Life-condensed

The First Day is Over!

The first day of the school year is officially over.

And I couldn’t be happier.

It went by fast.

For the most part.

But at other moments, it slowed to a crawl.

The first day is always … disorienting to me.

I am alone.

I am lonely.

I miss the kids.

And I walk around the house as if in a daze.

I’m never quite sure what to do with myself.

It’s frustrating and sad at the same time.

The kids said their days went well.

Jazz was a bit nervous.

Dude was a bit bored.

Jazz had a scheduling problem and couldn’t find his study hall class.

Dude was uncharacteristically mellow and relaxed.

They saw friends.

They shyly said hello to strangers.

They met each other at their locker after the last bell.

And walked side-by-side to meet me after school.

I found it hard to breathe as I watched them walk towards me.

No longer boys, but young men, confident and ready.

They exuded personality with every lazy step forward.

We went for ice cream for an after-school treat.

And it warmed my heart to listen to them talk about their days.

I forced myself to slow down and savor the moment.

For they will soon be gone.

They handed me a stack of papers when we got home.

I signed a mountain of syllabi.

And read through hundreds of rules.

We talked about the importance of keeping on top of things.

For high school is QUITE different than middle school.

Classes are only a semester long.

There is no PASS/FAIL option anymore.

You either pass the class or take it over.

I worry that Jazz can handle his workload as well as his marching band obligations.

He assures me he can handle it.

I want to believe him.

Schedules have been worked through.

Routines have been established.

It’s time to trudge through the next nine months.

Our new normal has begun.

First Day of School 09

Life, random stuff

Setting Them Up to Succeed

1 Dude doesn’t have that many friends (I can’t imagine where he gets THAT trait from – *ahem*), but the ones he does have? He sees a lot.

Once again, he stayed over at a friend’s house this past Friday night. Whenever he and his friends get together, they stay up all night and do the LAN party thing, playing XBox games together.

Dude packed up his XBox, and all the gear that went along with that, as well as our flat-screen TV that sits on a shelf over our treadmill (which I use to watch movies when I walk on the treadmill). He has to take his own TV because, well, TV’s don’t grow on trees. At least, they didn’t the last time I checked. And in order to participate in a LAN party, you sort of need a TV. It’s really hard to play games when you can’t see what’s going on.

So, Kevin dropped him off. I had to stay home because I was waiting on a very important email from a school that wanted to post their class lists online (see how accommodating I am about helping the schools out? I’m tellin’ ya, if your child’s school doesn’t have a decent website, you’re missing out! Contact me and let’s talk).

Because I was distracted, I forgot to feed the kid. Which is a problem. A hungry teenage boy? Yeah, picture a hormonal teenage girl – times about twenty. So, Kevin calls him on his cell phone to ask if he needs us to bring him anything to eat. Now I know the kid will probably eat a little something over at his friend’s, but I hate to assume that someone else is going to feed him, so we checked just to make sure. They hadn’t said anything about food at that point, but I wasn’t worried, they usually ordered pizza in times past so I just assumed they would do the same thing again.

Uh, no.

The next morning, Kevin and I ran back over to pick Dude up. (I’m really looking forward to the day he can drive himself places!) We noticed there was a giant SUV in the driveway, one we weren’t familiar with.

Hhmm, one of his friends must be driving now, I thought to myself.

We gave him a chance to get settled in the car and succumb to a yawn or two before interrogating him.

And by interrogating him, I mean, just ask him simple questions.

“So, did you have fun?”

“Yeah.”

“Did you get any sleep?”

“A little.”

“How much?”

“I don’t know.”

“What did you end up eating for dinner?”

Silence.

I glanced in my rear-view mirror to try and catch Dude’s eyes.

He’s not looking at me.

I raise an eyebrow to Kevin and we give him a little more time to formulate his answer. After all, the kid is tired, and the brain synapses thing? Is running slow.

“We went and ate Chinese food,” he finally answered.

“Oh?” Kevin asked innocently. “Who drove you over there?”

“My friend, J,” was Dude’s answer.

