cultivate (kuhl - tuh - veyt)
v. 1) develop 2) nurture

graft (grahft)
n. 1) transplant 2) bud 3) union

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

From Rings To Fangs

This is the one where Cynthia got all kinds of political.

God help us all. 


So, here's the deal: In case you've just arrived back from Outer Mongolia, and are blissfully clueless (welcome back, by the way), there was this lil' thing called Senate Bill 1062. And everyone and their dog was/is up in arms over it. No really. I actually saw two dogs get in a fight through the fence about the whole thing. It was quite the ordeal. Anyhoo...chances are good that most of you have heard something about the bill, but perhaps you haven't read the bill. It's not tough. Even I understood most of the jargon and legalese. Go here, read it, and come back.

I'll wait.

Okie dokie. Now that everyone understands what the bill was saying, let's have a chat, shall we? No? And so it would seem. 

Two short days ago the nation stood united and proud. Americans from sea to shining sea waved a banner of solidarity. We watched the 2014 Winter Olympics' closing ceremonies. Hearts full, eyes perhaps even glistening, we stood a little straighter. We linked arms and looked on as the Olympic flame was extinguished. 

And with it went our decorum.

Just take a gander online to find vitriolic words, ignorant words, whiny words, words that are incoherent, superfluous, and even excessive.* I know I have been offended by many a post on good ol' Facebook, as (undoubtedly) you have as well. It should come as little surprise to a single (regular) reader of my blog that I was in favor of the proposed bill.** 

That, my dears, is the end of my political blog post.

And the beginning of what truly matters. 

This is an emotionally charged topic, and as such, people are, shall we say, a bit tightly wound. Only one of two outcomes for SB 1062 was possible. Either way, we now find ourselves left with what truly matters. I'm all for Christians in the political arena. I'm all for freedom of speech, allowing us an opportunity to disagree in the public square (be it the State Senate floor, Instagram, or the great land of Twitter). I'm all for passionate debate. I'm all for considering both sides. I'm all for being challenged to know my stuff. Beyond that, I am all for grace. I am all for truth. And I am all for love. I have already written on the topic of the Church and the gay community. That post can very well be extended to the entire LGTB sympathetic crowd. Opposing views do not supersede love. Love is not based on something as flimsy as a bill, nor the opinions behind it. Perhaps Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty*** has said it best:
"Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate".
So, as the Eye of Sauron fixates on Arizona, can we all fixate on that which never changes? On the One who is the same, from everlasting to everlasting? For, once we strip away our differences, He is what remains, and His love is what binds us together. Let's link arms yet again.


*******It has been brought to my attention that Rick Warren, not Phil Robertson, originally said the above quote. And while Mr. Warren does not have a beard that is theoretically long enough to stick in his own bellybutton, I must give credit where credit is due. So, thank you Pastor Warren for saying smarty-pants stuff despite being so purpose-drivenly clean-shaven, and reality tv-less*******

*See what I did there?
**I happen to believe business owners should have some say in their own business. Crazy. For a cheeky, sarcastic breakdown of the bill (complete with his signature inflammatory title), read Matt Walsh's blog post. Also, he employs the word "gasbag". Am I the only one amused by this? If Mr. Walsh seems like a grumpy-pants, try John Correia's post on the bill. He's devoid of grumpy pants. Bonus: He references Star Wars. 
***I've never viewed the show, and I must know: Is it possible to watch it without being riveted to The Beards?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Jumping In

Carefree days of jumping on the trampoline. Somersaults, bone-jarring games of "crack the egg", challenging yourself to new heights. Plopping down, exhilarated and spent from the effort.

Don't we all just love us some January?

Climbing down the three steps to the ground, bending at the knees, springing up with enthusiasm. Feeling a moment of familiar trajectory, only to meet the ground with a shocking jolt. 

Aaaaand welcome to February.

Resolve weakens, taxes beckon, Christmas decorations positively taunt you.* Not to pick on the runt of the litter, but February is kinda...well, blah. If drippy candles and sappy poems are your thing, then I guess it (and Hallmark) have something to offer. But one day of roses and waxy chocolates hardly make up for the twenty-seven Charlie Brown days that I sense hovering over this month.

We have an innate sense that we have been created for more than we currently are. It's the entire reason resolutions and fresh starts appeal to us. We know there's always room for improvement, and we oftentimes desire to work toward a better self. We gain a confident rhythm in January, and then mean ol' February reminds us that we're finite, and as such, positive changes are not handed to us on a silver platter. We lose our momentum and hit the ground with a most unpleasant jolt.

I don't know what you're struggling uphill to conquer, but I know this: February doesn't call the shots, and the trampoline is still there. Let's climb back on and try a teensy-weensy lil' bunny hop. We'll catch our stride and gain our momentum again-you'll see. You want to run a marathon? One foot in front of the other. You've got your eye on a promotion? Show 'em you've got what it takes. Writing your doctoral thesis? One page at a time. Committing to a cleaner house? Grab the duster. Desire to be saturated in The Word and experience a power-filled prayer life? Get on your knees. Want to stop snapping at your kids? Take a deep breath and count to ten (or, if you've some Irish blood, 100).**

February, you don't own us. We're unlacing our sneakers, and eyeing those springs.

Stocking-footed friends, let's do this. Flex those muscles, try not to clobber fellow jumpers, and remember: Don't lock your knees. 

Get Ready To Soar,


*Alright, maybe not you, but let's just assume some oblivious people (who clearly don't own a calendar) are unaware that they have to haul all that stuff back out in a mere nine months. Somebody remind me what an aneurysm feels like.

**Before all the Irish defenders rise up in mutiny, just RELAX. I'm touting my own Irish veins over here.