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The Lost Champion


 

As one who played tennis for many years and watched championships for decades, I must say I have never seen one like yesterday’s Women’s final at the US Tennis Open.

 In any sport there are rules and regulations. There are contentious moments and days of grandeur but in the end the cliché that “it’s not about winning, but how you play the game,” still holds true.

In the past, players would rant and rave, scream at umpires and throw rackets. Some more than others depending on their temperaments. They displayed themselves in questionable performances or meltdowns of anger and hurt. Often they were cited for violations and sometimes fined as they should be. These outbursts of emotions from top seeded tennis pros would draw crowds filling stadiums to witness such shows of passionate athleticism but it doesn’t excuse their behavior.

Sadly, it has become the victimization of players who get offended by umpire calls and cited for their blistering tirades on the court that screams at the validity of the game. Calling into question are also the umpires who have personal issues with certain players along with whether or not they nitpick rules in different matches. The job is one that comes with recognition but should be scrutinized carefully. Umpires should be fair to all.

Bias of sportscasters of one athlete over all the other players has become as bad as the media in politics.  It only adds to the fury of hate and the loss of the Champion in waiting; and that was definitely the case these last 2 weeks.

 Of course there are discriminating facts between the sexes. It isn’t right, but shouldn’t be given into the debate of one player over another simply because of their accomplishments, fame and fortune. No one is above the rules especially as technology today can reveal exact spots the tennis ball lands and film crews can video tape unauthorized activities of those involved with the players during a match.

Everyone is responsible for how they act on and off the court. In this day and time the authors of entitlement have declared war on others because they believe they deserve to be treated differently and receive that which doesn’t belong to them, no matter what. That goes for players, coaches and umpires alike.

Forget competition as an incentive; the master of greed and offense has taken over.

What started out as an exciting, and anticipated great Championship match ended up being all about victimization that literally stole the greatest moment in a 20 year old girl’s life.

As she stood on the sidelines waiting and watching, her years of hard work and labor were swept under the rug of a diminished culture set on an “it’s all about me” syndrome. Tears streaming down her face should have been tears of joy for becoming the first Japanese woman to ever win a Grand Slam tournament. Instead they were tears overshadowed by shameful disputes that should have been determined peacefully and quickly to the point of being settled off the court in private even if the match needed to be paused.

 

As an American citizen and one who loves the game of tennis Naomi, I apologize that you were exposed to such reprehensible inefficiency.  The USTA needs some strong lessons in court management so that this kind of disorganization never happens again.

I commend and congratulate you, Naomi Osaka for your mature, quiet and graceful conduct in the midst of a tumultuous scene. You truly are the real Champion.

 

 

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John the “Scammer”


 

Just when you think it won’t happen to you, it does.

A few weeks ago my laptop almost crashed. Literally. It began screaming and sounding off alarms….do not shut off….do not close….call this number……

Had I known then what I know now I would never have called that number.

The guy who said he was ‘John” from Microsoft wasn’t. Or whatever his name was.

He had the drill down pat.

He was nice, professional and loved to be a Microsoft tech agent helping people gain their privacy back. Yeah, right.

Had I looked up the real phone number to Microsoft I would have caught him sooner than later.

My Dell was suffering.

He walked me through the process of repairing it all the while lying through his teeth.

According to Microsoft, the real one, these scammers are everywhere. The fraudulent phone numbers they sent to me was a mile long.

These scammers con people into ordering their tech support, then get the unsuspecting customer to give them access to their computer. Little did I know my virus protection had run out and that’s how “John” or whatever his name was, got access to mine.

They also lie to you and tell you to buy a Google Play card, call them back once you do so they can install it which helps to protect your PC and then use it themselves. NOPE. NaDa. Not happening.

Once it was fixed or I thought it was a few days later as I was surfing, all of a sudden I lost control of my mouse. Then all these porn sites began to appear on my screen. The mouse was obviously being controlled by someone else…..because I couldn’t move it. I would try and click the exit button to remove the sites and they would take it over again.

Checking my installed programs I found one, “logmein” that looked unusual. Google told me that was one of many, scammers use to scam into the most vulnerable laptops.

