Rants, Musings, and Mental Meanderings of a former Conservative Christian Mother. Standing Strong against ignorance, preconceptions, labels and excessive housework. Celebrating original thought, religious freedom, parenthood, free enterprise and chocolate.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's Business Time

*This video has a more mature theme, just to warn you. It is not appropriate for young viewers.*

I hope I don't offend you with this video, and I am trying to give fair warning. Although I think it is tasteful, it is about the topic of sex so it is only for my married readers! ;0) I have to admit, when I watched this video at Jess's blog, and I laughed so hard I cried. The funniest parts are the ones that are (gasp) true! (Particularly wearing the ugly baggy T-shirt and the tripping over the jeans. Ahem, had both of those happen!) Anyway, I hope you enjoy this as much as I did... and may we all aspire to never let our love life sink to this level!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Senator Sues God

It's always good to see our tax dollars hard at work... Click the link to watch the video:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Terror in the Skies

I copied this article, so the links may not work. Sorry! If you'd like to sign the petition mentioned, just type the address directly into your browser. I have signed the petition and urge as many of you as possible to do so. The more awareness that is brought to this issue the better.

Biblical perspectives on contemporary cinema
Friday, September 07, 2007

Terror in the Skies!

Imagine this: You and your family—including your wide-eyed preschoolers—are strapped into seats. You're not allowed to get up and move. You're not allowed to leave the room. You're stuck, and you have no choice about what's soon to come your way.A screen appears right before your eyes. Before long, you—and your wide-eyed preschoolers—see a man shoot his wife in the face, then drag her body from a pool of blood. Or you see a 12-year-old boy crushed against a fence by a car. Or a teenager zipping up her jeans after having sex.And there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. You're literally a captive audience.Sounds like something out of a scary movie, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it happens every day—at about 30,000 feet.Commercial airlines regularly show R-rated films and other mature programming, some of it only barely edited from its original form. Sure, you can refuse to wear the headphones, but the images are still there, projected on all those nearby screens for you—and your wide-eyed preschoolers—to see.Cover their eyes? Ha. Ever traveled with a squirrelly, inquisitive 5-year-old? Good luck.The New York Times recently reported on this issue in a must-read story that should get any reasonable-thinking person upset—especially when you read such comments as this one from Eric Kleiman, a spokesman for Continental Airlines: "Parents have to be responsible for the actions of their kids—whether they shouldn't look at the screen or look away." What a dumb statement; I'd bet the clueless Kleiman doesn't have any kids. Kleiman further put his foot in his mouth by saying that airline entertainment is just keeping pace with what's happening on TV and in movie theaters: "Our approach is consistent with where society is going with this."Uhh, that's Dumb Remark Number Two from Kleiman. We have choices with TV and movies: With the former, we can change the channel, turn it off, or send the kids into another room; and with the latter, we can leave the kids at home, or not to go at all.Last time I checked, parents didn't have such choices while strapped in their seats in a long narrow tube zooming along at 30,000 feet. I suggest Mr. Kleiman should zip it.One couple said they spent two hours on a recent flight trying to distract their 6-year-old son from seeing scenes from Shooter, which depicts multiple gory killings. The sounds of gunshots from nearby headphones alerted the kid to look up at just the "wrong" moments. Anecdotal evidence suggests that airlines are showing more and more R-rated and graphic fare. Delta started showing R movies in December, while United and US Airways are showing R movies more frequently than ever. Timothy Winter, president of the Parents Television Council, said, "You don't have to have 'Leave It to Beaver' on, but for Pete's sake, you don't have to have Eva Longoria seducing the high school kid on the dining room table, either."Are you ticked off yet? Me too. So I went online and signed a petition at KidSafeFilms.org, which is gathering support for restrictions on airline films. Jesse Kalisher, who founded the site, is beginning to lobby federal legislators to act.Go, Jesse, go. With that story setting the stage, three new reviews this week, including a couple you'll certainly want to keep the kids far away from. 3:10 to Yuma, starring the terrific Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, is a well-done remake of a 1957 classic Western, but it can get pretty violent. Still, it's loaded with discussion fodder about right and wrong, and might be fitting for older, mature teens. That certainly can't be said for Shoot 'Em Up, with two more great actors, Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti, whose characters are pure scum in this non-stop exhibition of vulgarity and bad taste.But you can take the whole family to see In the Shadow of the Moon—that is, if it's playing in your town. It's in limited release right now, but we hope it'll go wider. Our first four-star review in a while, the documentary is an enthralling look at the Apollo missions to the moon—and the bravery and resourcefulness that got us there.Now that's one flight we can highly recommend—even with wide-eyed preschoolers.

See you at the movies,
Mark MoringOnline Editor/Music & Film

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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Dealing with Discouragement

I have heard it said that the greatest tool the Devil has against someone is discouragement, but I take it a step further. I believe it is the isolation that comes with discouragement. Have you ever noticed that when something (or someone) has really gotten you down, if there are people around you to help you out of your slump, you are able to shake it off much quicker. However, when you start to feel isolated, what may not have been a very big issue to begin with can grow and grow until you have some heavy-duty depression setting in.

