Friday Fun

Aloha Friday

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Aloha! Kailani is the brain-child behind this fun Friday meme. If you feel inclined to answer my question, please post your answer in the comment section. Sound fun? Of course it does! Want to answer more questions? Hop over to An Island Life and play along!

(Please feel free to answer the question below, even if you’re not playing Aloha Friday!)

My question:

How is your personality like your mother’s or father’s?

I would have to say that I get my compassion from my mother. She’s always one of the first people to volunteer for things and to help people out. My mom is also very creative and does a lot with her hands. I’m creative, but my creativity bleeds through my writing.

My father is a very logical, no-nonsense sort of person and I definitely share those same traits. We also lose patience with people and tend to prefer quiet places as opposed to big noisy places. There is no room for stupidity in our lives. 🙂

Summer Fun

Summer Fun: July 31st

Are you ready for some fun ideas to keep your kids busy this next week?

Here are five ideas to get the creative juices flowing (and please, take these ideas, build on them, make them your own, use them as a springboard for bigger and better ideas):

Day One – Make fingerpaints with soap flakes, water and food coloring with your child.

Day Two – Tell your child a story about looking both ways before crossing the street. Take him/her on a walk and show how to look both ways as well as use a street crossing signal.

Day Three – Ask your child to organize the coins in a coin jar. If your child is older, has him/her to roll the coins. Go to the bank together and cash them in. Talk about the importance of saving every penny.

Day Four – Play some online educational games with your child. Here are some great places to start. And here are some educational resources for parents.

Day Five – Look for community service activities that can include your child.


Crafts for the Kids (by age)

Featured Craft of the Week:
Toddlers
Handsome Tree Skirt

4 to 5 year olds
Pipe Cleaner Pals

6 to 8 year olds
Mini Piñatas

9 to 12 year olds
Ten Terrific Clothes Decorating Projects


Here is a fun activity from the book, “A Lithgow Palooza!”:

groovy-face2 Bibliomancy

The ancients tried to foretell future events and uncover hidden meanings by consulting randomly selected passages from sacred texts. Essentially, these wise owls would bring their Big Questions to a Big Book as if it were one of those Magic Eight Balls. “Will there be peace?” “Will the crops be bountiful?” This palooza is about bringing the little questions — “Will I pass that spelling quiz tomorrow?” “Can I have a dog?” — to a big book like the dictionary and seeing all the funny, clever ways your kids get the answer they’re looking for.

arrow-right-side What to do:

A fun, funky way to use the dictionary for your own devices. Take a dictionary — the bigger and fatter and more authoritative the better — and lay it on the table in front of you. Think of it as a kind of crystal ball — you will ask it a question, and it will present you with an answer. Now carefully formulate your question. The way you pose your question is important, in the same way it is important, say, not to ask for everything in the world when you close your eyes and blow out your birthday candles but rather be selective and precise, in order to increase your chances of seeing your dreams come true.

Close your eyes and think of your simple, careful question. It can be about anything — your family, your friends, school, sports, or other hobbies. You probably know what you want the answer to be. Ask your question three times out loud, then open the dictionary to a random page and drop your finger anywhere on that page. Open your eyes and find the dictionary entry closest to where your finger has landed. If you land in the middle of a definition, refer to the word being defined. Then start working the angles of the word and definition, being as creative and clever as you have to be to get the answer you’re looking for.

For example, here’s my question: “Will I do well in my script reading on Saturday?” I open the dictionary at random, drop my finger, and find I’ve landed on the word eyehole, which is defined as “a hole to look through, as in a mask or a curtain.” Did someone say, “mask?” Actors are often described as wearing the masks of the characters they play. Also, everyone knows the masks of tragedy and comedy. And “a curtain” must have something to do with a stage curtain. Now I’m feeling very certain I’m looking through an eyehold in a stage curtain and seeing myself do very well indeed on my script reading!

Other random samplings illustrate the power of bibliomancy:

“Will I do well on my spelling test?” gets inclined. I think that means you are inclined toward spelling and are likely to do well.

“Can I have more dessert?” gets prayerful, which suggests that if you ask prayerfully, sincerely or earnestly, you just might get two scoops.

