Saturday, September 12, 2009

Q: How Do I Post A Comment On Your Blog?

A: Go to the bottom on the entry to post your comment. In small blue letters you will see the word: "comments". Click on "comments". This is a link which takes you to the comment page. Post your comments! Give it a try! I'll like it!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Separation Anxiety!

This fall I learned something wonderful:

My child is never going to be too old for me to write in their baby book!

My grandson, Sam started kindergarten this year. One half-day I picked Sam up from school. My son, Victor was afraid he would be late picking him up. They live right across the street from the elementary school. Victor arrived home earlier than he expected and met us as we walked home. As we walked through the kitchen door Sam spotted a pair of large, black binoculars on the kitchen windowsill. “What’s that?” He asked. My son blushed realizing he had been caught spying…….. On the playground!

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?………Or kindergarten!
Romans 8:35

Saturday, August 15, 2009

This is My Father's World

A beautiful girl of 13, her Mom and younger siblings approached me as I stood outside the library making balloon animals. As a balloon artist, I go to many different places and meet new people. Last Saturday, I was at an inner city library celebrating their summer reading program.
“What was your favorite book this summer?” “Is this your home library?” I asked as I started to make balloon sculptures for them.
“We started the summer reading program here but got a chance to move to a different neighborhood and took it!” Mom answered and continued, “The first night in our new house without traffic noise and fighting in the parking lot next door the kids asked, “Mom what’s that noise? “I said, ‘Crickets! Haven’t you ever heard a crickets before?’” Mom said, finishing her story.
I handed them their finished balloon creations thinking what it would be like to remember the first time I heard the comforting noise of crickets on a summer’s eve. What a magnificent discovery!

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: “But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of His divine being.” Romans 1:20 The Message

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Identity Theft

You know what’s scary?
Living in a world where everyone knows more than you do! And you believe them!

The other day my four year-old grandson said,
“Grandma you can’t fast forward when there’s that circle with the line through it.”
O.K., he was right but he’s a digital native!
It happens all the time. I thought this would stop in adulthood, but it hasn’t.
The other day, a friend said to me,
“Sunny, you need to use your basil! It’s going to flower and then it will be too mature to use.”
Looking at the tall “pizza and salsa” greenery planted in three large terracotta patio pots I agreed.

I remembered Jean’s admonishment the next day as I rummaged for a quick supper. Yes, I had olive oil, pine nuts garlic, Parmesan cheese and….fresh basil! I harvested my basil. And “Presto”, it was "Pesto" for dinner. My husband thought it was great and about an hour later I agreed, “The pesto was yummy!”

Another friend Kelly, a Master Gardener dropped by the next day. Pridefully pointing out my patio pots I mentioned the delicious pesto I made from the embarrassed bare-naked basil plants the night before.
“Sunny,” she said stifling a snicker. “What you made was Pepper Pesto—those are pepper plants!”

I did what anybody would do………..I googled!
The consensus: pepper plant leaves are indeed, edible.

I have to run. The Master Gardener is coming back for dinner, tonight! I have to find an unripe papaya for the "Filipino Tinola" I'm making.

My cupboards are full but my pepper plants are now all bare!
I will let you know how it goes!

Chicken Tinola with Chili Pepper Leaves and Green Papaya
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped ginger
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into serving-size pieces
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 green papaya, peeled and cubed
1 Tablespoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
11/2 Cups chili peeper leaves

Using a wok or Dutch oven, sauté the garlic, onion, and ginger in the oil 1 to 2 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the chicken and sauté for 8-10 minutes, or until browned. Add the fish sauce and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.

Add the papaya and simmer for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the salt, pepper, and the chili pepper leaves. Cover and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the leaves are wilted. Serve hot.

From Fine Filipino Food by Karen Hulene Bartell

P.S. Substitute spinach leaves if you don’t have any chili pepper leaves.

Please tell me what you're thinking---everyone else does and you're probably right!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I want to grow a tomato—lots of them, but year after year I failed to get a vine to produce. “Think like a tomato.” I told myself. I did and determined the best place to be was not in my garden, at all but in the narrow strip of my neighbor’s south facing front yard adjacent to my sidewalk and garage wall. “Patty, let’s partner and plant tomatoes!” I suggested. Everyone was amazed as we began to harvest bushel after bushel of red, juicy globes. Patty had been my neighbor for twenty years yet no one saw the ripe field that lay between our two houses.