So, what causes this isolation? There are many different reasons for it, but I had one older woman tell me she believed one of the greatest factors was the fear of letting people know you were discouraged. Many of us are so afraid that if anyone finds out we are dealing with discouragement, they will think it is because we are not spiritual, because we aren't good wives, mothers, teachers, etc..., because we are in some kind of sin, because we're too weak, stupid (fill in the other self-degrading adjective here) to handle our lives, the list goes on. And the really sad part is, sometimes it's true that there are people who react that way! They see someone who is discouraged and think, "Well, it's their own fault, since they did ______." I was talking to one woman who is in her 50's, and I was telling her how I felt bad for someone who was really struggling with discouragement. She just rolled her eyes and said, "You know, there are some people who just like to be mad and bitter all the time. You can't feel sorry for them or try to help them, since they really just enjoy being that way." Wow, now that's a loving, compassionate attitude for you. Now, I will admit there are some people who just revel in being a victim, but for the most part people do NOT enjoy being unhappy. (Not to mention, it is not our job to decide that someone "deserves to be" or "wants to be" depressed.) I was really taken aback by her attitude, and I wondered how many other people think this way! It is easy to see why some people hide their discouragement and try to deal with it on their own, afraid of what people will think of them if they confide that they are struggling. This is really sad.

My mom had a friend (who was battling cancer at the time) talk to her about dealing with discouragement, and every other sentence she kept giving the disclaimer, "I mean, I DO trust God, it's just that..." It was as if she was afraid that by confessing her emotional struggles, people would assume she wasn't trusting God. Well, I have news for you, if not liking your situation made you not right with God, then Jesus did wrong in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed to God, "Let this cup pass from me." Guess what! Jesus was not looking forward to being crucified!!!! In fact, He felt emotions about it to an extent we will never comprehend, sweating drops of blood as He prayed, and He was not in sin. Job cursed the day he was born, and if you read the book of Job you will see (in very poetic language) just how strongly Job felt about his situation. Later we read, "In all this, Job sinned not..." Job was very vocal about his feelings when all he had was wiped out and all his children were killed! He didn't just bite the bullet, smile piously, say, "Well, I'm just trusting the Lord" and go floating on his way. He was very open about his feelings. What am I getting at? Don't be afraid to feel things. Don't feel guilty when you feel overwhelmed. Don't be afraid to cry out to God that you are not happy with His plan in your life sometimes. I am not talking about defiance, I am talking about crying out to your Heavenly Father saying, "This hurts too bad! I don't think I can handle this!!" The most precious moments I have had communing with God have been in times when my heart was broken, and I just told God exactly what I feeling. My favorite verse when I am feeling down is, "The Lord is nigh unto them that of a broken heart." We can ask God "Why?" anytime, as long as we are willing to accept the answer. These feelings of sadness, despair, being overwhelmed, feeling hopeless, feeling guilty, frustration... all are not sin in themselves. It's all in how you handle it. If you let this discouragement grow into rebellion and bitterness, now you have a problem. Nip it in the bud, so to speak. These are some little tips that help me to fight discouragement:

If you are feeling down, don't be ashamed of it. You're not doing anything wrong by feeling this way. Once you can accept that these feelings are okay, you will be better able to deal with it.

Find a friend or family member you can confide in... the sooner the better!!! It's especially nice to have someone you can vent to that won't take it personally or make it worse. The longer you let something go, the worse it gets. Snuff out those little issues quickly.

Work on your relationship with God. Make your peace with His will in your life. If He has revealed a sin in your life that you just aren't willing to take care of, true peace is going to elude you until you deal with it. Remember, God is the only One who will never let you down, and it sounds corny and cliche' but it's true: He only wants the best for your life. You may not always like what He has in store for your life, and that's okay. Just don't let anger or bitterness at God for the way He has directed your life build up to the point where there is a wall between you. Blocking God out of your life is a very dangerous decision, and I can guarantee that whatever the reason you are pushing Him away, it's not worth it. It's a plain and proven fact : You need God in your life.

Realize you are worth salvaging. When you feel down, it's easy to think that no one cares about you, no one needs you, and it really doesn't matter if you can shake this or not. Every human being in every situation is needed by someone and has a Divine purpose. Never forget that.

Make sure it's not a physical problem. Persistent, recurring depression lasting longer than four weeks at a time may be a problem requiring a doctor's advice. Don't try to be a hero. If you had diabetes, you wouldn't feel weak by taking insulin! Some of the most damaged lives I've seen are people who had medical problems and were told it was just a "sin problem" or believed it was a weakness of some kind. If you need help, take the initiative and get it. You're worth it!!!

