Liar Liar Pants on Fire

I know I probably make you exhausted reading about my kindergarten Physical Education class, but these kids teach me way more than I teach them!  They make my day complete in more ways than these little five year olds will ever realize.  There is nothing that makes a woman’s day like hearing, “Mrs. Madame Hale, you are so beautiful!”  They are more than precious and every day they open my eyes to life lessons through their five year old eyes!

Our district has an event that is called “Go for 42” which is where they walk or run two kilometer a day for four weeks until they reach 40 kilometers and then they run the last two kilometers all together at the first of the summer and they have run a marathon in total.  It’s a great eye opener for these students because two kilometers to a five year old is quite far, but they do it.

We are a K-5 school, but adjacent to us is a middle school that has grades 6-8.  We share a cafeteria but other than that, the children at my school don’t get to see the world at the middle school.  When I first brought them over to use the middle school’s track, their reaction was what struck me funny.  All their “oooohs and awwwws” made me realize that because of the big brick structure that blocks them from seeing this, they have no idea that this world on the back side of the school even exists.

This is very parallel to our lives.  We only know what is brought into our world.  You are what you are exposed to.  Just like these five year olds, not realizing that there was a track and a huge baseball field just around a corner of their school, we are the same.  If people are born a certain religion, this is what they believe in, because this is what they were exposed to.  This is what they know.  If people don’t educate themselves on other religions, they become prejudice against others, because they don’t understand what they aren’t exposed to.

Just like homosexuals.  If you aren’t exposed to them you might become prejudice to them as well.  This seems to be the big argument lately in the churches.  It says in the Bible that God doesn’t permit homosexuality, so these people should be banned from the churches.  Churches should not allow or promote homosexuals belonging to their church.  Again, this is what people are not exposed to and don’t understand, but did you know that the Bible only talks about sexual orientation five different times, but it talks about how much God hates a liar over 360 times.  I’m not a math teacher, but this is some easy math for me to figure out!

Proverbs 6:16-19 explains, “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”

Honestly, we are all sinners, and we should concentrate on the second and most important commandment in the Bible and love others first and foremost.  Who cares what people choose to do with their sexual apparatus on their own time?  I would say looking at the ratio of 5:360 that God would rather us be homosexual than liars, but that is just my opinion.  If we kept liars out of the church, we wouldn’t have anyone attending, so why are some churches trying to keep homosexuals out of theirs?

I just think that our God is a loving and amazing God who wants us to just love everyone.  I know it might sound corny, but it’s true.  Let’s live by the Proverbs 6 rule and stop having a heart that devises wicked plans to ban homosexuals from having a relationship with God.  At least they are trying to build a relationship with him, which is more than I can say about much of our population today!  God loves us all!  Even liars!


Opening Day!

Opening day!  If you are a baseball fan, you understand the excitement that comes with these two little words.  Opening day is the first game of baseball played on your home field.  Your home turf.  Your stomping ground.  It’s exciting to start a new season of baseball after a long winter of waiting for the snow to melt and the grass to turn green so you can enjoy this incredible sport.

Yesterday was our opening day for my son’s baseball team.  Having my husband coach his team makes it even more exciting at our home.  They are both very passionate about this sport and so the energy that is floating through our home is felt by anyone who walks in.  It’s a father-son love that has been blooming since our son was born.

First of all our son is named after the legendary baseball player Lou Gehrig.  You know how it is said that God has the name for your child before he was even born?  I am a huge believer in this statement, because our son was to be called “Mark” right up to the day before I gave birth.

My husband asked me what I thought we were having a boy or a girl.  I explained that my intuition is saying it’s a boy and that is when he told me that he really loved the name “Gehrig”.  I agreed it was a cool name.  It was different, but we still had lots of time to discuss it.

The next day, to my surprise, I was tying up my shoelaces to head out for my morning walk, when my water broke.  This was two days earlier than my due date, and it wasn’t really in my plans that day.  To make a long story short, our son was born about six hours later, and my husband was never so excited in all his life.  A BOY!!!  He asked the doctor if he could take him out to display him with pride to all that were anxiously awaiting in the waiting room and the doctor gave his approval while I had the pleasure of delivering the afterbirth.

When my husband finally returned with the little bundle of amazement, he questioned, “So we are going to call him Gehrig, right?”

Fatigued and not having the energy to even think about a name for this little human being that I just pushed out of me, my response was, “We have lots of time to agree on a name.”

To my surprise, he answered, “Oh-um-you see-I already told everyone it was Gehrig.”

