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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/kenzie/sort_by/entry_order DESC, entry_creation_time DESC/page/3
by Kenzie
Rated: ASR · Book · Writing · #1160028
Fibro fog, pain, writing sandwiched in between. Quotes. Sermon notes. Encouragement.
A Texas Sunrise

Sunrise on Surfside Beach, Texas

A friend, William Taylor, took this picture. He visits Surfside Beach with his dogs almost every morning, watching the sun rise while the dogs prance about at the water's edge.

This is only about ten miles from where I lived in Lake Jackson, Texas. Sadly, I only visited this beach about four times in the six years I lived nearby.




Each day is a challenge. A challenge to get by without thinking about the fibromyalgia pains. A challenge to stay awake when chronic fatigure wants to take over. And a challenge to navigate through fibro fog.

I haven't been writing as much as in the past. For years, I wrote at least 500 words a day. Now, I'm lucky if I write 500 words in month. Sigh.

For more information about what my day (or life) is all about with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pains, IBS, depression and everything else thrown in, check this out:

It's a New Day  (E)
My pain and welcome to it.
#1028189 by Kenzie


Sunrise on Surfside Beach, Texas
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November 9, 2010 at 8:00pm
November 9, 2010 at 8:00pm
#710870
Perspective, Perception: I see the world from my eyes; you see the world from yours
by Marilyn Mackenzie





What we see is clouded or enhanced by our life experiences, by where we've lived (and, perhaps how many places we've lived).


What we see is influenced by our parents and their parenting, by our extended families, by our friends, our neighbors and our teachers.


What we see is influenced by our level of education, by the kinds of jobs we've held, by whether or not we are creative individuals (craftsmen, artists, writers) and by whether or not we have managed or owned our own companies.


And, what we see is influenced by our faith or lack thereof.



I thought about perception when I attended my 40th high school class reunion.




From kindergarten through 9th grade, I lived in area that was predominantly white and middle-class.




The first neighborhood in which I lived had been a rural farm area, but when we moved in, farms were being sold and blue-collar workers were moving in. My father was one of those blue-collar workers, and a union member. (And my disdain for unions stems from the treatment he received as a worker and as a retiree from that union, as well as experiences of friends and other relatives, and treatment I received in the only job I ever had that was unionized. But all of that is another story.)




I was in the 6th grade when the first black family moved into our neighborhood. And I remember hearing the father of one of my friends ranting and raving to his wife behind closed doors that having "that family" in the neighborhood would make the values of everyone's property go down.




My friends and I - there were about 8-10 of us in our motley crew - thought his comment was absurd. How in the world could having a family with a doctor and nurse as head of household bring property values down? Surely, having professionals arrive in the neighborhood of farmers and blue-collar workers should increase property values, right? (We had no idea that there were some adults who thought that skin color would de-value properties.)




Although we lived in a different house and neighborhood in my junior high years, I attended the same schools. There were 2 or 3 black families in the school district by then.




Then when I reached high school age, we moved back into the city and I attended a school with a much higher number of African-American students.




What I learned at my 40th class reunion was how differently we perceived the student population ratio.




As one who had been raised in a predominantly white area in early life, and because of the street where I lived in high school, I believed that our school had a ratio of 60% white to 40% black (with a few other people sprinkled in here and there, but no great numbers). Note: On the street where I lived in high school, white families lived at the top 1/3 of the street, black families lived in the middle 1/3 and whites lived in the lower 1/3 of the street.




I learned from some of my black classmates, many of whom lived in predominantly black neighborhoods - with some of them living in areas that required them to take 2-3 buses to get to school - that they perceived our school as being about 85-90% white and 10-15% black.




And I learned from some of my white classmates - the ones who had always lived in neighborhoods with different races - that they perceived the numbers to be more like 70% white to 30% black.




Interesting, isn't it? What we saw was affected by our own race and our own experiences. And so it is today in all that we do, don't you think?




Whether we like it or not, what we see is clouded or enhanced by our own life experiences. What is important is that we realize that what we perceive may not be the truth. And what the other guy perceives may also not be the truth. The truth - the real truth - may be somewhere between the two.



And, what frustrates me more than anything is a person who will not even consider that what he/she thinks might be wrong or that what he/she has seen in his/her neighborhood may not actually be happening anywhere else in the country.




Believing that the entire country is like your own backyard, is why we end up with laws being forced upon an entire country, when the problem was better solved locally.




Believing that everyone who looks a certain way acts in a certain way prevents us from learning the true value of each individual.




Each one of us is unique. Each one of us has talents and gifts given to us by God and developed on our own (or not) so that we have something to offer the world.




And each one of us has eyes clouded by our own pasts and presents. Before we judge, shouldn't we remember that? Before we criticize, shouldn't we try to discuss our differences?




Are your eyes seeing the real me? Or are they seeing the me that you think that I am? Have you bothered to find out?




Awww.  Such a cute angel.

"My Favorite Neighbor
"Sharing Sunshine...It's What I Do!
"Admirable Women
"Whose Work Are You Stealing?
"The Potter's Cup and Saucer
September 1, 2010 at 12:25am
September 1, 2010 at 12:25am
#705057
Happy Birthday, Writing.Com!


It's hard to believe that WDC is 10 years old. It was a year old when I joined. Yes, in fact, my 9 year WDC anniversary is on Sept. 3. It's hard to believe that I've been here for 9 years. Wow. That makes me feel old, for some reason. *Frown**Frown**Frown*

Oh well. Time to celebrate!!!



