Category Archives: Uncategorized

Had an Abusive Childhood? Watch “I Can Only Imagine”

An abusive childhood, domestic violence, divorced parents, a bad romance—sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? Unless you’re Brad Millard, lead singer of the band MercyMe. Instead of letting tragedy destroy him, he took all the pain, shame, and disappointment, and channeled it into writing the song “I Can Only Imagine.”

Anticipating what it would be like in Heaven and to be standing before God, the popular song has been turned into an equally-popular movie with Michael Finley playing Brad and Dennis Quaid as his horrible father. Many of the parent/child themes touched upon—abuse, abandonment, estrangement, reconciliation and death—will feel unnervingly close to many families. (It was very relatable to me, with the dysfunctional family life I had growing up.)

Though the subject matter is heavy, the movie is not a downer, focusing on making lemons out of lemonade, rather than a “woe is me” attitude. It encourages the viewer to stay positive because no matter how bad it is or was, something good can come from it in the future. Hope, healing, and redemption are possible, provided we don’t let misery and misfortune take over. 

“I Can Online Imagine” is written from a Christian perspective, but members of the Jewish community will relate to the universal truth of God’s Word, God’s Plan, and God’s Love. Jews and Christians may worship differently, but we are all serving the same God who has promised to always be there for us. 

See the trailer here or purchase the DVD.

Adventures in Pet Sitting (It’s Been Crazy!)

If a friend ever asks you to pet sit for 1 dog and 4 cats, think it over carefully…

For five days, I’ve been running myself ragged, taking care of a zoo—mine and hers. Her sweet doggy came to my house, but the cats stayed at hers, which means twice-daily visits there, tons of running around, and endless chaos.

All of her cats are on medication, one needs a special diet, and none are being very friendly. (I’ve got scratches on both arms to prove it.) Previously, I have never had any issues with them and it’s pretty weird. I get along well with most animals and have experience with fostering, so I assumed it wouldn’t be tough.

Pets, like people, have their own personalities and some are incredibly moody. I did call the vet, to be on the safe side, but they’re not ill, just unhappy. I feel so badly that I can’t make them more comfortable. They have everything they need, just not their human family. 

Oh, and did I mention she’ll be gone for TEN more days? Yup, that’s my luck. 😉

Supreme Court Sides with Masterpiece Cakeshop

The Supreme Court has finally weighed in on the “Gay Wedding Cake” saga, issuing a 7-2 ruling in favor of baker Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop

Because homosexuality is so polarizing, reactions have been understandably vocal. Those who oppose the decision are outraged and want this bakery closed forever, while supporters are celebrating with cheers, hugs, balloons, tears of joy, and prayers. One fan requested “God Bless America and Masterpiece Cakeshop” on the cake pictured above.

I’ve always felt this case was about religious freedom, not discrimination. Mr. Phillips never refused to sell the gay couple a ready-made cake, he only declined to create a custom cake—big difference. 

We must have an exemption for personal beliefs, particularly for those running food businesses that may be subject to dietary laws. Jewish and Muslim bakeries won’t bake pork pies; most Hindu restaurants serve no meat at all. Should they have to violate their standards to serve every member of the general public? Of course not!

Mr. Phillips was motivated by his Christianity, but there have been other instances when cakes were refused on secular terms—Walmart stopped selling Confederate flag decorations. A ShopRite grocery store in New Jersey refused to make one that would’ve read “Happy Birthday, Adolph Hitler Campbell.” 

There are businesses that cater to the needs of every community, including gay folks. Wouldn’t it make more sense to patronize a bakery that supported their lifestyle, rather than target a religious bakery that didn’t? I certainly wouldn’t file a lawsuit to force someone to observe Kashrut in their non-Kosher eatery. 

Reasonable accommodations are fair; forcing a baker against his will is not. A wedding cake isn’t an emergency situation. No one will die if they can’t have it made. It was never about inclusion, it was about forcing acceptance and that can’t be done. 

Every person deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. But those who don’t agree with gay marriage shouldn’t be forced to participate. 

Joy Reid Scandal Proves You Can’t Erase Everything Online

TV commentator Joy Reid has finally come clean: Her blog’s supposed hack never happened. After being confronted with controversial posts—written a decade ago—she initially evaded, then denied, and eventually bold-faced lied to everyone, claiming she was victimized. 

Currently employed by MSNBC and a self-identified liberal, the content seemed to be very out of character with the ideas she now professes. It ranged from anti-Gay, anti-Israel, anti-Immigration, 9/11 conspiracies, and even stooped so low as to compare Senator and war hero John McCain with a mass shooter. 

When Joy originally started her blog, back in 2005, she wasn’t a household name, and had a lot less scrutiny. She could write opinions without worrying that it would turn off viewers or advertisers, since her platform was small. Understandably, as her reach grew, she became more sanitized, and eventually dropped blogging altogether in favor of other opportunities. 

What she didn’t realize is that simply shutting down a website doesn’t erase it.

For those who aren’t aware, almost everything being written online is archived through Wayback Machine. It is possible, in theory, to opt-out by restricting certain material as private, but it is never guaranteed. In one famous case, the Scientologists were able to remove negative commentary about their group, but it took hiring a very aggressive lawyer to do it. 

There are quite a few other bloggers, now well-known, that have reinvented themselves into totally different people who shy away from discussing their humble beginnings. One deal blogger, in particular, comes to my mind. Her original blog was fanatically religious, preaching that wives should always submit, husbands should always be the provider, homeschool was the only right way to educate, and family size should never be restricted artificially.

Fast-forward to today and that lady has a house husband, kids in public school, no plans for more pregnancies, and prides herself on being a mogul, totally devoted to her empire of products and the huge team that works for her. The majority of her fans have no idea how narrow-minded she used to be. If they did review the archives, it could seriously compromise her current earning ability, just like with Joy Reid. 

As a blogger, I have to be careful about what I write. In the short term, because it could hurt or mislead someone today, and also in the long term, if I choose to grow my brand into other directions.  

Just as we shouldn’t speak unkind or crazy things—especially in the heat of the moment—the written word should always be used cautiously. (I’m not advocating censorship, just common sense.) Over time, people can learn and grow, and who we are at age 20 isn’t who we are at age 40. I’m pretty settled in my own beliefs, but I am not infallible. If I found out I had taken the wrong position, I would definitely own it. But it would be outrageously fake for me to create a new persona that was opposed to everything I’ve blogged about as The Jewish Lady. 

What’s inside Joy Reid’s heart is known only to her, but from outward appearance, it seems she is an opportunist, who cares more about cash than integrity. Her past eventually caught up with her, something most everyone will have to grapple with at some point. It’s better to admit to our mistakes, rather than create a laughable cover up. 

Nobody is perfect; we’ve all done stupid and embarrassing things. Rather than pretending it never happened, just admit it and move on. If you’re fired because of it, that job wasn’t the right fit anyway.