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Posts Tagged ‘life’

        Today is a life affirming day of recognition….it is the Sanctity of Life Sunday…a day when most churches and individuals choose to celebrate life and inspire individuals to cherish & protect it.  Many churches concentrate on the issue of teaching that abortion violates the sanctity of life (I happen to agree)… however, there are many, equally important ways to honor and celebrate life.

        While abortion is a horror to me and i think it should be repellant to all human beings; that issues comes up at the very beginning of life.  There are other circumstances that need to be addressed as well. 

          There are issues such as injury, illness and those who fight for the right to commit suicide.  Life is precious at all stages.  Should we turn a blind eye to those who would turn out the light of another human being simply because they are infirmed, disabled, impaired, terminally ill or have no desire to live another moment?

            For those who truly believe in the sanctity of life…it gets a bit stickier for some when you enter into the idea of criminals who commit heinous crimes; and, the criminal justice system offers up the death penalty or death row for certain individuals who have been convicted of crimes that can dish out the death penalty as punnishment. 

        For me that is a bit trickier –i have not sorted out the boundaries of my beliefs on that.  Criminals who commit the most horrible, vile crimes….it is a struggle in my heart to remind myself that God says, “Vengence is mine sayeth the Lord”.  But, if that verse is applied strictly…then…punnishment will come later from God (in the meantime…life in prison without parole is the only recourse to prevent further tragedy).  

          On the other hand, there are scriptures that also talk about an eye for an eye…and if a man take a life he must also forfeit his.  So…this part of the sanctity of life, i am still working out in my mind and heart.  Until i have studied the issues more closely..i am going to err on the side of; Life is precious and must be protected…at the beginning of life, in the early part of life, in middle age, in the elder years and in all stages in between.

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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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     Have you ever noticed how a baby can change the whole environment of a room?  You can be standing in line somewhere thinking that you would rather be anywhere else in the world…frustrated beyond belief; and, a mother or father can walk in with a baby and people just seem to smile a little more.  Babies have the ability to change the world.

        If the baby is old enough to interact with those around them…they can lift the spirits of the grumpiest person nearby.  Everyone is that baby’s friend and while they may not want to leave the safe and secure arms of mom or dad to let a stranger hold them…they will generally smile, coo and try to engage those around them.  That baby has already changed everything about life for both mom and dad; as well as those in the life of mom and dad.

         Every baby is special.  But there is one baby that is even more so; it is baby Jesus.  Today is his birthday and he changed the world more than any other child born.  He was born to bring life and love everlasting to the world.  He loves everyone and wishes for them to live in heaven.  For this to happen…we must accept him as our savior; and, live a life that is worthy of being saved-the bible is our road map…it teaches us the way to live.   We live to be of service to others and to worship God. 

         Babies are a gift from God…just as baby Jesus was a gift.  So this Christmas, please remember him in your celebration.  He is the reason for the whole holiday…celebrating Christmas without celebrating Christ Jesus seems like an empty holiday to me.  May you be blessed this Christmas and in this New Year!  Happy Birthday Jesus!  How do you plan on celebrating Christmas?

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Have you ever noticed that people who have an attitude of thankfulness in their heart are much more pleasant people to be around?  That fact was brought home yesterday, when I knew that we would be surrounded with family who has that view on life.  It is not so much that life is perfectly happy and content…it is an attitude of grattitude.  Knowing in your heart that things can get better when they are not the way that you wish them to be.  The future has a way of working itself out when living situations are not as you want them to be.

       The point was driven home that it is a choice to experience life to it’s fullness by a phone call.  It was a person who is going through a very difficult thing in life…divorce.  He had called the night before and was very morose and abrupt.  He SAYS that he called to wish us a Happy Thanksgiving.  But it didn’t feel that way; and my husband was not available to talk to him till the next morning… on Thanksgiving.

       So my husband calls him back to return the “good wishes” only to be greeted and treated to the same monotone voice that i heard.  He was filled with despair.  When wished a Happy Thanksgiving…he actually replied; “What is there to be thankful for?”

       Then he said, that is why i called you yesterday; to AVOID the whole Thanksgiving Day thing! Then why call at all?  Did he really mean it that he wished for us to have a Happy Thanksgiving or did he want to let us know, that while we were having a Happy Thanksgiving, he was miserable? 