Instantly, I started laughing.  I don’t know if was from total exhaustion, or the fact that he was that thrilled he got his dream come true, and couldn’t wait to proudly give him the coolest name my husband ever heard of.  It melted my heart right there and I decided to just agree and give my husband this moment in time.  I will have to admit, it did take me three days to learn how to spell my own child’s name, but he is so a Gehrig now.

Jeremiah 1:5 tells us, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

That is why I am a firm believer when they say that before a person is born, God knows your purpose, and your name, because I witnessed it all unfold before my exhausted eyes the day I gave birth to our precious son.  Fourteen years later, I can’t imagine him being called anything but.

Not only is my son called Gehrig, the day he was born, my husband had the joy of spending his first evening with his newborn son bonding with Gehrig in his arms and they watched the Home-run Derby of 2002 together on the little mini-television that are in hospital rooms.  It’s been a tradition every year to watch the Home-run Derby together and baseball holds a huge place in our family.

Our son Gehrig is Gehrig for a reason, and now looking back at the thought of calling him Mark, just doesn’t fit who this incredible young man is!  We all have a purpose in this world, and Gehrig is here for a reason.  Is it to be a baseball player?  Maybe not, but whatever it is baseball is shaping him into the grand design that the great Creator has for him.  The same is true for each and everyone of us!  Life is shaping us into what God wants us to be!  Isn’t it amazing?



Reading the Tao Te Ching

I have so many friends who are turned off by religion, and I have to honestly agree with many of their arguments.  I also have to admit I was feeling the same way too at one point in my life!  So many people put on this charade of how pure living they are, go to church every week, never missing, yet are judging others that don’t. They proudly and vocally say grace at every meal, yet are gossiping and making fun of people with vicious hearts every chance they get.

Then you hear stories about what they do on their free-time, which you would never do in a million years because your moral standards are not in that range, even though you haven’t darkened the church doors in over a year.  You believe and feel the activities they participate in are downright morally wrong, but people are free to do what they please with their lives.

It just makes you wonder, how can these people who claim to be religious think that just because they go to church every week, yet treat their human race with such judgment; nurturing such feelings of superiority; have such a love for revenge; and have all these negative loves and hellish mindset think that going to church and claim they are Christian, is going to be the cure of all evil?

The more I read and research, which I have been doing extensively in my spiritual journey, I’m realizing more and more that it’s not just Christians who go to heaven and I don’t believe just because you call yourself a Christian it is a ticket to heaven.  Just because you are “saved” doesn’t give you a free ride.  Sure, it might help keep you out of the pits to total despair, but you have to live a forgiving, nonjudgmental, and selfless life if someday you want to experience the joy of the afterlife.

I’m reading the Tao Te Ching and it is very interesting how a book, that was written over two and a half centuries ago, has such love and wisdom in its 81 little verses, but aligns itself very well with the morals of the Bible.  If you’ve never met the word of God but lived by these simple verses, I am sure you would also experience Heaven.  I’m a huge promoter of the Bible, and there will be no other book for me, but the Bible is only useful if you makes you do positive life changes and try to live up to its word.  The same as any religion.  In the end what matters is the love you have towards the human race, which is very directly put in the Bible, and it other religions too.

Luke 6:27 tells us, “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,”  yet, honestly how many people who call themselves Christians can say that they actually do this one?  This is very hard to do.  I know many Christians that love to make fun of their enemies.  I know Christians who gossip about their enemies and go out of their way to make their enemies lives miserable.  I know Christians who center their world on getting revenge on their enemy or wishing the worst on them.  It’s very sad to listen, and hear, and hard to bite my tongue, but it is not my place to say anything.

The 11th verse of the Tao Te Ching states,

“Heaven and Earth are everlasting,
The reason Heaven and Earth can last forever
Is that they do not exist for themselves
Thus they can last forever

Therefore the sages:
Place themselves last but end up in front
Are outside of themselves and yet survive
Is it not due to their selflessness?
That is how they can achieve their own goals”

If you look at this deep enough, it is not saying the same thing as many Bible verses?  Is this not saying that we have to put everyone above ourselves, even in our enemy?  We have to exist for everyone else, but ourselves, just like Heaven and Earth.  Deep stuff from the Tao Te Ching.

I guess what I am trying to say is that Heaven is real.  Hell is real.  It’s not whether we call ourselves Christian while we are on earth that determines our destiny in eternity.  I feel we have to be more open minded to the reality of the spiritual world.  Going to church once a week and living a self-absorbed, revengeful, gossip filled, and having unforgiving, vengeful heart is fine if that is what makes you happy here on earth, but it is not a ticket to a place I want to spend my eternity, but that is just the way I look at spirituality and the afterlife.  I could be wrong, who knows!

