Anonymous Blogger: Death Tax

My Anonymous Blogger dropped off a handwritten note of upcoming bills. Some are national and some pertain to Arizona.

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Nikki, please call McCain, Flake, and Gosar

1: Ask that they vote to repeal the Death Tax–the money that has already been taxed that families and businesses have worked for and should be able to be passed on to succeeding generations without penalty. This is also a job creator.

2: Vote to make repeal of the marriage penalty tax permanent. An institution which is the building blocks of society and best atmosphere to raise (according to statistics) healthy, physically , and mentally and emotionally children. Marriage should be encouraged and not penalized. It is the best “preventer” of poverty, drug use, sexual promiscuity, school drop-outs, and other societal ills.

3: Let us keep control of the internet in the US. It began here. Let’s keep it here under the direction of those who are accountable to the American people.

4: According to economic experts, our country could be financially solvent in a very short time if we don’t utilize our natural resources-coal, natural gas, etc. Let’s keep our priorities right–the welfare and livelihood of the human being is more important than the preservation of the habitat of a plant or animal. When there is a confluct , let’s rightly choose life for the apex of God’s creation-the homosapian. Environmental protection of the air and water should be reasonable and rational, not based on doubtful and uncertain scientific theory.

Listen to Wise Counsel

imageA ship needs maps to plot their way across vast oceans. So do we who traverse this life. Without clear direction and wise counsel, we can fall under foul influences.

But when you are a teenager or young adult, the world lies before you unexplored and tantalizing. Your dreams are almost surreal. This is when you need to listen to others who have been there before, because the easiest route is rarely all it appears. Everyone has a bias or agenda, and the word, no, is your best friend. But not everyone is an enemy, but like you, took the wrong path and got lost, and may not even know they are still lost.

Listen to wise counsel. Keep the Bible close. Weigh every word against what the Bible says. Emotions are as fickle as some friends I have known, and doing the right thing won’t always feel good. A ship can get back on course with the right directions.

The Bosnia List Review

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The Bosnia List: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Return by Kenan Trebincevic surprised me. When I read in another article how his Christian neighbors turned on him, I thought, “So this is going to be a Muslim rant against Christians?” Yet the war was much more complicated.

I remember the Bosnia war news stories, but I have to admit to not paying attention. At the time, I was a teenager. So the war was somewhere ‘over there.’ Kenan’s story reminds me of the Holocaust. The story begins in New York. The Bosnia List is an actual list Kenan wrote down on things he wanted to accomplish when he took his dad back to the old country. Kenan didn’t want to go, but pressure from his father, friends, and sibling changed his mind. Kenan returns to the old country years after the Bosnian war, and reflects on his trip with a much different spirit. I had just two problems with the book.

First, I really didn’t care for the swearing in the dialogue. It peppered the manuscript. Second, the prologue begins with, “December, 2009,” written in italics, and on page 7 jumps to 2010 in a regular paragraph without any extra spaces. When you put a title in italics listing a chapter as 2009, usually you don’t suddenly switch to another year. On page 11, he brings us to 2011 in the same prologue. Otherwise, the reader follows Kenan’s growth and healing from present day New York to the past during the war, and back again. It’s a great story with lessons we could all learn from it, like putting our belief in God and His values first above our nationality. This is not all though.

Kenan shows how some things he observed as a child were taken out of context, and he learns the truth during his visit to his home country as an adult. I really loved how he rounds out his whole experience from war to visiting home again post war. His last page made me nod and smile. What I thought would primarily be a rant against Christians stayed true to his story of how complicated the war became for him. I gave this book four stars.

Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase this item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I might use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Book given by author to review.

Birds on a Wire

A line of birds always settle on the wire every morning. It’s the wire that sways over the green pastures of Olsen’s Grain. Sometimes, twenty or thirty doves balance on the wire. One morning a hawk glided through the sky, across the highway, and plopped himself on the wire. Ten or so birds fluttered in panic into the sky, and settled again a safe distance from the hawk on the same wire.

I laughed as I drove to work. I laughed, too, because no one else would have noticed this scene play out. The people around me drove fast towards the edge of town. Some of them were putting on their make-up. Others were sipping coffee with the music on the radio. Some frown at the road in front of them, always angry. They strive to be the first car through the round-a-bout and the first car before the second lane disappears and highway 89 becomes one lane again.

