Dec 24, 2011

Migdal Edar, "The Tower of the Flock"

Abigail and Dolley readers some years ago I read the story of the shepherds, the significance of Bethlehem, and the wonderful plan of God.  Every Christmas I am reminded of the story and wish that more folks knew and understood the significance of Bethlehem.

You see, Bethlehem was where the lambs of the temple were kept and raised.  These were the perfect lambs of God.  The shepherds who tended them were trained in the laws and the rules of the law.  They were special, set apart, and holy unto God.
Midgal Edar - over the fields of Bethlehem

It was no accident that there was no room at the inn, for the true Lamb of God would not be born in a house but in a pure, clean, and holy lambing barn.  The final sacrifice for our Sin, the Holy Lamb of God, born for us in that special place.

The depth of the story, the significance of the place, the foreshadowing of the event in Genesis is full of wonder and majesty.  We do indeed worship a Holy and Blessed Lord.  If you'd like to read more, check out these links:

Why Bethlehem? and Christmas Past Messages from Abigail and Dolley

Merry Christmas, Friends.

Dec 23, 2011

How Do They Make It Through?

Abigail and Dolley readers I have been much less introspective these days.  The lost days of 2010 are retreating into the past and the rebuilding and renewal days of 2011 are coming to a close.  I have turned outward to my country, my friends, and my work.  I am passionate about the up coming electoral season and will work to play my part as a citizen.  Lest I become too absorbed in the world, I am disciplined in my prayer time.

I find myself increasingly burdened for those who are without Christ.  They play across the landscape of my mind, I see their faces, I weep for them in their lost state.  I pray earnestly that they come into a relationship with the Living God.  I wonder how they make it through this hard life without the blessed assurance that they are love, saved, and not alone.  How do the deal with sickness, death, or unemployment?  How indeed?

I pray, "Lord, if you would have me witness, give me the words and the opportunity."  From my human perspective, I want to argue with them, I want to convince them of the truth.  I want to use reason and logic, I want to use history and prophecy.  I want to prove to them the validity of faith and in the end I feel totally ill equipped for the task.  I have been a Christian since I was a child.  I do not believe I have ever helped lead anyone to the Lord.

My husband, on the other hand, has been privileged to lead hundreds to faith and help guide hundreds more along their journey.  Perhaps these folks will be credited to me in Heaven because I have worked very hard to enable my hubby to have that opportunity.  Regardless, the burden for souls does not abate with large successes, you either have it or you don't.  I feel it intensely.

Blogger has added the analytics tab to the settings for easy access to their analysis.  When the blog was first launched, I was very intent to promote it and bring traffic to the site.  Today, I am just thankful that I have this small forum and that I have faithful readers who stop by and have a cup of tea with me every now and then.  Perhaps there are some, who have stumbled upon this blog and been encouraged.  Perhaps there are some, who have been directed here and enjoyed their stay and even learned a thing or two.  I hope I have been a light, I hope that the love I feel for the Lord has come through.  I hope the love I have for our Country has been represented well.  In short, I hope I have been a good and faithful servant,

Bless you all, my Friends.

Dec 15, 2011

Email Rumors, Social Media, and a Healthy Dose of Skeptism

Abigail and Dolley readers do you remember the world before email?  If you remember that time, then you will also remember the first time you received an email that tampons were giving women cancer, that Nutra Sweet was killing people, and that their were spiders lurking under public toilet seats ready to strike.  Maybe you received an email about a gang initiation with headlight flashing or a prayer request for a cancer patient; in the beginning, we passed them on as true! We typed dire warnings to our friends and colleagues, MUST READ!  There have always been Urban Legends but email made them instantly accessible to everyone and they flew from keystroke to email box with lightening speed.

Eventually though, cooler heads prevailed and sites such as Truth or and Snopes were launched to combat these internet rumors.  You will occasionally still get one via email but not like in those first days of email.  People have become wiser, they are skeptical, and they do their own research.

I think we need to employ this same level of wisdom, skeptism, and research to news stories of the day and specifically to smear pieces put out to destroy one GOP candidate or the other.  Much like when email began, this is our first Presidential election where Social media is coming into play on a big way.  In that regard, we have not yet developed the same level of control we exhibit about hairless cats that turn out to be giant rats that eat your other pets...

Come on people, we need to get a grip here.

Dec 14, 2011

Conspiracies EVERYWHERE!

Abigail and Dolley readers it is a testament to the age we live in, where trust of the media and public officials has reached such a low level that anything is plausible.  The libertarians are the absolute worst about spreading this kind of thing.  There is a rumor running rampant among the Paulbots that the FEMA prison camps are opening back up and they are all going to be herded into them before the election, presumably so Ron Paul won't be elected President.  They buy into this garbage with a fervor that is amazing.

Another Libertarian lie is that Newt Gingrich is a big government  Progressive who believes in a New World Order.  They are compiling videos of Newt speaking of historical politicians who are on their "Progressive Enemies Lists."  There is no context to these videos, no more that 10 second snippets, and they prove nothing except that the compilers are out to paint Newt as an evil enemy.

If you want to look at someone's beliefs is it really necessary to dig into their nuances when the surface level behavior does not support your hypothesis?  Think about it, if Newt was a Progressive wouldn't his speeches, his institutions, his books, and his movies reflect his core beliefs?  I would venture a guess that in the dozen years since Newt left public office he would be free to pursue his Progressive Agenda uninhibited by the need to be reelected.

Just look at Gingrich Productions, does this site seem a Progressive media site to you?  Look at the DVD titles:
  • A City Upon a Hill - Rediscovering American Exceptional-ism
  • America at Risk - Post 9/11 dangers facing the USA
  • Nine Days that Changed the World - The Pope and Poland and how it was the first shot in destroying the Iron Curtain
  • Ronald Reagan: A Rendezvous with Destiny
  • Rediscovering God in America Part 1 and Part 2 - Our Godly History
  • We Have the Power - American Energy
 Does that seem like Titles a Progressive would produce?  No?  Me either.

Newt - the Progressive?

Is Newt Gingrich really a Progressive in disguise?  Glenn Beck seems to think so and is absolutely tearing up the airwaves to insure everyone who is still paying attention to him hears it, too.  I heard the interview that Beck did with Gingrich last week - I also saw it.  I saw how Beck was rolling his eyes, not paying attention to answers to his questions; the man had clearly made up his mind before the interview started and it was a sham to try to prove to his audience that he "gave him a chance to explain these things."  Immediately after hanging up with Gingrich, he got Bauchmann on the line and they held a Newt bashing.  Beck is publicly supporting and endorsing Bauchmann, so take this assault with a grain.

I've been a long time fan of Beck's and have caught him on the radio in the weeks leading up to this "interview" and was appalled at the lies he was spouting.  I kept yelling at my radio, "That is propaganda, Glenn!  Do your research."  I was relieved when Newt agreed to do the interview and figured that once they had a chance to speak and once Beck had done his research he would quit with the smear, alas I was wrong. Beck has revealed himself to the public, what others in the industry have known for a while now, he is a charlatan. 

Many pundits have been open about their dislike of Newt and while I don't agree with them, I respect their right to feel that way.  Beck has taken it several steps further and he is dead to me.  He has incorrectly labeled Newt a Progressive - a label that Beck has raised to the level of evil incarnate to his audience.  He has then gone on to say that anyone that supports Newt over Obama is doing so because they are a racist.  Then he goes on to say the furor over his remark comes from the Progressive GOP media...ummm, no Glenn, it's from your former audience.

