Saturday, February 25, 2012

detrimental secondary social agents

A college paper:

Socializing agents are people and institutions that help with integration of an individual into society. These agents are necessary to the social development of an individual so that they can interact with society properly. Social skills have to practiced, so that they can become a natural part of our lives. People who do not learn these vital social skills are often not ever able to function in normal interpersonal relationships, work environments, and school settings.  Social class also is a socializing agent. In fact, the people we interact with in our marriages, families, friends, schools, colleges, churches, and workplaces are most likely dictated by our social class. The social classes are divided into the lower class, working middle class, and the higher √©lite class.

Primary agents of socialization include family and friends. I believe that having a family, or conversely the lack of family, plays the primary role in a person’s environment. Family members can be the most influential in forming who we are and what we become. They teach us how to relate others, how to relate to authority, and how to get along with diverse people. Within the folds of a family, we learn to develop, to love, to hate, to relate, to appreciate, to resent, and to forgive. A family influences birth order, personality, and temperament. It is also true that family can inflict the most pain, abuse, and trauma as well. Peers also are a vital part of a person’s socialization. Friendships can help form a person’s personality and teach them interpersonal communication skills, especially in formative years. Later on in life, both family and friends form a necessary support network for a person.

Secondary agents of socialization include religious institutions, schools, and work places. School is where most children learn social skills that help to integrate them into society in general. Church, temples, and synagogues are important secondary agents in social development as well. And then there is the media. As a teacher, I see too many of my students obsessed with video games, iPods, Facebook, and anime. They seem to have little inspiration or ambition to achieve or do anything else. Skyrim is absorbing, World of Warcraft is addicting. All these media-themed secondary agents  have unhealthily substituted for primary agents: family interaction and conversation, the development skills and talents, involvement in the community, physical activity, and proper interaction with others. This world spits out socially inept individuals who seek to only dwell in a egocentric universe, centered around fantasies and make-believe lives. I've seen it too often. It's too sad, and almost unavoidable: second-tier agents overshadow the first rate ones.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

DA finale

Downtown Abbey's season finale was tonight on Masterpiece Theatre. Gaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh! It was mawvelous, dawling! And then the "Making of" was splendid to catch up on the storyline. I am glad to see Mary & Matthew together, at last!!! And Maggie Smith is brilliant as the Grande Madame of the earldom and family.

revolution of my mind

I am reading K. P. Yohannan's Revolution in World Missions right now. I was dusting some of Mom and Dad's old bookshelves and found it lurking.

I am shaken. Chapter 4 "I Walked in a Daze" speaks about his first impressions of the United States. And I am convicted.

Here are some of the passages:

"Those of us who grow up in Europe and Asia hear stories about the affluence and prosperity of America, but until you see it with with your own eyes, the stories seem like fairy tales. Americans are more than just unaware of their affluence--they almost seem to despise it at times...

A friend in Dallas recently pointed out a new church building costing $74 million.  While this thought was still exploding in my mind, he pointed out another $7 million church building going up less than a minute away. These extravagant buildings are insanity from a Third World perspective. The $74 million spent on one new building here could build nearly fifteen thousand average-sized churches in India. The same $74 million would have been enough to guarantee the evangelization of a whole state--or even some of the smaller countries of Asia...

If the affluence of America has impressed me, the affluence of Christians  impressed me even more. The United States has about 5,000 Christian book and gift stores, carrying varieties of products beyond my ability to imagine--and many secular stores also carry religious books. All this while more than 4,000 of the world's nearly 6,500 languages are still without a single portion of the Bible published in their own language! In his book My Billion Bible Dream, Rochunga Pudaite says, 'Eighty-five percent of all the Bible printed today are for the nine percent of the world who read English. Eighty percent of the world's people have never owned a Bible while Americans have an average of four in every household'...

The saddest observation I can make about most of the religious communication activity of the Western world is this: Little, if any, of this media is designed to reach unbelievers. Almost all is entertainment for the saints."

So my mind goes there. Yes, THERE.

I am a spender, a shopper, a collector. And have been for years. I love beautiful clothing and beautiful things.
I love concerts and shows, movies and books.
I also love God more.

How do I spend my money, my hard-earned salary?
And do my spending habits make my God happy with my priorities?
Do I support evangelistic missions and national Christian workers with my finances in proportion to how much it is in my heart and prayers?
I determine to do better.
I must do better.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

gifts for this week

81. Little girl kisses from my precious nieces

82. Pansies and snapdragons in bloom and ready to plant

83. Paying off another credit card

84. My fav sushi roll at Ichiban, with Mama and Cindy last Thursday

85. A "thank you" card from a friend

86. Multiple opportunities to witness to my students

87. A clean and organized laundry room

88. Finishing the packing away of Christmas decor...finally!

89. Catching a few minutes here and there to read

90. Enjoying the last two classes of this semester, and this degree! :-D

91. My Wireless Mobile Mouse

92. Valentine's chocolate!!!

93. Text messaging

94. The remembrance of a faithful father, Opa. RIP.

95. Hanging out with Aly, Wes & the Jones girls at Monterrey's yesterday, and for white queso...YUM!

"Give thanks to the Lord! His Love Endures Forever!"

being real

I look across my house- at the college papers, tax preparation info, business-running clutter, and nieces' play toys- and I can't help but think of that verse in Proverbs 14:

"Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest."

This was the verse that God used to assure Mom that it was okay to not have a "spit-polished home, 24/7" while we five were young and growing up.