“What activities should I do in the fall?” gets fusion, which means a merging of distinct or separate elements into a whole. Hmm. Sign up for wrestling and tap dancing?

Now try it yourself with questions of your own. Use a dictionary or specialty references such as dictionaries of slang, cliches, or allusions.

Life-condensed

Picking Up a Stranger

Oh, I need to write this down before I forget it happened … like next week.

Kevin and I went to lunch yesterday. Actually, we go to lunch every Wednesday … that’s not what I wanted to remember.

Though it’s nice to know I wrote that little tidbit down because years from now, when we’re old and sitting in our rockers and yelling at each other to be heard Kevin will say,

“Remember when we used to go to lunch together every Wednesday?”

And I’ll say, “Huh?”

And he’ll repeat his question, only a few octaves louder and I’ll cup my ear and yell, “WHAT?”

And then he’ll scream it a few more times and I’ll be all like, “Honey, we’ve been married for 50 plus years and even though I know what you’re thinking most of the time, I still haven’t mastered the art of reading lips so, SPEAK UP!”

But anyway …

We were leaving McAllister’s Deli (by the way, have you had their panini’s?! WOW. Good stuff) and we were in the parking lot, in my car, when we see this woman zig-zagging her way through the parked cars. We didn’t think anything of it and I kept right on talking.

Kevin stops me and nods toward my window.

“Uh, I think that lady wants to speak to you.”

I whip my head around and this nice-looking (as in nice, not as in gorgeous), is standing right outside my door giving me a hopeful and friendly smile.

I roll my window down and give her a questioning smile.

“Hi. I hate to bother you. But I was wondering if you could give me a ride to my house. I only live four blocks from here and I have an abscess on my foot and it’s killing me to walk on it.”

*blinkblink*

“Are you going to kill us?”

Was my first thought, but of course, I didn’t say that out loud.

Actually, my exact words were, “Oh, briwqutgcl bitlaiudf/?”

Yeah, I have no idea what that was supposed to be, either. I was shocked. I wasn’t sure what to do. I mean, the whole dangers of picking up strange people spiel ran through my head and yet, she really did look like she was in pain.

Or she was a very good actress.

I looked at Kevin. He looked at me. I looked back at the woman, gave her a hesitant smile and then looked back at Kevin while mouthing the words, “Should we?”

He nodded and I took a breath before pushing out the words, “Sure. Absolutely. Hop in.”

And then she shot me in the head and my spirit came back to life and now you’re reading the words of a ghost.

Not really. I unlocked the doors to my car and waited for her to climb into the back seat.

I took off and she started in with the sweetness.

“Oh. Thank you both so much. You looked like such a nice couple and I really need to get home. I’m sure glad I wasn’t walking my dog, I’m not sure what I would have done!”

And I’m thinking, “I’m not sure what you would have done, either.” Because let’s be honest, you know my feelings about dogs and in my car?! Ugh.

Okay, fine. I’m lying. I would totally give her and her dog a lift home.

We all awkwardly laughed and she gave me instructions to her house. Which really was only four blocks from the restaurant.

So, I pulled over, she got out and that was the end of the story.

Sort of anti-climatic, wasn’t it.

But my question to you is: would YOU have done the same thing?

Life

Finally, After Three Years, the Braces Come Off

And really, the title says it all.

It all began in August, 2006. I took Dude in to start phase two of the teeth straightening process.

Phase one began when he was in third grade. Dude had a narrow mouth — in essence, he had too many teeth for his mouth.

Or as I used to say, he had a head full of teeth. 😀

Because he didn’t have room for all of his teeth, they were coming in at strange angles and overcrowding one another.

So, I took him in when he was about nine, and they put him in braces. In addition to the braces, they also put in some sort of palate contraption that I had to stick a metal rod into and crank three times a day for two weeks. This stretched out his palate and made room for all of his teeth.

It was not fun, and it was painful for Dude. But it was either that, or pull teeth and I didn’t want to pull teeth — he needed those teeth, we just needed to make ROOM for those teeth.

They took the braces off after one year and said to come back in to start phase two after all of his baby teeth had fallen out.

