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Posts Tagged ‘family’

        Honor killings are used as a way to control behaviors typically in male dominated societies, often in the middle east.  Usually, we hear about a daughter, a neice, a sister, mother, or a wife who has been murdered for violating a traditional role in their interaction with other males outside of their family.  Unfortunately, this week honor killings are making news headlines because of a New York television owner’s death.  It is being alleged that Aasiya Hassan was killed by her husband Muzzammil under the heading of an honor killing because of her desire for a divorce after some domestic violence issues, allegedly between husband and wife.

         The Hassan’s started their television station in 2004; they did so because they wanted to combat any form of anti -Islamic sentiments that have been building since 911.  They called their station Bridges TV. (more…)

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Today is the day of the Caylee Anthony memorial.  This ceremony brings to light so many layers of human emotion that it takes a while to sort out how a person really feels.  This whole sad story has been in the news for quite some time now and it will be a staple in the news for a much longer period of time.  Isn’t that ok?  I mean…doesn’t a life have value far and beyond a momentary clip in the obituary section of the newspaper when that life was stolen from it’s owner?

I was annoyed this morning as I viewed my twitter feed.  There was a person who was bemoaning the fact that they were anticipating another day when the news of Orlando would be overshadowed by more news about the Anthony family; as they hold the memorial service for Caylee.  At first, i was very put out by their 140 character statement on Twitter.  Then i stopped and thought about it…I guess to some degree i can understand that there is much going on in that area that is good and newsworthy as well.  The Orlando has much positive news to report as well as this terribly sad news…so i decided to ignore the momentary bluntness of that person’s comment.

I dont live in the area which is probably a good thing.  I would most likely want to be at that service for the beautiful child Caylee; just as a sign of respect for her as an innocent life that was taken.  It is amazing the  connection that some people have to this young child, myself included.  She has touched so many lives just because of how she lived and died.  It is unfair how she passed.  It is heartbreaking that her body can’t even be at her memorial.  It is unspeakable what was done to her.  So many questions about who, what , where, when and why; but not for today.

Today is about remembering her and sharing her short life with those who were/are close to her.  Their hearts are sad and grieving.  Those who have been touched in an emotional way who did not know her will also be sad.  But that two year old life deserves to have the good and happy memories talked about and shared.  She is more than a victim.  She was a real, live breathing child who played, sang, danced and learned.

Please, reporters, media, mourners and observers…don’t focus on things that don’t matter today.  Don’t harrass the family, dont speculate, dont focus on negativity or superficial things.  Remember Caylee and remember that she had a life before she became the victim of her killer; dont turn this into a media event , or a free for all.  She had friends, relatives, neighbors and people who cared about her and loved her; let’s show some respect and support.  Don’t sully her memorial service with all the ugliness…let her have some dignity!

As a side note: I have moved my site to a new Url: WriteWhereYouAre if you are interested in reading more blog posts!

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     Do you ever wonder what your personal responsibilities are?  I mean, most people understand that they must work, take care of their children, nuture their personal relationships, and pay their bills; what else is there?  Being a responsible person is a way of life; are you required to take care of others outside the close personal limits of your immediate family?  Who and what are you responsible for?  Are there limits to your responsibilty legally, physically, spiritually, emotionally or morally? 

      Have you ever heard the saying, “Are you your brother’s keeper”?  Human beings are complex creatures.  We have layers of self, one upon the other…each with their own wants and needs.  For those who are spiritual seekers of truth; there are teachings which encourage us to reach beyond the demands of our own personal flesh-n- blood, wants and needs.  My road map is the Bible.  Everything i need to know to be a successful and fulfilled person is included in that instruction manual.

       God wants us to follow his leading; we are to grow and learn how to praise him and serve others.  This is not always convienent in today’s society,  according to the world’s values. That attitude of becoming a servant requires a bit of sacrifice on our part.  Many people run from their own responsibilities and refuse to accept that they have a moral responsibility to reach out to others.   And there are others who do not consider themselves spiritual beings who still manage to be service minded…realizing that there is value to connecting with and recognizing need in others. 

      Understand, I am not talking about enabling others to continue to be irresponsible…but instead, teaching and inspiring others to take up the challenge of  meeting their own obligations when they are able.   To do that, they must be inspired, they must have knowledge, skills, opportunities and funding…once that happens, they too can become a servant to pass it on to others.

