My Takes

Just my humble opinion…

Are You A Cynic Too?

So I have been diagnosed as a cynic. Well it’s not a legit diagnosis done by a qualified doctor or anything like that.  In fact, it’s not even a medical condition. It’s a self diagnosis borne out of the realization I am a person who takes everything with a grain of salt.  Everything!  Ever seen those people who reach for the salt as soon as their food is brought to them, without even doing a taste test? Well that’s me.  Except for the food part.

What am I cynical about? Every darn thing! See above.  Take for example the good old tried and true recommendation that one should hide underneath a door frame during a hurricane.  Do I believe that?  Nope.  I saw photos of Haiti after it was hit by an earthquake.  Not once did I see a doorway just standing there, in the middle of the carnage. Not one doorway!  Indonesia, no intact and untouched doorway there either. In fact, in all of the photos of earthquake devastation, I have yet to see proof that this works.  That’s not the only example of my cynicism though. There’s more. A lot more.

I am also a cynic of political promises.  Do  you really think I believe one word uttered by those smiling, well-dressed politicians? No way Jose! Why do I vote for them?  I do because I am tired of listening to the ‘If you don’t vote you blah blah blah’.  Newsflash! They are all the same.  And if you don’t believe that, show me solid proof that they aren’t.  I didn’t think so.  Just like that phantom doorway…

You are probably thinking that I have to be positive about something right? Maybe world peace.  Lmao! World Peace? Isn’t that an oxymoron? I do pray for world peace but I know that this would never be achieved.  Not while humans walk the earth.  End to racism? Sure, when pigs fly.  While humans of different color, class or creed share the planet, never happen.

So you get the picture, I am as cynic as they come.  Are you one too? Or do you share and like Facebook posts that promise blessings and winnings if you like or share?

I join the masses in praying for the stuff that I am cynical because cynic or not, you never know, and I have had misplaced cynicism before.   I do, however, cover the spread.  I pray harder for patience to deal with the undesired stuff that comes to me. Understanding to discern why it is happening and strength to deal with it.  I also pray for a small portion of the faith that Job exhibited in the Bible.  Without it, all is lost, cynical or not.

 

My Take

Who’s Holding The Trump Card?

If you follow NHL hockey you would have heard about John Scott, the goon-turned-all-star.  After an online campaign, fans voted for Scott, who had just 5 goals and 1 assist in his career, to be the captain of the Pacific division team.  Yes, it was a joke.  The NHL in its embarrassment, tried everything they could to ‘right’ this ‘wrong’.  They had him traded from his Phoenix team to Montreal, hoping to make him ineligible since he would be a different division.   He was even sent down to the minors!  It didn’t work.  A win is a win and Scott had won legitimately, it didn’t matter his credentials. At the All Star game, Scott scored 2 goals and won not only the MVP but over 90 thousand dollars.  No one saw that coming.

Donald Trump’s Presidential  run mirrors the above.  I am sure everyone thought it was a joke  No one really thought The Donald had a chance.  He had nothing in his portfolio to suggest it was anything but a joke.  In fact, Trump claimed that he knew nothing about politics.  Well the joke’s on America.  Trump has rolled down the Republican hill as a small snow flake but has now grown into a huge snow ball and gaining momentum!  Trump is for real!  You can see it coming.  The Republicans, like the NHL, are seeking ways on how to quietly end this  embarrassment, but could they?  Is it too late?  The people have spoken?

The fact that the KKK and other white supremacists groups pledged allegiance to Trump speaks volumes as to the type of person he is and what he is about.  Not that anyone needed proof, his tweets and loose tongue already revealed such.  Trump, in his honest defense, claimed that he knows nothing about white supremacists or the KKK when asked about the endorsements.  He just doesn’t know.  I doubt he knows that his wives are immigrants.  If he did he might think twice about his stance on immigrants.

It seems like what Trump wants, Trump gets  because the more he fumbles and bungles his way through his campaigns, spewing hate, sexism, racism and taking cheap and immature shots at anyone who dares to oppose him, the more popular he gets!  He is contradictory and barely knows what goes on outside his personal space.

A man who refuses to make his tax returns public and declared “I try to pay as little tax as possible,” is the forerunner in race for President.  There was never a better time for Americans to seek God’s blesssing.  From Obama to this?

