This essay was written by a dear friend who is a wonderful and sincere person, a fellow dog lover, and has some very strong but positive things to say. Her essays pack a punch and most of the time I agree! Wanted to share this one as a belated Independence Day comment. It really does matter what we choose, both the big and the smaller decisions. If it feels a little 'harder' it is probably right!
July 6, 2012
By Julie Kay Smithson, west-central Ohio email@example.com
Firefighter or arsonist
It's much more difficult, at first blush, to be a firefighter. After all, these poor souls lug heavy survival packs, work in the front lines of heat that melts plastic and cooks lungs, and fight fires -- even when their own homes, left behind to fight for those homes and businesses of others, burn to the ground. Not so hard to be an arsonist? All that's needed is the siren sound of a fire crackling, the mesmerizing attraction of returning to the fire and watching others put their lives in danger -- or even lose their lives. How easy is that? This is an addiction with no cure. It is something that steals the soul from what appears to be a person. If there's a choice, pick firefighter!
Volunteer or looter
As this is being written, we are in the middle day of the three hottest days of this historic heat wave. Yesterday's record high broke the old record set in 1911. Today and tomorrow will break records. The weather outside is dangerous for me -- I've had four heat strokes in my almost sixty years of life -- so my efforts must needs protect self from illness or worse. However, there is still much that can be done for others! A few phone calls to check on friends ...
Bring relief or undermine hope
Virtually all of us have more in our pantries than we need. Even one can of soup, box of pasta, jar of peanut butter, or jug of water, can mean the difference between a place I've never been -- being hungry or thirsty, with no way to find food or drink -- and hope restored to someone in need of having his/her/their soul healed. What a choice: to be able to make a difference on the positive side by donating something -- your time, extra food, even writing a check to help!
Real patriot or armchair politician
Each morning, each of us awakens. We have a day spread out before us that we can make beautiful with our commitment to making our country stronger with one or more simple actions. Call someone and check on his or her health and well-being. Take a friend without transportation, to an appointment, or buy them a meal. While doing things for others, consider how much our founding fathers -- and their faithful wives -- did for others when they forged this still-great Christian Nation of America: for all of us that followed! Christian or not, it is imperative that all those living in America, respect the Christian Nation that America was founded as and still is, in spite of the actions of some to derail our heritage. Each step we take can be a way to thank God or shun Him -- a choice that's most clear, because not thanking Him, not honoring Him, is shunning Him. Being a real patriot is defending our heritage with our lives -- every day of our lives!
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