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Respect The Flag

Stella brings us another patriotic & moving gem–Thanks!

Stella's Place

“When we don’t respect the flag enough to fight for it, we will be the weakest generation.” Jon McNaughton

from Jon McNaughton. http://jonmcnaughton.com He says: My new painting – “Respect the Flag.”

Full quote:

I painted President Trump picking up a shredded and trampled flag off the football field. He holds a wet cloth in his right hand, as he attempts to clean it.

I respect America. I respect the flag, the anthem, and the President; because he doesn’t back down to those who do not.

When the NFL players decide to kneel as the national anthem was given, I felt sick. That flag represents the vast number of Americans who have sacrificed their lives for our nation. It is about their blood and the sacrifice of many thousands.

If we do not respect the flag enough to fight for what it stands for – liberty, justice, and strength –…

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Stella’s Tribute to Billy Graham

Stella posted a lovely tribute to Billy Graham here:

Billy Graham’s message to us

Please check it out!

See the source image

from a Bing.com image search for Billy Graham

One of the commenters at her post also shared this video of Billy Graham’s message in the National Cathedral following the tragic attack on America of 9-11…

For some reason I’m having a problem posting a comment on Stella’s original post so I’ll add that thought here.  This was in reply to others discussion some music from the Billy Graham rallies…

I watched one of his crusades on TV years ago & remember them playing “Just As I Am” for an extended altar call. Every time I hear that song, or even think about it, I remember Graham’s loving outreach to others with the Truth of the Gospel. Even humming a few bars of that hymn reminds me that the Lord is always there accepting us & drawing us toward Himself.

For what it’s worth, there are many fine insights shared in the comments section at Stella’s Place & at the Conservative TreeHouse (I consider them to be cousin or sister blogs)…& it’s often worth one’s time to read beyond just any original posting…

See the source image

from a Bing.com image search for Billy Graham

Stella also had a post about the arrangements for Billy’s funeral here:

Official announcement about Billy Graham’s death, and funeral arrangements

…and to that post she added this wonderful comment!

stella says:

Billy Graham’s casket was hand built by inmates at Angola

http://www.wafb.com/story/37560797/billy-grahams-casket-was-hand-built-by-inmates-at-angola

ANGOLA, LA (WAFB) –

Inmates at one of the country’s most well-known prisons will have a hand in laying Reverend Billy Graham to rest. At his request, Angola inmates built his casket back in 2006.

Louisiana State Penitentiary is known as the “Alcatraz of the south.” It’s home to the state’s most notorious criminals, but is also home to a renowned prison ministry.

“I feel there is a great outpouring of the holy spirit behind bars at this time,” said Clifford Bowman.

Bowman is in bible college at Angola. He was selected to be part of a special team on a special mission: to build a casket. It’s a regular casket for a not so regular man: evangelist, Billy Graham.

“We of course prayed before we started and that’s something that does not happen every day when they are doing it in the regular work. Where God is working the devil’s gonna’ be there working, so he’s gonna’ try and get his licks in too,” said Bowman.

“This was a great honor. Because this is a great man of God and he wants him an inmate to build his coffin and get the inmate preachers involved and its mind boggling it sends a great message,” said Burl Cain.

Richard Liggett constructed the casket for Graham with a couple of modifications from his usual work and it’s ready. “I respect the man. I’ve listened to him. I know what he preaches. You know, but other than that, I just wanted to do the best job I could,” said Liggett.

Angola first began building their own caskets about 18 years ago. Inmates before then were buried in cardboard boxes, which often fell apart or caved in from the weight of the dirt.

“It’s so symbolic, even though the prisoners have committed horrible crimes… God loves them too,” said Cain.

And so did Reverend Billy Graham.

This is Valerie speaking here.  I found the Find A Grave posting for Billy Graham here:

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/187486261/billy-graham

 

If Justice Thomas is right, it’s bad news for the Second Amendment

Stella has addressed this vital issue head-on with clear-minded Conservative American Heritage Perspective! Please read her great piece…

Stella's Place

As we are all very much aware, opponents of the Second Amendment to the Constitution are gearing up to further degrade those rights. It is the belief of many, including me, that another stepping stone to abolition of our rights is underway.

Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection points out,

By hijacking the issue of school safety and repurposing it for anti-Trump and anti-2nd Amendment goals, the people behind these events have guaranteed that nothing productive will happen as to actually protecting students.

Yet there will be intense pressure to “do something” even if that something is unproductive and unconstitutional.

