Why I’m not excited about the Walking Dead return

I want to be excited.  I want to look forward to The Walking Dead returning February 14.  I’m just not.  My wife and I enjoy watching it together, and when I told her of my malaise at its return, she was disappointed.  I tried to explain.  I’m a language arts teacher with a previous communications degree for crying out loud.  I ought to be able to figure out why.  So I tried to verbalize the issue.

It came down to this; there is no hope for the characters.   There was hope when Eugene was on the way to Washington with the cure.  There was some hope when they were safe at the farm or the prison or Alexandria. The cycle of finding sanctuary and losing it is getting monotonous. Right now there is just no hope that this will ever end. Not even a glimmer.

And now we are introduced to yet another vile, perfectly evil character, Negan.  If this follows the comic storyline, we should all be prepared for senseless mayhem, torture, and death to come to many of our beloved survivors.  I hear people say that certain characters are “untouchable”.  “If (insert character) dies, I’m never watching it again.”  I was like that for awhile.  Now, Negan can end any of them.  I don’t care. It just doesn’t matter which one because there is no hope for any of them.  Nobody is growing old here.

I’ve recently enjoyed exploring a few British series, Luther, Life on Mars, The Fall, and River.  There’s a certain brilliance to the concept of a series lasting one to three seasons, on purpose.  There’s hope, maybe not for the best outcome for each character, but at least there is hope for a resolution.  They had a vision for where the series was headed and stayed the course, and brought us to a resolution.  They are like long movies with weeklong intermissions.  Beautiful.

On the bright side, I am looking forward to Fear The Walking Dead returning. They still have hope. Of course, if Madison is Rick’s sister and they eventually find Rick’s group.  Then the Fear gang is hopeless too.

Please, Walking Dead VIPs, give us some kind of hope if you want us to keep watching and caring about the characters.

 

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Vanessa

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This is Vanessa.  She committed suicide last week.  Following are her Facebook posts from that day.  I don’t understand how someone didn’t step in.  Some of these posts even have “likes”.

Likes?

What is wrong with people?

As a teacher we’re turning everything and everyone into data.  I didn’t know her, but plenty of people did.  Plenty of teachers did.  Vanessa is my wake up call.

Click her name below to read the posts.  The language isn’t pretty and this is very heavy, but we need to wake up.

Vanessa

Never Forget 9/11

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I get really uneasy this time of year. People start changing their profile pictures and update their cover photos to the smoking World Trade Center towers or the flag-draped Pentagon.  Sometimes those pictures have “Never Forget 9/11” written across them. I don’t get uneasy because I’m afraid of anniversary attacks.  I’m afraid of the motive of the people posting this motto.

Before I get into it, all of you doing this…What about the other 11 1/2 months a year?  Are we only supposed to “Never Forget 9/11”  from 9/1 to 9/12?  I sure don’t see anyone reminding me of 9/11 in December.

But, anyway, I digress before I even really start.

What exactly is your motivation for posting this motto?  Based on the comments on these pictures, it seems like the only thing you actually want me to remember is to hate Muslims.  I have to admit, in the immediate aftermath of of the attacks I was filled with rage and anger.  I printed off the the political cartoon of the eagle sharpening his talons and slipped it into the clear sleeve of my binder cover.  The cares of the world were certainly choking the word in the months following that horrific day.  And when Tom Petty sang his in-your-face version of “Won’t Back Down,” I was pumped.

But now.  Why should we remember?  Well, it isn’t for the hate and the anger.  It isn’t to relive the anguish of watching people make the awful decision to jump from 100 stories rather than face the inferno behind them.  Don’t worry.  I won’t forget. I can’t forget.  The images from that day are seared into my mind’s eye.

No, we need to remember so that we stay vigilant.  The enemy is not vanquished.  The enemy still plots pain for us.  Given lax defenses, they will do it again. Don’t live in fear, but live with your eyes open and your head out of the sand.  All the time, not just the first two weeks of September.  Hold your elected officials accountable when they make decisions that weaken our position.  Make your voice heard.  That doesn’t mean you have to hate anyone or any group of people. But, we need to stay vigilant.

