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26 May 2015 @ 10:50 am
"It's all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit."

~ Eartha Kitt Home

I've been working on it for several weeks, and I was doing some fine-tweaking on it as late as this morning.

For the first time, our home page features furry art by various members of our FurAffinity family.

This will be a long-term home page, not just for a season or two like in the last several. As always, this is our home base for wherever individuals are coming from, whether it be from the lj, FA, Twitter, FB, the Forums, doing a Google search, or for ones who simply want to login to their MRA email.

I hope you enjoy the design and the details. :)

EDIT :: This place is pretty echoey! Anybody here?
04 May 2015 @ 05:15 pm
There is this young lady and her mother who follow @Rainbow_Ark on Twitter, and she just completed one of her beautiful creations that I wanted to share first with all of you...

Just a bit more about her: She had kind of a tough time as a young child due to a very serious medical condition. Through lots of procedures and some kindness shown during a concert with Donnie Wahlberg, she is full of life and appreciation today. If you're on Twitter, I recommend that you follow her and her mom, because they will brighten your day: @LittleBear_1985 and @_Luisa34_

Thank you, Sweetest! this means a lot to me. :D
26 April 2015 @ 03:47 pm
WASHINGTON — Becoming a father was a prime motivator for Randy Berry to accept what's sure to be a controversial new role at the State Department.

Berry, 50, is the U.S. special envoy for the human rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders, the first such post ever created by a nation, according to the State Department.

In that trail-blazing role, he said he has an opportunity to help his two children grow up in a world more accepting than the one he was born into.

As someone who has "walked the personal journey of coming out," Berry said he knows how critical positive messages and support are to a U.S. and global LGBT community plagued by young suicides.

"Our children may be straight, they may be gay, I really couldn't care less, but I do want them to be happy," Berry said in an interview with USA TODAY. "They're likely to grow up in international environments, so I'm interested in working this in a broader space."

It's not going to be easy.

Secretary of State John Kerry has instructed Berry to coordinate the State Department's internal policies on LGBT employees and the department's programs and policies regarding the rights of LGBT people in other countries, by working with governments, civil society and the business community.

...But Berry has no illusions that his message will be received warmly in all circles. "Clearly not everyone is going to agree with the position we are taking," he said.

The whole story on USAToday
15 April 2015 @ 10:19 am
I've been dealing with a lot of things recently, but this morning after an early tire rotation appointment, I put on some classic Earth, Wind and Fire for the last half of the journey to work, and I arrived feeling great! :D

They have Mom's deal figured out. It was her irregular heart rhythm that was making her revert to spells of weakness in the same areas damaged by the stroke. They now have that controlled by medication and she's going full-tilt into therapy, and doing well. After just a couple more weeks, she'll be able to go home, likely with all the capabilities and mobility she had before the stroke. Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes. That means a lot!

How are others doing on this humpday!
The Living Last Supper performance at my church Easter 2015

03 April 2015 @ 12:39 pm
I hadn't announced it far and wide, but a few of you knew from my personal lj.

My Mom had another stroke on Wednesday. It's her same right side as before with the one that happened at Thanksgiving last year.

Her strength didn't come back as quickly as before which with that first time, was nothing short of a miracle.

This time, it was a wait and see, and they just didn't know and Dad didn't know what the future looked like.

I can now report that the doctors studied her new CT and they're encouraged. One even said that it was his opinion that she'd get back everything that she had before with the proper therapy. She has strong grip in her hand, and is able to bend her leg at the knee and hip. Walking will come with therapy which starts today. It might be awhile, but knowing her, it will come.

Thank you to those of you who prayed and sent your virtual hugs and thoughts.

I hope everyone has a blessed weekend with the individual ways you celebrate with family, friends, and loved ones. :)
29 March 2015 @ 01:37 pm
I've been having something brewing inside of me to share here since yesterday when I saw a graphic tweeted which was supposedly a quote from the Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence:

'We in Indiana are following the message of scripture. Jesus would never have welcomed a sinner into His workplace.'