Happy Birthday, Writing.Com Sig







Daisy Sig from PassItOn

"My Favorite Neighbor
"Sharing Sunshine...It's What I Do!
"Admirable Women
"Whose Work Are You Stealing?
"The Potter's Cup and Saucer
August 31, 2010 at 11:38pm
August 31, 2010 at 11:38pm
#705054
I found a site today where you can check to see if anyone has been using your words without permission.


It's called Copyscape, and this is the URL: http://www.copyscape.com/


Just for kicks, I entered the title of one of my poems: Tumbled Towers, Humbled Hearts.



Here it is my portfolio here at WDC: "Tumbled Towers, Humbled Hearts


And here it is at PoemHunter.com by a person named Resty Rivera without permission:
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/tumbled-towers-humbled-hearts/


I wrote to the administrators of PoemHunter.com. But in order to email the "writer" I had to register and it never did accept the password the site assigned to me.


I hope the site administrators answer promptly. I'll let you know.


August 20, 2010 at 6:06pm
August 20, 2010 at 6:06pm
#704304
Do you Tweet? Is that what I'm supposed to ask? Are you on Twitter?

Why aren't you following me on Twitter?

Why aren't I following you?

Here's where to find me: http://twitter.com/kenzie45230

How do I find you there?
June 8, 2010 at 5:59pm
June 8, 2010 at 5:59pm
#698578
Benjamin Franklin said, in November, 1766:

I think the best way of doing good for the poor is not making them easy in poverty, but in driving them out of it. In my youth, I traveled much, I observed in different countries that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and became poorer. And on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves and became richer.


Thomas Jefferson said:

There is no substitute for hard work.


And remember what John F. Kennedy said?

Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.



Where are the wise men today?










A gift from Kiya

"My Favorite Neighbor
"Sharing Sunshine...It's What I Do!
"Admirable Women
"Whose Work Are You Stealing?
"The Potter's Cup and Saucer
May 6, 2010 at 10:24am
May 6, 2010 at 10:24am
#695377
Throughout the history of our country, our presidents, our congress, and our citizens have prayed.


The first day of prayer was declared when the Continental Congress designated a time of prayer in forming a new nation – in 1775.


George Washington proclaimed a day of public thanksgiving and prayer on February 19, 1795.


President John Adams declared May 9, 1798 as a day of fasting and prayer during which citizens of all faiths were asked to pray, "that our country may be protected from all the dangers which threaten it.”


President James Madison proclaimed a day of prayer in 1813.


President Abraham Lincoln signed a resolution which called for a day of fasting and prayer on March 30, 1863. Lincoln said, “it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”


President Truman signed a law (the bill had been unanimously passed by both houses of congress) proclaiming a National Day of Prayer which required the president to select a day each year. That year, it was April 17, 1952.


In 1988, the National Day of Prayer was fixed as the first Thursday of May each year. The Senate bill – S 1378 – was introduced by Strom Thurmond (R-SC) and the House bill was introduced by Tony Hall (D-OH). There was broad bipartisan sponsorship and support for the bill and it became Public Law 100-307 and was signed by President Reagan. Reagan said, “On our National Day of Prayer, then, we join together as people of many faiths to petition God to show us His mercy and His love, to heal our weariness and uphold our hope, that we might live ever mindful of His justice and thankful for His blessing.” He also said,"From General Washington's struggle at Valley Forge to the present, this Nation has fervently sought and received divine guidance as it pursued the course of history. This occasion provides our Nation with an opportunity to further recognize the source of our blessings, and to seek His help for the challenges we face today and in the future.”




From 1993 to 1998, here are some of President Clinton’s words:


"Through prayer our people take a moment away from the concerns of everyday life to understand the greater power that gives us guidance. We come together in an act common to all religions."


"I encourage the citizens of this great Nation to gather, each in his or her own manner, to recognize our blessings, acknowledge our wrongs, to remember the needy, to seek guidance for our challenging future, and to give thanks for the abundance we have enjoyed throughout our history."


"I call upon every citizen of this great Nation to gather together on that day to pray, each in his or her own manner, for God's continued guidance and blessing."


"And though our citizens come from every nation on Earth and observe an extraordinary variety of religious faith [sic] and traditions, prayer remains at the heart of the American spirit."



"...let us uphold the tradition of observing a day in which every American, in his or her own way, may come before God seeking increased peace, guidance, and wisdom for the challenges ahead."




"In every city, town, and rural community across our country, people of every religious denomination gather to worship according to their faith. In churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques, Americans come together to pray."




In 2001, on May 3, the 50th National Day of Prayer was held and it was estimated that 2.5 million people attended 40,000 events across the United States.



From the National Day of Prayer web site:
http://nationaldayofprayer.org/about/history/



The National Day of Prayer is Significant



The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation. It enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It stands as a call to us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event, signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning.



Like Thanksgiving or Christmas, this day has become a national observance placed on all Hallmark calendars and observed annually across the nation and in Washington, D.C. Last year, local, state and federal observances were held from sunrise in Maine to sunset in Hawaii, uniting Americans from all socio-economic, political and ethnic backgrounds in prayer for our nation. It is estimated that more than two million people attended more than 30,000 observances organized by approximately 40,000 volunteers. At state capitols, county court houses, on the steps of city halls, and in schools, businesses, churches and homes, people stopped their activities and gathered for prayer.



The National Day of Prayer is Ours



The National Day of Prayer belongs to all Americans. It is a day that transcends differences, bringing together citizens from all backgrounds. Mrs. Shirley Dobson, NDP chairman, reminds us: “We have lost many of our freedoms in America because we have been asleep. I feel if we do not become involved and support the annual National Day of Prayer, we could end up forfeiting this freedom, too.”