 If you want to “Never Forget 9/11”, start with never forgetting the sacrifices that were made that day by the men and women going the other way on the steps. Remember, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  How about for complete strangers?

Peace,

K

Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

What’s choking the word for you today?

Death of a Brother

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March 21, 2013

Growing up the youngest of six, five boys and an oldest sister, I was always looking up to someone.  It shaped my life and influenced many of my decisions.There was a lot to live up to; class presidents, baseball stars, football heroes, church soloists, class play leads, Christian college alumni, pastors, worship leaders, and even 7-day-a-week paperboys.

I absolutely loved to play baseball.  Yet, when I walked into Mr. Jordan’s, also the baseball coach, class in 10th grade and he said, “Ah, Kesselring.  The last of the Mohicans.  Gonna see you out on the ball field this spring?”  I made a snap decision to never, ever, play baseball in high school. That’s just one of my regrets.  There were other regrets.  That’s one of the big ones though.

As much time as I spent resenting them, I also spent being jealous of them and idolizing them. My sister seemed to lead one of the coolest existences being in charge of museums in Tennessee.  Guess who volunteered at the local museum after that?  And oh, man could my brothers sing, and so effortlessly.  I finally garnered the courage to sing at church and received the kudos of the old ladies and requisite pinches on the cheek, but I knew it wasn’t anything like they could do.

Well, I finally grew up and made it somewhat out of their shadows, until today.  Today we had the funeral of the middle brother, Zane.  I get it.  Our parents have passed.  It’s our turn, but 56? Today was a tough day, esp

 

*It’s been over a year since I started this post.  Obviously, I didn’t finish it.

August 20, 2014

I’ve made a lot of changes since Zane died.  I went to the doctor for a complete physical and all the heart tests they would give me.  I went to a dermatologist to have my skin mapped to keep an eye on all those suspicious spots.  Had another even more invasive cancer screening.

About a week before Zane died, I was around 20 miles away picking up a motorcycle.  It was cold.  I didn’t want to ride home 2 hours in the cold AND the dark, so I headed home instead of taking a couple of hours to swing by and visit.  Small decision at the time.  Logical.  Obviously the thought that it was the last chance to see my brother never crossed my mind.

Then the accolades started.  People from everywhere and many walks of life talked about how wonderful, kind, and giving Zane was.  It really made me reflect on myself and how I knew no one would have that to say about me.  I didn’t even have an hour and a half to go see my brother.  That brought about another change I decided to make. I was not going to be selfish with my time any longer.  It’s a work in progress.

No matter how old I become, I’m still the baby of the family.  I’m still looking up to my siblings. Anyone who knew Zane would know that he would find it humorous that he had become an idol of mine, someone I wanted to be like. Well, except for that Burgman he rode.

 

Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

What is it in your life that’s choking the Word?  What’s keeping you from sharing your love and your time with others?  Fix it.  It will be too late one day.

School Prayer

After recent events, I’ve been thinking about this concept of prayer in schools.  I’m a bit irritated that taking prayer out of schools is one of the things being blamed for what happened.  I’m a teacher and I’m a Christian.  I will tell you up front that those are my only two qualifications to speak on this subject.

There are three sections of scripture I’d like to throw out there to start with:

John 9:31  Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

Matthew 6:5-7 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (6) But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (7) But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

So, what exactly are the spokesmen of the Religious Right asking for or complaining about when they clamor about prayer in schools?  Remember this, if you get prayer in school, you’re going to get all religions praying in school.  Are you ready for the principal to read a Christian prayer, followed by a Muslim prayer, then followed by a Wiccan prayer? I know I’m not ready for that.

But, I digress.  Let’s get back to my thoughts.  Considering the three scriptures above, what would be the point of an unsaved principal, or an unsaved teacher, beginning the school day by standing in front of the class repeating a prayer?  God doesn’t hear him.  How many times when a prayer is allowed by a chaplain or other figurehead does he end up reading it from something he prepared earlier? Sounds like vain repetition to me.

