Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!

Never Forget

It may be nine years later, but the memories live on.

May we never forget.

Taken from the deck of a Naval battleship.

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Happy 4th!

It’s Independence Day! Enjoy.

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The Front Fell Off

To show that the oil spill is on my mind, I thought that I’d share one of my favourite videos. It’s only a few minutes, so enjoy!

Yes, I know that this video is not from this oil spill, and that it is not meant to be taken seriously. It’s still fun though!

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Off The Grid

I know that this post is bit out of the norm for me, but may I rant for just a little moment? The other night I was listening to NPR (a mistake, perhaps, but I’m not perfect). I’m not sure what program I was listening to- I didn’t leave it on long enough to find out.

The program was a young man and his family talking about how difficult their lives were. All well and good; I’m sympathetic to a sad story. The young man was telling about how he couldn’t get into the prestigious college he wanted to attend, and how he couldn’t get financial aid for the few schools he was able to get into. His mother discussed the difficulty she had in her job- finding her place, getting promotions, etc. What horrible twist of fate could be preventing these poor people from realizing their American dream?

Well, they are undocumented.

Wait a moment. Let that sink in.

….

….

Undocumented.

They are not supposed to be in this country. There is no paper trail. They are not American citizens. They are not citizens of this country. For years they have avoided our government’s notice.

Now, they are on national radio talking about how difficult their life is because of their undocumentation.

Really.

Hmmm.

Why are we fighting for the rights of people who never declared their citizenship? More importantly, what right do these people have to complain that our universities ask for green cards, or that our government won’t allow them to receive free money without proof of residency or citizenship? Why are we expected to change the rules to make their lives easier, their jobs more pleasurable?

Would any other government stand for this behaviour? If I surreptitiously sneak into England, would they allow me into any college and then give me money to attend? I’m thinking not.

Why, then, is anyone promoting the idea that no matter who waltzes into the country we will hand them an education and pay for it as well.

Or maybe, why not? We are trying to give them free health care, benefits, basically anything they could ever wish for- whether we know they are here or not. Who pays for this? The people who are residents of this country; the people who by family lineage, birth right, or naturalization have earned the right to live in America. Those people who work hard in order to pay taxes left, right, and center for education, benefits, cars, and houses.

I’m not normally a “rah-rah, go America” type of person, and this post really isn’t about American citizenship per se. It’s about the nature of citizenship itself. We need clear definitions of where we belong geographically to keep order in this world. I’m sure that there is a wonderful reason for citizenship to even exist- for some reason (or maybe many reasons), it wouldn’t be good for people not to belong to a country. However, the media attention undocumented people are receiving lately makes me wonder if life would be easier if we all just went off the grid.

Oh yes, that’s right.

It’s a bad idea.

It would limit my choice of colleges.

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The Nature of Human Nature

Human nature. What is it? Is it something that we are born possessing, or is it instilled in us by our environment? If we are born with it, from where does it come? If we acquire it, how do we do so? Where, in short, does human nature begin?

These are deep questions. My personal belief is that we are born with a sinful, errant nature. However, I believe that we are born so because of an act of sin committed over 6,000 years ago in a garden. “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin” (Romans 5:12, NASB). Our nature, therefore, is to sin and die. From the moment we are born, we are heading towards a determinate death. It’s the only constant in our unsettled lives- death.

In the words of that immortal movie, What About Bob?, “We are going to die. We are all going to die.”

Why then should we struggle to live? Again, I believe our fight for survival is fueled by another innate part of our nature- hope. We may or may not be able to find hope on our own, but that doesn’t negate our longing for it. We try to hope for something better- a better life, a better future, a better ending. When we are at our deepest, darkest moments, we mourn hope’s loss. We say that “hope springs eternal”- but what does it eternally spring toward?

Hope longs for salvation. We ache to be rescued from our sinful lives; we strive to escape the burden of knowing that the paths we walk alone will only lead to death. We hope for a Saviour.

We have such a Saviour.

My verse in Romans does not stop with the condemnation of mankind- it continues on with its explanation. “For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to many… those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (5:15, 17).

We don’t have to die.

Our bodies certainly do have to wear out- they are not meant to last forever. But our souls, the very houses of our nature, they live on. Instead of being condemned to die forever in hell, we have the option for them to live  in glory, forever praising our Saviour  and His death which made it possible.

We have a hope.

This is God’s plan for us. It is not His will that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). However, that one man, that original sin infected our nature, and this keeps us from Him. God’s sacrifice of His Son was not just for show, it was a solution- the ultimate solution to the problem that is human nature (John 3:16). It is the ultimate hope.

Hope is not a word to be bandied about carelessly. It should not be used to promote the plans of the world. It is not audacious. Instead, it is an important part of God’s plan for us to have a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Our hope leads us to search for a better nature. Our search for a better nature leads us to the cross. The cross brings us eternal life.

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Happy Veterans Day

Dear Veterans,

Thank you so much, brave men and women who have served over the years to keep us free and safe. Your contribution to our lives can never be appreciated enough. We are indebted to those of you who have fought for us and returned, and we honour the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice during their service.

With Much Love,

A Grateful Citizen

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Gotta Vote!

We interrupt the normally scheduled writings for this special political pondering.

Ah yes, time to trot out the old civil rights and civic duty again- today was election day. Interestingly enough, my government class spent a good portion of class today talking about why people are voting less and less. According to this guy Patterson, there are a variety of reasons. Loosely summarized, they are as follows:

  1. Voters don’t feel that their vote counts. Um, sorry, but duh. When the majority is reached, pollsters stop counting in order to save time and effort. What pollsters don’t acknowledge is that when they take these shortcuts, they guarantee that certain voters won’t show up at the polls next election. Oh well, less to count….
  2. Voters are sick of negative campaigns. I mean, come on candidates. If you want people to vote for you, give them a reason to vote for you instead of just trying to make sure they despise your opponent.
  3. Voters no longer identify with a political party. By 1970, 30% of Americans called themselves Independents, and that number has been steadily rising since then. Without party identification, there is no party loyalty. Without party loyalty, people have little motivation to go out to the polls- they really don’t care one way or another.
  4. Voters feel that campaigns are depressing. This makes people less interested in getting involved if they feel that they will be despondent afterwards. Who wants to bother with something that doesn’t make them feel happy or satisfied?
  5. The move of electoral debates to cable hurt the cause more than extending its audience. Out of sight, out of mind. Too, campaigns stretch on for months at a time, causing voters to disengage. Patterson believes that if campaigns could be kept down to a few weeks right before the actual election day, then voters would be more inclined to pay attention and cast their ballot.

So, vote often and vote well. Don’t detach yourself from politics just because you don’t like what the process has become. Instead, stay involved- be the change you want to see in politics.

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