Unlike Donald Trump, John Scott is a good man who deserved the good things  he go.   Sorry for the comparison, Mr. Scott.

My Take.

Don’t Let Your Badness Stop Your Goodness and Make You Lose Your Happiness

As I sat in the pew last Friday, attending my second funeral in as many months, I reflected on how final death was.  It was the funeral of a close family friend, she was only 46.  The celebration ran long as there were a total of 10 speakers, each sharing stories of the awesome person whose ashes lay before me.  Gone too soon.

I thought of how we sometimes live our lives as though we have a lot of years ahead of us.  Even though we greet each other at funerals with the same, “Oh life is so short, let’s not meet like this anymore.” that sentiment is usually forgotten before we are even done gorging on the funeral food.

Life is indeed too short and even though we have all these memes and sayings that remind us not to worry or sweat the small stuff, it’s all just hogwash.  We worry about past mistakes and screw-ups wasting valuable time regretting what we did to our best friends, our families and ourselves.  What we did in Vegas that stayed in Vegas…  The time we got drunk and experimented with drugs… Sometimes we even worry about the good things we did!  We spoke the truth and it resulted in us being alienated by family and friends, so we worry and stress about that too!

Last time I checked, worrying never fixed or changed anything.  Wishing you could turn back time is not going to change what happened.  So you did something bad stuff, who hasn’t?   Life is an ongoing lesson.  We never stop learning until we die, so learn from what you did.

Maybe you never intended to egg your neighbor’s house as you are a nice person.  You are anti-drugs but you did it anyways the night you got wasted.  What would your friends and family think if they only knew?  Maybe the same thing you would think if you only knew what they did. What you did is done so you might as well add it to your unplanned/accidental bucket list and scratch it off.  The thing is, a person’s worth is not judged by what they did but who they are.  I have seen pastors who were once incarcerated. Lives turned around for the better.  Don’t worry about your past, worry about your present. Did you learn from it?  Are you a better person because of it?  Then you are a success, not a failure.

As you lay dying, the only worry you should have is if your family would be ok.  Anything else is a waste of RAM.

 

 

The Eyes See What The Heart Wants To See

I really need to work on being a bit more observant especially to things happening around me as apparently I miss quite a lot! Take Superbowl 50 for example, I miss important stuff! World changing stuff! People being racist stuff!

Ok, what are you ranting about now, Carlos? Glad you asked, and if you must know, I just found out that while I was being entertained by the half-time show featuring Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars, I was also unknowingly watching a public display of racism put on by Bey.  Yup.  In a nutshell.

I wasn’t exactly a willing participant, mind you.  In fact, until the day after, I had no clue that her performance was laden with racial implications advertising her support for the Black Panther movement and Malcolm X.  Man, do I ever feel foolish! I had to find out on social media! To be honest, I also missed the guy dancing behind Mark Ronson! The thing went viral!

I enjoyed the half-time show. I saw a darn good performance by a black woman. Not that I cared if she was black or white. I wanted to see her perform so when she did, I was totally into the performance. I missed the racist allusions and in fact, didn’t even notice that she along with her dancers, were clad in bullet-proof vests! Oh my! I must be getting old. Not saying she didn’t, but I missed it!

You see, the eyes see what the eyes want to see.  Take the photo below for example.  It’s of an expired snowman in my neighbor’s yard.  If your heart is so inclined, you could see a phallic symbol. Maybe that would be reason to pay a visit to the neighbors and maybe accuse them of public mischief? Indecent exposure? If you go looking behind rocks, of course you would find all kind of nasty and dangerous things.

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What does your heart want you to see?

I looked at the half-time show with my heart set on enjoying some good performances, not too look for connotations and hints.  And that’s why I missed it!

And that’s also, MY TAKE

God’s Gone High Tech!

When my Pastor walked up to the pulpit and opened up his Ipad to read the Bible passage, I was aghast!  This has got to be sacrilegious!  Blasphemous even!  That was about 15 years ago.  I was slow to embrace this new trend.  How could the Holy Bible be traded in for an electronic device? It’s just not the same. What would people think?  What would God himself think?

