‘Tribes of the Lonely’

Does it ever occur to you there’s more to life and you’re being left behind? Do you wake with fears you’ll never find the love and freedom you always dreamed of? That’s your emotions calling to you.

Blogger, D De Han

Our emotions can trick us if we ignore them! Many in this age are foregoing their need for emotional fulfillment like money or the mind are all that’s important. After my son left this earth, I had to fight tremendous fears, anxiety. Every parent goes thru trauma when their child is deeply threatened or lost. There’s an emotional attachment that’s very intimate. No outside Twitter feed or Facebook friends can give you the deep sense of belonging like having family members whom you’re deeply linked to. And losing them can be a threat to your life, if you don’t fill the void right.

The following article by Ms. King speaks to our hearts AND our culture! This is her personal story but she has aptly cross referenced our personal lack of intimacy to our national loneliness and the troubles that come with it. As Senator Sasse says, our nation has become ‘tribes of the lonely’, because we have a deep yearning to belong to others who fill our need for intimacy and purpose and online groups will never fulfill that void correctly! 

Wherever you are in life I think this will resonate!

by Gennifer King

Have you ever had one of those big realization moments where certain things just suddenly make so much sense? Have you ever had one of those moments come spewing out of your mouth in a conversation before you’ve even had the revelation yourself? I had one of those moments on Sunday, and it’s really been bothering me.

d

It’s very common for people to feel blue after coming back from a mission trip; however, I hate having emotions that I cannot fully describe or find the root cause to. These emotions tend to run around my head and wreak havoc until I am in a dreadful state of mental un-health. So feeling blue the past two weeks has really ticked me off, because I haven’t been able to say for sure WHY. In a conversation on Sunday the answer came leaping out of my mouth and I nearly wept with equal measures of relief and grief.

Genn w/baby

I must confess that have been reluctant to talk about my experiences in Uganda, even avoiding people or social events to not have to discuss it with people. Not because I don’t want to share, but because I have not fully processed everything that happened, how I feel about it, and what the most important things are to share. There are many stories from the trip, and each brings hope, joy and a call to action; but, there is a message that I want to share. This message isn’t about miracles or amazing things I have never seen or how our little group impacted those around us. This message is about how those around us impacted me; because it is an impact that I think needs to happen for most Americans.

VOH team

It was hard for me to come back to America, there are many reasons that I would have loved to stay in Uganda. There is one very selfish reason. For 16 solid days I felt free to be myself without fear of judgement or not fitting in with the group, and for 16 solid days I never felt lonely. Mostly cut off from communication, safe for a short time every evening and morning when wifi was available, and with people I have known for less than a year, in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language,  but I have never felt so included, seen, appreciated, accepted, cared for, and un-lonely. Why do I feel so alone here?

Psychology Today says “To be happy, we need intimate bonds; we need to be able to confide, we need to feel like we belong, we need to be able to get and give support. In fact, strong relationships are key — perhaps the key — to a happy life.” The key words to take note of here are “intimate bonds”. In this fast-paced society of social media and busy schedules, we know many people, but how many intimate bonds do we really have?

OTW friends

Do you want to know the most amazing thing I saw in Uganda? People making a conscious effort to engage with one another. Friends walking hand in hand in a gesture that says, “I am with you, right now, fully present and engaged in our conversation. YOU are my priority, and I will hold your hand so you know it.” Teen boys walking hand in hand as an act of friendship and attention. Grown men holding hands out of respect for their friend. Here we simply say “hello, how are you?” out of social norms and often without thought. There, a salutation is an opportunity for connection.

Since coming back, loneliness is the feeling that has been making me blue. I miss sharing every meal with those 4 strangers who are now my family, and openly discussing our struggles, our joys, the lessons we’ve learned, and checking in on one another’s health. I miss the way that people greeted each other that made me feel like I was the only thing that mattered in that moment. I am not afraid of being alone, and sometimes I need it; but loneliness… loneliness is an empty black pit.