I am a Christian, trying to live a Christian life, but also look at the great things in other religions and try to learn from them as well.  Just because I am learning, doesn’t mean I am honoring another God, I am just curious and I think you have to educate yourself on everything no matter what the subject area.  It’s a huge world of spirituality out there, and I think understanding them all is the way that you will come not to judge others and what they believe in.


History of Heaven

How many of you enjoy history?  I’m not the biggest fan of learning about ancient societies and civilizations.  Never have been and honestly, never will.  Teaching grade five has opened my opinion a bit, because I had to teach about the Middle Ages, Ancient Egypt, and other Ancient Civilizations which I grew to enjoy.

As I progress on my spiritual journey, my father who is a huge history buff, has been encouraging me to learn about the history of religion and faith.  This has been my latest quest, and I have to admit, I’m actually enjoying it and it is opening my eyes to religions and affirming many of the things that have been put in my heart.

Religion really was warped by mankind.  No wonder there are people who are turned off by religion.  I have friends that don’t want to have anything to do with organized religion anymore for valid reasons.  In our community there are many self-righteous people thinking they are better than others because of their religious beliefs.  The tiny rural community I grew up was horrible!  There was a huge prejudice between the Catholics and the Baptist.  Now that I’m older and I look back at all the things that went on, especially with my friends who were not of the same denomination and whose parents really trashed the other religion and forbid their relationships, I’m horrified and I can’t believe this actually went on.

How can you call yourself a Christian if you think your religion is better than others?  How can you have such hatred for a religion that is just trying to teach love and community?  It’s astounding and it still happens today.  We see it with the happenings of September 11th with the Islamics but there is a long history of religious aggression, and using religion to justify wrong doings.

In my quest to educate myself as recommended by my father, these are some of the problems that have come up with religions and being aggressive to their beliefs.  It starts in ancient times, even in the Bible, when Kings of different countries would capture other countries and they would impress their beliefs on those countries.

Christianity itself was at first a persecuted religion for its first three centuries, but then once it gained more power and control, it, itself started persecuting other religions.  Christianity was the one that closed the pagan temples, the philosophical temples, like Plato and other philosophers attended.   They also persecuted other Christians whose beliefs were not in line with that of the established church.  It was honestly crazy and barbaric.

Some had said that in the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, was the first attempt at forming a total society, which means not only political control, but complete religious and ideological control.  This lead to terrible persecutions.  Later on there were more wars between the Protestants and the Catholics trying to stop this control.

The 16 and 1700s this craziness persisted and we still had terrible warfare times.  The Thirty Year War that happened from 1618-1648 was total religion oriented as the Protestants and Catholics continue to battle for whose religion is correct.  Needless to say the Baptist-Catholic silliness that went on where I grew up is really only a repercussion of all this foolishness that happened many years ago.

Then we have to look at all the indigence religions that were scorned and prosecuted for their beliefs.  India, which had a tremendously rich civilization was totally demoralized by the Christians who tried to make their religious beliefs inferior, and many people still do.

Christianity has become less and less belligerent, especially after the Referendum and the Thirty Year War, but it still continues today but not to the extreme that it used to.

In my opinion, when you are in touch with God, you don’t have this separate mindset of religion and God.  You love God, you love all that is good, and if good people have different religions, then who cares?  As long as people are good people trying to live good lives, it is not our place to force our beliefs on an individual.  Sure it is nice to introduce them to the Bible, and to the greatness that our God is, but when you look back on the record of Christians pushing Christianity it’s almost shameful what we’ve done.

Luke 6:37 explains, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Christians don’t judge other people’s religions.  Christians don’t condemn other people for believing in things they believe in and Christians forgive so that we will be forgiven.

This history was definitely an interesting venture.  It’s embarrassing to think that people were treated so poorly all because of what they believed in.  Thank goodness for freedom of religion, but even after that the condemning and judging didn’t cease.  Hopefully people will strive to live a good life over being a religious person, because if you watch the news at all, it seems like history is repeating itself in this area and this craziness is still going on today!


Revengeful Hearts

Revenge.  Do you believe in it?  I had an older brother growing up and I lived for revenge.  I was a little runt, and I was climbing my way to the top of the family hierarchy no matter the cost.  I tattled.  I bribed.  I sabotaged.  I would be devastated if my children acted like I did.  I was rotten to the bone when it came to my brother.  Why?  Goodness, I have no idea.  It was just my character at the time.

