My Sunday Thought: 50 Lashes against Freedom

Stepping on toes, insulting people, getting in someone’s face. Those aren’t things I tend to do.

Saudi blogger receives first 50 lashes of sentence for ‘insulting Islam’

You know I saw that article heading and some things jumped out at me.

Blogger

50 Lashes

Insulting Islam

I’m an honest guy so I am going to be honest. None of it surprised me from what I see in the news. Aren’t we all accustomed to seeing it? Received this many lashes for this or that reason. Put to death because of insulting this or that. It’s almost like we are desensitized to it all. I mean I KNOW not all of Islam is like that.  We ALL have Muslim friends here through Blog World. I just never think of them as Muslim friends. I just think friends. The Muslim part never comes to mind nor does any other label you might put on someone.

Then I read the headline again because it came to my attention from a friend of mine across social media land. Yeah, we’re connected like that. Word.

Stay focused today, Ronovan.

Since this friend posted it I had to look again. So I looked again and saw “50 lashes OF sentence”. There would be more? I had to read more, as I always do when this particular friend posts something like this with the passion in which it was done.

The blogger is a man named Raif Badawi, a once husband, his wife’s family had activistthe courts put through a forced divorce, and father of three. The wife and kids were able to make it to Canada. He will now spend 10 years in prison and receive 1,000 lashes, 50 per week until completed. Each week he will be flogged. Before the wounds fully heal he will be lashed again. Why?

I also wonder will he again be transported from prison to the public square so those who have just went to prayer will witness it? Will it again last 15 minutes? Will the public lashing send the intended message to others not to do the same as he did? What did he do?

“According to Amnesty the charges against Badawi mention his failure to remove articles by other people on his website. He was also accused in court of ridiculing Saudi Arabia’s morality police.

In a statement after the flogging Amnesty called it a “vicious act of cruelty” and said Badawi’s “only ‘crime’ was to exercise his right to freedom of expression by setting up a website for public discussion”.

The US state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called the punishment an “inhumane” response to someone exercising his right to freedom of expression and religion.”~Associated Press Dubai as seen on TheGuardian.com site.

You know, for some this is only about Islam. For me it isn’t. It’s more than religion to me. Yes, I am a Christian. And this being my Sunday Thought spot where I discuss my faith I chose instead to discuss this matter. I think everyone that has roamed the site here knows that I am an unashamed Christian. That means I have no beef against anyone else. I love all people, no matter your faith or non-faith. I live my life and I pray and hope others will come to Christ because I believe in Jesus and what the Bible says. Part of what the Bible says, what Jesus says, is that if someone won’t listen to you then shake the dust of that place off your feet and move on. It doesn’t say flog them, lash them, imprison them or force them.

Yes, some idiots in the past have done all of those things and used the Bible and Jesus as an excuse for trying to be in control of things, but they fell from power.

Now that I have the religion faith part of the Sunday Thought done, let’s move on. Although really, all of this is me and my faith is me.

This today is specifically about freedoms and what is simply right to do . What is humane to do.

The U.S. reached out to Saudi Arabia and asked them not to do the lashings, sort of. Okay. What are they going to do now? They call it wrong. What are they going to do now?

Pardon me here for a moment as I may venture into some less than Ronovan like moments. The U.S. leadership on both sides of the line don’t have the . . . backbone . . . to make a serious stand about anything with a country that has something it needs. Sure, we can make a stand against Iran, North Korea but they really don’t have us in a place where they are in control or where we can’t live without them.

Saudi Arabia on the other hand has the fuel that dives the U.S.. I’m  a bit sick of it myself. I won’t go into the politics of it all and where I see the failures in things.  All I am saying is just as no one had the . . . backbone to stand up for Jesus, the U.S. doesn’t have it to stand up for this man nor any others who are flogged and murdered for offenses that aren’t offenses to anyone other than those who fear for their political power if an idea is allowed to spread.

Will I receive some backlash from readers or a drop in followers and views of my site for coming out against people who are gutless power tripping maniacs? If you are reading this, do you think I care?

Oh, but some are saying, “At least he wasn’t killed like those people in Paris for drawing cartoons.” You want to know why that happened? That happened because people haven’t made a stand for decades against things like what is happening to Raif Badawi. Those men in Paris and others have no fear of reprisals. They want to be martyrs. I don’t want Raif Badawi to be a martyr. Mankind already has the only martyr it needs.

Each country has a different set of laws. I don’t know the laws in Saudi Arabia. I do know this though, there is no law that can keep me from thinking, believing and caring what I want to.