They don’t care; it’s all random.

Explaining this to my husband and daughter, we realized the guy who was supposed to be helping was the villain himself.

He continued to call me and leave me messages of which I didn’t respond to any.

Within the next 24 hours we had to change everything. Thank the good Lord, nothing was stolen.

Thanks to Experian, we now have Fraud Alerts on our accounts. Even if he tried to get a credit card in our name, the companies would get an automatic alert to stop it.

Hindsight is often a learning tool. Looking back, the signs were there.

Red Flags jumping like screaming cats.

Misspelled words in emails from this so-called Microsoft Tech Agent.

His constant stuttering on the phone and anxiety ridden words.

But….this is not about what John the Scammer did to me and who knows how many others but how God immediately told me to forgive him.

Outside of wanting to ring his neck, calling him back and placing the fear of God in him, my gut instinct just told me to pray for this guy.

Sure, he’s a criminal but God still loves him just like He loves me.

I truly believe in his mind he is so deceived that as he attacks unsuspecting victims. By invading their privacy he thinks he is really helping them. I only think that because either he was an extraordinary actor or he was a nice criminal if there are any.

However, I give him no resolve, just forgiveness and many prayers that God is convicting him of his lifestyle of sin.

Beware of these scams. They catch people off guard and can if one is not quick and smart to steal what they can.

And Forgive.

Ephesians 4 31-32

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

 

 

 

 


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A Sea of Change or a Change of Sea?


 

Peter really walked on water.

It’s one of the incomprehensible Biblical miracles. One of those moments in history we have to let truly, “sink” in at the enormity of it.

Most of us, and if you’re like me hate the storms of life and especially getting stuck in the middle of one. The disciples were in a boat at the 3am hour, (why on earth would anyone want to be fishing at such a time I don’t know) and the storm approached with a vengeance. The winds roared. The waves crashed the boat and the sky lit up with lightning. A death watch.

But then….a man comes out of nowhere walking on the water. Of course they reacted as we would have with total fear of a ghost. Once they realized it was their beloved Jesus, Peter wants to go to him. As Jesus instructed, Peter stepped out on the water and began the walk of his life.

This walk has become famous. The line, “walking on water” has been used as a metaphor, comparison or a figure of speech in many conversations. It probably has been spoken by those who don’t even believe it.

I read today from Rev. Heather Butler these words about Peter’s legendary steps.

 

 

“Are you in the boat, is the storm raging, the Lord calls you to come, the wind and the waves are not an obstacle to you… Jesus didn’t change the molecular structure of the waves to accommodate Peter, rather He changed Peter the man and enabled him to accommodate the Word… The truth of the Word was the stepping stones that paved the wave for Peter to step out upon a pathway that led to Jesus.”

Did you get that?

Jesus didn’t change the storm; he changed Peter. Jesus gave Peter what he needed to do. He gave him what His word said.

He assisted Peter to do the impossible. He told him what to do. He gave Peter a promise that if he would come to Him walking on the water, Jesus would take care of him.

But why didn’t Jesus just respond to Peter’s request with, “Hey Peter, I’ll join you guys in the boat?”

That would’ve been too easy. It wouldn’t have been a life lesson. And what would history be without this story?

Jesus gave Peter a test while his friends watched with bated breath.

A test to keep his eyes fixed on His Lord, or sink.

Does this sound familiar?

It’s been the story of my life especially for the last 5 years.

Instead of God stopping the storms of our lives, he leaves the rage all around us to do what?

For Him to show up.

You can’t have a miracle without a crisis.

You can’t get a fix for that crisis without Jesus.

And the bottom line is none of us, can get through a moment without God.

Peter had to depend on Jesus.

It was either a dependence to keep on walking or that Jesus would catch him if he began to sink.

Peter did both. Just like we do.

When you’re going through hell, keep going.

Just make sure you know who you’re looking at while you’re going through it.

The key is to fix our eyes on Jesus so we won’t sink. Hebrews 12:2.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Love or Hate?


