New News, No News or Nothing Special

Hey guys! I’m on a roll, lol. Two posts in one day?

Where do I begin?

The other day, I was doing my usual morning walk, however it was destined to be a short one, yet before that happened something caught my eye…

What happened here? A few too many maybe?

More on that later.

Lately, because of the heat and my age, I’ve had to either start out at the crack of dawn or substitute the treadmill or elliptical in order to avoid the sun. It has been a scorcher both while I was in Salt Lake City and at home in Southern California. The heat and sun has been very intense. My outdoor plants in Cali had withered and died completely as I was not here to water them while I was in Salt Lake.

What a sad state of affairs. It has cooled down some since, but the loss is depressingly sad. I hate when living things pass out of neglect and circumstances.

On my walks I get to ponder many things and yes, I’m still walking to my K-pop tunes, but I’ve since added some Keith Urban and other pop artists to my lists as well. I’ve decided, I love Pink. She’s actually a good singer. I love how Keith Urban seems to be tuned into the female psyche. He hits home with me all the time.

One day I was walking, airpods in my ear belting out one of his songs, I think it was Blue Ain’t Your Color or Wildhearts, and this construction worker in a hole on the street, stops to tell me I have a good voice. I had to take that graciously since I’m singing loudly to a tune no one else can hear but me. My father always told me never to deny a complement but accept them graciously, so I did.

I’ve also added some Elmer Bernstein and The Greatest Showman tunes, which I also sing loudly to.

On my walks, I meet other people’s animals and photograph them. I spot unique garden designs or beautiful fauna. I see sad things and dirty things.

Once I went through a cycle of photographing a good many roadkills. It was quite the week, all these critters jumping into harms way like that. Some things I see, I’d rather not mention.

Lately, I’ve spotted injured coyotes that disturbed me. One such coyote was busily licking his wounds before he was aware of my presence and ran off. I kept looking for it wondering if it had died and I had visions of it being consumed by maggots. A couple of weeks later I saw another coyote, only this one was lying on the ground and appeared to be dead, but upon my approach, I called out. It startled me when it jumped up and leapt away. He also bore a scarred gash on his flank. At first, I thought it was the same dog, but photographs I’d taken before proved me wrong. I’d wondered if someone was doing them harm or were there just too many males and there is a hierarchy battle going on. No clue. After I published the photo of the second one on my Instagram, someone from the Eastern Coyote_Center, let me know there was a Coyote Rescue.org probably in my area and there is, so I now have a number to call should I see that again.

CONTEMPLATION

These walks allow me time to contemplate many things. Life, my blogging friends lives, though I’ve not followed up near as much as I used to. It’s like where has my time gone? Why do I feel like I have no time? It is jam packed with so many things for some reason. I think of my family so far away and wonder if I’ve done a good job. Even if I haven’t, they love me and think I’m the best and cool. I’m grateful for all the love they give me. Thoughts. Some make me smile, some make me cry. I still miss my sister so very much. Our chats, her responses.

I discovered some of my best ideas for screenplays come out of my walks. At first, as these ideas came spilling out, I’d arrive at home 3-4 miles later, having forgotten what they were. Since then, I discovered my Notes App on my phone and started dictating my ideas to notes. At times you can see me having running dialogues with myself and my characters. That has been such a boon to my screenwriting.

Back to the beginning. As I said in the beginning, something caught my eye. I came across that big gash in the fence, off the road, in a business area. On the ground, was a hubcap and I immediately came to the conclusion that some drunk driver had careened into the fence some time during the night. It was a miracle he’d not gone into the ditch below. I shook my head and sighed then walked a few steps further and happened to notice a tree behind the fence, tipped forward and a large branch that had broken off in the direction of the dent on the fence.

Hmmm. Did I make a judgment error? I looked at it carefully and figured I had. It made me think. It was a tall eucalyptus tree and eucalyptus trees tend to have shallow roots, which seems odd since they grow so tall. Nonetheless, it reminded me of a time, some 40+ years ago when the same thing had occurred near my home at the time. I’d been away and upon my return, unbeknownst to me, we’d had an earthquake which jostled the tree across the street enough for it to become uprooted, falling onto my neighbors garage, seconds after their daughter had pulled out of it to go to work, no less! What a mess and a blessing Kathleen had escaped unharmed.

