Civil War and WWI Lectures Offered by CHHS Teacher

The Civil War and World War I are still topics that generate interest today and an opportunity exists to brush up on your history knowledge – and learn something new.

Bill Melega is a history teacher at Chapel Hill High School and was named the 2010 Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Teacher of the Year. He is bringing his expertise to the community in the form of a weekly lecture covering portions of two of the most polarizing wars in human history.

Melega says the lectures will be broken into portions. “[We’ll do] five weeks on the Civil War,” he says, “and then we’re going to dispel myths of World War I.”

This is the third year that Melega has offered the community lectures; this year’s Civil War portion will cover the period from 1864 through the assassination of President Lincoln.

Melega says there are many interesting stories to tell from this time in American history.

The five lectures covering the final stages of the Civil War begin Thursday night, January 8 from 7 to 8:30. The cost of attending the lectures is $75 for the entire series or $20 per session.

The World War I portion of the lectures will take place the five weeks following the Civil War presentations.

All of the proceeds will benefit the PTSA.

More information is available here.

Friends of Downtown at The Franklin

Big names and big personalities came together for the Friends of Downtown meeting at The Franklin Hotel early Thursday morning for coffee, cookies and cupcakes, as well as to hear Holden Thorp, UNC’s Chancellor, speak. Located in the Grand Terrace on the 2nd floor, sunshine filled the room with all the socializing Friends and made for a lively morning.

Put on the Rose-Colored Glasses and Pretend You are God Today

Have you ever wanted to be an actor? Just slide right into someone’s life for the day. What if, for one day, we all pretended we were God?

Yep, I mean the BIG GUY in the sky.

What if, for one day, we all made peace, love, harmony, joy, and blessing each other our only priority? Seriously.  How different would our perception of the world be if Romney (being God) turned to Obama (being God) and said “Bless you, Child of God,” and Obama said “Right back at you.”  And they actually MEANT it! While it may not make for good television ratings it would sure give us a different window in which to look at our nation’s potential. 

God is something/someone I spend a lot of time trying to reconcile myself to. It all started in a 4th grade Sunday school class when I learned from my (God-fearing) teacher that people who hadn’t even heard of Jesus were going to hell because they did not believe in Him.

UMMM …..BIG PROBLEM. How can you believe in something you haven’t even heard of?

Was Jesus sending people who had never even heard of Him to eternal damnation? If so, then this whole God thing was not for me. WHO DOES THAT?! Seriously, who says, “I know you’ve never heard of me; too bad, so sad. Bye-bye.”  At the same time, I was also be raised singing “Jesus loves the little children, ALL the children of the world.” As you can imagine, this made for some very confusing times. 

To reconcile this question, I went to the place that gives me good advice most of the time: my heart. (I say most of the time because I chose some doozy boyfriends growing up – though it can be argued that my heart was not actually making the decision, but that is a topic for another blog…)

As I grew up, I decided to go with the whole “God is love” concept because, if I were God, I would love all my children even when they behave like idiots, plus I think that is the main point of the Bible. To be honest, this whole God-as-a-parent thing has really helped me develop a deeper understanding of my faith.

For example, when I think about what I want for my own kids, I want them to be able to take life by the lapels, make it work for them, and live their dreams. I don’t want them to think of themselves as “less than.”  Oh, don’t get me wrong. I want them to be nice people with big hearts filled with compassion who readily practice forgiveness. AND I want them to see themselves as powerful change agents who are afraid of nothing. Yes, I want them to be creators just like dear ‘ol Dad, that Big Guy in the Sky.

I’ve decided that actually trying to think like God is an amazingly effective strategy for good decision-making too. Take gossip, for example. If God heard us talking about His other children who He lovingly and fearfully created, would He be proud or disappointed?  What about the way we treat our bodies? Or utilize His gift, our life energy?

Some of the questions we may ask ourselves are interesting political hot buttons. Does God really care about immigration? When I search my heart, I can’t say that I think He does. I just cannot imagine Jesus standing at different countries’ borders, with His hands out like stop signs telling people they cannot cross over the line. Can you?

Does God love Republicans and Democrats equally? I think so. I would also guess He gets frustrated when both behave poorly and don’t put the good of all His children in front of their personal agendas. What parent wants their kids to behave like that?

How would our world change if before we said anything about another person we asked ourselves: ‘As a parent, would I like someone to say this about myself or my child?’ And if, when we interacted with someone else, made a business deal, voted in Congress, what if we asked ourselves: ‘As a parent, would I believe my children are being treated fairly?’ and then, of course, there is the most important question: ‘What I am doing to create a better, more harmonious, loving world to bring Heaven on Earth?’

For today, I encourage you to try to think like God. Put on rose-colored glasses and see everything as awesome and wonderful. Inhale the smell of the flowers, rejoice when the sun rises, embrace those whom you love with joy. Try to live in harmony, peace, and love. Smile just because. What do we have to lose?  

Just for the day, try it. Perhaps we might like it and try it again tomorrow.

Win-Win At A Southern Season

A Southern Season is giving 5% of all in store sales on Wednesday, May 4  to Community Home Trust.  See details here. 

It’s a win-win collaborative effort for both businesses.  And it’s a win-win for  the rest of us who can make one quick (or long if desired) stop and get great gifts (for Mothers Day, graduation, my birthday) – all while contributing to the good work of Community Home Trust. 

Lots of winners in this scenario.  And that’s good business.

P.S.    Every Mom I know would like to hear or see a story or two about the way she has helped her kids.  If you need ideas to get your wheels turning, see recent story entitled Lessons from Mom.  While there, feel free to post your story(ies) and then send your Mom a link so that she can see her name “in lights” at