Loneliness is sharing a house with a friend, but occupying different rooms. Loneliness is walking away from a conversation not feeling heard, or worse, not respected enough to be authentic. Loneliness is the thing that drives me to seek comfort in the blue and white platform of Facebook; because, a like and a comment is better than nothing.

lonely

Loneliness is the thing that keeps me awake at night; and fills my head with nightmares of unhealthy relationships past. Because, at least in those relationships, there was someone there. Loneliness is my gateway to depression and all of the unhealthy coping skills I pick up along the way.

I don’t share this to gain sympathy, or to wallow in self-pity. I share this because more than 22% of Americans suffer from loneliness. Think of 10 people you know… most likely, 2 of them feel lonely a significant amount of the time. There is a misconception that activity and inclusion are the tools to fighting loneliness. The only answer to the loneliness questions is RELATIONSHIP. Taking the time to hear someone, rather than listening for your chance to respond or tell your story. Making the conscious effort to remember someone’s name and your last conversation, or that one thing they were excited about that one time. Knowing the line between inclusion and disrespecting someone else’s boundaries, values, and personality. Placing your cellphone in your pocket when you are engaging with someone; and letting the wretched thing go to voicemail. Sending a text or leaving a voicemail for someone when you are thinking about them; or sending them flowers if appropriate. Making time for those intimate conversations over a meal, a cup of coffee, or a hiking trail.

relationship

I challenge you to think about what it means to have an intimate connection with someone (not physical) and make a conscious effort to cultivate that with 5 new people.

I firmly believe that we were created to be in intimate relationship with God and with other people.

I want to live like I believe it.

***************************************************************************************

Gennifer can be found on Facebook –

 

Portland, Free Speech & Antifa

I can’t say enough about the grassroots people on my Twitter feed!  People from all walks, ages, races share on current issues that are baffling, worrisome or silly!

Last couple days lot of tweets on how antifa in Portland, OR attacked journalist Andy Ngo! Two other men across the street from Mr. Ngo were seriously attacked as well and taken to the hospital. Andy received various cuts, bruises and has perhaps a ‘brain bleed’. Supposedly antifa threw ‘milkshakes’ which we’re told by police probably had quik dry cement in them. The outcry over how antifa is allowed to attack people, disrupt traffic, vandalize in the city of Portland just rose to another huge level.

I’ve been following Andy for some months mainly because he’s for free speech as I am. I have mixed feelings about how he promotes himself. I wouldn’t go around defining myself by my sexual orientation like he does. I wouldn’t trash talk Portland streets either. Other stuff.

But I like how he defends  free speech in this era where mainstream media has tried to dominate what we see or hear, and block conservative viewpoints! He’s so great about reporting on the cruelties in the Muslim faith around the world. I love how he’s sharing about the rise in hate talk, anti-Jewish, anit-gay sentiment around the world as well as in the U.S. He’s giving voice to many on Twitter, elsewhere who’re angry or upset about these very dangerous trends.

Andy chooses to walk quietly among antifa protesters, in Portland as well as Seattle, not saying a word, but filming here and there … and he’s often confronted verbally and had stuff thrown at him. Recently he was attacked at his gym, and has received death threats that he exposes in tweets. He’s the only independent journalist doing this that I know of.

Protests at nite in front of PDX City Hall –

I’ve visited PDX often since Marc’s homicide and stay downtown 1-2+ blocks from the heart of many of the protests. It’s restricting at times of course when the protests go on while I visit. Normally nights are peaceful but I’ve been woken at times by bull horns blaring and people shouting slogans.

This is Mayor Wheeler’s first term and he inherited the BLM, Resist PDX and now antifa movements. What a heritage! I was glad he set up a more secure system for holding City Council Mtgs. He and former Mayor Hales had been confronted by menacing, rowdy & destructive people trying to disturb or run city politics during the Council Meetings. So, strides have been taken to bring peace to the running of the Council Mtgs.

But antifa has been a thorn in his side, partly for the way the city is built, with how the streets and bridges all converge on the downtown area …. the part of Portland that holds the most attraction for retail, legal offices, hotels and visitors attractions. And partly due to the fact Wheeler is offended with a couple of Trumps ICE directives, etc.