Now the Tea Party is once again racists.  The liberal media will make hay out of this one.  Glenn's attack on Gingrich is absolutely irrational.  Thanks a lot Glenn.  I would venture a guess, he will have Paulbots swarming to his side but what of the 35% of GOP voters that are supporting Newt?  What of the Reagan Democrats who are emerging from hibernation?  What of the 45% of Tea Party folks that are supporting Newt?  They are gone and once you loose folks in a manner like this, they don't come back.  Bye Glenn, you broke my heart.

Dec 8, 2011

Christmas 2011

Abigail and Dolley readers I have been quite meloncholy this Christmas.  I have been haunted by the memories of last year and find I am fighting off sad and troubling thoughts.  As always, I have taken great pleasure in creating a fashionable Christmas Tree.  It has cheered me considerably, I hope you enjoy.

Purple, Pink, Royal Blue, and White Christmas Tree

Pink and Blue Birds

Birds and Feathers

Pearls, Stars, and Feathers

Blue, Pink, and White Christmas Tree

Purple Peacock

Blue Peacock

Pearl Accents and Snowflakes

Hummingbird Feeding

Dec 3, 2011

This Present Darkness

Abigail and Dolley readers I have to admit that I wept before the Lord today.  I fell to my knees and sobbed.  I cried because when I speak the truth of Christ, many condemn me.  I cried because a good friend of mine claimed I was deaf to racial insensitivity and when I sought him out, to show me, he condemned me for my blindness.  I cried because we heard the same speech in different ways, and if we did, then I will never be effective in outreach.  I cried because the world's financial system is on the precipice of a bottomless pit.  I cried because the new unemployment figures are lies and for people hurting everywhere.  I cried because I have friends that are not saved and the Rapture is coming soon.  I cried today because Billy Graham is gravely ill and the world will be a much darker place without him.  I cried today because I have prayed for the Lord to come and get us but I never realized how dark it would be here before He came.

2 Timothy 3

The Dangers of the Last Days
 1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

Dec 1, 2011

Denial of Evil and the Appeal of Ron Paul

Abigail and Dolley readers I am deeply disturbed by the rise and popularity of Ron Paul.  The unlikely assent of an elderly, squeaky voiced, isolationist, Libertarian begs the question - why?  Why have hoards of people latched on to this man and why are they all but worshiping him?  Furthermore, why are they so ANGRY with everyone else?  If you have run into any of them online, you will know of what I speak.  They are collectively vicious tongued zealots who gleefully libel all of the other candidates and spread lies and smear, like jelly on toast.

I believe I have figured out the appeal, these folks are deeply afraid.  They are afraid of what is happening to our economy.  They are afraid of what is happening on the world's stage and they are afraid of where Big Government is taking us.  Okay, most of us are also afraid of that, so what is the difference?  The difference is, that Ron Paul preaches a gospel that there is no evil in the world other than us, if we would just behave, evil would leave us alone.

You have to admit, it is sort of enticing.  I mean, if we could just behave in a certain manner and evil would disappear, that seems like a pretty good deal.  The Paulian worldview, at its core, asserts that you can control evil.  His followers are buying into this with a fervor and a zealotry that always attaches itself to a cultish figure that claims to have the answers and is the only one who can save them.

Unfortunately, Ron Paul and his supporters are wrong.  You don't control evil by being good.  It is naive and while understandable, ultimately very dangerous.  Evil exists in the hearts of men and in the powers and principality, in the spiritual dark places of wickedness and the only way to defeat it is to fight it.  To shine the light of righteousness on it and to go after it with everything that you have.

We as a nation are tired of fighting off the evil.  We look around and see spent lives, endless war, collapsing world economies, ineffective governments and we say enough!  I just want to go home and live my life!  Leave me alone and I will leave you alone, okay?  Have we been perfect, of course not!  Have we made mistakes, yes but is it time to retreat?  To stop being a global force that stands up to the evil in the world and says, "Not so fast, Buster."  The results, if we were to follow the Paulian plan, would be disaster on a scale of which the world has never seen.  Evil does not change, evil does not get nicer, evil only grows and seeks to destroy all that is in its path and it wants to consume all that is good and righteous in this world.

Don't fall for the lie folks, it's an old one and if you pay careful attention, it smells of fire and brimstone.

Nov 25, 2011

Solutions - Not Talking Points

Abigail and Dolley readers, people are hungry for concrete solutions.  I, for one, am sick to death of campaign slogans and political positions.  Without an actual plan, political positions are defacto advocation of the status quo.  We elected Barack Obama on "Hope and Change" without specifics, and the fact of the matter is that he has led with no specifics.  Obama has abdicated his role as President to the czars and the liberals in Congress to absolute disastrous consequences.

Ultimately, that is why I could never get behind Ross Perot.  He did not have a plan, simply stating we need to get to Washington and have a look under the hood and let the experts fix things.  It rang hollow then and it still does today.  We the people, want some meat on any candidates proposal.  Perry's talking point about, "We need to get America workin' again" was great the first 5 or 6 times he said it, but when you went looking there was no plan to actually accomplish anything.  He has since released a plan but in the interim proved to most Americans that he's not up to the task of taking on the smooth debating Barack Obama.  In a stroke of complete irony, it was ultimately a poor debate and a mangled explanation on illegal aliens that sunk his campaign.  Perry has been handled horribly by the same people who parted ways with Newt early in the summer... Now, Newt grabs that third rail and in the end may actually strengthen his candidacy and have it play in the general election.  Put your big boy pants on folks, Newt is on a roll! 

Finally, everybody is up in arms about immigration.  People are politically posturing all over the place with impassioned absolutes.  They feel quite righteous in their political purity, but therein lies the rub.  Where is your plan?  It's great to have principals and positions, but what are you actually going to do about it?  I believe we have to stop being Political about this.  We need to leave our Party/Candidate jersey's at the door and finally do what is right for our country. 

Here are a couple of links to detailed solutions, no matter the outcome of the election, these serious proposals should be examined and adopted in whole or in part.

Immigration Overhaul
Newt on Immigration

Nov 24, 2011

Why I Left the Cain Train

Abigail and Dolley readers I find that I am increasingly insulted by the arrogance of some who subtly suggest that I have been fooled into supporting Newt Gingrich.  Others assume that I left the Cain camp because of the media firestorm over the sexual harassment charges; the facts declare a different story.  I left several days before that story hit the headlines.  I determined, in the end, that while I like and admire Herman Cain, his grasp of the issues is too shallow for this election.  His inexperience in the field for the job he is seeking is a major strike against him.  Honestly, we have had a novice in the White House for three years and I don't think the country can take more on the job training.

I have serious questions about 999 and sent them to the Cain campaign for clarification.  Eight weeks later, I still have not received and answer.  I went to his web site and searched for solutions on the most pressing items of the day.  There is little more than a paragraph or two of surface level positions and answers.  I have to say, "Where's the Beef?", Cain is missing the substance that I require.  The difference between Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich was readily apparent in the Lincoln Douglas debate held in Houston.  There is really no comparison between the two when it comes to substance.

Further more, I am  astounded that after putting Obama in office with little experience and not much in the way of a voting record that we would seriously consider doing that again.  Herman Cain does not have years of public service and votes to substantiate his points of view.  I can live with that, but on the converse with over 7500 votes in the House, Gingrich opponents will single out a few to hold up as objectionable.  They refuse to place them in the context of the times and instead use 30 years of hindsight to pick apart a record.  If they actually bothered to look, they would find that Newt has addressed many of these votes in recent years and realized himself some of them were mistakes.  We have no such record on Cain, his supporters assert that we have to take the man at his convictions and that what he represents now is how he will govern; yet they will not apply the same logic to other candidates.

