Saturday, January 29, 2005

Finally, our state gets brave.

I know that something like this is probably a long way off from making it to the ballot boxes in a lot of states, but in Kansas, I was expecting this a long time ago. It finally looks like it will happen.

You're wondering right now what I'm talking about, right? I'll give the quote from the Associated Press:
"Jan. 27-- A proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Kansas now goes to the full House for debate.

A House committee endorsed the measure on a voice vote today following two days of hearings. The Senate has already voted to put the measure on a future statewide ballot. House Speaker Doug Mays says his chamber will debate the measure early next week. Approval by two-thirds of the House would clear the way for Kansas voters to decide on the proposed amendment.

The measure bars the state from recognizing marriages or civil unions between two people of the same sex."

Now, if this measure is put to the citizens to vote on, I'm fairly certain it would pass. I don't know how you feel about this issue, but this is what I believe: Gay marriages and relationships go against what God has taught us in His Word. Being homosexual is a result of the condition we are born into called sin. Simply being attracted to members of the same sex is not the problem; it's acting upon the urges to be physically involved with someone of the same sex that's the problem.

I don't know whether it's something that people just realize over time that they are, like being good at sports or something. Nature versus nurture? I'm not sure. I really don't think that people who are already in the gay community would want to try to convince "straight" people to be gay because they know the kind of reactions they get, the kind of discrimination that occurs. But none of that really matters.

Marriage is something that was instituted by God as being for one man and one woman to behold, not two men or two women. If God had wanted homosexuality to be acted upon, don't you think he would have said so? Instead, he speaks against it.

Right now, the Evangelical *Lutheran* (cough) Church in America is struggling with the decision to ordain actively open homosexual ministers. That's something that our Synod would never do (unless it keeps getting more and more liberal, ignoring what Scripture tells us).

We're taught to "repent" of our sins. True repentance includes not only recognizing that we're sinners in need of God's help, but also the willingness to make a change so that we don't continue doing what we're doing in sin. Just like alcoholics who want to recover must acknowledge that they have a problem and ask for help, it does them no good if they keep drinking. If they do, they'll never be true penitants. Repentance reqires action. Just as alcoholics must commit to giving up alcohol, homosexuals, if they are truely repentant of their condition, must commit to giving up acts which God does not condone, i.e. relations with those of the same sex.

If you're truly sorry for your sin, you do what you can to avoid doing it in the future. You commit yourself to God, ask for his forgiveness and his guideance, and you stop doing what displeases him and makes your life the devil's playground.

I'm glad that Kansas will get to vote on a same-sex marriage ban. And I'm positive (based on surveys shown on the local news) that it will pass. I'm thinking that only those who wish to continue in their sin and those who don't know any better will be the ones voting against the ban. Hey, this isn't called the "Bible Belt" for nothing!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I finally took the quiz!

But the results aren't so surprising. Here's what I learned about myself that I kind of already knew:

You scored as Verbal/Linguistic. You have highly developed auditory skills, enjoy reading and writing and telling stories, and are good at getting your point across. You learn best by saying and hearing words. People like you include poets, authors, speakers, attorneys, politicians, lecturers and teachers.















The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences
created with

Now it's your turn! Have fun!

Trip to Washington, D.C. in the works!

A friend of mine, Cassie, whom I've known since we were 3 and 4 years old, is back in the United States after a tour of duty she served in Turkey the last three years or so. She was in Navy Intelligence (which my husband and father-in-law say is an oxymoron), but is going to be out as of Jan. 31, and will be starting a new job at the Department of Homeland Security in the middle of February! And she's only 25 years old!

She and I wanted to get together while she was in Kansas in October, but it didn't really work out. She had to go back to Turkey before I could say "gobble, gobble." But after talking to her on the phone, which I can do much easier now that there's only a one-hour time difference, she said she wants to fly me out to visit her sometime soon! I told her that it would be best to wait until after May because Ron and my sister are both graduating then, and my class will end in May, too. I'll let you know more as the plans get more firm.