 

The other day I read an article by by Dr. Danusha V. Goska from American Thinker published in July 2014. It was titled, “Top Ten Reasons I Am No Longer A Leftist.”

http://downtrend.com/robertgehl/american-thinker-top-ten-reasons-i-am-no-lon

My first response was “wow” someone gets it who has lived it.

Key factors in her story focus on the so-called legitimacy of those who believe in causes opposed to those who believe in God. My interpretation was she discovered “causes” are often leaders into vitriol and self-proclaimed promotion.

As was her case, for decades she believed her leftist ideology was true, real and the only one out there that mattered. As I read her descriptions of this philosophy, I felt I was reading a foreign language. Forgive my ignorance, but I wouldn’t be able to be a leftist simply because it’s too hard to comprehend. If I were, they would kick me out for not understanding how it works or how they think.

It was so far out, I couldn’t wrap my brain around it. My summation of it is a sordid communication built upon one explosion of anger after another. Anyone who decides to show up in that arena should be prepared for wicked adjectives, pronounced declarations of vengeance and lists of expletives filtered through each decree. NO wonder so many are depressed, full of sorrow and sad.

Evidently she found this out herself through a major affliction that changed her life some 20 years ago. In her desperate surgeries and the effort to get well, the only person that made a difference in her life was a nun. This nun would check on her and give her money/gift cards to help pay for that which she couldn’t afford anymore since her sickness had caused her to go broke. No one of the left-winged protesting group offered her any hope, much less a hand. But this nun and her loving generosity got Dr. Goska thinking.

She began to actually see the difference in love and hate.

Out of the 10 reasons she left the left, was the basis of it is born out of pure hate.

She had known nothing but hate for George Bush. Hate for Conservatives and hate for Christians until this quiet woman of faith showed her, love.

As a very educated, intellect, the idea of “love” as a way to do good, had not been a part of her life. Everything she did was out of hating something or someone because that is what the left does. Somehow, she discovered that was very wrong.

It helped me understand where they start from. It’s easy to hate something you don’t understand. Since you don’t understand it, you can fight it and conjure in your mind you have that right.

She has come a long way from where she began. In the end of her story, she said it was the “hate” of everything the left believes in that was enough to change her course. That “hate” is the discord they use to do whatever they want, whenever they want not caring who they hurt or what they have to do to accomplish their goal. It is a basis of no accountability which I believe is their underlining aim.

“If I don’t have to answer to anyone, then I can do whatever I want.” This is a mindset straight from Hell.

Sorry, but we all have to answer to God whether you believe in Him or not.

God is love which is why they hate him. Or any of us who believe in Him. We are considered the enemy, not an extended arm of love or genuine care.

John 13:34, “Love one another.” This is a command from God, not a “please do this,” but an order.

I say we start today, even one person at a time and watch God change the world.

 

 

 


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Oscar Who?


 

You know….

Oscar….friends of Tony, Emmy and Grammy?

I wonder if Oscar knows who he was really honoring Sunday night….

Does he care? What about Tony? oscar_11

Does Grammy understand the lyrics in the songs he rewards?

Does Emmy approve of the shows she recognizes?

These self-imposed flattery events are just that….filled with Hollywood elites who have lost touch with what is really important.

They are no longer ads for future actor’s roles but platforms to spew hate and vitriol towards anyone who disagrees with them. Fortunately, the ratings have dropped to the lowest in years but it is bothersome that still over 30 million people glue themselves to such a waste of time.

In case you haven’t figured it out I don’t watch them. The only reason I am writing about it is to sign in on the other side.

I use to wonder if Oscar knew how he was being treated…Does he have any idea who filters through the auditorium of red carpet celebrities just to win Oscar, take him home and sit him on shelf to collect dust.

Does Oscar and his many friends have any clue the funneled money of fashion, jewelry, fancy cars and gifts could be used otherwise?

Melt him down and he could aid in what many of these entertainment communities fight so hard for….such as; (that is without using their own personal finances)

Education

Feeding and sheltering the homeless

Abused and battered women

Aids and medical research

Sex trafficking

Philippians 2: 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

All these are worthy to be recognized as needing help. However the Hollywood crowd is very political in who they choose to support. While Matt Damon and George Clooney play shoot-em-up-cowboy with guns and rifles they yell and scream at anyone else who uses those weapons as self-defense backing up any politician who agrees with them to pursue gun control.