Like I mentioned before, it’s been very hot and I might add, there has been no rain, nothing to soften the soil and loosen the roots, so I wondered if we’d had an undetected earthquake as can happen often in California. Another Hmmm

My point though, and what occurred to me in all this analyzation is how busy my mind was to create and conclude a story. One that fit my logic. It made me wonder about the stories we tell ourselves and the judgments we make about the world around us either through our own observations or the influences of social media or through educated (or uneducated) guesses based on information we’ve logged into the recesses of our brains and how we use it to see the world around us. Why?

It made me sad, because in our relationships with our fellow man, we do it all the time. What is even sadder is how we tend to justify these analogies based on our own life experiences and the preset filters we create.

I realize that it’s probably instinctual, as instinct has been key to man’s survival all these centuries. Yes, they were necessary back then, but how well are we using them now? How and why are we letting outside influences, through both peer pressure and social media vomit and scorn, skew our thinking? It’s like we’ve become lemmings or as we had in Colorado, prairie dogs that periodically go off to a mass suicide death. To be honest, who isn’t influenced by the world around us? Who hasn’t quoted Yahoo, or preferential news sources or a Twitter comment as if it were the holy grail? Oh, and Quora, who follows Quora? We are so easily manipulated. I’m no exception. I sometimes believe how much so and so loves his wife or doesn’t, then there’s this or that person being a total jerk. Oh, then how wonderful so and so is, look at all the humane things he does. Social media can be and is often tweaked to be a weapon. Isn’t that what a certain person was counting on when she filed her suit against her famous hubby? Hmmmm

When I was visiting my children in SLC, my granddaughter showed me how to manipulate my pictures, add sound and do all kinds of stuff on my phone. Wow! If she does it easily, think of all the other things we are bombarded with that may be contrived to tell a story “they” want you to see?

But, apart from that, what about the things we see in those closest to us, those that social media isn’t posting about? This contemplative thinking made me aware of how unfair I can be sometimes with those I care about. A friend once told me, that trust is like a mirror, once it’s broken, it can’t be put back together. That hits close to home. We discovered that neither of us trusted the other, but mostly me, him. He once said there were things, I didn’t know or what he couldn’t reveal yet, and my response was bullshit! (sorry) In the meantime, I won’t tell him what I feel, because it makes me feel vulnerable. Have I become jaded? Has my own past colored my present?

I know I’ve shared with everyone, in earlier, previous posts, some of my childhood and past. Not wanting to live in the past, I’ve tried real hard to overcome these and change for the better, but my kids tell me it’s my past that has kept me from seeing things honestly. I trust when I shouldn’t and don’t when maybe I should.

I think because of the past, I tend to want to see results quickly, otherwise, I run away. Prove to me now and I’ll be fine. Perhaps, that’s also why I doubt and put up walls to protect myself. Does anyone else do that? So, in the interim, as my neighbor revs up his snazzy Corvette across the street, making a boatload of racket and drowning out my thoughts, I’d like to say… In conclusion,

if … anyone that reads this post has been hurt by my doubts, I’m sorry.

Some things we just can’t shake no matter how hard we try and at 76, I just learned that. Is it too late to try?

In the meantime, remember too, forgiveness is divine. ūüėČūüėČūü•ī

The Whole Picture

I know a great deal is happening in the world today.  Attitudes are changing, some good, some not so good.

In this mash of over stimulation and feeding of opinion, from every form of media and friends, how do we get the whole picture?  The TRUE picture?

Truth is relative, that’s a given truth be told. So much of what we believe is influenced by those around us, our friends, neighbors, educators, religion (if we attend), media and if we read, books. Sadly most of it comes from a combination of media and peer pressure.

