Around the house and Charlottesville

Current happenings:

1) Today is my first day of unscheduled activity since July 1st.  I napped.  Read a book for leisure. And went to the gym late.
2) Yesterday I received a $2000 scholarship from the Sun Health Foundation for use towards my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. I’m very thankful there are people in the community who give their money to invest in nursing students.  These people are often the patients cared for by the Banner hospital system.  And as one of their donor’s put it, they would like us to be better nurses when they’re in our care.  I can appreciate that.  I want future nurses who may care for me to be better nurses too, which is why I love having students when I work. 
3) After talking with several nurses I work with I decided to call Grand Canyon University to look into their RN to BSN program.  Turns out those nurse’s gave me good advice.  Grand Canyon won’t require me to take any additional math and I get a tuition discount for working for Banner hospitals.  Yay me!
4) The front covered patio project is nearly completed. The actual patio and permit for that project has been reviewed by an inspector from the county and passed inspection.  There’s no longer a timeline pressing my husband to get the project done, but there are still endless projects to be done.  We both feel relieved just to be done with the patio/permit/inspection process. And it looks really nice.  James definitely has a gift for quality craftsmanship.  Next, the siding and landscaping of the front yard will happen, but for now, the before and after pics look like this.
THE BEGINNING OF THE PROCESS
IN PROCESS
PASSED INSPECTION & ALMOST FINISHED!

Current even thoughts:
The events in Charlottesville Virginia sicken me.  As a white, Christian American I feel the need to stand on the rooftop and shout at the Alt Right and white supremacy groups wearing their stupid costumes and spewing their violent, evil agenda:  YOU BROOD OF VIPERS!  
I would like to simultaneously shout to my neighbors:  THAT IS NOT CHRISTIANITY!  Christ is the Lord of peoples from every tribe, tongue and nation.  Heaven will be ethnically and beautifully diverse.  There is no such thing as white supremacy.  White supremacists are terrorists using the name of God, Christ and the Bible blasphemously.  
It bothers me A LOT that our president is quick to tweet attacks on people for all sorts of things but he needed two days to think about the facts before Luke-warmly speaking out against the violence in Charlottesville.  He needed to stand up there and say, “White supremacists are terrorists among us and they will not be tolerated!”   If a Muslim gunman ran into a building shooting people at a club he wouldn’t have flinched at calling it Islamic terrorism.   The evil that people do in the name of God is evil, no matter what religion they use to defend it. 
I love the Christ I have never seen and worship the God of the Bible.  I believe he is the way, the truth and the life, but I don’t believe that means everyone who calls on the name of the God of the Bible is a Christian.  Nor do I believe that every person who calls upon the name of Allah is a terrorist.   There is a very scary evil in the hearts of every human being, that unchecked by the grace of God is capable of the atrocities we see in every ethnicity.  
I don’t want any part of racism.  I want to find deliberate ways to bring healing and reconciliation to the people of darker pigments and other cultures in my neighborhood, workplace, community and country.   I feel like under our current president, the efforts of real Christians shining the light of Christ in this dark world is increasingly in direct opposition with our historic right-winged political affiliations.  
The United States of America is a country built on the backs of African slaves.  The history of racial discrimination is in our roots and its still producing the evil fruit of violence and hate towards people made in the image of God.  As a white person I want to be part of laying an ax to the root of racism that is part of the culture I take for granted every day.  Charlottesville has me thinking and praying about ways I can do that.

I work in an environment that’s very diverse.  My little street here is pretty white.  And in this rural street of a major metropolis it’s easy to not think much about racism and my role in bringing reconciliation where there has historically been division and pain.  In an article I read the other day I came across a suggestion for how to bring hidden thoughts about racism to light by inviting friends and neighbors to discuss the goings on in Charlottesville.  I think that’s a good place to start.  

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