It is lamentable to me that avid supporters of the Cain Campaign have turned on Newt like a brood of vipers.  When the two candidates were hanging out in the 6% range, there was a camaraderie between the two camps.  During Cain's rise this mutual admiration remained.  I am sad to say though, that the friendliness from the Cain supporter has evaporated as quickly as his lead has disappeared.  The Newt Camp remains largely friendly to the Cain folks but the reverse does not seem to be true.  Cain supporters have been willing to jump on every attack with a vengeance, refusing to entertain the whole story and seizing upon the opportunity to proclaim a fellow conservative as a villain. 

For me, this election is about substance and real solutions.  Newt has said over and over again that he trusts the American people to sift through the rhetoric and the hyperbole and make a good decision.  I can only hope he is right.

Nov 19, 2011

Political Purity, Flip Flopping, and Changing Positions

Abigail and Dolley readers, I have been a busy girl.  Since declaring myself a supporter of Newt Gingrich, I have become a social media warrior for the cause.  Much of my creative energy, writing, and talents have been given to persuading my fellow conservatives to join me.  I believe I have been moderately successful in this endeavor.  None the less, my sweet little blog has been terribly neglected and I shutter think what my once so important Google Analytics would tell me if I had the heart to look!  I will strive to do better.

Now, on to the subject of the day:  the consideration of political purity, changing positions, and flip flopping, all of which are playing a part in this primary season.  Many will hold up their esteemed candidates and declare ideological purity.  They claim that purity to cause and ideals must trump governmental compromise.  They proudly proclaim that their candidate never strays from absolute purity.  They fail to recognize that purity and inflexibility in our form of governance translates to ineffective and non-existent leadership.  Purity of purpose leaves no room to actually accomplish the things we elect leaders to do.  The purists do not seem to understand that even the Founding Fathers had to compromise, flex, and sacrifice some of their beliefs to actually get things done.  The case in point, the northern delegates that were against slavery.  If they followed in the "Purity" model, they would have never compromised and then where would we be?  I guess speaking with English accents...

Then we have the flip floppers.  These are the political animals that hold no position or conviction other than the ones help by whatever audience they are addressing at the time.  They stand for everything and hence stand for nothing.  The flip flopper does not hold a firmly held conviction and it is said that a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways.  The flip flopper is the lukewarm drink of water that voters spit out of their mouths in disgust.  These political opportunists are interested only in power and position.  They care for nothing except their own personal aggrandizement and as such must be rejected completely.

Thus, we are left with the Position Changer.  This is the politician who once believed, spoke, or campaigned for an issue and has since changed their mind.  The purists rail against this claiming that the perfect candidate would never do such a thing.  The flip floppers gladly post videos showing the perceived flip flop and accuse the Position Changer of being a pot calling the kettle black, yet therein lies the rub.  People change.  People grow and learn, adapt and study, they take some ideas and strengthen them and they take others and say, "No, upon further review I don't believe that anymore."  Contrary to showing weakness, those who can grow and learn from their past positions show an emotional and intellectual growth that the purist lacks and the flip flopper will never know.

Given the choice between the three, I will take the position changer because at least they have thought about it.  They have studied it and examined it and researched it - whatever that may be.  Typically they have the intellectual honesty to say that in the past they were wrong, they made a mistake, and here is why they now believe as they do. The position changer is also in the unique position to engage with others who believe as they used to about and issue and come to a solution that solves the problem and moves the country forward.  That my friends is what we elect them to do in the first place.

Nov 5, 2011

Newt Gingrich - The Environment

Abigail and Dolley readers some of you long time readers will know that I have written extensively about the Environment.  Most of my articles have focused on the misguided policies on one hand to the fanatical religion on the other.  One of the reasons why I initially rejected Newt Gingrich for President was the commercial he did with Nancy Pelosi on "Climate Change".  Honestly, it still disturbs me.  It was a horrible idea and one of those missteps people make.  To all the critics out there who will post a link to the You Tube video of Gingrich on the couch with Pelosi, I would say that with a character such as Gingrich there are about 17 layers to the man and we can not define a career or a person by segments.

I do not pretend to understand all there is to know about this complicated man and his beliefs, I will tell you this is what I have been able to extrapolate from my research.  He is an avid naturalist, he loves animals, and he views the Earth with a stewards heart.  He is a Christian, he believes in a Creator, and thus he takes the biblical view that man is given dominion over the Earth with a responsibility to care for it.  He will also tell you he is not a scientist but that there is enough concern in the scientific community that we need to be cautious.

When asked what role he felt man played in global warming, he admitted he did not know but in typical Newt style told the crowd what he did know from a historical perspective. The Earth at various points has been much colder than it is right now, but it has also been much warmer.  He shared the common sense scientific view that the sun is the primary driver of our climate and that it is well documented that sun spots have direct correlation to the Earth's temperature.  He went on to add that he doubts that humans are more important to climate than the Sun.

On policy, you do not want the Federal Government trying to manage local challenges.  He wants to completely disband the EPA and replace it with a business and solutions organization.  There is a direct correlation between environmental policy and energy policy but that is for another blog.

If you have some time, here is a link to a conversation:

Nov 4, 2011

Getting Back Together with Newt Gingrich

Abigail and Dolley readers, I have had a ton of fun this year "dating" the candidates.  At one time or another, I entertained them all, as I wrote about in Dating the Candidates.  I am pleased to announce that I am sporting a big ole engagement ring and have made my choice:  Newt Gingrich.  As my previous blogs have covered, Newt and I go way back and I initially rejected him out of hand (Newt Gingrich - The Candidate I Did Not Want to Like).  He IS like an old boyfriend that you get back together with, one where you know his flaws, one where you know his mistakes, but one where you decide the good far outweighs the bad.

Your best friends are quite skeptical, your Mother is heartbroken, and your Father looks across the dinner table and sends him "You better be good to my daughter" looks.  You try to convince them that you've made the right choice and if they love you, they will give him a chance.  In the end, it's his responsibility to convince them, not yours.  Newt is smart enough and articulate enough to win them over.

Why have I come to this conclusion?  Well, I have been leaning this way for several weeks and have watched all of his interviews and speeches - I mean all of them, since he announced.  I have read just about every news article written; at least the ones written by people who don't believe that conservatives are minions of evil.  I have researched the 21st Century Contract With America.  I have dug into the dirty laundry. and looked at the high profile mistakes, missteps, and scandals.  I've prayed about it.

What finally convinced me?  I have to say it was the video embedded below.  I have worked with manufacturers and distributors my whole career.  As a salesperson, I have watched manufacturing sputter and in the case of furniture, textiles, and woodworking, all but die in the great state of North Carolina.  My livelihood depends on a healthy manufacturing environment and at the end of this video I was imagining the big fat commission checks that were going to grace my bank account if this man becomes President.

Alas, I am not merely voting my pocketbook.  I have chosen to support the candidate with the best ideas, the clearest understanding of the issues facing the country, and the greatest experience and credentials in the field.  If you have not already done so, I encourage you to give Newt a serious look.

Oct 17, 2011

Newt Gingrich - The Candidate I Did Not Want to Like

Abigail and Dolley readers some of ya'll might remember a few weeks ago, I wrote about dating the GOP candidates.  I concluded the blog with the statement that I was not even considering Newt Gingrich because he felt like an ex boyfriend and I was not going back.  Well, keeping with that theme let's just say that Newt showed up at my door this weekend with flowers, candy, and a bad ass old sports car that I certainly would look good driving around in.

He smiled his big ole smile and sweet talked me into taking a ride with him.  I had forgotten how much fun he could be and most of all I forgotten how darn smart he was and I do so love a smart man.  The more we cruised around, the more I remembered our first romance.  I remembered the balanced budgets, I remembered the reforms, I remembered all the great times... then he started telling me how he had changed since we broke up.  He told me of his plans for our future and the thing about Newt is, I believe him.  Not only do I believe his intentions, but I believe in his ability to get the job done.