As much as I hate clutter, there it is staring me in the face. I really am a clutterbug who hates clutter, I admit! I pick up, I clean, I pick up again, but it is never gone for long periods of time. And how it all accumulates, I do not know.

I wonder, what is it inside me that yearns for a clutter-free home?
Am I prideful?
Do I strive too hard to make things perfect in my life?
Do I worry too much about the "background behind a picture" or what people will think if a picture of it all is posted on FB?
Or is it as simple as wanting a clutterless home and a peaceful living environment?

I don't know at this point. I hope it is the latter reason, for it is the one with nothing to confess or repent for! I may never know...I just want to be real.

death and eternity

Heidi Nadolny, my brother's ex-wife's sister-in-law, called me on Wednesday to let us know that her beloved daddy had died. We used to be oh-so-close to their family and treasured our alliance with them. Heidi is such a dear one, and her four "babies" are precious to us as well. My heart broke for her, and I cried, weeping with those who weep.

Her Opa had passed away quietly during a midday nap. Bill had let her to go see him in Ohio for her birthday a little while ago. What a blessing those sweet memories will be to her in the coming weeks and months!!! She said they played games and talked and visited. I am grieved that she has lost him, but knowing he is now in heaven makes the loss sweet. Rest in the forever saving arms of Jesus, Heinrich Lohmeyer!

It seems like Jesus is calling so many people home to heaven lately. I am surrounded by death, and no sooner does one person pass that I hear of another!  It also brings up the pangs of missing Daddy so terribly. Some experts have said that the ache dulls over time. They lie. I miss Daddy more now than I did when he passed into Glory.
Please pray for Opa's children- Heidi, Lisa, Linda, Brian and their families!

Opa and one of Linda's boys

Sunday, February 5, 2012


MB, Lesley & Tricia- Christmas 2008

On Sunday morning, Tricia and I heard that our dear friend, Lesley Fay Dingwall, had passed away into eternity the evening previous.

Lesley with her cowgirl hat :-)
Oh. My. Goodness.
I can't begin to tell you what emotions and feelings have surfaced this week...

I am just so thankful to know that Les believed in Jesus as her Savior, and that right now, she is in heaven. She experienced more heartache, devastation, hurt, rejection,abuse,  misunderstanding, harm, and health issues than anyone else I have ever known in real life. At times her life was so overwhelmingly disastrous, I wondered how long God would keep her alive before taking her home.

On her "going Home" day, Lesley was walking her beloved Harley (her rescued German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix), and he apparently ran out into the path of a truck. Of course, Lesley went after him, knowing her and her protective instincts for anyone and everything OTHER than her own self. Harley was killed on impact, and Lesley was rendered unconscious and rushed to Dothan where she died several hours later from head injuries.
Les with Mark, Bobby's first baby

I really have had such a hectic and stressful week, that it had not sunk into my consciousness until Mama, Tricia, and I drove to Chipley for her memorial service on Friday. I could feel the feeling of abject loss creeping over me, that same feeling I felt when Daddy slipped away from us three years ago. Her mama Leslie hugged our necks as we walked in the door of the church and told us that Lesley would be glad that we were there. The church fed everyone lunch as Leslie and John greeted their deaf friends.

Les was cremated, appropriately. She had told T & me that she wanted that when she went. I was glad that they did it, for her sake.

A couple- friends of Les's parents- spoke/signed, as did the pastor of their church. Lesley had told us about them before. I thought is was so strange that people who did not really know her were the ones allowed to eulogize her. Two songs were played, meaningful ones to her mom. And then the family said their goodbyes and the rest of the mourners were ushered out.

Lindsey Yoder & Sara Welton, both her friends from the late 90s at Indy, and Danielle StOnge Horton came in for the service as well. It was great to hug both Ben & Johnny's necks, meet their significant others, and see wee Katelyn (Ben's 5 mo. old baby girl) for the first time. Lesley never got to see her. :-( Tricia and I think that maybe Johnny's Shaena is expecting. Of course, Bobby & Ira were not able to come in from Russia with their babies, Marks & Nikki; I think they will be forever in denial over her death. I am reminded to pray for all of them so often!

I was pretty worked up by the time the memorial service was all over. It certainly did not reflect the complex and oh-so-wonderful girl that we all knew. Why didn't they let those of us who loved her say something? Shaena, Johnny's gf, said that you could tell the people hadn't handled death very often. After the service, I was just ticked off and sobbing. I couldn't just leave. It all just wasn't enough.

So we drove around the backside of the church in time to see the family walking back in from the graveyard and waited a bit in the truck. Then T & I walked back to the crest of the hill that overlooked the woods, the little crescent of land that she was going to be buried in. The pastor stood there reverently.

Tricia and I cried as the funeral home guy uncovered the hole, lowered her little lavender casket into it, and began to fill it up with red clay dirt. After patting down the grass again, they both left, leaving the two of us to say our goodbyes. I took some pictures, just for our memories and not to be shared. It was all just too private. I'm glad I took my hankie.

Seeing her buried was both too much and just enough, all at the same time.
I'm glad we held back and did it; maybe it will help to provide more closure for me, I don't know.

Merciful God, I know You do all things well!

And I have just realized that Lesley passed away almost on the anniversary of the first day that we met her, at the start in Equip 2 in 1996, sixteen years ago. I am so glad that she died with HOPE for a future in her heart, poor baby. Her life was too hard.

More heart is too full.

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