So, shortly before he turned 13, I took him back in and they put braces on him again and we started the actual straightening of his teeth.

The Beginning of Braces - 2006

It’s been a looooong three years. He hasn’t been able to eat anything chewy (like taffy, Starbursts, caramel, etc), or to bite into anything, like an apple or corn on the cob. And he’s had to endure food in his teeth and cut gums.

And let’s not forget about the adjustments and the pain that went with those.

In essence, the kid has been through A LOT these past three years.

But even though we hated putting him through all of that, we knew it was necessary. We felt it was our duty, as his parents, to arm him with yet another arsenal to succeed in life.

Because let’s face it, if you have bad teeth, you are:

A. Self-conscious

B. Less likely to be hired (because if you look at it from a business perspective — who wants a person with bad teeth representing their company?)

C. Less likely to find a mate (who wants to kiss someone with bad teeth?)

D. More likely to take care of your teeth later in life if you’ve been raised to take care of them to begin with.

We are a family of bad teeth.

My husband’s family has had problems with their teeth. I can’t even tell you the number of times, or the amount of money, we’ve spent on Kevin’s teeth. Kevin’s father was so embarrassed of his bad teeth that he finally had them all pulled and now wears false teeth. His mother has had all sorts of cosmetic work done on her teeth because she too felt self-conscious.

Jazz had a funky cone tooth, growing right between his two upper teeth, and had to have it cut out when he was three. (That cone tooth was hereditary and ran in my husband’s family).

I have a teenage niece who has two teeth that STILL haven’t grown in because her gums are so thick that the teeth can’t break through them. This same niece also had a bottom tooth grow in sideways and had to have oral surgery to have it removed.

Two of my sister’s baby teeth had fused together into one tooth and she had to have it pulled out.

I’ve had two eye teeth that came out TWICE, EACH. I also have a small mouth (HA! I know what you’re thinking, hush), and one of my bottom teeth has come in behind my other teeth, but over the years, I’ve used my tongue to push it back into place which caused my lower eye tooth to turn sideways to make room.

When I was pregnant with Dude, I didn’t consume enough calcium and the little stinker started taking what he needed from me, which weakened a molar and caused it to break in half. This happened while I was pregnant, so I couldn’t really do anything about it at the time, and by the time I remembered, it rotted and I had to have a root canal.

So yes, we’ve had our fair share of teeth problems. And yes, it was bound to be passed onto our sons.

And today, after enduring so many years of pain, discomfort and inconvenience, Dude FINALLY had his braces removed.

His appointment was for 8:00 a.m. I woke him up at 6:30 so he would have plenty of time to eat breakfast and shower before we had to leave.

We got ready and I took a picture shortly before we left.

Before Braces Came Off
(Note the expectation on his face).

We arrived at the office, he checked in and they called him back right away (in fact, they were waiting on us to arrive).

For an hour and a half, I sat, read and fretted. I remembered back when I had sat in that same waiting room and waited for Dude to have his braces put on. I remembered his glassy, and somewhat pained expression, as he came out with a mouth full of hardware to meet me. I remember that first day and the pain he endured as his mouth got used to his braces.

And my heart bled. And I began to wonder if we had made the right decision, putting him through all of that.

But when they were finally done and he came out smiling from ear to ear showing off his perfect teeth, I knew we had done the right thing.

The whole dentist office stopped what they were doing, lined up in the hallway, turned up the muzak and clapped when he came out.

I had tears in my eyes (because I’m just emotional like that).

His doctor shook his hand …

At Dr. Bauer's Office

and they gave him a parting gift: a card and a cup wrapped in colored cellophane.

The background of the card was popcorn (another food that is a no-no if you wear braces) and said something about how nice it was to be able to eat the foods he wanted to now. And they also put a movie ticket into the card, too.

I thought that was so nice!

When he tore off the cellophane and saw that they had stuffed a cup full of candy in it, we all just burst out laughing. How ironic that his DENTIST gives him candy!

We thought it was hilarious.

Dude did say that there were a few moments, when they were removing the braces, that he panicked. Because the glue is so strong, they had to use pliers to yank it off his teeth. He said it would pop and he felt like they had broken his tooth. But it was all good and was merely part of the procedure.

