I don’t have to see it..to believe it.

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I have never seen the plains of Africa…I have never seen wind…I have never seen the bottom of the ocean or the molten lava of a volcano, but I know they exist. For me, God and Heaven is just as real.

I watched the movie “Heaven is for real.” tonight, and I was surprised that in the face of what they were being told, in what they professed to believe, they still doubted. I guess, in a lot of ways it’s human nature, even the Apostles needed reminded to have FAITH.

“Peter is also the Apostle who asked Jesus to let him walk on water. One night, the disciples were out in a boat after Jesus sent them ahead while he went to pray by himself. Later that night, the disciples saw Jesus walking on the lake. They thought he was a ghost and became terrified. Jesus said to them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27). Peter replied to the Lord, “If it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” (Verse 28). Jesus told him to come. Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus. Then Peter saw the wind and the waves and became afraid. Starting to sink, Peter cried out, Lord! Save me!” (Verse 30). Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt me?” (Verse 31).”

More: http://www.essortment.com/saint-peter-apostle-43941.html#ixzz39CewLP8G

You see, we are fearful of what we don’t fully understand, of what we can’t see or touch or feel….but, God gives us FAITH to take that fear away. I have lost so many that were dear to me, a mother, father, sister…as well as aunts, uncles, friends, cousins. Yes, I grieve the loss…yes, I miss them, terribly. However, I wouldn’t wish them back to this imperfect world for even a minute if I could. They are in Heaven, with no pain, no sorrow and a choir of angels to sing with…how selfish would I be to want them back here.

I know that because Jesus died for my sins, I will be there too one day, singing with angels, speaking with Jesus, walking on golden roads. I will see the light and love that glows from God our Father…and I will fall to my knees in praise, in love, in happiness.

Just because you don’t see it…doesn’t mean it isn’t real. The Devil wants you to believe that it isn’t, because then you have no hope…no boundaries. Life is not without adversity, not without pain…even Jesus had pain on the cross. We have to remember that God is GOOD. He knew you before you were a twinkle in your father’s eye, he knows every hair on your head, and his love for you was so immense that He gave his only son to die for you…for me…so that one day, we can experience the joys of Heaven.

In this day and age, being a Christian isn’t “popular”. Christians are being persecuted all over the world for their beliefs. There are those that will cry that the Bible is just “stories” and “myths”. However, I believe. My faith is unshaken. My hope, my joy, my love, every part of me that is good, I owe to the grace of God. This world will try to bring hate, misery, and lies into your life, but if you know the secret then you can stand up to whatever comes your way. The secret…God is good. God loves you, and Heaven is for real.

Rheumatoid Disease is a blessing!

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I have Rheumatoid Disease…aka Rheumatoid Arthritis.  However, that’s a misnomer, because unlike regular Osteoarthritis, RA doesn’t JUST affect your joints, it’s an autoimmune disease that can affect your entire body, especially your heart.  It is a crippling disease that slowly deforms your joints. Painfully forcing them into new positions.  So, now that you know what it is…I’ll tell you about my journey.  Yes, you will probably be bored to tears, but my blog…my rules ;)

In the late summer of 2013 I went to bed…perfectly normal…and I woke up barely able to walk and with hands that were so swollen I couldn’t make a fist or grip a glass.  My first thought was “WHAT THE HELL?!”  I was in a lot of pain, the pain in my hands felt like I’d laid them on the ground and let a truck drive over them.  My feet, well…it was like walking with 2 painful balls on the soles of my feet.  The pain was so intense, I literally tried hobbling on the sides of my feet when I had to move. 

I didn’t know what the heck was going on, but I started rationalizing that I’d ate Chinese food and probably added too much soy sauce and the sodium was why my hands were so swollen (although this didn’t explain the horrid pain, I was grasping at straws).  My feet, I assumed I had walked too much and had given myself stone bruises…on the bottoms of both feet…because, I’m just that talented.  Anyhow, I assumed that I’d whine and hobble around for a few days and be fine.

It lasted THREE MONTHS.  Seriously.  I got an apt after about two weeks to see my primary doctor and he looked at my hands and said it looked like RA to him.  He ordered lab work and set me up with a Rheumatologist.  It took 3 months to get that appointment.  So, my labs came back….and nothing was strongly positive, but everything was elevated just a bit. My RA Factor was negative.  I figured that was that…I didn’t have RA and we’d look into some other cause.  My doctor then burst my bubble by telling me that 30-40% of patients with RA are “sero-negative” which means the lab work is negative, but all the signs and symptoms are there. 