We spent a lot of time together this weekend.  He wooed me with talk of judicial reform, lean six sigma, training and governmental transformation, repealing Obamacare and Dodd/Frank, and the appropriate executive orders... that new 21st Century contract with America, well that will get this Tea Party Girls heart thumping.  Stay tuned.

Oct 15, 2011

Manufacturing in America

Abigail and Dolley readers I have had a wonderful opportunity in my new position to sit and visit with business people from across the spectrum.  While confined to a geographic region, these business folks hail from companies large and small and cover the gambit of industries represented in the Southern USA.  I thought I would share some of the insights I have gathered on these conversations.

"We are doing very well but we are just waiting to see what this economy will bring..." - this is the overwhelming sentiment among business people.  Company health is solid, there is plenty of cash in the bank, and they have fundamentally changed the way they do business.  Risk and capitol investment are on hold, expansion is not in the cards right now, and even if they wanted to the banks are not lending.

"American manufacturing is returning.  Companies that had previously moved production to China are reopening factories in the USA.  We shipped an order to a factory in Mississippi that has not made this product in over a decade."  This my friends is good news.  The cost of fuel and labor has made the Chinese goods much less attractive.  If you factor in the absolute corruption in the communist run country you get a picture of a collapsing model.  I have written about the labor market in China before (Chinese Manufacturing) and how American workers and firms have a huge intrinsic advantage.

"We are always hiring at the plant but it's hard, dirty work and nobody wants to do it for $10/hour."  Hmmm, this one surprised me.  I guess when you get down to it, unemployment pays about the same wage and a lot of folks figure they are better off waiting for a higher paying job.  The thing about that is the benefits that this company pays equal about $8/hour and unemployment doesn't give you that.  Imagine though, if the income tax rate for corporations was cut to 9% what could happen to wages in this plant.

"Lead times on finished products have gone through the roof and retailers are still making Christmas purchases."  This plays into the first point but is quite telling.  Christmas purchases are usually completed and shipping commences in July - October.  Here we are in mid October and they are STILL buying.  For the first time in a decade, we did not have a peak season surcharge out of Asia.  This is a significant and fundamental change in the business cycle.  Folks are not producing on anticipated demand, they are producing by the order.

The companies that have survived this Great Recession have hunkered down, changed their behavior, mitigated risk, and saved their money.  The weak, inefficient, and poorly run enterprises have been weeded out.  Many misplaced workers are busting with ideas and the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in America, just cash starved and waiting for a break.  A repeal of the stifling regulatory climate, tax system overhaul, and new leadership is all that is missing.  November 2012 can't get here fast enough.  When this thing turns and it WILL turn we are going to see an explosion.  I guess I picked a good time to go back into sales...

Sep 27, 2011

Dating the Candidates

Abigail and Dolley readers it came to me today that I am dating the candidates running for the GOP nomination and they are trying to date me.  I represent the Southern Evangelical Conservative Woman voter.  I am also a Tea Party Girl who happens to be a darn good business woman.  All that said, I am going to be one of the toughest people around to get to walk down the aisle with you oh GOP hopeful.  You see, I am coming out of several years of a bad relationship and I don't trust the GOP in general.

My first date was with Ron Paul.  Many of my Tea Party friends said he was the one for me.  It was still very early in the process and I really liked what I was hearing.  We met at a bar and talked all night.  We had so much in common!  I loved his stance on fiscal issues, taxation, the constitution, and limitations of the federal government.  It was a wonderful night!  We agreed to meet again and he showed up the next day wearing a tin foil hat and talking about fences to keep Americans IN and that it was okay for Iran to have a nuclear weapon.  I smiled sweetly, plead a headache, and haven't returned his text messages since.  All his friends keep trying to convince me there is nothing wrong with the tin foil hat but ummm, nope.

My next date was with Michelle Bachmann.  Definitely a Tea Party favorite a real patriot and a strong woman.  I like that.  She won my support when she ask Tim Geithner, aka Ernie the Elf, and Ben Bernake, aka the Godfather, where in the Constitution they found the authority for Tarp and the actions of the Federal Reserve.  She organized the Tea Party Caucus in the House, spoke and organized many grassroots rallies and was a light in the darkness of the 111th Congress.  I was excited about our date!  Now, I know this is petty, but hey, I'm a girl and I can be.  Her accent just grates on my nerves... that was the first thing.  Then throughout the date she kept saying embarrassing things to the waiter like happy Birthday Elvis.  She also failed to properly defend the subject of submission to your husband, which could have been an excellent bully pulpit moment.  She seemed to me as if she had prerecorded answers to all my questions and we just failed to connect.  She's still a facebook friend but I don't think I will be going on that next date.

My next date was Rick Perry.  What a man!  I love his Texas swagger and indeed he is a fine looking fellow.  His record in Texas is stellar and I have a fondness for a strong cowboy.  He threw his hat in the ring and I turned my head.  All of my Ron Paul friends started having a duck about this guy - calling him names and painting him in a horrible light.  It felt like Sarah Palin all over, like my friends were liberals on a smear campaign.  It was a bit disconcerting.  I read a couple of sound articles about various things that folks were saying and I had to admit that while it was not completely settled in my Tea Party heart I have run enough businesses to recognize that as a leader you sometimes have to make decisions that are not popular.  You have to do what you think is right and stand my your decisions.  I also realize that I have changed over the course of the last 10 years.   The country has changed!  What it meant to be a conservative in 2001 is vastly different in 2011.  If I can change well then so can a candidate.  So me and Rick we went on a couple dates.  I liked him, I liked his style, I liked his record, but ole Rick and I we've got to part ways.  I stood up for him on the Gardisil issue.  I stood up for him on the NAFTA super highway.  I even played the devil's advocate for him on the illegal immigration tuition issue but at the end of the day my friends convinced me that it is indefensible given my core values and beliefs and I've got to side with my friends.  I still like you Rick, but we can't date anymore.  Keep doing a good job in Texas and I'll call you sometime.

On to my newest man, Herman Cain.  Oh, Herman is a charming man.  He's simply delightful; smart, articulate, and with a great sense of humor.  His background appeals to the American Spirit in me - a self made man from humble beginnings.  He talks straight and he's got a plan that I can really get behind.  The more I watch, the more I like.  We had pizza and a beer this weekend and I am excited about this weekend when we are supposed to go to a show.  I'm doing my research on him but the more I see the more I like.

Let me briefly say that John Huntsman or Mitt Romney will never be in the running.  Huntsman because he is a douche who keeps talking about America being broken at her core and Mitt because he is a country club Republican who makes me want to vomit.  Newt and Santorum,  well they feel like that old boyfriend and I'm not going back there.

But hey, I'm not engaged to anybody at this point and honestly, I think I would vote for the Cookie Monster over Barack Obama....  so woo on you GOP candidates, woo on.

Sep 12, 2011

9/11 - Ten Years Later

Abigail and Dolley readers I still cry about 9/11.  Not just on the anniversary either.  I suppose not many people do that anymore.  The odd thing about that is, I don't cry easy or often.  I was traveling yesterday, alone in the car for 8 hours.  I turned on XM Radio and listened to the coverage and of course, I cried.  I make myself do it every year; I relive that day.  I take myself back and I force myself to remember, to feel, and to cheer for the heroes.

For me, United Flight 93, the plane that the passengers took down in Shanksville PA has the most profound effect on me.  This is not to minimize all of the other dramas and stories that took place that fateful day, no they are equally note worthy but Flight 93 has always touched me deeply.  In contrast to the first three planes, the passengers on UA 93 knew what was going on.  They had been delayed on the ground, they were missing a 4th highjacker, and the Lord had assembled an unbelievable cast of characters for His work that day.