To be honest, I cannot confirm if this was an actual quote, or if it's slightly paraphrased, or if it's totally contrived like so many banners which can be found on Twitter which are made by people, both scrupulously and unscrupulously day in and day out, that if we're not careful, become wrongfully attributed to the individual, and needlessly inflame an already worrisome situation. The quote is often later debunked, which has the unfortunate side-effect of discrediting any and all protest to what can only be described as an odious law, of incalculable proportions.

But assuming for a second that it might be an actual quote, how many different ways of wrong are present here?

First of all, being gay does not presuppose immorality or being a sinner. There are both moral and immoral people who are either gay or straight. How couples express their love to one another does not speak of their morality.

Secondly, if one is to follow scripture as this quote suggests we should, it teaches that we are all basically sinners saved by grace. To say that Jesus never welcomed sinners is to ignore His entire ministry when it's well-documented He spent copious amounts of time eating with and associating with prostitutes, publicans, tax-collectors, and all the rest of the variety of citizens widely referred to as sinners.

Thirdly, the quote, and even the very name of the bill which was signed into law seems to suggest a divide between gay people and Christians, or using the more universal term, religious people, as if the two are mutually exclusive, as if the two cannot exist at the same time. But many people are both gay are Christian. Many of us right here are both gay and religious. How is religious freedom restored to the gay religious person when they can now be lawfully turned away from any business in the state of Indiana? How is this not an infringement on the rights of a would-be customer?

Fourth, who decides who the gay people are who come through the front door? Are there going to be state-funded gay detectors installed? Do the gay people all wear pink triangles? Two women walk into a restaurant together. They might be sisters or next door neighbors or life-long friends who haven't seen each other for awhile, but you the restaurant owner decide they must be lesbians, and so you tell them to leave your establishment. What kind of act of religious freedom is being fulfilled in this instance?

There was a call-in "Christian" to a talk radio show who is a restaurant owner and he expressed how excited he was that he finally had the law on his side to be able to refuse service to gays and lesbians. How sick is that?

The KKK claim Christianity too, and so what if it's an affront to their religious freedom to cater to blacks or Jews?

Governor Pence--and I speak now for what is documented you have said--how can your faith be so fragile, your god so easily offended that you will turn away your kindness from those who aren't precisely like your sexual orientation? Governor, how can your love for your fellow man be so conditional? Did the Jesus you talk about only die for some of your sins, or did He give His all? Are you living under grace or are you going to make it to heaven based on your own deeds? Are you sinless? If you believe in some form of 'great commission' how does your actions help to show God's love to others? How can continually creating divisions in classes of people result in anything other than to force your version of Christianity upon everyone else, and how is this in any way, religious freedom?

I was pleased this morning to find that Xedrik, the other maintainer coonie on the opposite coast also had these issues weighing on his heart that he needed to share, by his RA Facebook entry this morning--an open letter, as if from Jesus to the State of Indiana--let it be read far and wide:

The Letter

Also, please go to our Facebook and "like" us, if you do:
20 March 2015 @ 10:32 pm
I was recently talking with my mom and she noted how this year would be the first she's not making "Easter baskets" for anyone. Most of us kids moved out and my parents don't live nearby other family. So, my mom's not doing this sort of thing this year. With all of the moving my family's made over the years, the only traditions with various holidays that endured were those that could be moved with us. While it struck me as somewhat sad this tradition would, too, be fading, life requires we adapt. And so, my mother is doing just that.

In reflection, I've adapted, too. For a while, I did little with Easter. Last year, however, I went hiking for Easter. I figured what better way to celebrate the true meaning behind this holiday than to be out in God's country? Experience sunshine and the rebirth that surrounds when one steps into a forest during the spring? It was truly magical. Along a frenetic riverbank where flood waters cleared the brush, tall trees stood like columns and pillars arching upwards to form gentle canopies. Sunlight filtered through the garish yellow-green leaves, seeming brighter and warmer than even during the height of summer. It was there, I had my Easter - exploring a natural cathedral. No sermon. No song. Just me, my love, and nature.

I'd like to do that again this year. Thanks to my employer giving us time off for Good Friday, I'll apt be able to do so if my bf's schedule allows and if the weather's good 'nuff. Maybe this will become my new tradition for the holiday? It's a gentle, personal communion that I appreciate much.

So, what will you be doing? :-)
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