While waiting to see the Rheumatologist, I started thinking about this…wondering how long I’d had it.  About a month before this all happened, I’d had an issue with my left shoulder/arm.  I woke up, in so much pain I thought I was having a heart attack! My blood pressure was up, and I don’t have high blood pressure…and I just felt that there has to be something terribly wrong, if it wasn’t a heart attack then I’d somehow dislocated my shoulder in my sleep, it was that bad.  Off to the ER I went, and after a ridiculous amount of money spent, they told me my heart was fine, and they didn’t know why my shoulder/arm was bothering me, they discharged me with a prescription for blood pressure medicine….which I have never taken, because I don’t have high blood pressure.  My blood pressure was high in response to the pain in my shoulder.  Needless to say, I was frustrated.  Then I thought back farther….

About 2 years prior to this, I had seen my doctor and he’d done a CRP test on me (C-Reactive Protein).  This test is to see how much inflammation is in the body.  Mine was high…very high…so high, he was afraid I had colon cancer and sent me for a colonoscopy.  Which luckily came back normal.  He never investigated further as to why my CRP was high.  Sitting in the waiting room of the Rheumatologist, I started putting it all together.  The summer both my ankles swelled up and I could barely walk all summer.  The pneumonia out of no where that almost killed me.  The way my knees would suddenly swell and get stiff.  The unexplained pain in my shoulders that would sneak up on me and ruin days of my life at a time.  Now, my swollen hands that felt like they’d been crushed.  I saw the pattern. 

My appointment with my Rheumatologist was interesting.  He looked at my swollen hands, ordered more labs and said he’d start me on Methotrexate…which is low dose chemotherapy.  It’s suppose to knock out my immune system to it can’t attack my joints.  I refused.  No, I’m not a glutton for punishment, but I wanted to start low….as low as possible, and see if I could control it with something less….scary.  He said he’d start me on Plaquenil (this is the medicine of choice for malaria).  He wrote the prescription, but told me  as he handed it to me that I’d be back for the methotrexate, because my hands were “very bad”.

I took the Plaquenil.  Over the course of 8 weeks my “flares” decreased…and then there was a window, where I felt normal.  I rejoiced!  I decided that the crazy doctors had no idea what they were talking about and that I didn’t have RA…after all the lab tests said everything was negative.  I stopped the Plaquenil. 

The thing about Plaquenil is it takes about 6 weeks to build up in your body to become effective, and it takes about half that to leave your body.  I was on a happy cloud of pain free bliss…for about 3 weeks.  Then, I started feeling so tired, I ran a low fever, and I started to hurt. My hands swelled, my ankles swelled, I was miserable.  Lesson learned, I took my Plaquenil.  He was right, I came back for the Methotrexate (he threw in prednisone for good measure too). I have Rheumatoid Disease.

However, I feel blessed.  It could be worse.  There are others that deal with things that are far worse.  I can look at this as a punishment or a blessing and I see it as a blessing.  Pain is a very motivating factor and there were things in my life that needed to change, without the pain of RA….I doubt, I’d have been motivated to take those steps, to make those changes. 

I know RA is scary, it’s painful, and it’s incurable.  I know that one day, I may be crippled by it…however, that day isn’t today.  Each day that I can move, I can type, I can walk, is a blessing and one that I will do my best to appreciate and enjoy. 

UFO oh my!

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So, I’ve decided to throw my UFO experience into the wide world of the internet.  Call me misguided or stupid…but, don’t call me crazy.

June 2013. Siesta Key FL.

I am on vacation and it’s about 9:30 pm at night.  I’m in the outside pool of the condo complex where I am staying.  The night is clear, not a cloud in the sky.  I’m leaning with my back against the side of the pool, just taking in the lovely sky and all the pretty stars.  I notice that there is something moving fast across the sky…and it’s VERY high up, but also VERY bright.  I’m watching it and I can tell from how fast it’s moving, that it isn’t a “normal” aircraft.  Although it’s hard to judge distance in a night sky, it seemed to me to be much  higher than a regular jet liner would fly.  It was also very bright, with a white light…no blue/red or flashing…just a steady white light moving at a ridiculously fast pace.  I actually pointed this object out to another person in the pool, and asked them what they thought it was, before they could answer…as we were both watching it….it completely stopped and then shot straight up so fast that within 2 seconds it was gone. 

