The Lion, the Mouse and the Fox

An Aesop Fable:

A Lion, fatigued by the heat of a summer’s day, fell fast asleep in this den. A Mouse ran over his mane, and ears and woke him from his slumbmers. He rose up and shook himself in great wrath, and searched every corner of his den to find the Mouse. A Fox seeing him said: ” A fine Lion you are, to be frightened of a Mouse.” “‘Tis not the Mouse I fear,” said the Lion; “I resent his familiarity and ill-breeding.”

Little liberties are great offenses.

Raising Men

I remember all to well the gasps and disdain when I pushed my little bird out of the nest. After all, he was a respectful young man-child, he wasn’t in trouble, he was working and he was being productive. However, he had completed four years of college and I had to decide did I want to raise a boy or a man? Did I want him to think that a woman would take care of him or did I want to release him to his most excellent future? I decided to give him 90 days to move out. He wasn’t causing problems, he was helpful, he was caring, but a man has got to be a man or I have failed as a mother. So the push came.

I am proud to say that he is a good man now. He stands on his own, he knows who he is and he is a man in whom I am well pleased! It wasn’t easy but babies they are not. No woman wants a man-child who can’t step out and make it on his own. No woman wants a man-child who spends his days playing video games. Oh, lots of girls tolerate all of these sad behaviors for awhile, but pretty soon they become nags who need their man-child to grow up. He’s got to have some drive to succeed. He’s got to be bold and step out into a fiercely competitive world. Oftentimes, as mothers we are our man-child’s biggest hinderance to launching especially if dad is missing we then tend over compensate for their lack of fathering.

I am pleased to say that my second man-child has just today, received his letter of acceptance to college. I am proud of him. We have prepped him for this time and it is time to release our arrow into the world to make a difference.

In William J. Bennett’s op ed piece for Fox News, Have We Forgotten How to Raise Boys Into Men? he concisely says what is needed in our society. It’s a great read and I thought I would share it with you today!

Who Is Called To Ignorance?

Jammer's Blog

Recently I heard a man say he was called to preach to the ignorant who wished to remain so. He declared that the Lord had called him to preach to those who were uneducated and ignorant and did not want to change. He was called to preach to those who had never had an opportunity to learn and didn’t want to. These people, he declared, were not interested in an education and felt that church was expecting too much of them with bible study.

My heart began to beat rapidly because I had heard another pastor say this before. He also was called to preach to the ignorant who wanted to stay ignorant. It was a statement that resonated in my heart. I thought our job was to preach the good news to the poor so that they would realize their destiny in Christ and would be then rich? I thought that we were supposed to illuminate lives with the word? I thought the good news was that there was a Savior who came to bring them out of ignorance of their state of being and into knowledge of who their Father in heaven had called them to be and what their dominion and authority would be? I thought that our job was not to teach legalism but to teach freedom? I am beyond saddened by this thought process because it seems so far from Christ I don’t even know what to think.

The word warns us about this. It says that there will be false teachers, I just never wanted to know one. To say that someone doesn’t need to know the word for themselves and doesn’t need to learn it makes me wonder what else in life they don’t need to know? To perpetuate ignorance with misused authority is not the understanding of the Bible I read. Some believe thinking puffs up a soul. On the contrary thinking releases a soul to their destiny.

Wisdom cries in the streets. Does God desire only a select few to answer her call? I don’t think that’s the God I serve. I believe the God I serve is pleased when we are a success. Not a success as the world sees it but a success in love. Sorry folks, this is a punch I will never drink. I believe as followers of Christ our attitude should be the same as Jesus when he said:

John 14:12 The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it.

What work had Jesus been doing? Giving revelation. Life changing knowledge, wisdom and power. Proclaiming that if you were poor you no longer had to be poor because he was bringing wisdom not of this world but wisdom eternal. That is the God I serve! The One who believes our future lies in salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.

Así No Más

Today we wrap up Hispanic Heritage Month. America is sort of strange about these things. We celebrate diversity even while not being sure whether we agree if diversity or a melting pot works best.

I watched two documentaries on Latinos this month. One was The Latino List on HBO which interviewed some very interesting world changing Latinos. Here are a few of them and what they said that made me smile and take notice at their wisdom and understanding of a culture to whom I belong, and yet, don’t! It’s complicated.

Julie Stav is a woman who is a financial advisor. She’s funny, smart and has her own show on Univision. Here is what she has to say to the average Latino:

You learn how to work for a good company. I wanted to own the good company. 

 I was doing investment clubs and I would take a $100 bill and pass it around and I would ask what does this mean to you? I heard every synonym of the word freedom, like options, choices. 

 Being Latino brings a lot of myths especially around money. That money is corruption. That money is for men. That it’s enough just to work. It’s not enough just to work. We didn’t come here to watch novellas, they’re great, we didn’t come here to listen to music or to watch sports. Why did we come to this country? We came here for money. There’s more Latinos in the United States than Canadians in Canada and the day we learn how this money system works is the day we get up and start taking credit for all the long hours that have put in. 

