For "Scripture Sunday":
Kennedy’s Assassination: The Foreshadow of Change"As we mark the 50th anniversary of President John Kennedy’s assassination, analysts are examining every conceivable angle of its impact. And rightly so—many see it as a turning point in history. The assassination itself was not the sole factor in the many societal changes that followed, but it certainly stands as a symbol.
I was recently explaining to a couple of 20-somethings the greater impact of that time, how it wasn’t only the Kennedy assassination that rattled the world, but a whole string of murders of leaders. The idea that crazies could remove anyone so easily by assassination was unnerving. It exposed how vulnerable we were, how tenuous leadership could be.
Earlier that year, on June 12, a Ku Klux Klan member ambushed Medgar Evers, a civil rights leader in Mississippi. This occurred only a few hours after President Kennedy had spoken on national television supporting civil rights.
Fifteen months after Kennedy, on Feb. 25, 1965, members of the Nation of Islam killed Malcolm X.
The next two, though, would really rock the nation.
Martin Luther King was shot on a Memphis hotel balcony on April 4, 1968; and as the nation was still grappling with that tragedy, Robert F. Kennedy, John Kennedy’s younger brother, was gunned down on June 6 as he campaigned for president.
One of the young adults said to me, “That was like the 9/11 of your generation.” In a way, yes, except that it was protracted and repeated time and again over a decade. The world was going mad!
Kennedy’s assassination, though, had the deepest impact. This handsome, charismatic war hero had swept into office, eloquently inspiring many citizens with speeches describing the promising future of the world. Many began to use “Camelot”—the idyllic notion of the legendary King Arthur and his realm—as a romantic symbol of the Kennedy presidency. He was leading the charge to reform racism; he stared down the Russians in the Cuban missile crisis; he was going to put a man on the moon; he started the Peace Corps to send young volunteers out to help people in developing nations.
So it was not strange to cast his assassination, therefore, as the fall of Camelot. Even his widow, Jacqueline, once said, “There’ll be great presidents again, but there’ll never be another Camelot again.”
In its wake, social and moral turmoil engulfed America and much of the world. Kennedy’s assassination did not, of course, cause it; but it surely marked the time when the floodgates of change were flung open." More and video at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/speaking-of/kennedys-assassination-the-foreshadow-of-change/
The Gettysburg Address - 150 Years Later
From the transcript: "Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous speech 150 years ago. It would be nice to have a leader of his stature around today.
If someone could live up to those ideals, and perhaps we can on an individual basis, but someone, a 21st Century Lincoln perhaps could lead us into yet a greater period of prosperity. Nonetheless, they are words to consider, and they're very appropriate in light of the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address." From: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-daily/christian-living/he-gettysburg-address-150-years-later
How to Deal With Grief"Human beings view death as permanent and final. Yet Jesus Christ is telling us that death is temporary—that those who die are described in Scripture as being asleep in their graves until the time they hear His voice and rise from their physical graves."
"The sudden or untimely death of a loved one—is there anything that rocks human emotions more? Here’s a look at grief and how to deal with loss.
In the aftermath of the untimely death of a loved one, we deal with tidal waves of emotions and a sense of loss. We cry, grieve and seek answers to how and why this could have happened. Initial shock and numbness eventually give way to loneliness as we struggle with the emptiness left in death’s wake.
In coming to grips with such a sudden loss, grieving is a healthy part of the process of recovery. The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a “time to weep” (Ecclesiastes 3:4). Grieving is a normal part of the emotional healing process. How long—and to what degree—depends on the situation and the person. There is no standard time frame for dealing with loss.
Five “stages” of grief
In her 1969 book On Death and Dying, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross outlined what’s become known as the Kübler-Ross model for how people deal with grief. She wrote about five “stages” that human beings often go through in dealing with their own impending death or with the loss of loved ones or other extreme situations. (In answer to critics, she acknowledged that some people go through some of these emotions concurrently or in a different order or that they may not experience some of them at all. Each person’s experience is unique. These five “stages” may be better thought of as five aspects of grieving rather than rigid stages.)
Dr. Kübler-Ross’s model is only one approach, but it can be useful to consider the five stages she described:
Denial: In the first stage of grief, we operate from the standpoint of “I’m fine.” We are not yet able to accept the reality of the situation and instead deal with it by denying its severity. Refusing to acknowledge the loss is our initial defense mechanism.
Anger: At some point, denial may give way to anger. We may ask questions like, “Why me?” Or we make statements such as, “It isn’t fair!” We may demonstrate our anger by yelling at people or exhibiting a lack of patience.
Bargaining: This reaction is experienced in certain cases of grief. For example: We are told by a family member or friend that he or she is dying, and we begin to try to bargain with God. We may cry out to God and ask that He spare the person’s life. We tell Him that, in return, we will be a better person, go to church every week, volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, etc.
Depression: For the one facing death, depression may well be the next step. For those struggling to accept the loss of a loved one, this may also be familiar territory. “What’s the use?” “I just don’t care anymore.” Having experienced waves of nearly every emotion up to this point, we find nothing that fills the void. In our grief, we may feel there is nothing to be done and enter a depressed state of mind—mentally and emotionally surrendered.
Acceptance: Finally, we may come to an acceptance of the loss. Shock and numbness fade somewhat. We realize that there is nothing we can do to bring the person back (or to change the impending outcome, if it’s our own demise we face). We accept that fact, and we move forward with life as it really is, taking one step at a time.
Navigating uncharted waters
As we face these five aspects of grief, we may find that we move through some faster than others. For example, we may make our way through the shock and numbness of denial rather quickly, but then find ourselves laboring in the emptiness of depression.
