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So Dirty...Needs Cleansing

Who else is sickened by the condition of "corporate America?" What a shame! The demise of credibility and integrity in this country is resting on corporations unfortunately, and this concerns me, especially for the future of my children and my children's children.... Just a side note, it has bugged me to refer to the U.S.A. just by the name of the continents, America, which actually contains several other countries. Aren't Canadians also Americans? Wouldn't I be a United States citizen, or a U.S.A.-ian ?

With the thousands of barrels of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico, and leaving one corporation (I won't use any names BP, just so you know) to "fix" their mess, is unnerving. That mess, is not felt or comprehended currently by land locked folks, myself included, however, it will be felt soon, when our food supply is severely compromised. Also, the mess puts the environment in peril - all the animal life in that region, which will most likely reach across our planet. And now today the government is questioning the credibility of this corporation? How crazy!! That should have been in question once this accident occurred, and then, when they (BP) went to court to limit their own liability payout. Mega DUH!!!

Though I made a living in the insurance industry several years ago, I personally do not thrive in that environment. It mostly, as have other industries, been put under a fire, in order to make profits for stock holders. Social ethics (which companies have pushed aside increasingly, as their collective consciences decline into the murky abyss, where even that precious oil is reaching), will be virtually non-existent when the newest generation reaches adulthood, if we do nothing to drive our country into a more stable and distinguished position woven with probity.

How does a country attain such a position in the current global economy? In my fantasy country, all national debt would be eliminated, individual wealth would be built up, due to educated financial decisions based on financial advice from folks like Dave Ramsey for the individual and family finances, and trickling up to higher levels -ESPECIALLY IN GOVERNMENT. Then, it would be less commercial and corporate driven, with more citizens becoming self-reliant in growing and raising our own food, making their own clothing etc. and having a community that exchanges goods and services through smaller businesses. Where a hand shake means something, and a man's word is exactly what is spoken. Kind of like it was in the late 1800s to early 1900s without, of course, slavery, dishonesty, and greed. Or like when Joseph interpreted the king's dreams, and he devised a plan which would keep the country from struggling when famine hit - kind of like that. Maybe I should be Amish.

Watching the malarkey grow in commercialism is outrageous! There are so many advertisements for pharmaceuticals, for instance. With those advertisements, the warnings read like a science fiction novel. Take this and take the risk of losing your vital organs, because this is not really for humans! Though I appreciate all that medications do to alleviate pain and other ailments, I do not understand why not more is being done to research from where the increase in such diseases or disorders, as ADHD, Fibromyalgia, cancers, etc. are stemming. Another mega- DUH seems to be that the pesticides being used in our foods cause bad things to happen in the consumer. How too must preservatives, hormones, synthetic anything, etc. affect us? Our country barely has regulations on food products, so, how do we expect to get food from other countries, thanks to NAFTA and other trade agreements, which have none, or close to none enforcement of strict guidelines in what goes into the human food supply? Oh, and yes, I am not a big fan of NAFTA, even wrote a college paper on the subject, many moons ago.

Completely off the subject (or is it?), today, I had a difficult time shaking this question: If someone in a social network refuses to interact with certain others, outside of that arena, how should that be interpreted, and what kind of legacy does this leave to future generations? For instance, say you decide to join a tennis club. You meet people you wish to get to know more authentically outside of that way of meeting. When you ask another person to go, for example, have a diet soda and talk, they say they would prefer to only see you at the tennis club (not due to B.O., bad breath, or anything that you can change about yourself). Then you find that other folks within this group are communicating - verbally or non-verbally - the same message, how would you feel and what would you do? How "should" a Christian respond, or, try to make things right? How should church-ianity change in that type of human interaction, following God's commandment to love others and love Him?

Ultimately, I know that God is in control and that I should not worry about things I cannot control. Habakkuk pleads with God in Habakkuk 1:2 -4 says, "How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, 'Violence!' but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted." (NIV) The Lord answers him, and in vs 5 says "Look at the nations and watch - and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told."

Then in a word study, I look for "hope," and find the following:

Psalm 25:3, "No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse."

Psalm 42:5, "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."

Proverbs 13:12, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."

