give yourself away—not your money! Give yourself to your family, your friends and your neighbors. That’s what Jesus did. He didn’t send some ministry a lot of money! He gave HIMSELF away!

He laid it all on the line! And He did so that each of us could be reconciled to our Creator…so that our sins could be washed away. Imagine someone like me—with all the things I’ve done throughout my life—imagine if God would give me a clean slate. That’s what happened. All my sins were forgiven and God gave me a fresh start. And He continues to do that each and every day-because I haven’t stopped making mistakes.

As long as we live in these earthly suits of flesh, we will all screw up from time to time. And we will need to be newly forgiven all over again. That’s grace. That’s how it works.

If only those preachers would have taught us what Jesus taught, think of how different the world would be right now. Millions of Christians around the world helping their neighbors, volunteering at the children’s hospital, bringing food and blankets to the poor and homeless.

That’s what ALL Christians should have been doing all these years. Instead, we sent our money to those preachers and now they all live in huge mansions. They have airplanes and expensive cars and servants. The congregations they are responsible for still live in crappy neighborhoods and drive used cars. We still buy our clothes at Ross or Goodwill. What they taught us was a lie.

If we will begin NOW to go out into the world and love people—if we will search for people who need help and help them—if we will give OURSELVES away, then God will help us and bless us. He’s waiting for us to get a clue. And a few people do; I don’t want to minimize what some Christians and organizations are doing across the world.

But the individual Christians are still sitting at home listening to a message about how they can live their best life. They’re not out in the highways and byways trying to help some poor struggling family.

If only a small portion of the Christian church could get this revelation, the world could be turned upside down in a few years. I don’t know that this will happen. I pray it will, but realistically speaking, it probably won’t. It’s just too easy to sit at home and listen to messages or read books about how you can become a successful business owner.

It’s hard to get up, go out into the world and touch the untouchables.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

How I Got Where I Am Today

How did I get here? If you've ever been lost, you know the feeling.

For most of my life, people didn’t understand me. When I married and had a daughter, I was sure I’d have at least have 2 people who would love me unconditionally. But sometimes life doesn’t work out like you want it to.

My daughter became rebellious at age 15. She ran away from home and told all her friends that my husband and I were abusing her so they wouldn’t tell where she was and so she could get their sympathy. She became addicted to getting sympathy from people. My mother was like this too. She would tell you whatever you needed to hear so you’d feel sorry for her.

Over the years my daughter has told many lies about me to people that have been very embarrassing. She once told the pastor at our church that we were drug users and since we were teaching a class of middle school kids, we lost that position, not to mention everyone’s respect. Rumors get around fast in a small church. She did this because she was angry at me and my husband because we would not help her get a car.

Throughout her life, my daughter has blamed everything on me. Even when her husband was accused of raping our granddaughter, she found a way to blame ME for the whole incident. I was at home baking cookies for my other grandchildren. I was nowhere near the alleged event and went into shock the moment I heard about it because me and my granddaughter were so close. I couldn’t believe anyone would hurt such a beautiful little girl.

My daughter and her husband packed all their things and ran away in the middle of the night which is what guilty people do. She took my grandchildren (except for the girl) away to another state and she gradually poisoned their minds toward me. After 20 years of brainwashing, my grandkids don’t know me at all. They don’t come to see me. They know nothing about me now. Not one of them has ever read anything I’ve written and I’ve been a writer since I was a little girl.

Because of the alleged rape and police investigation, I suffered for some years with an emotional breakdown. My husband and I got divorced. He tried to be a good father to my daughter but she was always ungrateful, angry and self-absorbed. Since he wasn’t her biological father, he decided to just walk away from the whole situation. I wish I could do that too. I’ve dreamed of ways I could do that for many years.

For most of my life I was an excellent wife, homemaker, mother and grandmother. For the last 20 years, I’ve been a broken, lonely sad person and I have my daughter to thank for all this.

I felt that the best way to handle her rebellion and lies was to just keep loving her and praying for her. But I was wrong. I should have stood up to her and called her out for every single lie! Now it’s too late. You can’t go back in time and change things and make things right.

The only person who has steadfastly stood by me during all these trials was Jesus. I know religion and Christians are very shady these days. But I can’t speak for every Christian. I can just tell you that I would have sliced my wrists and died 20 years ago when my daughter took my grandkids away without even allowing us to say good-bye.