We all hope that the Supreme Court will protect our Second Amendment rights but, as Professor Jacobson points out in his piece yesterday, it seems that the hope is misplaced. Yesterday, the Supreme declined to hear a California case regarding an additional and unnecessary mandatory waiting period for those who already…

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Commenting on Mental Illness

Stella has written a thoughtful & insightful post about a pervasive crisis within society here:

This is not progress – mental illness today in the USA

 

I wanted to share my comment on her post on my blog with my readers, so here it is:

First of all, sorry for the long post, I guess I got on a bit of a roll. So I’m leaving the below “as is” & hope that I haven’t crossed any lines or offended anyone. Most of this comment is based on first or second hand experience, for what it’s worth…

Years ago a psychologist did an assessment on me & said I was “severely depressed”. Some time later, at a doctor’s visit, I mentioned to the physician that I May be “severely depressed”, assuming the assessment was accurate. He offered immediately to prescribe anti-depressants for me. I declined & he actually said “good”. I told him my “depression” (assuming it’s “real”) was likely due in large part to having a severely disabled son, being overwhelmed with the care of four young children, financial stressors, & a lack of relational support systems. I said that I needed to learn how to live within the confines of the life God has given me & didn’t want some type of drug to mask the pain (treat just the symptom). Learning to live with grace in a less-than-perfect-reality (the only kind there is) is basically the essence of the human condition.

By the way, we’ve used psych meds on almost all of my ADHD family members at one time or another. There have been some benefits from the Ritalin style meds several of them used to take. However, 3 of the 4 family members with ADHD prefer Not to use meds to mediate their symptoms. All are gainfully employed & were reasonably successful students (though each hated school to some degree historically), though this condition still impacts their communication & relationships to varying degrees.

My much more complex son was/is a more difficult case. We were pressured to put him on “Ritalin” by the school system (ilegally)–while he was still in Special Ed Pre-School. I was extremely reluctant “to drug my kid up to get some peace of mind”. Several years after the initial pressure based on psych testing & input from a physician familiar with complex special needs kids, we put him on a trial of ADHD medicine–Welbutrin. That worked for him for about a year but he began to develop strange facial tics so we switched him to Strattera. He was on that for several years & it helped his attention, but after Welbutrin was removed (an anti-depressant) his behavioral/emotional control was markedly diminished (probably more of what he was like w/out psych meds but a Huge contrast to the relative “calm” on Welbutrin). Anyway that lead to the doc prescribing Paxil for his Autism cocktail of “depression, anxiety, & obsessive compulsive disorder”.

He functioned relatively well on Strattera & Paxil for years. However Neuropsychological Testing revealed significant attentional/processing issues that might be better addressed with an additional med, Metadate (a form of Ritalin). When the combo of S, P, & M was used for him he had some significant academic gains. He worked more slowly (took his time & thought things through a bit?) but his accuracy improved practically exponentially.

This was my son who needed a Liver Transplant, and as that surgery approached, we began to discuss his entire medication regimen from the standpoint of what would be best from his liver needs as well as what could appropriately address his other medical conditions with needed meds. Ultimately it was decided that Strattera would have to go as it was notoriously hard on the liver. Ironically once that med was removed he began having some of those facial tics again, though not as severely nor as noticeably as when he was younger.

I’d been “short dosing” his Paxil for years. He’d been prescribed 5mls & we’d usually use about 3mls. When he got used to the 3mls (& the doc adjusted her script to how much we were actually using, which was much less than the “therapeutic dose”) we continued to lower his typical dose to about 1.2mls. Even with that very small dose our whole family Really Noticed his behavioral issues when he’d forgotten to take Paxil.

Eventually after the Liver Transplant my son basically self-weaned off of Paxil all together. He still struggles with his emotional control & his anxiety & OCD issues have come a bit more to the forefront without Paxil. However, even when he’s in a place of diminished emotional control he still typically chooses not to “use” Paxil as an emotional crutch. We have supported him in his choices (he’s 22 & “his own guardian” who still needs much guidance & support) but remind him that that medication is available as a tool to assist him in managing his emotional needs, if he so chooses.

Also, since taking him off Strattera his communication has gone Way Up…Since the Liver Transplant it’s almost like he’s become a different person, much more interactive, more hyper verbally, sharing thoughts & feelings more freely, etc. This is likely due to more than just the med change but does make me wonder if the Strattera was rather slowing him down, not the way Metadate did to help him do more accurate work, but like putting him more in a stupor or a fog, for years. Given the complexities of his birth liver function & the buildup of toxins system-wide prior to transplant there’s really no way to know. I just wanted to mention it because the changes we observe(d) were likely due to multiple factors….

We are a Christian family, & this son, even more than all the rest of us “normal” family members, has an extremely vibrant relationship with the Lord. When he is facing intense emotional turmoil we encourage him to spend focused time with the Lord, reading Scripture, praying, & worshiping. This he does quite frequently. I remind him that one of the Fruits of the Spirit (according to Scripture) is Self-Control. Even though he is “wired” in his natural state to have less self-control, given the nature of most of his medical conditions, the Power of God is greater than his diagnoses & the Lord can help him come to a place of managing his emotional/behavioral challenges.

