A New Segment of My Journey Begins

So I took stock of  my life this week and happened to glance at the mirror. Big mistake.  Instead of seeing what I hoped to ( a slender woman) I found only me. Me at  a weight that is still significantly too much for my frame.  I am proud of the fact that I have gone from a size 12 to an eight, but that is not enough to get my health , my BMI and all my lovely numbers to the level for my optimum health.  So, I went through my pantry. As it turns out ,  the contents were pretty good on the whole.  Anyway, I have decided to   finish the weight loss journey  and invite you to come along and cheer me on to victory. Which means a BMI of 21, a waist of 24, and an ending weight of 110. That is a good size for a woman who stands a mere five feet tall.  So , here is my most recent photo ( selfie shot) and away we go.

Feel free to comment and share your own journey with me if you like.

Until later,

CyndiCyndiMarch2017

The Lack of Care in Writing

Have you noticed this? The  writing of  professional writers who should be adept at creating  error free  documents or articles, but  fall short? You would think that people who  write for prestigious magazines of news outlet would  take the time to actually check their writing before hitting publish. I think it is the fault of  the texting apps of social media, which have  deceived many into thinking that  grammar and punctuation is no longer required or even to be desired. We all have Spellcheck technology nowadays, do we not? However, this does not mean  that we no longer need to examine our own writing to be sure it is free of error. Spelling and grammar programs are tools at our disposal, but we all should remember that there is no replacement for the human eye in proofing our writings.

I see errors in writing everywhere, and I must confess that I am a bit of a grammar  drill sergeant.  I really am.  As a girl, I found myself to be a compulsive proof reader, not only of my own writing, but everyone else’s too.

Now, I find myself reading many documents, articles, blogs, etc- all online. It seems that the more we use technology to do out writing, the less we rely on our own human ability to read and proof the text.  I see evidence of this  on Facebook ( not surprising, since many people are using FB on the phone by app technology  which I said already is affecting the writing).  I mentioned news outlets. Writers on these sites are producing  many articles which contain mistakes that  can easily  be discerned and corrected  simply by reading one’s writing aloud before publishing. Some of the errors I find are the use of an incorrect article (the  use of the word A being used when the word The would be a more natural fit).  Sometimes the wrong word is used altogether, and sometimes  the subject is not in  agreement with the verb.  I was reading  a popular magazine a few weeks ago and on the cover it had a lovely photo of a beloved  couple. The article was about  this couple  making a significant change  in life. I was horrified when the cover spoke of the  saying  goodbye to the past as follows.

“The beloved couple say goodbye.”

No, no, and no. Just no.

“The couple says ‘goodbye’ ” would be correct. A couple which we know is made up of two people, is one unit  and a singular subject.  Two people may say goodbye, but one couple says goodbye.

Why do I care? Because I believe it is important to write well- to excel in the task. Another thing to think about is credibility. Do you value your credibility as a writer? If you do, as I do; if you want to be held in regard as  being knowledgable in your field, it is important to  write  well, and adhere to  the highest standard of writing excellence possible.

 

 

 

 

Nation of Immigrants

President Donald J. Trump  created quite a stir when he  signed  the recent executive order  on immigration. It was titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.”

Why was this done? Do we not  require those who come to the United States  from other countries to first obtain a Visa?  A  U.S. Visa  may be granted  either for the non- immigrant who wants to come to the United States  temporarily (as for business), or it may be obtained  for immigration purposes ( to move here permanently). This second type is what we call a “green card.”

Seems silly to call for a halt  of visas if we are reviewing applicants seeking to come here, doesn’t it?  But, apparently, President Trump believes that after 9/11, “numerous foreign-born individuals” admitted to our country by way of a  visa “have been implicated in terrorism”.  Research indicates this to be true.

But, is this a good reason to refuse entrance to those who are foreign-born?  Are we giving way to fear-mongering by  restricting visas even for a short while? And, by the way, aren’t we all descendants of immigrants, anyway?

