Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

Baby Boomers, do you remember the old-time style of witnessing?  You know, standing on the corner or knocking on the doors of strangers and telling them the good news about Jesus, the son of God?  It was truly a commitment to the instruction of scripture, for the children of God, to go into the world and spread good news.

The Good News meaning that Jesus was born the son of God, come into the world to offer hope to a lost and dying world that they might accept him, repent of their sins and grow in their relationship with God the Father and have eternal life with him in Heaven, instead of living a sinful life of destruction and pain.

I have admiration for those who can and have witnessed in that way door to door or on the streets.  It is not for everyone however, and it is not the only way to win souls.  Society has changed and in some ways not for the better.  Personal safety issues are part of the equation.  It simply is not safe to send teens or young people into settings where they are encouraged to step foot into the homes of strangers where they may, or may not, be wanted.  Today’s secular world has little respect for life, or for Christian values.

Today, that type of witnessing still happens on some level…but, times have changed in the way that we deliver the good news.  We still need to honor and perform the great commission (the task of evangelizing) around the world; however, our approach must be different to be considered highly effective.  People’s hearts are hard and their sins are proudly displayed and openly encouraged by the misguided members of our society.

We have to bring the message to where they are; and, many people are online. Continue reading here: Write Where You Are


Read Full Post »

      This subject is never a pleasant one.  No one likes to acknowledge domestic abuse is a way of life…especially if it is happening within their own life.  Unfortunately, domestic abuse happens every day in a multitude of ways.  It doesn’t just happen in the lives of the poor, the rich, or the celebrity world; even though, that is often the stories that we hear about…those who are famous.  We must awaken to the facts of domestic abuse; it is often learned behaviors that are used to control another person…either with intimidation, physical violence, emotional abuse or sexual abuse.

       Domestic abuse is like cancer…it is constantly trying to destroy the people involved.  It is a pattern of behavior that affect both the abuser and the person being abused.  Many who are being abused do not recognize that what is happening in their lives is actually domestic abuse.  The reasons for their lack of understanding, or denial are many.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

        Dina Gottliebova Babbitt is a woman who has a rich history; she was in the concentration camp, Auschwitz with her mother in 1944.  Dina was a 20 something, young woman who had an artistic talent.  She had been an art student before she was sent to Auschwitz.  While in the camp, she decided to do something daring and she painted Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on the walls of the children’s barracks, in an attempt to cheer them up.  This was bravery, as the consequences would be severe if she was caught.

         When it was discovered what she had done…she was called before Dr. Mengele who was also known as the Angel of Death in the camp.  She could have been sent to the gas chamber like so many others were.  Instead, she was ordered by Dr. Josef Mengele to paint portraits for him of the gypsies in the camp; as well as, to draw pictures of the many horrible “medical experiments” that he performed on those who were imprisoned in the camp.  Dina thought for many years that the portraits of the gypsies were destroyed.  It was in performing the artwork in the camp that her life and that of her mother were spared.

       In fact the portraits were not destroyed…they were sold to the Auschwitz-Burkenau State Museum after the war ended.  There are seven watercolor portraits of the gypsies; and, Dina Babbitt would like them returned.  Dina says that she feels that neither she, nor the gypsies can have spiritual freedom unless the portraits are returned to her.  I would imagine that Dina poured her soul into those portraits.  After all, how can you look upon such individuals, knowing their probable fate, and trace their very visage upon the canvas; and, not be one with them in spirit?   She has much support internationally; however, at this point, the museum allegedly refuses to return them.  You can write to the museum here in support of Dina:  muzeum@auschwitzorg.pl .

          You can also visit Dina’s website to learn more about her and see some of her work here: http://www.dinababbitt.com/  .