She has a little boy who's about 2 years old, and, I guess, responds better to being disciplined in Turkish than in English, since he had a Turkish nanny while Cassie was in the service there. Isn't that funny? So when Cassie's serious about something, she says it in Turkish.

I've never met her son or husband, but her husband is going back overseas to Iraq in about two weeks. Not to worry, though, Cassie said. He's probably going to be in an air-conditioned office. Even though it's going to be for about 14 months! Yikes!

There's so much to read!

Communication texts (five of them), a book about how to keep from sabotaging yourself so you can get what you want and deserve out of life (as relates to my Mary Kay business), The Spirituality of the Cross, which we're studying for Midweek classes at church, and the Augsburg Confession and it's articles for the class Ron is leading now at church during the Sunday school hour.

I'm not sure how I'm supposed to keep up with it all, keep up with work (where I do even more reading and typing), and get in a decent day's workout so I can keep my body in shape as well as my mind.

I know I need to pace myself and layout a time grid for when I should be doing which activity, but when am I supposed to find the time to do that? Won't that take away from the time I'm supposed to be spending reading something? And don't forget that I really want to have a "life," too.

Forgive me if I don't post as often this semester. As you can tell, I've got a lot of stuff on my plate. I probably shouldn't even be taking the time to post this! Aaaaaaaahhh! When will it end? (Oh, yeah. In May.) :(

Sunday, January 23, 2005

I made it by 3 inches!

I saw a commercial this afternoon that had a simple message: You wouldn't treat crash dummies like children, so why would you treat children like crash dummies? If they're under 4'9", they need a booster seat.

I guess that if I were three inches shorter (because I'm only 5 feet tall), I'd need a booster seat, too!

One young lady who attends our church, who is also incredibly intelligent for her age, said that in Canada, if you're under 5 feet tall (or just barely over, I can't remember), you're considered handicapped and get to park in handicapped parking.

Well, I'm already considered permanently handicapped because of my feet, but I guess I just barely make the mark of being handicapped in Canada and needing a booster seat in the U.S.!

Hey, I think this is my shortest post ever! How 'bout that! My hubby is impressed.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Why don't cops listen to women?

Ron got a good laugh out of this, and I'm glad, but I was really peeved! It is kinda funny, though.

I had a doctor's appointment this morning, and on the way home, I ran out of gas and got stuck on the side of the highway. I called everyone I could think to call, and no one was available to come out and give me a little gas so I could get to a gas station. So, I did the only thing I could think to do: I called 911.

I told the dispatcher that I had run out of gas, told her what I was driving and where I was. In the following 20 minutes that I had to wait for an officer to get to me, I said a prayer that no one would hit me from behind (as the noon rush was approaching), and that I would get out of it in one piece. I guess I should have been more specific.

When the police officer finally arrived, I told him that I had run out of gas and that I needed to get some. His response: he called a tow truck. Why couldn't he have taken me to a gas station so I could rent a gas can and take back a little gas to my truck so I could make it to a gas station? Nope. I had to pay $50 for a tow.

Then, when the tow truck got there, I asked him to tow me to a gas station. He said, well, if it's not dead because it ran out of gas, you'll need a mechanic. I'll just take you to an auto shop so you don't have to have me tow you again if it's not out of gas. Which one do you want me to take you to? (GRRRRRRR!!!! I'M JUST OUT OF GAS!)

So, he takes me to a repair shop. There's a gas station next door. Thankfully, I know the owners of the repair shop. They're great Christian people, and are more than helpful. The husband of this family-owned business put a gallon of gas in my truck for me, and his wife followed me to the gas station just in case there really was something wrong instead of just being out of gas. No problem. I filled up and was on my way.

You're probably wondering why I let my gas tank get so low. No, my gas guage isn't broken. Yes, the needle was pointing at "empty." The thing is, I've watched as Ron drove the truck into a level lower (I thought) than I had it and still have time to get to a gas station. I thought I'd be able to make it another three miles to the nearest gas station. Ha. Yeah. Right.