Also from that site:


There have been 135 national calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting and thanksgiving by the President of the United States (1789-2009).


There have been 57 Presidential Proclamations for a “National Day of Prayer” (1952-2009).


Gerald Ford (1976) and George H. Bush (1989-91) are the only U.S. Presidents to sign two National Day of Prayer Proclamations in the same year.


Every President since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.


33 of the 44 U.S. Presidents have signed proclamations for National Prayer. Four of the Presidents who did not sign a proclamation died while serving in office.





The theme of the 2010 National Day of Prayer is "Prayer for Such a Time as This" and is based on the verse from Nahum 1:7 which states: "The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him." Note: Nahum is a book in the Hebrew Bible.




Our Father and our God,

We thank you for the many blessings you have poured out on America,and we praise you for your mercy.



You have said, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people."



We confess, O Lord, our national and personal sins. We repent and ask forgiveness for all actions that dishonor you.



O God, bless our President and other leaders. Provide them with wisdom and move them to honor you.



Deliver this great nation from all our enemies as we recommit ourselves to trust, serve and obey your commands.


We pray in your holy name,
Amen.







2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV



If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.










Other sources:


http://www.religioustolerance.org/day_pray2.htm


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Day_of_Prayer


http://www.northfultonrotary.org/NationalDayofPrayerHistory.cfm


http://www.aclj.org/media/pdf/ACLJ_NationalDayofPrayerHistory_20100416.pdf


http://urbanlegends.about.com/b/2010/04/15/national-day-of-prayer-2010-canceled....


March 13, 2010 at 3:35am
March 13, 2010 at 3:35am
#690133
The other day, I received a surprise in my email inbox. Tommy Newberry, author of The War on Success included a link for chapter 7 of his book - God is Not a Socialist.

Here's the link in case you're interested. The email I received asked the folks share the chapter and/or the link with friends. And you're friends, right?

http://www.tommynewberry.com/newsletter/documents/GodisNotaSocialist-Chapter7.pd...

As I read through Newberry's chapter, I had one of those, "Well, duh" moments. *Pthb*

Here's how Newberry begins his chapter:

         Socialization is always accompanied by secularization—the smaller God becomes, the larger government grows. Of course, that’s a human perspective; God doesn’t shrink at all. But as God fades from our attention, so does liberty. Evil in all its varieties is just the natural outgrowth of freedom without God. Review the whole history of godless Communism and fascism—did anything good come of it?

         No doubt about it, America’s system of free enterprise, like our founding documents, is inspired by the timeless truths revealed throughout the Old and New Testaments. But today, the diminishing of God has led Americans to feel lonely, confused, and isolated like never before. Disconnected from traditional and proven sources of value and love, more and more people now seek solace in government programs. The result has been a decline in individual freedom and the diminishing of our range of lifetime opportunities.


The writer reminds us that God is all-power, loving, all-knowing, just, merciful and unchanging. He knows every single thing about us - good and bad - and he loves us anyway. We are his creation. He wants what is right and best for us!

Here's more from Newberry:

         We can begin to understand God by looking at the beginning, the beginning of everything. The first chapter of Genesis shows that God was well-pleased with each act of creation. And, after He put the final touches on the sixth day, God looked upon the universe and all He had made and proclaimed that indeed it was very good.

         The original entrepreneur and innovator of the universe had established the model of productivity and excellence to be emulated by all humanity. God took special delight in His priority creation of man and woman. How do we know? Well, He made us in His image and likeness as individual souls so that we could mirror His nature. Moreover, our Creator granted us authority over all living things, blessed us, and charged us with filling the earth with our offspring.


The chapter is rather long, and although Newberry has given permission to share the whole thing, I'd prefer that you go and read it yourself at the link above.

It is good, though and well worth the read.

The author writes about how we're supposed to be striving to be like God, and that we imitate him when we love people, when we tell the truth, when we show grace, when we are faithful to spouses, when we are good stewards, when we are ambitious and industrious, when we demonstrate faith.


Paul said, Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children. (Ephesians 5:1).

So, we're imitating God when we're productive, when we are using the gifts that God provided for us, when we show empathy, when we love, when we encourage others.

As Newberry says, "He planted within us the instinct and drive to work, invent, produce, create, and own, because in doing so, we imitate Him, assign credit to Him, and further His creation."

It follows that if we're to be productive and industrious, that capitalism probably is not a bad thing. In a free market, we have to show creativity and resourcefulness, the very things that God wants us to show and be. Hmmm.

To succeed in capitalism, a business has to learn to treat customers and employees right, has to bounce back from mistakes (and make them growing and learning sessions), learn to serve others. Don't those sound like God-honoring traits?

Socialists, on the other hand, while they try to say that they care about everyone, the certainly don't want everyone to be a success. They think they can help a person by giving him something that was taken from someone else, from the person who worked hard and earned what he/she has - you know, the redistribution of wealth. Instead of imitating God and showing all those good traits above, socialism leans more towards man's bad traits - greed, envy, laziness.

Newberry uses many Bible verses to make his point. He says that the Bible is all about giving and socialism is all about taking.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you (Luke 6:38).


Anyway, go and read what Newberry has to say at the link above or at this one:

http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978087872

January 24, 2010 at 7:50pm
January 24, 2010 at 7:50pm
#685172
The Story of a Great Doctor

by Marilyn Mackenzie





Today, there was a memorial service for a man from our church. He wasn't someone that I - or many of us - knew very well. He took care of the sound board during our worship services.