Peer pressure is something we just can’t seem to avoid. We’re like cattle or perhaps sheep off to slaughter. Friends are an integral part of living and heaven forbid we disappoint friends. So that leaves MEDIA. MEDIA is the most damaging. TV especially because more people watch TV than listen to radio, in periodicals or the daily paper. Why people believe what they hear on TV as gospel is beyond me. Most of it is “he said, she said” anyway.

I recall¬†an interview a few years back of an actor who had for several seasons or perhaps years, had¬†played a villain on a long running soap opera. ¬†He said in the interview, how surprised he was at the number of¬†people believed it was for real. He was frequently being chastised on the street for being so bad. One day, he says, a woman literally came up to him from out of the blue and hit him with her purse. ¬†The audience of course laughed, but what a sad commentary of how “our” belief system is influenced. ¬†That’s why commercials work and why certain ones are aired at certain times and channels for a specific target audience. That’s also how our children’s minds get formed without us even being aware. ¬†That’s how it is though.

How many people rely on media for their information?

TV news anchors and various talk shows constantly skew their information¬†and¬†cut and paste to present information¬†to fit their own agenda. Now social media is in the mix and how even more impactive that has become. ¬†Because now it’s the man on the street, showing us “live” as to what is going on.

Tell me, has anyone stopped to think how it is that someone just “happened” to see and shoot something as it unfolds from beginning to end and in it’s entirety without prejudice? ¬†Who on earth is ready to roll all the time? ¬†It’s hardly likely¬†unless the event was contrived in the first place. Think about that. And the public believes it? Incredible. Generally if you see something happen, it takes more than a few seconds to get your camera rolling and by then you probably missed a good chunk of important information. It’s hard enough to get a good reel when you plan to shoot it. Trust me.

Low tolerance, high tolerance. It all goes awry when it comes to personal beliefs. ¬†For example, someone may say they are tolerant of this or that and appear for all practical purposes to be so until someone who has an opposing ideology attempts to present theirs. Suddenly their “tolerance” is out the window. ¬†What it really boils down to is so and so has no right to their voice if it conflicts with mine. In other words mine is right, theirs is wrong. ¬†Period.

It’s human nature to hear what you want to hear and if you dislike someone you may be even more inclined to isolate the incriminating or what you want or need¬†to indict them. Sometimes people¬†don’t bother listening or hearing the whole message. ¬†Oh, but wait! ¬†Perhaps the whole message wasn’t shared, just a little this and that. Perhaps some media power that be edited it to discredit ¬†one or uplift another. ¬†How would you know?

There’s no doubt that if we want the truth, we have to¬†go hunting for it and like hunting, it takes work and patience to find truth behind the stories that are being told.

I understand we are all under time restrictions, but do your best.

If you don’t take care, what you see is not necessarily what you’re gonna get. You could be in for a surprise.

We as the human race can be so foolish but for this country’s sake, ¬†lets not be. Our future depends on it.

Do your homework folks.

 

 

 

The Many Shades of Hate

Or, perhaps I should title it, “Hate Perpetuated”. ¬†

A note from the author: ¬†I wrote most of this before the Orlando shooting, but I still stand by what I say. ¬†It was originally titled as “Same Sex, Politics and Religion”. I changed the title because it has deviated some.

1912 S Orange Ave 2.png

For all that, it is never good when a tragedy like this turns a people against one another. I’ve been disturbed at all the different ways people have lashed out and expressed their many shades of hate toward one another.

What has bothered me the most is the fervent hatred spewed toward God, Christians, religion and lest I forget guns or more specifically assault weapons (understandably). That which is not italicized was written before this tragedy occurred. I am certain¬†that a good many people who¬†have followed me in the past, be they Christian or non, may take offense at what I say or call me to task for my point of view. Keep in mind, it is my opinion based on my beliefs. They are not perfect and I don’t make claims that they are.

MAY- 2016

People talk about the moral decay of society and¬†I may be inclined to agree. ¬†We live in an anything goes society there’s no doubt about¬†that. The only thing left is, God forbid, to accept pedophiles as “normal”, because it seems everything else is fine, acceptable and normal, so what’s next? ¬†Fortunately, pedophilia remains as one of the few things still considered abhorrent. One day that may not be the case. Who knows?