So, the journey is over and Dude now has a mouth full of straight, pretty teeth.

After Braces Came off
(Note the easy, relaxed grin).

They did put a permanent retainer on his bottom teeth. It looks like this, only not quite as long. This will ensure that his teeth don’t shift out of alignment in the future.

I also have to take him back on Monday to pick up his upper retainer. He’ll wear that one at night to keep his upper teeth from shifting around.

Dude is also going in to have his teeth cleaned on Monday, too. Wouldn’t it SUCK if after all of that, he had a cavity?

That’s not even funny to talk about.

So. We’re done. Well, Dude is done. He can finally move past this teeth issue.

Now I can concentrate on Jazz. His consultation meeting is in September.

Our teeth saga is not quite over yet ….


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More from Write From Karen

VideoPlay

Video: Hurts So Good

Kevin’s band, Midnite Thunder, played at Cartoons this past Saturday. (Kevin is the guitar player on the right). Here is one of the videos I took that night:

The quality stinks, sorry about that. I was sitting near the back (there was a birthday party and they took up most of the front section) so I couldn’t get any closer.

Kevin was not happy with their performance, they couldn’t seem to get their endings in sync. But the man is never happy with his performance, so that’s nothing new.

I sat with my in-laws (thank goodness they came, otherwise, I’d have been totally alone and my LOSER status would have been confirmed for all to see). And I actually had an alcoholic beverage (okay, two) this go-around. I haven’t had a drink-drink in oh gosh, YEARS. I’m just not that big into alcohol.

And I hadn’t planned on having a drink that night, but I got there before my in-laws, and I was sitting by myself and feeling like a (bigger) loser, so I went ahead and ordered a Vodka Collins.

OMG! I had forgotten how YUMMY Vodka Collins were! They taste like a kicky lemonade, in case you’ve never had one.

(Don’t worry. I drank water after my second call for alcohol and was quite sober (ish) to drive home afterwards. I kid. I was fine, folks. Seriously).

So, there I am, drinking in front of my in-laws. I felt weird at first, and even more weird as my buzz came on and I had to put all of my energies into enunciating my words so I didn’t SOUND drunk in front of my in-laws, but it was all good and besides, this is who I am.

Take it or leave it.

The dancing girl — you know which one I’m talking about. I was told she was not drunk. 😯 Whatever. I’m not here to judge. I DO, however, admire her guts to get out there and have a good time and at the very least, she was entertaining to watch.

The band is playing again this Friday night, July 31st, at The New Key Largo. I think I’m going to take the actual video camera this time (as opposed to taping on my Canon PowerShot) and see if I can’t get some better footage.

And this is assuming I’m level-headed enough TO tape them because hell yeah I’m having another Vodka Collins.

Because I’m WILD like that. *snort*

(By the way, I Tweeted about this, in case you’re interested).

Prompt Fiction

Picture Fiction: Dude

(This was originally published January 18, 2006).

Warning: Language.

Taking a random photograph from Flickr and weaving a short story around it. It’s Picture Fiction!

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“Dude, I swear to you, I’m not lying.”

Ben waved a dismissive hand. “Whatever man. I can never believe what you tell me.”

Jon faked a wounded look.

“Don’t look at me like that,” Ben chastised. “Remember Cindi?” His eyebrows arched like parenthesis turned on their sides.

Jon winced. “That was a joke, man. I didn’t lie to you, per se, it was simply an omission of truth. I swear I had no idea Cindi was dating that big ass wrestler guy.”

“Uh huh,” Ben nodded, not looking convinced.

“Anyway, I’m not lying this time. Amber and Tina invited us over Friday night. We’re supposed to be at their house around 10ish with a 12 pack in hand.”

‘Who did you talk to, exactly?”

“Amber.”

“Ha! I knew it! Amber wouldn’t talk to you, EVER, cause she can’t STAND your ass. She thinks you’re all immature and stuff.”

Jon placed a hand over his heart. “Kill me, dude. She said that?”

Ben just shrugged.

“I swear, if I’m lyin’ then I’m dyin. Call her up, ask her for yourself?”