Anyway, antifa is mostly youths from maybe 18 -20’s. They are not thoughtful, idealistic college kids with any positive plan. From what I’ve read in the past, most aren’t registered voters so they don’t participate in the political process as peaceful adults. Antifa’s moniker approves of violence. I watched Chuck Todd interview Mark Bray, the author of the “Antifa Handbook“, the definitive book on antifa last year. He chronicles the establishment of antifa and I heard him flatly state ‘violence is necessary‘. This group is also nationwide and so who knows who is funding them? But you can follow some of the resistance kids online.

If we say we believe in free speech, it has to go along with honest reporting, peaceful demonstration! Tolerance of others views. Antifa likes to bother Joey Gibson’s Patriots Prayer group when they hold rallies in downtown PDX, but their main objective is to instill fear by causing violence to people and property in cities they think need a lesson. They hate Trump, hate fascists. There’s no political, social or religious platform of good towards humanity coming out of them or we’d try to understand them. That’s where I think Wheeler errs in his heart towards them!

Portland is a beautiful city and I don’t want to feed into all the negativism. But there needs to be a definitive answer to the protests! I really wish Mr. Wheeler would stop and recognize who his voting and peaceful constituents are, who he’s responsible to, what the future will be like if antifa violence is allowed to continue? The driver who ran over people in Charlottesville was caught and sentenced …. antifa who cause violence on people and property in Portland should be caught and sentenced as well.

Mr. Wheeler is hurting citizens, visitors and the whole image of his city by allowing the antifa violence –

 

Can’t Believe It’s That Bad …. (At The Top)

Some of my friends say they’re too ‘busy’ or scared of Twitter due to the negative side of it’s image. I recently joined and went thru months wondering what it was about, how I fit in or if I even liked it …. but I wanted to market my blog and book better so I was advised to sign up! (It’s helped open my eyes to the world, I’ve written about that in another post recently http://www.marcsjustice.com/?p=5050.)

I find Twitter helpful for creating community with like-minded people, but it’s also a great source for news articles or opinions different from mine. l like to read facts to see what’s going on, I’m not necessarily interested in commentary, but you’ll find it there. Twitter is about our thoughts or opinions …. not so much our day to day life with our family and friends like Facebook is, (but some sorta rely on it that way).

I’ve been asked how Twitter works. I tell people Twitter is not just a political platform where people shout at others but it’s a social, religious, business & cultural media feed of people and news sources that we choose to connect with or ‘follow’. You’re not deluged with comments from people you don’t sign up to ‘follow’. but you’ll find people sometimes screeching if you read hot button topic threads. You only read comments if you desire.  It’s become my chat place too but you can just make your reading platform.

Twitter is worldwide and you’d be surprised how normal and solid many people are. There’s a wonderful grassroots feel to it in some cases, it’s so great in that way! I follow Senators, pastors, professors, entertainment personalities and assorted others …. but beware, only join if you’re a really strong, mature person because it’s sickening to find that some of those big name celeb’s are predators (or have predators working for them).

Some ‘fruit’ you never want around

I’m warning mom’s & dads, grandparents out there …. there is a truly dangerous side to social media if your young one is naive or insecure. On FB we women receive ‘friend’ invitations from unknown men at times with totally made up names like Forrest Hunter, Major Caine. Guys hugging little children or doggies, or them standing in front of some war torn building …. and their account has no history! BOGUS people! Same thing with Twitter!

I don’t cry wolf when there’s no cause but I’ve heard horror stories on TV, and a mom in my relatives shared how her child was caught up in human trafficking! This stuff bugs me! I don’t want to think the youth in my family might be manipulated by some creepy predator, but the pressure is all around us! I’ve read about the huge human traffic effort out there and how they prey on weaker girls ….. men too. The lesser defendant in my son Marc’s murder case is involved in sex trafficking …. and it grieves me alot!