So, when I was finally able to get Ron on the phone, did he get mad? Nope. Yell? Nope. Give me the silent treatment? Nope. He laughed! I'm so glad. My dad found out about my sad situation and yelled at me for it. Why? It wasn't his money I had to waste on a tow truck! But he did apologize to me later, and then told me what to do if (God forbid) this should happen again.

How was I to know that I might have been able to start it up again if I just waited a little while, and then drive another couple of miles or so? I've never run out of gas before, nor have I ridden with someone who's run out of gas with me in tow.

I'm sure when people driving by saw a tow truck lifting my pickup onto its platform, with me, a short blonde woman standing by, they were thinking "What a dumb blonde!" I'm really not. I was heading toward a gas station when I ran out of gas. I just hadn't made it off the highway yet.

A couple of things could have prevented this. First, I could have made sure that I got gas before I went anywhere, and second, the stupid cop should have believed me when I told him I was out of gas and just taken me to get a gas can, and then driven me back so I could add it to my tank. I would have only been out a few bucks, which I would have been anyway since I needed gas to begin with!

Why don't cops listen to women? Do they think we're all stupid and don't know when we're out of gas? COME ON!!! We, like the men we live with, sometimes let the tank get too low. HUMPH!!! Well, that'll never happen again! (I hope...)

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The Terrible Swede: A Role Model?

It's true! And it's never been so evident until now. My sister's husband, Nick, has started a blog of his own, influenced by my husband. He's named it "Beer, sex, sports, cars, or anything else." What else could you expect from someone influenced by the Terrible Swede?

Nick and my sister started dating about one month before Ron and I did, but it was obvious from nearly the beginning of my relationship with Ron that Nick looked up to him. I'll give some examples:

Nick found out that Ron was in the Air National Guard, so he joined. After he got out of Basic Training, he was activated and spent most of the first 1 1/2 years overseas, which my sister hated but dealt with.

When we go out to western Kansas to visit my grandma and her husband, who live on a farm, Ron calls Nick and says, "Hey, Nick, bring your gun. I want to go shooting." Nick tells Ron, "Dude, it's already packed." Then he gets off the phone and goes to pack his gun. My sister doesn't like this because when they go out shooting, Nick finds bunny rabbits to shoot. He killed three last time.

This evening, inspired by some of the services he's attended and a Lutheran-Orthodox discussion board Ron joined, we're all going to visit an Orthodox vespers service tonight with some friends of ours from church. Our church, not Nick and Tonya's.

And now, since they finally have Internet access, Nick has created his own blog. Scary.

One restriction he has already put in force, though, is that anonymous commenting is not allowed, and his comments are set up by Blogger.

I'm expecting that his will be a bit raunchy once he gets started, and that's putting it lightly. If you thought the Terrible Swede could get offensive, watch out!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Interesting day

I had a great time visiting the Mary Kay unit meeting led by a different area director this morning. I'm going to be joining her meetings this semester because the graduate class I'm starting on the 24th is on Monday nights, the nights I would typically have meetings with my own unit. My director is thrilled that I made arrangements to go to training meetings with another director. She, herself, has a number of recruits who live in areas where they can't make it to our meetings, so they're "adoptees" in other units. This means that they're still part of our unit, but they get their training from directors in their areas. It happens all the time.

I went to get my books and Ron's books for our classes, but some of the books, Ron wanted to wait on because he thought he might already have some of them. I tried to express this to the lady at Books-to-Go, but she misunderstood me and charged my credit card with the books that he didn't want, plus the books I was getting. I said, "Wait, did you charge me for these books (the ones he wanted) or these (the ones he didn't)?" She pointed to the ones he didn't. I told her of this mistake. She voided the charge on my credit card, but then couldn't put in the new charge because the machine wouldn't accept it. So I left without any books. Ron's going to try his card when he gets off of work.

From there, I proceeded to the Wichita State University campus to present my financial aid award from the Graduate School, and was informed that my award had been reduced because I wasn't using the whole amount. I ended up owing a dollar, so I paid it. Done. My class is paid for.

