Look here to find postings regarding spirituality. Whether relating personal experiences or commenting on something that has happened, reviewing articles, books, and films of a spiritual nature and more.

Kitchen Table Thursday – Helping People

As spiritual workers we find ourselves challenging people all the time.  We challenge them to do their best.  We challenge them to leave prejudices behind them and to move forward a better person.  We encourage dedication to task and seeing things through to conclusion.

Devastating storms have torn apart a rather large portion of the country.  In less than a week hundreds of storms have devastated a wide swath across the eastern and southern states.  Today we are challenging anyone who can to give whatever they can (yes, even a dollar or two helps) to the charity of your choice today.  We strongly encourage you to donate to the American Red Cross, one of the primary responders who stick around for a long time helping folks recover.

Our hearts and prayers go out to all those who have been injured or lost families members, or were affected by the storms.  We will keep you in our prayers asking that you be granted peace, good weather and a quick recovery from these devastating storms!

Simply Sunday – Citizen’s Duties and Responsibilities –

Today we’ll be discussing the first of the responsibilities of a citizen of the United States – Obeying the laws.  This sounds so simple and straightforward doesn’t it?  We learned as children that there were rules we had to abide by or our lives got very unfun very quickly.  However, somewhere along the way many seem to loose connection with that simple responsibility.  As a citizen, since we enjoy the rights of citizenship and the protections thereof, for those rights, we owe the state (United States) our compliance with the laws.

It would be difficult to find the American citizen who agrees with every law in the country, if one could be found at all. Whether we believe the law is just or not does not mean we need not adhere to them.

If you go to court expecting to get let off because you were unaware that the law existed, well, you’ll be very disappointed! Ignorance of the law is not a defense here in this country. Why? that’s part of the duty of the citizen – to know the laws well enough to not break them.

Today that ethic is difficult to find. When new regulatory laws are passed on an industry that industry tends to hire lawyers, lobbyists, publicists and more to put the industry’s take/spin on the situation. The lawyers file motions in courts challenging the law. Lobbyists visit members of Congress promoting their industry’s viewpoint. Publicists create advertising campaigns to get the American public on their side. Courts rule, lawyers file appeals, and the issue finds itself before the Supreme Court of the United States.

There seems to be a more overt shift in the American public psyche. When our founding fathers formed this nation and broke for English rule, rebellion ran wild and rampant. A war ensued because as a people, on the whole, those living in the Americas believed that they were entitled to equal representation under the law if the British crown received their taxes.

Once the mutual enemy was beaten, the real work of forging a nation began. Our forefathers faced the challenge of taking a people who had been mentally feasting at the banquet of freedom and independence – many for the first time in their lives. It was a heady time because no where else in the world at that time was there a country such as the United States where the freedom and independence of the individual was so important and essential to the country and what it stood for.

Maybe it is the veteran in me. I joined the service because I believed in “baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet” and wanted to contribute – at a time when being in the service wasn’t exactly popular. Maybe it was going to grade school in upstate New Hampshire where revolutionary era war was a tangible thing through field trips and museums.

Yet, throughout history, whenever regimes became too oppressive, when a group of citizens reach the thinking of “When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty,” that has heralded great change. The quote has been attributed to a variety of sources, ranging from David Koresh to Benjamin Franklin; Thomas Jefferson, and others have been recognized for the phrase.

It is difficult to remember in our 2011 world that when our forefathers constructed the Constitution to govern by that they believed in the goodness of their fellow man to do the right thing. They knew the cost of rebellion – up close and personal. I wonder if any of our forefathers would recognize the country they founded.

It really isn’t difficult. Show your citizenship – obey the laws – from traffic laws to zoning rules. They are there for a reason. Our forefathers did not rebel lightly. They knew what war meant, they knew people would die, wives would send husbands to war to never return, sons would die. Many other noncombatants as well. Rebellion is not only risky business, it’s bloody. Having been through the birth pains of the revolution the citizens of the new nation were proud to abide by the laws created during the process. Making the conscious choice to obey the law was a duty citizens exercised with pride and honor.

If you want your country to be there for you, you need to be there for your country. Remember, we are at war – whether you agree with the war or not is not the point here – the fact is soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines are dying on battlefields half a world away. They understand sacrifice, duty, and honor. With their example, how can we as citizens do anything less than everything we can to make our country strong.