           After WWII, Dinah was hired as an assistant to Art Babbitt who was working for Warner Brother’s in Paris at the time; and, who was a former Disney animator who worked on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  They fell in love and later married, Dina was Art’s second wife.  Together they raised two daughters, Michele and Karin.  At least some good came out of such an evil time in history.  Their love and marriage I am sure  brought about a healing balm.  After all, Dina used the images of the talented animator to soothe the young children, who daily faced death daily in the concentration camps.  It is as if God himself sent a bit of the comforter to them thru Dina and the artistry of two talented artists.

           Dina was born on January 21, 1923 in Czechoslovakia, but, is now a U.S. citizen.  Just as recently as this past  summer of 2008, Dina was diagnosed with an aggressive tumor in her abdomin and was scheduled to have surgery performed to remove it.  It is her most fervent desire to have her portraits returned to her so that she can hold them in her hands one more time before she passes away.  She would like to see the portraits visit the Holocaust museums in the United States!  Please feel free to contact her family to help support their cause of the return the portraits to a woman who risked much to bring a smile to the children of Auschwitz; here is an email address:  michele@dinababbitt.com  or mushkane@yahoo.com

         This time in history can never be forgotten or denied.  If by looking into the faces of the victims of the concentration camps helps to make it real…then Dina Gottliebova Babbitt has used her talents in a very serviceable way.   Those portraits bring the horrible cost of forgetting that those who are different from us are still human and deserve to live life to it’s fullest.  It should not be up to another individual or organization to get to decide who should live and who should die.  We must uphold the lessons learned from setting back and waiting for the world to right itself in the area of human rights.  May the powers that be bring Dina’s portraits home to her, to soothe her heart and her soul.


Read Full Post »

      Spending twenty three hours a day with yourself, in jail…would lead most people to do some real introspective deep thinking about the reasons you find yourself sitting behind bars.  Especially for a person who had been living the high life as Mayor of Detroit; it is a big lifestyle adjustment.  Kwame Kilpatrick will have just such an opportunity to do some of that self examination.  Yesterday, Mr. Kilpatrick began to serve a 120 day sentence for a variety of offenses.  He lied to the court about a sexual relationship with his Chief of Staff, Christine Beatty, he lied about text messages to the court which confirmed the affair and he also got into a scuffle with officers trying to serve a subpoena.  There were several offenses that the mayor had been accused of.

       At least two of those offenses ended with him pleading guilty to obstruction of jutice & no contest to felonious assault.  He lied to the court…effectively tying the hands of the legal system, for most of the summer, by using his legal team to fight his removal from office.  Michigan’s Governor Granholm had to hold a hearing to forcibly remove him.  After that hearing he was heard to say, “You done set me up for a comeback”.  This arrogance and defiance moved the judge to sentence him to the full 120 day sentence; typically, a person who exhibits good behavior can shave approximately 20 days off of their sentence, not in Kilpatrick’s case.  The judge was clearly put out by the demeanor of the former mayor throughout this whole process.

        The thing is…if someone has been publically shamed by their private and professional behavior; and then, goes on to be legally chastized and still continues to mock and make light of the situation…you have to wonder if they have learned anything at all about how to conduct themselves appropriately.  Will spending this punnitive time in jail help Mr. Kilpatrick to re-evaluate the direction of his life? 

        The things that he has sacrificed by conducting his affair(s) and lying to the authorities and the court, thereby, possibly harming his relationship with his wife and children, having to give up his law license, as well as his freedom; should be counted as natural consequences for living outside the bounds of legal and moral responsibilities to those to whom he was supposed to be accountable to.  And yet, from reading accounts of yesterdays events…it sounds as though Mr. Kilpatrick mocked the prosecutors by saying things like, “I love you man” and asking them “How you doing?  Can’t even smile”?  This doesn’t bode well for learning from his mistakes. 

          Some people would say that his demeanor is encouraged by his supporters; such as those who observed the former mayor being led from the court room, who shouted encouragement to him such as “Be Strong, We got your back, We love you mayor”.  Will he have a political future when he is free to pursue such goals  Where is the accountability?