There IS a price in going ‘public’ with your opinions or life details, and I keep that in mind and block people on Twitter if I see they don’t have a ‘life’, any history that’s respectful of other, etc. I had a couple experiences recently where a couple of huge Christian ministry or Country artist super stars contacted me via DM on Twitter, wishing to know how I was  ‘doing’, and could they ‘get to know me’?’ One was male, one female.

On one search I happened to follow a major country super star, and got followed soon after. Soon after I got a DM saying :

     ‘I follow you on here because you’re a very beautiful woman and you seems like a nice person that I would love to know more about you God has a reason for all purpose.’ (his spelling)
I felt my skin crawl when I read that! What is going on out there? I checked to see if the site was a ‘fan’ page run by someone, but it was his official site. I un-followed instantly. I wondered if this was the ‘star’ himself or maybe the guy who manages his Twitter site!? You want to think the best about certain stars, the ones you follow who promote a so-called clean image. It’s a shock to find a possible predator in a guy like him. The other thing that was telling is that he has this new high-powered girlfriend! He’s on TV regularly and it creeps me out whenever I see him!
This is hard to share cause it makes women feel shame! I’m just sharing cause it’s really indicative of what others I’ve heard have faced. It makes me mad too as it’s so ‘low’ to use God as part of a predatory ploy! I feel like I’ve seen more into the abyss of the celebrity world, and need to be so vigilant!
Twitter can be great but you gotta be prepared for some trickery! I’ve been reading a book about the super elite ruling America and this was a personal wake up call to the deception they often promote! My view is that people without any normal personal values or family life will be open to any perverse thing that comes to their minds or hearts.
If we don’t speak up about where we stand or how we feel then we add to the deception out there! We can’t afford to be silent-
                                 Speaking out and being vigilant have to be our new norm!

 

It’s Official!

IT’S  OFFICIAL !

Now that this blog has been going strong for over four years, and a book is in the works, I’m taking further steps to make writing my career!

The kinds of topics I write about require the right platforms, more people groups. More importantly to me is that I factor in the transition from writing a true life tragedy to writing about concerns in our culture that are truly challenging us. A new strategy is needed in going forward, and it’s starting today!

The first couple years after Marc’s tragedy were devoted to dealing with grief, the defendants and court. I also had enormous trials in my personal life while learning the new craft of writing blogs, then a book. As the months and book progressed I found out writing a blog is my first love. It means so much because it’s immediate in how it’s birthed in me and is received by my readers.

Besides being a place of sorting out & re-birth this MJ blog has been a source of community for me! If I don’t maintain a sense of community then I’d just as soon give up, I can’t live without it. It’s been one way I connect to family, friends and reach more people with Marc’s msg. than I could normally do in my daily life.

                     Changes in Marcsjustice coming soon!

Many writers use their personal experiences in their work. I’d written for years, but never thought of myself as a blogger, it’s just so ‘in your face’ and I was such a private person. Never liked chat room world. But losing Marc was almost as real as if I’d been left in outer space to fend for myself. It places an enormous load on you to stay alive and speak back to the horror, grief and change what’s threatening you inside …. because I can’t forget and just go on as if nothing happened, nothing changed! I’m faced with a huge loss every day of my life!

So, in the coming weeks you’ll be reading some of the older posts I wrote as I was going thru grief and the murder investigation. They aren’t as long as the recent ones. Remember …. SHARING IS CARING! So SHARE this if you feel someone needs it or will benefit!

Thank you all so much!

 

The Defendants, Aftermath & Youth

I was surprised the suspects in Marc’s case were so young! I wondered what happened in their lives to make them end up homeless, and hangout in downtown Portland that October night?

As a child I once ran away, as far as the front porch. I remember how sad and cold I felt in the tiny space. But in my house there was a mom and dad, and even though my parents had some real problems, & reason to divorce, my folks stayed together for the ‘sake of the kids’. That was old fashioned sacrifice, and not too appealing nowadays, but still so important.

After Marc’s case was solved, I sought to connect with the teen defendants for a couple reasons. The main reason was to make sure they knew they were forgiven, so they could have peace in their hearts and know I didn’t hate them. Teen boys were not a mystery to me, so I guess I felt I might relate a little to them, especially as they seemed like normal enough boys, not criminal types. They took responsibility for the crime and were extremely remorseful.