It’s interesting though, that with the elections coming up, the usual theme¬†of abortion and other such topics¬†are barely being touched on. Perhaps they are old hat now and people have moved on. Or as one website stated, “those issues have been settled by the supreme court so are no longer a big concern”.¬† Okay, I’ll concede to that.

Morals or man’s lack of morals are generally coming under fire but then what’s new? ¬†Because some, may have been resolved by the courts, they may not be an issue today, but politico’s still have a footnote about them on their website just to say they do, whatever “their” do is in order to appease their following.

http://stg.do/9LDc ¬†A clip from Paul Harvey done 51 years ago. How we’ve evolved.

This is how I look at “sin” and let me assure you¬†it is¬†not my intent to make light or minimize it, but haven’t you noticed that sometimes when too big a deal is made about something it becomes that much more tantalizing?

This may seem insignificant to some folks but I know a lot of people this fits, me included. Tell me I can’t have ice cream¬†and I’ll go out to Coldstone Creamery for a Strawberry Banana Rendezvous and/or buy a gallon of Blue Bell Rocky Road and gobble it up! ¬†It’s not good for me and I really shouldn’t have it, especially since the Doc said I was borderline diabetic, not to mention lactose intolerant, but oh my… please nobody tell me I can’t have it. Despite the fact I most often will regret it, but I can’t help it. It is taboo. When my aunt snatched a piece of fried chicken away from my dying grandmother because it wasn’t on her “diet” and wouldn’t be good for her heart, she snatched it right back and said, “look, I know I’m dying and I’m going to enjoy what I like before I go.” I had to chuckle. She enjoyed every bite and she was right, she died four months later.

Take homosexuality for example and I mean no disrespect here. For some it is the “forbidden fruit” but it’s not true for everyone. I¬†abstain from judging gays, I’m not perfect either and, it’s not my job. ¬†I’ve wrestled with this for some time though… obviously. Isaiah 5:20 says there will come a time when what is good will be called evil and what is bad will be called good. “20¬†Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” So, I pondered and ¬†vacillated over that. Is that what’s transpiring?

Perhaps I am riding the fence here, but I don’t think so and I’ll tell you why. I finally came to the conclusion¬†that if God doesn’t like something, He will take care of it when the time comes and it won’t be in the¬†way of shootings. Besides I’m guessing God is a better God¬†than many of us give Him credit for. ¬†Just ask any gay person who believes in God. I believe God is love and He sent His son to die for all mankind and that would include gays. ¬†Why would I want to prevent someone gay from approaching God in prayer or worship saying he is unworthy?¬†If God loves them and I believe he does, then why shouldn’t I?

Are they sinning? ¬†Well…¬†

Romans 1:26,27 seems to indicate so, and it is a bit harsh in saying so. ¬†1 Thessalonians 4:5 supports that in addition to other scriptures but… and don’t get your panties into a bunch just yet, it (Romans) talks about people giving up what is ‘natural’ for what is not . (That is my paraphrase).¬†

So, what is “natural”? ¬†Common sense indicates that the male and female parts fit nicely together, yet…

I have a brother who is gay. Having been raised a Christian,¬†it took him a long time to tell us, but we already knew it. ¬†It just was. ¬† ¬†We never called attention to it or tried to brainwash or change who he was, we just let him “be”. ¬†When his partner was dying, he told me about him. I liked the young man and then my brother tells me he was wondering how to tell mom. I turned to him and smiled, “mom already knows”. Even with her Alzheimer’s, she would from time to time turn to me and say, “you know he’s gay don’t you?” Why he was surprised I don’t know. We all knew and had for a long time.

There are people who claim to have been born that way. How can I dispute them? ¬†I don’t know their history, background or genetic makeup. I’m not naive, I know¬†there are people out there who act out for the thrill and baseness of it only. They are not “true” gays. I’m not referring to¬†them. Even gays recognize this. All I do know is that¬†man is not as he was “in the beginning. Perfect.” Only¬†God knows what’s in¬†a person’s¬†heart and how they are made. ¬†I’m sure there are Christians who would dispute a portion of that and find what I’ve said¬†disturbing but that is the conclusion I’ve come to¬†based on my observation. Some things I can’t deny are beyond my¬†comprehension. If the first humans lived for thousands of years and we are doing good now to make it to 100, that should tell us, all is not as it once was.