There’s a great Latina making a difference. Retired Lieutenant Colonel Consuelo Kickbusch. She is the one for whom the title of this post is dedicated to. Así No Más is a term in Spanish which means “good enough”. The highest ranking Hispanic female in the combat support division of the United States Military she is wise, excels in her field, and loves her country and her people. She is such an inspiration to me!

Of my 10 brothers and sisters 8 of us are veterans. When I took command of my first platoon I realized that a large number of these amazing men, soldiers, did not have a high school diploma. So I went ahead and worked with the education department to bring someone into the barracks. Some of the classes were on Friday night, that doesn’t make you too popular.

When you come out of poverty you tend to want certain things. I wanted a car that actually moved. I thought that was very important. I wanted to live in a house made of bricks because that’s what the little pigs did in the books, and I wanted every credit card that spelled my name right. I thought that was success, you are taking care of yourself and you’re making enough money to take care of your family.  I believe that is what my parents wanted most for me.   I achieved all those things and I was the highest ranking Hispanic woman in combat support, but I felt that why should it only be me?

I’m the daughter of a maid. My mother cleaned toilets. She said, “hija do a job so well done  that even when you’re not there your work will speak for you.” That is what I want out of the children that sit in classrooms today. Do your work , do it to the very best. Graduate with honors, cross that stage. 39 Rodriguez’, 50 Garcias I say fantastic! Let them practice Garcia 50 times during graduation. That is who we are. We don’t settle for that ‘así no más’, that it’s okay anyway. 

Then there is José Hernandez who is Engineer and a Astronaut. He grew up in my neck of the woods. Working hard, he took his father’s word to heart and went for his dream.

When I worked in the fields with the family, we would arrive when it was still dark and the stars would be so clear and so numerous, then the sun would come out and reality would hit and we start working in the fields. My school mates always  loved summer vacations our family kind of dreaded it because we knew it meant we would work seven days a week. At the end of a long day’s work, my dad, right before he put the key in the ignition he would turn around and he would tell us, “How do you kids feel”? We were tired, muddy, sweaty, and he would say, “Good, this is your future if you don’t study in school.” 

Then there was another documentary I saw on HBO called Celebrity Habla.

Finally there is Lisa Quiroz. I related to her. She is a person who believes in service to her community, literacy and education. She is a corporate executive for Time Warner, the founding publisher for People en Español. Her grandmother was a great influence on her, as was mine. Her stories about her grandma made me smile without even realizing I was doing so. This quote was the one that struck me;

I’m brown, I’m half Mexican, I’m half Puerto Rican. I speak Spanish, I speak Spanglish, I speak English but I’m American, and that’s hard sometimes for people to understand.

I was so glad that I was able to see these mighty people and the difference they are making in America and the impact they have on their culture.

1,000 Little Blessings Chapter 2

Nehemiah 8:8 They translated the Book of The Revelation of God so the people could understand it and then explained the reading. 9 Nehemiah the governor, along with Ezra the priest and scholar and the Levites who were teaching the people, said to all the people, “This day is holy to God, your God. Don’t weep and carry on.” They said this because all the people were weeping as they heard the words of The Revelation. 10 He continued, “Go home and prepare a feast, holiday food and drink; and share it with those who don’t have anything: This day is holy to God. Don’t feel bad. The joy of God is your strength!”

My days have been busy as my husband is out of town and there is much to do. My hands and feet are busily moving from work to home and back again. Yet there is much to be grateful for. This day is holy to God. In other words, this day is set apart. I am not guaranteed tomorrow and yesterday has past. I have only this day.

Today my blessings are many.

1. I woke up and it was raining. What a blessing to have a roof over my head.

2. I thanked God for a hot shower that just flowed from a tap.

3. Yesterday when I went to Starbucks I was hungry and wanted a Protein Bistro Box. They were out of them. Today when I showed up they gave me one for free! Got to love Starbucks and blessings.

4. Sales at the store were great yesterday and the store is full today so I’m sure we’ll see another great day.

5. Today my cousin gave birth to a baby boy. She named him after my uncle, her father, who died suddenly not too long ago. Richard Scott is a beautiful legacy and tribute.

6. I watched a great documentary that will be a blog entry or two as I wrap my head around what I want to say.

7. I took my jeans out of the dryer and put them right one. No jumping up and down and sucking in to button them up.

8. I laughed with friends.

9. I have really good kids!

10. I was able to be a blessing to our community today. Because of that I got my picture taken for the newspaper.

Taking the Lord’s Name In Vain

Proverbs 30:7 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die : 8 Remove far from me vanity and lies : give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: 9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

When I married Doug Young, I took on his last name. I now represented him and claimed to be a part of his family. I now have a choice to make. I can either wear that last name well or make a mockery of it.

This is what it means to take the Lord’s name in vain. We can claim to be followers of Christ, all the while following our own agenda or we can represent him well. Taking the Lord’s name in vain is so much more than we think it is. It’s about our reputation, it’s about our walk with him. It’s about the respect for the name and more importantly his position in our life.