       I asked him the night before what he was going to do on Thanksgiving after trying to support him through the short conversation; only to become disconnected on the phone.  Or that is what i thought, until the next day when my husband experienced his phone call with this person.  He too experienced a disconnect with him…co-incidence? 

        I don’t think it was…i think he was hanging up in his misery.  That is sad, it is disturbing, it is heart wrenching.  It was also angering; because, he does have much to be thankful for.  He has a job, he has a place to live, he has  children for which to be thankful for.   The phone calls were a blantant bid for sympathy; and, an opportunity to dump his chosen mood of misery on other human beings.  How we choose to live our lives is just that, a choice.  You can “let life happen to you” or you can choose to wring every last joy or pleasure out of it while you have it.

       It isn’t that we don’t care about the misery that he is going through in his divorce.  But the truth is, that no one else can give you happiness or peace.   You can’t put life on hold or it will pass you by…leaving you with a plate full of regrets!

      Now there is more suffering.  It is unavoidable at this point.  There are two choices…to accept the ending and move forward…or wallow in the misery and resentment.  This person still has children to be a parent to; siblings to have relationships with; and, the person is still young enough to learn from their mistakes and rebuild their life with another person, if he so chooses.  This person is a good person.  I wish for him happiness.  I wish for him healing and joy in life.  If i could box it up and give it to him…i would…but i am afraid…he doesn’t know how to accept it. 

       Life is short.  We must approach it with care.  Is life always going to give us what we want, when we want it, the way we want it on a silver platter?  No.  Can we still choose to live joyously and fully?  Yes, i believe we can.  Let’s help each other along by giving encouragement, when we are ALLOWED to!

      Have you ever noticed that people who have an attitude of thankfulness in their heart are much more pleasant people to be around?  That fact was brought home yesterday, when I knew that we would be surrounded with family who has that view on life.  It is not so much that life is perfectly happy and content…it is an attitude of grattitude.  Knowing in your heart that things can get better when they are not the way that you wish them to be.  The future has a way of working itself out when living situations are not as you want them to be.

       The point was driven home that it is a choice to experience life to it’s fullness by a phone call.  It was a person who is going through a very difficult thing in life…divorce.  He had called the night before and was very morose and abrupt.  He SAYS that he called to wish us a Happy Thanksgiving.  But it didn’t feel that way; and my husband was not available to talk to him till the next morning… on Thanksgiving.

       So my husband calls him back to return the “good wishes” only to be greeted and treated to the same monotone voice that i heard.  He was filled with despair.  When wished a Happy Thanksgiving…he actually replied; “What is there to be thankful for?”

       Then he said, that is why i called you yesterday; to AVOID the whole Thanksgiving Day thing! Then why call at all?  Did he really mean it that he wished for us to have a Happy Thanksgiving or did he want to let us know, that while we were having a Happy Thanksgiving, he was miserable? 

       I asked him the night before what he was going to do on Thanksgiving after trying to support him through the short conversation; only to become disconnected on the phone.  Or that is what i thought, until the next day when my husband experienced his phone call with this person.  He too experienced a disconnect with him…co-incidence? 

        I don’t think it was…i think he was hanging up in his misery.  That is sad, it is disturbing, it is heart wrenching.  It was also angering; because, he does have much to be thankful for.  He has a job, he has a place to live, he has  children for which to be thankful for.   The phone calls were a blantant bid for sympathy; and, an opportunity to dump his chosen mood of misery on other human beings.  How we choose to live our lives is just that, a choice.  You can “let life happen to you” or you can choose to wring every last joy or pleasure out of it while you have it.

       It isn’t that we don’t care about the misery that he is going through in his divorce.  But the truth is, that no one else can give you happiness or peace.   You can’t put life on hold or it will pass you by…leaving you with a plate full of regrets!

      Now there is more suffering.  It is unavoidable at this point.  There are two choices…to accept the ending and move forward…or wallow in the misery and resentment.  This person still has children to be a parent to; siblings to have relationships with; and, the person is still young enough to learn from their mistakes and rebuild their life with another person, if he so chooses.  This person is a good person.  I wish for him happiness.  I wish for him healing and joy in life.  If i could box it up and give it to him…i would…but i am afraid…he doesn’t know how to accept it. 

       Life is short.  We must approach it with care.  Is life always going to give us what we want, when we want it, the way we want it on a silver platter?  No.  Can we still choose to live joyously and fully?  Yes, i believe we can.  Let’s help each other along by giving encouragement, when we are ALLOWED to!