But God stepped in and began repairing all the damage. He helped me rebuild my life. It’s a very lonely life but I do have a nice place to live, nice furniture and things. I always have the money to pay the bills on time. I wear upscale clothing, jewelry and shoes. God has provided very well for me. But I’d trade it all in a heartbeat to have my family love me again like they once did.

You think you’re indispensable and that your family couldn’t go on without you but it isn’t true. I was very easy to leave behind. For the remainder of my life, I must be content with the fact that I do have a home and family in heaven. I will pass from this earth one day soon and be welcomed into heaven by my parents and siblings. I’ll see my aunts, old friends—there will be lots of people there who love me and there will be no lies, deceit or evil there.

I rest in these eternal rewards that lay in store for me. I will find no peace or comfort here on this earth, but I do look forward to my heavenly future.

Here's my short story called: How I Got Where I am Today - It's about 2 boys who grow up together but their lives take a very different direction. It's fiction.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Best Gift to Give the World

I’ve never told anyone this story. I guess I’m a really private person. I don’t share things that mean a lot to me…only the inconsequential BS.

My husband and I always owned a motorcycle. My favorite was a Yamaha 1100. It was a big bike that you could ride comfortably for long trips. We would meet up with our friends, who also owned bikes, and ride up to Grapevine Lake on weekends. We’d build a big fire and roast hot dogs. We made so many wonderful miles and memories on that bike.

After our divorce, I moved into the same apartment complex as my husband and his new girlfriend. It was just my little quirky sense of humor. They were planning to get married so I thought, “Hmmm, moving in next door to them will be my special wedding gift.”

So my ex called me one day and says, “Hey, I just bought a new bike. Wanna go for a ride?”

I said, “Sure, I’ll meet you outside in a few minutes.”

So I put on my jeans and tennis shoes and went outside and he pulled up on a really nice dark blue Kawasaki 900. We talked about the bike and all its glory. People that love bikes will understand—we stand around a lot and discuss all the specs on our machines.

Finally I went over to climb on the back. I’ve ridden motorcycles my whole life…even in the coldest weather. If we were going on a long trip, I would just wrap my arms around my husband’s stomach and go to sleep and he’d wake me up when we got there.

I went to throw my leg over the bike and couldn’t. For years, my legs had been getting worse due to post-polio syndrome. My ex tried to help me but it was no use. Finally, after 10 minutes of trying, it hit me that I would never be able to ride a bike again. My legs weren’t strong enough to get on and off anymore.

I stood right there in the midday sunlight in the middle of that parking lot and cried like a baby. My husband got teary eyed too. “It’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. Bikes are dangerous anyway.”

He smiled and tried to reassure me but right then I knew that my life was going in a bad direction and I would not like the end game.

Right now, I’m a few years away from the end of my life. When you reach this point, you stop worrying about all the small stuff and just try to finish out your course with as much dignity as possible.

I don’t have time for regrets anymore. Every day where I can feel the wind on my face is a miracle. I don’t make excuses either for my mistakes. All I can say is what I always used to say each time I would reach the end of a long deployment.

I used to travel a lot and work disasters for FEMA. I’ve spent lots of time in little towns that were virtually destroyed by a big storm. No matter how hard the work was and how difficult the clients could be, I’d always say this one thing while driving toward the city limits and leaving to go home:

“Well, I enjoyed my time here.”

That’s all I have to say about my life and my time on this planet. I mostly enjoyed it. I learned a lot. I made some friends. I leave behind some family. And a whole lot of stories.

I tried to write it all down in case anyone wanted to see through my eyes what New Orleans looked like right after Katrina. Or what polio feels like. Or what it feels like when your family abandons you. Someday maybe someone will read the stories and they’ll feel something of what it was like to be me.

I always encourage people to write their stories down and leave them for their friends and family. Humans have always passed those stories on from one generation to another and that’s an important part of our culture and legacy.

Someday perhaps the humans won’t exist anymore. But perhaps an alien species will find some of our stories and they’ll read them and see what it was like to live on our planet—what it was like to be a woman or even a human being.

For a brief moment, those aliens will have some idea of what our lives were like. They’ll say, “Wow! It’s too bad the humans don’t exist anymore. They had a pretty cool culture. Wish we could have known them.”

Monday, December 3, 2018

Do You Like Urban Legends?

I like this one. It’s always been a favorite. And, I like to think this REALLY happened—you never know.

