My Thoughts on Current Events

Ok, admittedly, I’m white, 60 years old, and grew up in what was probably a middle-upper class environment. The only families of other races in my immediate neighborhood were equally as upper-middle class as my family. I was not actually exposed to blatant racism until I was a very young adult and began working in the deep South.

I was at first completely baffled by the vastly different attitudes that I found in the South; from all the various ethnic groups. Then I met a new, young, black, male coworker who came into my area with an intense dislike, or perhaps more accurate, disTRUST, of white people. One might have said he had a chip on his shoulder or perhaps an ax to grind, but I had to work in close proximity to him, and so I was determined to get along with him. In time, I came to actually appreciate his quick wit, his sarcasm accompanied by a wink, and sometimes even his laid-back attitude towards hard work! I believe he trusted and liked me, too. We had a very real “co-worker friendship.” We discussed our astoundingly different backgrounds which molded our differing outlooks on life in general, and, yes, we each gained a deep respect for a perspective, and a race, other than our own. That was my initiation into racial differences.

Growing up, I understood that the word “racism” was equal to “hatred.” Today, however, it seems to be the equivalent of any acknowledgement of difference, whether by attitude, word, or deed, and even when done in ignorance, in innocence, humor, or by any other measure. By that standard, I suppose we are all qualified to be called racist, however, I think we can see differences without feeling any sense of hate and that we can and should in many ways appreciate our differences.

Throughout history, the forces of satan have used good things for evil purposes. The Bible teaches us that before Christ returns, good will be called evil and evil will be called good. We see this happening now. More so every day. Satan often manages to morph good intentions into bad public relations. I think that this is what has happened with the current events of kneeling during the playing of our National Anthem.

The player who started this phenomenon was, I believe, doing something he may have thought was a positive way to highlight an area that definitely needs improvement. Unfortunately, he was not a the best spokesperson. He is certainly not the leader that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was, not by any measure. His motives, from this distance, seem to be about gaining greater fame and more fortune for himself than for bringing about true social improvement. What I see, through my old, “white” eyes, is a man who has been gifted, yes, blessed, with opportunities and privileges beyond what most of us could ever imagine; yet here he is, pitching a pouty session like a toddler who has been given five giant cookies but still wants more. After learning of his background, I concluded that he was a man filled with fake outrage only for personal gain. He purposely chose to touch a “third rail” subject – something he KNEW would get a major reaction, apparently not caring what the actual consequences for everyone would be.

Instantly, old satan gave a hearty laugh! Immediately and easily, the evil one warped the physical act of kneeling from being a symbol of reverence and humbleness into a new symbol of hate and outrage. Then he turned even the best intentions of this football player into a wave of hatred toward others and brought even more misunderstanding and divisiveness to our land. This caused taking a knee for our National Anthem to become another way to be seen by millions of Americans as a new way to show hatred toward our President, our law enforcement, our military, our heritage, and our nation. I truly do not think one lone football player ever thought his actions could be used to wreak such havoc upon our country, and I hope that he would surely choose another path if given a do-over now.

I will not tell my friends and my brothers and sisters in Christ who are of a different race than I am that racial inequality is a non-issue. It obviously IS an enormous problem! We ALL need to be more loving, more kind, more considerate, more forgiving, and more understanding of each other. Respect is a 2-way street. Two wrongs have never merged into positive change. Blacks being taught from early age to distrust or even hate whites is just as horrid as whites teaching their children that their skin tone somehow makes them superior to others.

My first “American” ancestor arrived on these shores as an indentured servant held by Hessian soldiers, forced into a war he had no reason to take part in. In desperation, he made a daring and successful escape. Yes, he was a runaway slave! I was taught that these indentured men were the very slaves Mr. Key was referring to when he penned the third verse of the Star-Spangled Banner; as both a rant against the British regime and a beacon of hope for his beloved new nation. But, truthfully, does my slave ancestor’s life story have any deep personal influence over MY life? My choices? My opportunities to succeed or fail today? No.

Americans realize that we can ALWAYS, as a nation, strive for improvement. There will ALWAYS be injustices that should not be, and pure evil will walk among us. This has been true since the beginning. Hate will always try to fester and grow. Do we allow hate to devour us, or shall we instead choose to start with LOVE and use love to fight hate.

Without a firm foundation of mutual respect, how will we ever be able to link arms and move forward, together, as AMERICANS? When I look back on our history, I see the good, the bad, and the ugly – every bit of it just as important than the last and of the next. I do not come away hating my country because of it, instead I am filled with a sense of pride in flawed people who overcame a myriad of differences to improve their country, for all of us.

We will all, always, make mistakes. We will not get as far as we would like as fast as we should. Can we at least begin to take steps to stop the complete disregard of one for another? Can we set aside our supposition that there are only two sides to our issues, and that only one side, (that being the side we each perceive ourselves to be on), is righteous?

