Did You Know…

..that there are at least 37 distinctive types of dinner forks?

..that in order to get a certificate of ‘no tax owed’ you have to be in the state system?

..that you have to have a certificate of ‘no tax owed’ to get into the state’s system?

..that a flea can jump 350 times it’s body length?

..that Grown In My Heart is planning a big Mother’s Day giveaway?

..that deSoto was the first white guy to see the Mississippi River flood?

..and that the natives weren’t a bit surprised?

..that some cats will eat cheese?

..but not mice?

..that I spend way too much time at Adoptee Fried Chicken?

..that Europeans are adopting american children?

..that adult animals usually make better pets than puppies or kittens

..that puppies and kittens usually make better pets than children?

..the the first SUCCESSFUL parachute jump was made in St Louis, Mo.?

..that there are 500 different kinds of bananas

..but the only one you are familiar with may become extinct in our lifetime?

..that you can get a certificate of ‘no tax owed’ if you say you already have one?

..that no one ever follows their grocery list?

..that I’m getting tired?

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Deathbed Conversions and Gumball Machines

If you haven’t read my previous Happy Monday post, please do, this one will make a whole lot more sense.

I know exactly how that stupid vending machine made it into the front of my store.

During the conquest of the Americas many missionaries were sent out to “civilize” the savages and bring them religion.  Some of the native people really went for the Jesus thing, some gave it lip service to save their butts, and some didn’t buy into any of it.

But as some folks who were less than impressed by Christianity approached death, they would ask to see the priests and convert moments before expiring. While this pumped up the stats of the church, I’m guessing that most of the deathbed converts were merely hedging their bets on the afterlife.

It does make sense to cover all of your bases.  The Pagan Gods tended to be forgiving of their peers, and only asked that they be paid tribute in the areas they were responsible for.  Even when the Christian God laid down the law, he asked only that no other Gods go before him.  So waving the spiritual giant foam finger at the Christian God in final overtime probably made a whole lot of sense.

While the Pagan Gods still have their followers, most folks are more into the things that have replaced them these days.  You know, money, success, standing in the community, doing your own thing.  Even though most folks don’t have a God for these things anymore, they tend to ignore the Christian God in order to pursue them.  I don’t think they think much about it, until they fear that their soul might be in some peril.  All in all, the number of deathbed conversions hasn’t suffered much over the years.

I’ve always found deathbed conversions to be ass kissy and tacky.  I’m perfectly willing to go into the great beyond with all of my doubts worn honestly.  I’m not going to beg to be invited to a party that I’m not dressed for.

I’m guessing that it’s mainly fear that motivates last minute conversions.  I’m sure they see it as fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of eternal damnation.  Legitimate fears I suppose, if you believe in that kind of thing. I have a hard time thinking a last minute apology is ever going to make up for all the stuff that leads to those fears, but some still try.

Even waiting until the last minute, presumably after all your deeds are behind you, can still lead to trouble.  These things aren’t exempt from the no good deed goes unpunished clause.  Attempts at getting the Lord on your side can complicate things with the very folks you fear you’ve hurt, that lead to all this ass kissing in the first place.

Take orphans for example.  Helping them out would seem to be a good way to get back in good with the man upstairs.  And as long as you really don’t have to do anything, well more is the better.  No need to check anything out, just do your good deed and get spiritual brownie points. Easy.

Well, maybe not.

While spiritual matters are mainly the concern the individual and whatever God they are working with, I think that how ones actions effect others probably come into play.  I’m certain not even thinking about how your actions will effect others come into play.  That might even earn you demerits.

I have no doubt that this is a difficult thing to understand for those who see everything in black and white, or good and evil, but it’s something to think about.  Thinking about things is hard, some just won’t go to the trouble.  That makes me sad and explains the gumball machine.

Happy Monday From the Southern Baptist Convention

I got a good nights sleep last night, felt well, and was looking forward to a typical day at work. I should have known it wasn’t going to happen. Mondays are never typical days at work. I had taken Saturday and Sunday off, leaving the store in the hands of my a-dad. As my regular readers know, he’s not typical. Guess what I found?