I was very careful in getting to know the defendants, I knew I could be naive or idealistic. In court proceedings I found I was never fearful of them! I never felt spooked by any deranged, or evil vibes emanating from them towards me or anyone.  Of course it was a nervous, traumatic time but the court proceedings just seemed like normal people getting together for some important purpose. I identified with the prosecutor so much, the crime needed the best and most solid person to represent my son. After I got to know the type of people the boys were, I understood the defense attorneys angles.

I’m not excusing the defendants actions, the horrible crime, it still gives me great pain to think of their culpability in it all, but …. after talking with them, I see the other side. My life is not full of hate towards them, hate for the courts, police or anyone. The incident in Marc’s homicide had been a true misjudgement of behavior or personalities between strangers, just a random encounter.

Marc’s brother Paul, finding his teen identity.

After the crime I also researched about homelessness, addiction, and stuff …. I had an insatiable desire to understand the crime world, and the personal and cultural reasons the boys got caught up in a mortal crime. As I got to know them they shared some common threads in their life, which are typical for mainstream culture as well.

Recently I’ve been blessed to find authors who really care about our modern problems, and am so relieved! I shared a list of books recently in this blog. Sen. Ben Sasse shares in his book “Them: … ”  how our culture is growing away from being ‘rooted’ in traditional families & communities and instead is either becoming lost in society or wrapped up with ‘tribal’ identities.

The boys in Marc’s case are pretty typical, they were used to the values in a traditional family, but were similar & different from each other. One boy was from across the Willamette, one from New York. One knew family dysfunction & came West to find his destiny …. the other had been adopted but felt unloved at one point so started running away to live with friends. They both were genuinely hoping for good to come their way, and even shared their faith walk with me.

I watch these great true Detective shows on Justice TV network cause they are ‘real life’, not pretend, and they tell stories of crimes committed by these perverted, vile, monster types who prey on others. What a creepy, disturbing life I’d be forced to live if the defendants were sinister, deranged older criminal types who were morally lost and not remorseful or willing to be forgiven! I don’t know that I could live with that?

The lives some victims must have is unimaginable. One of my good friends was raped, & she and her 2 kids almost murdered! The offender is still in prison and up for parole soon! It was such a huge trauma for all three, they can’t even look the offender in the eye! My friend has to return to the prison and testify again in 2 weeks. I always count my blessings and know how lucky I am to come away from Marc’s case unafraid for my sanity & safety.

What I went thru is still unbearable …. if not for the justice Marc got, the support I constantly receive and my blog (Marc’s legacy). I would not be able to carry on with joy if God had not taken my focus away from Marc and I as the sole ones in pain. He needed me to look for His hand as I dealt with the defendants. I moved past the point where the case was just about Marc, or my feelings. The case was about a whole bunch of people. Even the city of Portland and beyond.

This is the way I have to live with the painful tragedy. It’s the main way we have to see the world. See the good in the life He’s given us! Understand the world doesn’t revolve around us. He has a big plan for us, no matter how hard our circumstances are!

 

 

 

 

 

Jumping Into Politics

I’ve spent some days, nights even, wondering what is going on in our country?! I used to think America was so great and complete, now I feel deep pain for her!

I’ve been an avid fan of history and politics, all my life. My college co-major. No one in my family has ever been interested in or connected with government except my oldest sister who married the son of a Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles. I was invited to dinner at her future in-laws home as a child and their family life was so gracious and orderly. They sent me home with a jar of jelly that I savored for weeks.

But, while government, or public policy, is an exciting study, politics is not always appealing. In the last couple years, especially the past 6 months, I’ve been really troubled by some people and issues in national politics! I had very favorable but limited experience with the group that worked on Marc’s case in Portland, OR. I got a great sense of trust from the court and Police Bureau. I visited some PDX City Council meetings, spoke with a couple people on Mayor Hale’s, then Wheeler’s, staff about Marc’s case, etc. I liked how everyone on staff accepted my tragedy, and how they had a fairly keen focus on their problems and got things accomplished at council mtgs. Even the TV news, major paper in Portland, The Oregonian, are not heavily biased like in Los Angeles.

