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

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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!

Memorial Day

Remembering the Fallen

Their sacrifice complete.

They gave their all that we may live

in Freedom ever sweet.

To know their loved ones pine for them;

Sorrow dark beyond belief,

May memories and God’s own hand

Bring gentle hope and peace

We shake our heads and marvel,

Why they gave with all their might;

Marched into a battlefield,

For their country fought the fight.

Just knowing that they gave their lives

For fellow countrymen

And that, if they could, they’d tell us now

“I’d do it all again.”

It humbles to my very core

To think upon such things;

The pride and heartfelt gratitude

Each memory still brings.

Tears fall with patriotic songs;

Flag waving stirs our heart

Remember, cherish, honor, pray –

Each one can do our part.

Carol Channer

Memorial Day 2015

Graduation Reflections

Our children are in our thoughts and on our hearts every moment of every day. I know mine sure are. But this week my boy has been the main character in the play rolling through my mind. I keep remembering him as a little kid, playing with GI Joe and Winnie the Pooh together. Struggling in school to learn to read & write, with a learning disability so complex that the doctors and experts never did figure it out. Having counselors talk to him about vocational diplomas while he was still in elementary school, then meeting an Army recruiter, asking him about enlisting someday, and the recruiter telling the boy that he had to have a regular HS diploma, no GED or other kind, to be in the Army. Watching that boy then throw himself into studying, him asking us to read his school books to him. He’d memorize as we read. That little boy was so determined. Not too many people ever saw that side of him, but we did. When he passed his FCAT on the first try, we knew he was going to get that HS diploma and join the Army. And, he did just that.

I try to fast-forward through the Army years whenever I reminisce on my son’s life. They were so filled with the darkness of life; the fears, the waiting, the worries, the missing him, knowing he suffered with each buddy’s death. He left us as a youngster, and returned a man; a husband, and father, and with a stronger faith in God than when he left home. He was very bruised and terribly battered, but strong, victorious, and still determined as ever. Our hero, complete with Bronze Star with Valor.

When he put himself through automotive school and became a mechanic, we were so proud of him. He had to study ten times harder than anyone else to overcome not just his old learning difficulties, but his Army related injuries as well, including constant pain, breathing problems, sleep apnea, PTS, and major short-term memory loss problems. We were relieved that he never did kill that miscreant in his class who thought it fun to sneak up behind him and drop a wrench. After graduation he landed a job with Ford and began working on diesels.

Then, to our amazement, he announced he was going to college for a Business Management degree. His determination kicked in to high gear once again. He quit his job at Ford and enrolled at Valencia. He’d go to his classes, then he would drive over to Chick-fil A to study. He studied every day, Monday through Friday and often on Saturday. For hours and hours and hours and hours. Some days, the children would join him there to bounce around in the play area while he studied. There are a lot of reasons why we love Chick-fil A, and that they happily allowed him to study there every day is right at the top of our list.

He also carved out time to get involved with his church, to join a Bible study small group, to help his friends and sister whenever they needed it, and do all the things that needed to be done in the every day course of life. Oh, yes, and become a certified NRA Firearms Safety Instructor in his “spare” time. But, mostly, he studied and did school work. He would come home at night, play with the kids, walk the dog, hug on his wife, read his Bible, collapse in bed for another sleepless night, and go back to studying again the next day.

Semester One: President’s List! Semester after semester, we celebrated as he made the President’s List again and again. Our determined little boy. He will always be that to us, even though we know he is a man, a great man, a wonderful man. We still see our little boy who loved to cuddle.

This weekend, we will watch him as he walks the stage in cap & gown and is handed his diploma. He will graduate from Valencia Community College, with honors, with an AS degree in Business Management.

Are we proud parents? With good reason! Our hearts are nearly bursting with joy! Will I be crying?