Friday, April 28, 2006

Growing Old, part II

Have you ever met an older person who just exudes sweetness? It doesn't matter whether their life is easy or hard, they're always gracious, always ready with a smile and a kind word.

That's what I want to be when I grow up! I wonder how that's done... I've heard it said that when a person is 'squeezed' by life, it's as if they give off the fragrance of who they are on the inside. I'm going to be thinking more about how to become now the sort of person I want to be when I'm an old lady... as opposed to the days when I just feel like one!

GOP's chances in November

If the GOP loses control of the House and/or Senate, the blame goes squarely on themselves. They've put power and politics ahead of principles. If you doubt that, look at how President Bush, and even Senator Santorum, stumped for Arlen Specter two years ago. A real conservative had a pretty good chance of winning the primary, but putting politics (If we don't support Specter and he wins anyway, he might do a little payback) and power (we daren't take a chance on losing the seat to a Democrat) trumped principles. (I don't remember the name of the conservative challenger to Specter since I don't live in PA, but his last name was something like Twomey.)

Now I, an ardent Republican from the cradle, am definitely voting against Ohio Sen. DeWine in the primary, and rather than hold my nose and vote for him in the general, I may not bother to pull the lever, or push the button, or whatever it is these days. I suspect there are a lot of conservatives like me, and rather than address the issues causing it (border control, government growth and overspending, etc. etc.) the foolish GOP is trying to out-democrat the Democrats. ($100 for gas money isn't really gonna buy you that many votes, guys!)

What's wrong with DeWine, you ask? He was one of the gang of 14, he voted against drilling in ANWR, and he's quite happy to spend taxpayer money in as great a quantity as he can get it to buy votes with PORK for Ohio.

Growing Old in America

There's gotta be a better way! Too many of our parents and grandparents are being warehoused in miserable institutions where they (and we) just wait for them to die. I see two primary differences when I look back to previous generations. First, we have a greater availability and variety of health care options to prolong life, but the downside to this is the necessity of nursing care for (in some cases) many years. Secondly, as has been spoken of far more eloquently by others, is the frantic pace and general fragmentation of our families' lives.

At the moment, my husband and I each have a grandmother in a nursing home. Although we hate this fact, it seems at the moment that there is little we can do about it. They're both in different states than we are, although one is in a neighboring state and we try to visit each month, and our current home has no downstairs bedrooms.

Right now, I'm thinking about the future, and I have two ideas: One is to buy a ranch house with a stair-less entry, and the the other is to take the same kind of courses a 'home health aide' takes. I think that doing both of those things would at least decrease the amount of time our parents would have to spend in such a place.

When I think way ahead to the future, I'd rather forgo the fancy health care and just a few years earlier and stay at home! I KNOW I'm going to a better place, so why not go sooner...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Goals for my books

It's interesting the way we sometimes become aware only gradually of our own desires and motives. I've just recently crystallized the following goals for the book I'm almost done with and its sequel, which I'm just beginning.

For both books, my top goal is that they be a good story, because otherwise it doesn't matter what else they are. I also want both to earn the sobriquet 'well-researched' which is critical to historical fiction being, well, historical!

Of course, I also hope to include the gospel in an attractive manner, although the first will do that more strongly. I have another goal, which is harder to quantify. In both stories, I hope to encourage believers to live a life more, as Paul put it, 'of sacrifice and service.' Jesus called it self-denial, although most Americans shamelessly live lives of self-indulgence.

And in the sequel, I have another goal: As Proverbs says, 'Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.' Who knows how long the freedom for the fat and happy church in America may last. If our generation or our children's generation were to face serious persecution and martyrdom, I hope that there would be something in my sequel which would be memorable enough to stay with the reader, and encouraging enough to help them endure it. I know the research has had that effect on me.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ambitious Title

I have to admit the title of this blog is ambitious.... The word 'books' is referring to my own, which are still rather in process. In fact, I'm in the final stages of editing my first book, and the early stages of research and planning for my second, and of course, neither has been published yet.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ever wondered about homeschooling?

If you've ever even considered homeschooling, or just want to know more about it, consider going to your state's homeschool conference. It's a great place to get more info.... Spring and summer is when most of the conferences happen. Use this link to get a list of when and where!

Ancient History

I've been reading Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History (translator, C.F. Cruse.) It's a lot more interesting than it sounds. He wrote only about 300 years after Christ's death and resurrection. The most fascinating thing I've come across was from the official records of a small nation called Edessa, east of the Euphrates River. A letter from the King of this nation, King Agbarus to Jesus was recorded, as well as the answer received.

The letter to Jesus was a request for him to come there as the king had a serious, incurable disease, as well as an offer of protection from the Jews who "are plotting to injure thee." Assuming this is real, Jesus answer (in part) follows:

"But in regard to what thou has written, that I should come to thee, it is necessary that I should fulfill all things here, for which I have been sent. And after this fulfillment, thus to be received again by Him that sent me. And after I have been received up, I will send to thee a certain one of my disciples, that he may heal thy affliction, and give life to thee and to those who are with thee."

It is further recorded that Thomas, sent one of the Seventy, Thaddeus, who did go to Edessa, heal the king and other, and preach the gospel with much power and effect.

How cool is that!

Just getting started

This is brand new; something I've been wanting to do for a while, but as with all of you, finding time is the issue!