I reluctantly started using my cell phone in church to access the Bible about 2 years ago.  Before using it in church, I used the Bible Gateway app for my daily devotions.  In church, I was not comfortable and felt the urge to make sure everyone knew that I was not on my phone texting but perusing the Gospel. Hello! I am actually reading the book of John here, not texting my friend John.

Last week, a friend posed the question pertaining to the above on his Facebook status.  He had visited a church and was surprised to see the elders using their cell phones instead of Bibles.  He wanted to see how his friends felt about this. Many felt that cellphones or any other such electronic gadgets had no place in a church. Although I understood the sentiments, I had to disagree.

Having the ease to access the Bible using an app on my phone has actually enabled me to become better at navigating the Bible. It also encourages me to read more often by the suggestions of devotions, geared to every life issues.  I always have my cell phone but I do not always have my bible.

Like it or hate it, technology is here to stay.  A phone is not just a phone anymore,  it’s our computer, our planner, our journal, our Bible.  It’s our one-stop shop. In order to reach out to the masses, we need to be on their level.

The world’s a changing place.  To attract people to God, we need to adapt to the changes. Music has to have appeal without sacrificing the Message. The Bible has to appeal to young readers, churches need to feel like a happy fun place.  Whatever medium it takes to realize this, as long as God is not compromised, it’s all good.

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How do you dream big?

I recently got our 16 year-old International German student Hanna, to start a blog as she has such great insight for someone her age.  This is her second blog and for one who thinks she has a problem with the English language, it is very well written and sensible.  Worthy of a reblog.  Check her out at hannasbrain.wordpress.com

hannasbrain

At my host family’s house in the living room, there’s a big picture which says: “Family rules” on it. So a couple weeks ago little Treyton started to read this sign (since he learns how to read now in Grade 1) and besides the obvious rules like listen to your parents and always tell the truth this sign simply has the two words: “Dream Big” on it. And of course he asked his parents: “Mommy, daddy, how do you dream big?”Difficult question to explain a 6 year old when I’m as a 16 year old still have to think about it. A lot.

Dream big? Does it mean to dream something particular while you are sleeping or what do we have to do to dream big? No, not really. It’s not about what you are dreaming in the night, it’s what you are dreaming about in your head, in your…

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Say A Prayer Then Do Something

There’s a joke about a woman who prayed every day to win the lottery.  One day while praying hard and telling God how she’s at the end of her financial rope, a voice was heard from Heaven, “Work with me here, first buy a lottery ticket!”

That’s the mentality of many of us Christians, myself included.  We pray for everyone and everything but do nothing further.  A friend on Facebook announces that they have cancer and our statuses send up prayers.  Earthquake devastates a country and our prayers are with the victims.  How many of us, again myself included, are quick to jump when these victims are asking for money or material help? All of a sudden we are MIA.

Prayers are good. We need to pray.  We also need to spring into action.  Telling a starving beggar you would pray for him does not feed him. Give him bread and then pray that he finds food or that someone else would also give him bread.

Praying is good. Very good. But sitting at home praying for a job won’t get you the job unless you send out some applications.

Just my take!

Random act of kindness

Have you watched or read the news lately? Not too much good stuff, is it? In fact it’s downright depressing.  Slowly eroding your belief in your fellow human beings. Well don’t despair, there are still quite a lot of good people out there.  Like the one I ran into yesterday.

While waiting in line at my favorite coffee shop, the guy behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked me what I was getting.  Suspicious by nature, I guardedly told him I was getting a coffee. What is it to you? I asked inwardly.  “I got it”, the fella said. I didn’t. Get it I mean…For a second or two, I wasn’t sure what he meant. It never dawned on me that a total stranger would offer to pay for my order. Maybe try to get me to pay for his but not the other way around.  “Don’t worry about it, I’ll pay for your order”.  You don’t have to, I meekly responded.  Are you sure? There was no stopping him. He insisted.

The stranger asked me what size I was getting and made it clear that I could get whatever size I wanted and while I was at it, maybe grab a sandwich. I flirted with the idea of downsizing and getting a small coffee but decided to go with what my initial order. I wasn’t planning on getting anything to eat but after a few twists of my rubber arm, I settled for an apple fritter.

We engaged in season and weather conversation while we waited.  When we approached the clerk, he told her he was paying for whatever I wanted and signaled for me to order. He was good to his word. With a profuse and heart-felt thank you, I left the kind stranger to enjoy his meal.