Many of the same people who question the validity of same sex marriages often times violate “God’s Law” in many other ways¬†and by so doing invalidate their right to judge. I mean come on now. ¬†What right does anyone have to look down their nose at someone else if they, themselves cannot obey the letter of the law? ¬†I’m not wanting to cast aspersions, but it’s a fact…

WE ALL SIN.

To say otherwise is to lie and therefore sin.¬†We’re human and we all fall short from time to time. Sin is sin and yet God loves us anyway. Many today have absolutely no regard for the sanctity of marriage yet point fingers at gays? As more and more hetero couples¬†cohabit and have children without consideration of marriage, how can they worthily judge? If by attending church do they believe it absolves them? I don’t think so.

 

In John 8:7 Jesus asked,¬†“He who is without sin¬†cast the first stone.” No one could.

I won’t deny¬†that some “Christians” make and continue to do so, inappropriate¬†comments of condemnation of those who died. It is sad and uncalled for I can understand the ire that resulted. ¬†However what was even more disconcerting¬†was how¬†it initiated a volley¬†of diatribe from agnostics and anti-theists ¬†that ranged from¬†curses and even harsher condemnations and a¬†diarrhea¬†of¬†excessive, nonstop rants¬†against Christians, religion, God and the Bible. ¬† Disputants¬†of God went on to derisively blame Him and/or his Word the Bible, as a/the¬†reason for their dogmatism¬†and imply that those who¬†believe are¬†a bunch of¬†uninformed, uneducated¬†and¬†ignorant morons, then taking it one step further,¬†holding¬†them responsible for the shootings! ¬†Oh my. Really? How did they make that leap?!

I realize¬†not all Christians are well versed in their beliefs or have an abundant knowledge of God’s Word, so they may be unaware or perhaps have forgotten, what¬† Matthew 7:2 says:¬†¬†“For with the same¬†judgment you pronounce, you will be judged; and with the¬†measure you use, it will be measured to you.

When Jesus was on earth, he shamed¬†scribes and pharisees (religious leaders) for their self righteousness and likened them to “white washed graves full of dead men’s bones”. (Matthew 23:27) ¬† So it really doesn’t make sense to accuse God for the stance some Christians may¬†take. He’s not backing that. Being saved is not an exclusive club, but a choice/gift¬†open to everyone. ¬†It isn’t without some ramification that their indictment of the victims¬†may have insured their own judgment. Sometimes Christians forget they are saved by God’s Grace, sometimes taking that gift for granted, and because they come across as pious snobs, anti-theists hold them to a higher standard. Ahhh! Measuring. It appears this¬†measuring¬†could apply or include everyone or anyone who takes a sanctimonious stance, pro or con, couldn’t it?¬†

And, how did this incident all of a sudden take a turn to blame Christians or gripe and blame cops for being cautious¬†and not quicker? Christians may have made stupid remarks but they weren’t the shooters. Irrational behavior is not exclusive to Christians. I have heard more hatred spewed by non Christians than Christians.¬†

My sister’s response to me regarding this was:

“The world has been shaken and stirred up viciously and everyone is trying to find an answer to what is going on and so are trying to pin the blame somewhere to make sense of it.¬† However, the big picture that is hard for people to accept, and even Christians seem to forget, but there is a war going on and that is between God and Satan and he wants to destroy what God created.¬† If he can‚Äôt gain our hearts then he wants to destroy us.¬†¬†¬† Not an easy concept for people to accept, we want to blame the things we can see and hear and touch.” (End Quote).

(People) “… want to blame the things we¬†can see and hear and touch.”

Hebrews 4:12‚Äď13 (NASB95)

12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight…

 

That¬†comes¬†from the much maligned Bible¬†and God. Granted men wrote it, “inspired” by God to document¬†His truths.