Today, however, I am a totally different person.  I am very non-confrontational.  I don’t have the energy to fight for things like I did when it came to my brother, or maybe I grew up and realized it wasn’t worth the fight.

As my life has unfolded over the last few decades, I have learned many life lessons, and many of them, the hard way.  Isn’t that always the way?  One of my biggest life lessons is I’ve realized that holding resentment in my heart or harboring a grudge does nothing to the other person, but it does elevate my blood pressure and makes me lose sleep.  I’ve also learned that sometimes life throws things at you that you think are insurmountable, but if you are patient and lean of God for strength you can surmount anything.

I’m very glad that I’ve learned all this through my years, and looking back at my life circumstances I’m realizing how easy it is to let bitterness in your heart and want to get revenge.  This is the hardest battle I’ve ever been faced with myself.  When someone hurts you, it is natural instinct to want to hurt them back whatever way you can think of, but if we pray about it and leave it in God’s hands, he will take his own revenge.  Call it karma if you wish, but the old saying, “What goes around comes around” is very true, and you don’t even have to worry about making it happen.  It will all happen in good time.

Just like myself, clawing my way to be superior above my brother—something I am not proud of–we have to realize that we all going to want to be superior over certain people, but for what purpose.  What purpose does it really prove?  Selfishness.  Self-absorbtion.  Self-worth.  That’s it about it.

Becoming revengeful and bitter over what people have that we don’t, or what people have done to us in our past is not the kind of heart that God wants us to have.   Thankfully I grew out of that horrible heart I had, or at least I feel like I have, but there are many people that still carry this begrudging heart.  They have the desire to be better than everyone else.  If someone hurts them, they need to get even.  If someone is blessed with something they don’t have they are bitter.

Studying Deuteronomy 19, the 13th verse jumped out at me, “Purge the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, so that it may be well with you.”  God, will provide a refuge for those who accidentally commit sinful acts, but is revenge an accident?  Nope.  It’s very premeditated.  Moses was trying to explain that God will help us to purge our guilt but we also have to try not to do the same sin again.  It’s like nailing God to the cross again and again and again if we continue to sin in the same manner over and over again.

God is going to look after us, and our enemies.  It’s hard to trust sometimes, because we want revenge ASAP, and it is hard not to retaliate!  I’ve been there many times, and it is the absolute hardest thing that I have to make myself do.  It’s hard not to try and ruin someone’s life who tried to ruin yours.  It sucks to watch other children be mean to your children, or watch your children fail at something they worked so hard for.  It’s difficult experiencing a co-worker be unkind to you or others for no reason.  It’s hard when someone says something mean about us or a person we love, but these events all happens to help develop our personalities.

Next time this happens to you, try NOT to retaliate!  Instead, turn inwardly to the power inside of you.  Keep smiling and don’t let these people rob you of your entitled happiness.  Turn to your creator and watch the power that he possesses. Feel him purging your soul from sinful acts.   It might not happen as fast as you would like, but it will happen.

Hopefully by the time it does, your heart will have softened to forgive this person and you will not want anything to happen to this person, because people that hurt others aren’t bad people—they are just selfish.  Selfless love is what brings miracles, but loving people who hurt us is one tough job.

After time, you might even appreciate this person for what they did to you, because your life ended up so much better in the end for what they chose to do to you.  Life’s ever enfolding plan is a miraculous event if you can just relax and enjoy the ride!  Try it and see where your ride takes you!


Spoiling Supper

Supper time is always a challenge at my home.  Why?  You may be wondering.  It’s very hard to make four hungry people happy and reach all their wants and needs in one meal.  I was a picky eater when I was younger and my incredible mother would make me whatever I wanted or felt like for supper, even if it was over and above what she already made.

Now, I am blessed to raise a picky eater of my own and I am doing exactly what my mother did for me.  I sometimes make three or four different meals, or renditions of my meal.  I’m still a bit picky and don’t like potatoes, so when I make the rest of my family potatoes I have to make some other side for myself.  It’s never ending, but I don’t mind.  I’m in the kitchen anyway, what would it matter if I add more to the menu.

I have a great friend who thinks that I am setting my son up for a disappointing future, because how many woman are going to be like me?  I have to admit, this friend has a great point.  Does it change the way that I am going to treat my family?  Absolutely not!  Will my son find a wife that will do this for him?  Great question!  I’m not a fortune teller, so I can’t answer that, but if God has anything to do with it, I guess the answer is yes.  I’m already praying that my son meets a great Proverbs 31 Woman who will treat him the way a man should be treated.