        Responsibility is something that we must strive for.  When everything is going smoothly…it is because we have acknowledged our responsibilities and have submitted ourselves to the service of God. 

        God says that we are to take care of the widows and the children; we are to befriend the poor.  When we see suffering in the world and we have the ability, the skill, the opportunity to help ,then we must consider it a priviledge and a responsibility to do so.  What are you willing to do for those around you?  Do you know someone who has a need? Can you listen when someone needs to talk, can you spend time with someone who is lonely, are you capable of performing a chore that someone else cant do and needs done? 

      There are so many ways to be of service to another fellow human being…it is simply a matter of being aware and observing those around you and being willing to be helpful.  People in need are all around us…it will change your life to see the world through the eye and heart of a servant of God.

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     Ok, I am going to rant a bit for a minute.  Twice this week the news has hit us with two terrible stories about families that self-destructed through murder-suicide.  Two families that were destroyed.  One family in particular left a suicide note allegedly saying that the reason they were dead was because both the husband and the wife lost their jobs…were in debt…and were rejected by their employers.  The other family’s reasons have not yet been announced.  The family members allegedly say that there was no clues to this tragedy.  What i want to know is…can we stop families from hurting the ones that they love?  Yes we can, encourage them to seek help:  http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  Each time something like this happens…those who were lost leave behind friends, family members, neighbors, acquaintances and community members who are hurt, confused and saddened.   We have to take care of each other and learn to be more in tune with those around us.  (more…)

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      Another chapter to the sad story of 2 year old Caylee Anthony’s death.  Early this morning, Friday January 23, 2009, Caylee’s grandfather, George Anthony, was picked up at a Florida hotel after he disappeared and allegedly sent family members text messages saying that no longer wanted to live.  George also left a five page suicide letter apparently; I wonder if it will reveal information that could lead to the unraveling of the mystery of  Caylee’s death?  He was involuntarily was taken by police to a local hospital for evaluation. 

     All of this pressure has built up in the last year since young Caylee was reported missing and her body was, recently, discovered.  His daughter Casey was arrested for Caylee’s murder and both he and his wife has had to deal with Caylee’s death, family drama, invasive media, and his daughter’s arrest.  I am sure that the death, and his family’s initial feelings of denial of Caylee’s death, as well as the realization that she is gone has led to depression and a general overall feeling of being  filled with overwhelming stress.

       These issues are often overlooked by many when people watch the news…the truth is, that the long arm of the law has consequences for more than just the suspect in a case of murder  or criminal behavior.  There is much to deal with, for the friends and family members of the victims and the suspects who are involved.

     The emotional effects of just not being able to grieve properly for the loss of his grandchild is devastating.  First thing, no one knew for sure that Caylee was in fact dead.  She was missing and her mother Casey was telling conflicting stories.  George had to give information to the police at one time that many speculated was not all positive…that had to be a horrible experience for him.  There were search parties out looking for Caylee…this went on for months with little results.  Then there were alledged reported sightings of Caylee which turned out to be false.  In the meantime, the media was invading the Anthony’s personal space.  Conflict was a daily thing.

       George’s wife was giving interviews that alledgedly seemed to conflict with statements she made to the police and to her co-workers about a smell in Casey’s car…that smelled like a dead person.  That must have added to interpersonal problems in their family.  Their son, Casey’s brother, also was drawn into the fray with statements that he made that was reported in the media.  This is a family was that under a microscope.  Then came the confirmation recently that young Caylee’s body was found thrown away in a trash bag.

         The details of that are heartbreaking.  She was put inside of a laundry bag with a winnie the pooh blanket, with some pullups and with a knife…her little mouth was covered with duct tape that had residue from a heart shaped sticker put on the tape over her mouth; that tape was attached to her hair.  Her bones were scattered in the area where she was found.  This is a devastating thing to have to live with the knowledge that someone…maybe the child’s mother…could be capable of such depraved actions.  I am sure it was much more than most people could handle.

        The text messages that George allegedly sent to his family was an emergency cry for help from someone who is struggling to survive in a tidal wave of trauma.  I pray that he will get the help and the support that he needs to be well and whole. 

         Many people have made hurtful comments about the family members…we don’t know the facts of what actually happened.  Judging them and their actions without the full information is unwise.  Who in their situation could be faulted for handling things with imperfection…they have lost their granddaughter, their daughter is in jail for the alledged murder of their grandchild, they have had their lives turned upside down…including their home and privacy invaded…their children have been under the media spotlight…and they could possibly be charged with charges if they were, in any way, responsible for covering up evidence against their daughter.   That doesn’t even take into consideration yet…the nightmare that will be the trial that is coming soon. 

