From the Author

Monday, January 18, 2016


My friend recently traveled to Jerusalem to visit this holy city.  She remembers the beautiful countryside but was shocked at the number of guns carried by most of the residents.  There were many soldiers with automatic guns throughout the area.  Many individuals also openly carried guns and rested them across their laps as they ate or kept them close as they carried out daily activities.  Her description reminded me of the old westerns on TV.  The person who was in charge was the one who had the fastest, most accurate gun.  It didn't matter if he or she was trying to keep peace. uphold the law or was acquiring power, land, money. assets, or control of the countryside.  It didn't matter if killing involved hatred, anger, lust, cruelty as long as the person had more skill.  Might made right.  I wonder how many people were killed accidentally by being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Fear justifies the gun. The guns cause fear.  Hate and distrust cause death.

Martin Luther King wrote, "To retaliate in kind would do nothing but intensify the existence of hate in the universe. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough, and morality enough, to cut off the chain of hate."

We are gifted with minds that can send people to the moon.  I hope we can learn other ways besides guns to govern ourselves. What is a moral and fair way to create peace with individuals and countries?  Maybe we can find a way to bring God back into the decision-making.  Let us hope to cut of the chain of fear and hate and to learn tolerance, love and acceptance.

Love is..

Love is patient, Love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

Valentines Day is approaching!  Many of us become confused about what love is.  I believe that the above standards can help us answer that question.  If it does not meet the criteria, it is not love.  None of us can be perfect but we can strive to become the best person we can be.  Love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself!  We can be kind and forgiving to ourselves, others and God.  We can make each day a celebration of life and strive to bring joy to ourselves and others no matter what the circumstances!  It is not what cards are dealt to us in the game of life, it is how we choose to play the cards that make a difference!  Play the cards of faith, hope, love, forgiveness,unselfishness, kindness, joy, peace and acceptance!

Dr. King

Dr. King states, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."  I wonder how many individuals who seek public office know how they stand during times of challenge and controversy. Many office seekers have the opportunity to serve because they have money and access to power.  They have comfort and convenience simply because they can afford it.  Many have never experienced poverty, homelessness, fear, hunger, inadequate education, pain, suffering, prejudice, bullying and immigration barriers,

 Dr. King also  states, "Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve.  You don't have to have a college degree to serve.  You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love."  I wonder how many candidates for office serve with a soul generated by love.  Is it love of country, love of people, integrity, selflessness, or greed, party affiliation, bribery, power, fear, selfishness, and wealth that is the motivation?

I believe that God gives us special gifts.  Some of us have the ability to serve our country and world as representatives of the people to help all achieve the goals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, Because of the magnitude of these skills and aptitudes, God also has higher expectations. I believe that when we die, God will ask us to account for what we have done with our talents.  Did we bury them in excuses or greed, did we maximize them and increase blessings for those we served? Did we invest them in creative ways to serve God, our country, our family, and our enemies?  Those who have more abilities will be judged with higher standards.  I challenge our future elected officials to use their offices to promote fair and honest laws and regulations for the overall benefit of society.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

perfect love

Most of us search for the perfect man or woman.  Initially we are drawn to someone who is physically attractive and appeals to us as "eye candy".  As we become more aware of this person, we begin to see the interior or spirit of the person.  Many of us are aware that there are no "perfect" people for us and we begin to accept that all people have "baggage" and we need to lower our standards so that we are not alone.  Sometimes the beauty we see is deceptive and hides unsavory character traits that will not lead to a successful relationship.

What should we look for besides the initial attraction?  We need to feel peaceful and comfortable to be ourselves with this person.  Perfect love does not involve fear, anger, cruelty to people or animals, verbal abuse, substance abuse, negativity, rejection, unkindness, rudeness, apathy, prejudice or dependence.

Look for the man or woman of virtue.  Someone who lives his or her life to please God. A person who loves with his or her heart, who shares life's burdens, joys, and dreams. Someone who shares his or her life, thoughts, future, and faith with you.  This special person who is not perfect, will be a person who also loves family, friends, community and often is a volunteer who gives not only to you but to others.  When you see the beauty of the soul, the beauty of the body. which is not permanent, will no longer be a concern.  When you search for love, look for the inner beauty of the soul which lights up his or her whole being. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Eye candy, like regular candy, is pleasant short term.  However, long term it is not beneficial for your relationship because it does not nourish your soul and you can't nourish theirs,  Life is fleeting and often turbulent.  However, faith and love are the healing balm to calm and smooth out our steps as we take one day at a time. Love with intertwined souls lasts for eternity.  It is worth waiting for.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The man in the dollar store

There is a clerk in the dollar store who is a very special person.  I don't know his name but I remember him because of his tremendous smile, his cheerful greeting, his careful questions to make sure I can find what I am looking for.  He is courteous and obviously takes his job seriously and does his best to make my visit to his store memorable.  I also remember the nurse who helped me with my needs after surgery who didn't say, "I'll get the nurse's aid to help you".  She just did what I needed at the time even though it wasn't technically in her job description.  It is not the job that makes the person, it is the person who makes the job.  We have opportunities every day to make a difference in the lives of others.  We may be a homemaker or a house husband, a cab driver, a cleaning woman, a powerful executive, a politician, a doctor, lawyer, a clerk, etc.  What makes a person shine is his or her positive attitude, kindness, compassion, and actions.  A person of faith lives his or her life as an example of God's love.  We are the branches of God's tree, reaching out to touch others with God's love.  I met a co-worker I hadn't seen for many years the other night.  She said, "I didn't remember your name, but I remember how kind you were to me when I was having problems at work."  People may not remember us, but they remember how we treated them.  We all have a calling from God to do his work on earth.