My knee-jerk reaction was shock and then alarm. My kid was in the car with a new 16-year old driver?!? ACK! We’ve always told Dude that when he got his license, he wasn’t allowed to drive any of his friends around for at least a year, not until he had had some experience under his belt. So, the fact that he willingly went with his buddy was sort of surprising.

To me, at least.

But I held my tongue and swished that information around my pea brain for a bit. He was alive. He was fine. Calm down, mom.

My very next thought was, “COOL!” How cool was it that he and his buddies were able to hop into a car and just go eat Chinese food on the spur of the moment? How exciting! How grown up! And .. uh oh …

“What did you do for money? Who paid for your meal?” I asked.

Dude said his buddy paid for it and I immediately felt bad. I’m confident Dude will see his buddy again and when he does, he can pay him back. But in the meantime, that was a good lesson for us — always make sure the boy has some money on him.

I asked Dude if he felt grown-up when he and his buds went out to eat. He gave me a lazy smile and said, “yeah.”

That lone word, and the way he said it, said it all, really. He not only liked it, he LOVED it. He got his first REAL taste of independence.

Dude has been a different kid this weekend. He’s been more relaxed, more … mature. I really think we’ve turned another corner in his life and I’m predicting this is going to be a HUGE “growing up” year for Dude.

Even though I’m tickled pink that he had a good time and that he got a taste of what being a teenager is all about, do you want to know what I’m MOST happy about?

The fact that he COULD tell us about the trip out with his buddies. He trusted us not to go ballistic and we didn’t. THAT to me is a huge milestone, I think.

***************

2 Speaking of cell phones … I ordered Dude’s cell phone from Virgin Mobile over the weekend. His choices were red or gold. He thought the gold one might be a bit too “pimp-ish”, so he went with the red. Only, we’re hoping it’s a true red and not a reddish-pink, because if so, that puppy will be sent back.

In the meantime, Jazz recorded his own voice mail message on his phone (the old phone). It’s pretty funny and I wish you could listen to it, but in essence, it goes a little something like this:

“Hey, this is Jazz. I’m not here right now because either 1. I have my phone turned off, or 2. I can’t answer the phone. So, either call back in 20 minutes or so, or I’ll get back to you eventually.”

And he sounds totally bored with the whole thing.

HAHA! Love that kid.

***************

3 I spent several hours on Sunday going through old clothes. Since Jazz had a pretty big growth spurt these past several months, I had a TON of clothes to sort through.

Considering Jazz has grown so much, he not only had to try on old clothes to make sure they still fit (most didn’t), he also had to try on Dude’s old clothes to see if he was big enough to wear them (and he was, for the most part).

I ended up with FIVE trash bags full of stuff he could no longer wear, as well as about four pairs of shoes.

So, I kept Jazz pretty busy Sunday afternoon. But he was a really good sport about it. In fact, he sort of acted excited about his new “wardrobe.” A lot of Dude’s old stuff was BRAND NEW because that was the time period that Dude refused to wear anything but about three t-shirts and two hoodies – the entire school year. It drove me bonkers, but I couldn’t get the kid to wear anything else.

When I asked Dude why he wouldn’t wear anything other than the same crap over and over again he said, “I don’t want the other kids to think I’m rich or something by wearing different clothes all the time.”

Wha?! So, I guess it was okay to allow the other kids to think he was dirt poor? I don’t understand why it has suddenly become a BAD thing to have money. It’s like everyone is apologizing for the fact that they are successful or they have worked hard to earn their own money.

We certainly aren’t rich and we certainly don’t have a lot of money, but we’re comfortable and I guess we should apologize for that?

Thanks for that, Obama. Grr. Don’t get me started.

Anyway, Dude and I drove to my sister-in-law’s house today to drop off those five bags of clothes. My SIL’s son is about four years younger than Jazz and he just worships him. My nephew really gets a kick out of wearing Jazz’s hand-me downs and I’m happy that the clothes are being used. (Not to mention, it saves my SIL tons of money!)

We’re starting to reach the point though, that we won’t have any clothes to give up after a while. I think Dude has pretty much stopped growing at this stage, which means less hand-me downs for Jazz and less sorting and discarding for me.

Even though going through clothes is my least favorite thing to do, I’ll miss it when I no longer have to do it.