What this order is supposed to do is  suspend  the issue of visas  to people of  seven countries. They are: Iraq, Iran, Libia, Somalia, Sudan,  Syria, and Yemen.  None of the language in this order states that the reason is because these people are Muslim. Instead, it shows the reason being  a high number of radicals from these countries. I found it interesting, as I read the order  ( yes, I read the executive order)that these countries had been identified as problematic by President Barak Hussein Obama previously.  So, perhaps  President Trump acting on this information is a wise decision.

The suspension on visas is temporary, lasting 90 days. As for it being a ban on Muslims,  the fact is that a person cannot come from the nations listed, even if that individual is  Jewish or some other faith.  If you are from the countries named, you wait. Period. However, the  news reporters continue to refer to the ban as a ban on Muslims. It is, however, not. It is a ban on visas from particular countries.

The president also wants a database created to track  data on  any criminal activity committed by  such foreign nationals while on U.S. soil; particularly on terrorist activity.

The president has both the right and obligation to  implement these things if  there is sufficient cause to  believe that  “the entry of any class of aliens to the United States would be  detrimental  to in interests of the United States.”

It has also come to my attention that Kuwait has also placed what is known as a blanket ban on  five countries, that cannot visit Kuwait, or get visas for that country.   Kuwait has banned Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.  This leads me to believe there is good reason for the suspension on visas to these regions because of the instability of the same.

As I sat writing this today, I got a notification via  social media from one of our soldiers serving in Iraq.  According to this young man, he was instructed to not go into town, because the locals  would  resist him, simply because of his being American. This conversation took place  before the travel ban order. It seems reasonale to conclude that if  our people are not safe in certain parts of the world, we might be better off to not be quick to be so welcoming, at least for the duration of the travel ban.It’s a lot to think about. It really is!

PRESIDENT TRUMP …

I could not have said this better.

Regie's Blog

In 2008, Oprah and Will Smith yelled and screamed and high-fived each other over how amazing the Obama presidency was going to be.

But then, we had a “beer summit” (that was odd). Then, a trillion dollar stimulus package …that turned into a deficit. Then a Tea Party. Then Occupy Wall Street. Then Ferguson, Baltimore, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Orlando, Chattanooga, Benghazi and Dallas. Then came Obamacare. And ISIS rose up in the middle east.

Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince, David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Merle Haggard and Steve Jobs ALL died during the Obama presidency. Peyton Manning retired. American Idol got cancelled. Tornadoes still ravaged trailer parks in the mid west and hurricanes still chewed up beaches. Several people got eaten by sharks. Brad and Angelina broke up. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian procreated. Smart phones blew up in people’s pockets. We had, like, six hundred Country Music award shows…

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Choosing the Candidate- A Wrestling

I didn’t start out supporting the candidate, not in the beginning. At first, my choice would be the governor of my own state. He would have been a good choice for the presidency, I think. I went to several of his town hall sessions to listen to him speak on the issues. He shared the same concerns that I have; the same concerns as many of you. He believes in a strong national defense, and in fiscal responsibility. So I knew he would keep our country safe as well as work toward a responsible, balanced budget and reduced spending in Washington. I listened as he discussed the needs of our veterans, and his proposal on saving our social security and medicare. He is also pro-life; believing that the unborn must be protected. Some of you may believe that government has no business telling a frightened young girl that she must carry to term. I hear you, but surely that choice should be made early on, if needs be. The governor then brought up partial birth abortion, which I agree should simply not even be a thought. Once again, he and I were on the same ideological page, for I believe that the unborn need to be given a voice. He went on to speak about corruption in our government, and his words rang true and I hope this would be our nomination. Then, suddenly, he was out of the race. I was deeply disturbed. Who would the people choose? here was another governor in the race, and I’ve always thought that governing a state was excellent preparation for the presidency. But, the people seemed to favor a prominent businessman instead. I found myself at a loss. This was a businessman who was said to be ruthless. He was no diplomat! And yet, so many of the people rallied around him. I couldn’t understand why and how they were willing to put their trust in this bombastic,outspoken man. When he won the candidacy, I was very much on the fence, wishing we had a viable third party option.