To say that my companion and I were shocked, would be an understatement.  There we were, mouths agape, staring up at something for which we had no explanation.  After a few minutes and much chatter about how weird the event was….the night ended, and I retired back to my condo.

So, what did I see? I have no idea.  I do know that it’s speed and perceived distance was extraordinary….the fact it came to a dead stop then shot off upwards towards space was so unusual that I am here now sharing this with you. 

Do I believe in Aliens?  I believe that God put us on the planet Earth….and I believe he made the universe so vast, the galaxies so plentiful, the planets so numerous that anything is possible.  I don’t presume to know the mind of God, all I can think is that if he put us here, there is no reason for him to not put other beings someplace else.  God is the Alpha and the Omega…his power is immeasurable, so anything is possible.

I expect by sharing this weird experience that there will be those who roll their eyes, those who say I’m bat shit crazy, those who come up with alternate theories of what it could have been….I expect all that, because human beings don’t like unexplained things.  We spend our time trying to figure out the mysteries of life.  All I can say is I know what I saw, it’s unexplainable to me, and it was flying….so by definition it was a UFO.  Anything more than that, is just supposition.

The police are the good guys!

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I am so sick of all the hate and trash talk that is in the comments of any article that has anything to do with law enforcement.  In fact, in my local newspaper a woman was beaten and robbed in her place of business.  The article showed the police cars out front.  In the comments one dude said “Stupid police, taking notes and not doing shit”.  Well, actually they were processing a crime scene and the next day they ARRESTED the perpetrator.  So, imagine that..they were doing something besides taking notes!

I  have found the people that have a problem with the police, are 1. Criminals 2. Whiners 3. Friends or family of a criminal.  I like how it’s always how the “police are harassing me!”…really?  I’ve been on this earth 41 years and I have NEVER been harassed by ANY police officer….because, I’m not a CRIMINAL.  If they are “harassing” you…you won’t get any sympathy from me, because I bet there is a damn good reason.

The next gripe I hear is that police should be out catching “real” criminals instead of getting their “quota” of speeding tickets.  1. Driving like an idiot, is a danger to the public and they are doing their job…if you don’t like getting a ticket, drive like you have some sense and within the posted speed limits.  2. They don’t have “quotas”….and they don’t make any more money for giving tickets, so really there is no motivation for them to get out on what is probably one of the most hazardous things they can do, which is a traffic stop just to get their non-existent “quota” up.  Using this as an insult reminds me of something my mom used to say, “Better to be thought of as an idiot then to open your mouth and erase all doubt.” 

“I pay your salary!”  Well whoop de doo…guess what, by paying the same taxes that YOU do, they pay their own salary.  You also pay the President’s salary…..do you call and tell him that every time he does something you don’t agree with?  If not, then keep your mouth shut.

“If you don’t act nice, I’m going to have that policeman arrest you!”  Seriously, mother of the year…you are NOT.  This boggles my mind.  If my child is ever lost, hurt or in danger…I want them to find the nearest policeman for help, not to be afraid that they will be arrested by the big bad cop.  If you are a parent that does this…STOP IT.  How about you be a damn parent and take control of your kid and stop using fear and passing the buck of telling a kid NO onto someone else. 

Law enforcement is a needed, dangerous, and thankless job.  These officers have to deal daily with people and events that I hope to never come across.  My mother (a fountain of wisdom) also used to tell me that you have to have a little bit of fear to have respect, and by God she was right!  By pushing the touchy feely community policing, departments have done their officers a disservice.  Police work is not an office job and treating it like one only puts them at greater risk.  People have no respect anymore and without respect, they feel they can act however they want…and that is dangerous. 

So, in case you were wondering…yes, I support Law Enforcement and I am thankful for the job they do every day.  May God bless them and keep them safe, because they ARE the good guys!

I am an American!

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I am beyond offended that elected officials called fellow Americans…..anarchists and extremists! I am an American and I love my country. I am not against my country, I am against an ill-conceived bill. I am not an anarchist, nor am I an extremist. I am a woman who has an opinion, that has a voice, that has a RIGHT to believe what I want.

We elect officials to go to DC and act on our behalf. I understand that, but apparently Harry Reid doesn’t. He says that America wants Obamacare…..I am an American and I DO NOT WANT OBAMACARE. We can’t afford it.