“Do you not say, “Four months more, then comes the harvest”? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting.” John 4:35

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Baker's Dozen-Storytelling Quotes

Add your favorite storytelling quote as a "comment".

1. Whoever wants to tell a variety of stories
Ought to have a variety of beginnings.
---Marie de France

2. What I have is a story---laugh if you want to but as I tell the story it will begin to happen.
----Leslie Marmon

3. The universe is made of stories not of atoms.
----Muriel Rukeser

4. All the stories have been told long ago. Your job is retelling. relighting.
---Pam Gem

5. I believe stories have this power—they enter us, they transport us, they change things inside us so invisibly so minutely that sometimes we are not even aware that we come out of a great book as a different person from the person we were when we began reading it.
---Julie Alvarez

6. We all hunger for stories. Stories give form to our desires, feelings and goals, molding how we view just about everything---from our own bodies to what is sacred or profane, good or bad, possible or impossible. Stories give us figures to emulate, imitate, admire or abhor. And it is from the stories we are told that we turn unconsciously fashion our own live scripts.
---Sally Gearhart

7. Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
---C. S. Lewis

8. The first law of storytelling. … Every man is bound to leave a story better than he found it.
---Mrs. Humphrey Ward

9. That’s something I think is growing on me as I get older: happy endings.
---Alice Munro

10. “The tale is often wiser than the teller.”
---Susan Fletcher
(as Marjan, in Shadow Spinner)

11. “Stories tell us of what we already knew and forgot, and remind us of what we haven’t yet imagined.”
---Anne Watson

12. “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
---G. K. Chesterton

13. One shoe can change your life.

14.  "If you want your children to be brilliant, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be geniuses, read them more fairy tales."---Albert Einstein

I wish for a story that speaks to me.
I wish for that connection of eye to eye, sound to ear, heart to heart.
I wish for the continuing passing down of the oral tradition of culture, history, teaching, and entertainment.
I wish to be heard and not be a text.
by Sandy Rothman

16.  "Never let truth stand in the way of a good story." ---Mark Twain

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lipstick and Bible Stories

Overheard in Peru last summer. I share it with with you today----

Her question, “Why did you become a missionary?” startled me. The older American woman sipped rich espresso beside me in the funky space of the California Café in Huaraz, Peru. I retreat here when I want to ‘feel like an American’, use Wi-fi, listen to music and peruse English titles in their book exchange.
“I wanted to wear lipstick and tell Bible stories.” I confessed. Sunday mornings as a child were spent ‘criss-crossed and applesauced’ in front of a simple flannel covered board. The Gospel was presented story form with vibrantly colored, characters, landscapes and assorted complimentary pieces all made out of fuzzy felt. The pieces stuck, magically to the soft flannel on the board held by an easel. The message of the Gospel presented in this simple, authentic and personal way by a teacher wearing lipstick changed my life as it became inwardly effective.
Someone back in the states sent me a beautiful flannelgraph set and several short-term missionaries cut out all the pieces for me while they were here in Peru. I use it now, when I wear lipstick and tell Bible stories.

2 Thessalonians 2:14a
He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Give Chick Peas a Chance!!!

I love ethnic food. The smells, exotic spice blends, pronounced flavors and the luxury of indulging in handmade, labor intensive food that I didn’t prepare. I call it “kitchen Art”.

One of my favorites is Hummus—that tangy yet bland spread served in Mediterranean restaurants along with warm pita bread. In the Middle East there are restaurants that serve nothing but a variety of hummus.

Packaged Hummus sells for between $7.00-$12.00 at the grocery store. I made a remarkable discovery. I can make this nutritious, low fat, complete protein vegan dish from start to finish in less than five minutes in my food processor for less than $2.00 per pound. No cooking required!

Hummus is a “loanword” --a transliteration from Arabic. The main ingredient in hummus is the chickpea or garbanzo bean in Spanish. Fresh lemon juice, garlic and salt, spices and tahini paste or yogurt gives hummus its tang.

Personally, I prefer hummus made with tahini rather than yogurt but it is delicious either way! Tahini is a loanword, too. Think peanut butter made out of toasted sesame seeds. Tahini can be purchased at a specialty grocer for about .40 an ounce. It comes in a can and is usually found on the shelf with the peanut butter. Freshly squeezed lemon juice and minced garlic rather than using bottled juice or jarred garlic intensifies and improves the quality of the flavor. Additional spices or mix-ins are optional.