My mother taught me the most valuable life lesson and that is to love your family with a selfless love.  You serve your family with all your heart and soul and if that means making four different suppers, then so be it.  Being a mother has also taught me to put my children before myself.  I realize this might be an archaic way of thinking, but it is who I’ve become.

Many things will happen over the years with families, and if we take a selfless love point of view life becomes so much easier.  Before reading the bible every day I was never of this opinion.  I really struggled when I first had my child, mostly because I still had a selfish heart.  I still was worried about my needs, about my wants, and about my desires.

Eventually, I grew out of this stage of my life.  They say that having infants are expensive, well, it only gets worse when you have two very active and accomplished athletes.  Money goes out as fast as it comes in, which means Momma Bear has to sacrifice some of her wardrobe spending to compensate the budget.

Having children has been a great lesson for my heart, and so has being married and living through the different seasons that a couple goes through.  My heart has changed and now it is starting to change outside of my family too.  I find myself much more empathetic and in touch with my inner self, that I never knew existed before.  It is all because of my time with God every morning.  He is making me see things through new eyes.

In 1 Corinthians 13:10-12 it is told, “But when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

I’m just starting to see how childish I really was—even in my late 30s, I was still growing as a mother and a wife.  Things happen in your life to help you to grow up and find that selfless self that God wants us to be like.  I still have childish ways that I have to grow out of, and with God’s help I know it is possible.

People can tell me that I am crazy to spoil my family like I do, but it is just part of who I grew to become.  Since it is God echoing this selflessness in my heart, I am going to fly with it.  He is the Divine Creator, so I am following his lead.

Are you giving selfless love to people around you?  If not, give it a try.  It is more rewarding that you could ever imagine!


Backyard Trampoline Basics

Backyard trampolines.  What is your opinion?  Being a gymnastics coach needing to be certified on trampoline as well as artistic gymnastics, I hate them.  The word hate, doesn’t even touch the surface of my negative emotions towards this piece of play equipment.  In my opinion, it shouldn’t even be available for the public to purchase.

My daughter being 12 years old now, has wanted a trampoline for many, many years but eventually gave up asking for one.  Their danger factor is off the radar for me, and I have a long list of reasons why she was never going to get one.

My husband wanted to come watch our daughter at Atlantics, but I convinced him to stay home.  He had to fly there, and it wasn’t really worth it for him to travel that far to see her do a total of two minutes of routines.  I just felt it wasn’t worth the cost, but knew that our daughter would be devastated that her father wasn’t coming.

In attempts to ease the pain, the idea popped into my head to buy her a trampoline as a replacement for her father not travelling to watch her competition.  She was ecstatic!  It was a dream come true, but then had doubts on why I was changing my train of thought on the backyard trampoline.

It didn’t change my feelings about this bouncing death trap, but I did feel that she was old enough to follow my rules about it, and that the neighborhood kids were old enough as well.  It’s when there is more than one person on the trampoline at a time that this apparatus becomes dangerous.  If used properly, maturely and under a certified instructor, a trampoline is very useful tool for a gymnast because the elements on the trampoline are transferable to the other events.

This is the same with our spiritual world.  When we are younger, just like using the trampoline, we don’t realize the danger of not believing that there is a greater power that controls the universe.  We are oblivious to what can happen to us if we bounced out of control and lose our air sense.  The same is true with spirituality.  We can bounce out of control and lose our way, and usually do.

As we age, and learn from our life experiences eventually we learn the value of spirituality and that is transferable to our real life, just like trampoline skills transfer to the gymnastics world.  We begin to understand more of the power that is within us, and God.  We learn the reward of being selfless and charitable and having a strong spiritual connection.  Just like our daughter using the trampoline now that she is older.  She realizes its value, along with its power.  Now what was once a devise that she didn’t understand its ability is now a great tool for her to use in her to better herself in her gymnastics career.

Colossians 1:9-10 explains, “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

Just like being filled with the knowledge of being safe on a trampoline and having the wisdom to understand its dangers, it’s the same with spiritual wisdom.  As we increase in our knowledge of God, our potential is limitless.  Take time every day to walk in the manner worthy of the Lord and watch your life transform.

Just like my daughter and her backyard trampoline.  Bounce your way from living dangerously not knowing the power the trampoline has to educating yourself and using it to benefit you in other parts of your life.  You will love the ride!