Sometime soon, I'll have to share more about Andy and the memorial service. But I wanted to make sure that I first told the story of a great doctor.



Almost two years ago, Andy was diagnosed with end stage 4 cancer of the pancreas. One day he was fine. Then his back hurt badly, and he went to the emergency room, thinking that he might be having an appendicitis attack. They kept him overnight, then told him the next day that what he had was cancer.



Andy was fortunate that his cancer didn't take him as quickly as it was predicted. Usually, stage 4 pancreatic cancer takes the patient in 2-4 months. Luckily for all of us - and for his family, since he has a 10 year old son - he survived for almost two years.



During that time, he had treatments. And he was a member of a support group, termed a Wellness Group. I love that the support group for cancer patients and survivors is called a Wellness Group. That alone offers hope to those needing it most.



In such groups, people like Andy who know that eventually they will die of their disease, often make up their own "Bucket List" (things to do before they kick the bucket). On Andy's list was "driving a convertible."



When Andy's doctor found out that was one of the things he wanted to do before he died, the doctor handed Andy the keys to his car - a Mercedes convertible with a V12 engine. He told Andy to drive it for as long as he wanted. And Andy did.



One of the first outings Andy had was with one of his Wellness Group friends. They drove around in that convertible for 3 hours. (And later that friend told Andy that his trip to Florida was not as much fun as that 3 hour ride had been.)



Today, that convertible still sits at Andy's house. He's gone now, so someone will need to make sure that the good doctor gets his car back. Andy had that car for many months, enjoying the last months of his life.



I wish the doctor had been at the service today. Perhaps he was and just didn't speak up when the pastor talked about how great it was that he allowed Andy to cross off one of the things on his "Bucket List."



Makes you cry, doesn't it? The world lost a good man this week. But God welcomed him home.



And for the months preceding his death, he happily tooted around town in a gas guzzling Mercedes convertible, letting the wind blow through his patchy (from cancer treatments) hair.



And, surely, driving that car was one reason that Andy hung around as long as he did. Who wouldn't, when given the opportunity to drive the car of his dreams?



Thanks, doc. You are a true healer. We need more like you.










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



To my friends who are prayer warriors:



Obviously, Andy's wife and 10 year old son will need our prayers. They're happy knowing that they will meet Andy one day in Heaven. But, still, losing a father at that young age will be difficult.



Pray, too, for the Wellness Group friend who drove around with Andy for those 3 hours and had such fun. He, too, is having his cancer problems reappear. His name is Jim.



And don't forget to celebrate that awesome doctor who handed the keys to his car to Andy to drive for many months. I don't know his name, but I'm sure God does. *Smile*





A gift from Kiya

"My Favorite Neighbor
"Sharing Sunshine...It's What I Do!
"Admirable Women
"Whose Work Are You Stealing?
"The Potter's Cup and Saucer
January 22, 2010 at 3:00am
January 22, 2010 at 3:00am
#684647
Two Liberal Myths
By Marilyn Mackenzie


There are two liberal myths (or lies – take your pick about which you prefer) that drive me crazy every time I hear them. Liberals have learned that the more repeat a myth (or lie), the more you’ll believe it and the better the chance that others around you will believe it as well. These are the two myths/lies that bother me the most.

1) Clinton left Bush with a surplus.

THIS IS NOT TRUE!!!

You can find the numbers at the U.S. Treasury web site. Clinton was
President from 1993 to 2001.

Fiscal Year Year Ending National Debt Deficit
FY1993 09/30/1993 $4.411488 trillion
FY1994 09/30/1994 $4.692749 trillion $281.26 billion
FY1995 09/29/1995 $4.973982 trillion $281.23 billion
FY1996 09/30/1996 $5.224810 trillion $250.83 billion
FY1997 09/30/1997 $5.413146 trillion $188.34 billion
FY1998 09/30/1998 $5.526193 trillion $113.05 billion
FY1999 09/30/1999 $5.656270 trillion $130.08 billion
FY2000 09/29/2000 $5.674178 trillion $17.91 billion
FY2001 09/28/2001 $5.807463 trillion $133.29 billion

Here are some of the web sites which explain what happened to the
economy during the Clinton years.

http://media.www.sbstatesman.com/media/storage/paper955/news/2008/11/24/Opinion/... The Clinton Surplus Myth

This writer assumes that liberals don’t understand economics and that’s why they continue to perpetuate the myth that Clinton left a surplus. I’m not so sure about that assumption. Even if some do not understand, I think that most liberal Democrat politicians know that there was no surplus and choose to continue to pretend there was to fool the public.

http://www.craigsteiner.us/articles/16 The Myth of the Clinton Surplus

This writer that ever since he posted his document, people have said that the CBO numbers differ with what he posted. Here is some of what he says about that, “We can discuss the meaning of the different columns of the CBO documents and what they do and don't include, and we can argue about the accounting tricks that the federal government uses for political reasons. But the fact remains that the Bureau of the Public Debt is responsible for the daily reporting of the total national debt. Regardless of how politicians play with the budget numbers, the current national debt reported by the Bureau of the Public Debt is what we owe. If, at the end of each year, we owe more than we did the previous year, politicians can call it a surplus until the cows come home--but the fact remains that we owed more money than we did the previous year. Playing accounting and political games to call it a "surplus" doesn't change the fact that we're even more in debt than we were the year before.