While stars believe abortion is a right not a life, they promote those who are medically trained in such murder.

While many in the acting/music industry believe anyone who doesn’t agree with their politics is intolerant, they use these platforms to bash our new President and anyone who supports him. HUH?

But what about the other people. You know. The Americans who really deserve awards?

First Responders: Police, Firefighters, Paramedics, Rescuers

Missionariesmilitary

Hospital workers, Doctors, Nurses

Pastors

Sunday school teachers

Private education

Military/Veterans

My aunt and uncle were missionaries to Mexico many years ago. The major earthquake that hit was not far from where they lived. We didn’t know for weeks if they survived. She later told me how it devastated the already poor country.

My cousin, their daughter was in Banja Luka, Bosnia when it was at war. She hid in a friend’s apartment for weeks just to stay alive. She taught English and Spanish at the University there helping many students grow in education as a missionary who also brought many of them to Christ.

Presently my cousin and his family, their son have moved to Germany and are ministering to many Muslim refugees. It is a dangerous calling; one which he has to keep private.

And then there is our military which really hits home with me. Living near one of the largest Jet Fighter Training bases in the world for almost 10 years has given me a whole new perspective of what sacrifice means.

A Major, told me a few years ago after being deployed to Iraq for 12 months he was, “so glad to get home because he was tired of getting shot at.”

My next door neighbor who has since retired and moved away was a pilot for 20 years. He flew every aircraft available and served in many operations. He would not talk about it.

Our neighbor now is in the new division of Army personnel at this base since President Obama shut one down in Atlanta a few years ago. His job is deciphering intelligence. As I probed him a few weeks ago for any information I thought I could get, all he responded with was, “There is a whole lot going on in the world right now.” He spoke it with a very strong sense of concern.

So again I ask, Oscar who?

As Americans where are our priorities?

Oscar and his friends probably would like to be more useful.

Instead of a superstar’s reflection of their own past achievements in a comfortable, protected environment, maybe we should be celebrating and supporting those who are the real heroes who live and work daily in life or death circumstances.

Then Oscar and his friends can throw out that can of Pledge.

 Isaiah 58:10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

 

 

 

 

 


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Divine Connection or Coincidence?


 

Technology is mind boggling and necessary in our modern society but like many advances it comes with its problematic issues.

Never mind the Linksys router we’ve been using for years wasn’t on my radar for radical change; like buying a new one. After a morning of endless paperwork especially taxes on my laptop all of a sudden I had no internet connection. Our daughter confirmed she had none either so through numerous channels of communication discovered the router had finally died.

Net Gear found a new home re-connecting us not only to the internet but giving us a better signal all over the house.

The next day, I continued my journey with our taxes only to realize the printer wasn’t connected wirelessly so I couldn’t print anything. Ugh.

I am by no means a computer whiz, but after 20 years using these devices I have learned one or two things. Remembering how it was connected using my laptop before I began the process.

A few hours later, pulling my hair out as to why it wasn’t working, I sat on the phone twice with Net Gear for 20 minutes each waiting for the free tech support that came with our purchase. No agent ever answered. The next option was a chat online which resulted in the agent telling me this wasn’t a Net Gear problem but a printer problem. So much for free support. I’m sure this agent was well qualified to figure out the problem but chose otherwise making it a service warranty marketing tactic instead. Not buying it. arm

Frustration began to take over so I quit working on it punishing myself for not being able to do what appeared to be easy. Sitting down for a rest, I prayed.

 

“God, I know you know the printer isn’t connected and I need to use it. Please help or send me someone who knows how to do this. Thank you.”

Honestly, 10 minutes later my doorbell rang.silence

My next door neighbor who never comes to our door, and is one of my tenants was standing there. He’s an Army man and asked about their lease making sure they could remain in the house until 2018 when he would get his orders to move.

