Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Born Fightin'....Cause I'm IRISH!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!

Do you know why we celebrate St. Patrick's Day?  Do you know who St. Patrick is?  Do you know the significance of the three-leafed clover/shamrock?  Do you care, or do you just want an excuse to pinch people and drink green beer?

It's not often you can find an excuse to pinch people these days, so go for it! Pinch away!  It's their own fault if they don't wear green!  Because it's wrong. So wrong. 

St. Patrick isn't celebrated because he invented Irish Spring and Lucky Charms.  And he certainly didn't invent the drunken mess that is now St. Patty's Day.  St. Patrick did great works as a missionary for God.  As a teenager he was kidnapped by the Irish from his home of Britain and made to be a slave.  He said that God gave him visions that he is to break free and flee to the coast and catch a ship back to Britain...which he did.  After returning home he studied to become a priest.  He felt called back to Ireland in order to save them.   He used the three leafed clover in order to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish.   That is also how green became the color synonymous with Ireland.  The Irish soldiers started wearing shamrocks, which were green, and then started wearing green uniforms.

My brother and I have Scot-Irish names: Kirk Patrick and Kathryn Lynn McNemar.   In Danish, "Kirk" means "church" or "someone who lives near a church" (what a coincidence! His body is a temple of God and he lives just down the street from his church!).  Patrick is from...St. Patrick (also quite a fitting name given that Kirk is a missionary and preacher).  "Kathryn" is from the martyred St. Katherine and means "pure".  How SWEET! :  ) Lynn is short for Linda apparently...boring!

I wish I could tell you that our parents named us due to these very inspiring meanings, but that would be a lie...and not very "pure" of me, so I'll tell it like it is.  My brother was named after....Captain James Tiberius Kirk of the Starship Enterprise.  My dad is a bit of a Trekkie.  I'm just lucky my name isn't Uhura....or Scotty for that matter.  The middle name of Patrick came about because there was some baseball player around in the early 80's with the last name of Kirkpatrick.  I don't ever ever ever go by the name Kathryn, so don't even think about it. I was named Katie after a McDonald's commercial  my mom saw while she was pregnant with me.  It starred a cute little blonde haired girl named Katie that would only jump in the pool to her Dad after he promised to take her to McDonald's.  What's really strange is....I tend to not do new things without being offered McDonald's, and my brother tends to yell "We're going into warp drive" without reason.  So I guess names really are important.

McNemar is a form of McNamara or MacNamara, which in Gaelic (Mac Conmara) means...Sea Hound.  Yeah, I said it....Sea Hound.

You're probably asking yourself, what the heck is a sea hound, anyway?  Well, I couldn't find a definition, so I created my own:

Sea Hound (n., v. adv., adj.) - Something or someone that is awesome at all times.  The act of being awesome. 
Used in a sentence: (v.) Dude, you totally sea-hounded the competition today when you won the gold medal in Irish Road Bowling.
Used in a sentence: (n.)   I am a sea hound.
Used in a sentence:  (adj.) The party was sea hound.
Used in a sentence: (what is an adverb...I can't remember) A sea-houndly man just walked into the room.

Okay, that was ridiculous.  Sorry.

Anyway, back to how proud I am to be an Irishman!  There are tons of Scot-Irish in West Virginia.  Virginia is where the early Irish and Scottish settlers first came.  We Irishman are the backbone of Appalachia.  The life of an Irishman was far from idyllic.  The Irish were enslaved and persecuted.  They were seen as unruly, drunken dogs and were treated as such.  The early Irish settlers were known for their hard work and affinity for brawling.  Don't worry...I hung up my boxing gloves and drunken ways years ago.  In related news, I did decide to name my Jeep, "The Paddy Wagon".

Look, I know that brawling is not the most effective way to resolve things in life, but I do think it's important to have a passionate spirit.  I know that I say this all the time, but we are in a battle.  I say this all the time...because it's true.  We have to be willing to stand up and fight for our freedom and for Truth.  We have to be willing to fight for our families, our marriages, our friendships, our jobs, our beliefs, our hearts, and most importantly...our souls and our relationship with God.   It's not a pretty world out there.  We have to be aware of the realities while believing in the miracles of what we can't see.  We need to think logically in order to  protect ourselves from falsehoods and lies, while at the same time allowing ourselves to believe in the impossible and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.  We need to be knowledgeable and learned. We need to guard our hearts.  We need to protect what is sacred.  We need to fight for what and who we love!!!!  We need to release our inner William Wallace sometimes.  (If you haven't seen Braveheart, please, please, please watch it....I implore you!  If you watch it and in the end you don't want to start a revolution...then you and I...we don't understand each other....lol!) When we feel the enemy's breath on our necks, we need to be willing to turn around and stand our ground and not retreat.  I'm getting fired up just writing this!!!!  We need to put on the armor of God!!!

"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints...."  Ephesians 6:10-18

It's hard when you can't see the enemy that you're fighting...but as G.I. Joe says...knowing is half the battle.  Just knowing there is an enemy is half the battle.  Let God fight the other half.

I'm proud to be born from a clan of passionate, and hard working, fighting people.  They didn't let persecution and hardships stop them from moving forward.  They didn't give up when things looked impossible.  They didn't go down without a fight.  These are my people....and to them I say....Erin Go Braugh!

In keeping with the theme....I leave you with a limerick (Rated G):

There once was a girl named Katie Mae
"Lord, give me a good man", she would pray
So she (im)patiently waited
Many a' toad had she dated
And God promised He would do so one day.

Kiss me I'm Irish,

Kaetea "Sea Hound" McNemar

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