Last year I joined the Twitter universe, in order to help with blog & book exposure. Only a few of my personal friends have joined that platform. When I bring up the topic of Twitter people usually say, ‘I don’t have time for it’, ‘it’s too scary’, or they make a frowny face. I went thru several phases with Twitter, and finally found how I fit in with it. I’d read articles on how it was ruining communication among people, making the world a terrible place and while there’s something to that debate, if harnessed, it can be a great tool for a person. 

I’ve seen how horrid it can be but, it’s also a great meeting place for all kinds of people you’d never have time to meet up with in your own neighborhood or life. Sometimes I just want to share everyday stuff with people …. it’s in Twitter. Sometimes I just want to get immediate news updates from people or sources I trust …. it’s on Twitter. Sometimes in depth accounts from experts … I can find it there. And when you find the subjects that you’re really interested in and get educated, it’s great to comment with people in public life, as some will actually ‘like’ or comment back.

Portland City Council Mtg –

Surprisingly, Twitter has helped remove the ‘blinders’ from my mind, helped wake me from my deep slumber as a citizen. It’s helped me flat out see with my own eyes how jaded on life many are. Some are like wolves tearing people down just for differing with their views. The filthy words, the hatred for males, whites, police, leaders, Jews or Christian’s  …. is reprehensible! It’s one thing to hear a myth from others about a platform, it’s another to discover for yourself a bottomless pit of depravity. So, I stay clear of their threads, and found my happy road.

I don’t slam people on threads cause I know some are hurt and confused and trying to find truth, you can’t always tell on the outside. But there are some, I believe, who are truly mean or evil. I can’t repeat things on this blog. The only way I could wade these waters is cause I know my solid beliefs in our form of government can’t be shaken. And I’m not that offended anymore since I’ve been so deeply offended by having a child murdered.

I’ve been polling friends and almost all don’t like the news! It just boggles my mind, There’s rapid changes going on in our culture and not to keep aware of them is scary to me. There’s rhetoric recently among a few in our national government where people want to make the U.S. a socialist nation, there are Democratic Presidential candidates spouting these sentiments. I never thought I’d hear the term socialist so loudly promoted in our country! Unbelievable!

So, what’s going to happen to our country? The people who want to steal our country’s character want us to stay afraid. They want us to be so busy with our lives, things, worries so we won’t vote. They want to slip into our politics without confrontation. I used to think there were too many good people to ever let this happen. I used to think God wouldn’t allow it or something. But I’ve discovered that while there are many good people in the foundation of our everyday life, there is a growing group of people in the federal govt. who plan on us being afraid and ‘quiet’! 

I started thinking the other day, maybe I’m wrong about some of my friends, maybe they wouldn’t think being socialist is so bad? Probably many have never entertained the thought we could have a change of government. Possibly a few don’t care about our form of govt, or economic system? People sometimes are so numb from life issues, they don’t think they are part of a whole, part of a population that has traditionally wanted to thrive? I truly understand that some are used to the ‘same ol’ life, thinking it will go on forever.

Politics may seem like too much trouble, but you owe it to yourself to get educated so you vote with understanding of the character behind the issues, the purpose behind the proposals. Yes, politics nowadays has some conflict but you can arm yourself with facts if you wish to stay involved. Buddy up with someone close if necessary and dive in, to protect yours and my freedoms.

 

Happy Easter & Notre Dame

Millions around the globe were stunned & saddened this past week when the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris was gutted by a raging fire, !  It was certainly more than just some typical church on fire, and it was quite noticeable to most that this pillar of our civilization caught on fire during the most holy week in church history!

I couldn’t believe the live feed on TV! Of course, in this day and age you wonder if the fire started due to terrorism, a homeless person’s accidental campfire or the Muslim encampments in central Paris? I’ve been following the recent ‘Yellow Coat’ protests for several months in Paris, those folks are basically regular working people, church people, not violent types. The fire was not started on a weekend when they gather.