I acknowledged this deed on my Facebook status and found that many people had the same experience recently. Very heartening, isn’t it? Has it happened to you? Maybe not in the same way but someone may have restored your faith in humanity? Don’t forget to pay it forward. It’s the only way we could counter the negatives of this earth.

Merry Christmas!

Who Are Our Enemies?

Have you heard about the attacks? No, not the attacks in Paris.  Or Baghdad or Beirut for that matter, the attacks on Muslims.  Here’s one such attack.  Yesterday in Toronto, Canada, a Muslim woman was attacked by two men while picking up her young son from school.  They punched her to the ground while calling her a terrorist and telling her to go back home.  That’s’ the attacks I’m talking about here.  Muslims are finding the world very unwelcoming these days but is it deserving? Should we hate Muslims?

I have news for you.  Muslims are not your enemy.  The enemy lurks outside our doors. He is our neighbor, our friend, our family.  We know him but we really don’t know him.  No border security can stop him because he is already within the walls.  In fact, he was born within the walls. He doesn’t wear a turban or even knows the Koran.  The Governments promise to eradicate him and all those like him but how?  They don’t know him. He blends in.  He’s Canadian, French, American.  Then what can we do?  I would say pray but you don’t believe in God.  In fact you protest prayers in schools and think Christianity is the root of all evil.  The enemy outside your door is not a Christian but he is the root of some serious evil!

Many pray for peace, I pray for understanding, strength and faith. Understanding so I can understand why this is happening, strength to cope and faith to stand firm in my belief.  I wish for peace but it’s just a wish.  God’s will must be done.  Again, what can we do?  Love more, Hate less.  Would it stop those terrorists? Probably not but doesn’t hurt to try.

My Take

 

 

 

Beirut and Baghdad, The Ugly Step-Sisters

I love Paris. I have never been there but the name drips romance. A Paris vacation with that special someone?  Romantic.  Yes, Paris is Love.  How about Baghdad?    What I know about this place is gleaned from news about terror and the war on Saddam Hussein and his phantom weapons of mass destruction.  Baghdad conjures up images of smoking bomb craters, dead bodies and death lurking around every corner. A lovers’ utopia? Not unless you are Romeo and Juliet.  How about Beirut?  Where’s that? Baghdad?  Same images apply.  Bombings, Lebanon, Wars…Death lurks.

Beirut bombings

On Friday, November 13th, Within hours of each other, innocent civilians were murdered by ISIS terror group.  A suicide bombing at a memorial service and a road blast killed at least 47 people in Baghdad while coordinated attacks in different areas of Paris took the lives of 129 innocent civilians.  A day earlier, a pair of suicide blasts in Beirut killed 43 people and wounded close to 250. Except for Paris, you would be lucky to have heard anything about the other two. As they say, if a bomb falls in Baghdad or Beirut, does anyone hear it? Only the people who live there.

But there’s just something about Paris.  Something different.  Beirut and Baghdad are known for this type of violence, even though Beirut has been relatively safe for the last few years or so.  Paris is not a war zone.  Paris is Love.  And that’s why you probably didn’t hear of the same atrocities being carried out in Baghdad or Beirut at almost the same time.  There was no pledge by the Government to seek out and destroy the perpetrators in these countries.  The newspapers didn’t scream, “The World Mourns For Beirut/Baghdad”, of course not!  That would sound absurd.   But Paris…oui! oui! that’s a different story.

On Friday night, Iconic monuments in London, the USA, Canada and elsewhere around the world were lit up with the colors of France’s flag.  Facebook offered users the option to superimposed the red, white and blue over the profile photo, many did, in global solidarity for the fallen French.  A slap in the face to the other countries who were just not ‘pretty’ enough.  I imagine how they must feel to see us crying for Paris while ignoring their plight. The ugly step-sisters.

I know we are numbed to violence in places that are a hotbed for terrorists.  After the hundredth suicide bombings, we tuned out. Or should I say, our news agencies tune out.  Moving on the better things, like Paris, but we shouldn’t.

Remember, they are people too, killed by the same enemy.  In death they are united so let’s mourn for them all.

Just MY TAKE

Related:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/16/world/middleeast/beirut-lebanon-attacks-paris.html?_r=0

 

 

 

 

 

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