“I will speak to the owner but see no problem with that. Only right now I couldn’t even print you out a lease because my printer isn’t connected to our new router.”

An hour later he diagnosed the problem. The printer needed to rest so he told me to try the next day repeating what he had done. Informing him of how I had beaten myself up over this lack of knowledge he said they have IT people specifically trained at the base that spend their time all day long identifying problems with their computer systems which is how he knew what to do. And for the record it wasn’t anything I had seen before.

After he left, I thanked God.

There is no doubt in my mind God sent him to my door.

There is no doubt God knew this man would answer my need.

There is no doubt this was a Divine Connection God set up.

God wants to be a part of every area in our lives but we have to ask and communicate our needs to Him most of the time before He will answer. There have been times in my life when I didn’t even know I had a need and God supplied it without me having any idea it was coming. He did that because I was so focused on what was so vitally important to begin with that He took care of that which was completely out of my control.

Our relationship with Christ is the key here. When the lines of communication are open 24/7 with God, not only does He supply, surprises become a fringe benefit.  He also protects us from that which we don’t know we need protecting from.

I commune with God off and on all day long, every day. It’s like a never ending conversation. Little prayers like, “God help me with this,” or “God what is your take on this particular subject” go a long way. And as always, He loves it when our gratitude is also never ending. Being thankful to God is like making deposits in a bank account that just keeps growing.

Knowing God intimately produces love, healing and peace which often leads to answers to crucial questions we may have along the way. Even questions that may seem trivial.

But God likes trivial.

philippians-4-19

 

 

 

 


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Why is everyone so mean?


In all my 62 years on this earth I have never known people to be so mean and hateful.

Sure, there have always been bullies but not to the extent there is today. It has become extreme and belligerent.bully

As one who was always smaller than most of those in my class age group, I was picked on a lot. Many gave me nicknames like, “little bit” or “shorty’ or “redhead” but it was rare the accusations were directed to annoy or offend me. That isn’t the case today.

We have become a society of loathing and abhorrence because of a lack of discipline, not to mention the enemy has been on a roaring rampage for decades.  That’s no excuse. We have to change this hostile atmosphere.

My daughter was going through a lot during her younger years. As a child of a single parent in an area where divorce had not hit to the high percentage rates of today, she was bullied by a classmate. She was only 6 or 7 when this young girl began insulting and tormenting her along with a few of her miserable friends. For a while, I paid little attention to her complaints. As time passed, it was quite noticeable she wasn’t making any of this up.

My concern grew to a breaking point when I would pick her up from school only to find her crying. She was already dealing with enough without the harassment of an obviously spoiled and jealous child.

The next day I called the principal and asked to meet with her teacher along with the student in question. The appointment was made for that afternoon.

The teacher, appeared to have no idea at all this had been happening. In fact, she made it clear to me this child I was accusing was a perfect student with top grades but so was my daughter. Only my daughter wasn’t hateful and mean to the other students.  The bully watched me speaking to her teacher with total dread in her eyes.

She knew she had been caught. It was apparent she played the innocent, sweet child with the teacher but treated others with distaste and mockery when the teacher wasn’t around.

I made it clear to the teacher what wasn’t going to happen any more and if it did there would be consequences for her and the student. The teacher allowed me to speak directly to the bully. She sheepishly approached me as I laid the groundwork for future classes with my daughter and that she would never again speak to her much less bully her. I told her I knew exactly what she was doing and to stop it immediately. I  told her  I would not hesitate to call her mother and inform her of her obstinate behavior and get a restraining order against her. The child left the room with the fear of God in her by the time I finished. The teacher was very appreciative of my visit but also quite aware that I meant business.

That child never bothered my daughter again.

For years, many childish bullies like this one have been getting away with their distasteful rhetoric and in some cases violence. We have laws that haven’t been enforced but should be that would help close the door on such vile conduct.

The decision I made to handle this the way I did, came about after much prayer and seeking God for answers as to how to deal with it. As a nation, we need to be searching God’s heart for His guidance to find solutions to steer people in His direction.

NO one gets away with anything. Any maybe that needs to be preached on every street corner in America.

kind