During the Clinton years, the total national debt increased every year. Only in Washington D.C. would that somehow be considered a "surplus."

http://www.theneweditor.com/index.php?/archives/3063-The-5-Trillion-Surplus-The-... The Myth That Refuses to Die

The claims that we had erased the federal debt and had gone on to a surplus were based on long-range projections that were totally inaccurate, and had never been realized. Why then do the Dems continue to repeat this myth?


There are many other sites that debunk the myth of the Clinton surplus. It is a myth or a lie, whichever you choose. Or, more simply, and without having to choose whether people are misinformed or choosing to perpetuate a lie, IT’S JUST NOT TRUE.

2) Bush only gave tax relief to the rich. Again, this is something that the liberals say over and over and over. AND IT ALSO IS NOT TRUE!!!

Everyone received benefits and tax relief under George W. Bush, and those benefits will not be carried on by President Obama. Obama told us that he would let these tax benefits expire during his administration. He also told us that he would not raise taxes on anyone making under $200,000 (although it was first $250,000). I suppose that’s sort of true. HE isn’t raising taxes. He’s just letting them get higher by letting the benefits expire. (To me, that’s like him raising taxes, but I can see where he wouldn’t want to admit that.)


Here are some of the benefits that everyone received under Bush.

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/wm486.cfm When Would the President’s Tax Cuts Expire?

This article was posted during Bush’s administration and explains the tax cuts that he proposed and Congress approved in 2001 and 2005. Some of them expired already this year – taxes on capital gains and on dividends. The others are set to expire on January 1, 2011. These are the tax benefits about which everyone seems to forget.


Child Credit: It is now $700 per child and it will revert to the old number of $500 per child on January 1, 2011. This affects all Americans with children, not just those in upper incomes.


Income Tax Rates: All brackets will increase between 3 and 4.5 percentage points in each bracket on January 1, 2011, unless Obama extends this tax relief. He has said he would not extend the tax benefits of Bush, so we must assume that all income taxes will rise.

The 10 Percent Tax Bracket: This bracket will be eliminated on January 1, 2011, raising the income tax burden by 5 percentage points.

The 15 Percent Bracket for Joint Filers: On January 1, 2011, the upper limit of this bracket will change from 100 to 167 percent of the upper limit bracket for single filers, meaning that the marriage penalty will be put back into place. (Remember? Bush fixed that marriage penalty!)
Standard Deduction for Joint Filers: On January 1, 2011, this will also change from 200 to 167 percent of the standard deduction for single filers, putting that marriage penalty back into place. (How could people forget that it was Bush who gave us this break?)

Estate Tax: The top rate of estate taxes will increase to 60 percent on January 1, 2011. Also, the value of an estate exempt from taxation will shrink to $1 million. Here, people think, “Great. Stick it to the rich guys.” But people don’t realize that every day folks can have to pay this. Sometimes poor folks are the recipients of a rich relative’s estate. Also, it’s not that difficult to have a $1 million estate. That could include two $250,000 life insurance policies, a $350,000 home and $100,000 in other assets. Still, this is not an increase that most will or should worry over.

http://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/summers_bush_tax_cuts/2009/01/25/175083.html Bush Tax Cuts Won’t Be Extended

This article – an interview with Lawrence H. Summers – seems to be saying that the tax cuts won’t even make it to January 1, 2011 but will be repealed earlier than that.

http://americaswatchtower.com/2009/02/23/obamas-backdoor-tax-increase-letting-th... Obama’s Backdoor Tax Increase (Letting the Bush Tax Cuts Expire)

This article points out that the ones who will really be hurt on this are those now in the 10% bracket, which will disappear. The article says, “The people in the lowest tax bracket will have their taxes increased by five percent. The largest increase of all tax brackets. Yet it is Obama who claims that he is a man of the people. He claims that it is he who will protect middle class Americans. The great lie about the Bush tax cuts has been repeated so often that now people believe it is true. People believe that only the rich got tax cuts under the former president. Every American got tax relief in the Bush tax cuts and when Obama lets those cuts expire it will amount to a backdoor tax on all Americans. And the hardest hit will be the people who can least afford it.”

There you have it folks. Two myths or lies that get told over and over again by liberal Democrats. They are not true.

Clinton DID NOT leave a surplus and Bush DID give tax relief to all Americans.

I don’t expect any liberal Democrats to remember these things. But if you’re an Independent, a conservative, or a Republican, please make a note of this article so you can send people who perpetuate to this article and the links within.









A gift from Kiya

"My Favorite Neighbor
"Sharing Sunshine...It's What I Do!
"Admirable Women
"Whose Work Are You Stealing?
"The Potter's Cup and Saucer
January 17, 2010 at 1:31pm
January 17, 2010 at 1:31pm
#684126
Click here for a list of Christian relief organizations in Haiti that have been vetted by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

http://www.ecfa.org/ServantMatch.aspx?Type=Haiti



As the current and past presidents have reminded us, it's important to know the organization to which you give or know that someone has done research on them.



From the ECFA web site:


ECFA is an accreditation agency dedicated to helping Christian ministries earn the public’s trust through adherence to Seven Standards of Responsible StewardshipTM. Founded in 1979, ECFA provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with established standards for financial accountability, fund-raising and board governance. Members include Christian ministries, denominations, churches, educational institutions and other tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations. Collectively, these organizations represent more than $18 billion in annual revenue.

ECFA’s Seven Standards of Responsible StewardshipTM focus on board governance, financial transparency, integrity in fund-raising, and proper use of charity resources.




For more information on ECFA or to find a Christian relief organization, click the link at the top of the page.


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




So many of our Christian brothers and sisters have died or are missing in Haiti because that's one place that Christians in the US go to do mission work.