This very successful businessman was married and enjoying the Good Life. He had a beautiful home, great wife and a sleek gray Mercedes Benz. He had the American Dream.

But then he got bored and before you know it, he was involved with his secretary. Men get bored kind of easily sometimes.

He was being discreet at first but then he and his secretary got involved in Coke and glittery parties, and he was soon the talk of the town. He would be gone for days getting high, acting crazy at all the big parties in town with his buxom blonde secretary on his arm. He bought her clothes, diamonds and even a car.

The man’s wife was confused. She didn’t know what to think. When he did come home, they argued. She couldn’t understand why he had suddenly gotten bored with her and left for another woman and a completely insane lifestyle.

Finally, the man took his girlfriend out to Vegas one weekend. They started winning big and were having a great time. They partied night and day and spent hours at the roulette wheel. 

The guy was spending all the money he’d made and ruining the business he’d built. But he couldn’t stop. By now he was addicted to the Coke, the sex and the party lifestyle.

Then one morning he woke up to the hard cold fact that he was broke. The roulette wheel hadn’t been very kind to him. He’d lost thousands of dollars within just a few days. His girlfriend was threatening to leave him. He wasn’t fun anymore.

So he called his wife back home. “Honey, I need you to do me a favor. I know you don’t owe me a favor but if you would do just this one thing for me, I would be forever in your debt. Would you please sell my Mercedes Benz and send me the money? I’ll sign those divorce papers promptly so you can move on with your life—I promise.”

He finally talked her into it. After all, he WAS a good businessman.

A few weeks went by and finally his wife called and said, “Okay I sold the car. Where do you want me to send the money?”

He gave her wiring information to a bank in Vegas since that was the fastest way to get his money and get back to his party lifestyle.

His wife promptly went to her bank and wired the money she’d gotten from selling the Mercedes Benz.

A few hours went by and the guy called her very upset. “Hey! What’s going on here? I got the bank transfer but it was only $50 bucks. What happened to the rest of the money you got for my car? That car was worth $65,000.”

“I sold the car, just like you said. You didn’t specify how much to get for it so I priced it to sell quickly.”

“For $50 dollars??? Are you kidding me? You sold my Benz for $50? You Bi*ch! How could you do this?”

The guy kept yelling and cussing but the woman hung up the phone, went inside and made herself a nice cup of tea, then sat out on the patio of her lovely home watching roses bloom, very pleased with herself.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Case of the Stolen Scarf

Everyone has a funny/odd Thanksgiving story. I used to belong to the DFW Coffee Club. We’d meet for coffee every Saturday morning, sometimes breakfast as well. The club was run by a ditzy blonde woman who lived in a highrise in downtown. So she invited everyone to Thanksgiving at her house one year.

She forgot to mention that there’s a marathon race in Downtown Dallas each year called the Turkey Trot. They close off a lot of streets for the runners. So I baked mac ‘n cheese in a casserole dish and headed out to downtown all gaily dressed.

Every street I needed to turn on was blocked off with cops standing there waving traffic off. I drove around and around downtown until I was just soooo frustrated. Finally, I called the ditzy blonde and said, “How do I get to your building? Every street is barricaded.”

She says, “Tell them you live in the Mosaic building. They have to let residents get to their homes.”

So I found a cop and said, “Hey, I’m going to the Mosaic building and need to get through.”

He waved me passed, as I yelled out the window, “Where’s the Mosaic Building?”

He pointed and there it was right across the street.

Parking downtown is another story. They love to tow cars away so I knew I had to get the parking right. 

I called the blonde and said, “I finally made it. But where do I park?”

She gave me instructions to follow the signs for visitor parking so I did. At that point though, I felt like just leaving the casserole dish in front of her door, and going back home. I was already stressed and frustrated from driving around downtown for an hour, dodging Turkey Trotters.

Inside her apartment was a different story. She lived in a building that had once been some type of educational school. The admin area and classrooms had been transformed into apartments. They were very compact though. And laid out funny. The kitchen was open to the whole apartment but you couldn’t get 3 people in it.

The dining room was just a tall table that would seat 4 people. I looked around and counted 14 people. I knew we were in trouble. But I also knew there would be some food to eat because each person had brought a covered dish and the turkey was done. So that gave me some hope.

The ditzy blonde did what ditzy blondes do. She fumbled around the kitchen like she’d never been in one in her life. She was supposed to be finishing up the gravy while some guy peeled 10 pounds of potatoes. I helped the potato guy, then put the potatoes on to cook in a huge caldron.