The church was designed and constructed in midieval ages (1100’s – 1200’s) when the populace wasn’t educated. Hierarchy built it thinking the ignorant public should learn the story of the Bible thru statuary, hence all the carvings, hideous gargoyles.

Rich Lowry said it well the other day, ‘Notre Dame stands for so many qualities that we now lack — patience and staying power, the cultivation of beauty, a deep ­religious faith, a cultural confidence and ambition that could create a timeless monument of our civilization — that the collapse of its spire was almost too much to bear.’
Yes, it was almost unbearable to see it ablaze! It was a beacon of national identity thru world wars. Napoleon was crowned there, De Gaulle celebrated the end of the WWII there. Plagues and monarchs couldn’t destroy it. “It was the work of generations, completed over the course of 300 years, in a triumph over considerable architectural and logistical challenges,” Lowry said. The cathedral witnessed “countless processions and services to petition and thank God on behalf of the French nation.  It was where illustrious marriages occurred, where Napoleon crowned himself emperor, where Charles de Gaulle attended a Mass to celebrate the liberation of Paris in 1944, rifle fire echoing outside.”
“It arose at the original site of a pagan temple. Thousands of tons of stone had to be transported from outside Paris for it, one ox cart or barge at a time. To achieve its soaring height and hold up its ceiling and walls, it relied on the innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttress.  France built 80 cathedrals and 500 large churches across this period, but there was only one Notre Dame of Paris, a Gothic jewel whose towers, prior to the advent of the Eiffel Tower, were the tallest structure in Paris.”
“Notre Dame has been thoughtfully restored and preserved over the years, to our credit. But it’s difficult not to discern a distressing message in the wanton destruction that ravaged the iconic cathedral — what prior generations so carefully and faithfully built, we are losing.”
Rich Lowry is the editor of National ­Review.
I’m not the type that worships physical buildings but this is a case where a faith, a national identity and art came together to typify a people. I’ve studied Western civilization and Europe went thru cataclysmic struggles and rebirths in the neighborhoods surrounding that cathedral. Peasants visited it as well as Presidents, artists as well as the faithful. People would look to that place as a way to describe the heart of a city. The Eiffel Tower is not in the same category. N D isn’t a Protestant church like I’m used to, but when you study history and read what that part of the globe went thru down thru the centuries, those kinds of buildings have huge significance, even now. Especially since many nowadays are disparaging faith, national identity.
Life is mysterious, we like and need mystery but we can’t always pinpoint what it is and where to find it. We can say if someone goes to college they’ll be more apt to get a good job, but that’s not a mystery. That can actually dampen mystery, when you have things all figured out. Notre Dame was such a place of mysterious faith, beauty and reality all in one structure.
Life’s true mystery is evident in the moments between jobs and money.  It’s the life we spend with family and friends, the manner we strive to achieve our dreams, the way we honor others in the world thru our life in God! This fire just reminded me of the strong yet fragile ways our national identities are constructed and that we have to preserve the dignity and trust of the faithful at all costs!

                                                                    HAPPY EASTER AND PASSOVER!

Chapter One …… Exerpts

Below are the first few paragraphs from Chapter One, where I give readers a little view of Portland and Marc’s life.

Been thinking of Marc alot of late, as I share parts of my book with different people. I feel him close by and know he’s joining me to get our story out –

                                                   Chapter One

                                                    Little Bit Of Heaven

                                   “Sawbonna”      Zulu word for ‘I see you’

The Pacific Northwest had always seemed so dreary a place to live most of the year, but when I looked out over the city of Portland, I was surprised at how it’s natural beauty dazzled my eyes.  The tall buildings downtown made a stunning statement against the October sunset. The evening lights signaled the city was winding down, its daylight bath of sun fading. Twinkling lights lit up the tree lined avenues and Portland’s many park areas. From my vantage point I could see the bridges on the wide Willamette River joining the people of SW PDX with those in the South East.  Life below seemed to flow perfectly.