“And make a total ass out of myself? No way, man. I like this Amber. I’d like to take her OUT. If I call and you’re totally bogeying me then I’ve blown my chance.”

“What can I do to convince you I’m not shittin’ you?”

Ben turned away.

“Ok, OK! You’ve reduced me to extreme measures. I’m gonna tear my Levi’s, my FAVORITE jeans man, to prove to you I’m not lying.”

“Whatever, dude. You’re nuts.”

“No, really! I’m gonna do it!” Jon plops down in Ben’s computer chair. “Seriously, I will.”

“I’ve known you since fourth grade, Jon. I ain’t falling for your….”

Jon grabs a pair of scissors from Ben’s desk drawer and snips the cuff on his right pant leg.

Ben laughs and shakes his head. “Bro, you’re crazy.”

“Believe me?” Jon taunts.

“No way.”

“Fine.” Jon grabs the edge of his pant leg and begins pulling. He continues to tug on the material winding the piece around and around his leg. He triumphantly holds up a long strip of denim. “Believe me now?”

Ben laughs and shakes his head. “Your mom is going to kill you man. All right, we’ll go.”

Jon grins. “Cool dude, now loan me some money for new jeans.”

Life

Fighting the Battle to Sleep (The Clinic)

If I’ve ever doubted Kevin’s feelings about my blogging, I don’t have to doubt them anymore —

He took a picture of himself all hooked up at the sleep clinic last night so that I could blog about it.

Have I mentioned lately how much I ADORE this man!??!

(I love his expression in this picture. He’s 1/3 tired, 1/3 apprehensive and 1/3 embarrassed. Poor guy).

If you’ve missed out on what’s going on, Kevin has sleep issues. He’s had them for like … forever. Seriously, he can’t remember a time in his entire life that he HASN’T had sleep problems. He’s tried all sorts of diet combinations, adjusted his sleep hours, changed his sleep venue and nothing has worked.

He finally threw in the towel this past month and went to see a sleep specialist.

When he described his symptoms (waking up with headaches, stuffy nose, not being able to go back to sleep), the doctor thought it might be sleep apnea.

Which I’ve been telling him he has for years.

But to accurately figure out what is going on, they needed to observe him while asleep.

So, last night, he reported to sleep duty.

He was not allowed to drink any coffee after noon. This also meant, he couldn’t have any chocolate because it had caffeine in it. He also had to shave so the sensors would stick to his face.

And of course, he couldn’t take a nap. Which was really hard because he had a gig Saturday night and didn’t get home until the wee hours of the morning.

At 7:15 p.m., he packed an overnight bag with his “jammies” (he doesn’t really have jammies, *ahem* but he had to WEAR something), his toothbrush/toothpaste, some reading material and his glasses.

He was not allowed to take his cell phone (because of the distraction).

He arrived at the clinic and read a sign to go downstairs. He signed up and then sat down to await his name to be called.

When it was his turn (he said there were about nine rooms and seven of them were being used — a lot of people must have sleep problems!), they settled him into his room. They told him to put on his sleep clothes and when he was ready, to open the door.

The nurse then came in and started hooking him up to the wires. He said the nurse asked him why he was so tan; he told her that we had just gotten back from vacation.

Which is true, but that’s not the reason he’s so tan. We tan — together. Well, not together (though that would probably be more fun *ahem*) but we go to the tanning salon together. I don’t know why he’s so embarrassed to tell people that. A lot of guys tan.

I tan. WE tan. What’s the big deal?! (And he will die that I just told ya’ll that).

Anyway, he was then told to take his sleeping pill, which he did, and when he got sleepy, to press a button to let them know that he was ready to go to sleep.

He took a Lunesta started getting really groggy by about 10:30. So, he pressed the button and the lights went out. A voice then came over a speaker right above him and asked him to move his eyes first one way, then the other, to cough, to clear his throat, to take deep breaths, to hold his breath, etc., so they could test to make sure the connections were working.

Then, he fell asleep.

He says that he actually slept pretty good, of course. (Figures — it’s like when your car starts acting funny and you take it to the mechanic but the stupid thing works perfectly for him and he looks at you like you’re nuts).