To me, our American Flag, our National Anthem, and our Constitution all represent the blood, sweat, tears, service, lost lives, devotion, and passion of ALL of OUR ancestors. It is OUR heritage, brought to life by people yearning for freedom, and built upon the precepts of the One True God who loves us ALL without hesitation or reservation.

What I believe we need to understand is that America truly IS a rich and God-blessed country. Our diversity makes us stronger, better, more flexible, and hopefully more compassionate. I fiercely believe that, together, we can accomplish the things we need to do to bring about positive changes that need to be made.

I am a simple woman. To me, it all things begin with simple changes. The simple change from a stand to a seated position to a kneeling position has caused an uproar. I think this very hard subject that has caused so much hurt to us all can begin to heal with a new simple change.

Let’s start a new uproar of change. I suggest starting this new phenomenon, simply, with a SMILE! I smile. I smile all the time, at all people, all the time, everywhere. And they almost always smile back! By smiling, followed by listening, by caring, being respectful and kind one to another, we CAN begin to help God heal our land.

I’m smiling at you right this very moment, in appreciation that you’ve read this whole post! I hope you’re smiling back at me, too!

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My Thanksgiving List

To list what I am thankful for would take more than a day
The beauty and the victories that came along my way
The big things and the smallest, and all that is between
The blessings overflow, many known and some unseen.

 

I thank my Heavenly Father for His blessings every day
For the strength He lends and love He sends in every single way.
My family and friends, my home, and all I treasure
More than we can see or know or any man could measure.

 

An attitude of gratitude is the way I want to live
For we serve a God who gives us more than we than we could ever give!
Thank You, Lord on this day of annual Thanksgiving,
And help me to be thankful every moment while I’m living.

Veteran’s Day 2015

Thank You, My Veteran

I know you were scared

But you would not let it show.

Far from home and comfort

Marching to and fro.

Feeling like no one cared a bit,

That your chances here were slim

Holding on to God’s own hand

Ev’n when you could not feel Him.

Prayers from home surrounded you

Each day, each night, each hour

Prayers from home sent lovingly

Answered by God’s power.

On the worst days, things were really bad

On the good days they were worse

You went to war a little boy

Now a man who loves to curse!

Injuries no one can see

That only you can feel

Memories that haunt your dreams

Heart made out of steel.

Your gentle touch and soft low voice

Hide power and great hurt

You faced the dragons of the war

Came back to kick the dirt.

We waited for you desperately

We held our breath and prayed

We longed to see your smile again

While on our knees we stayed.

Time of service never ends

Your mind plays tricks of fate

The years of change keep coming on

Yet still you bear a heavy weight.

The stories you couldn’t tell us once

Now come up with a smirk

A man you are, beyond your years

Where once a boy did lurk.

Thank you, for the weight you’ve carried, sir

Though these words may make you nervous

Thank you is never enough, but still –

We thank you for your service.

Only Ten More Days

While she sleeps, I ponder, repeating silently,

“Only ten more days”

It has been over eleven hundred and fifty days

Since we hugged her.

And tears drip slowly as I muse,

What have we missed?

So much has changed in these three years

Jobs, houses

Children

She’s changed. We’ve changed.

Yet . . .

I am thankful,

Because

I WILL hug her again . . .

In only ten more days

I will sing praises to the God of Glory

Who gives us life and our own story

Who brings our child home again . . .

In only ten more days!

As she sleeps, I wait, and smile.

Carol Channer

August 2015

When It Seems God Has Made A Mistake

When my soldier enlisted, his goal was to become part of a Special Forces team. He went through the rigorous training. He excelled at the training yet, all he ended up with was MRSA, Pneumonia, and Bronchitis. His dreams dashed, he was sent to Alaska to become an Airborne Infantryman.

Sometimes when our children are hurting, we wonder what God has in mind. And if we are silly like I am, we will even question Him! Surely this was a mistake, Lord! What were You thinking???

Now, many years later, I look back at my son’s Army career and his transition into civilian life as a disabled veteran. He is such an over-comer! I am so proud of him!

He and I were reminiscing recently about the July Fourth Attack. He mentioned something that hit me as quite profound – on that fateful morning of the attack, it was not the commanding officers who saved the day. It was a small handful of guys with SF training under their belts who led their buddies into battle and eventually won the day.

God makes no mistakes! Here were a few good men who had each had their dream of being a Special Forces hero dashed at some point. Here were a few young men who probably all hated being sent to Alaska to become Airborne Infantryman. Here were a few boys who each became real men through what initially seemed, to them and those who loved them, a mistake made by God.

But God makes no mistakes! God knew where those heroes were needed, and it wasn’t on a SF team. It was at COP ZEROK, Afghanistan on July 4, 2009.

Whenever you face a disappointment in life, remember that we are only seeing our life’s tapestry from the under-side. We see the crisscrossed threads and knots that seem to be a jumble of complete nonsense. We may see it as a completely ugly mess. But God is looking down at our lives, and He is seeing the perfection in His stitches, the glorious beauty of His creation, and the purpose in His handiwork.