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        Finally, there is a person who has been named as a suspect in the murder of television news anchorwoman Anne Pressly.  On Wednesday evening, Little Rock, Arkansas police have named Curtis Lavell Vance of Marianna, Arkansas as the suspect.

         Not much was announced about him except that he is thought to be armed and is possibly driving a 1998 Oldsmobile Aurora.  Curtis may also be traveling with a woman and three little children.  There was no announcement about where they may be traveling.

        There has been much speculation since Anne was murdered…some say it was a random act of violence; but many believe otherwise.  There was so much violence in the attack from news reports that i have ran across.  Anyone who expends that much anger/violence in such a crime is generally not a random attacker…it is usually someone who feels they know the victim or does indeed know them and holds a grudge.

          From all accounts since her passing; Anne was a beautiful woman both on the outside and inside…she was a loving, caring person who treated others with respect and concern.  It is such a tragedy to have such a person taken from all those who loved her. 

         If Curtis Vance did indeed murder Anne Pressly…he will likely be a danger to all he encounters.  Regardless, it is good to finally hear that some headway has been made in the investigation of this well loved anchorwoman, Anne Pressly.   No one deserves to die in the manner in which she did. 

         Whoever brutalized Anne deserves to be caught, prosecuted; and, put away for life so that they can never harm another citizen.  Anne was loved by her family, friends, co-workers and her community; they are all grieving their loss.   Let’s hope and pray that Curtis Lavell Vance is apprehended soon without further harm to another person so that the investigation can continue.  Rest in peace Anne.

Breaking news:  Curtis Lavell Vance has allegedly been captured.  No further details at this time.

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       People are funny; when things get tight…their fists often get tighter; but not always.  This year, like no other year in recent memory, people are hurting.  They are hurting in many areas financially.  Many have lost their homes, their jobs, their savings…along with medical coverage.  It is a difficult time for many in our nation.

        Most everyone has something that they have been blessed with that they no longer use.  Those things that you have been blessed with and no longer use just might be terribly useful to someone else.  Have extra blankets (or sleeping bags) in the closet or attic that you have no use for?  Someone else has need for them; donate it to a shelter, a church, or an agency that gives to those in need.  Don’t forget places like the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  Let’s challenge ourselves to find ways to have a positive impact on those around us.

         What about checking out deals, when you grocery shop, that make use of buy one get one free…then, donating that extra item to a food pantry?  In fact, things people often run out of and have a hard time replacing are necessities such as laundry soap, shampoos/conditioners, toothpaste, dish soap, toilette paper; when money is limited…having those things donated to a food pantry can really be a big help.  Maybe you have a baby or toddler that has outgrown their diapers or pullups…and you have a partial package left; donate it, don’t let it set on a shelf somewhere unused.  What good are those items doing sitting there collecting dust?

          Do you have warm clothes that either don’t fit, things that aren’t your style; or, perhaps you just have an extra set of clothes that you could pass along?  What about coats or boots, mittens or hats/scarves?  Items such as these are desperately needed in colder temperatures and climates.  The fall and winter weather is unforgiving if a person is not sheltered and dressed appropriately for cold temperatures.  Children and adults are both in need; so, please check your closets and storage areas for things that you are not using.

          Here is another idea; have you had a tree fall on your property that you would like removed?  Offer it to those who heat their homes with wood for free…just for the taking.  Wow…how wonderful to get it removed and bless someone else with the wood who could use it to heat their homes. 

          So you say…you don’t have anything physical to give.  How about donating your time or possibly a service like raking leaves/shoveling snow for an elderly person who you know isn’t able to do it for themselves?  Maybe you could offer to get their mail so they don’t slip on the snow and ice or offer to run some errands for them.  There really are so very many ways to help another person who is in need. 

          Think about the homeless who are living on the streets.  Do you perhaps have a shelter or tent that is not going to be used in the near future?  Can you live without it?  Find an agency or charity that will use it to house those folks who cannot or will not live in a shelter.  We have many veterans and run-aways who live under bridges and tunnels all around this nation.  Is a tent or a shelter from your basement or garage an ideal place to live?  No but, it may just keep someone safer from the extreme elements, temporarily, until they can get back on their feet.