Yep, Buster is pretty scary, after getting over the initial horror of the machine itself,  I read the label on his belly.

Proceeds from this vending unit benefit SONRISE CHILDREN’S HOME and MEDICINE VALLEY COMMUNITY CHILDREN’S MINITRY.  For more information call 660-673-6023

Who are these people?

Sonrise Children’s Home is this outfit…

http://www.seethesonrise.org/

Mission statement is as follows…

Sonrise Children’s Home is a non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.  We were formed by a group of Christians that saw a need and believed God to use them to meet that need.  This non-denominational entity is operated by a Board comprised of Christian men and women who love God and want to please Him.

The number of children in the foster care system is on the rise while homes are limited.  Consequently, children are being placed hundreds of miles from their families, making reunification difficult.  They are growing up with insecurities as they are relocated to unfamiliar surroundings and often being separated from brothers and sisters during one of the most difficult times in their lives.

The mission of Sonrise Children’s Home is to provide children with a safe, secure, loving environment to grow and develop good moral character, to provide a moral compass through a relationship with God, and to be self disciplined in order to become a productive member of society through a model of Jesus Christ.

We must provide for the physcial need of the child with a safe, secure, and loving home.

We must give the child an opportunity to grow and develop good moral character.

We must provide a place where work ethic and responsibility are learned.

We must be good stewards and provide for God’s hurting children

We must model Jesus Christ and show the hurting children God’s love for them.

Ok, it’s a foster placement facility, that relies way too much on Jesus and discipline for my taste.  The thing is, as far as I knew it was shut down.  So I did some checking, and it’s reopening..

http://republican-times.com/modules.php?sid=18927&thold=0&order=0&file=article&name=News&op=modload

I was never sure why the place shut down in the first place, but I’m thinking it didn’t do a lot to ” provide children with a safe, secure and loving environment”, being thrown into another foster placement and all.

Oh course they aren’t going to worry about the effects of multiple foster placements when they have the Lord’s work to do.  I’m betting they aren’t going to want anybody else to think about it either, especially when they are raising money.  Besides, there’s a whole new group of children who need to know Jesus’ discipline, if they like it or not.  And, they have a gumball machine.  God only makes nightmarish gumball machines available to deserving charities.

I did take a look at their 990 filings, the last of which was in 2007, and can be pretty sure that the reason wasn’t money, as of the last filing available they were still very much in the black.  Did they lose their management?  Did they have logistical problems? Did they just get tired of it?  I don’t know.  All I do know is that any children they had in their care at the time were thrown into yet another foster situation.  That ain’t good.

And is this Medicine Valley Community Ministry? According to official sources, the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office, Guidestar, Charity.net, they don’t exist.  I’m not sure how they are soliciting donations.  I can’t tell that they do anything at all other than raise money. They do seem to be tied up with this bunch though….

http://www.northgrandriverbaptist.com/index.php

Who don’t seem to support anything but their own social gatherings, and a bookstore.

And they seem to be very close with these folks who we all know….

http://www.sbc.net/default.asp

Yep, the Southern Baptist Convention.  They seem to think that adoption is a mission….

http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/amResolution.asp?ID=1194

Seems that they want to create an adoption culture.

Great.

I’ve got a gumball machine supporting a children’s home that I’m not even sure is open, or is going to stay open for any amount of time, and a ministry that doesn’t exist, scaring the heck out of children of all ages, with a gumball machine in the front of my store.  Oh happy Monday.

I guess I have a phone call to make.  Several phone calls.

I’ll keep you posted.

Update: I’ve just found this letter from a local paper dated September 23rd 2008, explaining the reason for the closure.  It seems that they closed down after taking in just one child.  Considering they have raised tens of thousands of dollars in the last few years, I find this very disturbing.  Combine that with the inability to find personnel and I feel that they shouldn’t be fostering children at all.  Their priorities seem to be much more about pleasing God than actually ever taking care of children.