Hummus with Tahini
Prep Time: 5 minutes

* 2 1/2 cups of canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
* 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 1/4 cup of tahini
* 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
* 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin (optional)
* 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
* Pinch of freshly ground black pepper (optional)
* 1 teaspoon of salt
* 1/3 cup of water


Put everything except water into food processor or blender adjusting lemon juice, salt, garlic and spices to personal taste. Start with less than recommended and taste after blending and add more to suit your personal taste--experiment. Add water and blend on high until mixture reaches the consistency of sour cream. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.

Optional: Drizzle of olive oil over the top and add a garnish of parsley or black olives before serving. A small amount of olive oil can be added to the hummus along with the listed ingredients.

Serve hummus with pita wedges or slices of whole grain breads or fresh cut vegetables or in place of mayonnaise on a sandwich. (See wrap recipe below.)

A Great Wrap

Spread hummus liberally on a tortilla. Place apple slices down the center. In a small serving bowl mix a can of drained tuna with a small amount of yogurt along with a curry seasoning to taste. Mix well. Add some of the tuna mixture on top of the apples. Wrap up the tortilla and eat. Delicious!

Yogurt Hummus


* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4-cup plain low-fat yogurt
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 1/4-teaspoon salt
* 1/4-teaspoon paprika (optional)
* 1/8-teaspoon pepper (optional)
* 1 (19 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
* 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (optional)


Combine everything in blender or food processor and process until smooth. Increase lemon juice, salt, spices to taste.
If you need more liquid to make consistency similar to sour cream, add a bit more yogurt or water.

Serve with pitas or as a veggie dip.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Entertainment Book=Psychological Advance

“That was a great idea, Mom!”
You sit up and take notice when you young adult daughter says something like this. She had been reflecting on a day a several years or so ago when she popped into the car exhausted after track practice loaded down with 15 Entertainment books.
“Coach says the first one to sell all 15 gets $50.00.”
“Take him a check.” I said and pulled my checkbook out of my purse. I knew we would sell all the books. Why not capitalize and make the $50.00? We did it! ---And so began my love affair with the Entertainment book. I bet you have one in your city. In fact, I would wager that you have one somewhere but have never used it.
Adventure and exploration appeal to me—which for me lies outside my front door. Many ethnic foods and different quadrants of the city are represented in the book. I am a tourist in my own town. I love people and particularly enjoy catering to independent Mom and Pop operations. The Entertainment Book is loaded with start-up businesses many of which get first-rate reviews in the local paper as well as established fast food chains. Retail and entertainment coupons give the buyer a great return on their initial investment for the cost of the book. Here are half-dozen pointers I’ve picked up over the years.
1. Keep the Entertainment Book in the car otherwise it’s never there when you need it.
2. Keep the plastic card for the better restaurants in your wallet. Don’t let that little plastic strip slow you down, it’s not necessary to call and activate the card before using it. My husband and I have fun romantic dates at the better restaurants. We write a few short comments on that page taking in the ambience, the server and the food. We’ve built great memories together and multiplied them and our savings by using the little blue card.
3. Read the fine print in the back of the book as well as on the individual coupons. “Valid anytime” does not mean holidays –Valentines Day for instance. Although, if you arrive and realize that you aren’t complying with the coupon in some way, ask them if they would honor the coupon, anyway. Many of the establishments are small, start-ups or long time favorites and don’t want to turn away business.
4. Tip the server on the tab before any discount is taken. Even though my husband and I order water with lemon and rarely dessert we never short change the server.
5. Always check the Entertainment Book before you make a purchase. It’s difficult to keep track of all the retail discounts. After purchasing a large wedding cake for my parent’s 50th wedding party at a popular bakery in town I spied a 50% off coupon at that very bakery.
6. Be flexible. There will be surprises i.e. we found ourselves eating in a Mexican restaurant hosting a transvestite fashion show! The food was great and service was great. A situation like this we call “scramble therapy”. The most common disappointment is finding the place is closed after you arrive, call ahead and check.