Remember, you are His masterpiece! In time, you, too, may look back upon a place in your life where you had thought God had erred, but in hindsight will be able to see that He had only made certain that you were on the path you needed to be on to get to the place where you needed to be, when you needed to be there.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Stay safe out there this Fourth! God loves you!

For more information about the attack on COP Zerok, please watch the documentary by Robert Ham, “Attack on the Fourth of July” available on You-Tube, Hulu, & Amazon Prime videos. Here is a link to YouTube:

Morning Song

The birds chirp and flutter, they squawk, they twitter,

Squirrels roll and chase, they play and chitter.

Breeze blowing gently, fresh delight –

As sun’s rays bring the morning bright.

*

These days of darkness, sin unfurled,

When terror reigns throughout the world.

Children starve and heroes die,

Unseen fathers, mothers who cry

*

The world seems hopeless, lost and torn –

Until I look unto the morn,

And see the work of God right there

In the songs of birds on the morning air.

*

And He brings me peace to face the day

To go to work, to love, to pray,

To make a simple change or two

That shows His love for each of you

*

He will hold me through the challenges

While the turmoils of life He balances.

He will heal my hurting heart, and then

He will help me let it hurt again.

*

He will keep me walking in His way

Closer to Him, day by day.

When darkness comes or fears take hold

In Christ alone, I can be bold.

*

I thank Him for this morning song

That lifts my spirit to make me strong

In God I trust; I will not sway –

I’ll love and serve Him come what may.

*                                                   Carol Channer, May 29, 2015

CAROL’S FACE BOOK DO’S & DON’TS RANT

Having a little fun this morning, thinking about all the stuff that makes us love and hate Face Book. Here’s some Do’s and Don’ts I thought about:

DO post up your need for prayer when you are sick or hurting, remembering of course that we don’t necessarily need ALL the gory details.

Private Message me if you really need to vent or cry, or share some kind of awful news. I’ll be there for you, and it doesn’t need to go on the Wall.

DO post up lots and lots of pictures of your babies, grand-babies, cute animals and pretty flowers, sunsets, your vacations, happy life events, even your favorite new recipes! Show me your happiness, your encouraging words, your praises for the blessings in your life. Share with me all of those “God is good, all the time” moments in your life.

Now, however, here’s my Top 10 Reasons for Banishing Facebook Friends to my Restricted or Blocked Lists

  1. Bash God, or our Military Service Members, Police Officers, Firefighters and other assorted heroes. Fortunately, I haven’t had to lose many friends over this issue, but you betcha I will block you in an instant if you denigrate those who serve and protect.
  2. Nasty Cussing. Just don’t.
  3. Posting ugly family fights and drama. Especially about your spouse. Life is too short for such hatred and nobody wants to see your dirty laundry hanging out on the line. This goes for ugly church fights, neighborhood drama, and friendship break-ups, too.
  4. FB Stalkers – you know, they never post or respond, but when you see them in person they will tell you exactly what they think about everything you or any of your children have ever posted in the past year.
  5. Too many posts selling stuff. Let me see your special of the week. Even once a day might be okay, ’cause I’ll just scroll past if I’m not feeling it. But more than that will get your business restricted for certain.
  6. Radical Agendas. I have friends from all over the world and most walks of life. I enjoy lively, friendly debates on political views and news events in general. I am even tolerant to varying degrees of religious beliefs. I don’t need to know about your sexual preferences. Don’t over push the really radical stuff just to get people riled up. Remember that Sin is Sin in God’s eyes, and we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. IMHO, the sanctity of marriage has already been destroyed by heterosexuals and people of faith and the radical LBGT community needs to quit being the same jerks they accused everyone else of being just a few years ago. If someone posts something on my wall that is totally-in-your-face against all my own personal and strongly held beliefs, I will simply mark it “I don’t want to see this” the first time, but if it happens a few more times, I will restrict them.
  7. Really old stuff that is just making the rounds again. Internet hoaxes. Lost children, for example. Just take two minutes to do a quick search on them to see if they really are still missing before you share a 3 year old post on a kid that ran away for two hours. Or that some soda company left the words “in God we Trust” off their patriotic cans, or that some celebrity died that really didn’t die. Search Engines, use them!
  8. Selfies by the dozens. Selfies of your bare feet. Selfies of your half-eaten meals. Selfies up your nostrils. Selfies of your tattooed belly button, boobs or other body parts. Selfies are over-rated, IMHO. Not too many people can even pull off a really good Selfie.
  9. Anything really grotesquely horrible. If it’s gonna make people want to throw up, please don’t be posting it on my wall!
  10. Don’t gripe to me about me. If you don’t like what I post, feel free to block or restrict me. That door always swings both ways.

Morning. Rant. Over. Now, let’s see some of those cute grand-babies!