UA 93 represents the valor of our country rising from their seats and saying, "No More!"  The bravery and the determination of those passengers embodies the American Spirit at its best.  The movie that chronicles the events of the day is a must see for every American.

Sep 5, 2011

What is the Tea Party?

Abigail and Dolley readers the debt debate recently has been a wonderful opportunity for the left and the liberal media to point the finger at the Tea Party as being the problem.  This is true insanity and I am saddened to see recent polling that 50% of Americans now have an unfavorable opinion of the Tea Party.  The liberal Congressional Black Caucus is a major player in this strategy and many fear their lies and rhetoric will begin to incite riots.  I am having a fb discussion with someone regarding this and I would like to share with you my response to the assertion that the Tea Party was an extreme movement:

I have been involved with the Tea Party since the very beginning and I will absolutely assure you that it was never and has never been about skin color. It has always been about the scope, size, and intrusion of the Federal Government. The people that consider themselves part of the Tea Party are a huge cross section of Americans. We believe that there is TRILLIONS of dollars in waste in the Federal government and that must be addressed. We believe that business and free enterprise are over regulated, stymieing the American ingenuity and growth. We believe that private enterprise, charity, and individuals can do EVERYTHING better than the federal government. Nowhere in these beliefs is there a vein of "terrorism" or "racism". The return of the 10th amendment is not some sort of sick twisted way of instituting racism, it is a call for the Federal government to operate within the bounds of the Constitution. Furthermore, from a historical perspective the states that would have in the past used the 10th amendment to propagate racism were controlled by the Dems. The Tea Party does not identify with those positions nor would we have been on that side of history. The Dems and the progressive own that dubious distinction, history bears that out quite effectively. You state above that the rhetoric from the Tea Party is angry, threatening, and dehumanizing can you please provide an example? I know I can site dozens of examples where the left has used violent rhetoric against this movement.

Aug 23, 2011

Some Observations

Abigail and Dolley readers I have noticed something recently, people are agitated.  They are short with each other and the level of just under the surface anger is rising.  I am a member of several conservative fb groups and the discussions on some of the treads are just down right nasty.  Mostly due to trolls whose sole purpose in life is to evoke anger in others but the volumes are rising. 

I must say that if BHO had been vetted by the MSM or by the DEMs during the 2008 Primaries like Rick Perry has been this last week and a half, I doubt he would be President.  There have been all sorts of drive by shootings at Perry and at first I bought into them but then Michael Reagan posted a very fair and balanced article on the issues, not the sound bites and I began to change  my mind.  I continued to see the bashers out there I attempted to guide them to the same site that had thoughtfully laid out the issues and show them the the other side only to become the target of their rage.  It was quite illuminating.

So, I have not yet made up my mind on who I will support but never the less, here is the article I found so interesting, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.The Pesky Truth

Aug 11, 2011

Bankruptcy 101

Abigail and Dolley readers I don't usually copy and paste, but I had to share this from fb:

Bankruptcy 101...

It's easy to dismiss individual programs that benefit non-citizens until they're put together and this picture emerges. Someone did a lot of research to put together all of this data.

Often these programs are buried within other programs making them difficult to find.

A Real Eye Opener

You think the war in Iraq was costingus too much? Read this:

We have been hammered with the

propaganda that it was the Iraq war and the war on terror that is bankrupting us.

I hope the following 10 reasons are

forwarded over and over again until

they are read so many times that the

reader gets sick of reading them. I also have included the URL's for verification of all the following facts...

1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each year by state governments.

Verify at:​eServer?pagename=iic_immigrati​onissuecenters7fd8 <​eServer?pagename=iic_immigrati​onissuecenters7fd8>

2. $22 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps,WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.

Verify at:​04/fiscalexec.HTML <​04/fiscalexec.HTML>

3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on

Medicaid for illegal aliens.

Verify at:​004/fiscalexec.HTML <​04/fiscalexec.HTML>

4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of English!

Verify at:​NscriptS/0604/01/ldt.....0.HTM​L <​NscriptS/0604/01/ldt....0.HTML>

5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.

Verify at​NscriptS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTML <​NscriptS/0604/01/ldt...01.HTML>

6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens.

Verify at:​TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTM​L <​TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTM​L>​0TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt.01.HT​ML<​TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTM​L><​TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTM​L<​TRANscriptS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTM​L>

7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.

Verify at:​ANscriptS/0604/01/ldt...01.HTM​L <​NscriptS/0604/01/ldt...01.HTML>
<http://transcripts/ <http://transcripts/> .." href="" href="<><>
" href="" href="<>

8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for Welfare & social services by the American taxpayers.

Verify at:​PTS/0610/29/ldt.01.HTML <​PTS/0610/29/ldt.01..HTML>

9. $200 Billion dollars a year in suppressed American wages are caused by the illegal aliens.

Verify at: <" href="​NSCRI<http://www.nationalpolicyinsti​tute/./.org/PDF/deportationPDF>

10. In 2006, illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION in remittances to their countries of origin.

Verify at: http://www/. <http://www/​75/niht.htm> < " href="http://www/..<>http://www/..<>
" href="; " ' href="" rel=nofollow target=_blank>; <" href="<>
" href="" href="<><>

The total cost is a whopping


Are we THAT Stupid?



Jul 30, 2011

If the Tea Party are Hobbits; John McCain is Saruman

So, according to John McCain, we in the Tea Party are Hobbits?  As a fan of the Lord of the Rings, I am not particularly disturbed to be called a Hobbit.  After all, the Hobbits were specifically suited for the task given to them; destroy evil where it lived.

They were cunning, kindhearted, and did not concern themselves with their their foreign neighbors (at least in the sense that they did not want to become embroiled in their internal machinations and squabbles).  Life in the Shire is ideal; they work hard, they enjoy food, and they socialize with great gusto.  They run their affairs quite well on their own.

Hobbits are small and particularly good at hiding, blending into the landscape, and going about their business whilst the Ringwraiths (Demons) stalk them.  The Hobbits are stalwart and show an incredible resistance to the power and lure of evil, a resistance that no one else on Middle Earth seems to possess.  They are doggedly determined in great conflict to see the thing done, even if it costs them their lives.  In the face of sure defeat, overwhelming odds, and incredible evil, they trudge forward.

Hobbits shake their head in disappointment at the news from Isengard (Washington DC) and the fall of their supposed ally (although they have NEVER liked or trusted him), Saruman (John McCain).  Saruman was not interested in doing the right thing, he was simply interested in retaining power.  He chooses sides not by what is right, but by who he thinks will win.  His resolve is weak and treacherous and he seeks to destroy those whose actions highlight his own failures.  Even in the end, when the great evil was defeated, Saruman sought to punish and scourge the Shire.  Saruman was not a good guy and neither is John McCain.

Lest John McCain forget, it was the Hobbits who brought down evil in Middle Earth and it was the Hobbits who ultimately destroyed Saruman and throw him out of the Shire.  The day may seem dark, evil may look as if it is winning, but the Hobbits have the ring and they aren't stopping until they hurl it into Mordor.  Saruman should have never made an enemy of the Hobbits.

Jul 18, 2011

No Longer One of the Statistics

Abigail and Dolley readers many of you know I lost my job in January.  It has truly been one of the most difficult periods of my entire life.  I have ALWAYS worked and have never been out of a job.  It is really tough out there and I am very fortunate that my industry has not evaporated in this Depression.  I feel for the real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and construction companies that have seen their business disappear.  Many private companies are surviving only through the patronage of the behemoth Feds.  It is indeed a sad state of affairs and does not seem to be getting better.