... in details, it is important when interpreting a dream about a Bible

Educated and somewhat intelligent¬†people today who put faith in Darwin’s evolution theory (mind you, it was only initiated as a theory and later espoused¬†as gospel), they revere¬†Hawking and¬†Einstein’s scientific contributions, ¬†who, like the Bible writers, are also “just” men. Yet¬†so hard for them to give credence in a Bible written by several writers over a span of hundred’s of years¬†and¬†who for the most part did not know one another (no collusion there)¬†and¬†yet somehow despite that, miraculously¬†concur in their writings to prophecy, reveal and predict¬†future events that would come to¬†be realized and yet somehow be¬†regarded as of¬†less importance than the other aforementioned¬†‘modern’ era men? Are¬†they assuming intelligent men did not exist then? The Bible¬†is not passe. There is value in it.

For many who claim that God does not exist, they are also ones who promote, believe in or speculate on the supernatural and feed on spirit realm entertainment.  Why do you think there are so many demonic and supernatural shows on TV right now?  Perhaps unwittingly, if they can conceive it and perceive another realm then it does exist somewhere in their subconscious being.

 Like-it-or-not. 

I have an acquaintance¬†who said his friend lost someone at Pulse¬†and that the paramedics had commented on how¬†eerie¬†it¬†was¬†after the disaster when they went in and found cell phones on the floor buzzing away with constant calls from loved ones wondering where they were or if they were safe or even alive. How can this not hurt to the deepest core¬†of anyone’s soul?

In the same fashion as¬†9-11, my¬†many Christian friends prayed for those¬†who lost loved ones and for those who were injured. Their hearts went out to everyone affected. Please DON’T judge all Christians by inappropriate, publicized¬†remarks.

Ecclesiastes 7:9: “Do not hurry yourself in your spirit to become offended, for the taking of offense is what rests in the bosom of the stupid ones.”¬†

All I keep hearing is Hate, Hate, Hate and blame, blame, blame with the majority of it not spewing from Christians. Do people not hear themselves? 

I keep saying and will continue to say, “WHY CAN’T WE JUST GET ALONG!??”

NOW FOR THE ISSUE OF GUNS –

As for guns. I have mixed feelings about them. I don’t own one now but I did. On a farm you got critters to protect your flock from and in my case, it was my chickens.¬†If I lived out in the boonies, by golly, I’d want one. It can be pretty scary being isolated in the middle of no where.

I have used or been taught how to use several types of weaponry. I like shooting them. It is a real kick ass feeling, which then helps me in my screenwriting to know what it feels like to hold and shoot a weapon. Unfortunately… they kill people. ¬†I take that back, guns don’t kill but the people using them do, and regrettably, ¬†kids can get a hold of guns and hurt¬†or¬†kill one another. There are many valid reason to not have them, but to allow the government to regulate our choice?

How is it we can be pro choice but not pro gun choice?  

The stats show¬†that in 2014 – 974,000 children-to-be were terminated by “choice”, whereas deaths by guns were totaled at 32, 175 (11,208 homicide-21,175 suicide in 2013)¬†There were non fatals of 84,258 (that’s a lot-too many) but the total is still not even¬†close to the 974,00o of pro choice choices. ¬†Yeah, I know that will rub or offend someone badly, but it is what it is.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not fond of assault weapons nor feel they are necessary or should be legal, but the reality is, when it comes right down to it, the bad guy is going to find the weapons he wants whether we like it or not. Do laws make it harder? Perhaps.

There is no denying there is a problem. If fair laws are to be enacted it needs to be done in an atmosphere devoid of name calling and histrionics.¬† Let’s be fair.

1 Peter 3:9,10: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing,¬†because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.¬†¬†vs¬†10¬†For, ‚ÄúWhoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.

Please see this as a reminder to both Christian and non Christians to love and honor one another. Work together not against one another. BE KIND.

As my final scriptural thought,¬†1¬†A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word¬†stirs up anger. 2¬†The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, But the mouth of fools spouts folly… Proverbs 15:1

Words to live by.

In the mantra of the good ol’ hippy days “MAKE LOVE NOT WAR”

Just sayin’