        This case has had many ups and downs.  It is still in the investigative phase and the court process has begun to build it’s case against Casey Anthony.  I truly hope that the grandparents are not involved in anything that could be considered a cover up by the authorities.  It is horrible enough to think about loosing their granddaughter and possibly their daughter to the legal system.  Let’s not forget that a child died…someone did in fact kill her, the truth needs to come out…and they will be dealing with that issue alone for the rest of their lives.  These are not issues that anyone gets over….overnight!

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       It is a historical moment in time, this presidential inauguration of 2009; just like every other presidential inauguration since the beginning of the United States.  Yet, this one feels different.  It feels as though this particular inauguration is getting more attention than any other one, in my memory.

          I did not personally vote for Barack Obama…still, i can appreciate this moment…as it will be a moment of history as well as a moment for our future in America.  There is hope, excitement, fear and anxiety, as this nation faces huge difficulties.  That hope and excitement creates an air of expectancy; yet, we must temper that.

          To hear the media tell it…Obama is the answer to all the issues facing the nation.  That can not be,  he is just one man after all…even though he is a powerful man.  It isn’t fair to put that kind of pressue on him.  He cannot fix all of the issues facing this country in a way that is going to satisfy everyone.  There will be frustration, there will be disappointment…and, there will be a reality check for those who believe that things can only go up from here.

           The reason for that is…President Barack Obama is human; he is not God.  I believe that he realizes that…but, there is such a building up of who people think he is; that i think it builds a false sense of what he will be able to do.  He will represent the people…not just the black population, not just the white population or the male population.  I do think he will do his best.  I do think that he will accomplish much…but, it will be in partnership  with the Senate, the Congress,  and even the citizens of the United States.  This country will change…for better or worse who knows?  History many years from now will be the judge; when we look back to this period of our history we will have the advantage of knowing what came before and after.

          The Presidency is also a conditional thing; people forget that you must balance your expectations with reality, because reality is based on the conditions during that president’s time of the leadership.  The reality is that there are foreign governments, there are terrorists, there are internal struggles that create situations that each and every President must face during their term in office. 

     What we as a nation want to know is that our leader is a strong person, a person of good moral fiber, a person of commitment and a person who we can trust; we want a president who is wise, who knows good counsel when he hears it, a person of integrity who knows how to balance compassion and strong leadership.

          I say for now…let’s enjoy the excitement of the moment.  Let’s celebrate with the Obama family at this accomplishment. Things will get real soon enough with all of the demands of the office on the President, his family and friends.  This is a huge accomplishment and honor; but, let’s not forget it is also a sacrifice.

            The sacrifice comes by way of a sacrifice of schedule to have family time whenever they want it; it comes with pressure like no other job, it comes with a lack of privacy, it comes with media scrutiny that is justified; and, with scrutiny that is not. 

          So for now, can we not just honor the new President of the United States…acknowledge his tipping of the hat towards President Lincoln and his respect for the man and the office…while quietly considering the possibilities before us? Let’s celebrate our patriotism with our fellow citizens and not let ourselves be divided at this time…let’s look forward to the future and it’s impact on us and those around the world.

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      I recently read a story about a young woman in San Diego; I won’t mention her name, as i really don’t want to give her any more notoriety than she has already created for herself.   Not to mention, I personally hope that she changes her mind about her decision to sell her virginity to the highest bidder. 

      For whenever a product is sold…there is a give and take; and while it may seem that the money is worth the loss of something that she values less than the money…it doesn’t mean that the trade of her integrity is the right thing to do.  Integrity is a core value in a person.  It is the state of being whole or undiminished; of adherring to moral or ethical principals; of honesty.  While she may be honest in her expectations of the deal…it does deminish the perception of who she is that she could or would sell herself to a person who would basically rent her body.  How will a future mate value her “virtue” if she herself devalues it?

      This 22 year old woman has received a bid for 3.7 million dollars for the one time gift of her virginity.  She allegedly got the idea to sell “it” after her sister allegedly prostituted herself for 3 months to pay for her college education.  Wow…is this like a family tradition or what?  I am sorry but, I am thinking this whole thing is wrong on so many levels.