I just learned today that the top executive of UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) died before rescuers could free him from the wreckage of the Hotel Montana. Reports had first said he was pulled out alive, but now eyewitnesses are saying otherwise.

Rev. Clinton Rabb was also trapped with Dixon, but he is said to be in critical condition in a hospital in Florida. Four others who were there as part of the group - Rev. James Gulley, Sarla Chand, Rick Santos and Ann Varghse have already returned to their homes.

Another group, the Convoy of Hope, feeds 7,000 children every day in Haiti. They had just restocked their warehouse there. And, as Jeff Nene, Convoy of Hope's senior director of communications and technology said, "Some people may call this a coincidence," Nene continues, "we call it Holy Spirit intervention."

In the background, Fox News just talked about two stories coming up. One is about the miraculous story of the woman who was saved after being buried in rubble for days. The other story is about an orphanage where the children are in desperate need of food and water and no help has yet arrived.

What a horrible tragedy happened at Haiti. Let us hope and pray that the officials there will finally establish some building codes and that those who are going to help them re-build will be able to put up buildings that will not be crumbled so easily.










Rose signature

"My Favorite Neighbor
"Sharing Sunshine...It's What I Do!
"Admirable Women
"Whose Work Are You Stealing?
"The Potter's Cup and Saucer
January 13, 2010 at 7:02pm
January 13, 2010 at 7:02pm
#683679
As I was searching for a particular video at YouTube, I came across this video. It's one that everyone should watch, I think. Wanted: God's Character, is 12:43 minutes long, so be sure you're ready to spend that much time watching it. Then, kick back and enjoy.

The blurb at YouTube says: An old man mourning the loss of his wife finds part time employment as a gardener for a church. Harassed by a group of kids, his attitude of unconditional forgiveness wins over the heart of one of the kids and transforms his life
.

Oh, if we all had this much unconditional love and forgiveness in our hearts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mfkfk1PMyU
December 30, 2009 at 2:27pm
December 30, 2009 at 2:27pm
#681592
December 20, 2009 at 8:21am
December 20, 2009 at 8:21am
#680483
I saw this yesterday:

"Members of congress should have to do like Nascar - put the names of their sponsors on their clothes." -Robin Williams

I like that idea. At another forum, the question was raised about whether or not we would be surprised. No, we probably would not be surprised. But having the information out in the open all the time might help. Plus...there might be those who would stop taking money.




Something I posted at Gather.com yesterday:
http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977954894
October 22, 2009 at 10:56am
October 22, 2009 at 10:56am
#672817

Feel free to comment and add your own thoughts about growing old.

You know you're getting old when...




Going bra-less pulls all the wrinkles out of your face.
Hmmm. Wonder if that really works.

Your back goes out more than you do.

You wake up, looking like your driver's license picture.

It takes longer to rest than it did to get tired.

The pharmacist has become you new best friend.

You're suffering from Mallzheimer's disease. You go to the mall and forget where you parked your car. I don't think you have to be old for this one. In fact, I think there are mall gremlins who move cars around in the lots. Have you ever seen how many people wander around saying, "Here car, here car." That's why they invented those car finder thingies that come with new cars. *Smile*

Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

Things you buy now won't wear out.

You light the candles on your birthday cake, and a group of campers form a circle and start singing "Kumbaya." I love this one...except that I don't know anyone who sings Kumbaya anymore. I asked some kids about that a few years ago - teens who had been to camp - and they thought I had gone nuts.

Your new easy chair has more options than your car.

You find yourself beginning to like accordion music. This made me giggle. When I married my first husband - you know, the abuser - our only music at the reception was an accordion player. He was actually pretty good. Played both old classics our parents wanted to hear and many of the newer things. And of course, the Pennsylvania Polka and lots of other polkas. Back then, we listened to Lawrence Welk, for pity's sake. Of course we listened to accordions. And every year at the county fair, there were students showing us how easy it was to play and accordion music instructors trying to recruit new students.

You begin every other sentence with, "Nowadays..." Or with, "back in the day" or"when I was a kid" or...

Your childhood toys are now in a museum.*Laugh**Laugh**Laugh**Laugh**Laugh*

The car that you bought brand new becomes an antique. You know... When my sister was married back in September, hubby and I wandered through a car show. (We had no choice, since it was blocking the street in front of our hotel for 2 days.) How surprising it was to see an 86 and 89 Monte Carlo. Then I got to thinking....my 1992 Chevy Cavalier isn't too far from becoming a classic herself.

You sing along with the elevator music.Nah. Never. Well...maybe if it's something from the Beatles.*Smile* I heard "Hey Jude" in the elevator one day. Sure was glad I was alone.

Neighbors borrow your tools.

People call at 9 p.m. and ask, "Did I wake you?" And they might have?

You have a dream about prunes.

You send money to PBS.

You get into a heated argument about pension plans.

You got cable for the weather channel.

You have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it. This one got to me too. I feel sooooooooooooooooo old when the neighbors around us party until 2 a.m. and it keeps me awake. Why don't I join them? For one thing, I was never asked. For another, by then they are pretty drunk. And when you're the only sober person at a party, it's not fun. That doesn't mean I don't take a drink now and then. But getting drunk? Nah. I already have enough problems with pains and nausea. And I take enough medications that it looks like a pharmacy at our house. If I want to drink, I have to plan in advance to not take meds. But, yes, if we threw a party, our neighbors would definitely not realize it...since, to them, parties are LOUD.


Everything that works hurts, and what doesn't hurt doesn't work.