***************

4 Kevin took Dude to practice parallel parking Sunday. (Dude told me that there was a cop parked across the street watching him. The cop had been sitting there before Kevin and Dude pulled up to practice, but it nearly gave Dude a heart attack).

When they got back, I talked everyone into climbing back into the car and driving down to Missouri State University (MSU). My plan was for us to get out and actually walk around the campus. I wanted to to show Dude what college life was like because now that he’s a Junior and will be taking the ACT Prep course first thing this semester, I knew that he would be hearing a lot about college and how important it was for him to start thinking seriously about it.

However, I didn’t realize, until we reached campus and the place was PACKED and crawling with people, that the Fall semester started today which meant that all of the kids were busy buying books and moving into their dorm rooms.

We didn’t end up walking around, we just drove around, but I think Dude got a “feel” for what it was like.

I couldn’t help getting excited myself. I LOVED college. Just loved it. And I miss it. I would love to go back and get my masters someday, but I need to pay my student loans off first before I think about going back for more.

I confess, I think part of the reason I wanted to go to MSU and look around was because of me.

I’m selfish like that. 🙂

***************

5 It’s the eve of another school year. Dude will be a Junior, Jazz will be a Freshman. In some ways, it’s hard to believe both of my boys will be high school, but in other ways, this is the point we’ve been working towards.

I’m quite confident that these next two / four years are going to ZOOM by. They will be monumental growth years for my kids – both physically and emotionally. I’m sure there will be dates, and friends, and driving, and jobs and just a whole slew of new and worrisome exciting experiences for the boys.

On one hand, I’m looking forward to the challenges. I’m looking forward to watching them grow up and reach out to grab their goals by the tail and hang on for dear life.

And on the other hand, they are growing away from me, they need me less and less and it makes me sad.

It’s weird. It’s almost as if I’m watching them morph into totally different beings from the outside, as a passer-by, instead of an interested party. I feel like I’m observing them through a glass snow globe and though the flakes start flying when their worlds are upset, I’m there to hold it steady and make everything calm once again.

My role has changed. I’m no longer an island they swim toward, I’m a rock to steady themselves against when the tide becomes overwhelming.

Soon, very soon, they will be swimming by themselves and I will be reduced to a dot on their horizon.

*sigh* It’s both sad, and a bit exciting, all at the same time.

I’ll be glad when tomorrow is over. The first day of school has always been hard for me. There is just something about watching them walk away from me … knowing they will be different people when I pick them up later.

It just makes me cry.

***************

6 Because the first day of school is so tough on me, I will have to distract myself. I plan on packing up my laptop and heading toward the MSU library.

I plan on getting back to my writing.

It’s really hard for me to write at home during the summer months. Even though the boys are virtually invisible during the long summer days, they are still PRESENT. And I can never fully turn off my mom mode when they’re around. I find that incredibly distracting. I can’t get anything done and writing, well, I don’t even try.

I have to get away from home, to physically leave, before I can get any writing done.

So, I’ll kill two birds with one stone tomorrow. I will distract myself from the first day of school blues and get some writing done to boot.

In case you weren’t aware of this, the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge is coming up in November and to help prepare myself for the challenge, I thought I would “ask” my main character to write some posts for this blog. A creative exercise, if you will. I thought it would be fun to introduce you all to something new and it would allow me an opportunity to get to know her better before NaNoWriMo starts.

I think, instead of writing a novel this year, I’m going to write 30 short stories all starring my lead character (that you will all come to know through this blog). I don’t know why, but I seem to work better in the short story format. I also enjoy it – a lot. I get so bored whenever I write anything longer than about 3,000 words. This way, I’ll mix things up a bit and have produced a mini-portfolio of my work to boot.

This will be my fifth year participating in the NaNoWriMo challenge (see sidebar for past winner’s badges) and I plan on crossing that 50,000 word line yet again this year. The NaNoWriMo site has published their web badges early, so hop on over, grab your badge and show the world that you’re up to the challenge!

Thanks for sticking it out with me. I always feel so much better after writing these random posts – it feels so good to purge!

More from Write From Karen

VideoPlay

Video: My Thoughts on the Dreaded Swine Flu.

I’m participating in the Say it Face to Face web conversation. In essence, someone asks a question and we respond to those questions via video.