Then, I'm coming home thinking about how I had to leave the bookstore without any of the books I went there to buy (and they were all there), and I start looking around at my surroundings: Every 15 feet or so in the areas where people lived along the main roads, branches that had broken off of trees during the ice storm were piled higher than those piling them were tall.

"Wow," I thought. I guess my problems are kind of trivial compared to all of this.

I guess the lesson I learned was that I'll always be able to find something to complain about, something that upsets me because I wasn't expecting it. But there are still a few thousand people without power, and tens of thousands who have branches piled up at their curbs or whole trees that had to be removed because of the storm. And we don't have any trees because we don't have a house. We didn't have to clean up any tree limbs or deal with other complications that result from tree damage, and we have electricity now, unlike others.

Secondly, I guess I should be more thankful that I have the small challenges I do instead of larger challenges. I have a wonderful husband who loves and respects me, we have a roof over our heads that provides us heat at a time when lots of people are cold and living in shelters because their own homes are inhabitable.

Thank you, God for all you've blessed us with.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

More ice on the way!

I'm not sure what Kansas has done to deserve this kind of treatment, but we've received another batch of freezing drizzle and rain today, and there's more coming! What's up with that?!

There have already been a number of accidents in Wichita, and Ron called me from work and said that since I'm not working today, there's no reason for me to have to get out, and I shouldn't. The roads are too icy, covered in black ice, and people are driving as if they either don't know it's icy or they don't know how to drive on it (either way, it's a terrible excuse).

Please pray that no one is killed or severely injured in this storm, and that no more people lose power.

Eleven states sent electrical workers to help restore power here from the first storm that hit a week ago today, and most of those crews are still here, travelling in and parking their "convoys" of 10-15 trucks all in a line with their yellow lights flashing. If this keeps up, they may not be going home for a few more weeks!

A big thank you to the crews from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, and others who've been here helping us, in addition to the crews already in Kansas! (I'm not sure where the other crews are from.) Thank you, and may God bless you richly!

Monday, January 10, 2005

Just a peek at the storm damage

The ice-broken tree
Originally uploaded by Edited Copy.
This tree was once a magnificent structure in our pastor's front yard. Because of the ice storm that exploded in our fair city, it is dead and had to be removed.

The man in the picture isn't our pastor, though. That's Harvey, a good friend and member of our congregation, not to mention the church choir, of which I am a part.

Damage like this can be seen on every city block, in every neighborhood, and even in nearly every business district. Until a day or two ago, these downed tree limbs blocked roadways almost entirely, damaged vehicles and even injured and/or killed those who attempted to remove them.

As of today, there are still more than 12,000 people in the greater Wichita area who are without power. This image is just a small example of what we're dealing with here.

Sunday, January 09, 2005


I'm surprised that Dan, the Rock Guy hasn't mentioned this yet on his blog. He didn't even tell us about it. We found out by mail. He's probably in denial. His sister, Christine, is engaged! Congratulations, Christine!

She said they haven't set a date yet; she said it might not be until 2007. She wants to get married at Botanica, the Wichita Gardens, which is absolutely beautiful!

I talked to her earlier today, and we decided I'm going to do her makeup for her. I did my sister's in June, and another friend's makeup about three years ago. I really enjoy it!

Back to the topic, though: Congratulations to Christine and her fiance Brian!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

It’s finally winter, and I don’t like it.

Tuesday, Jan. 4, winter hit with a vengeance. An ice storm came through Kansas and hit Wichita particularly hard. A city with a population of about 360,000 was nearly paralyzed with more than 60,000 residents whose electricity was lost, and with downed trees due to the weight of ice that nearly or completely blocked most residential streets and cut power to a great many neighborhoods. Most of those who lost power are still without. Ron and I were without for four days and three nights, but that wasn't bad considering others who are still in the dark or in hotels. This is why I have not blogged about it until now. We were able to finally move back into our apartment last night.