Then I helped the blonde finish making gravy. Everyone was very nice and in a good mood. There were some snacks sitting around so we didn’t have to starve. But it did take a good 2 hours to actually get Thanksgiving dinner on the table.

One of the reasons was the fruit salad. The blonde had an aluminum pan 18 inches long by 12 inches wide by 4 inches deep. She had filled it with all types of fruit and nuts and now she was mixing in some whipped cream.

I couldn’t help myself. “Hey, uh, Jess … how come you’re making so much fruit salad? I mean, everyone likes it and all but you have enough for 50 people there.”

She looked up briefly. “This is the way my mom always did it. Besides, my daughter is coming over later.”

I smiled but had one of those freaky moments where you wonder if someone’s drunk, on drugs or what. She merrily finished up the fruit salad pleased with herself that she’d done it just like her mom and finally we all got to eat.

The food was pretty good. The turkey came out okay. The toughest issue was that there was no place to sit and eat. Some people had to stand, some sat on the couch. 

After dinner, she tried to get people to eat some of that fruit salad so I had a small dish of it. I like fruit salad mixed with whipped cream but when I left, she was trying to get people to take bowls of that stuff home with them. I was certain that she threw most of it in the trash about 5 days later.

By the time I left her place and started home, the race was over and the streets were unblocked so driving wasn’t so bad.

I had worn a pretty Winter shawl to the party but forgot it, leaving it at her apartment. I was way too tired to turn around and go get it. All I could think of was getting home, taking off my shoes and bra and crashing in my recliner. That would be heaven!

The next time we got together for the DFW coffee Club, I asked her about it. “Hey Jess, I left my shawl at your apartment. Can you bring it next time we meet?”

She glanced up kind of nervous and said, “No you didn’t! I didn’t find anyone’s shawl.”

I was stunned. I knew I’d left it there so I guessed that she had taken a liking to the shawl and decided not to give it back to me. It was very pretty and ornate.

"Okay, well guess I left it someplace else," I half-heartedly murmured.

I never got the shawl back but then again, she could never wear it to our meetings because she knew I’d recognize it at once. 

A Nefarious Plan Unfolds

So when it came time to renew our memberships, she said she didn’t get my renewal payment and then removed me from the club. Now she’d be able to wear the shawl to meetings and no one would ever know she stole it from me.

Of course, that didn’t sit well with me. I’m the type of person that, if you tell me you want something or like something, I’ll give it to you. I’m not very attached to my stuff unless its something that belonged to my grandmother etc.

If she had just asked me for the shawl, I would have given it to her.

Once, my best friend, Beverly came over. I had just moved into a new apartment and she was complimenting my new furniture. She stopped when she saw one of the switchplates.

"Hey, that's beautiful! Is that vintage?"

"Yes, I bought two of them in an estate sale a few years ago and just never did put them up. They look pretty good, huh?"

"Oh my gosh yes! That ornate painting of red and orange roses on a white ceramic background is so exotic."

"You can have them if you want them," I told her.

She was stunned and speechless for a moment. "Oh no, I'd never take them. They look so good here in your living room. They go perfectly with your furniture."

I thanked her and gave her hug. Bev and I had been to so many garage sales, auctions, etc. in the course of our long friendship.

We had met at work when we were in our 20's. We were both skinny, but pretty...just a couple of dumb girls--one blonde, one brunette. 

She and I played lots of word games and board games during the course of our lives too. Only she cheated. She could read my mind and I knew it. I would try my best not to think of the cards in my hand but she knew. It was like she could just see what was in my head anytime she wanted to.

I didn't really mind though, because she knew all my secrets anyway. 

Well, at any rate, I never got the Christmas shawl back from Jess. And she never let me renew my membership at the DFW Coffee Club. 

I really do miss that group of people though. It's funny how they were taken out of my life.

That seems to happen to me alot though. Everyone I ever cared about was just methodically, with precision, taken out of my life. 

Just like a dentist extracts a molar from your gums, they were surgically removed and I was left with too many gaping, painful holes. And no warm scarf for winter!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Would You Buy A Giant Ice Cream Sandwich for $150?

I saw this on Facebook. It seems a woman was very wasted and she saw this bed online and thought it was a Giant Ice Cream Sandwich. 

So she bought it for $150. When she got it, she was very disappointed as you can see in her comment below.