We are a nation that takes care of those that can’t take care of themselves…we have social programs already in place…they are known as Medicaid and Medicare. We should have spent time signing up eligible people to those programs that were already in place, we don’t need a whole new system. If that makes me sound like an anarchist then so be it.

I believe that Obamacare will hurt Americans. In jobs, in healthcare, in physician availability, in cost. There are some good aspects to Obamacare, but they could have been implemented without having to sink our country into a mire of never ending debt. We could have reformed what insurance companies are allowed to do…to charge…to cover. We could have ended pre-existing condition clauses. We could have ended lifetime caps. We could have capped cost. The only winners in Obamacare are the insurance companies, which will now raise premiums. If you don’t believe me, ask around, I’m pretty sure you’ll find someone in your social circle that has been given notice that their health insurance premiums will go up.

I was raised a Democrat. However, after the divisiveness, the name calling, the finger pointing, and the complete disregard of a whole political party’s view point ( not one single Republican voted for Obamacare ) I decided that I am not, and will never again be a Democrat. That doesn’t make me a racist, that doesn’t make me a radical…it makes me an American that knows that you have to put America ahead of your own agenda. Bringing a country together, not pushing it apart, not having a President that refuses to listen to HALF the people in the nation that have said, “NO!”.

They used to say President Carter was the worst President that our Nation had ever seen, and of course we all know how Proud Nixon made us…but, for me the worst President is the one sitting there now, because he has forgotten that he is there for ALL Americans. He has forgotten that our GREAT nation was built on Capitalism. He has forgotten that there are TWO political parties and they BOTH get a voice. He has forgotten that compromise is his JOB.

I am not an extremist, I am not an anarchist…I am an AMERICAN and Harry Reid, and the Democratic Party would do well to remember that.

9/11 will we really never forget?

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I remember where I was…what I was doing…who I was with on 9/11/2001. I remember watching transfixed as the news showed the extent of the horror that was brought to so many people, so many families and loved ones on what was otherwise a beautiful, sunny autumn day.

The tragedies just kept piling up. One after another…it was overwhelming, and yet, I couldn’t stop watching. I didn’t know the people affected, I didn’t lose anyone I loved. Yet, I prayed…I prayed with almost every breathe, because they were Americans. They were fellow citizens. They were husbands, wives, children, parents. I prayed, because my heart was breaking for those lost and for those left behind.

I was proud of President Bush, and of Mayor Giuliani…they did what they had sworn an Oath to do, they lead our Nation. I remember watching President Bush with a bullhorn talking to the rescue workers, to me, to you…to every American. He didn’t use a script, he didn’t use a teleprompter, he spoke from the heart. The heart of a President, of a man, of an American. I was glad he was our President, because I knew he was strong, and he was mad as hell and what happened that day wouldn’t go unpunished.

I digress for a moment…the day Bin Laden was killed, someone posted on my Facebook that I shouldn’t delight in the death of any human being. I was furious, indignant and my prompt reply was that God never commanded us to love demons…and that is EXACTLY what I think Osama Bin Laden was…a demon from the pits of hell.

I will tell you that to me, the most horrifying part of 9/11 was watching people falling/jumping/leaping from the burning Towers. I couldn’t imagine what they were faced with inside the building that made taking that fateful plunge the best option they had….it gave me nightmares…until, I realized that they weren’t leaping to their death. They were leaping into the arms of God, and everlasting life.

It has been 12 years since 9/11. We’ve been through 2 wars. We have changed as a nation on a fundamental level. People say that Bush went into Iraq for oil…that WMD were never there…you can say or believe what you want, it’s your right. However, my Pres. Bush didn’t go into Iraq for oil. He went into Iraq because of a promise he made to you and to me and to every family and life touched by the events of 9/11 and that was to make Al Qaeda pay for what they had done. It was to make sure that they were so busy running from us, that they weren’t in a position to attack us again.

Our nation is more divided now than I have ever seen it. Democrats against Republicans…our President against his own country, or so it would seem. We’ve become a nation that apologizes and bows…that leaves American’s behind, when they need us most…and draws red lines in the sand then denies it. We’ve become a nation that doesn’t want to use the term “TERRORIST”, choosing instead to call it workplace violence even when it is admittedly a terrorist act.

We’ve become soft, a nation that has forgotten the horror of what happened. We’ve forgotten the stories, the heroism, the tragedies of that day. We have forgotten what it feels like to be an America UNITED…One Nation under GOD.