So, I went to the candidate’s website to see for myself what he is committed to doing if he wins the election. Turns out, he is committed to national security, protecting social security, increasing business opportunities for our people and much more. Still, I dragged my feet about it But, this was the choice of the people and I support that. I had to take it on considerable faith that this was the right decision because even though I cast that Primary vote for him, I was not comfortable that he had won, or earned my vote. I trust God with our future, not any human being, but I prayed that I would understand what my party members saw in this man.

My point is this- I did not vote for the candidate based on his personality or his character as I perceive his character. No, I did not. I’ll tell you the truth. If I were to vote for a candidate in any election based on how well I liked the person or respected the person’s character, well, I would probably have to write in Clark Kent.

Update on the Flooded Anthology

flooded

Hello and welcome back to  Stories From The Heart.  Last month I interviewed my good friend Victoria Griffin about her  sports injury and concussion during which she outlined her plans for  the anthology on brain injuries, which she calls Flooded. You can find that interview in the archives (dated October 27 2016). Today I offer the update, along with my story with brain injury.

When I was in school, I was taken to the emergency room following a grand mal seizure. They did several tests that showed abnormal brain activity, and diagnosed me with epilepsy. They could not find the reason why until the doctor  sent me for a CT scan of my head. The test showed a very tiny scar in the left hemisphere, indicating  brain injury in the past.

I remember that there was a night when  an unusual event occurred; but I had thought it had only been a dream.  I saw a creature in my room that reached out to touch me in the very spot where the doctors  found  the brain injury. It sounds fantastic and make- believe, and yet, there is no other explanation. The doctor suggested that I was able to perceive myself in danger, although I was asleep.

When I woke, I was paralyzed for several hours, and stared at the ceiling above my head. When I could move, I reached for my lamp hoping to pull it to the floor and wake my parents. But, I was too weak. Finally, I was able to pull myself out of my bed, falling to the floor. I pulled myself up to my feet, leaning on the bed for support. Meanwhile, I was struggling to regain my speech. When I was able to speak and walk once more, I dismissed the whole thing as  a dream state. My mother insisted I go to see the doctor, who found nothing wrong, except that my  right side seemed slightly weak and slower  to respond to stimulus than my left. As I said, they found nothing until the CT scan was done.

This is why books like Flooded are so needed. Those who live with brain injury must have a voice; these stories must be told. That brings me to the update.

EXCERPT FROM THE KICKSTARTER PAGE

On January 26, I took a blow to the head during softball practice. I was diagnosed with a concussion the next day. Not a big deal. One to two weeks, and I would be back to normal. But I wasn’t. Two weeks rolled around, and I was useless, functioning with the capacity of a four-year-old. I couldn’t leave my dark room. Couldn’t read. Couldn’t think of words. Footsteps sent me into an absolute frenzy, and the sound of my own voice was like a railroad spike through my skull.

After four months and a desperate struggle to graduate without being able to read or perform basic, everyday functions, I finally began the road to recovering my health and my life.

In the wake of physical, mental, and emotional damage, I turned to fiction to tell the story that is now so much a part of me, and while I found literary publications that were interested in the resulting pieces, I found no publications specifically devoted to concussions and brain injuries.

By compiling an anthology of fiction and creative nonfiction, we can use multiple genres, styles, and tones to truly convey the experience of a brain injury. Because what matters is not what it looks like or how many people experience it.

Brain injuries impact the lives of human beings in a way that is real, emotional, and permanent. But we don’t talk about that. We should.