In the effort of keeping the surrounding communities informed, we want to update you on the progress and setbacks with the Sonrise Children’s Home. On August 18th we welcomed our first child to the Sonrise Children’s Home. A very monumental day for all that has been involved since the conception. We give God all the praise and glory. It has been wonderful to see this building become the home for a child in need.
To our regret, we received a resignation notice from our house parents with a month’s notice. We are currently searching for new house parents. Unfortunately due to the current circumstances, we will have to close the home until we hire and train new house parents.
Although this has been a disappointing setback to all, we need your prayers and help more than ever. The only way the Children’s Home will be able to protect and nurture the children from the surrounding area is by your support. We will press on with our fall fundraisers and look at new fundraisers to help our income. We are seeking counsel from other children’s homes on how to bet-ter raise funds, organize and operate the home. We understand the challenges ahead, but we serve a great God. We will work hard to do our part so there will be children back in the home soon. The rest we will leave up to our Redeemer and Sustainer, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Terry Busker
Sonrise Children’s Home
Board President


At The End

In this dead calm time of year before the year changes, I always find myself sad.  It’s dark, it’s cold, nothing happens.  Everything just waits.

Everything waits for the year to be over.  The year that everyone has grown tired of.  The year that has over stayed it’s welcome.  We want to leave it behind, be done with it, we want closure.

For me, 2009 was a wretched hag of a year.  I won’t mourn it’s passing.  In fact, if I could beat it to death and set it on fire, I would.

So I’ll just wait, with everybody else.  This week will end, and the year with it. Everything passes.

My Father in law, 87, passed away December 22 at Veterans Memorial Hospital following a short illness.  Born in Missouri 1922, He  was survived by a lot of folks who wouldn’t appreciate me mentioning their names.

He  grew up in Missouri, graduated from High School and attended Northeast Missouri State where he played basketball.   He left college at the start of WWII to join the U.S. Marine Corp volunteering for the new Special Forces group- Carlson’s Raiders. He served 4 years with the 2nd Raider Battalion “H” Company battling through the South Pacific seeing action on Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Bougainville and Japan.  After the war he returned to Missouri and married M in 1947.  He completed his college degree, receiving his BS ed. in Industrial Arts and English.  He then completed Refrigeration and Electric school in Kansas City before opening “Refrigeration and Electric” on the south side of the square.  He retired after 40 years in business and during that time he was an active member of the  Volunteer Fire Department, Chamber of Commerce, Masons, and  American Legion Post  and also served several terms as Mayor.

For the past 22 years, he and his wife have been spending the winter in AZ on property his family homesteaded in the 1930’s.  He loved the desert and spent every minute he could there.  He was pleased that his Marine Raiders Buddies were able to come each spring to the desert for a reunion.

A military honors service will be held at the National Cemetery  on January 7, 2010.  A memorial service will also be held on Memorial Day weekend at The Funeral Home.

Something like that will be appearing in next week’s paper.  I did some editing on this version that I share with you.  It’s good that the funeral home writes these things.  Obits never capture who a person was, they just tell you what they did.

He was my husband’s dad.  A good one.  I wish I could thank him for that.



Thanksgiving and Mother-in-Laws

My a-mom always plans her Thanksgiving dinner around Sharon.  Her name is always spoken with quiet reverence, and her wishes are always catered to.  She decides what time dinner will be, and the menu will consist of.  If  she has a last-minute change of plans, everything changes with her.  She is the determining factor in every decision about our Thanksgiving holiday.

Who is this Sharon?  The matriarch of our family?  An aging relative whose presence is anticipated by all?  A celebrity who must fly in from great distances to join us?

Nope.  She has never attended a single Thanksgiving dinner at my a-mom’s house.  In fact, I’m not sure if she has ever been inside my a-mom’s house.  She’s my sister’s mother-in-law.

I don’t usually care that everything is arranged around Sharon’s plans, but this year it kind of got to me.  As I mentioned above, Sharon is very much revered by my a-mom.  She puts extra special emphasis on her name, as in, “I spoke to SHARON about Thanksgiving…..”.

Like Sharon had Oprah on hold on the other line and took time out of her fabulous day just to speak to her.  This year, I had a problem.  I told a-mom that I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to make Thanksgiving or not.  My husbands father is ill, and I’m just not making any plans right now.  My husband’s parents are older than mine, and they are getting to the point that they need some care.  I’ve told my a-mom that they have had some issues in the past.

A-mom then asked me if Juanita still drove.  My mother-in-laws name is not Juanita, not even close.  I’ve been married for 26 years, and I don’t think my mother has ever got her name right once.  For years she called her Margaret, that’s a bit closer, but not quite it.  I corrected her for about the first 10 years of my marriage, then I just kind of gave up.  It wasn’t like she was calling up my mother-in-law to make her own thanksgiving plans.

Somehow my mother-in-law just never had the sway over a-mom that Sharon did.

I’m not going to Thanksgiving at her house this year.  Though my husband understands about my a-mom, I’m not going to put him through that.  I can just hear it now, after I’ve told a-mom that my husband’s father is ill, that my mother-in-law hasn’t driven for years, that they are coming to a place where they may not be able to be independent anymore, “How are Jim and Juanita, are they still in Texas?”

Wrong names.  Wrong state.

I don’t want him to have to answer that.

Money, Money, Money

Seems that the economic downturn hasn’t hurt executive compensation much in the adoption business.  Check this out…

Pound Pup Legacy Adoption executive Compensation

1.3 million?  Yep, you read that right 1.3 million dollars a year.  He must have found homes for lots lots of babies.  I wonder if that includes commission?

Unless you are an up and coming young executive in the baby broking business, every single person involved in adoption should be livid at these salaries.

Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before I Was Touched By Adoption

This is my contribution to the Grown In My Heart Adoption Carnival.  Get in on it too, right here.  Use the Mr. Linky thing.

Go on, you know you want to.

First, I wasn’t touched by adoption.  The only folks ‘touched by adoption’ are random viewers of Adoption Stories or some other heart-tugging-ain’t-adoption- great TV show.  People are touched by the stories of others, or possibly an uncle, but not adoption.  Adoption consumes, completely immerses, one drowns in adoption.

Since I did not have the ability to speak before I was touched, threw into, drown by, adoption, I am going to take on the persona of an annoying talking babies in those god awful John Travolta-Kristie Alley movies.  I’m sure some folks found those touching too.

1. Mom, I’ll never see you again.  Once you let go of me, I’ll be gone forever.  When you sign those papers I’ll be an orphan.  You certainly have more faith in this world than I do.

2. Mom, I’m going to look a bit like you.  It would be really nice to have that reference point as I’m growing up.  I’m never going to see anyone in real life that looks remotely like me until I’m almost 40 years old.  My confidence is going to be effected by this.

3. Mom, I’m never going to know who my dad is.  It’s  kind of  a  big deal for me.  You said you wanted to give me up to save me from “the stain of illegitimacy”, that doesn’t bother me as much as not even knowing who’s bastard I am.  BTW, everybody is going to assume I’m stained by illegitimacy as soon as they know I’m adopted for the rest of my life.  You aren’t saving me from anything.

4. Mom, I’m going to be spending ever summer Sunday for a couple of years about a mile from where you live, in about 33 years.  I wonder if you’ll see my picture in the local paper with my racing trophies?

5. New Mom and Dad, I’m not a blank slate.  Sorry.  Just wanting me to be like you won’t change a thing.  I am what I am.

6. New Mom and Dad, I do not have colic.  I just want to go home, where ever that is.

7. New Mom and Dad, You are going to have other children in a few years.  Children of your own.  Children that will be like you.  Do you still want to go through with this?  There is a whole list of other folks who will take me.  I won’t be hurt.

8. Lawyer, You might want to put a note in my file that this stuff will be “of use” to me in the future.  Your son, who will be the judge in this district someday, is going to tell me that there is “nothing of use to me in this file”.  He is going to be wrong.  Besides, I’ll find out anyway.

9. Governor, make my records available to me.  I am in the care of your state now.  You are going to see that I’m given to people to raise me to adulthood.  I’m going to pay taxes and vote for your successors.  I deserve to know what is going on now.

10. Mom, New Mom and Dad, Lawyer, Governor, Everybody Else, I am going to be alright.  A bit worse for the wear of all this, but alright.  It would have been a lot easier on me if you had listened to me now.