Romans 5:1 - 6 "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." (NIV)

And there is so much more written for our spiritual edification. Keep on hoping!!

A good friend recently said something like, we are made to hope. As Christians, we put our hope in what is unseen, so that all these trials and wicked happenings around us, including disease, destruction, greed, dis-unification, etc., though not caused by the One we serve, strengthen us causing us to look forward to God's perfect plan for His people.

*Satelite pictures from National Geographic.


Pictures can be pretty powerful. There are certain images that just intrigue me. A picture of a hand or a group of hands. Pictures of flowers and their ethereal charm. Historic photographs of people and their mode of transportation, especially airplanes. Photographs of ancestors, and other people's families. Oceanography.

I have seen a few images, within the past week, that have taken me aback. Certain people's smiles. I am unaware of what the connection could be, but those smiles just lift my spirit, almost like hearing the sound of a child's laughter. My cousin, whom I thought was mysteriously gone forever, has ventured back into a realm where I can enjoy him as an adult. Previous to this, I had only seen him maybe once a year as a child. But to know now that he is still walking this Earth, is an amazing phenomenon to me. His smile causes me to contentedly pause.

"Mad Men" somehow got on my request list from the library. Went through all three seasons. Capitalism! Don't get me started! There were some scenes that caused me to gasp, and then realize, oh yeah, that was a different time. Family picnic, and leaving the trash on the ground. Mom telling her children to go watch T.V., not really monitoring the content, nor discussing what may have been viewed and the not-so-logical conclusions a child would draw from what was seen, yada yada yada.

Another image struck me like a foreign sensation, where I wondered what could be behind the intensity. Kind of like how I refilled my wand lighter today, and some of the contents of the can got on my fingers. That caused them to feel cold, like dry ice, and I just stood there and looked at my hand for a lingering moment. What does it mean when we encounter someone and we feel an immediate connection and kinship? Is it just plain attraction? What if it happens every time you are in that person's presence? Doesn't attraction fade, at least superficial attraction, based on appearance or the initial encounter, not based on knowing a person at all? I searched that picture for clues as to who the person is?

During some research, I came across a video clip which ripped a piece of me out. The same thing happened when I was watching a clip of "The Cove." I adore dolphins and the mystery behind such an intelligent, free, wild creature, which makes me feel protective of them. Even though I know that no matter what men do on this planet, God's will will be done, I still feel like it is so wrong, what the Japanese do to these animals.

That childhood song, "Oh be careful little eyes what you see, oh be careful little eyes what you see, For the Father up above, is looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see".... keeps coming to mind. Anything we consume through all of our sensory receptors, is ingested and becomes part of us. Sometimes, what we take into our bodies has to be digested in some way. It's been my thinking that everything we take in, has to come out somehow.

This week, I was wondering if there is a way to turn things around? Is it possible for folks to take a step back and say, "This is not right. We have been making the mistake of doing this, when it should not be done. Let's turn this bus around!" Is it possible for a nation to take a step back and say, there is no way we are giving up the principles on which our country was founded, minus the racism/slavery and the way Native Americans were treated? Can pornography be destroyed, to be no more? Can we throw out NAFTA?

There's a family I once knew, and admired. They were so conscientious about what they ate, and what their young children ate. Me, I was raised on Kellogg's Corn Flakes, Wheaties, Coke Cola and Ding Dongs. And now I find myself trying to teach my children that eating is part of fueling our bodies, and not for us to put things in that do not necessarily contribute well to our health. Complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, natural ingredients, nothing fried, nothing with ingredients we cannot pronounce or know what it is, etc....yeah right!! The big challenge is teaching kids to stop eating when they are full so they don't become over-eaters, when I was taught to eat everything on my plate. Another challenge for a girl who tried every candy or food that was new on the shelves of the super market, is to "refocus" while shopping. For example, looking for new vegetables or fruits I've never tried, rather than going to the candy aisle to see what's new.

Good stewardship. It seems that this concept is not a popular one these days. But it has been my desire lately to try and take care of what I have. To get back to basics and remember that everything I have is God's, including this body, a temple...a broken down one at that. Time to renovate! Only, I have no clue where to get new parts!!