From the Author

Monday, June 27, 2016

Horror Movies

I am always amazed at the number of horror movies that strive to produce the ultimate fear for the audience.  It is sad to me that we are not publicizing the greatest fear of all.  Imagine having a family and watching them blown up in a war, starve slowly to death in front of you, die of preventable disease, die of dehydration because of a lack of water supply, see your wife and daughters raped repeatedly, watch your family or loved ones die because they have nowhere safe to live, watch babies, children and elderly drown as you try to escape a war-town county, and spending your life in crowded, unsanitary and unstable conditions. These things happen daily to immigrants.  It will take cooperation of the world to begin to try to solve these issues. Pretending immigrants do not exist is only a temporary fix.  We know in our hearts that these people are real and they are suffering.  There are no simple answers.  If we don't deal with it at all, there will be no answers.

I challenge movie producers to make movies about real horrors and expose the secret plight of our neighbors. Help us to find our compassion, empathy and collective conscience to begin to make strides in the war against poverty, ignorance, hunger, suffering, pain, prejudice, crime, and evil.  I fear more the lack of soul that is being replaced with greed and selfishness.  We have an opportunity to step up to the plate and make a difference in many lives.  We can become proud of who we are.  We can begin to heal as a country.

Following Your Conscience

Politics is a very hot and controversial topic for all of us.  Unfortunately, the upcoming elections have many issues that are difficult to navigate.  I want to applaud the individuals of both parties who have the courage to think for themselves and refuse to blindly follow party positions.  These elected officials are willing to go against the mainstream of endorsements that are politically and monetarily motivated in order to govern according to the dictates of their morality and conscience.  I believe that we are all ultimately responsible for protecting the rights of all constituents regardless of their beliefs, sexual orientation, faith, social standing, economic status, race, education, or country of origin.   A strong society is generous, kind, compassionate and willing to help the weak or marginalized members.  When we die, the party members will not be with us to pay or direct our way to eternity. We will be on our own with only our conscience and our lifetime of service to "buy" our way into heaven.  Those in leadership have a greater duty to make the morally right decisions because of the tremendous effects on large populations of people including, elderly, children, disabled, ill, and disfranchised society members.

Life is not a game to be played,  Our decisions have a direct effect. positively or negatively, on others in our lives, country and world.  What our politicians, courts, and laws decide can cause many repercussions to individuals, families, groups that have far-reaching consequences.  Life does not go on indefinitely.  We will die and we will have to answer for our actions.  We need to make decisions based on respect and dignity for others.  We need to choose leaders who can provide true leadership in our country and ultimately the world.  We are not isolated with all of the media, international investments, commerce, travel and weather disasters.  We can no longer avoid our world-wide responsibilities. I hope that each vote in the coming elections reflects the true conscience of the voter. Votes must not be based on fear, anger, prejudice, selfishness, isolationism or retaliation.  Instead, we need to remember to choose what is best for our country and ultimately for our place in the world.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Quote from Maya Angelou:
"Love recognizes no barriers.  It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."

Love is the absence of hate.  Love is the antidote for hate. Love can change history.  Love can heal and unite.  Love can conquer evil.  Love can give us hope.

There is more love in the world than there is evil.  Fear makes us forget to love because we are afraid.  What are we afraid of?  If we lose love, we lose ourselves, our humanity, our compassion, our creativity, our forgiveness, our hope, our future. We become slaves to fear and retreat from life.  Let us confront our fears.  Let us take each fear and face it.  Once we look fear in the eye, we will often find that what we fear is not so scary.  It is, in fact, just something we don't understand.  If the fear is real, being afraid will not make it go away.  There is no answer to hate and fear other than love and forgiveness. Prayer and faith can give us the courage to embrace love and change our world.  Love will always conquer evil and give us hope.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Surrogate Fathers

There are many men who are not honored on Father's Day who are not biological or officially adoptive fathers.  These are the men who mentor children who do not have actively involved fathers but who still need father-figures in their lives.  Some fathers are deceased, of unknown origin, in prison, involved with a second family, are divorced and not in touch, are ill, are drug-addicted, are distant emotionally, are abusive, are in the service, are legally unable to be available to their children or are not psychologically open to children. That leaves many children without the example, support and love of a father.  Always God the father is available!

 Fortunately, there are compassionate men who step up to the plate to fill the gaps for children who they know.  They may be step-fathers, extended family, coaches, neighbors, friends, grandfathers, teachers, police officers, older siblings, mentors, employers, Big Brothers (from a program), ministers, priests, rabbis, leaders or members of any churches, synagogues, mosques, (any religious communities), boys and girls clubs, foster fathers, and all surrogate fathers who create a safe place for biologically unrelated children to be loved and protected by a father. I think of the men who volunteer time to perform surgery for children with cleft palate or other disfiguring or incapacitating diseases/deformities, who share family time with non-biological children who need father-time, individuals who salvage the good in children who have been abused/neglected and create an atmosphere for them to grow and flourish, those who provide the example of what a father is just by living their lives with love and acceptance.

I salute all of you who make a difference every day for children who need and want a father.  I thank you for your contributions to the lives of children who need you. Thank you for being the arms of God reaching out with love and caring!

A Father's Prayer

This was listed in my bulletin as "A Father's Prayer"

One night a father overheard his son pray, "Dear God, make me the kind of man my daddy is."

Later that night, the father prayed, "Dear God, make me the kind of man my son wants me to be."

Our children learn by example.  It is not enough to tell your child, "Do what I say, not what I do."
Good fathers, who are not perfect and make mistakes, know that they are the example of how to live your life.  Fathers have the responsibility to become the best man they can become.  They show how to love, support and forgive the mother of their children even if they are deceased, divorced, in prison, or unavailable to their children.  They live their marriage vows by placing the needs of God, their wife and their children above all else.  They value family over the acquisition of money, status, power, infidelity, deception, and fame.  They live with a strong value system and teach their family about faith, honor, honesty, loyalty, forgiveness, generosity, compassion, patriotism, and hope by the way they live their lives each and every day.

A great father tells his family frequently, "I love you."  When necessary he has the humility to say, "I'm sorry, I made a mistake."  He will then demonstrate how to make it right.  He knows how to be a partner to share responsibilities, chores, money, possessions and decision-making.  He shows how to be compassionate, accepting of the differences of others, and is open to dialog with caring, listening skills.  He is the man who is loved and respected by family, co-workers, neighbors, friends, community, and country.  A great father is great just by who he is. I thank God that we have many great fathers and have many who aspire to be great fathers.

Monday, June 6, 2016

New Life

I recently was privileged to meet my latest granddaughter and visit with my son, daughter-in-law, and their other children.  I can't put into words the joy and love I felt holding this beautiful human being who was created in approximately nine months. How amazing that this process occurs in the cocoon of the uterus and she was nestled inside her mother.  She is a part of her mother and her father and carries genes from generations of the past.  She is a gift from God and loved by her earth family.

She is only loaned to us as she lives her life on this earth.  Her future is stretched before her with uncertainty, joy, sorrow, unbridled possibilities, faith, hope, love, peace, strife, pain, and excitement.  She is the future of the world because she and all of the other children of the world can make positive and creative solutions to life's challenges as they emerge into adulthood. It is important to nurture and protect these tiny but powerful individuals as they make their mark on the world.

Babies are the hope of our lives and our world.  Each one is special and unique. Each one has unlimited potential. Each and every baby deserves to be loved, protected and encouraged. Babies, children, teens and young adults are challenging but amazing and keep us open to possibilities! They are truly a gift from God.