Thursday, November 06, 2008

His Mercies

This is one of my newest paintings. I like painting Hydrangeas and of course you will never see ones like these side by side because they would all be of similar color. That is the magic of watercolor. I only give a hint of leaves, too, because they take away from the beauty of the flowers.

This Bible verse is from Lamentations 3:22, sandwiched between some of the most depressing passages in the Bible, where there was extreme poverty and hunger. Yet God was faithful to those who loved Him. The author continues with "great is thy faithfulness."

Sometimes we go through very hard times, many of which are spiritual when we are walking through the wilderness. In other words we are not immune to trials, temptations, or spiritual attacks. God is really merciful that He doesn't leave us in that state but brings us to a place of repentance, healing, and restoration. Whatever the case may be, we can have hope, because God never fails us and he shows us that his mercies are new every morning. It is true, great is his faithfulness.
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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I Saw Obama's Acceptance Speech

I wrote this on November 5th after I saw Obama's acceptance speech on line.

I can see why so many people are happy. He gives hope to the downtrodden and outcast. And of course I am proud of America breaking the racial barriers. He is a man who transcends race and it is a proud moment for all America that it is finally looking beyond color, because definitely Obama was voted into office by a majority that was made up of blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asian, and other groups. I also listened to all the young people saying they felt good to see someone, for once who looked like them going into the office of the President, as the president. It is a big deal. And I respect him for it.

So do I have mixed feelings? Of course. So much to be proud to be an American. Of course my allegiance to my core values are the same but I was dumbstruck and somewhat unprepared to see this event move people to touching pronouncements, moments of awe, and tears of relief. Newspapers were snatched off the shelves, and sold on Ebay. Little black children were saying all that they could be when they grew up. Elderly folks in nursing homes recalled their years of racial discrimination and what had just happened. Most were speechless and in awe of the moment. Others made heartfelt statements. It was then that I got some realization, of the grief of the African-American community. They could not value this historic moment or look forward without first recalling how far they have come and the tears they had shed. Black History Month will no longer be the same.

All that said, I know that I won't agree with everything our future President will do (but I didn't agree with all of the decisions made by President Bush). Nevertheless, I am going to pray for him to have wisdom, and lead this whole country to a place of mutual respect and dignity. I will also pray for his life and his family's to be protected from harm.

Now to the more mundane. Was it just me, but did anybody else notice how stiff President elect Obama looked when he was giving his speech? I don't know if it is the realization of the task set before him, his nerves, the fact that a beloved member of his family died, or the length of this campaign, or all of these factors together? Whatever the case, he seemed strained, hardly ever smiling. Seeing the pictures of him before the results were in, explains his mood in part. (As recommended by Ana, in the comments.) Makes you wonder.

I just heard that Pastor Joel Hunter from Northland prayed with him before his speech. Another enigma. How did that come about? You can read about it on this link. (This last comment was added November 7th)

Well McCain lost

I would never have thought that it would have been such a resounding lost in Orange County, but then unemployment is so high. If you are not making ends meet it has to be a very pressing issue for these families. Conservative issues would seem remote if you are almost losing your home and you might also lose your job. How can our government not be meeting the needs of its own people? Something is wrong with this administration which seems out of touch with its citizens. I hope I am not misjudging, but that is how I see it.

Some of my friends are very depressed and I have to repeat what my pastor said on Sunday. None of this comes as a surprise to God. He was not up there in heaven saying, "Gee if we had gotten so and so on the ballot we wouldn't have lost." God has a plan, his thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and his ways are higher than our ways. He sees the big picture, in fact the eternal picture that will not only glorify Him but will work all things for the good of them that love Him. He is always thinking about us, and how to meet our needs, and work all things out for His eternal purposes. So when we don't know how to see this loss, I must quote what my precious Granddaughter quoted to me, last night. She said "Christ is the victory that overcomes the world," and though she said it was Romans 8, she still had it right, because it prompted me to look up the verses, which both pointed to the victory that really counts. It's our faith . We need to fix our eyes on Jesus and to seek God's kingdom. Everything else is temporal. I John 5:4b, says "this is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith, " and then in Romans 8:37 "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." So we are victorious if we are seeking God and praying for His will to be done. We can trust Him that he allowed this with a purpose. We just need to pray more than ever and be faithful. God will take care of the rest.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

So I Voted.

Why was I so nervous last night? I was waking up like every two hours it seemed. I didn't think I was anxious, at least that is what my head told me, but body didn't believe it. Finally six thirty came around and I started to get ready. My plan was to be at the Risen Savior Lutheran Church, by 7:15, so as to give myself at least 45 minutes to make it to school. My prior experience there had alway been quick.

So, I chose my clothes carefully, just like I have always done when there is an election. Since I am a registered independent. I have always enjoyed that status and making those candidate understand that they don't have me in their pocket. So back to the clothes. I debated if to wear a yellow long sleeve blouse as I was going early in the morning and it was cool outside, but it made me look washed out so I chose a green short sleeve blouse with a grey skirt and black windbreaker instead. I thought I was safe wearing sap green, my favorite color, but after talking to Annie, it turned out not to have been the right choice after all because there is a Green Party and according to her the candidate "es una loca." So I laughed heartily. All that careful color choice for naught.

Anyway, it was fun but hectic to stand in line for half an hour, to get my ballot, only to have to wait another half hour before I could deposit it. At least the wait wasn't four hours like in early voting, but the same enthusiasm was still there, and I enjoyed it. Got to talk to all sorts of people who were just as friendly as could be and time passed quickly. The only thing I didn't like was that there was too much talking in the area where we were voting, and when I was trying to understand some of the legalese jargon used in the ballot it was difficult to concentrate when others were talking loudly. Because of this, I had to take extra long to vote. Next time I think I will try absentee ballot, but I am such a people person that I am afraid to miss out on all the fun. However, it wasn't so much fun standing for a whole hour only to go to work and stand for hours again. Absentee ballot doesn't sound like that bad of an idea, after all.

Nevertheless, it is a great day for democracy that we are able to exercise our right to vote peacefully and make a difference. So hurray for democracy. Hope you got your vote out!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

When things get hectic ...

I start thinking about peaceful mountains and that is what I painted. It's called Thinking Mountains. It's full of little houses and even a bird flying down over them. I'm not even sure where this is at. There are several ways to interpret the painting. Where do you think it is at?
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