Flooded will…

  • Provide an outlet for survivors of brain injuries to express their personal realities.
  • Spread awareness about concussions and brain injuries to those who have not experienced them and to those who will become victims or caregivers in the future.
  • Showcase brilliant writing
  • Check it out and donate to the cause.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/victoriagriffin/flooded-a-creative-anthology-of-brain-injuries

Applying Paul’s Teaching on Head Covering For Women

 

Paul taught that Christian women should wear a covering on the head. This was based on his understanding of Genesis chapter 3. The headship of man over the woman is established in verse 16 of the chapter, which reads, “Unto the woman He said,’ I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be for thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”. The veiled head covering in the day of the Apostle Paul was not simply a demonstration of a woman’s modesty, as many suggest. It was an acknowledgement of a correct understanding of God’s creative order. This does not mean that a woman is of lesser importance than her husband. The Bible says in several places that in Christ all are equal. The statement that God is the head of Christ, in no way implies that Christ is less than God the Father. It cannot. Both are God. They are equal. In the same way, the headship of the man does not imply the inferiority of the woman. Man and woman are equal before God. However, they do have different roles. It is the matter of order that God has assigned the man to be the head of the woman. His role is to lead her and he is to protect her. 1 Corinthians 11 clearly demonstrates why women should wear a covering upon the head. It is because the man is the image and glory of God, while woman is the glory of man (verses 8, 9). Verse 10 tells us that this is something that concerns even the angels, though the text does not explain why. In the 2nd chapter of Timothy, we read the following words. (Verses 9-11) “In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls, or costly clothing, but that which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.” These verses, which address modesty, do not speak of the head covering. That is because head covering for women is not primarily about modesty, but is related to the acknowledgement of God’s authority and a woman’s place in creative and church order. This is the main reason why Satan came to Eve in the Garden, and not to Adam (Verses 12-14) “And I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And, Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” Our enemy, the devil, knew exactly what he was setting in motion. He did not go to the man. He went to the woman. His goal was to deceive the one person whose influence over the man would cause him to choose disobedience to God. By doing this, Satan was sure to bring humankind out of God’s creative order. Again, one must look at the situation from the perspective of order. If he were to attack the man, it would mean retribution from God. However, in the chain of command which God has established, man is the head over the woman, as God’s Word states in 1st Corinthians 11. This was done, not because the woman had less understanding, but because of the impact that losing her would have on the man. In order for Satan to accomplish his goal of usurping God’s place in the life of the man, the man had to relinquish his obedience to God of his own will and choosing. (See Romans 6:16). The serpent came to Eve, and influenced her by deception (or deceived her by influence); causing her to doubt the words which God had said. She believed the words of the serpent, and disobeyed God, falling to transgression. Her husband now found himself with a terrible choice. He could choose to follow his wife in disobedience of his own free will. The other choice was to live without her. He could have eaten from the tree of life and lived forever; that life, however, would not include Eve. How terrible a position this must have been. There can be no doubt that Adam was distraught, as anyone who has lost a spouse would certainly be! His decision would have been colored by his grief, and would be made in only moments. Adam certainly knows that Eve will face death at God’s hand, now. Adam knows that Eve will be taken from him forever. God had made Eve for Adam out of his own flesh and bone. She was his own body. He was responsible to teach and protect her. Certainly he believed he had failed in this. He likely believed that his place was with her, even in death. Perhaps he simply loved her too much to leave her. Therefore, Adam chose to remain with the wife God gave him, even though it meant death. He gave up his life for her sake. And, that is something that Jesus, called the second Adam, did for us. The difference, of course, is that Jesus had power over death. Adam did not.

The Bible tells us that a man is to love his wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her. Certainly Adam knew how to do this well, for he had been formed by and taught by the Creator Himself. Eve had been made for Adam; literally taken from his own body. No other relationship claims such a beginning. Remember that all of this took place in the time when Adam knew no sin. He did not have that nature of sin that we all taken for granted. That means the choice to follow his wife occurred before sin. In other words, Adam makes this choice deliberately. What would cause Adam to do such a thing? I believe that, as Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for her, so Adam did the same for Eve. Of course, Adam lacked the power to save his bride; where Christ had the power to save us. However, what Adam did can be seen as the final act of faith in his sinless condition. Just a theory, but it makes sense.