Wichita looks like it has been hit with an ice-filled nuclear bomb. And for a while, transformers all over town were blowing up, showing brilliant, bright colors of first blue-green, then orange, then bright white. The sky lit up as if 50 spotlights were shining up into the night sky all in one condensed area. At the same time, a low but loud humming could be heard while electrical arches could be seen, the transformers not wanting to give up their fights.

Thank goodness, my parents' house is finally done being built and they're moved in. They lost power for several hours Tuesday, too, but since my dad is an electrician, he was able to get a generator through his connections without having to spend a bunch of money. He's also been very busy helping businesses get their power back. He works for a large commercial electrical company and, at times, is quite in demand.

Ron and I were able to stay with my parents, though, at their house. They got their power back that night before we went to bed. We were their houseguests until late last night when we found out that we had power back at our apartment and could go back. It felt really good to know that we had somewhere we could go where we could have the comforts of home instead of having to spend money on a hotel room where we wouldn't have a kitchen or a place to put the perishable items from our refrigerator.

I think God was holding off on this storm so that we'd have a place to go that was warm and inviting. Thank you, God, for blessing us with a family that cares and warm shelter through the storm!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Are most people good at heart?

My answer to this question would tend to be "yes." At least for those who are truly Christians. I guess it's just difficult for me to believe that anyone who is a Christian would have intentions other than for good toward another Christian. Maybe that's why I tend to answer in this way.

Think about the mass atrocities associated with the tsunami: How many people from how many countries around the world have pledged and donated their support, both physically and monitarily? Millions! I'm not saying that everyone is like that, but it does show that people are naturally concerned about the human condition, no matter where the problem lies.

I also know that a number of religions stress service to others as a means of salvation, so maybe those people have alterior motives for helping people: they want their salvation even if they could care less about helping someone else.

Of course, there are some people who just have nasty attitudes in their dealings with others. There was one time at work (and I've only been there since Nov. 2) when I was figuring up how much a lady owed for her announcement, and she thought I was taking too long, so she took the paper away from me and did it herself. There was another lady who tried to manipulate me into placing her announcement onto a page that was already very tightly packed by saying a prayer over my counter! When she finished, she said, "Okay, now it's a done deal. It has to go in now!" I was wondering who made her capable of forcing the hand of God!

Regardless, I believe that these people had good intentions to begin with. The first lady was probably in a hurry, and I don't figure numbers very quickly in my head. The second one was under the (false) impression that if she picked up a form two weeks before she wanted to have her announcement run that she could come in on the day I was preparing to print the pages to negatives, and she could still get it on the page. I told her I didn't have room for it, and that's when she did her little "O Lordy" thing.

There was a discussion at our church last night about the difference between power and authority. Power often arises out of ignorance: people wanting something so badly that they'll stop at nothing to get it, even if it means mass murder (Hitler and the haulocaust, for example). Authority is earned, and put in place to keep peace and order. It has a system by which to enforce rules made for the greater good of a group of people. Power often despises authority.

Aparently, there was recently a famous football player who walked off the field at a time when his teammates could have really used his skill. Two seconds remained in the game and there was a slim possibility, but still a possibility, that his team could win. He had power, but he used it in the wrong way. He could have used it to help his team win the game, but he turned his back on them, despising his coach who had authority over him at the same time. (I didn't see this, myself, because I can't stand to watch most sporting events, especially football. I only watch the Superbowl for the commercials and performances during the breaks in action.)

Some people make it really difficult for me to defend my position. If you know anything about how vicious high school girls can be, even to adults, you'd know what I was talking about just that much better. (And I still get confused for a kid sometimes because I'm only 5 feet tall. It's only when I start talking that people realize I'm much older.)

So what do you think? Are most people good at heart? How do you respond to those who appear not to be? Do you show them what being a Christian means, or do you return evil for evil? I prefer to do the former. And don't ask "What would Jesus do?" because we're not Jesus, and we can't tell a non-fruit-bearing tree to shrivel up and die, or the lame to walk or the sick to be well or the demons to go out of a man and into a heard of wild pigs. Ask what you should do as a Christian. And most of all, pray for people, including yourself.