I mean, I’m glad the man slept, but well, I was expecting him to stop breathing at some point in the night and they would have to come in and put him on a cpap machine so that he could get back to sleep.

And voila! His sleep problem would be solved. He would sleep and be happy, we’d all hold hands, sing Kumbaya and a huge rainbow would appear over our house.

Unfortunately, he didn’t have any problems. He did wake up at 4:00 a.m., which is “normal” for him. He laid in his bed for an hour before the tech came in and asked him if he was ready to get up.

It sort of freaked him out that they KNEW he was awake, you know?

So, he said yes, got up, got dressed, grabbed his stuff, came home, crawled into bed with me, which woke me up, and he went back to sleep while I lay there and tried to go back to sleep for another hour (which didn’t happen, thanks babe).

He’s supposed to find out his results in two weeks. Whatever happens, sleep apnea or not, I hope they’re able to help the man.

It sucks when you can’t sleep.

General

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

SARAH PALIN: Before it got to the other side, I shot the chicken, cleaned and dressed it, and had chicken burgers for lunch.

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!

JOHN MC CAIN: My friends that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn’t about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where’s my gun?

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions. I am not for it now and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken doesn’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he’s acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he’s guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn’t that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart-warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken 2009, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken 2009. This new platform is much more stable and will never crash or need to be rebooted.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

HAHAHA! I’m with Aristotle on this one. 😀

Which answer do you think was the best?

Abundant Life

Teaching: The Dead are Dead (Part Four)

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

Let’s get started:

Why would God say the dead are dead over and over in the Bible?

Because people believe what they see and not what they read. The fact that demons appear and impersonate dead people year after year causes people to believe what they see.

The so-called “Immortal Soul”
There is no such thing as an “immortal soul” in the Bible. The phrase simply does not appear in the Bible at all. Apparitions, ghosts, hauntings, and demons impersonating people have had a powerful effect in getting people to believe that dead people are actually alive in another form. Satan’s demons have been appearing to people in many types of forms since mankind was first on earth. Hauntings and people seeing ghosts have been well documented all over the world, and anthropologists studying the cultures of the world have documented people reporting all kinds of apparitions, including animals, people, and spiritual beings of all types. Sometimes they do not appear clearly, but are dark, or as a shadow (almost like you were not sure you saw it), or wispy, or the apparition is not there long. Sometimes they are very clear, and even carry on conversations with people.

The number and kinds of appearances have convinced the people of many cultures that the dead are not dead, but are alive.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


(RSS READERS: I’ve posted a wonderful video that talks more about this subject in detail. Please click over to see the video. Sorry for the inconvenience!)

Will Christians really live forever in “Heaven”?

So, you’re a Christian. Cool. Did you know that puts you “in sales”? Well, actually you’re trying to give away the product, but it is still a matter of persuading people to make a decision. Smart consumers today want to be informed about the product so they can make a sound decision. What is it you are trying to get people to sign up for? Forever.

Let’s say you’re in real estate, looking for a home for your clients, a married couple. You find the perfect place, and say to them: “I’ve found your dream home. It has everything you could ever want or need. The only condition is that if you move there, you must stay forever.” You can see them momentarily furrowing their brows as they try to conceive of “forever” and soon give up. They do realize, however, that it is a long time. Do you think they would have any questions about the place where, if they choose it, they will live forever?

So, knowing the real estate standard of “location, location, location,” they ask, “Where is the home located?” How will most Christians answer that vital question? “It’s in heaven.”

Well, that nails it down. “Huh?” This ethereal answer leaves room for much speculation, but the general idea of floating around somewhere forever does, for most people, introduce at least the possibility of eventual, and eternal, boredom.

“What’s the place like?” That’s also a logical question, especially when forever is involved. “Uh, well, it has pearly gates and streets of gold.” “Sounds a little slippery, but I guess that’s OK.”

Their next question might be: “What will we do there?” The average Christian “salesman” would be hard-pressed to give a definitive answer, and might say, “I’m not exactly sure, but I think it may have something to do with a harp.” Customer: “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to play a harp forever.”