Lord,

Thank you for giving us the freedom to think as we wish and make the choices as we wish. I pray that those in power will have the strength to follow what is right over what is self serving. As you have been a servant to this world I ask that those in Saudi Arabia become servants as well, servants to those who look to them for leadership and example, those in the U.S. to do the same. I pray that all those who read this are blessed by you with a desire to better the world with love and not lashes. All of this I ask in the name of Jesus who you gave all power in heaven and on earth, Amen.

Ronovan Writes

@RonovanWrites

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A boy’s promise. A father’s joy.

When his son was 8 years old he promised his dad that when his dad became 57 he would give him his dream car, a 57 Chevy Bel-Air. Enjoy.

 

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The Bad Husband/Father: Expectation VS. Reality

I like funny. I like being funny. I attempt it at times. I epic fail at times.  Not long ago I wrote a guest blog for insidethelifeofmoi. I tried so hard to write something funny and when I was first asked about it I had a great idea and should have written it then. The problem, I waited too long, and my funny died.

I can still  pull it off at times but only when I don’t think about it. And with a deadline approaching I wrote what you are about to read, somewhat edited now. It was inspired by one of Amanda’s articles The Good Wife: Expectation VS. Reality Amanda and I agreed it just wasn’t right, the tone wasn’t right for that moment. In fact it was a bad idea.

But here we have it now. It’s a serious subject that I will try to make an easy read. It’s something I, as a man, feel needs to be said.

 

What comes to mind when you think of expectations today’s society has for a Good Husband/Father? Look at the media, television, and even many movies, and what do you see?

 

I am not asking you what you think as you sit calmly at your work desk, at your kitchen table, or in your bed reading this. I am asking you what society at large thinks just from what they are fed through input sources.

 

I want you to think of the last 30 years of television and think of the dads. Now take Cosby out of that picture. You know a lot of the men in the most popular shows are shown as buffoons. Yes they are given a facade of intelligence or power but they usually end up as a joke, a punch line. And yes, I know this was the role of women in the past and it was not right then either, and it is not right when it occurs today.

 

Without man being used as a joke then how will we have comedies? Situations can be funny without people needing to be made fools of. My point is look at society today and see how the fathers and husbands are doing, and how even children are looking at those men.

 

Now you see why this is about Bad Husband/Father Expectations. I couldn’t come up with the Good Husband ones, not ones that people really honestly and truthfully EXPECT a Husband/Father to do. The key here is EXPECT. Want, yes, EXPECT, no.

 

You might want us to cuddle with you . . .

man_woman_cuddling_bed_smiles

 

 

 

 

 

. . . but you don’t expect it.

Fore the sake of readability I will just refer to the husband as opposed to husband/father.

 

The Bad Husband/Father: Expectation VS. Reality

What entertainment and media has led a society to believe.

First of all I do not think entertainment and media are  solely responsible for everything in every situation. And I know there are truths in every scenario presented, that’s what makes it funny, we can all somehow relate to it because we probably know someone who did something like the situation shown in the episode. The following is about part of what entertainment and media are responsible for, what they could help correct.

We’re Not Helpful with our own Children

 BAD HUSBAND EXPECTATION

Men are selfish and only interested in time for themselves and incapable of helping there kids. They are so inept they don’t know how to do 3rd Grade homework or even make a meal without calling for take out.

 

 GOOD HUSBAND REALITY

Some men are like that. Then you have those that are real men. To them their responsibility does not end with just helping pay the bills. It doesn’t even cross their minds to be the Bad Husband. Some of us jump in the car as soon as work is over and drive as fast as the law will allow turning a 45 minute drive into a 37 minute one to pick up our child from after school before the late fee kicks in so said child doesn’t have to stay there any longer than need be. Even man_helping_boy_with_homework.jpgthough the wife says it’s not necessary to make the trip, we want the child home and not waiting. Then turn around and drive the 45 minutes back home, even while in pain that some can only imagine.

Upon arriving home the Good Husband starts the homework process with the young (I hate homework and want to play) child and puts dinner on to cook and returns to help with the homework which is progressing just fine, even if there is the melt down that occurs each day for certain ages. Yes people, your children are not the only ones that cry and have that moment and then turns back into an angel minutes later to finish the homework happily with pride (at times).

 

BAD HUSBAND RESULT

It sends a message that men don’t’ do anything and that the women do it all. Both genders growing up think it and either a) go along with it or b) rebel against it in an irrational manner not realizing what the majority truth is.

 

 We Prefer Sports over All Else

 

BAD HUSBAND EXPECTATION

We have a sporting event we cannot live without seeing. Then it happens. The child wants to watch something, or the wife wants to go somewhere. We fake injuries, give excuses or flat out refuse. We even shove money at the situation. Anything goes in order to see our sports program. We even pay the children to lie to help out.

