God's daughter. Woman of faith. Wife. Mother. Grandmother. Servant to the King.
Posted 12/19/16 at 10:32 PM | Karen Farris
We are not the United States of California, but in a nation without the Electoral College, we might as well be.
Even President Obama has opined that the Electoral College is a relic of the past.
Democrats are now at work with revisionist legislation for the Electoral College’s demise. But our wise Founders prepared for an eventuality that a regional candidate could dominate a national election. Or in the case of California, a bastion of liberals with enough popular votes could take our nation anywhere it wanted to go.
The liberal media keeps clamoring that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.8 million votes. Without California (where Trump wisely saved his money and mostly campaigned elsewhere) Trump won, handily. Here’s the 2016 presidential election without California: Trump won by 1.4 million votes, 58,474,401 to Clinton’s 57,064,530. Trump also won 30 states, earning the 306 Electoral votes to Clinton’s 232.
California politics are virtually Republican-free. No Republican ran for state office and none ran for the congressional districts. California’s Democratic tax and spend policies have been firmly entrenched for decades. California won’t become a Red state in our lifetime. FULL POST
Posted 12/19/16 at 10:24 PM | Karen Farris
The whole Santa thing started before I could walk or talk. My parents felt that a little storybook make-believe at Christmas just made the season even more special.
It didn’t take long for my young self to get acquainted with the big jolly guy in the red suit.
You won’t find any pictures of me crying on his lap. I must have connected the dots that this guy made things go well on Christmas morning.
Santa and I seemed to develop a friendly rapport. It didn’t matter that there was a dreadfully long line to see him every year. I could whisper my wishes with confidence and he’d ALWAYS remember.
The specialness lasted but a few years and then like all good storybooks, the ending comes.
When I asked my parents, they told me the truth about Santa and his magic elves. While the magic had been fun for my childhood fantasies, something quickly replaced it that was far better. FULL POST
Posted 12/13/16 at 11:18 AM | Karen Farris
Hannah carefully brought out the boxes that she’d stowed away only eleven months ago. But it seemed much longer.
Gene had slid further into his own world. She had watched it as if little pieces of their lives disappeared a week at a time.
Yes, it had been a very long eleven months.
Gene sat in the recliner staring out the window as he did for hours at a time.
She gingerly unwrapped the decades old glass ornaments and placed them carefully on each branch. All that could be heard was the crinkling of tissue paper. FULL POST
Posted 12/7/16 at 1:16 PM | Karen Farris
The children’s book was read to me 50 years ago, but the story never gets old.
Long ago, back when Christmas brought wide-eyed wonder, Mom read me a story about Christmas miracles.
Throughout the colorful pages, unexpected goodness came to those who needed it most. The vibrant illustrations showed empty cupboards and lonely faces.
Holiday decorations were absent in the bleak homes.
How could anyone have Christmas like that, my young mind wondered.
But then came the quiet miracle workers—as the pages turned I could see how others prepared good food and made gifts to deliver to unsuspecting people’s homes.
A knock on the door and they quickly ran away.
On the next page, a weary woman opened the door and saw a basket brimming with ham, eggs, bread, cheese, apples, and candy. Next to it a wooden crate held boxes tied with ribbons—gifts for them all.
As the page turned again, another knock on a door and this time an elderly man answered. A group of smiling faces sang a carol. They offered cookies and cheer, and the forlorn man had one less evening to be alone. FULL POST
Posted 12/1/16 at 11:23 AM | Karen Farris
When I asked God for better hearing, he gave me someone to listen to.
Until our new septic system is finished, I’ve been making weekly visits to the laundromat.
One afternoon, a former student at the school where I volunteer came in. I recognized him immediately.
His long, somewhat scraggly hair hadn’t changed, nor his grunge-hippie styled clothing.
He carried in baskets of blankets and clothes while his girlfriend quickly loaded several washers.
“Aren’t you from the school?” he asked me.
So, he had recognized me, even after all these years.
We chatted about insignificant stuff, and then quite suddenly he said that he was sorry our mail had been stolen and some of our checks had been forged.
Seeing that I wondered how he knew, he told me he’d been living with the perpetrator at the time.
He moved out after that happened, and has been couch surfing since. But as we talked, it became less about the crime and more about the reality of drugs ruining lives. FULL POST
Posted 11/28/16 at 4:49 PM | Karen Farris
Grandpa had once been a United States Diplomat in post-war Germany. Hand-picked by the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover, he led a year’s worth of top secret missions as the Iron Curtain draped itself over Eastern Europe.
He went to the grave with the secrets he’d been sworn to keep. But he knew the evil of political revolutionaries and communist governments.
As a teen, I’d see him reading thick books and espousing on events half way across the world—a world he’d personally explored and studied.
He’d pound his fist in anger over brutal dictators and the wars they caused. Not interested in running for public office, he’d chosen to rant to a captive audience—students in his college courses and me—since I’d ask questions that would get him riled. FULL POST
Posted 11/24/16 at 11:43 AM | Karen Farris
It’s gift giving season, so I asked God to help me see that life is about you and not about me.
While waiting impatiently for the library to open, I checked my lengthy to-do list. I’d already gotten groceries and gas.
Looking up, I noticed a woman step out of an old car in the parking lot.
She stretched, folded a sleeping bag that covered the front seat, and walked towards the library.
I had my busy agenda, and her agenda was homeless subsistence.
Yet she still smiled.
Whenever I long for what I don’t have, may I remember those who may long for all that I do have.
Dear Lord, give me eyes to see what matters most to You.
Posted 11/17/16 at 11:19 AM | Karen Farris
Post-Election Emotionalism Disorder is rampant. It’s okay to grieve and ponder the future; it’s another to destroy property in unruly protests.
It would seem things can only get worse.
But there’s a cure—spend time with a younger child.
Here’s an example: My tween-aged grandson plays sports and that commitment means going to all the practices—even the rainy, muddy ones, going to all the games—even in a losing season, and always making time for his real work—school.
And school is where he’s required to meet new academic standards—complete with nightly homework, extra reading, and projects.
Good grades aren’t easily earned.
Chores are part of his daily life too. Like most families, they work hard all day and come home tired. FULL POST
Posted 11/10/16 at 12:09 PM | Karen Farris
Gathered around the table, they scooted closer to make room for the newest member.
Downcast, Trudy slid into the chair with a sigh. The others nodded their compassion, having walked that painful road too.
Anyone observing the group might wonder what brought them together. Different stories, but the same destination of despair. Welcome to the Broken Lives Club—the weekly meeting of the discouraged.
Divorce, disease, despondency, disappointment, and despair from deceit—sat around the table. The Broken Lives Club isn’t exclusive.
Live long enough and there will be a reason to seek membership.
The meeting was called to order by the oldest member. Harold’s burden of brokenness had been carried the most miles. He’d lost his wife to another man decades ago. FULL POST
Posted 11/8/16 at 4:30 PM | Karen Farris
It’s not a question of whether the United Nations has lost its effectiveness; it’s whether it really had any to begin with.
Having recently celebrated its 71st birthday, the UN has quite a startling record of misfortune. Since its inception in 1945 there have been 150 wars across the globe with over 100 million casualties.
During the 2016 US presidential election, Donald Trump highlighted the need for American allies to participate in the cost of their own defense. Simply put, America is too broke to pay the bills for national defense beyond its own borders. He also indicated that America’s taxpayers are footing too much of the cost for the United Nations.
The U.N.’s $20 billion annual budget covers a broad range of activities, and some have been traced to nefarious ones. Naturally, there is no auditing mechanism in place to account for any of the U.N. expenditures. Is there a better way to negotiate peace and maintain it? While a war weary world created the United Nations, it’s now a far different global climate. Communists openly trade with democratic nations. China owns much of the United States debt. FULL POST