The below video is my response to the question: “How concerned are you about swine flu this school season?”

Other things that we do to stay healthy:

  • I spray keyboards, doorknobs, phones and anything else I can think of with Lysol on a regular basis.
  • I boil our toothbrushes once a week
  • Drink lots of juice, water and take vitamin C (I mentioned that in the video, but it’s terribly important. Stay away from soda and caffeine, it breaks down your immune system).
  • Dust regularly
  • Vacuum regularly
  • Get lots of rest (stick to a sleep schedule. The more rested you are, the more you’re able to fight off infection)
  • Drink hot liquids and burn the back of your throat on a regular basis (I know this sounds weird, but it kills the bacteria lingering in dark places). After pouring my morning coffee, I always take a big gulp first thing. Roll your eyes if you wish, but I haven’t had a full-fledged cold in over a year. *knockknock*
  • Use nose spray to clean out sinuses on a (semi) regular basis. We use 4-Way Menthol spray and not only does it help you breathe, it washes bacteria away. I SWEAR on this method. Since using nose spray (don’t use it too much, too much is not good for you, but when you get stuffy or you’re feeling sick), I haven’t had ONE sinus infection and I used to get about two a year. Also, this is probably obvious, but do not share nose bottles with your family! One bottle per member. Label them (I do). It’s more expensive that way, but honestly, I’m looking at it as an investment toward staying healthy.

I should add, we’ve never gotten a flu shot. And we don’t plan on getting the swine flu shot when it’s available. Again, it’s another strand of flu and we’ll do everything we can to protect ourselves, but I refuse to allow the threat to immobilize me.

These health scares re-surface from time-to-time (remember the West Nile virus and the Bird flu?) so I tend to just take all of the information with a grain of salt to begin with. Notice I said I don’t ignore it or don’t take it seriously, I just don’t freak out about it.

The media feeds on fear. So please, don’t allow the media to scare you into a hole. Talk to your families, practice good hygiene and stay healthy.

If you, or someone in your family gets sick, stay home. Don’t infect others. Drink lots of fluids, get lots of rest. Yadda,yadda,yadda.

Other than shutting yourself off in a sterile room, there’s really not much anyone can do so …. relax. Be smart. 🙂

So tell me, How concerned are you about swine flu this school season?

random stuff

(Joke) Are you a Democrat, a Republican, or a Redneck?

joke Here is a little test that will help you decide:

You’re walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, an Islamic terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you. You are carrying a Glock cal 40, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Democrat’s Answer:

Well, that’s not enough information to answer the question!

Does the man look poor! Or oppressed?

Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?

Could we run away?

What does my wife think? What about the kids?

Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?

What does the law say about this situation?

Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it?

Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?

Is it possible he’d be happy with just killing me?

Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?

If I were to grab his knees and hold on , could my family get away while he was stabbing me?

Should I call 9-1-1 ?

Why is this street so deserted?

We need to raise taxes, have a paint and weed day and make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.

This is all so confusing!

I need to discuss with some friends over a latte and try to come to a consensus.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Republican’s Answer:

BANG!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Redneck’s Answer:

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Click click click ….

(sounds of reloading)

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Click click click ….

Daughter: “Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?”

Son: “You got him, Pop! Can I shoot the next one?”

Wife: “You are NOT taking that to the taxidermist.”

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Abundant Life

Teaching: The Dead Are Dead Until the Rapture or Resurrection

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:

When a person dies, he is dead, that is, totally without life. A Christian has body, soul, and holy spirit, so we will look at what happens to each of these components if he dies. The body cannot live without the animating life force of the soul, so when the soul is gone, the body is dead. We have all seen lifeless bodies—the body is there but the soul, the life force, is gone.

Just as the body is not alive without the soul, so the soul cannot live on its own without a body. The soul is not a ghost that lives on after the body dies. Rather, it is the animating force that makes the body alive. God created the soul, the life force, for both animals and man, and it is passed down from one generation to the next. There was no “soul ghost” that God put into us when the sperm of our father and egg of our mother came together.