 

GOOD  HUSBAND REALITYBestFather8

Family comes first. Yes there are events we would like to see. For instance the University we graduated from is playing football against their biggest rival, but we’ll find out the score. We can record it if we want it that much. Experiencing an autumn tradition with the family means more than a sporting event. Seeing the excitement in your child’s eyes as they know you are nearing wherever it is you go, that’s better than a, yes I am going to say it, silly ball and men you don’t know.

 

BAD HUSBAND RESULT

Men think everything else is more important than the family becomes a cliché go to idea. It becomes a staple of society. It sets a standard that children and even a future spouse will accept down to. Yes, ‘accept down to’ as in they won’t expect a good man for a husband.

 

 

We Just Want Sex for Our own Pleasure

 

BAD HUSBAND EXPECTATION

5 minutes or 15 minutes tops. Not only is it just for us, but we like it when we want it and where we want it and we pout if the answer is no. The woman gives in out of pity and we’re like school boys with a new toy. This is the only reason we are with a wife in the first place, we are hoping we don’t have to face a life of rejection.

 

 

GOOD HUSBAND REALITY

Massage_FrankfurtWe love when what we do makes the woman happy. For some of us that is the pleasure of it all. We know it takes more to make a woman sated in bed than it does a man, or at least most men, but there is something enjoyable about a happy woman, especially when she in turn takes control. And you know what? Even if there is no sex there is still a relationship as long as the love is there.

 

 

BAD HUSBAND RESULT

Boys and girls are growing up to be women and men thinking sex is a bargaining tool and not what it is really meant to be. You take a look around and then come back and disagree after listening to the the songs and watching the music videos. Do I sound old? No, I sound like someone who realizes one of the largest influences on our children is music, not parents. “Not my kids, Ronovan.” I’ve been a high school teacher and a youth ministry director . . . yes your kids too.

 

 

We don’t sacrifice

 

BAD HUSBAND EXPECTATION

We’re all for us. No matter what it is we are out for number one. We buy cheaper clothing for the kids, cheap gifts for the wife, just so we can get a new golf club that is no better than the other 5 versions of the same. We miss ball games and events because we are doing something for ourselves rather than for our family. We disappoint.

 

GOOD HUSBAND REALITY

We don’t care what we wear. We buy khaki colored pants to wear to work and everywhere else, no matter what store they are from. They don’t fade except to become a lighter tan color. Our shirts have mends in them, collars are faded, and elbows are thread bare. In these times you do what it takes to give your child/family the best that you can. You wear the same shoes for years even though every time it rains your feet get wet. The shoes LOOK okay from the top, so you keep going.

 

BAD HUSBAND RESULT

The idea is men are selfish and don’t care. What does this do to the ideas that children develop? You say “It’s only TV, Ronovan.” I ask you, who do they listen to more, you or the TV? And in all honesty where do they learn more from?

 

 

We don’t work hard

BAD HUSBAND EXPECTATION

Whether at work or home men have these things where they take every shortcut to just get by, to just get the job done.  These shortcuts are shown as being dangerous and life threatening at times, but people laugh at what the husband has done. Humor? I like humor, but humor doesn’t have to come at the expense of one of the only two pieces of society.

 

GOOD HUSBAND REALITY

Driving all day from house to house after making phone calls for hours and then entering homes one would never bring a house plant in to in an attempt to earn money to keep a life style and a future going, the man then continues his roles of chauffeur, tutor, and cook along with his community work.

Also yard worker, errand runner, and all around list completer should be added.

BAD HUSBAND RESULT

We are bad role models for the kids and disappointments to our wives. Even when we are not bad role models you can still hear the little jokes at times your children or wife agree with.

 

 

We are inept at life

BAD HUSBAND EXPECTATION

Somehow we’ve gone through life without having learned social graces or any other basic abilities for life. We cannot do anything for ourselves in a conventional manner and if left alone to our own devices will humiliate our families with our attempts, ruining kids chances at being popular and wives chances at promotions. We cannot cook, clean or any other home related activity without help from even a child who has more mastery than we do.

 

GOOD HUSBAND REALITY

We are quiet when necessary, speak up when needed, and when riled we have a way of making our views politely aware to everyone. We don’t yell, we don’t shout, but we make our choice of importance known without a doubt. We have charm, we have intellect, we have awareness and we can combine it all to intersect in our daily walk of life.

 

 BAD HUSBAND RESULT

Again a bad example is set for the young. And even spouses who know the truth will eventually fall prey to societies expectations.