           Are any of these suggestions going to cure the ills our nation is facing; probably not…but, it may just help communicate caring to someone who is feeling desperate and alone.  Think about what you can do to help someone who has it a bit worse than you and yours.  Your donations could mean the difference between life and death for someone; and it doesn’t have to cost you more than a bit of compassion for others!

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       I remember back when i was in high school, back in the 80’s, we had a class on social issues.  In that class we discussed high profile situations in our society; which underscored how desensitized our society was becoming to people in pain and misery.

       There was a case of a woman who was stabbed over and over again in New York.  She was screaming and people heard it and yet they did nothing.  Later, when the police were investigating…people stated that they heard it; but, they did not want to “get involved”. 

         I remember thinking, during that discussion, that that was crazy; an isolated incident.  Not so, as i have grown up and matured, I find that people really are becoming desensitized to other people’s pain and misery.  It is crazy but think about it…how many movies have put murder and torture out there for entertainment value…such as those horror flicks or slasher movies?  It is not only sad…but, it is immoral.   Those things desensitize our fellow human beings to the value of life.

         How many television shows continue to shoot, rape, rob, torture and victimize others and draw in millions of viewers each and every day?  How do we expect people to have compassion towards one another?  We need to reconnect to those around us; this is something that affects us all.  Children are growing up today who have great difficulty seeing past their own wants and needs.  Adults who are willing to commit violence to get what they want…no matter who they hurt or kill.  Parents who kill children, children who kill parents, siblings, neighbors or friends.  It is as if they do not know how to “feel” appropriately towards anyone outside of themselves.

        Today, i am brought to a deeper sadness than I have felt in a long time regarding our nation and the lack of compassion that our citizens show towards one another. 

         A young man in Florida committed suicide online while others watched and egged him on.  He posted a suicide note…he live-streamed his suicide online; while people WATCHED and did nothing to HELP him.  Not only that, they allegedly ridiculed him and said things like…that isn’t enough medication to kill you!  What amazes me, is that this went on for hours and hours before someone had the good sense to contact the authorities to try to get help for him.   It was too late; he was already dead!

         There are reports that this person may have attempted to kill himself in the past.  So what; so what if it was a false alarm…who and what does it hurt to contact the authorities and have it checked out?  If that person was faking it…he would have been sent somewhere for a psychological exam to find out why he would do such a thing.  Maybe, just maybe he would still be alive today if someone had made an attempt to help him; when he FIRST stated his intention to kill himself.   

         Unfortunately, the young man was not faking the suicide attempt…he was actually crying out for help.  There were many people who had an opportunity to get involved, save a life, make a difference…and yet…they did not.  How can a human being watch another person suffer in front of their very eyes and pile more emotional damage upon that person?  Even if they thought it was a prank, even if they thought the person was not serious, even if they thought it was a waste of time…they failed to react with compassion.  How much more of an effort would it have taken to pick up the phone…or contact the online service that provided the streaming video and asked for someone to follow up on the person’s well-being?  Someone finally did contact help…but…it was much too late for saving his life; but, at least they made an attempt.

           I sure would not want my mind filled with the image of that young man lying on his bed with his back to the camera; filled with despair and depression…curled up in defeat…knowing that he died as I watched and took no action to save his life.  Every life has value and should be preserved.  My heart aches for him, for his family and for his friends…and yes, even for those who watched him die.  They will have to live with the knowledge of what they saw, what they said and did; and, did not do to help a fellow human being in distress.

           Many people in our society are affected by mental illness, or by depression.  It is not a crime…however, it is a crime to fail to get someone help when they need it.  I don’t know if any of those who participated in this suicide by watching it will be held legally responsible or not…but, I do think that they had a moral obligation to get involved in a way that would have attempted to provide some emergency help for this individual.  Depression is a serious matter and so is a suicide attempt.   Please help to educate others on suicide prevention!  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/suicide-prevention/ or on what happens to a suicide victim’s loved ones after the suicide:  http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=6311509

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       Ashlee Simpson has given birth and is the proud mother of a son named Bronx.  Ashlee and her husband Pete Wentz got married last spring.  This past week there were statements by Jessica Simpson, Ashlee’s sister that said Ashlee was ready to jump up and down or do anything to help bring the little one into the world.  Well, Bronx is finally here.

         He was born Thursday evening.  He weighed 7 pounds and 11 ounces; was twenty and a half inches long.  Welcome, Bronx Mowgli Wentz.  Congratulations to their family and friends.