Your mind makes contracts your body can't keep.

You know all the answers, but nobody asks the questions.

You don't remember being absent minded.

You get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
















A gift from Kiya

"My Favorite Neighbor
"Sharing Sunshine...It's What I Do!
"Admirable Women
"Whose Work Are You Stealing?
"The Potter's Cup and Saucer
October 13, 2009 at 7:02pm
October 13, 2009 at 7:02pm
#671623
I'm not sure how I missed this one, since it was reported in 2008.

http://oddee.com/item_92594.aspx 15 Craziest Personal Names</a>

Top on the list is a guy who changed his name to all of the James Bond movie titles. His name is now James Dr. No From Russia With Love Goldfinger Thunderball You Only Live Twice On Her Majesty's Secret Service Diamonds Are Forever Live And Let Die The Man With The Golden Gun The Spy Who Loved Me Moonraker For Your Eyes Only Octopussy A View To A Kill The Living Daylights Licence To Kill Golden Eye Tomorrow Never Dies The World Is Not Enough Die Another Day Casino Royale Bond.

I wonder how he signs his name.

Then there were the parents who tried to name their child
Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 (pronounced "albin").

Next on the list is:
John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood

Then:
Thursday October Christian

I wish I still had the list of names that my ex tried to name our son. There were 15 or 16 names we loved, and my ex wanted to name him all of them. He arranged them so that they sounded poetic. For the life of me, I cannot remember most of them, but they ended with Wade Bruce John Scott Mackenzie Wilkerson.

Thank goodness, when the clerk came to the hospital room asking me what name to put on our son's birth certificate, his dad was not in the room. To appease him, I did give him a first name, three middle names, and his last name. I told him that's all the birth certificate had room for, which was not really a lie. That was all that could fit on the form I filled out.

Of course, a few years ago, there was a family on the Oprah Show (I think it was on Oprah...pretty sure) that named their child 26 names - one for each letter of the alphabet. And don't you know that my ex called to remind me that it was my fault that our son didn't get his proper name.

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


Right Brainers Rule! And in October, we celebrate that. Hooray!

At this web site http://www.leesilber.com/HTML/Free_Right_Brainers.htm Right Brainers Rule Month it says:

The goal is to bring awareness that although we may do things differently than most of the world (who are left-brain dominant) we are highly creative, exceptionally innovative and wonderful just the way we are. Sadly, right-brainers are often ridiculed and reprimanded for their unorthodox ways of doing things. The month of October is a chance to show how the right-brained person can survive and thrive in a very left-brained world.

Click around on that site and you'll discover a way to get a free PDF file -Day Planners for Right Brainers.

This site http://rightbrainorganizing.blogspot.com/2008/10/celebrate-right-brainers-rule-m... Celebrate Right Brainers Rule Month shows some ways to celebrate. One is, "write a song about how great it is to be RIGHT all the time."

Be sure to check this out: http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,22492511-5005375,00.html The Right Brain vs The Left Brain Test
Supposedly, people who are right brain dominant see the dancer dancing clockwise and left brain dominant people see the dancer dancing counter-clockwise. I definitely see her going clockwise.

That site also reminds us of some right brain functions:
uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
believes
appreciates
spatial perception
knows object function
presents possibilities
impetuous
risk taking

Here's a book that lefties might want to read. Why right Brainers Will Rule The Future The author, Daniel Pink, says that "We are rapidly moving from an economy and culture built on the logical, linear, computer-like capabilities of the Information Age to one built on the creative, empathic, big-picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place: the Conceptual Age."

And, "The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind—computer programmers who could crank out code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who would crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind—creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers.

As we transition from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age, these people—artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers—will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys."

If you're not sure if you're right brained or left brained, here's a test: http://web-us.com/brain/braindominance.htm Hemispheric Dominance Inventory Test

For me, of the 18 questions, 15 of them indicated right brain dominance and 3 indicated left brain dominance. I think that's because, while I do write and eat with my left hand, I had to learn to adapt to the right-handed world, and I most other things with my right hand.

Interesting stuff, huh? Now check out how many have been left-handed presidents.
http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?grpId=3659174697250511&articleId=281474...



Daisy Sig from PassItOn

"My Favorite Neighbor
"Sharing Sunshine...It's What I Do!
"Admirable Women
"Whose Work Are You Stealing?
"The Potter's Cup and Saucer
October 2, 2009 at 6:17pm
October 2, 2009 at 6:17pm
#670230
Check out this video, then come back and read. Please?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjSnE0VzBYg&feature=player_embedded


Way back when I was a kid, my grandmother was the one who told me about the importance of tithing. But she told me that it wasn't just money that we should gladly give to Jesus, but our time and our talents as well. As far as she was concerned, if we were awake for 16 hours a day, then we should gladly give the Lord 1.6 hours. (She did say think that if one could not give the full 1.6 hours each day, that serving and worshiping Him for 4+ hours on Sunday - between private Bible reading and prayer time and Sunday school and worship time - helped even the scales.)



Many people say that they don't attend or belong to a church for many reasons. Some have been hurt by "organized religion". Some think churches beg for money too much. (Actually, most are trying to get their members to realize the blessings that come from cheerfully giving the tithe. I have never met anyone who has been sorry that he/she tithed.)



But what I've wondered of those individuals who claim whatever reasons for not attending or belonging to a church are...



Have you studied the parts of the Bible about the Gifts of the Spirit? Each one of us has a gift or gift mix that is supposed to be used for the glory of God. If you're not using your gifts, are you stealing from Jesus?



