About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Our new puppy!

Meet the newest member of our family - Tazer, a 6 week old German Shepherd! We still have Jazz our 12 year old Black Lab mix at well. David, you may have the best dog in the world, but I think I have the cutest. ;)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Giving, Helping, and other Misadventures

I've noticed something that both encourages me, and troubles me. I'm encouraged when I see people wanting to reach out, to do something to make a difference, to help another person in need. That's what we as the body of Christ are supposed to be doing and so few do it that I can't really fault anyone who is at least trying to be helpful. But it does trouble me when I see those good intentions fall short of their intended goal.

I've seen it each year when I take a group of people to an Indian reservation for a short-term mission trip. Each year there are "problem people" on board. They whine, they complain, they criticize me behind my back because things aren't going the way they think they should go. Or there are people who are infactuated with American Indian culture and want to go for that reason. Regardless of how often I tell them that "it's not about THEM", there are always some who just don't get it.

I've seen it too when I've collected things to be taken to the local homeless shelter. People will bring in the worst of what they have. It's as if they take the opportunity to clean out their pantry and bring in whatver they no longer want. One man even brought in peanut butter that was 2 years past the expiration date. In collecting items to take to the hurricane victims, people brought in old ratty clothes - used underwear even. To their credit, the storm victims accepted it graciously, but I cringed inside when we unloaded the truck. Those people had lost everything but they still had their diginity and giving them the things we would otherwise throw away just seemed .... well, wrong.

Currently in our church there is a lady who wants to do something for the children of Grand Isle who were affected by Hurricane Katrina. Her intentions are good and I am glad to see that someone cares enough to try. But again, I think she is going about it in a less than helpful manner. She is collecting money from people at church to give $20 worth of WalMart gift cards to each of the kids for Christmas. Great idea. Not. First, there is not a WalMart near Grand Isle so it may be difficult for the kids to redeem the "gifts". Second, rather than help the local economy get back on it's feet, we are merely supporting our local WalMart. The money will stay right here in Ohio.

I've wondered about why our efforts to give and help often fail and while I'm not in a position to judge anyone's motive, I do wonder if wrong motives are a big reason for our failure. Too often it seems that our giving is not real giving because it's still about us and what we think should happen.

A lot of it I think is simple ignorance. People don't know how to give effectively. They mean well, but they make the common mistake of thinking that what they think is helpful, really is. They do things they can feel good about rather than thinking about how it will affect those they are trying to help. The result is, they leave feeling good about themselves for having done a good deed, while the person/people they are trying to help are left with something less than helpful. I know they mean well, but so did my aunt who constantly criticiszed me also "meant well" but her biting remarks did little to edify me.

Sorry this post is so garbled. I'm running on very little sleep and not really enough time to say what I want to say in the way I want to say it. Maybe I'll edit later. Or maybe not. ;)

Seven Things

I've been tagged! Gary at Poor in Spirit tagged me so here are my answers to the seven questions.

1. Seven things to do before I die:

1. Be the coolest grandma that ever lived

2. Travel to Italy, France, and Ireland with my husband (on vacation, not a mission trip)

3. Go on a safari in Africa

4. Skydiving

5. Be at peace with myself

6. Ride in a fighter jet

7. Write a book (maybe it could be about how I went skydiving in France with my grandkids and then took them on a safari in Africa??)

2. Seven things I cannot do:

1. dance

2. sing (my kids used to roll the car windows UP when I would sing in the car because they were embarrassed for anyone to hear me)

3. math

4. Sit through an entire church service without my mind wandering

5. Speak any language besides english - sad, I know.

6. Allow myself to wear a bathing suit in public

7. Fix my hair correctly

8. I'm cheating and adding an 8th - spell. I can't spell .... at all.

3. Seven things that attract me to my husband (or significant other or best friend):

1. His committment to Christ

2. His integrity - he is the most trustworthy, selfless person I've ever known

3. His laugh - it's unique and weird but it's him

4. His wacked out sense of humor

5. He has a really cute bum

6. He has great legs

7. He puts up with me - not always an easy thing to do

4. Seven things I say most often:

1. actually - I say actually a lot

2. JAZZ !!!- that's my dog's name and she is constantly into things she isn't supposed to be into.

3. coffee (anything from "would you like some coffee", "would you make some coffee", would you like me to make a fresh pot of coffee", to "can we stop and get some coffee" - I'm a big coffee addict and I live with another coffee addict so the word coffee is spoken a lot in our house. )

