Posted 11/23/15 at 8:36 AM | Karen Kramer
It began like this: “You religious people are the problem. It’s all about your god and things being done YOUR way.” Not exactly a friendly blog commenter.
“ISIS is doing this because of all you sign-waving christ-loving idiots.”
I considered replying that thus far ISIS has killed more Muslims than Christians—which is why there are millions of refugees literally running for their lives. We’ve seen the grisly videos portray ISIS murdering Christians and anyone else not strictly adhering to their creed. ISIS has no love of diversity (read: gay rights, women’s rights or religious freedom).
But the angry commenter continued: “People shouldn’t be allowed to dictate their religion to others.”
Easier said than done in the Middle East right now. ISIS has conquered a land mass about the size of Great Britain. Their goal is the world. But before ISIS began its brutalities others had the same supremacist ideals. FULL POST
Posted 11/17/15 at 11:11 AM | Karen Kramer
For American shoppers the Christmas season is top of the list for gift giving. But Christians can also use discretion with their holiday dollars. Why not support the stores that encourage Christmas and are not ashamed to promote the real reason we celebrate.
The American Family Association has an annual list of retailers—both naughty and nice so you can direct your dollars appropriately. Here’s the 2015 list. The AFA reviewes the stores as to their “Christmas-friendly” approach with their advertising, decorations, and employee protocol.
So, as we head into the biggest shopping season and you make your gift list, be sure to check the AFA list!>
Posted 11/12/15 at 5:57 PM | Karen Kramer
Rejection hurts no matter how softly it’s delivered. It took just one line in the brief letter to tell me they weren’t interested in my project. Rejected again. That’s the life of a grant-writer. You spend hours carefully crafting words about an exciting endeavor with provable results. All that’s needed is money. And then you wait to hear if a corporation or foundation will buy in.
I’ve heard no more times than I’ve heard yes. But quitting was never an option with needs stacked as high as they are in our small rural community. If I’ve learned anything from a decade of grant writing is the power of no.
Every no has a lesson to learn. The no becomes the catalyst to look beyond the rejection letter, go back and rework the words to express the need more convincingly. And it works. Eventually. Good projects are always funded….eventually.
So there you have my word for the week—eventually. The power of no is that eventually it will be a yes. FULL POST
Posted 11/9/15 at 5:43 PM | Karen Kramer
I’ll never forget that Veterans Day event. I was a clueless, young teen in the midst of an older, uber-liberal college crowd.
At the front of the auditorium the lights reflected off the shiny buttons on an old man’s well-decorated military uniform. He didn’t bother with the podium. Instead he was in front of it, standing tall despite his age and the crutches clipped to his arms. His challenging gaze scanned the crowd.
What followed was his gruesome war story, filled with unimaginable details. It had cost him a leg, but that was easy compared to the scars he carried in his mind. I had read things like this before. But now someone who had suffered it was standing in front of me. I looked to see how the others were reacting. They seemed unmoved.
The old man sensed it too. While his vivid recall gave me shivers, the crowd facing him didn’t seem to care. It didn’t matter that his battle wounds helped our nation.
It started in the back. One voice shouting out an anti-war curse. Emboldened, others added their voices to the chorus. I looked around and saw bitter smirks and heard obnoxious jeers. It became louder, more mean-spirited. The old veteran turned to the side as if wishing someone... anyone, would silence the crowd. No one did. FULL POST
Posted 11/5/15 at 4:21 PM | Karen Kramer
First it was Donald Trump demeaning Carly Fiorina’s facial features. Then last week it was the ladies on The View. The hosts, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Michelle Collins, Paula Faris, and Raven-Symone compared Carly’s face to a Halloween mask and joked about her “demented” smile.
It’s one thing to discuss the points Carly articulates so well, it’s another to mock her appearance.
Carly has taken the abuse and criticism with her trademark eloquence. Yet, every time she comes to the microphone others may recall senseless remarks about her appearance rather than what she has to say. This is a critical election and the debates, the campaign speeches, and the interviews are all we have to evaluate who can lead our nation.