Let me know if you have garnered any savings using the Entertainment Book on hotels or car rentals. We have always done better with our Costco card or other promotions than with the Entertainment Book. However, this year we tried something new and ordered an Entertainment Book for a vacation destination. We traveled to the Nashville area this spring and in five days saved over $60.00 after the cost of the book and shipping charges. Before leaving the Nashville area we passed the book and card onto a young couple living on a budget hoping that they would have as much fun as we do stretching their dollars.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Minimum Wage Millionaire

A handful of loose change fell on the floor, in the process, the teenager took the movie ticket and left. Confused, I stooped embarrassedly, before purchasing my ticket, retrieving the change. He was gone. I dropped the money, mostly pennies into my purse.

Small sums of money can't change the course of a person's life. Or can they?
Money has magical powers that people have forgotten or were never taught. Money's magic does not discriminate. Money's magic works for everyone; red, yellow, black or white, blue collar or debutante, the ethical and the untrustworthy. The best part of money's magic is that it is possible to be debt free, financially independent or a millionaire, all on minimum wage using money's magic. If you don't believe me, do the math!

Money's magic starts whenever you have money + interest + time. Money's magic is called Compound Interest. Albert Einstein, the inventor of the atomic bomb, was fascinated by the power of compound interest. In fact, he considered compound interest to be the 8th wonder of the world. Take one penny, just one and tomorrow add another penny to the first penny. The third day double it again and add two more, the third day four cents, the fifth day, eight cents, doubling it each day for a month, 30 days. Would you rather have that one penny compounded for 30 days or $10,000 today? Would Albert Einstein have picked the penny scenario or the $10,000? "Compound" the penny out for 30 days, and it grows to approximately $5,368,702. If you use a 31 day month, it is over $10,000,000!

The importance "time" plays can not be underestimated in understanding, compound interest. In the next example, Mr. Early Bird saves $1,000 a year beginning at age 21. Mr. Early Bird stops completely after 8 years? Mr. Early Bird never again adds to his savings. Miss Late Start saves $1,000 a year for 37 years but she doesn't start until age 29? Both Mr. Early Bird and Miss Late Start earn 10% on their savings. Who is ahead at retirement? Is it Mr. Early Bird, who managed to save only $8,000, or Miss Late Start, who saved consistently and accumulated $37,000? Guess again. Mr. Early Bird has accumulated $427,736 but Miss Late Start has only $363,043. Mr. Early Bird's $8,000 gave him $64,693 more than Miss Late Start's $37,000. This example motivates me to reconsider that $3.00 caramel macchiato, that bestseller in hardback at Costco or the convenience of prepared take-out or call ahead seating. Quit kidding yourself, numbers don't lie--start saving, start saving a "never to spend" savings account today. The sooner the better, remember time is powerful. And we are worth it--to think about life in the long run.

Interest plays it's part, too. Time and Interest work together in compound interest. Time is the tortoise and interest, the hare but in this story they run a three-legged race. How long does it take to double your money? Divide seventy-two by the interest rate and you have the answer. This simple, mathematical formula is called "The Rule of 72." If you are paying 21% interest on a credit card it will take 3.5 years for the credit card company to double your money--in their pocket. That's the problem with compound interest. It works equally as hard against you as it does for you. Compound interest is a double-edged sword. in the beginning of this article, I said money's magic works whenever money, time and interest are present. Make sure that your money is not working against you.

In life, it is to up to the consumer to be able to recognize money's magic, compound interest and capture only advantages from this powerful force.

From Muhammad Yunus

"The power of the daily taka reminds me of the clever prisoner who was condemned to death. Brought before the king on his execution day, the prisoner was granted one last wish. He pointed to the chessboard at the right of the king's throne and said, "I wish onlly for a single grain of rice on one square of the chessboard and that that grain be doubled for each succeeding square."
"Granted," said the king, who could not fathom the power of geometrical progression. Soon the prisoner regned over the entire kingdom."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

God's Big Blue Marble

I agree the with Earth Day proponents: the earth does look like a big blue marble in space!

Earth Day celebrated by more than a half a billion people every year in over 175 countries is the largest secular holiday in the world. There are two actual earth days; April 22nd and the vernal Equinox. The U.N. established the vernal Equinox, as Earth Day because it is the moment that day and night is the same length everywhere on earth. Gaylord Nelson, a former U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, founded Earth Day and set April 22nd as the date "to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda.” These days slid into a week, snowballed into a month and continue to gain momentum.