Several issues here. First, somebody was willing to pay $150 for a giant ice cream sandwich. I wouldn’t pay more $80 bucks. Second, she’s only giving the bed review One Star simply because it wasn’t an ice cream sandwich.

You can’t really blame the bed. It knew it was bed and wasn’t trying to pretend to be something else. It was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The bed was for sale on line and woman was online, though she shouldn’t have been since she was so wasted. You should never give computers and credit cards to potheads –Just a Tip!

But she bought it anyway, they shipped it to her. Right away, she realized it was NOT a giant ice cream sandwich. Then she gives the bed a bad rating. Just wrong.

That brings me to my current topic. Things I’ve Bought Online While Wasted

I hope you’ll write one of these too cuz I know you’ve done this! Don’t lie!

Here’s my Top 3 List of Stuff I’ve Bought Online While Wasted

  • Kope Luwak Coffee-$139 for 8 ounces. The most expensive coffee beans in the world. Made from beans that have been eaten and pooped out by small tree dwelling animals.
  • All 4 seasons of a British comedy called, “The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.” $45
  • A Special Sports Bra-$39 – Bought the wrong size. For some reason I bought a size 54G when I actually only wear a 46DDD

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Why Didn’t God Put Women in Charge?

I’ve always had some very strong opinions about this. Why did God put men in charge? They don’t care as much about dirt, filth and pollution. They tend to make war when they disagree about something instead of trying to settle things with diplomacy.

Men are responsible for evil things like prostitution, perversion, porn, child trafficking etc. So why would you put a gender in charge that would create and propagate those types of destructive behaviors?

My opinion: God wanted the human race project to go on for a pre-determined length of time. If he had put women in charge, there would rarely in history have been any wars.

There would not have been such widespread sexual perversion and this would have greatly reduced things like disease and broken families/people.

Without the cost and negative effects of things like war, sexual perversion, disease, broken people/families, imagine how quickly our species might have advanced.

Women would have built clean neighborhoods and priced things fairly. Their primary goal would not have been profit, as with men. Their goals would have been improving family life and helping people to be the best version of themselves.

Most women are all about strong family values. They see the value of marriage and family. They have a “nesting” gene that draws them to build a wholesome home where kids could grow up mentally and physically strong. Things like guns would not be prevalent in any society because women do not get the adrenaline rush of killing things that men get.

We believe that if you need to kill an animal to eat, then fine. Do so in a humane manner. But needless killing is despicable to most women. We abhor violence and evil. We understand that it damages a society and a people to allow murder and violence.

With women in charge, our entire world would be clean and efficiently run. We would never have allowed inventions like nuclear weapons or nuclear power plants. We would have found other ways to deal with those needs.

Wisdom says that destroying the planet your species lives on is insane. A big earthquake or hurricane that hits a nuclear power plant directly could poison the air, water and soil for hundreds of years. It just doesn’t make sense to develop destructive technology.

But men did so because it paid well. Things like weapons and war have made many men into billionaires and the money was more important to them than the safety of their neighbors.

This is still going on today. The influential men in our government are receiving millions of dollars in bribes from the NRA so they will NOT change gun laws. Meantime, a school shooting occurs each month where dozens of kids are killed. It’s just a matter of time till it comes to your child’s school.

Here’s what the world would look like if women were in charge.

Towns would be clean, safe and beautiful. Homes would be well-constructed and completely safe for families.

Due to the lack of expensive wars, the progress of human kind would have flowed much smoother and faster. By now, we would have prolific space travel. We might have colonies on a number of different planets.

Our geniuses would have come up with incredible inventions that we can’t even imagine. And we would have many more geniuses. All those people that were killed by disease and war might have lived and gone on to produce amazing art, music and technology.

The difference that women would have made is incalculable. We are much kinder, gentler creatures – or we used to be. We’ve been greatly affected by all the above mentioned events. Even female leaders in government and industry strive to become more like their male counterparts because they want to be respected.

Women often don’t believe they can succeed without becoming just like the men they sometimes hate.

I hope God will consider re-creating the earth and mankind once this current Age is over and the world finally ends. This time, I would like to see women in charge of everything with men as their subordinates.  Until then, we can only speculate about what it would be like. I think it would be so much like heaven that people might never want to die and leave the earth.

But then, women would probably come up with some unique formula that eliminates disease and causes us to live for hundreds of years.