          After serving the 120 day sentence, Mr. Kilpatrick will also be on probation for 5 years, give up his law license, and repay the city of Detroit $1 million dollars.

         So I say, if you are going to spend 23 hours a day with someone…it might as well be someone you like alot.  Only 119 days to go, Mr. Kilpatrick.  The people that i truly feel sorry for is his wife and children.  I am sure they are suffering more than he is.  They have had to move out of their home, they have lost a large part of their financial support, and, they have to endure the publicity for their husband and father’s actions for a long time to come.  Should he be allowed to run for public office ever again with this legal black mark on his record?



Read Full Post »

       The infamous Hugh Hefner, publisher/owner of Playboy magazine, is lonely but not alone.  His longtime girlfriend Holly Madison has left him.  She is still residing in the Playboy mansion for the time being as she is also part of his business…however, their personal romantic relationship is over.  The reason being is that Holly wanted & hoped for marriage and babies. 

        Approximately six months ago, Holly found out that Hugh is no longer able to father children at the age of 82.  Marriage also was not in the cards; as he is still married to wife, Kimberly Conrad.  You would think that a woman who lived with, at least, two other women in their relationship…that not only would she understand that marriage was not part of the plan…but, that bringing children into such an arrangement would NOT be a good thing. 

        Still, other than the obvious perks of living with an extremely wealthy man who could offer many material things in life…one has to wonder what, if any, benefit there is for women who range from ages 18-28 would find from being one of several romantic partners with an 82 year old man who lives such a public life of a player. 

        For his part in this debacle, Hugh says that he has been down in the dumps since the split.  At the same time, Hugh makes it a plainly obvious that he is moving on.  He is already looking for new partners to add to his female menagerie.  He says that he will NOT live alone.

        If a person was to think on the psychological side of this equasion…you’d have to wonder why a man who is aging is so bent on surrounding himself with young beautiful women, in large numbers all at the same time, and who is so determined not to live alone.  It is not as if these young women can keep him from aging or knocking on death’s door when the time comes.  It seems such an empty pursuit; a steady avoidance of anything deeper than a temporary commitment.  Hugh was married twice; one marriage ended in divorce, and the other in a long term seperation that continues to this day. 

        Still, there has been a considerable amount of interest in the life of the man who founded Playboy magazine and the business behind it.  There seems to be no shortage of women who are willing to become a part of his lifestyle.  Many of those women have gone on to make a name for themselves in the entertainment industry themselves.  Morally, many people have taken issues with the man, his business, and the message that is implied of living an alternative lifestyle that is in direct opposition to traditional relationships regarding men and women. 

        The image of Hugh Hefner and his life are rolled into a neat little wrap of sexual freedom, financial indulgences, celebrity dalliances and carefree relationships.  However, beneath the surface of such fairytales are usually layers of pain, anger, dysfunction, fear and abandonment issues. 

         In the end, only Mr. Hefner has the answers to such ponderings.  If there are such issues in his life, we will probably never know it.  I am fairly sure, buried in a file cabinet in a lawyers office somewhere, is probably a stack of documents; attesting to the fact of an agreement of confidentiality between Mr. Hefner and the bevy of beauties who have come and gone out of his very public life. Otherwise, don’t you think we would have heard lurid tales of love em and leave em situations from those who have felt jilted by Hugh Hefner, in the past?



Read Full Post »

        Did you ever stop to think about the ways in which a driver can be impaired?  I mean besides the obvious impairment of drinking or drugging, and then driving?  I read a very sad news story recently about an elderly driver who ran a stop sign and killed another person.  That elderly man has recently had to go before the court on charges of killing another human being.

         Did that driver intentionally kill the other person; no, he did not.  However, it is alleged that because of his age…his driving skill was impaired.  It is said that his reaction time was greatly diminished and he should never have been driving.  This man is in his 90’s and will possibly, upon sentencing…be serving time in jail.  He didn’t mean to cause the death…but still, someone else’s loved one died. 