Environmentalists, I have learned are religious folk and have denominations. Their labels are Dark, Light and Bright—green that is.

Environmentalism for “Light greens” is a lifestyle not a political agenda. “Light” greens sit on the end of the activist scale. “Dark greens” on the other hand believe that environmental problems go hand-in-hand with industrialized capitalism. Problems of industrialized capitalism facing environmentalists include consumerism, separation from nature and the exhaustion of natural resources. “Dark greens” seek radical political change. “Bright greens” agree that radical political change is necessary but can be accomplished sans gloom and doom with modern ideas, paraphernalia and technology.

Hey, I turn off the light when I leave a room, worms eat my garbage and I am a member in good standing of a shared agriculture program but these environmentalist labels don’t work for me.

I believe the “Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden as its gardener, to tend and care for it.” (Gen. 2:15—The Living Bible) The more I respect or to, use a Biblical term-fear God and appreciate His creation the better park ranger I am. This is what He has called me to be, His steward. ‘Steward’ an old-fashioned word that means a person in charge of another’s property, finances or other affairs.

Color me-----“olive green”. Figuratively speaking I was a wild olive shoot grafted in a holy, God-planted God tended tree—the body of Christ. The grafting took because I believed I was connected to that belief-nurturing root. Being humble and mindful keeps me lithe and green. (Loose paraphrase of Romans 11:11-23—The Message)

Dear God,

Let Your nature be the guide I manage myself by in your garden. Let me remember that gentle kindness and ruthless severity exist side by side.--Amen

I am His child. Earth is not my mother.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

No-Knead Miracle Bread

First Place Winner in the Bread and Muffin category at the 11th Annual Oatmeal Festival.

Adapted No-Knead Miracle Bread from Jim Lahey

Makes 1 loaf, about 20 slices
*3 Cups all-purpose, plus slightly more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon rapid-rise active yeast
1/1/4 teaspoons salt

1. In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, oat flour, yeast and salt. Add 15/8 cups water. Stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky.

2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.

3. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees. Note: I have left mine as long as 20 hours and it turn out just fine, it seems to be a forgiving recipe.

4. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles.--Like a pancake before you turn it.

5. Lightly flour work surface. Place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more all purpose flour. Fold it over on itself once or twice.

6. Using just enough all-purpose flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball.

7. Generously coat a cotton towel (not tery cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal: put dough down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. When making the "oat" loaf, I process Old Fashioned oats in food processor until chipped and use those instead of the above.

8. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours.

9. When it's ready, dough will be more than doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

10. At least 30 minutes before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. Note: I use my turkey roaster--and it works great. I think the pan selection is a determining factor in the bread's success.

11. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Remember at all times as you maneuver the dough that the pot will be hot.

12. Slide your hand under towel and turn doug over into pot; it may look like a mess, but that's OK.

13. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.

14. Cover with lid and back 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake 15 to 30 minutes more, until loaf is beautifully browned and sounds hollow when rapped. Note: I cook the bread a total of 45+/- minutes. Cool on a rack.

Nutritional information per serving:
68 cal., 0 fat, 0 chol., 14g carb., 134 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 2 g pro.

*To make the "Oat Loaf" use 1 Cup of oat bran flour in place of one cup of the 3 cups of all-purpose 


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Your Money or Your Life!!

"Mom, those guys are robbing that bank," Victor shouted. I was driving down Wadsworth with my kids talking a mile a minute in the back seat. I didn't pay attention to their escalated chatter because, really, what were the odds that a bank robbery was taking place in broad daylight? How would my kids even know what a bank robber looked like? I had never seen one. They persisted, until I finally turned in the direction they were pointing.
Sure enough, three men were entering the bank, pulling masks over their faces. I knew what they were going to do. I pulled into the parking lot adjacent to the bank and dialed 911.
"Three men are robbing the bank," I exclaimed.
They responded, "Hold, please."
I was perplexed. I couldn't understand why no one was taking me seriously. But I hadn't taken my kids seriously five minutes earlier, either. Why should the 911 operator take me seriously?
The same concern that I had about the bank being robbed is affecting me today as I drive around my city. Business that burden consumers with perpetual debt are springing up on every corner with more frequency than Starbucks.
I'm referring to the payday loan offices, rent-to-own stores and pawnshop operations that are growing at the alarming rate of 150 percent per year nationwide. I want to run up and down in front of their stores with a sandwich board that says, "You are being robbed!"
Investigative by nature, I visited a payday loan shop, where I found that I could get $300 in cash by writing two post-dated checks. The clerk informed me that the annual percentage rate was 521.9 percent! But he assured me that this wasn't as bad as it sounded, because it was only a 14 to 28 day loan. He also neglected to tell me that his average customer has 13 loans.
After 14 days my checks would be cashed, and if they bounced, there would be additional charges and I would be turned over to their collection agency. Talk about easy money--FOR THEM!
Legal loan sharking like this could have spared the 1930s bank robber, John Dillinger, a life behind bars.
Next, I stopped in to a pawnshop where I was offered $425 in cash for a ring purchased 14 years ago at the price of $2,500. I would pay them $42.50 a month, only 10 percent interest, excuse me, but my math says it's 120 percent.