Alas, I am happy to report that I have secured another position and began today.  It was glorious to awaken this morning with somewhere to go!  It was wonderful to meet new people and to live outside my own head again.  I have to also give a praise report that the Lord saw me and my family through this difficult time and I am eternally thankful for His provision, protection, and guidance.

God Bless you Abigail and Dolley readers.  Thank you for visiting and for your support during this tough time.

Jul 5, 2011

Missing or Murdered - No One will ever know unless you are a pretty white girl

This post was originally published in early 2009, but it is as appropriate today as it was then.

Are you beautiful? If not, are you at least smart? If you are beautiful and you are smart - well, you hit the genetic lottery and you are by our societies standards our most valuable. We are all instinctively aware of this, but it was first brought to my attention while reading Dr. James Dobson. Dr. Dobson pointed out that for children in our society that are neither beautiful or smart parents need to validate and encourage those children for what they DO have to offer. He used the example of the notorious mass murderer, Richard Speck, who over the course of an evening, murdered eight nursing students in Chicago. A reporter commented that it was made even more tragic because all of the girls had been so attractive. In one off hand comment, he revealed what we truly believe, if you are beautiful, your life is more important.

National news coverage is only given to tragic abductions and murders of pretty white girls. When is the last time you saw a black child getting national news coverage? What about an ugly kid? Or what about a boy? I can answer that for you - you haven't. You can probably name the ones that come to mind: Jonbenet Ramsey, Polly Klaas, Elizabeth Smart, Jessica Lunsford and the latest Britanee Drexel. So our all inclusive media, who worships at the altar of promoting equality, fail, yet again, to present the news in an unbiased fashion.

I am by no means underplaying the seriousness and heart breaking reality of families dealing with the worst nightmare I can imagine. I am merely pointing out that if you are beautiful you get the coverage. Many of these families have channeled their tragedies into foundations that spot light this issue and have done great things to help save other children. John Walsh of America's Most Wanted, Mark Klaas of the Klaaskids Foundation, the Nationwide AMBER alert system - all beauty from ashes, made possible through national exposure of these cases.

Thankfully, there is someone who knows the pain these families suffer through, who comforts the grieving, and cares for the lost and the forgotten! He is incorruptible and eternal, He loves you so much He died for you. Jesus knows, and praise Him for that - because we fallible humans sure don't!

Jun 30, 2011

Thanksgiving 2022

Abigail and Dolley readers I did not write this and if I knew who did, I would give them credit.  This was copied off a Tea Party Page on facebook, for now they have not shut those down...

"Winston, come into the dining room, it's time to eat," Julia yelled to her husband.  "In a minute, honey, it's a tie score," he answered.

 Actually Winston wasn't very interested in the traditional holiday football game between Detroit and Washington . Ever since the government passed the Civility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its "unseemly violence" and the "bad example it sets for the rest of the world", Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be.  Two-hand touch wasn't nearly as exciting.

Yet it wasn't the game that Winston was uninterested in. It was more the thought of eating another Tofu Turkey. Even though it was the best type of VeggieMeat available after the government revised the American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of federally-forbidden foods, (which already included potatoes, cranberry sauce, and mincemeat pie), it wasn't anything like real turkey. And ever since the government officially changed the name of "Thanksgiving Day" to "A National Day of Atonement" in 2020, to officially acknowledge the Pilgrims' historically brutal treatment of Native Americans, the holiday had lost a lot of its luster.

Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting.  The unearthly gleam of government-mandated fluorescent  light bulbs made the Tofu Turkey look even weirder than it actually was, and the room was always cold.  Ever since Congress passed the Power Conservation Act of 2016, mandating all thermostats - which were monitored and controlled by the electric company - be kept at 68 degrees, every room on the north side of the house was barely tolerable throughout the entire winter.

Still, it was good getting together with family. Or at least most of the family. Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she had used up her legal allotment of life-saving medical treatment. He had had many heated conversations with the Regional Health Consortium, spawned when the private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone was forced into the government health care program. And though he demanded she be kept on her treatment, it was a futile effort. "The RHC's resources are limited", explained the government bureaucrat Winston spoke with on the phone. "Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled.---- I'm sorry for your loss."

Ed couldn't make it either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric car last night, the only kind available after the Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2021 outlawed the use of the combustion engines - for everyone but government officials. The fifty mile round trip was about ten miles too far, and Ed didn't want to spend a frosty night on the road  somewhere between here and there.

Thankfully, Winston's brother, John, and his wife were flying in. Winston made sure that the dining room chairs had extra cushions for the occasion. No one complained more than John about the pain of sitting down so soon after the government-mandated cavity searches at airports, which severely aggravated his hemorrhoids.  Ever since a terrorist successfully smuggled a cavity bomb onto a jetliner, the TSA told Americans the added "inconvenience" was an "absolute necessity" in order to stay "one step ahead of the terrorists."

Winston's own body had grown accustomed to such probing ever since the government expanded their scope to just about anywhere a crowd gathered, via Anti-Profiling Act of 2022. That law made it a crime to single out any group or individual for "unequal scrutiny," even when probable cause was involved. Thus, cavity searches at malls, train stations, bus depots, etc., etc., had become almost routine.  Almost.

The Supreme Court is reviewing the statute, but most Americans expect a Court composed of six progressives and three conservatives to leave the law intact. "A living Constitution is extremely flexible", said the Court's eldest member, Elena Kagan. " Europe has had laws like this one for years.---- We should learn from their example", she added. 

Winston's thoughts turned to his own children. He got along fairly well with his 12-year-old daughter, Brittany, mostly because she ignored him. Winston had long ago surrendered to the idea that she could text anyone at any time, even during Atonement Dinner. Their only real confrontation had occurred when he limited her to 50,000 texts a month, explaining that was all he could afford. She whined for a week, but got over it.

His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether. Perhaps it was the constant bombarding he got in public school that global warming, the bird flu, terrorism, or any of a number of other calamities were "just around the corner", but Jason had developed a kind of nihilistic attitude that ranged between simmering surliness and outright hostility.

It didn't help that Jason had reported his father to the police for smoking a cigarette in the house, an act made criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2018, which outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another human being.

Winston paid the $5,000 fine, which might have been considered excessive before the American dollar became  virtually worthless as a result of QE13. The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government initiated was, once again, to "spur economic growth." This time, they promised to push unemployment below its years-long rate of 18%, but Winston was not particularly hopeful.

Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful, Winston thought, before remembering it was a Day of Atonement. At least, he had his memories.  He felt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children would never know what life was like in the Good Old Days,  long before government promises to make life "fair for everyone" realized their full potential.
Winston, like so many of his fellow Americans, never  realized how much things could change when they didn't happen all at once, but little by little, so people could get used to them. He wondered what might have happened if the public had stood up while there was still time, maybe back around 2011, when all the real nonsense began. "Maybe we wouldn't be where we are today if we'd just said 'enough is enough' when we had the chance," he thought. Maybe so, Winston. Maybe so.

Jun 29, 2011

Transformers 3 Movie Review

Abigail and Dolley readers my guys and I got a sneak peak at the movie Transformers 3 - The Dark Side of the Moon last night.  In a nut shell, save your money.  That is unless you like brainless action with improbable story lines.  The movie felt very much like Independence Day, started out promising and ended up being hookey and campy.  Another comparison is Spiderman 3, all special effects and no real story.  Like the Spiderman trilogy, the Transformers trilogy slides with each installment.  I will say, at least in Spiderman they kept the same girlfriend.  Meghan Fox might be a pain in the neck, but she would have at least added some continuity to the story.