I'm convinced that the reason we have so many kinds of churches is that we are unique and different people. We're also in different places in our spiritual journey, a personal journey that doesn't really mirror the journey of anyone else, and at other times in our lives we need seeker churches or churches more inclined to serve up meat than milk. It's great if we can find a church that meets our needs from the time we've accepted the Lord onward, but that is not always the case. Then again..rather than church hopping or staying home, were we supposed to help the church learn how to change and grow?



That's one of my other thoughts. We're all supposed to be a part of the Body of Christ. What if the church where you're supposed to attend needs and "eye" and you're the only "eye" available? Are you cheating the church and the Lord by staying home? Or what if you have the gift of discernment and the church needs that? Are you cheating yourself out of the awesome experience that comes from serving the Lord in the way he designed? Are you cheating the Lord out of your service? Are you cheating the church out of your help?



I sang in the kids' choir as a kid, then in the intermediate (teen girs' choir) and finally in the adult choir - because I had a good singing voice and could read music.



I taught my first Sunday school class when I was in high school - a wild group of 9-11 year old boys - because there were no adults stepping up to take on the job and I felt the Lord urging me to do so.



The Bible doesn't say anything about Christians being able to stop working for Him. It doesn't say anywhere that we're allowed to retire from serving Him. In fact, the Bible gives us many examples of how God used people in their later years. Why should we be any different?



When I lived in Texas, I met a wonderful woman who showed that God can use people into their senior years. Helen was a real prayer warrior. She's the only person I've ever met who could sincerely say - and mean it - that she prayed about four hours each and every day. When she was young and had children, she woke up much earlier than her spouse and kids so she could pray for them before they awoke. She prayed during the day, and she prayed at night. That was her gift to the Lord and to the world around her.



She was over 80 when I met her and still praying for hours each day. Perhaps she couldn't kneel anymore, but that didn't matter. I helped her make up prayer calendars for everyone to have that listed a few members' names on each day of the calendar year so that we could all be praying for specific members at the same time. We had about 600 members and about 75 other regular attendees, so we put 2 names per day on the calendar. We also listed birthdays and anniversaries on that calendar. And for the days toward the end of the year that had no specific names on them, we suggested praying for church staff and community and US and world leaders.



Even when Helen got to the point that she could not make it to church each Sunday, her prayer ministry continued. She prayed for a good 30 minutes or more about each individual on the calendar for the day. Then she wrote a short note or letter to each person for whom she prayed and sent it to him/her. What a blessing it was to get those cards and letters from Helen, and knowing that someone was definitely praying for you!



Helen also wrote down many of her prayers and had done so for over 50 years. Her basement held trunks of her prayer diaries. What a legacy she was leaving for her family. From those prayer journals, the family could look back and see what was happening in her life, in their lives, and in the world around them.



Not every ministry, not every task for Jesus, has to be a difficult one. In fact, if we're finding one of our Jesus tasks to be too difficult, it might not be the one He would have us do. When you're working for Jesus and using the gifts and talents that God provided for you, it can still be tiring. But it's a satisfying exhaustion, not a frustrating one.



As we head into Fall, with a time of beautiful colors, perhaps it's time to ask God what we should be doing for Him.



At Christmas and at Easter, more unbelievers come to know Jesus than at any other time. Shouldn't all believers want to be in a church at that time, so they can greet the people who are afraid and shy and wondering what being a Christian and attending and belonging to a church is all about?







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


This is the only place in the Bible, I believe, where God asks us to test Him. Yes, there are those who will tell you that the tithe is mentioned in the Old Testament. But as I've said before, I have never known anyone who tithes and says they are sorry they've done so.


Malachi 3:10 NIV
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.





We are supposed to be in fellowship with one another, to study together, to pray together, and to keep each other accountable. We're supposed to find our strength from God and from each other.

Hebrews 10:25 TLB
Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.




And each of us are given spiritual gifts to use to His glory. Are you using the spiritual gifts and the natural talents God provided for you? Are you using them to advance His kingdom, to reach out to others in love?


1 Corinthians 12:4-13:1 NIV
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.













A gift from Kiya

"My Favorite Neighbor
"Sharing Sunshine...It's What I Do!
"Admirable Women
"Whose Work Are You Stealing?
"The Potter's Cup and Saucer
July 11, 2009 at 2:47pm
July 11, 2009 at 2:47pm
#658667
July 8, 2009 at 12:52pm
July 8, 2009 at 12:52pm
#658275
I don't spend much time here anymore - with my chronic illness and needing to earn some money online.

So, I just noticed that Lifewriter is now "invalid". Anyone know what happened?
July 7, 2009 at 1:33am
July 7, 2009 at 1:33am
#658070
I found another networking site. It's free and some say a bit complicated. But if you figure out how to navigate it, you can use it to link back to your portfolio here or to specific articles or poems as a way to find new people to read your work. (You also might end up with referrals that way.)

The cool thing is that you get points for everything - posting, commenting, sharing links - and at the end of the day, those points turn into the number of entries you have for a drawing for $50. At the end of each week, there is a $150 drawing. And at the end of the month there is a $400 drawing.

Meanwhile, you also get money (mostly pennies) for having others notice your posts there. If you're featured, you get more. For one picture I posted, I got over $5. And once you have $25, you can take that money out of your account.

I figure that I can use whatever money I get there to help keep up my membership here. Of course it would be really cool if I won the $50, $150 or $400.

Two of my friends have gotten $50 winnings and one got $150, so they do give it out.

Here's the link:

http://www.redgage.com/?refby=kenzie4k5230

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