Ultimately our desire is to move to acceptance. But how do we get there? Can we do it on our own? What role may others play in dealing with our grief?" More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/evil-and-suffering/how-to-deal-with-grief/ by Jon Pinelli
Preflight Planning: “Where’s This Marriage Going?” (Part 1)
"Imagine that marriage is like flying a plane—and you’re about to taxi down the runway. Here’s the first of three blog posts about preparing for a smooth flight.
In my 20 years as a family counselor, I have never had a couple come to me before they say “I do” to counsel in preparation for marriage. But I have countless experiences of couples coming to me with the remnants of marriages that have crashed and burned. Marriage counseling is often the last resort for these relationships gone awry.
Imagine for a moment that marriage is like flying a plane. Together, as pilot and copilot, you are going to strap yourselves in, start the engines, taxi down the runway and eventually pick up enough speed to take off. Do you know where you are going? Do you agree on your destination? In other words, do you have a “flight plan” for your marriage?
Mike and Karen* had been married just over a year. It was not a first marriage for either of them. They had known each other for several years; and when they began dating, things moved quickly. They married a few months later. Now, after several months of unsuccessful efforts to work things out, divorce papers had been filed.
What went wrong? Both of them had different views of where they were going and how they wanted to get there. But they didn’t know this until it was too late." More at: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/blog/preflight-planning-wheres-this-marriage-going-part-1/ by Debbie Pierce
The program on WGN TV this morning:
You're Probably Not Saved, Yet
"Are you sure you have eternal life? How do you know if you're saved? What is salvation, really? You need to know."
On This Day:
The FBI Crime Lab opens its doors for business, Nov 24, 1932:
"The crime lab that is now referred to as the FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory officially opens in Washington, D.C., on this day in 1932. The lab, which was chosen because it had the necessary sink, operated out of a single room and had only one full-time employee, Agent Charles Appel. Agent Appel began with a borrowed microscope and a pseudo-scientific device called a helixometer. The helixometer purportedly assisted investigators with gun barrel examinations, but it was actually more for show than function. In fact, J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the FBI, provided the lab with very few resources and used the "cutting-edge lab" primarily as a public relations tool. But by 1938, the FBI lab added polygraph machines and started conducting controversial lie detection tests as part of its investigations. In its early days, the FBI Crime Lab worked on about 200 pieces of evidence a year. By the 1990s, that number multiplied to approximately 200,000. Currently, the FBI Crime Lab obtains 600 new pieces of criminal evidence everyday."
Jack Ruby kills Lee Harvey Oswald, Nov 24, 1963:
"At 12:20 p.m., in the basement of the Dallas police station, Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, is shot to death by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner.
In his trial, Ruby denied the allegation and pleaded innocent on the grounds that his great grief over Kennedy's murder had caused him to suffer "psychomotor epilepsy" and shoot Oswald unconsciously. The jury found him guilty of the "murder with malice" of Oswald and sentenced him to die.
In October 1966, the Texas Court of Appeals reversed the decision on the grounds of improper admission of testimony and the fact that Ruby could not have received a fair trial in Dallas at the time. In January 1967, while awaiting a new trial, to be held in Wichita Falls, Ruby died of lung cancer in a Dallas hospital."
After Wendy and I had our usual Saturday phone call, I tended to my two foster cats, Nala and Peekers, my 'new' old cat, Ava, and Misty, and got ready for church. As Ava is the name that is registered on her microchip and all her records, I didn't change it, I just call her Eva, so that is doesn't sound like 'Nala'.
Jay called and said that he had a bad contagious cold and couldn't to go to church. But he was going into town with a neighbor to cash the check he had earned working in Onalaska, and wanted to go to Petco with me later in the day.
Our guitarist with the burned fingers, accompanied us beautifully on the keyboard for the song service again. He makes it sound like an organ. Only two fingers are bandaged now, and he thinks he might be able to play his guitar next Sabbath.
The Bible readings were Gen. chapters 18-23 and II Kings 4:1-36
The message was about "Where will the Messiah be after the Second Coming". Many verses were quoted were it says that the Lord wants to dwell with us on this earth.
The potluck was great, as usual, but I had to switch the food that I had taken into different dishes, so that I could bring my dishes home, as I had to leave the potluck early.
A potential adopter wanted to choose between three of our SPCA kittens, and my foster, Peekers was one of them. I went straight from the church to pick up Jay, and stopped here to get Peekers. Good thing the van was already warmed up, as it was windy, rainy and cold.
Jay brought some orange juice with him as he said he needed Vit. C, for his cold, but after a mile or two, I wished I had time to take him back home, as he was really loud and shouting to the point of scaring Peekers.
Peekers wouldn't even turn on his ever present little 'motor' for the adopters. They looked and held all three kittens, but chose the one that was marked like a little bengal tiger. They had four children, and I am glad that they didn't choose Peekers. I could see one of them leaving a door open, and Peekers getting lost. Anyway, I think Peekers needs a feline companion.
Jay even interrupted us during the 'interview', wanting me to loan him money to buy a ferret and it's equipment. Of course, I didn't. The store manager knows me, and I asked him to find some excuse not to sell it to Jay even if he managed to get the money elsewhere. He has never taken good care of any pet.
Jay was even more belligerent on the way home, and I couldn't wait to get him out of my van. I found out later that the orange juice was laced with vodka that he had bought at the liquor store where he cashed his check. It is such a shame, he is such a different, polite and pleasant person when he is sober, and doesn't remember what he has said or done when he is drunk. You never know which person he is going to be from day to day.