4. Shhhhoooooot

5. Where's your dad?

6. Are you coming home for dinner today? (to my oldest son)

7. Where are you at? (spoken to any member of my family when they are "out")

5. Seven books (or series) I love:

1. The Message

2. Chronicles of Narnia (have to say that with the movie coming out)

3. Thr3e by Ted Dekker

4. Beyond the Passion (hate the title, we both do, but love the author ;) )

5. Changes that Heal by Henry Cloud

6. C.S. Lewis ( I would read anything he wrote)

7 An Arrow Pointing To Heaven

6. Seven movies I watch over and over again (or would watch over and over again if I had the time):

Oh geez and easy one to answer- except that Johnny Depp has more than 7 movies. ;) OK, seriously, I do have almost all of his movies but there are only a few that I actually watch over and over.

1. Secret Window - I actually wore that one out even though it's not my favorite I do watch it over and over.

2. Edward Scissorhands - my favorite - a beautiful story with a good message

3. The Man Who Cried - depressingly beautiful so I don't actually watch it often

4. Chocolat - reasons in my post below

5. Sleepy Hollow (gotta love the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp duo)

6. Dead Poet's Society (one that doesnt' have Mr. Depp in it)

7. City Slickers - a family favorite

7. Seven people I want to join in, too: (Not fair - Gary tagged everyone I would have, but here are a few others.)

1 Cody

2 Annie

3 Frank

4 Karen

5 Rhymes with Kerouac



OK, don't shoot me. I don't KNOW anyone else who has not already done this. In fact, I imagine that the folks above have done this already. Maybe instead of naming 2 more people I'll make up my own thingy to tag people with. ;)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Who Are You?

I attended our choir's Christmas program the other night. It was beautiful, as always, and the musicians just completely outdid themselves. This year it was a bit different.... it featured more of the entire story of the gospel rather than just focusing on Christ's birth. My 20 year-old son played the resurrected Jesus.

That actually freaked me out a bit. For several years I was "Mary" in the Christmas program - until I became too old to be believable as Mary and passed on my sandals to someone else. I've always sort of identified with Mary though - not in terms of her "holiness" but more in terms of her humanity. I know there are many in the Christian faith who have very strong feelings and opinions about Mary and her role as the mother of God. Some go as far as to say she was sinless. I prefer to see her as very, very human, a mother who struggled with the same kinds of things all of us mothers struggle with. Certianly she was special ... chosen by God to parent His Son, but she was in all other respects a regular human girl. I like that about Mary.

But as I was saying, for several years I played her at Christmastime. Perhaps that is why it was a little unsetteling to me to see my own son as the adult Jesus. There are times when I look at my son and think "who are you??" My son is a lot like me in many respects but he is also very different as well ... and there are times when I wonder if I had anything at all to do with raising him. I mean that in all the best ways. Sometimes it baffles my mind to think that he is the amazing young man that he has become becuase I am so very aware of all of my mistakes in raising him. That made me wonder though ... if Mary ever looked at her adult son, Jesus and wondered "who are you?"

I'm sure that Mary above all others knew who He was. She more than anyone else was aware that she had concieved as a virgin. She knew that He was indeed the Son of God. Yet in the shuffle of daily life it is easy to "forget" the things we know to be true. I imagine that there were times when she was jolted back to the knowledge of just who Jesus really was.... when she was forced to pause admist the hussle of her daily responsibilities to wonder again at Jesus' deity and to marvel at how her own story fit into His story.

I know that is what I will be pondering on this Christmas season.