There are so many plot holes in the film it is hard to know where to begin.  The absolutely unrealistic relationship between Sam and his new girlfriend, Rosey is one of the most glaring.  They have no chemistry, she is far out of his league, and the viewer is left wondering exactly how these two are together.  In the end, we really don't even care.  Where was John Voit?  He was awesome as the Secretary of Defense in the previous films.  Instead, he is replaced by Francis McDermont who plays a complete caricature of a woman in power.  The viewer is intrigued with the addition of the very talented John Malcovich, but alas I am not even sure what he was doing in the story.  He dropped in, hinted that he was going to be awesome, and then disappeared.  

There are two distinct parts to the film, the story and then the action.  The producers abandoned any type of engaging story to simply spoon feed drivel.  They then put whipped cream on the turd in the form of loud and long spectacular action sequences and expect the adoring public to dig in.  It was special effects overload and frankly it got boring. My advise to Hollywood, spend a little more time and money on the story after all if you seen one Transformer go from a car to a robot, you've seen them all.

Jun 21, 2011

Bridesmaids - The Movie

Abigail and Dolley readers recently I spent a wonderful afternoon with a friend.  We had lunch and then a chick flick.  We heard Bridesmaids was entertaining and funny and since I was preparing for my 10th time down the aisle as a bridesmaid, it seemed like a great choice.  I will admit that I laughed, but much of the humor is about being embarrassed for the main character.  That kind of humor has always been unsettling to me.  You know what I am talking about, sort of that "Meet the Faulkers" humor?  I kept saying out loud, "Oh, no... don't do it..."  In addition,  there are parts of the movie so crude and disgusting that I just could not watch.

The movie is not appropriately titled, in my opinion it should have been called, "She's Coming Undone" or "Hitting Rock Bottom".  It was painful to watch the horrendous decisions the main character made throughout the entire movie.  Time and time again she self destructed, allowed herself to be horribly used, and succumbed to jealously and selfishness at an alarming rate.  She debased herself on a number of occasions and made a complete fool of herself throughout the movie.

2011 has been the most trying year of my life and I have said dozens of times, "How do people without Christ get through something like this?"  Behold, on the big screen was my answer in the form of Bridesmaids.  The character had no center, except that she loved to bake, it had been her passion and she stopped.  Everyone around her thought that if she would just bake again, her life would turn back around and she would find salvation in the "Nice Guy".  To give the movie credit, it took more than a cake to get her life back on track but even with the "happy" ending it was quite pathetic.  It left me feeling the overwhelming emptiness that must accompany those without faith and hope.

Ironically, I was reading a book called, The Upside of Down: Finding Hope When it Hurts
It is a work that takes the reader through life changing crisis and allows them to not only get through it, but to become stronger at the end.   It is a journey through understanding, accepting, healing, and empowerment.  It is a gentle reminder that God loves us even when times are tough and He is strong enough for us to rely and depend on him.  So if you find yourself at the end of your rope, do yourself a favor and do it God's way, otherwise you might find yourself starring in your own "Bridesmaids" movie.

May 26, 2011

Does HE Have Your Attention Now?

Tornadoes, Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Nuclear Disasters, Floods, and Mud Slides have descended upon the Earth with a ferocity never recorded.  Global Financial collapse looms as the dollar plummets, the integrity of gold deposits is called into question (Fake Gold Bars), and the stability of the stock market is in serious doubt due to an ever growing and insidious Global Financial Scam. Real unemployment is quickly approaching levels not seen since the Great Depression. Global Warming has been unmasked as a serious hoax through Climategate.  The World's Savior, Barack Obama, so lauded by the lost as the Messiah, has proven himself a humiliating, bumbling and weak buffoon as clearly demonstrated by this video, Worst Foreign Trip Ever.  Wars are being fought across the globe, the world is lining up against Israel, and the great restrainer, the USA, is stretched to the absolute limit and going broke.  Disease and starvation annihilate the Third World especially through malaria and AIDS.  The irony is that both conditions are preventable with DDT and abstinence coupled with Biblical marriage, respectively.  In short, this world is teetering on the razor's edge of disaster and evil seems to be ruling the day.

Do not be deceived, these calamities are not random.  They are designed to demonstrate to human beings that they are not in control of this Earth.  We are not the supreme authority here and nothing in this life is safe, permanent, and secure.  Everything can collapse and things we have held dear seem to be running through our fingers like sand.  There is but one who is steadfast and true.  There is one hope for a suffering and dying world, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Does HE have your attention, now?  If not, what's it going to take?  Do not be a hard-hearted and stiff necked fool!  Do not reject the gift of salvation that costs you nothing and saves everything.  If you have already made that transaction but continue to live in self sufficiency, is HE calling you back into fellowship with him?  If you are an on fire believer are you praying for this lost world and conforming yourself daily to be like Christ to the damned?

It is time to wake up folks, these are the birth pains.  The Lord is rich in mercy and desires that no one should reject Him and damn themselves to eternal torment.  HE loves you, HE died for you, and HE wants you to come to Him and have fellowship with Him.  If you have never before asked the Lord into your life, all you have to do is pray something like this:

Lord Jesus, I am a sinner in need of a Savior.  I believe that you were born of a virgin, crucified for my sins, and on the third day rose from the dead.  Please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and save me.  Fill me with your Holy Spirit.  Amen.

May 23, 2011

Counting Your Blessings in America

Abigail and Dolley readers I was at the pool yesterday and was completely overwhelmed by how blessed we are in this country.  I know that is not an original thought, but it became so true to me as I lay there in the sun watching the families around me.  There is one family who adopted a boy from Africa.    In Africa, he was an orphan, likely by disease or war.  He was born into a world where his life expectancy is less than 50, where child soldiers are used in brutal civil wars, and where AIDS is as common as a cold.  How different his life is here, in middle class America!

I have been watching a series on Nexflix called Monarchy.  They are documentaries about the oldest Monarchy in the world, that of England.  The first three episodes chronicle the struggles of the Dark Ages.  What a terrible and brutal time to have lived!  You and I could have been easily born then as opposed to now.

The times in history and the places other than America where we all could have found ourselves is astonishing.  I could be a Muslim woman living in Saudi Arabia, I could be an African mother trying to stay alive and feed my son, or I could be a Chinese Christian facing death for proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Instead, I found myself at a private swimming pool where the parking lot was filled with new shiny cars, the swimwear was brand new for the season, and all around us were loving parents and well fed, loved children.  No matter the circumstances that my family finds themselves in due to unemployment, we are still blessed beyond measure.

May 8, 2011

Ears to Hear

Abigail and Dolley readers I have a funny tale to relate to you.  This afternoon I was out for my daily walk and prayer time.  I do this about 5 days a week, weather and ankles permitting.  We live in a nice neighborhood, but this world is crazy and I am always aware of my surroundings, you know a girl can not be too careful.  So I keep an eye on work trucks, strange cars, and of course white paneled vans.  Today, a black Explorer eased slowly past me and came to a stop about a dozen yards ahead.  It seemed a little suspicious to me, so I turned down a side street that I had previously skipped trying to avoid whatever was going on in that vehicle. 

When I got back to the main road there was no Explorer in sight, so I forgot about it and went on.  I rounded the corner and the Explorer was back.  It sped toward me and pulled along side quickly.  There was a man and a woman in the car and I felt no menace from them.  I expected that they would ask me for directions.  Instead, in a Midwestern Accent and with an expression of complete exasperation the man said to me, "Do you know where that alarm is coming from?"

I must have smiled and replied, "That's not an alarm.  Those are cicadas." He clearly had never heard of a cicada so I elaborated.  "It's a bug."

He turned to his wife in astonishment and repeated, "It's a bug."

"Yeah, they come out about every 13 years or so."

He did not find it amusing but I quickly was, he shook his head and said, "It has been driving us crazy!"  I laughed and walked off thinking of this poor couple driving around Charlotte trying to find the alarm that was going off!  Well, I hope they can relax now and they sure gave me a good laugh.