Beauty won’t help the national efforts to deal with our debt crisis, ISIS, foreign policy, immigration, or any other vital issue. But we’ve been conditioned by Hollywood to evaluate by appearances. FULL POST
Posted 10/29/15 at 4:42 PM | Karen Kramer
You’re young enough to be my granddaughter, which makes me old enough for you to consider me an old lady. But I care more about you than hundreds of your Facebook “friends”.
Your countless selfies have plenty of sex appeal, and I noticed the hotter the picture the more likes you get. Even though we’re “friends” I haven’t liked many of your pictures, but not for the reasons you think.
Yes, you’re young, beautiful and fifty likes may make you feel good. But I’d rather “like” the person you really are.
Has anyone ever thanked you for helping some of the other kids with their schoolwork? That’s generous of you.
Or have any of your friends noticed how well you write?
Did anyone else notice how you helped the shy little boy at your bus stop? FULL POST
Posted 10/28/15 at 1:23 PM | Karen Kramer
By now most of the nation has heard about how Bremerton, Washington high school football coach Joe Kennedy would lead post-game prayers with any team member who wanted to.
Even though it had been a long term practice, it somehow came to the attention of the anti Christian lobby that registered official complaints.
The issue went straight to Washington State Superintendent Randy Dorn—who declared that “School staff exercising their right to silently pray in private on their own is fine, but leading a prayer might put a student in an awkward position, even if the prayer is voluntary. For students who don’t share the official’s faith, prayers the official’s public expression of faith can seem exclusionary or even distressing.”
Coach Kennedy continues to pray and will stand by his decision to offer voluntary post game prayer. FULL POST
Posted 10/22/15 at 11:34 PM | Karen Kramer
Today we have half the number of churches than we had a hundred years ago. And each year we lose another 4000. That’s an incredible loss, but why are people leaving church?
I did some unofficial polling and these reasons topped the list:
1) Internet Church: brings a wide variety of inspiring messages with just a simple mouse click. Church without the church. No buildings to support or people to bug you. You never have to quit, because you never really belong.
2) Jesus-Lite Church: Sometimes a feel-good message is appealing. No Bible needed. Just hear the power of positive cheerleading and leave. But feel-good messages eventually get old. People quit coming.
3) Love Less Church: These churches are rule-based without much love. People quit when they feel like they’ll never measure up—often carrying away their hurt feelings, resentment, and a few examples of hypocrisy among the churchgoers. FULL POST
Posted 10/15/15 at 11:05 PM | Karen Kramer
Yeonmi Park knows too much for her 22 years. Americans would probably have a hard time understanding the kind of brutality she endured. Her book, In Order to Live details life in North Korea—eating rats to survive and routinely seeing dead bodies in the streets. She was taught to believe that Brilliant Comrade, Kim Jong Un could read her mind. She dared not think bad thoughts.
Americans were hated. In school, Yeonmi learned to refer to Americans as “bastards”. Those US bastards were the reason she was starving and her family suffered in dire poverty, living in filth, and nearly freezing each winter.
Yet even with no access to the outside world, bits of truth seeped in. Ironically, her first exposure to Western ideas was a black-market DVD of the movie, Titanic. In her young life, she’d seen countless people die for the regime, but never willingly die for love. FULL POST
Posted 10/12/15 at 8:21 PM | Karen Kramer
Racial disunity has reared its ugly head in our weary nation. So the movie Woodlawn that deals with racial reconciliation is a welcome message. In the true story of the 1973 Woodlawn High School (Birmingham, Alabama) football team, a group of young players confront their classmates and school that is filled with racism and hatred.
Coach Tandy Geralds helps his team unify with a love that binds them together. His team becomes determined to not just fight opponents on the field but take on the greater opposition of racist actions and hatred in their school and community.
In a time when black football players were scorned, abused, and shunned, one high school player, Tony Nathan, made the choice to play hard, play well, and love unconditionally. He would rise to be one the first African American sports superstars. FULL POST