 

We don’t remember anything

BAD HUSBAND EXPECTATION

We all have amnesia. Birthdays, anniversaries, and any event not 100% to do with ourselves is up for forgetting. I speak on this from experience as I suffer from retro grade and short term amnesia.

 

GOOD HUSBAND REALITY

We remember it’s spirit day at school when no one else does. We remember it’s time for a doctor’s checkup or a birthday when others might should have. You walk into the room and forget what to say, from your words you spoke we help to get you back on the way or even tell you want you were going to say.

Do we forget things at times, yes but so does everyone with so much on our minds. That’s what society is these days, snippets of micro moments that overlap and do not give us a chance to remember anything. Me personally, the retrograde and short term memory problems kind of have taken their toll, I don’t even have the snippets.

 BAD HUSBAND REALITY

The idea that we don’t remember anything means we don’t care enough to remember or listen.

 

 

 

TV and other forms of entertainment have used the husband/father as a pratfall for comedic relief for decades now. As the years go by what we see becomes something we believe. I know some will say they use the wife for the same reasons in some entertainment. I invite you to write an article of your own and share it. Today is from me and from my angle. A man who suffers from Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Retrograde and Short Term Memory loss, at least three herniated discs in his spine including his neck, and 24/7 Migraines who now finds himself only able to at times cook a nice dinner every once in a while. I can only write on one topic at a time. Perhaps I will write on what men expect from a Good Wife from a man’s point of view at some point. I can tell you this, the  list would be short; Love, Care, and Share or maybe I would get more detailed as I got thinky about it.

As for me with my problems I still do what I can. Up until an accident not long ago, I was the Good Husband Reality. The Good Father Reality. Yes, the examples I gave for the Good were me. And yes we need to have entertainment but I believe we need to have entertainment that uplifts and builds up people and society rather than tears it down. Everything we are bombarded with leads to assumptions being made about society. And you know what happens to you and me when we assume, right?

The next time your child smarts off at you, using a phrase you don’t recognize, check what they are watching. That safe channel they watch, guess what? They have things now being included that society has slowly accepted as okay and fine for our social norm but we would never teach our children or model for our children. I role model for my child. If he can’t do it, I can’t do it . . . except for driving a car. I do that one, although even a 10 year old boy thinks he can do it.

If you’ve made it this far I will now tell you that there are Husbands/Fathers that are worse than what you see on television. My biological one was such a . . . person. That was back in the early 70s, when I was very small and there weren’t such bad examples on TV that I know of. Media and entertainment are not completely responsible for society today, but it would be nice if they would control things, things that CAN be controlled.

Is that okay with you? Do you like the direction society is taking? Where does our responsibility for it begin and end? Who watches and supports the entertainment? They might be garbage to the mind peddlers, but who are the ones who buy it?

 

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2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com

Church Playground Memories

Church Playground Memories

by: Ronovan

 After I came home from the hospital even I knew something was missing, but I didn’t know what. I just felt incomplete somehow. For a person suffering from amnesia that probably doesn’t sound unusual, but this was something that I just knew was missing, I could feel it.

But I only had the feeling when I went to the doctor’s office, or some type of testing. My clothes were laid out for me. I had my wallet, keys (although not allowed to drive), a 10 dollar bill, and a pen. Apparently I always carry a pen.

My belt was in place, all of my clothing was the way it should be. It really bothered me though. I put it down as possibly my not driving. Maybe I just wanted to be the driver since I always drove everywhere. Perhaps I just was not accustomed to being on the passenger side of the car looking around.

Then one day it hit me. There was a burning in my pocket. I noticed each time I left the house, not actually my own house, that my right pants pocket felt lighter than it should. There was a spot that didn’t feel right. Even looking down at my pocket when seated there was something odd about how it appeared.

A flash of yellow came to me. And that made me think of the word, ‘pecan’. I wasn’t able to speak yet but I quickly wrote it down and shoved it toward the driver. She looked at it.

“Do I have a pecan?”

“Yes,” she said.

I held my hands out and shrugged.

“I don’t know where it is,” she said.

I quickly scribbled down my flash.

“Yellow toy box.”

“Yes. I know what you mean, beside your chair.”

A few days later it arrived.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a pecan before. They are oblong and pointy on the ends, but not this one. This one glows and looks like polished wood. When the light hits it there is character and grooves you don’t see in a normal pecan shell.

When I touched it for the first time again, the smoothness of the shell was comforting and familiar. I instantly held it to my ear and shook it. I could hear the rattling inside.