Let me shock you a bit.  There is prayer in my classroom.  No, not from me standing up in front of the class putting on a show.  But from me before school.  And during the day with a prayerful attitude. Occasionally at lunch.  And guess what else…I’ve seen 5th graders in my room bow their heads before a test or even during a hard test, close their eyes and silently offer up a prayer.  Funny that “taking prayer out of schools” didn’t stop them from doing it.

Let me boil this down for you.  This whole fight over prayer in schools is just another attempt to avoid responsibility.  It is an individual’s responsibility to take prayer into school. You want God in school?  Take him there in your heart.  Parents, you want God in school? Train your child in the way they should go and have them take God there in their hearts.  No one is stopping them from praying in school.  Yes, they aren’t allowed to make a big show of it, but Matthew 6 pretty much tells you not to do that anyway.

 

Five Love Languages

In Sunday School we’ve been studying The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I really can’t say enough about this book. I know in my class, I don’t do it justice. I just can’t cover it all in that amount of time. If you’re out there and your marriage just isn’t what it should be, or what you thought it would be, you need to read this with your spouse. It’s that good.

The gist is this. Dr. Chapman believes there are five basic languages that people use to speak love, sending and receiving. They are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Basically, each person speaks one or two of these languages well and probably one or two of them very poorly. Rarely will your love language match the love language of your spouse. Therein lies the problem.

The husband who speaks Receiving Gifts and Physical Touch well paired with a wife who speaks Quality Time is a set up for failure. Here’s a guy who works hard, buys his wife nice things, and is looking to be shown love through physical means. He just doesn’t understand why she is so cold toward him in the bedroom. Of course, the entire time, she feels bought and paid for, but certainly not loved. Their love life is pretty much like a Russian trying to have a conversation with an American. They might eventually communicate, but it will be difficult at best and certainly not deep.

He loves her. She loves him. However, neither one feels it from the other. If this couple would learn to speak each other’s language, both of them would begin to feel the love that the other has for them.

Here’s the deal. This book isn’t just for squabbling mates. Amy and I have a great marriage, 25 years this May, but I am convicted and awakened on nearly every page. Today, for instance, we studied about a wife who tried to tell her husband about her work when she arrived home. Well, the husband listened a bit and then started giving advice on how to handle the situation she was describing. Same the next day, with no implementation of the advice and no change in the situation. This continued until the husband became frustrated and said, “Don’t tell me about it. You won’t do anything I suggest.” The problem though, she wasn’t asking for advice. She was asking for her husband to listen to her, sympathize. Eventually, she may have asked for advice. But she wanted to engage in Quality Conversation. He wanted to speak, not listen. That is me to a T. I am definitely going to apply one of the remedies in the book.

In future blogs I’ll go into the languages. In the meantime, go buy the book and start reading!

Resolutions

Here are a few thoughts on resolutions. I’m not a big fan. This is not only because I never keep them very well, but they aren’t a Godly solution.

I guess my biggest problem with them is that you know something is wrong with your lifestyle, but you are purposely putting off doing anything about it until a predetermined date. For instance, you’re convicted that you need to spend more time in prayer or reading your Bible and you tell yourself that when January rolls around, you’ll “resolve” to start doing it? So, that’s saying that you’ll ignore God calling you until some magic calendar date.

Or consider all the people abusing the temple of their body with gluttony. How many of you have said, “I’ll eat whatever I want this week, because on New Year’s Day, I’m resolving to diet.” Or if you drink or smoke and you are convicted to stop, you’re going to get in as much as you can in December because you’re going to stop in January?? So, regardless of being convicted, you’re going to do it anyway because the calendar hasn’t turned?

In John 8:11, Christ said to the adulterous woman, go and sin no more. He didn’t add, on January 1st.

Also, resolutions tend to focus on your own ability to conquer something. Face it, if you are going to truly change, it is going to take God. So as you are facing the things in your life that need changed, remember

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

So, no matter the date on the calendar, if something needs changed, give it up to God in prayer and let Him help you change it right then and there.

Be blessed.