Update:  Since some of you live where you do not have cicadas, here is a short video of my backyard so you can hear for yourself.  Enjoy!

May 4, 2011

Seeking God

Abigail and Dolley readers today's Scripture was 2 Chronicles 7:14 “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”

Books could be written about this Scripture and indeed a search for the term "seeking God's face" will return pages of results.  Many of these talented authors are far more articulate than I on the subject but I will endeavor to convey a small amount of insight.

Often when we begin to seek God, we seek Him for His hand.  We have fallen on our faces, we are in times of peril, and we know we must go to the true and living God for His divine intervention.  Our prayers are for help, deliverance, healing - things God can do for us.  Our relationship with Him at this point is one of a servant to a master, we humble ourselves before the Lord in supplication and submission.  These prayers will often take time, we do not serve a God that has a drive up window, His timing is not ours.

While we are seeking His hand, He will reveal His face.  We will begin to understand His love for us  We will get glimpses of Him, not just His works.  He will give us a hunger for a deeper relationship with Him, we will feel a devotion and a closeness to Him.  The Holy Spirit within us directs our gaze to the Son and the Son allows us to see the face of the Father.  Our relationship with Him now is one of child to loving parent.

When we come outside of ourselves and our circumstances, He will then take us to the next level, that of seeking God's Heart.  This is when we begin to look at the world through His eyes and not our own.  We begin to love the unlovely, to hurt for the lost, to pray for others in their need.  Our hearts are changed to be more like His.  Others see God through our lives and actions.  Our relationship with Him now is that of a mature child in service to the King.

Ironically, at each step we must sacrifice ourselves to move to the next level.  We can be full of self and seek God's Hand, but we must begin to sacrifice some of our own wants and desires to begin to see His face and we must humble ourselves completely before we see His heart.  In each step, we must be diminished and God must be magnified.  When you think about it though, is it really much of a sacrifice to be diminished within ourselves, are we all that great to begin with?

I found this handy little chart, Seeking God's Heart that I would like to share with you.  Many blessings to you friends and may you find peace and rest in the Lord today.

Apr 30, 2011

Dying Daily

Dying Daily is a subject that most people don't like to think about, let alone do.  It is a process of daily bringing our natural self into total submission to God.  To consciously saying, "I got nothing, Lord.  Use me today to do Your will, not my own."  Admittedly, until recently I never did that.   I have lived my entire life giving lip service to surrendering to God but never actually doing it.  I asked Him to bless me in my own pursuits and in my own desires but I rarely asked Him what He wanted me to do.

I think because I was afraid of what He would ask of me.  In my mind, surrendering to God meant giving up all earthly pleasures, selling everything, moving to some remote foreign land to be rejected by the people He sent me to save and dying a horrible death from malaria.  Surrender to God, equated to poverty, discomfort, sacrifice, and suffering - none of these things are all that appealing.  Hey, I am being truthful here, surely there are others out there that think the same way.

So how did I go from living for myself to submitting to God?  What brought me to the place where I die to self daily and give over complete control?  That is simple, He brought me to my knees.  Now I have been brought low before, faced hard times, suffered and walked through many a wilderness.  I was close to God during those times but never broken.  We have within ourselves untapped reservoirs of strength and will that serve us well in times of trouble but will also keep us clinging to self when we should have surrendered long ago.

There is a first death to self that occurs when we give our lives to the Lord, when we are born again and our spirit is changed.  We go from being a condemned sinner to a new creation in Christ.  This is eternal change that no amount of bad behavior can ever change because that would mean we were in control in the first place.  Notice though, when we are born again - two parts of our being are NOT changed.  Our soul and our flesh are not changed, these are what we have to learn to bring into check and into control.  These are the things that have to die daily.

Galatians 5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

Maybe it is just me, but I fought this process HARD.  One day in early April, I died.  I died to myself.  I had no strength, no pride, no will, no illusions of my own beauty, intelligence, ability - nothing.  I wept before the Lord without the strength to raise my hands in praise.  In the end, all I could say was "I got nothing, Lord."  I wish I could tell you it was at that moment that the filling of the Holy Spirit took place.  I wish I could tell you that a white light shown down in my living room and the angels came to minister to my battered soul.  I wish I could tell you that peace, joy, and understanding replaced despair but alas they did not.  I felt utterly alone, even though I knew I wasn't.  I could not feel His presence, even though I knew He was there.  That was the purpose, I had to die and death is not fun.

So what has happened since early April?  Well, I continue to walk and pray with the Lord everyday.  Some days I stagger more than walk for this dying to self is not a singular act, it goes on everyday.  I am stronger and have moved into a depth with the Lord that is deep and meaningful.  Mostly, there is peace and understanding that His will for my life is better than anything I could ever plan.

So dear Abigail and Dolley readers I encourage you to take a step of faith and every morning before you get out of bed say to the Lord, "I give you my life today.  I surrender my own desires and my own will to You.  Use me today, fill me with your strength, your wisdom, and your heart.  Amen"

Apr 23, 2011

Holy Saturday - The Second Day

Abigail and Dolley readers I have been contemplating today, Holy Saturday for a few months now.  This is the day after Good Friday and the day before Easter.  This is the day that Jesus' body lay in the tomb.  To the followers of Christ, this must have been the darkest day of their lives.  Think about it for a minute, forget your knowledge of the Resurrection, forget that you know the end of the story, simply go to the upper room with me and imagine.

The Apostles are hiding, certain they will be killed if found.  The fear of gruesome death and humiliation torments them.  They have lived with Roman oppression, they know what happened to Jesus.  He was the most powerful man on Earth and they killed him, how vulnerable they must have felt!  How terrified would you be waiting for the knock at the door that signaled they had come for you?

Their friend Judas had betrayed the Lord and was gone.  He had fallen prey to the lies of the Devil himself.  With Jesus out of the way, the poor disciples who had cast out demons in Jesus name must surely know that the hoards of Hell were coming after them.  With Jesus dead, they would be fresh meat for the demons.

Judas was the caretaker of the money for the group and it stands to reason he would have taken all of their funds with him when he left.  So they are broke, with a price on their heads, and they are trapped.  They have no way to pay off anyone to help them escape, how are they going to get food?  The followers of Jesus had scattered and the people of Jerusalem had called for the Lord's Crucifixion, without funds there is no one to help them.

Then there is the disillusionment.  These men had given up everything to follow Jesus - homes, families, business, position in the community.  I am sure there were those in their families that thought they were crazy, that condemned them for not doing the "responsible" thing and leading a normal life.  I am sure there were a few Mother-in-laws who had condemned them for leaving home and hearth to follow this rabbi.  As they sat in the upper room that day, they had to face the crushing possibility that they had been wrong and everyone else had been right.  Had they wasted the last three years?

Jesus had predicted his own death about a dozen times, but from all accounts His words seem to have been hidden from the Apostles.  It was like Jesus had spoken in code and they had not heard or understood what He was saying.  This is demonstrated by their disbelief on Easter morning and Thomas' rejection of the testimony of the ten.  So I do not believe that they took comfort and hope that Jesus would rise again, this Saturday did not serve that purpose.

Holy Saturday was designed to buffet the Apostles.  It was designed for them to reflect.  It was designed to bring them to the lowest points in their lives and to prepare them for the work to come.  Holy Saturday is what Christianity would be without the Resurrection - dead.

I believe we all have Holy Saturdays in our lives.  Our dreams, hopes, aspirations, and loved ones are taken away on Friday.  We curl up in hiding, mourning, and fear on Saturday.  Saturday is lonely and scary but take heart Sunday is on the way.  Sunday their is victory, new life, and resurrection!  Praise God.