Sunday, March 21, 2010—Happy Spring!! <![if !vml]><![endif]>
First, I want to share, with regret, that it is not physically possible for me to attend every statewide event with John because of health limitations. But, when it is possible, I will be thrilled to attend events with John, sharing in the privilege of meeting so many wonderful and precious people that God has placed within the borders of Kentucky. When I can’t be with John, I will be with you in prayer and spirit. Like John, I love Kentucky and her beauty and her diversity but mostly, I love her people, every color and from every walk of life. Each one of us are Kentuckians because God has placed us here. I don’t doubt this fact for a second. I believe we must always be about keeping our ears and our hearts pressed close to the heart of God, to hear how He wants to work through our lives, to touch the lives of others and the times of our Commonwealth, our nation and our world.
Friday, February 19, 1010—Jefferson County Lincoln Day Dinner
“I THANK MY God every time I remember you.” (Philippians 1:3) I have extended my thanks and appreciation to the organizers of this enjoyable evening in February. But it just never hurts to show appreciation again and again. It was a wonderful evening and I especially appreciated the “Fairness” and “Equal Opportunity” forum for every Republican U.S. Senate Candidate to speak. I want to thank each of you for your efforts and for your commitment to the political process and for your fight for Godly government. I want to extend a special thank you to those dear women who opened their hearts to John and to me. You are a pearl in my treasure box of jewels.
“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:8) As the campaign continues, it is with a VERY heavy heart, that Very sadly, in even in our great Kentucky, there continues to be a prevailing and insidious presence of unfairness and inequality in the political process towards candidates who cannot or who have not “poured” hundreds of thousands of dollars into their political campaigns. I am not suggesting that it is evil to be of wealth or fortune. I see this as a blessing. However, having wealth or fortune does not produce the character of a person. I do not claim to be an expert on the subject of Political Science like John. My professional background was medical social work. I must be candid and shamefully share with you, that before John, I had very little interest in the political process; locally, statewide or nationally. It was John who taught me the importance of good government and its functionality.
God has blessed me with the ability to discern and therefore, I do have “eyes” to see. I also have a heart that rejoices when others rejoice and a heart that is deeply hurt when others have been hurt. In this campaign, I have witnessed forces of unfairness, inequality and exclusion. I do not think it is important to “point out” all the “who/s”, places and/or events, but I do want to share with you what happens in a political campaign that is not understood by outside sources or when a candidate is perceived to be “foolish.” “…God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:12)
“The Lord said…’Do not look at his outward appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; FOR MAN LOOKS AT THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT THE LORD LOOKS AT THE HEART.”
(I Samuel 16:7) Nationally and statewide, there is a prevailing mentality, an arrogance of sorts, by many groups, cliques and “influential” sources. Factions will try to control, stop or deny the political process and the Constitutional Right of all, to be heard during a political campaign for many reasons. What I mean by this is, even though you may be a formal candidate, having filed your papers with the Secretary of State’s office and paid your fee of $500.00, grievously, this does not always guarantee that you will be respected, heard or given equal time, or even afforded an invitation to participate in political forums or debates. While, however, other candidates, (in a same race), are being extended such courtesy. I believe the greatest foundation for this unfair treatment, the EXCLUSION and the DISREGARD of the candidate, is the mindset of “unless you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, you are not a viable candidate and not worth being heard.” The tragedy with this mindset is that there are many viable, worthwhile candidate hopefuls, who are REAL PEOPLE, who will never be heard or taken seriously. What is more grievous is that “We, the People” rarely get representation by a real person, unfettered by the “world”. There is the continuum of “the same old, same old.” Is there any wonder our nation is in the condition we see it in today? Who will be the real voice for the real people in Kentucky and for Kentucky in Washington?
I believe where there is such unfairness and disrespect for every candidate, you will also find at work, “behind the scenes”, the underlying forces of arrogance, ego, pride, control, greed and personal insecurity. It is not news that “factions” will try to control the vote of the public by “forcing” their opinions on you. I want to encourage every voter to really take a long, hard look at every candidate in every political race and study their positions. Do not take the word of anyone’s opinion. I want to encourage you to form your own opinion based on what you can glean from EVERY candidate. Ask one really important question about the candidates and try to find the answer to, “What is the heart of the candidate?” What is his motivation to run? What does the candidate view to be the most important issue/s and does the candidate have the ability to understand, to be empathetic to “We, the People”? When candidate information is intentionally being withheld from you, I want to encourage you to take the time to contact the candidate directly. I have never known a candidate or their campaign staff who would not be happy to share with a voter what their campaign stands for and why the candidate may be running. I was pondering over the weekend just where our nation would be today if President Lincoln had been “silenced” or “excluded”. Please remember, that possessing more money and more powerhouse backing, does not a viable candidate make!!
REAL PEOPLE—REAL KENTUCKIANS
Saturday, March 20, 2010, 7:00 A.M. Following prayer, and asking God for His will to be done through our lives, the trip begins. John and I traveled to three areas of Kentucky this weekend campaigning: Frankfort—Franklin County; Tompkinsville—Monroe County: and Grayson—Barren County. “And HOPE DOES NOT DISAPPOINT, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5) The beautiful spring like weather throughout Kentucky made our drive time pleasurable. With spring there is hope and there is the promise of new life. Our first stop Saturday morning was to our state’s Capitol, Frankfort. We stopped at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, where several conferences were taking place. I never imagined that in the period of three hours, I would meet so many wonderful and different people. Each person had a story to share; stories of joys and stories of sorrows. Memories from these brief meetings, with so many dear people and from many walks of life, will last a lifetime.
9:30 A.M. “Then the Lord said to Moses…I have filled him with the spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts…to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship….I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you..” (Exodus 31:1-8) John and I introduced ourselves to, and visited with several wonderful AFL-CIO labor representatives. I have such great respect for tradesmen and women. My late father and his brothers were home builders and stone masons. I have family who are in the building business, as well as iron work, plumbing, and electricians. Whenever the word “Laborer/s” is mentioned, I experience a sense of admiration and respect. I believe my admiration for “Laborers” is related to the talents they possess. I believe the skills and abilities that Laborers are equipped with are innate gifts from God. If you read about the history of the Israelites, you will soon discover that there were many talented laborers on board and God used them greatly in the design, planning and building of the “Wilderness Tabernacle”, as well as in the monumental project of King Solomon’s great temple. Just consider for a moment the amazing Roman Empire and Babylonia of old, and their incredible water ways, roadways and structures that were produced by many mighty laborers.
I think sometimes there is “snobbery” towards Laborers, a “looking down upon” and that is a real tragedy. Our nation stands because of the blood, sweat and tears of many wonderfully gifted laborers. We should always remember this as well as expressing our gratitude to every Laborer. In the late 1960’s, I recall wanting to take an Industrial Arts class at my high school. At that time, my request was “unheard of.” I was told “Home Ec” was the class I had to take. I must confess, I did not fare well as other girls, who excelled at sewing and cooking. The point is, regardless of one’s background and calling, blue collar or white collar, the vocation one finds oneself in, is of great value to our Kentucky and to our United States. Our nation and our state are like the human body, made up of many members. Any assault or injury or disease to a human body will cause the entire body to suffer. Our nation and Kentucky must treat our Laborers with TLC. We must learn to be a “healthy” nation again. Thank these great people for who they are and for what they do.
CLASSIFIED WORKERS—UNSUNG HEROS
10:30 A.M. “Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.” (Psalm 126:5) John and I met several solid people while visiting the Capitol Plaza hotel. As I mentioned earlier, there were several conferences taking place. One group holding their meeting, at the Plaza, were the “Classified Workers” who are represented by the Kentucky Education Association. I have to confess that I was not aware of this specific title given to employees working in and for our school systems in Kentucky. John explained to me that some of the positions considered “Classified Workers” are janitors, custodians, secretaries, cafeteria workers, school nurses and bus drivers, just to name a few. The first two words that came to my mind, while talking with two ladies referring to themselves as “Classified Workers”, was “Unsung Heroes”. Please understand that I am not implying that teachers or principals are not deserving of such titles. Many times over, complaints will first land at the feet of the teacher or the principle, long before a “thank you” will. What I am trying to say is that many “Classified Workers’” and what they do, can go unnoticed and not be appreciated for their part in keeping the school engine running properly. I want to encourage you to tip your hat to these great people. They are performing very important services to our children and to our education system and we need to let them know that we appreciate them. To every “Classified Worker”, do not lose heart. You do make a difference in the life of students. You may not always see the fruits of your labors, but you do make an impact on the life of every student. I remember fondly “key” school-related people that made a difference in my life. You make a difference! Thank you for what you do!
11:30 A.M. “Rejoice with those who rejoice; and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15) As John and I were looking for a conference room at the Capitol Plaza, we crossed paths with some extremely special people; members of the national organization called “The Compassionate Friends.” I was not familiar with the group, but I soon discovered that these dear ones are some of the strongest people you will ever meet. Before I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease years ago, I served as a Hospice Social Worker in Cincinnati and later, as an AIDS Case Manager in Northern Kentucky. I enjoyed my jobs and I considered it a great privilege to be part of the final chapter of a client’s life on earth. We all, at some time or another will be faced with Death; our loved ones and ultimately, our own death.
As I sat in a lobby, waiting for John, I was so moved by the strength and dignity that I witnessed on the faces of these very special people. The members of this “club” are able to share their pain and loss of a child in a safe environment. They are able to work through their grief, and anger and guilt feelings and at the same time be nurtured and affirmed. My family is no stranger to this painful ordeal. My younger brother and his wife lost their precious sixteen year old son, Jimmy, in an auto accident. This coming November will mark the tenth year anniversary of Jimmy’s death. The loss of a child is devastating to the parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and communities. The death of a child is “unnatural” to us on so many levels. I happened to be sitting near a beautiful water fall, which happened to be located next to the Compassionate Friends “resource” room. As people were entering and leaving the room they had to pass by me. Each person was proudly wearing a picture pin of their late child on their lapels and tee shirts. My heart was crushed as I glanced at each picture, of each child. I wondered what would these children be doing today had they not been killed or died and how these sweet parents and family members must be deeply hurting. I found myself crying for their losses. Many of these children killed in auto accidents, some lost to suicide. Death is inevitable. We cannot control Death but we do have control in how we “handle” it. I would like to offer a word of advice. WHEN, (not if,) you are faced with a family member or friend’s loss of a child, or any loved one for that matter, don’t be concerned with what to say or how you can help. Just hug them. Let them know you love them. Just “be there” for them. Sometimes the greatest gift you can give someone is silence and a hug. Thank you, “Compassionate Friend” volunteers and all that you do to help so many hurting families through the transition of grieving.
2 P.M. and 6 P.M. Respectively— Monroe County and Barren County Lincoln Day Events. John and I want to thank the dedicated women of both Monroe County and Barren County Republican Party Clubs. Behind every successful event you will find hard working people with a purpose. There are just not enough ways to say thank you for your part in ensuring that every candidate is given the opportunity to be heard. Others can learn a great deal from your fairness and respect for the political process. You ladies gave your all and John and I want to thank you for all your hard work. Your years of loyalty and dedication to ensuring Godly government are truly appreciated! We thank each of you for allowing us to be part of your special Lincoln Day events. God bless you and keep you!
Sunday, March 21, 2010 1 A.M.—Waffle House. After a total of eight hours of drive time and events and meetings on Saturday, John and I struggled with staying awake while trying to get back home to Northern Kentucky. It was a very long day but it was a very fulfilling day. Just when you think you have experienced all that one could experience in such an event filled day, we surprisingly were met again by another group of wonderfully precious young people, working at a local Waffle House in Louisville. Three young men and one young woman, sharing their life stories of struggle; a father of five; an aunt assuming legal custody of her niece and nephew; a young father’s disappointment, discovering that the apartment community he moved into, that was once safe, is not safe now. These hard working young adults were not looking for John or for me to “fix” their problems. They simply wanted to be heard and to be encouraged. What a better place our country would be if each of us would just take a few minutes out of every day and just listen to someone and hug someone, extend a helping hand or sing a song to someone. For our friends at the Waffle House, thank you for trusting us enough to even want to share your concerns and your struggles with us. You are precious and I will keep you in my prayers and in my heart!
At the end of every day, as our heads hit our pillows, John and I thank God for using us and we ask God to bless the lives of every person that we met that day. Thank you God, for from you all blessings flow. Many blessings flowed our way through so many wonderful and dear people these past 24 hours. Bless them with your favor and love, God. Father, that they may know just how much you love them in a personal way. In Jesus’ precious name, we pray these things. Amen and Amen.