          It is a fine line in knowing when a persons driving is impaired because of age, disability, irresponsibility, or illness.  I think about all of the young men and women who have physical or mental disability who see their peers hitting the milestone of turning 16 and getting their driver’s licenses.  I know their heart aches to do the same. 

          It is up to the parents to decide when and if their child is able to drive and make appropriate choices when doing so; whether that child is disabled or not.  If they are disabled physically, emotionally, or mentally; and, it will impair their driving skill…it is up to the parents to withhold the priviledge of driving.  It is hard to deny them that priviledge but sometimes necessary.  It is better to have them dissappointed or angry than to have them dead or causing the death of another person.

           The same holds true when it comes to being the adult child of a parent who is past the ability to drive safely.  No one really wants to give up their freedom to drive when they have done so throughout their adult years…but, when an elderly person has gotten to the point to where their driving skills are in question…it usually falls to the adult child to have a discussion about giving up the right to drive.  Maybe there is a medical condition that causes concern…or a medication that hinders safe driving.  Precautions must be taken for everyone’s sake.  This is a delicate subject; care must be given to not treat the person as a child.  Alternatives have to be considered for how that elderly person is going to come and go in their everyday lives.  Think about how they feel…get their input on how to resolve the situation. 

            That is not an easy conversation to have with an elderly parent.  It is not an easy conversation to have with a child who has disabilities.  It is not an easy conversation to have with anyone who is impaired by anything that affects the drivers safety or the safety of others on the road…yet, it is a conversation that must take place if you care about that person.

             Back to the elderly person in the news who now bears the responsibility of having taken a life with his driving.  The picture of that man in the police booking photo would break your heart.  It is the picture of a broken man.  It is terribly sad to look at that photo and put anyone that you care about in that picture frame.  It is sadder yet for the person who lost a loved one to such a situation. 

             Please take the time to evaluation the decision to allow the people you care about to drive.  If your teen wants to drive but makes reckless decisions…wait a while longer until they prove more responsible.  They might be angry…but at least they wont be in the position of that elderly man.  If your disabled loved one is not ready to drive…don’t let them just because they are of age.  It is a burden they might not be ready for.  If you know someone who is consummed with road rage…talk to them about not driving.  If you know someone who is constantly distracted on the road…they should not be driving.  If your aged love one is past the age of safe driving; and, is making mistakes on the road…have that conversation with them in a caring way.  Respect them…but, be sure to explain your concerns.  Take their feelings into account and think about how you want to be treated in the same situation when the time comes.

           It is hard…but, if you know that accidents are happening that shouldn’t; and, you don’t do or say anything to them…and something horrible happens…can you live with the consequences of death or jail time that will affect that person? 


Read Full Post »

       What if you were convicted of a crime and you knew you were innocent; but, no one else knew or cared once you were convicted?  Worse yet, what if you were wasting away in prison for a crime you didn’t commit; while the real criminal was free to continue doing what you were accused of doing?  Wouldn’t you want someone to dig until they found proof of your innocence?

       Many people think that is the job of the defense attorneys of the accused; but that is unrealistic.  Oh, they do their job in court to protect your rights, best way that they can…but, for the most part…once you are convicted…you are there until your time is served. They have so many people to represent…unless your case sticks in their craw and they believe in you; and, they have powerful, political connections to movers and shakers…you will sit in prison until your time is up!

        What if someone dared to believe in your innocence and was willing to investigate until irrefutible proof was found that proved your innocence?  That would be a gift…a miracle.    That type of commitment costs money and lots of time.  Most people don’t have an unending supply of wealth.  By the time they have gone through the court system and paid to defend themselves…they have nothing left.  Often, even family and friends have moved on with their lives…not ALWAYS…but, by the time that the person has sat in prison a few years…family and friends have been forced to go back to work, finish growing up, getting married, having children, going off to college; you get the idea…life keeps moving on.  (more…)


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »