Friday Tidings

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Posted 7/27/12 at 8:36 AM | Karen Farris

Olympic Gold Lifestyle

There’s something about the Olympics. Maybe it’s the herculean effort to qualify. Maybe it’s four years of anticipation. Maybe it’s the record-setting pace and the nail-biting races.

For me, it’s those heart-gripping video productions chronicling the life of the athlete, with parent and coach interviews about the many trials and triumphs —powerfully inspiring minutes leading up to what is expected to be a gold winning performance.For the athletes, it’s way more than a sporting event; this has been a lifelong commitment. They may not get the gold medal, but they’re living a gold medal life.

Recently I read about a young athlete who is not Olympic bound, yet she runs like she is. Six-year-old Yasmine Littleraven captivated me with her smile even before I realized she couldn’t see. But her vision impairment is not her handicap; it seems to be her motivation. Yasmine works hard and has a winning attitude—that’s the foundation to a gold medal life. FULL POST

Posted 7/25/12 at 12:42 PM | Karen Farris

Modern Babylon?

Economics has always intrigued me. I've analyzed economic policies and how they work in our nation. However, it has only made me more frustrated with our politicians. So instead, I decided to venture into anthropology— studying old cultures. Might as well see how others messed up while others managed to survive.

I’ve really come to appreciate the research of Dr. Joseph Daniel Unwin. He spent his career analyzing the ancient civilizations, such as the Babylonians, the Assyrians and the Romans. His research detailed their incredible strengths and their glaring weaknesses.

These dynasties built roads, libraries, and used amazing architectural feats based on engineering principles we use today. They amassed powerful armies that trampled their enemies. Nothing could stop them. Well almost. FULL POST

Posted 7/20/12 at 9:53 PM | Karen Farris

The Final Door

I've done what many the news reports, watched the video clips, and listened to those who managed to escape the bullets from a madman in a darkened theater. Families ache for lives snatched from them. I think about my own kids and am thankful they are safe. We don't want to lose those we love. Even though I don’t like to think about comes anyway.

The final chapter of my father’s journey took him to the hospital intensive care. My visits were limited to 20 minutes every two hours. A nearby waiting area could be reached by walking down a long hallway. It was a typical hospital corridor painted institutional mellow yellow. What made this hallway unlike any other I have ever seen were the thirty large paintings lining the walls. FULL POST

Posted 7/20/12 at 9:08 AM | Karen Farris

The Laser Queen Chapter

No doubt it was my most embarrassing stunt. Thankfully it was before the Internet, YouTube, or Facebook. Just a few people remember, and only my husband, the dutiful historian, recorded it. I was Laser Queen. There. I admit it. Perhaps now I can bring some “closure” to this chapter in my story.

As musicians, banking on success in the music industry, Thom and I had been faithful to our dream. While we were young and poor, we tried breaking into the exclusive Top 40 music world controlled by a few Los Angeles executives. After we had exhausted our options, we tried farming instead. Crazy kids we were.

Never really giving up, we recorded tacky little jingles for local radio stations in a converted music studio in our trailer home. But true musicians know that the dream doesn’t end. After a long day in the fields, we’d practice our old songs, and occasionally write a new one. But our music didn’t fit the trend. This was the early-eighties. Think disco.

However, the music industry was changing and fast. MTV arrived. And something brand new emerged—laser discs—these were the first generation CDs. Thom, ever the hype-man, approached the most popular rock station in the Tri-Cities with the concept of Laser Queen—a royal visitor from a distant galaxy that already had this mind-boggling laser technology. FULL POST

Posted 7/17/12 at 11:32 AM | Karen Farris

S*X and Tim Tebow

Sex gets attention. It sells things. Racy, suggestive commercials lure us in with promises. But sex wasn’t supposed to be so cheap and given away so easily.

Sex, once reserved for adulthood, now has some elementary girls seeking birth control. Students are taught about sexuality along with math and grammar. Heck, in some classrooms they even learn how to have better sex.

But sex has a cost. And it can be expensive.

Someone I know just got a look at the price tag. And I hate to tell them it's only the beginning.

In the throwaway nature of young sexual relationships, something special is lost with every break-up. With each relationship failure, the baggage gets a bit heavier. For many youth, the future is a far away place and sex is more immediate. It's just another activity to be enjoyed, like a good movie. FULL POST

Posted 7/15/12 at 4:49 PM | Karen Farris

Bats in the Cracks

Wilderness living means sharing my environment, but not my home. Rodents are uninvited guests. I’m generally ruthless when it comes to mice and rats. I assure you, my cat is worse. But what I’ve really come to deplore are bats.

I remember reading in my old hometown newspaper about a man who died of rabies—after a bat had apparently bit him while he slept. Ever since then I’ve had a wholesome respect, if not fear, of bats.

It doesn’t help that our log cabin seems to be a bat magnet. They love our chimney. Around its outside edge there are numerous cozy, warm places to sleep until their evening hours. We have reluctantly co-existed until a few years ago when they decided it was even warmer in the cabin.

As fate would have it one swooped into our bedroom as we were sleeping. I awoke as it was flying around the room. The bat and I both frantically tried to find the nearest exit, and in the process we collided and it scratched me as it flew off and disappeared. The health authorities needed the bat to determine if it had rabies. We had 3 days to find it, or I would face the rabies vaccinations. FULL POST

Posted 7/13/12 at 9:08 AM | Karen Farris

Rare Earth

Sometimes a good book is the perfect escape. Little did I know the escape would transport me to a place I’d never been and when I left it, would keep part of my heart. Rare Earth travels across the globe to places in Africa, where humanity is packed into refugee camps and wretched slums. But I promise, this book won’t leave you feeling hopeless. In fact, you will sense something far greater at work.

Davis Bunn’s Rare Earth smacks of a nail-biting Tom Clancy novel with Clive Cussler heart-gripping action. Bunn focuses on the gritty issues facing Kenya: drought, starvation, even a volcanic eruption. But even worse are the deplorable conditions for the uprooted tribes due to land grabs from a greedy, deplorable underworld. Nothing detracts Marc Royce from his mission to find the answers to who is behind the atrocities affecting thousands of innocent people.

And part of the answer is hidden in the lucrative riches of the African soil. Rare Earth takes you inside the heart of the tribal elders who are desperately seeking what we all seek---a home to maintain ancestral heritage and a homeland for the generations to come. As the secrets hidden in the dark soil are unearthed, human weaponry becomes useless in order for good to finally prevail. An ancient warrior’s tactic in an epic battle becomes a modern tool in the African jungle. FULL POST

Posted 7/6/12 at 9:19 AM | Karen Farris

A Rant-less Debate

It was the summer of 1974 and it was unbearably hot at the debate camp I was attending. The “camp” directors made certain we knew we’d not have fun, it was going to be the hardest two weeks of school we’d ever had. The staff prided themselves on crafting polished public speakers, capable of eloquent, effective and winning arguments. Losers need not attend.

Our debate topic: the American welfare system. Should it be abolished? Morning lectures covered the policies and in the afternoon they drilled us on the pros and cons. Without air conditioning in the classrooms, the heat was oppressive. Taking copious notes, I wondered how our government could continue to be so wasteful.

The evenings were spent frolicking around the city, going to movies and partying in the dorms. Wrong. We were in the library framing our arguments. We’d now been divided in half. I was on the team debating to abolish the system. This was the most challenging position because while we could point out all the problems, in order to win we needed to offer a better solution. After the library closed we’d gather in the dorms, having hushed conversations so our opponents wouldn’t hear. We carefully drafted our cases and practiced together before class. FULL POST

Posted 7/3/12 at 11:10 AM | Karen Farris

Independence Day: Freedom to Break Up

We really need to talk. I think you probably know what I’m going to say. Things just aren’t the same. You no longer act the way you used to. I’ve tried to believe in you, but I’m working way too hard and I don’t feel like you’re doing your share.

After being together this long these feelings really hurt. But you've changed. I have tons of memories of better days. Like years ago at the beach when the hardest decision was whether to get ice cream or go for another swim. I loved our freedom together.

I remember the opportunities you gave me to do whatever I wanted. You let me go to college and then study whatever I wanted. You even helped me through. You let me take all those crazy part-time jobs that taught me how money was really earned. But the ultimate was when you agreed to let me buy a farm. Yes, me. You probably knew it wouldn’t work, but hey, why not try? When I failed, it hurt, but slowly I came back from those losses. It took awhile, but you stayed with me. And you always gave me my freedom to be me. FULL POST

Posted 6/29/12 at 9:31 AM | Karen Farris

Sweet Land of Liberty

I keep a photo of my family’s old wheat ranch near my desk. It reminds me of the hot summers of my childhood, but this story really began in the early 1800’s.

My German ancestors left their farming community in the aftermath of a war-torn native country. Poverty stricken except for their farming implements, they sailed across the Baltic Sea to the rich, fertile Volga River valley in Russia. Unfortunately the colder climate led to years of crop failures. Besides hunger and disease they faced bands of marauders who robbed and murdered.

But nothing could prepare them for what they faced under Bolshevik and Communist rule. My eighteen and nineteen year old great grandparents escaped with two wooden trunks and enough money to board a ship bound for America—sweet land of liberty. Horse-drawn wagons brought them West. And they began farming yet again. FULL POST

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