Every living part of a human or animal has “soul,” that is, life. Every cell of our body has soul in it, which is what makes it alive. A dead cell is a cell without soul—the soul is gone. As with every cell, the egg from my mother and the sperm from my father that became “me” each had their own cell-body and soul, and that soul was passed down to “me” when the sperm fertilized the egg. If the egg were “dead,” the lifeless egg-body would be there, but it could not be fertilized, and if the sperm were dead, it could not fertilize the egg.

When a human cell dies, the life in that cell does not go to be with God, it is just gone. Similarly, the soul that makes the egg and sperm alive does not live on in the presence of God if the sperm or egg dies. Men have millions of living sperm, sperm with soul, that die, and women have hundreds of thousands of living eggs, eggs with soul, which are never fertilized, and die. The soul in all those sperms and eggs does not “go” anywhere if the sperm or egg dies, and certainly not to be with God, rejoicing in His presence. As with the life in any cell, it just dies and is gone. On the other hand, if the sperm fertilizes an egg, then the life in them is passed on and becomes the life of the new baby. [1]

The Bible says that God created the same life force, called “soul,” for both animals and man, but it is hard to see that in most English Bibles, because the translators say “soul” when the verse refers to humans, but use other English words such as “creature,” “thing,” “life,” etc., when the verse refers to animals. [2] The soul, the life, in animals and in mankind does not “go” anywhere when the animal or person dies, it just ceases to be. Interestingly, most Christians recognize that about animals, and realize that animals do not go to heaven or “hell” when they die. [3] Their body decays, and their soul is gone. What we need to understand is that the Bible says people and animals are alike in that when they die, their body decays and returns to dust, and their soul dies too. That is one reason why there are verses, some of which we will see in this article, that say that when a person dies, his soul is in “Sheol,” the grave or the state of being dead.

Just as the soul gives us physical life, the gift of holy spirit from God gives us spiritual life. The holy spirit inside a Christian is not like a ghost with thinking capacity on its own. The holy spirit gives spirit life to the “person,” the body animated by the soul. Our holy spirit was not alive with God before we became a Christian, thinking and rejoicing in His presence, and then somehow came into us, like a ghost possessing our body, when we got saved. Rather, the holy spirit we now have was a part of God’s great reservoir of spiritual life, of which He gave us a part when we got born again. [4] The holy spirit is the spiritual life from God that infuses every cell of our body and, as our new spiritual nature, is part of who we are.

If we die, the holy spirit “returns” to God (Eccles. 12:7). Since God is everywhere, that most likely means that He remembers us and will re-energize our bodies with spirit at the Rapture. Another possibility is that God simply reclaims the spiritual life force He put in us. In any case, the holy spirit God gave us did not have a mind or memory before it was given to us, and it does not have one after we die. It is spiritual life, spiritual power, that we have from God. My “spirit” is not rejoicing with God after “I” die. A person is alive only as an integrated whole before he dies, and only as an integrated whole will he live again, when God raises him from the dead.

The Bible has a significant number of verses that let us know that when a person dies he is dead and awaiting the Rapture or resurrection. [5] Many are self-explanatory, while some need some explanation to get the most from them. It is not the purpose of this short article to replace much larger books on the state of the dead, nor can we mention every verse or argument that supports the teaching that the dead are dead, or give an answer to the more difficult verses on the subject. [6] In fact, we have tried to print only the relevant part of each Scripture section, saving space by leaving out parts of verses, so it will be helpful if you read these verses in your own Bible for a more complete understanding of them in their contexts. In this article we will give some of the important verses and pieces of evidence that the dead are not alive in any form, but are awaiting being raised from the grave.

The dead are in the grave, not in heaven or “hell.”

The verses that follow focus our attention on the fact that the dead are dead, “sleeping” in the ground and turned back to dust. They are not alive in heaven, hell, or Paradise. [7]

Deuteronomy 31:16 (KJV) [8]
And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers…

God told Moses he would “sleep” with his ancestors, not that he was going to heaven to be with God or his ancestors. God made it clear that Moses was going to sleep, a state that, for Moses, will end with the Resurrection of the Just. [9] “Sleep” is an excellent metaphor for death, because a sleeping person is not participating in life’s activities, but will wake up as the same person who went to sleep. “Sleep” is often used of death (Job 7:21; Ps. 13:3, 90:5; Dan. 12:2; John 11:11; 1 Cor. 11:30, 15:51; 1 Thess. 4:14, 5:10). The fuller metaphor of sleeping with one’s ancestors occurs in 2 Samuel 7:12, 1 Kings 1:21, and Acts 13:36 of King David.