That hawk disrupted the peaceful morning of those twenty or so doves. It made me smile. So the next time you drive to work, keep your eyes open and notice what’s going on around you. Don’t be in such a hurry that you miss precious glimpses of life. It doesn’t always pay to be first.

And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”- Mark 10:42-45

Virtual Hiking

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The L.A. Times reported that, “Young people now devote an average of seven hours and 38 minutes to daily media use, or about 53 hours a week — more than a full-time job — according to Kaiser Family Foundation findings released today.” So when Nature Valley began advertising a wonderful virtual hike here, I both loved and hated it.

From an outdoor perspective, I loved a sneak peak into future hiking trails. However, I realized how many people will not experience anything outside this website who live nearly all their life through video games and other online activities. They will never be moved to leave the couch and see these places in person. With obesity at a high rate in our country, a great many others will not attempt it. Everyone should get out and explore the country we live in.

As for what this website inspires from me, I can’t wait to explore it some more, and then, go out and explore those trails for real!

222 Sundays: Consequences Do Occur For Wrong Choices

According to the Dake Annotated Reference Bible-KJV-Large Print, there are 176 prayers in the Old Testament and 46 prayers in the New Testament. I first heard about this reference (found here) during a prayer meeting. For the next 200 Sundays I will post a prayer in regards to each section of scripture mentioned.

42. David for forgiveness of sin (29 words; 2 Sam 24:10). Answered, but judgments fell (2 Sam 24:11-25).

Choices

Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase this item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I might use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


See Difficult People Through His Eyes

2940016062969_p0_v1_s260x420It’s been a while since I returned to My Prayer Chair by Carla McDougal. In fact, my life has been chaotic, confusing, and joyful. Even in the midst of this past trial, I still saw God working through it and me. So when Carla talked about serving with a difficult person, it reminded me of what a friend said about seeing someone difficult through Jesus’ eyes. Intentionally, I have chosen to pray for the difficult people I encounter. Page 55 is the chapter that addresses this. More later!

Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase this item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I might use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Book given by author to review.

Emma of Aurora Review

www.randomhouse.com Emma of Aurora by Jane Kirkpatrick is 1146  pages long; three novels in one. I wish I had read that before agreeing to review it. In spite of the length, I enjoyed it, but Emma of Aurora strayed from my expectations.

Early in my reading of this novel, I wrote a commentary on the extraordinary character of Emma here. Jane Kirkpatrick really does a great job building setting and people in all her novels, but unlike her other novels, like Where Lilacs Still Bloom and One Glorious Ambition, Emma of Aurora had an unremarkable ending. Emma is just an ordinary person who didn’t appear to make any kind of mark on the world except in the communities in which she lived. In One Glorious Ambition, Dorthea Dix made an impact on a nation. In Where Lilacs Still Bloom, Hulda Klager changed how lilies were grown. I went into this novel with higher expectations, and came away impacted by Emma, and only Emma. Emma is someone everyone who is overly independent and head strong can relate to, and fall in love with. Her mistakes are your mistakes. Her desire to impact her world is your desire, too. Emma is you and me.

In spite of its head-spinning length, Emma of Aurora is still an enjoyable reading experience. I gave this novel three and a half stars. Jane Kirkpatrick writes strong, likeable heroines based on historical record. Emma teaches us that our own stubbornness can lead us into a disaster of our own making, but God will always turn it into something good.

Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase this item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I might use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Book given by publisher to review.

 

You are Smart Enough

Billed as a mythology class, I enrolled in Humanities during my senior year of high school without knowing it was an honors English class. The teacher talked me into staying, but after the third semester, I exited the class. I was smart enough to pass it if I put forth the effort, but emotionally, I could not focus. I still had baggage to deal with and had believed I could not do it.

You could be in a situation right now where people believe you are able to do something, whether its a new computer program, a difficult work assignment, or a class in school you accidentally enrolled in.

Don’t panic.

People often see our strengths before we do, and I think you can do it. I think, if you set your mind to it, you can do anything with a little hard work and confidence. You are smart enough. Don’t let the past or the present deter you from reaching your full potential.