If they didn't hear from me in 90 days, the ring would be theirs. However, as long as I kept paying the $42.50 every month I could get my ring back. Sorry, but no deal.
The last stop was a rent-to-own store. Here, I could buy a used Whirlpool washing machine for $965.31 by paying 13.99 weekly for 69 weeks. I did have the option of purchasing a new machine for $1,273 with an extended pay period of 97 weeks.
The same washer retailed new at the appliance store for $399.
I wanted to say that if I could sell my used washer for $1,000, they could have it that afternoon and I would throw in dinner for two, a dozen red roses plus baby-sitting.
Naive and credit/cash strapped consumers need to be informed about such exploitation. Sadly, businesses that walk on the backs of the consumer are often publicly traded.
They are included in the portfolios of pension and mutual funds, and they are owned or invested in by banks and insurance companies.

B.C. Forbes said, "A shady business never yields a sunny life." It is good to remember that the customers of those businesses fare no better.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

MacArthur, the Carter House & Me

The South’s General Hood was determined to destroy the Union Army before it reached Nashville. General Hood knew that his army would never be stronger and that the Union forces would never be weaker. His 23,000 men made a frontal attack against the Union’s 15,000 fortified forces on the commandeered Carter property. The Carter Family took refuge in their basement as the battle raged above them. The battle that began on that beautiful Indian Summer afternoon on November 30, 1864 lasted five hours. It was the only night battle of the Civil War, and in addition it was one of the smallest battlefields (only 2 miles long and 1 1/2 miles wide). The Battle of Franklin saw the bloodiest and fiercest fighting of the Civil War. There were over 9,000 casualties between the two Armies. The fighting was brutal, hand-to-hand combat. The outer trenches were heaped with bodies five or six deep. The Union forces in spite of their overwhelming victory in an unprecedented move left their wounded. That night the temperature dropped and the wounded soldiers left on the field suffered terribly.
My imagination was captured as I toured the Carter House in Franklin Tennessee this past month. This historic home in an affluent area had been saved from the wrecking ball and revitalized as a museum—artfully restored.

My mind drew immediate comparisons between the Battle of Franklin and the current battle that rages in our culture for life, today.

1. The significant number of casualties. Since Roe V. Wade Supreme Court decision there has been 49.551.703 lives lost.

2. One of the wounded Union soldiers that managed to escape despite being wounded was Arthur MacArthur. Arthur MacArthur is US Army General Douglas MacArthur’s father. General Douglas MacArthur led America to victory against the Japanese forces in World War II. We leave our wounded and compromise our future by not speaking up for life. “Life is a lively process of becoming.” General Douglas MacArthur

3. The size of the battlefield. The battle for life rages in the heart of every man. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is the most deceitful thing there is, and desperately wicked. No one can really know how bad it is!” (The Living Bible) Today, the horrific scenes played out in and around the Carter property can only be imagined. However, historically scientifically the destruction and loss of life is well documented. “ I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.”
Douglas MacArthur

Resolve to speak up for life at every opportunity. This month people—the 54% of Americans who believe that abortion is wrong and should not be legal can speak up by sending an empty red envelope to President Obama in protest to his pro-abortion policies. The empty envelope represents a life perhaps a Douglas MacArthur unable to make it to safety and left on the battlefield.

“One cannot wage war under present conditions without the support of public opinion, which is tremendously molded by the press and other forms of propaganda.” ---General Douglas MacArthur