Adam honored his wife, and her place in creative order, and we should honor our place as well. This can be seen by the wearing of a physical covering when a woman teaches or prays. 1 Corinthians 11 clearly shows us this distinct order of authority. Let us read verses 8&9 again. The man was created first, the Scriptures say, and he is the image and glory of God. The woman is the glory of man. So, it makes sense to cover the woman (man’s glory) while the man (God’s glory) remains uncovered.

Paul begins the teaching in verse three of 1st Corinthians 11. He writes that Christ is the head of every man, man is the head of woman, and the head of Christ is God. Paul is speaking of creative order and headship. This distinction is important, because Paul is not discussing marital order here. Please take a moment and read verses 4 through 16.

Please note that Paul is not saying that a woman is to be covered because of a subordinate gender role. Some cultures teach this, but Paul is connecting head covering to prayer life. Read verses 4and 5 once again. It is clear in this passage that when a woman is praying or prophesying, her head is to be covered. Did you catch that? I hope you did. Not when she is at the church service, but when she has the active role! These are active tense verbs that Paul is using. Remember that this is a letter being written to the Church. This is an ordinance that Paul introduced to the Bride of Christ. Consider, too, that this topic of head covering was written immediately before Paul’s discussion on The Lord’s Table. This makes it a bigger deal than is Paul tacked this onto a discussion on modesty. Now, modesty is also very important, but I ask you to consider for the moment that head covering is a preparation for the Lord’s Table. Paul wrote about modesty when discussing the relationship between men and women. Paul writes about head covering here, because of its relationship to prayer and to the Lord’s Table.

The head covering is not the hair, (more on that later), nor is it an expression for the husband. There is no face veil, either. Paul is discussion our communion with God, our fellowship. It is about God’s glory.

Read verse 7. The reason for a woman to cover her head when in prayer is because she is the glory of man. Scripture teaches that man is the glory of God, while woman is the glory of man. Since man is said to be the glory of God, it makes sense that a man should not have his head covered when praying, because God’s glory should not be covered. Scripture teaches that woman is the glory of man. When a woman covers her head in prayer, she is covering the glory of man. This is a great honor! It sends a message to the angels. Read verse 10. Consider this: The angels also cover themselves in God’s presence.

Paul illustrates the point by reminding us that long hair is a glory to women. This is a natural covering that demonstrates the importance of head covering. But, Paul is not saying that long hair is the covering for prayer life. Hair covers the head always. Women of all religions grow their hair longer. When we see two people with long hair, we expect they are both women. It seems to be instinctive. Paul is not speaking of a covering that stays on the head, but one that can be placed on the head when praying. So, we are talking about cloth here.

Some suggest that head covering is for modesty, but Paul discusses it separately. Others have taught that head covering was to keep Christian women from dressing like pagan women. Not true. Not what is taught in God’s Word, so we won’t discuss that further. Some have suggested that it was to avoid disagreement in the Jewish community. To this I say that Paul was not one for suggesting that the early Church ( or contemporary) be like the culture in which the believers dwelled. He was fervent is encouraging believers to “come out from among them.”

It is clear that Paul was instituting the practice of Christian head covering to testify and illustrate the creative roles of men and women as regards the glory of God by having women cover the head when praying (or when taking the active role in ministry) but is it head covering, or may we apply the principle to another means of obedience? Can the practice be updated? This question has been asked over the years, and I would say that if Paul instituted head covering as a practice, we cannot apply it as a principle elsewhere, (as in the wearing of a long skirt).

What type of head covering?

Over the years we have had many types of head covering. There are many styles and materials used to create coverings for women to wear in the service. The modern Church does not dictate the style of dress for today’s Christian woman. I believe there is much freedom here. There are hats, scarves, snoods, and more to choose from. If you live in a culturally diverse neighborhood, you might like the head covering styles represented by your neighbors. Choose a style that reflects your sense of fashion, and that will be comfortable. If you like, add your chosen head cover to you every day style and model head covering to the next generation.