        First off, the idea of selling your virginity is not my idea of innocence.  Evidently, it isn’t the dictionary’s idea of innocence either.  The definition of innocence is:  the quality or state of being innocent;  freedom from sin or moral wrong;  simplicity or lack of guile;  naivete;  lack of knowledge or understanding; freedom from legal or specific wrong; or, harmlessness.

       This young woman may have a lack of sexual experience…however, she is not innocent or “unknowing”.  She does understand what she is about to do.  She knows that she is selling a “product-herself” for a large sum of money.  She appears to understand that there are some people in this world who are willing to possess that “physical innocence” for a sum of money…even though that innocence is fleeting.  The logic of paying mutiple millions of dollars for something this empty escapes me…I can’t help but to ponder, what type of person would consider something of this nature. 

      She allegedly said that she believes that both herself and the person that she does “it” with will both profit greatly from the deal.  For herself, she plans to use some of the money to pay for an advanced degree in family and marriage therapy.  Hmmmmm…interesting!  Personally, I think it brings a whole new meaning to the idea of a profit/loss statement.   

       I wonder if she may someday have to use some of that money to pay for counseling once she takes that step into a marriage of her own…when both she and her future spouse have to come to terms with the physical and/or, psychological consequences of her actions regarding her virginity.  Money is a poor balm to a mind and a soul that is damaged from selling itself to the highest bidder.  Will she be able to trust that the person she chooses to marry is marrying her for herself and not for her money?  Will she be able to find a person to love her, who can find kernels of a person of value…after she devalues herself, as a person, by selling her body? 

       After all, this isn’t a person who is being forced to sell herself…nor is she selling herself to “survive”; she is making a conscious choice to sell her body for money.  When it is over, will she consider that she traded up?

       Back to the definitions of innocence…freedom from sin or moral wrong (decay)…while some may try to deny that selling your body is wrong morally…the soul knows it’s worth.  That is what a conscience is for.  It gets troubled and disturbed when you do things that go against spiritual purity.  That is a safety valve built within our very beings…it is designed by God to help us turn away from the very choices that have the ability to destroy us for eternity.  That is my opinion.

       Now, most anyone over the age of 10 understands about the exposure to STD’s from having sex with multiple partners.  This woman does not pretend to have a future with the person who will use her for this sexual experience.  That means that someday, she will eventually have other experiences with someone.  She herself admits that she is using this unknown person, in my opinion, by alluding to the fact that she is in it for the money.   I think in her mind, it is a straight up exchange of money for the sexual pleasure of sharing this 1st sexual experience with her.   This decision could have lifelong impact on both her life and, that of this invisible person with excess money; not to mention…her future sexual partners and or, any children that she may have someday.   In my book…exchanging sexual favors for money is prostitution and is illegal in California, last I knew. 

      Not that people don’t get involved in prostitution…however, they do get arrested for it; prostitution is a crime!    What do you think of this situation?

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      It is only a matter of days before we see the United States presidential switch…it will be; out with the old and, in with the new moving day done in style.  This is quite an ordeal for the White House staff…the transition must be accomplished within a matter of about 6 hours; during the swearing in ceremony, and all that goes along with it.  Before all of that begins, the current President and his wife have a traditional  sit down tea with the incoming President and his wife.

       Did you ever stop to think about the quick transition that the actual living quarters must go through during this time period?  The way that i understand it, the furniture and personal belongings must be swapped out…from one presidential family, to the next.

        There are only two elevators to handle the workers in charge of the ebb and flow of the personal belongings of each family.  This is no easy task.  For when the new leadership steps into the residence for the first time after the switch…it is to appear as if it is home; for that is what it will be, their new home for the next four years.

         Just this past week it was announced that Barack Obama’s mother in law, Marian Robinson, will be moving in with the new first family.  Wow…that was a surprise.

           Although his mother -in- law took off time to help with the grandchildren during the presidential campaign…I don’t think that too many people thought that she would be moving into the White House, once the family took residence.  I am sure that this will be a wonderful thing for Malia and Sasha to have their grandmother right there with them.  It will help to ease their transition to a new life and all of the personal changes that will go along with that change.  Living in the family quarters, I am sure can be lonely for children of the President.  Having Grandma Marian there will be a wonderful gift for the family.  

       On the other hand, there will be those who question who pays for her stay.  I could be wrong…but, it seems to me that I remember a news program once talking about a previous presidency and how the first family pays for all of their own food ,and such, when they are eating in residence.  Of course, that doesn’t include all of those big public dinners that Presidents and their families are required to endure.   