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      This is a terrible example of how China is wiping away the future of some of it’s children.  This week, a woman is sitting in a hospital under control of the authorities awaiting a forced abortion.  Her crime; she already has two children.  The authorities in China control the population by limiting the amount of children a family is allowed to have.  Parts of China enforce this control by limiting a family to one or two children.

       The woman’s name is Arizgul Tursun.  Arizgul is six months pregnant.  She ran from her village to avoid the forced abortion; however, her family received threats; and, she was taken and placed under custody in the hospital.  Human rights organizations are protesting this treatment.  China says publically that it doesn’t endorse such extreme means of controlling the population; however, this case will shine a light onto the Chinese government’s sincerity.

        This is cruel and inhuman treatment to both the mother and the infant.  At six months, this child could live outside of the womb; however, the authorities will give her a shot that will cause her to deliver a child that will not be allowed to survive.  We need to pray for this woman, her “caregivers”, her child and the authorities in charge of enforcing this abortion. 

          Decisions about family growth should be left up to the parents in a family…not outsiders.  Every life has value and it is immoral to force an abortion on a woman who does not want it.  God help her and her child. 

          Is it right to allow this kind of treatment to take place; without protests and sanctions against countries that allow it?  If China allows this abortion to take place…what should other governments around the world do to demand more humane treatment of individual rights in China?

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       Baby don’t cry…it is not your fault.  When you are old enough to know your story…know that it is not your fault.  It has happened for generations…people abandon their children.   It is wrong, but they do it for many reasons…all sad reasons, all heartbreaking…but, what it comes down to is a lacking.

        A lacking of something that is required to parent you little one.  Some parents are lacking money, some are lacking appropriate housing or clothing, some are lacking parenting skills.  Even worse, some are lacking a very basic, important connection…a bonding of parent to child; it is called love.  This is not normal.  This is not your fault.  The lacking is theirs and theirs alone; don’t let it define you.  Their failure to provide what you need does not wipe away your right to have those things that children need to grow and be whole.   You deserve to have what every child should have…love and acceptance. 

       There are many who would adopt you; love you and give you everything you need to be successful in life.  It is sad that your birth parents could not for whatever reason of lacking, be the people to give you what you need.  However, when you are able to read and understand it all…hopefully, you will have been adopted and cared for appropriately.  I hope that you received that love; and, now know that you are part of a family who wanted you, and needed you to be part of them.  The parts of you that feel empty or unfulfilled, because of the unknowns about your birth family, probably will never be fully satisfied.  Let it be enough to know that the circumstances that lead to your being abandonned are not a statement of anything that was wrong with you as a person.

         A small newborn child was abandoned in Charlotte, North Carolina in the last few days.  Children are being abandoned all around the world.  There are many who would love these children were they to enter into the foster/adoptive legal system in the right kind of way.  Why are parents dumping their children?

        When you are able to read this, or some other piece that addresses such issues…and  you have learned about your abandonment; don’t try to seek further information.  It will only hurt you more.  There are no answers that will satisfy your heart’s desire to be loved and accepted by the people who gave you up.  For each answer that is given to justify such actions will just trigger another “what if you had done this or that…could you have kept me then” question.  It is a never ending circle of emotional hurt.   

        It is not a reflection upon you…babies and children are easy to love.  You have done nothing wrong to be rejected…it is a fault inside of that person that by some miracle was able to give you life.  Unfortunately, abortion (infant death) is an option in today’s world..so, choosing life was a very positive thing.   Maybe that is the most that they had to give you; LIFE, it IS an important gift. 

       Your true source of life comes from God above.  You are here in this world because he values you…you are here for a purpose.  Discover what your purpose is and live it to the fullest…do not be destroyed by feelings of rejection or inferority.  You are worthy of all the best that life has to give you.   Your beginnings do not have to set a  negative standard for the rest of your life.  Take your gift and all that you have been able to receive and enjoy since the time of your birth and make something of yourself.  Be a giver, be an encourager…be the embodiement of what your birth parents lacked.  Be a giver and a receiver of Love.  Do you think that the impact of your birth can make a positive difference in the world?   I do, every life has value to offer the world.  Reader, do you know someone who has been rejected or abandoned…were they able to turn their difficult beginnings into a positive, productive life?

      

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