Wait a minute, we should be able to figure out at least something about what everlasting life will be like just by putting together a couple of basic biblical truths. First, God is love. Second, God invented people. So, whatever people really enjoy, you know, things they wouldn’t mind lasting a while, is probably what we’ll be doing. Why would a loving God make this life so diversified, so potentially meaningful and enjoyable, and then make eternal life anything less?

The idea of all believers living in “heaven” is, appropriately, nebulous. Why? Because “nebulous” literally means “full of clouds” and in contemporary language means “difficult to grasp.” Have you ever looked up every biblical use of the word “heaven”? If you do, you will never find it used to describe anyone’s everlasting address. Check for yourself.

So then where did this idea come from? Not from the book of Genesis, which is fairly foundational. How so? Well, think about it, what if Adam and Eve had not disobeyed God? Right, they would have lived forever on a perfect earth. Looks like that was God’s original intent, huh?

The whole Bible can be summed up as the story of two men, the first Adam (Adam) and the Last Adam (Jesus Christ). In regard to Paradise, which biblically is always a place on earth, not heaven, the First Adam trashed it and the Last Adam will restore it. The Lord Jesus will rule this earth (renovated after the Tribulation) for 1000 years, and that is where Moses, the Apostle Paul, and you will be shooting pool, or whatever. How could you shoot pool on a cloud? Then the Lord will create a new earth, where all believers from all time will live — forever. Harps will be optional. [For further study read “Christianity 101: Two Adams.”]

Having only a vague idea of where and how we will spend eternity not only makes it very difficult to motivate others to “sign up,” it can also seriously dilute our own mental resolve to joyfully live our lives for the Lord Jesus Christ in this world, no matter the cost. Everyone knows that “hope” is an indispensable element of life. In fact, without hope in their lives, many people actually give up and die. Biblically, “hope” is the expectation of something good that God has promised. Understanding what God says about the Christian’s hope is vital to each believer living a radiant life as a light in the midst of darkness.

Our book, The Christian’s Hope: The Anchor of the Soul, is designed to paint a clear picture of what the Word of God says about the Hope that is to be the prime motivation for each of us day by day. It is loaded with stimulating biblical insights that will inspire you and, we hope, move you to tell your friends the Good News, perhaps by giving them a copy of the book. Many of the clear-cut biblical truths that we set forth in this book are apparently unknown to the vast majority of Christians today, and our prayer is that many will read it and thrill to the spiritual enlightenment they will receive.

Going from spiritual darkness to spiritual light is an exciting journey, and, because “knowing the truth will make you free,” it is also one that leads to an enhanced quality of life. The book answers the question: Where did the erroneous idea of living forever in heaven come from? Other vital topics include an overview of end times chronology, the “Rapture,” the various judgments that will include all people who have ever lived, Armageddon (we win!), each Christian’s rewards in the Millennial Kingdom and in the Eternal Kingdom (and the difference between the two), why believers will inherit a highly-renovated earth (not clouds and sky), what it will be like and some of the things we will do there.

To the degree that we understand these marvelous truths, we can live with an effervescence that bubbles up from a fountain of hope within us, the hope of living forever in a perfect world with God, the Lord Jesus and all believers of all time. God is love, and He never intended for the world to be in the sorry state it is today. In the hope He has given us, we have His guarantee that via His Son, Jesus Christ, He will restore Paradise and all its goodness for us to enjoy forever.

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about God’s wonderful message, please visit the Truth or Tradition website. You can also keep track of the ministry through their Facebook page, their YouTube Channel, or follow them on Twitter.

You can read more about this subject here:

Is There Death After Life?

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General

The President is Not Reforming, He’s Reinventing

bureaucrat Yes, I’m going to get political. My apologizes to those that disagree with me but folks, this is important.

And I’m worried.

Especially for our children and senior citizens.

I woke up this morning and checked Twitter. (Twitter has become just as addicting to me as my morning coffee — yes, it IS that pathetic). And I noticed a tweet that said something along the lines of “If we had nationalized health care *beep* (I removed the name of the child to protect the Tweeter), would have died.”

