Childhood

 Adolfo Hitler was the adult conversations of my childhood. My maternal grandmother who lived through his reign would defend him aggressively to my father who came to Germany toward the end of WW2. Her husband had trained boxers for the SS, my father stayed in German for an extra four year duty to marry my mother, bring her to the States and leave her in Michigan with his parents. It was a long, long four years. She didn't speak English and everyone including my grandparents, hated Germans.
I heard the Hitler arguments way before I learned about them in school. I listened to each side, looking for things my little mind agreed with. I do not remember the specific issue of the Holocaust being brought up. I do remember my Oma passionately trying to stand her ground with tears in her eyes. Hitler gave them food when the had none. He gave them the Volkswagen, the everymans car. There was so much gratitude in her words. My father had seen awe and its effects. If he had a billion years to do so, he still would never change her mind.
If I could I might ask God what he was feeling during the murders of 6 million Jews. What I have come to understand is for whatever reason, the Holocaust, 911, Sandy Hook and millions more have been a part of our history that we as humans, have had to physically and mentally, go through. 
What I do understand is that bad, bad things that we can't explain or change, will happen in each of our lifetimes.if we are going to believe in the God of the Bible, we are going to have to accept the unknowable. Not defend, it is not ours justify. Ours is to love and care as we can. It is a tough road but just do the best you can. Don't worry about what everyone else is and can do. God made you. Give him your best and forget the rest. Start today, right now. The simple act of being, don't overthink it. Blessings, my friend.

Definition.

 We all have defining Moments. Some are personal to each of us and become markers in our lives. We choose them by emotion and they will last a lifetime. Others are assigned to us by behavior and also last a lifetime. And longer. Presidents have legacies that follow them to the grave. Good and bad. We are witnessing our newest president firmly establish his first defining act. Russia will forever be associated with this president. It is his Benghazi, his Watergate, his Marilyn Monroe. No matter how this all plays out, his history has been cemented in his first 6 weeks of service. 
To a large extent, we have control over how our Moments will be remembered by our actions. In my Lent quest to move toward, I am aware that it is about quality over quantity. It is about doing the best I can, with all the experience I have, to not only do no harm but to help to thrive. It may require being brutally honest but if you have made the investment in a relationship, it is more readily, heard. Be the person you would like to spend time with. Say you are sorry. Say I love you.

Feeling the Love

Heard a Story yesterday where a couple drive 70 miles on Sunday morning to go to church. Why? Because they feel loved. The church does not own a building or even have any kind of outreach program and yet, there is obviously a Love connection being made and felt. There was also the tale of a North Carolina principal who has made it a practice since her teaching days, to visit every student's home, in her school. 900 students. 900 visits. Her junior high is thriving. Could it be the Love connection, you bet your bottom dollar! We all want to be cared for and about. We gravitate toward it. It is also the reason things can go terribly wrong when someone uses that Love to another's deterement. We all are looking for love and will do whatever is necessary to get it. We will go out of our way, we will dig deep, maybe even, be able to share it with others. Remember that the next time you feel the love, and if you can share, teach others how to fan the flames of love. Win win for us all 

Student aid

 One is doing homework, the other one is taking a drama Master Class with Kevin Spacey. One thing that should be a part of our everyday lives is the idea that we are always a student. Whether actually taking a class or having coffee with a friend, we need to be open to learning. Doesn't have to be fancy, pen and paper or the Notes app on your phone. My class of choice right now, is my file of social media screenshots. Quotes from Twitter, talks from Ted, and ideas new to my little brain, all get a place at my mindful table. They define the way I learn, which defines the way I act and think. I always imagine myself walking around with an imaginary backpack, ready to learn. Ready to sit at someone's feet, ready to put aside what I know to inherit more. There is a mindset to one who is teachable. May it always be this way for them, I pray. 

Questions

Today is turning into an exercise I call, 5 Questions for Jesus. Before I gave Jesus much though, the only question I ever asked concerning him, was more of a statement. I used it as a flag in the my atheist club, flying it freely and often.

If you are God, why do little kids die?

Later, as a young believer, that question changed to, If you are the son of God, why do bus loads of Christian get in car wrecks and die?

I am now in my 38 year of being a believer and am able to ask much better questions. Understanding that we change more often that we think, so do our questions. I got more time behind me than in front of my, got to get questions answered in a timely manner. Some serious, some not. Like a conversation at Flying M. Here we go.

1. Why did Charley Manson live to be an old man?
2. Was Eve on the dim witted side?
3. Hitler killed over 6 million people, how were those days for you?
4. Why does mankind think that prostitution can ever be cured or peace among all men, are possible?
5. What one thing do you think that we are capable of that we don't see?

There were different ones yesterday and the questions will change again tomorrow. What doesn't change is I do not need answers to go on. You are who you say you are. I hang my heart there. Running the race, best I can.
 

Say what you mean, mean what you say

 Vicente Fox who served as President of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, is becoming my muse. Even though no longer in office, his threats appear, to carry some serious weight. This one made me giggle. Whether because he used the f word in such an accurate way or because the pressure is getting to me, #...ingWall is where I stand right now. I have always said that the use of a naughty word is only bad if it is not used properly. These days tha f word is flown like a flag, it is all over the place without form or function. Mr Fox gives a voice to what I am feeling with an intensity reserved for very few issues. Lots of promises were made but our new president is discovering that running a business is very different from running a country. There are checks and balances, and there are consequences. Whatever the days to come bring, we are finding there are new ways of protesting, voices that talk back and everyone is watching. And talking. And completely ready, to go.

Believe

 There are certain beliefs that start when you are young, that slowly mature or fade away. These are the Big Ones, the beliefs that shape who you become because your actions are based on them. There is also a Plan B category that backs up, accessorizes and ultimately, influences those choices. 
They can be beliefs about culture. I believe prostitution, racism and peace, can not be dramatically changed in a lifetime. We talk about peace on earth and goodwill toward man but collectively, we are not able to pull it off. There are things happening now with social media that I never could have imagined as as young person but am smart enough to know the internet is not going away and is bringing life long issues of its own. Are we more savvy than those born 100 years ago? Are we better equipped to handle the Big Questions of life? Will 50 more years bring us to a better understanding of why. My beliefs have changed dramatically over the years, both what is possible and what is not. For those things not possible, I am at complete peace. Someday is good enough for me. May I always be aware of the possible. Aware and open. My biggest prayer is that I don't get the two mixed up.