Job 7:21 (ESV) [10]
…For now I shall lie in the earth; you will seek me, but I shall not be.”

Job 14:12-14 (ESV)
(12) so a man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep.
(13) Oh that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would conceal me until your wrath be past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
(14) If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait, till my renewal should come.

When a person dies, he “lies down” in death and does not rise out of that sleep until his “renewal” at the resurrection. Job’s saying he would be hidden in Sheol (the state of death) makes no sense if he believed that at his death he would be with God in heaven or in a good place.

Psalm 6:5 (ESV)
For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise?

People who die are not in the presence of God. They are dead in every way, and in the sleep of death do not remember or praise God.

Psalm 16:10 (ESV)
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.

Psalm 30:9 (ESV)
“What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?

When we die, we return to dust, and that dust does not praise God. The psalmist is asking God to keep him alive, and reminding God that if he dies, He will get no praise from “dust.”

Psalm 49:12, 14 and 15 (ESV)
(12) Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.
(14) Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning [at their resurrection]. Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
(15) But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah

The “soul” in man is like the soul life in animals. It is not immortal, so it dies when the person dies. Christians who die remain in Sheol, the state of being dead, until God ransoms us from the grave at the Rapture. At that time God re-empowers our bodies, but not with the soul life we have now.

Psalm 89:48 (ESV)
What man can live and never see death? Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah

Psalm 115:17 (ESV)
The dead do not praise the LORD, nor do any who go down into silence.

The dead are not in the presence of God praising Him. They are in “silence” until the Rapture or resurrection.

Ecclesiastes 9:4-6 and 10 (ESV)
(4) But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
(5) For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.
(6) Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.
(10) Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

These verses are very clear. The dead are not celebrating in the presence of God. They are in Sheol, the grave, and there they have no knowledge, no love, no hate, no work, no thoughts, no wisdom.

Isaiah 26:19 (ESV)
Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.

Dead people are dwelling in the dust, not in heaven. But there is a time coming when the graves will open and the earth will give birth to the dead.

Please read the rest of the article here.

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?

Free Online Seminar: Death & Resurrection to Life

Thanks for reading.

(Comments have been turned off. The information is here, it’s up to you to accept, or deny, it).

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Saturday Stuff

Yay! It’s Saturday!

glas_comic18

WARNING! This comic is totally fake. Men CAN NOT read our minds ladies.

No matter how much we think they can.

Just a little public service announcement for my peeps. 😀

*****

So. Yay. It’s Saturday. I try not to post anything more taxing than a comic on Saturday (do you realize how much brain power it takes to post these in-depth articles the rest of the week? I only HAVE so much to give, people).

BUT …

I’ve been keeping track of posts that have touched my heart, or made me laugh, in some way so that I could eventually share them with you all. Click over and read them if you have time.

What are you doing still here? Click over.

Shoo. 🙂

–> Chatty Cathy from Stop Screaming I’m Driving!

–> A Good Mother from Is There Any Mommy Out There?

–> Why Parenting Is Like An Underage House Party by Bad Mommy Moments

–> Beyond Expectation by Where Am I Going and Why Am I In This Handbasket?

–> It Won’t Last Forever by Queen of Spain

–> This is Mother’s Day. This is Mother’s Day on depression. Any questions? by The Mom Slant

–> We’re Gonna Need Better Insurance by Sandcastle Momma

–> I Cried Yesterday by The Big Piece of Cake

–> A Nice Smoky Flavor by Being Michael’s Daddy

–> sometimes at the end of the rainbow all you have is rainbow colored poop by Is it 5 o’clock Yet?

More from Write From Karen

Photo Story Friday

Photo Story Friday: The Infamous Pole

Oh look! Another wonderful excuse to scan old pictures and bore you to tears!! Yay!

(Welllll … hello waist. I haven’t seen you in quite some time.)