Recognize that ups and downs are normal. You will have days when you feel on top of the world... and days when you wish you could just stay in bed and eat chocolate. God created everything to have cycles; nothing ever is exactly the same all the time. So for goodness' sake, don't expect your emotions to be.

Work on personal relationships. Take time out of your day to blog, e-mail, make a phone call, mail a card... whatever your communication preference. Just stay connected. The more you withdraw into yourself, the more susceptible to isolation you will become. I am the type that has to remind myself to talk to people. (I can be a bit of a hermit.) But, it's worth the effort. One way to tell if you are doing good with your inter-personal relationships is by having a good "mix" of contacts. There should be a bit of each: family, old friends and new friends.

Reevaluate your priorities. Are you discouraged because you feel overwhelmed? Like you just can't keep up no matter how hard you try? Take a step back and realize if you made the people you care about feel loved today, it doesn't matter if the laundry didn't get folded. Sometimes we are discouraged because we are looking for the wrong things to make us feel like we accomplished something. (Especially as mothers! We can sometimes feel like we run around all day just to break even, let alone accomplish anything!!!) Realize that even the little things you do matter, and only worry about things that will make a difference in 20 years. This doesn't mean totally neglecting housework, though, since dishes sitting in the sink for 20 years will be pretty gross... (Sorry, couldn't help it.)

Find out what makes you feel good - and DO IT. (Within reason, if you are prone to overdoing things... Having a bit of ice cream is okay. Eating the whole carton is not.) Use common sense here, ladies. ;0) I don't mean trying to elope with some hunk or blowing up someone's car when they make you mad. I am talking about something that is not immoral or illegal! Write down a list of your favorite simple pleasures, and when you get in a slump pull it out and indulge yourself. Again, if you catch it soon enough, you'd be surprised how much easier it is to shake off those blues.

Lastly, if you are not struggling with discouragement, reach out to someone who might be. Have compassion and remember, people need love the most when they deserve it the least. A person who is discouraged can be kind of cranky and annoying to be around, but sow that seed of kindness and it may grow into a friendship that you just might need somewhere down the road.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Too "hot" to fly?

Check out this link:

Mini skirt gets grounded

It cracks me up how they trot out a feminist to comment on this! Oh, that will be a really objective opinion, coming from someone who thinks all men are pigs anyway. Feminism teaches that a woman should be allowed to walk around in whatever attire she wants, and it's everyone else's fault if they can't handle it. Sorry, call me old-fashioned, but if it's not for sale, Don't Advertise. And if you choose to flaunt it, don't complain when you get a reaction you don't like. It's not up to the rest of the world to make you feel comfortable with however you choose to present yourself, it's up to you as a decent human being to care about following basic societal norms. Good grief, it's not like society's standards are that high anymore anyway!
Personally, I am glad the airline gave her a lecture on her revealing clothes and asked her to "adjust" things a bit before allowing her back on the flight. She says it was embarrassing, but a Hooter's waitress flashing that much skin obviously has a compromised sense of shame. I would like to know if my husband was flying somewhere, he wouldn't have to sit next to someone dressed like that. Many guys would probably enjoy it, but really, girls, let's have a little more more self-respect and class, shall we?! When my dad worked for Northwest Airlines, we weren't allowed to fly if we were wearing denim or if we weren't wearing socks. Failing to comply with the dress code could mean my dad getting his flight privileges revoked. To take it a step further, when my dad flew as a child, he had to wear a suit!

(The only thing I wish the airlines would do differently is be as strict with potential terrorists as they were with a sleazily dressed college student.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Miss Teen USA

I know you probably have all seen this, but I was just blown away by this!!! If my daughter ends up this ditzy... Oh well, at least she sure is purty!

I didn't have much time to comment when I posted this initially, but now that I have a moment...
*getting out my soapbox*
*climbing onto my soapbox*

I am truly hoping for the day when beauty pageants go the way of the gladiators and other spectator sports that demean the value of human beings. I know, I know, criticizing beauty pageants is something only plain or ugly people do, but I personally think it is offensive the way they ACT like they are interested in the contestants' thoughts, dreams, and ambitions, then have them parade around in bathing suits. Come on, surely we can find something else to celebrate in these young women other than great legs or being, ahem, well-endowed. How does any self-respecting woman justify parading herself like a hunk of meat in a butcher shop? Oh, I'm all for being attractive and classy, and there are definitely those who are more attractive than others... I just hope my daughters learns to value a sharp mind, a kind heart, and a sweet spirit over looking good while strutting in front of a bunch of ogling men. (Nothing against the men implied in that statement! You put a brownie sundae in front of me, I'd drool, too.)

I heard the contestant in the video above in an interview later, and I will grant that she was willing to laugh at herself. (Sh also gave the answer she was swinging at wildly, and it was much better than the original.) We all have our ditzy moments, but may I point out that had she not been parading herself on one of those women-degrading, flesh-baring, intellectually-challenged shows to begin with, the world would not have seen (and so thoroughly enjoyed) hers.