         It is going to take some time for things to settle down after this transfer of power takes place.  How long will it take before the White House feels like home to the new first family do you think?  I know every time i have moved in the past it took a good couple of weeks before i felt like i wasn’t staying in someone else’s home.  If some comfort can be found it will be a blessing in the early days as I am sure it will take quite a bit of time to get used to the loss of privacy that this new phase of life will require. 

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       Actor Willie Ames is famous for his roles on Eight Is Enough (1970’s) and in the show Charles in Charge (1980’s), he has had a large fan following over the years.   Willie also starred  in video’s from 1995-2004 as a superhero named Bibleman; winning a whole new generation of young fans.  He became a Christian and an ordained minister after struggling for years with drug/alcohol addictions.  He appeared to have things together in his life.

        Just this past November Willie, and his second wife Maylo McCaslin Ames, wrote a book together called Grace is Enough.  Shortly after this book was published, on Thanksgiving 2008, Willie Ames allgedly tried to take his own life.  This is why God tells us to keep our eyes on him and not on man ( or woman).  We are vulnerable to attacks by the enemy (Satan) and we can fail one another as role models from time to time.  It is unfair to put someone on a pedestal as an example to follow because they are; for all intents and purposes, human just like us.  Only Jesus is the perfect example to follow.

         It seems that Willie found himself in the position of having to declare bankruptsy, having his vehicle repossesed and having his wife of 22 years ask him for a divorce.  I am sure the fear of failure, rejection, the possibility of an upcoming divorce, slipping back to the pull of his addictions, and the financial difficulties all contributed to his suicide attempt.  When people are overloaded with difficulties that come all at once…that is when escape starts to sound good…it is an illusion that a Christian is tempted with by his spiritual adversary, Satan.  Suicide is not a solution…it is an really just another way to self-destruct; it an attack on that person’s physical and spiritual being.  http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  It is important to seek help when depression and despair overwhelms a person. 

        Willie is a Christian yes, but he is a human being also.  One who has struggled with these issues of addiction and self-destruction.  He has tried to live in a place of leadership; which is admirable.  From reading excerpts of their book….it sounds as though both Willie and Maylo have allegedly come from previous places of dysfunction.  No one lives a perfect life…Christians are a work in progress; and, some of the same negative circumstances and forces that affect non-Christians, affect Christians as well. 

         I hope that through this time of difficulty, that Willie and his family can receive proper spiritual counseling and emotional counseling to help them sort things out.  Certainly, we wish him well in his healing path.  As anyone who had had to struggle with these kinds of issues…it is important to know that support is very important from family, friends and, health care professionals; when it is needed.

          For those who would condemn or look askance at Willie’s actions and ask incrediously, how a Christian could do such a thing; I would counter that by asking that person to think compassionately.  When people are in despair and going through some of the worst situations that life has to offer …faith is a lifeline… but, faith is a fragile thing sometimes.  We are to encourage one another and lift each other up.  While Willie played a superhero….he is not superhuman…he is a man who has to find his way back to a place of prominence, by putting faith into action once again,. 

          Do you think Christians are immune from depression and confusion; or should they be?  Do you know any other Christian who has struggled with addictions and depression and then been able to build their life back up from that desperate place?  Have you yourself been there?  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National suicide prevention lifeline: Suicide hotline, 24/7 free and confidential, 132 crisis centers nationwide               1-800-273-TALK       .
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Update:  you may also want to read:  http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20268391,00.html

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     Sad news today; John and Kelly Travolta lost their son Jett today in the Bahamas.  Jett had developmental delays and was prone to seizures.  He was found at the Old Bahama Bay Hotel on the Grand Bahama Island; which is where they were spending time on a family vacation.  Jett was sixteen years old.  He is the only son of his parents; he does have an 8 year old sister named Ella Bleu.

       All attempts to revive Jett Travolta were unsuccessful.   I am sure that there will be more information coming down the road on this tragic situation for the Travolta family.  There is never a good time or a good place to lose a child to death.  It is a terrible thing to go through no matter who you are…rich or poor.   Sending prayer skyward for their family and friends. 

        The Bahamas is such a beautiful place and now it is the tragic scene of two celebrity family deaths… Anna Nicole Smith and her son Daniel; and now, Jett Travolta. 

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