And then she gave a link to a video. The same video you see below. Even if you WANT national health care, PLEASE watch it. You owe it to yourself, to your loved ones and to your children to carefully weigh, analyze and THINK about the pros and cons, ESPECIALLY THE CONS, of government-run health care and what it will do to our country.

The same country we will hand over to our children someday.

Do you REALLY want our system to deteriorate to this point?! Where even our children have to wait for important, even life-saving, treatment?? Or some bureaucrat gets to decide whether your grandmother receives the treatment she needs to prolong, and/or improve the quality of her life or denies the treatment she needs because she’s old enough and she’s lived a long and good life?

Do we REALLY want to give our government the ability to play God in our lives?

Now I’m a fair person. So I will take this video with a grain of salt. It’s most likely slanted. And there’s no telling how many people he interviewed who were happy with Canada’s health care system.

But the point is, it could get this bad.

But what if this video is pretty accurate? Do you really want to wait months, sometimes YEARS, to get in to see a doctor? Do you really want to take the chance that the medicine you, or your child needs, is not available??

Do you really want to pay 50% more in taxes on consumer goods so we can help pay for this crappy system? Do you really want to be taxed for paying taxes?!

NOTHING is free, people. Nothing. The money has to come from somewhere and that somewhere is US, the people. And just think about this for a minute: can you think of ANY government program that you’re happy with? Can you think of ANY government program that runs like it should, like our politicians have promised us it would?

Do you REALLY want to hand something over as precious and important as our health, or the health of our children, to the government?!

I actually felt sick, tense and anxious after I watched this video. Again, take it with a grain of salt, but the point of the video (and please don’t focus on the host, or his facial expressions or how he looks or the quality of the video, blahblahblah, but pay attention to the POINT), is that it COULD happen. It COULD take weeks, even months, to see a doctor.

And God forbid you need medical treatment on the weekend!!

Remember the days when we had walk-in clinics? When all you had to wait was 30 minutes to see a doctor and then the doctor could actually help you and didn’t advise you to go to yet another department for a form or for the treatment you need?

Yeah. Socialized medicine will eradicate, wipe-out, destroy that luxury. That luxury that we take for granted now.

And let’s think about the economics of the situation for a moment. If our government starts dictating our health care system and mandates that doctors take a pay cut, and/or they control the amount these doctors can be paid, then what is that going to do the men and women who are thinking about going into the health care field? Will it motivate them to go to a college for X number of years, pay an insane amount of money to pay for that schooling only to get into the field and NOT be able to make the money they envisioned when they began the journey? Do you think this will motivate future doctors to enter the field at all?

And what about the doctors already established in the field. Will they be motivated to hone their skills, to become BETTER doctors if they know all of their hard work will amount to nothing because the government is their puppet master?

The number of doctors going into the field will diminish. It’s only natural. It’s logical. And this means, that eventually, there will be less doctors.

But the number of people who need medical care will be the same. Even go up because if people think they can just walk in and get a stuffy nose and/or a headache taken care of because after all, it’s free, they will. Which will further clog the system and prevent people who truly need medical treatment from getting it!

Economics 101: Supply goes down + demand goes up = PROBLEMS FOR US!

I am NOT saying that our health care system doesn’t need reform. The price of health care has skyrocketed and that’s partly because the health care field knows it will be paid because the insurance companies will end up paying it. It absolutely needs to be restructured and overhauled, no question about it. But turning it completely over to the government, to control and therein control OUR HEALTH CARE NEEDS, is not the answer.

And the fact that our government is so hell-bent on passing this new law, this 1,000 + page law that NO ONE HAS HAD THE TIME TO READ AND ANALYZE, really worries me. What’s the hurry? This is a big deal. This will affect our country for YEARS. We owe it to ourselves and our children to do this right. Rushing through the process because our president is worried about his approval ratings is insane. And the fact that the president claims this bill is not about him is crazy too — it’s all about him. He is desperate to pass something that actually WORKS (remember the failed stimulus plan??)

And if it’s not about him, as he claims, then why are some news stories headlining: Obama may have to wait for health care passage . Shouldn’t that read, “Nation may have to wait for health care passage?”

Let’s slow down and look at this like rational adults. Let’s stop allowing our emotions to rule our heads. Our future generations are counting on us to get this right.