Beach - 1990

This was taken on a beach in Cozumel, Mexico back in 1990. Kevin and I were on our honeymoon and we rented a moped (I believe they now call them scooters for all you young whipper-snappers out there) and drove to the less inhabited part of the island where we stopped to have lunch.

It was traditional for all new visitors to carve (or write) their initials into this pole I’m leaning against.

If you look really closely, you can see what Kevin wrote in the pole in red ink. If you can’t see it, you can click here to see a larger version.

If you don’t know, me, Kevin and the boys all went back to Cozumel Mexico on our cruise this past June. And one of the missions we set out for ourselves was to find this pole and show the boys what we wrote.

But alas. The hut was no longer there. That side of the island gets pummeled by hurricanes and it tore that hut down years ago, so we didn’t get to see the pole, but it was so much fun to visit the area where our life began.

Ahh … to BE 25 again.

Life

Caught Out in Public

uncomfortable Blogging is largely an autonomous activity. We get on here, write down our thoughts or describe something that happened in our lives, click on “publish” and *SNAP*, it’s out there for the world to see.

Only, it doesn’t feel like the world to me, it doesn’t feel like anything. It’s a page on my monitor and in a lot of ways, it doesn’t even feel real. It’s real at the time I write it, but once it’s on my blog, I’ve moved past it and a lot of times, have already forgotten about it.

And it always surprises me whenever I get comments. First, I’m surprised that anyone even reads it. Secondly, when I go back and re-read some of this stuff, it’s almost like it happened to another person.

I write in the moment. I write what I’m feeling at that moment. So by the time I go back and read it over again, my feelings have changed. Whatever it was that bothered me, doesn’t bother me anymore. I felt that way when I wrote the post, but I’m over it now and feel totally different.

I’ve purged my thoughts and feelings (and feel much better, thank you very much) and have abandoned those thoughts and feelings to someone’s RSS reader to read, skim, or skip altogether.

I’ve moved on. I’m already living the next post.

It’s different, putting myself out there for the world to analyze, when I know they are faceless beings. It’s somehow easier to bare my soul to perfect strangers than to say, my family. And I suppose the biggest reason is because people in real life know me, or at least, they are in close enough proximity to SEE through my tough talk and false bravado and take a gander at my vulnerability.

But the nameless, faceless people? Only know me through my words. They may judge me, but I won’t be aware of their judgment (unless they leave a comment and even then, it doesn’t feel ….. real) so I can simply continue being …. me … in the moment.

I think I would start feeling EXTREMELY uncomfortable if I ever got to the “popular” level and I continued to slice and dice my life out to place on a board for all the world to come by and sniff their nose at. I’ve been thankful, on more than one (hundred) occasion that I wasn’t Dooce, or The Pioneer Woman or MckMama simply because I’m not sure how I would handle the very public scrutiny and the very public judgments that I see these talented bloggers go through all the time.

I think being willing to go that far out on a limb takes a lot of courage.

I’ve always wondered what I would do if/when someone from my real life approached me to tell me they read my blog.

Like when on Tuesday, when we were at Kevin’s company picnic, one of his constitutes (Hi Julie!) approached me and said,

“I have a confession to make. I’m addicted to your blog.”

*blinkblink*

My very first reaction was:

“Good Lord.”

My second reaction was:

“How flattering!”

My third reaction?

“Good Lord.”

My fourth reaction?

*PANIC!*

DeerInHeadlights What do I say?! How do I act? Why is my tongue swelling and sticking to the roof of my mouth? Why do I feel like a deer in headlights?

Say something, you idiot!

“Um, that’s great.”

Perfect. I couldn’t have SOUNDED any more idiotic.

She took me by surprise. (I’m really not that stupid, Julie. Well, I take that back. I’m not USUALLY quite that stupid, Julie).

I honestly didn’t know what to say.

And that confused me. Because as you can see, from my blog, I’m not usually short on words.

Ah, but that’s the difference between blogging and real life — blogging, I have TIME to formulate my thoughts (I won’t even tell you how much time I spend writing these things and LOOK, they’re still jumbled up and confusing) and in real life? I’m on the spot. I have to think fast …

and THAT is my problem.

I’m just not that quick.

Apparently. 😯