So, on 9/11…and 9/12…and all of the other 364 days…I will remember, I WILL NEVER FORGET.

This is a link to an article that inspired this post. I read it, I cried, I learned something I didn’t know. If you get the chance, I’d suggest you read it too. http://www.esquire.com/features/ESQ0903-SEP_FALLINGMAN

Social Responsibility

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There are two stories in the headlines that got me thinking about social responsibility. To me, and this might not be the “technical” definition…it means our responsibility to our fellow man/woman. So, here are my thoughts.

On Miley Cyrus at the VMA’s. Miley built her career on the backs of young children. As Hannah Montana, her show was for the preteen demographic. Yes, Miley has grown up…but, reruns of the show are still out there, which she is raking in royalties, and her fan base continues to be young girls. Now, wanting to prove she’s “all grown up” Miley gets on stage at the VMA’s and humps, grinds, twerks, and generally makes a raunchy spectacle of herself.

Miley, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t put your music/tv shows and marketing out to a young impressionable audience and then decide you want to be all grown up as you hump teddy bears on stage. You have a social responsibility to act in a way that is appropriate for your young fans. The VMA’s is for an audience of 14 and above…I can honestly say, I wouldn’t want a 14 year old seeing how you behaved. Even as a 40 year old, your behavior was inappropriate and hard to watch. You earned your money and fame from a certain age group, and now you are trying to distance yourself from them. Fine, take off all reruns of Hannah Montana, make your music have an adult disclaimer and stop grinding on teddy bears.

Whether you like it or not, you have been a role model. Just because you are now 20 doesn’t mean that goes away. You put it out there, now you need to live up to it. Yes, you are young. However, there are a lot of 20 year olds out there that have already been to war, have families, and jobs. They are adults that don’t need to masturbate with a foam finger on stage to show people how “grown up” they are. Maybe you should take a lesson from them. As for it being “art”. That is ridiculous..it wasn’t art, and to use that as an excuse is bullshit.

So, until you either stop marketing to a young demographic or you take a look around and realize that “adults” don’t behave in that manner, then you are not upholding your end of social responsibility and as such, I believe parents should remove you from their purchasing list, block you on TiVo and guide their children toward more suitable role models. I will say in your defense…our idea of what role models are in this society is really jacked up. A singer, a guy that can throw a ball..these aren’t role models. Role models are people that act with integrity, valor, bravery, honor…look for people that fit that criteria for your child, not someone that can sing a song.

Now on to my second rant. This one is more serious and heartbreaking. About a year ago a young woman and her date got on a public bus in India. It ended with the man being beaten and the woman BRUTALLY raped…she eventually died. The youngest offender, the one that had pulled out her intestines during the rape with his hands recently got 3 years in a reform home. WTF?! This woman was raped with a metal pole, gang raped, had her intenstines pulled out and that is the punishment?

It is 2013, but as I look at news from around the world I see a devaluing of female life. Women are told not to walk on the streets alone….because we are apparently prey. We shouldn’t be out after dark…because apparently men can’t control themselves. We shouldn’t wear anything that even shows are ankles, because apparently that is “asking” to be raped.

We are women, not prey….we are not “asking” for it. If you can’t control yourself then that shows what kind of pathetic human being YOU are. Our laws need to be strict and harsh for those that prey on a weaker member of our society. Whether it’s women, or children or the elderly. If you target, and hurt those that can not fully protect themselves then you are not worthy of mercy.

As a woman, I can honestly say that rape is a horrendous affront to both society and to women. It is saying that it’s okay for men to be nothing more than animals….no, I won’t even offend animals like that, in the animal kingdom, even the female gets to choose their mate. It makes them worse than animals. It is degenerate and evil and vile. I don’t think that a slap on the wrist is appropriate and I certainly don’t think 3 years is an adequate sentence for someone that participated in raping a woman to death. Her life was more valuable than all of the degenerates that took part in the horrendous acts that were done to her.

However, until every society starts seeing women as equal to men in their basic human rights…then this kind of brutality is going to continue. Until men are taught from the time they are infants that women are to be respected not abused, that rape is not a funny…or something she asked for, that hurting those that are weaker than you is abhorant..then it will continue.

I pray for all the women of the world that are abused, hurt, beaten, raped at the hands of those that feel it’s their “right”. It is 2013, we have a worldwide social responsibility to protect women/children/elderly…it should be the forefront of every religion, and goverment’s agenda.