Jeremy's accident

Jeremy, my son, had an auto accident.  The car hit black ice, rolled and hit a telephone pole.  He called his wife Kathleen while hanging upside down in his secure in his seat belt.  The air bag deployed and his glasses broke in half.  Kathleen called me and kept me updated the entire time.  It was such a blessing to have Jeremy able to call for help and for Kathleen to call me so soon.  I was able to be praying for Jeremy as the drama unfolded.  God must have special plans for Jeremy and his guardian angel was working overtime.  He did not require emergency room care.  He was surrounded by the love and prayers of his family.  Life can change in just seconds.  There is no warning, no time to say goodbye, I'm sorry, I love you, thank you, I'll miss you, or any message we were too busy to share.  Sometimes we have a wake-up call to remember that every day we have is a blessing and if we are still alive, we have opportunities to communicate to God, our family, our friends, our enemies our thoughts and wishes for them. It is important to remember that life can be short.  It can always be meaningful.  Each moment we have is a gift.  It is up to us how we use it.  If we didn't have the possibility of death, we would not appreciate life.  We can take life for granted or we can embrace it and make a difference in the lives of those around us.  Let us send positive messages for the world and remember to tell others how much we love them.  I love you, Jeremy!

Saturday, January 2, 2016


I'm reading a book called "Three Cups of Tea" about a man who is attempting to make a difference in the world, one school at a time.  Greg Mortenson promotes peace by creating opportunities for the education of girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  The book cover states: "The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his remarkable humanitarian campaign in the Taliban's backyard."  It would be such a dream to create peace in the world by providing education, food, clothing, shelter and safety for the marginalized in our world society.  What about taking the money and resources used for war to meet the needs of human beings instead of creating weapons of destruction? I wonder how many of the "suicide bombers" have no hope in this life.  How many soldiers are fighting and risking their lives for the attainment of wealth, land, oil, political power for the unscrupulous rulers of their countries?  How many are coerced into the armies of the world because they are afraid for their own lives or the lives of their families?  How many rely on the wages of war to live because they have no other options?   War may be the only answer for protection but should never be the reason for aggression and discrimination against weaker societies in the search for illegal and unfair acquisition of world resources.

I wonder how many rulers would declare war if they or their children were the first in line on the battlefield?  How many lives are wasted because of lingering, long term effects of living through the horrors of war?  How many lives are shattered by loss of family, friends, homes, jobs, future due to destruction of mental, emotional and psychological health due to a war?  How many of us can live with ourselves after dropping bombs, shooting, maiming, and terrorizing other human beings who share all of the same desires, hopes and dreams?  How many of our soldiers are numbers only in our line of defense?  Forgiveness, love, kindness, acceptance, generosity in sharing resources, hope, safety and knowledge are wonderful gifts to combat our enemies when we have the opportunity. How many millions or billions of dollars does one individual need to survive a lifetime in this world? How much does it cost to assist all human beings with minimal subsistence to have a chance to live at all? How many world leaders are chosen or take over because they have more money rather than because they have the wisdom and maturity to make fair and just decision?  I know that God expects more from those who have been given leadership skills and opportunity. I feel that someday they will answer to God for the decisions they have made.  I pray our world leaders will explore compassion and find their course through prayer and a true desire to do the "right thing" in the eyes of God.  

The Frog

I've never tried this.  I just heard about it.  Apparently if you place a frog in water and heat it up slowly, the frog will stay even as the water gets extremely hot.  However, if you throw a frog into heated water, it will jump out.  We are often like the frog.  We get used to things like bullying behaviors, abuse (physical, emotional, psychological), anger issues, gossiping, cruelty, discrimination, judgmental attitudes, and cursing, etc.  We do not like to "rock the boat."  We are creatures of habit and want to be "safe" and not "get involved" with the issues of those who have no security, safety, peace or adequate food, water, or shelter.  We "look the other way" so that we are not called to help.  We are afraid that we don't have the means to help.  God gives us the "means" if we ask.  We can't save the world but we can often help those we know about in our daily lives.  It involves opening our sight to really see the issues faced by others in our community and world.  It means actively listening to others as they share their situations.  It may be bullying that our own children experience in school but we are too "busy" to hear or care.  If we intervene in one life, we are making a difference.  In the new year, we can resolve to have courage to be a support system to the weaker, marginalized individuals who are not sharing in the American dream.