My eyes closed and I ran my finger tips around the shell slowly and could feel the ridges that you normally didn’t realize were there. Maybe they normally weren’t. Then I slipped it into my pocket and the weight was right. My balance was right. Just a few ounces but it was right. When I sat down, the sight was right.

My mind tingled with it with me again.

“For you, Daddy.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I found it for you.”

Of course the smile crossed my face and a big hug was given. “Then it goes right here and never leaves,” I said. I slipped it into my pocket. The smile crossed his face.

A pecan as a prized possession may sound a bit odd to some, but six years earlier my little son had walked up to me with a smile from the church playground and given it to me. To him it may have been just a find that day.

The grey shell had turned into polished brown like the finest piece of furniture. But this hadn’t been done by a machine. This had been done by years of being in my hands through the day, and living inside my pocket forever being polished.

My Pecan - Copy

Now that I had it back I was more at ease. Every night he comes to me and asks “Do you have your thing?” “Yeah.” “Okay.” He now knows how special it is to me. He knows I remembered it. He knows I know him. He knows I don’t want to lose it.

Some prized possessions may have monetary value to them, even family heirlooms, but for me, a moment of innocence that can never be captured again . . . that’s my prized possession. The pecan is a reminder of it, but the real possession is the memory of it. That’s what I have, that memory. Memories of your children can bring you back to life. That’s what happened to me.

Maybe you have a memory. Perhaps riding along with your child in your lap in a golf cart, or smiling up at you with such love in their eyes at an ice cream parlor, or giggling when you tickle them. Those are prized possessions.

Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites©.wordpress.com-June 27, 2014.

A Father Leads You Through This World…not just brings you into it.

A Father Leads You Through This World…not just brings you into it.

by: Ronovan

 

I met my father in the second grade. No, it wasn’t that he had been away for so many years or anything like that. My father is what you would call a step-father. Too me, he’s the real thing.

Father

The person that brings you into this world isn’t always a parent. It’s the person that raises you and helps you become what you are that is your parent. That could even be a grandparent really. For some that is who raises them. My grandmother, who I wrote about in Maw Maw’s Lovin’ raised two of my cousins.

 

But my father showed up in the second grade. He never tried to push any of his own thoughts onto me. In fact years later when I became heavily involved in church he said he didn’t know how it ended up happening because I didn’t get it from him. It’s not that he wasn’t a Christian it’s just that we didn’t go to church. My mother wasn’t a Christian so my father didn’t want to force anything on anyone. I never stepped foot inside a church until my 20s and that was on my own. He had been a Deacon and Sunday School Director and all of that. Oddly I ended up doing the same.

 

People have seen him, my step-brother and me together and say how much my father and I look alike and that my step-brother, his actual son, doesn’t favor him at all. I think it’s the mannerisms mostly that show a resemblance. Well that and we both can cook anything. I get my adventurous foodie from him.

 

I’m proof that it’s not just your DNA that makes you what you are, but your environment as well.

 

One of the stories I like best that he tells is about his time in the military. He doesn’t talk about it much though. But he and some men were flying into someplace. It was a smaller plane and the front landing gear wouldn’t lower. The pilot made them all move to the very back of the plane so as they landed the weight would keep the plane on the back wheels and slowly lower the front of the plane down as they slowed.

 

Another thing about him, and this isn’t really a flattering story but it does show something about him, is that every time he was promoted in the military, he would go out and ‘celebrate’ and be busted back down the next day. He didn’t want positions and promotions. That’s not why he was in the military.

 

He’s in his 80s now, but you would swear it’s his 60s. I know someday it’ll be a last Father’s Day. He’s been through some heart problems and now has diabetes, but he’s actually one of the healthiest people I know. He stays active and is in church.

 

Years ago he came close to dying…again…because of some medications he was given in a hospital. I called my pastor after having visited him because he had wondered why no preachers had been by his room. Back in the days a preacher would have come around to visit, but there are rules and laws now.

 

It was a Wednesday and my church has services on Wednesday nights and youth activities. Well, I called my pastor and told him what was going on and asked if maybe he could visit him the next morning because he was going into surgery and was asking about a preacher.

 

I came back the next day and my pastor had dropped everything on Wednesday, driven an hour away, sat with my father and talked, and then made it back for church. As soon as my father was able to drive again he was back in church for the first time in over 30 years. Sometimes people think that God does bad things for good reasons. But that’s not it. God takes bad things and turns them around to make good things happen.

 

On this Father’s Day I just wanted to say that it’s not who brought you into this world, it’s who helped lead you through it. If you only have a mother, wish her a Happy Father’s Day today…from me as well as from you.

 

Much Respect and Much Love

Ronovan

 

© Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com-June 15, 2014.