Welcome to Silver and Shadow

"Look at that sea, girls--all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

This is a blog I will be using for topics other than food. Politics, religion, spirituality, humor, green living, anything that I want to talk about that doesn't fall under the food/cooking category.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Christmas Equation

John 14:6-"Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Last night at church I had a bit of an epiphany during the sermon. Involving the above passage from the Bible. So, in honor of Christmas, I present to you, my Christmas equation. Don't worry, it's not scary math, it's cool math!

Jesus = God
God = Love
Therefore, Jesus = Love

If Jesus is the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through him, then Love is the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to Love except through Love.

Therefore, we come from love, and return to love, and are commanded in life to reflect that love onto all others in the world. And that, my friends, is the true meaning of Christmas...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Dangers of Zealotry

Zeal–noun fervor for a person, cause, or object; eager desire or endeavor; enthusiastic diligence; ardor.(Dictionary.com)

In the wake of the horrible attack in Norway yesterday, I couldn't help but notice how soon people were trying to link this to Al Qaeda or Islamic extremists. We soon found out that it was in fact a home-grown terrorist with right-wing nationalist tendencies responsible for it. The man who shot the Congresswoman and the crowd in Arizona, also a political extremist. People like to think that there's only one kind of extremist out there, and the knowledge of that somehow makes us feel safer, because it's easier to put see that way. X group looks like this, so as long as I am not around people who look like that, I'm safe from harm. Unfortunately life doesn't work that way. Zealotry comes in many forms, in many shapes, and many styles of beliefs. Religious(any) extremists, political extremists, ecoterrorists, people who are militant about what they eat, all of these are examples of zealotry. The problem is not what a person believes, the problem is that a person believes it so much that they are willing to kill or die for it. The belief literally becomes their entire identity.

One of the Ten Commandments in the Bible talks about not having any other gods before God, and I think this is a good example of that. Any time a belief is so strong that anything or anybody that goes against it is an intolerable threat that must be stopped is a dangerous state of mind. The inability to compromise or see from other points of view is a scary place to be, because inevitably, you will run across people who don't share your view. Because your belief is all you are, so all-consuming, they are a threat to you, personally, and must be removed as such.

It's good to have opinions and beliefs, but a person also needs balance and perspective. Whatever your belief may be, if it becomes something you believe in so passionately that you could kill or die for it--you're doing it wrong...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why I Choose Not to Eat Beef

So the latest beef recall, due to worries about e. coli was announced on the news today. 2 tons, approximately are being recalled and will be destroyed somehow. What a waste of good food. That number seemed so high that I got curious and did the math. I might not be completely correct, but these are the figures I came up with. 2 tons equals 14,000 pounds of beef. It takes ten pounds of grain to produce one pound of beef, which means that in this recall, not only were 14,000 of meat wasted, but 140,000 pounds of grain were too. That equates to 2,24,000 ounces of grain. Based on a one ounce serving of grain and the 6 serving minimum that the average person is supposed to get each day, I calculated that in a one day time frame, 186,667 people who would otherwise go hungry somewhere in the world, could have been fed. And of course you could have fed a smaller amount of people for a longer time.

It just makes me look at a Big Mac in a really different way when I look at it like that.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Answering the Call of Duty

Jury duty that is. I got a summons in the mail on Saturday to go to jury duty at the end of March and immediately started grumbling and trying to figure out how to get out of it. I've always had a fear of doing jury duty and getting stuck on the murder trial that will take months to do and years of therapy to get over, but according to their website, that's not what Municipal court handles, so I was less fearful of it.

Then this morning I was looking at the news headlines of what's going on in Libya and the Middle East right now. People are continuing to be slaughtered in their quest for the freedoms we take for granted. And I realized that something as simple yet possibly annoying as jury duty is in fact a freedom. It's what we do so that we can have a fair justice system, it's being a part of the system. It's what I do so that hopefully one day, should the need ever arise for me to have a jury, there will be a group of my peers who actually pay attention and do their job properly to grant me justice.

So I decided that I will attend my jury duty without a grudge or a feeling of being put-upon. I will embrace the experience in honor of those who are fighting and dying for the chance to do what I am being given the opportunity to do.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Fight for Freedom

I've been watching and reading about what's going on in the Middle East right this very minute. It is exciting, and sad. People are dying in the fight for freedom. It's real. It's real people fighting for rights against leaders who don't want to give up their power and want to keep them oppressed.

I look at these people in awe, and wonder what I would do if faced with the same situation. I have never had to really fight for anything in my life. Things are just given to us here in this country. And when we do fight for things, it's done within the system, and rarely does it result in people being set on fire or trampled by camels or shot at from helicopters. We really do have it easy here, no matter how much we like to play the martyr.

The people fighting this fight are true heroes. They are willing to fight for freedom, and are literally willing to die for it. Some people might say it's brave to take up arms to fight for what you want for your country, but I think it's far braver to face a gun with open arms, and take a bullet for your people. It is something I don't think I could ever do, even if I was fighting for something as important as the freedoms we take for granted here.

So I would like to thank a couple different groups of people tonight. First I would like to thank the men and women who serve our nation so that I can remain the coward that I am and not have to do it myself. I would also like to thank them for keeping our freedoms safe so that I can write these words freely and not fear being arrested for them. And second, I would like to thank the brave men and women around the world who are currently fighting and dying for their freedom and the future of their nations. You are far braver than I am, and you will not be forgotten. And I hope and pray with all of my heart, that it will not be in vain. Spring is coming! May it bring better days and a freer future for all...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm so tired of it all

The fighting, the name-calling, the mudslinging. I'm as liberal as they come, but can we stop with the nitpicking of people on the opposing political side? Yes, Sarah Palin is not my choice for President, and never will be, but do I need to exhaust my life with tearing apart everything she says and does? No. All that does is make me look like a petulant child, and that is never good for politics.

I think I'm going to try to walk the walk and talk the talk of being a kinder, gentler participant in politics. I will not yell and scream and point fingers. I will try to remain calm and appeal to common sense. I will focus on what I think are the good points of all parties, instead of the negative. Because I can't waste my life anymore on this garbage. It's just not worth it in the end.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Scary Day Today

Today there was an assassination attempt in Arizona. Six people were killed, including a nine year old girl. At least as many more were injured, including a Congresswoman, who was the target. This is the first assassination attempt I can recall in my life. I was alive when Reagan was shot, however I was too young to have been affected by it. Today was scary. It makes you stop to think about the actions you take in your life. Do I go to that rally or do I just stay home? It's safer at home after all...But as with terrorism, if we alter our lives because of what people living their lives on the fringe do, then they've won. They've accomplished what they set out to accomplish. I cannot grant people like that to have that control over me.

And this isn't about Republican/Conservative vs. Democrat/Liberal. It isn't about guns and gun control. Just this week another horrifying act of violence took the lives of several people involving only gasoline and a blow torch. This is about fear and anger and acting out on that. When a person lets that fear take over their life, hiding the guns won't stop them.

If you look throughout history, at times when assassinations take place in our country, most of them happen during times of great turbulence and social change. It is an unfortunate sign that our country is moving in the right direction, and there are those who are terrified and cannot handle it, so they lash out violently. Perhaps they think they are the only ones who see what's really happening and it's up to them to stop it. I can't presume to understand what goes on inside their minds.

This is a time when I have to remind myself that we live in a country that allots us the freedom to hold differing political opinions, and thought processes. It would be nice if the inhabitants could remember this too...Let us continue to hold our opposing thoughts, because this is how we have always been and always shall be. But let us also be civil to one another, and honorable in our actions, because that is where change for the better comes from.