When he’s in an overblown state he’s often irrational in the heat of the moment, perhaps for a couple of minutes. However, we encourage him to step back (take a time out), use breathing techniques (& other skills gained via years of therapy, trial & error, or “professional input” from me–I’m a non-practicing Licensed Professional Counselor), engage the Lord directly, let us pray for/with him, etc. Anyway, usually these things work pretty quickly for him though due to “perseveration” (where he gets stuck in a mental or emotional groove) he may need A Lot of Processing Time, retreading the same ground over memories, hurts, confusion, & communication techniques & challenges…

This is all a Very Long Haul Process…

Years back I wondered if he would grab a weapon & do me bodily harm. As a grade schooler up through the junior high years he used to ball his fist & raise it over his head & his whole body/soul would shake as he wrestled with his extreme desire to punch me in the face. He never did such a punch. However he used to shove, hit, & claw at all family members but his dad (unless he was in an Extreme out of control rage) & appeared to deliberately enjoy inflicting physical &/or emotional harm when he was past the point of caring. He has come An Extremely Long Way since those more difficult days. He still seems to enjoy pushing other people’s buttons, just a little bit, & also throwing others under the bus…but then again, who doesn’t???! He still has his struggles & sometimes still “acts out” verbally or physically, but he de-escalates quickly & is usually truly sorry & repentant pretty quickly. I’d love to see the seas calmed before the storm hits, when the clouds are dark & heavy the the swells on the increase but apparently Jesus still sleeps in the boat well of my son’s soul until the storm has hit & his overwhelmed follower rouses Him so that even “the wind & the waves obey Him”…

Anyway, the bottom line is that I believe that mental/emotional illness is real & it is not automatically evidence of “demonic” oppression as many Believers have suggested over the generations. As a Christian I believe that God is the Creator of All Things, including mankind. As such it’s important to read the manual (Bible) in order to find out the best way for the human creation to function. Our personal experiences of living with complex mental/emotional “illnesses” have shown that the Power of God is able heal our wounded hearts & minds. He can enable us to “rise above” our “nature” & submit ourselves to His Lordship. Medication, Therapy, Supportive Relationships, Practice, & Consistent Reinforcement can all play a BIG ROLE in how well one might “overcome” or learn reasonably successful coping strategies to wrestle our own personal “demons”.

However, society at large, especially one steeped in secularism, political correctness, & lefty thinking is wholly inadequate to address the real and abiding needs of the mentally ill, chemically dependent, & certain types of severe disabilities. As such a modern rendition of some type of institutional system (NOT Prison) should be investigated, implemented, & evaluated and this is a need of crisis proportions. As this is a social problem it needs attention from society. Balancing the needs of the client/patient with those of society at large will possibly take a degree of wisdom not seen since Solomon. Having Federal Support/Oversight with Local Control seems like the most reasonable approach. Using faith-based systems in place might be a good starting place.

There probably will never be any type of complete solution to this problem. It seems akin to what Jesus said “the poor you will have with you always”…but it must also be tempered with another of the Lord’s sayings: “whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done unto Me!”. The final guidance should be “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” (or your parent/spouse/child/friend/co-worker)…

Just my 2 cents…for free!

May God Guide & Direct Us as we seek to address these glaring needs…

Titanic Appetite Required!

Stella posted a fun shortie with the menu from the Titanic’s last supper & a video showing many of those 9 courses of offerings re-created near where the Titanic was born.  Given that my husband’s maternal grandparents both traveled First Class on the Titanic’s sister ship Lusitania this could be somewhat representative of the kind of cuisine they encountered on their travels abroad…Fun & Educational!

Check out the original post for details here:

Just for fun – First Class Dining on RMS Titanic

 

Pączki Day (Detroit Style) aka Fat Tuesday

Here’s a Polish tradition that’s taken root in Detroit & beyond!

Stella's Place

It’s Pączki Day, and in Detroit that means you should be sure to wear your stretchy pants or, as my old friend Denise used to say, your expando clothes!

Pączki, or Polish doughnuts, are eaten on Fat Thursday in Poland and Fat Tuesday in the United States. It’s the last splurge before Lent begins.

packzi-run

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President Trump Pardons Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Another placeholder to develop further later…there is so much else to add about Sheriff Joe–a true American Hero & example of Western Manhood. Go Joe…& God Bless President Donald J Trump!!!

Stella's Place

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

FOX NEWS

President Trump granted a presidential pardon to Joe Arpaio, the former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., on Friday.

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