President Kennedy said it best: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” I am sure something of that nature was espoused during the tense and dark days of the American Civil War and especially somewhere on Boston Commons during the days of revolutionary fevor during the birth of our country.

With the politicians running wild and becoming rich upon their service to the country is it really their fault, or are they just a glaring example of how much we, the people, have to teach them about duty as a citizen. Until we clean up our house as citizens, we’ll never be able to clean up the political system!

It is true both for the individual and for the country – positive change comes from within.  A true belief that we are a part of something much bigger than the individual and that very something is worth sacrificing for is something each citizen should have.  We are fortunate to live in a very wonderful country – even with her ills.

Honor the sacrifice of the military by making sure that you are a good citizen.  Your citizenship and what it means really is part of what they serve to protect.

Simply Sunday – Citizen’s Duties and Responsibilities

If you haven’t already, please see our previous post regarding donations to help those that have lost everything in the tornadoes of the past few days.

Starting this week we will be running a ten to twelve week discussion on the duties and responsibilities of the American citizen.  We encourage people to comment and let us know what you think about a citizen’s duty and responsibility here in the United States.

Duty and responsibility are important words.  Most of us over the age of 12 in America know what our rights are as citizens in this country.  We know we have the right to remain silent, we know we don’t have to testify against ourselves in a court of law (commonly known as pleading the 5th), we know we have to be served with a warrant for someone to search our home, we know the government can’t just come in and commandeer everything we own because it is convenient, we know we are guaranteed these protections and more by our constitution.  Our rights are spelled out specifically, and justifiably so.

But how many out there can state the six duties a citizen has to the country?  (And yes, that’s country, not government – the citizen’s duty may really be more to their fellow citizen than to the government that serves them.)  There are six specific categories of duty that a citizen has as a member of the “American Citizen Club.”  They are: 

Obeying the laws                                  Paying taxes

Defending the nation                          Serving in court

Attending school                                  Voting

Along with these six duties, there are also specific responsibilities that we as citizens are supposed to carry out and act on.  Those responsibilities include:

                         Being informed about the government and knowing your rights in order   to preserve them

                         Participating in government

                         Respecting the rights of others

                         Respecting diversity

We hope you’ll join us and chime in with your thoughts!

Tornado Donations

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost friends or family in the tornados.  We will hold them and the survivors of the storms in our hearts and prayers.  If you want to help those suffering from the catastrophic loss these storms can bring, please visit the American Red Cross donation page at:  https://american.redcross.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=ggl_main&gclid=CPHUpLzlo6gCFQ10gwodqnlEIA

Community Garden Happenings

Howdy folks! 

Tuesdays we’ll be keeping everyone posted on what’s happening in our community vegetable garden. We grow way more food than any five families could eat, so we overgrow and give food away to those that are in need.

This past weekend was rather successful for the garden. Chris came by and spent the day with his two helpers. Before they left everything had been rototilled, raked, the strawberries pulled from the old bed and the new pyramid bed put in. So we are ready to plant. Tomorrow we’ll be putting down the ground plastic and if it’s not raining we’ll plot her out as well.

The starts are doing well in the back porch, getting what sun we have been getting in our chilly and wet spring. We’ll be doing more transplanting this week and some replacing as well…that way we’ll have a longer harvest period. *smile*

The potatoes, onions, garlic and blueberries are here as well. The blueberries will be potted and put out on the porch. We’ll be getting the onions, garlic and potatoes in the ground this week. We’ve got plenty of tires and two pounds of each of three different types of seed potatoes! It sure worked good last year so we’re doing the tire thing again for the taters.

Onions…only three types there. And the garlic? Well, we figured we’d give elephant garlic a try because it’s hard to find in the stores here.

Time to go get those potatoes ready for plantin’!

We’re Off On Another Adventure

I’m approaching blogging as a learning experience – entirely new to the process I’m sure I’ll make a lot of mistakes along the way, but isn’t that what an adventure is all about?

I’ve been an internet hound for years.  Hating shopping in stores, I absolutely love the convenience of ordering over the internet and have my poor UPS deliveryman, John, joking with me about having been shopping again because of all the boxes he has to unload. 

There are many who are unsure if the internet is really a good thing or not.  Me, I think it’s wonderful.  It is always an adventure when you search or surf.  What will you find?  How accurate is the information?  What new things will you see and/or learn?  Where will a click of the mouse take you next?  I’m still like a 3 year old kid when I start out on a search.