How many people have walked Portland city floors in the last 200 years since the West Coast was brought into mainland America by the Louisiana Purchase? How many were born since that time with sky high hopes and dreams?  People in every age had lived life just as my son Marc and I were, working on our destiny …. meeting up to share a celebration.

I’d visited Portland before, but never viewed it from this angle. There’s something breathtaking about seeing a special town or landscape from so high up, like when you’re flying to a vacation spot and look down at the human specks below, the mountains or beaches gleaming beyond. It makes you feel small, but then it can make you feel powerful.

As I watched the mass of people below driving home for the day or meeting friends for dinner, I felt a connection to them ….  like life can seem grand when you’re with someone you love or care about. It’s like love can make your everyday problems seem so small. Then I caught myself and remembered, ‘there’s people down on that city floor who’re suffering in some way’, life isn’t always as rosy as we think on the other side …. and I felt for them.

I was in this city again as Marc had just completed a nine month course at Oregon Culinary Institute and was graduating the next day. There was a lot of relief on his side as the course had been as intense as any professional institute with a high standing could be. He was double excited as he landed a modest starting position working only four blocks from home. The peace in his life was palpable, I was so grateful for how things were coming together like he dreamed they would.

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Hope you got a glimpse of the city of Portland, little of Marc and the books scope.

  • (WordPress is not aligning headings right this morning)

Preface to Book and a Comment

In the coming weeks I’m going to release some snippets of my book so you get an idea of the scope and tone, which is different from this blog here. The following is the Preface from my book. A Preface shares with potential readers how the book came about and why they should buy the book. You guys know Marc’s and my story, this Preface is for Mr & Mrs Joe Public when the book is being marketed on Amazon, etc.

I’m always open to your impressions!

PREFACE –  “Murder and Justice in Portland”  by Diane De Han

“This book’s been written with you in mind. You’re an individual who’s always trying to sort through some of the messy issues of life. Most people won’t initiate a conversation about a homicide investigation, but you’re reading this, so you’re different.

You know the idea of you or a loved one being murdered is the most catastrophic thing you could ever imagine happening! It makes you sad or your blood run cold just my bringing this up. So, your curiosity about this book is an honest reaction to one of our common fears.

This conversation regarding murder is an important one as we’re going thru a new ‘normal’ in the world.  It used to be everyone had nightmares about being attacked by ‘Jaws’, now people lie awake at night and wonder what they’d do if a mass shooter opened up at a school or mall!

I wrote this book to expand the story in my blog  marcsjustice.com, which I started soon after my son Marc was murdered in Portland, OR in October 2014. Immediately after the tragic incident I was forced to deal not only with my son’s homicide case but make important decisions about a couple life and death issues of my own.

I’m going to share with you a parent’s worst nightmare, but it won’t be a journey into the gory details of a murder case, I still can’t bear to go into that side of things. If you want a book that scares you then check out a Hollywood thriller or a true detective TV show. Although this book is a very personal journey I’m not going to bore you with sentimental trivia that won’t be useful to the theme. Rather, I think folks are more interested in how a murder case transpires and how people deal with the big questions of the presence of evil in life, and how does one manage the pain and loss of a loved one’?

We’re not being encouraged to think for ourselves much nowadays but we’re born with a conscience inside us that says the opposite …. it knows what’s real, what’s right, it can guide us in our affairs far better than a news source can. It’s there to steer us on the right path as well as guide us out of our suffering …. if we listen.

This book recognizes that we live in a society where the overwhelming message from media suggests that life is impersonal and nothing lasts. I’ve tried to take the concepts of love, pain, justice and healing that I learned out of our cultures hands and give them back into the hands of individuals like you who have a strong conscience and a desire to find God’s hand in all our circumstances.”

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Well, looks like the book title is ‘kaput’!

Last night after I commented on a tweet I was ‘blocked’ from commenting or liking anyone further! The only reason I came up with is that I used the word ‘murder’ that’s used in my book title when I commented to George Papadopoulos about my book. I shared how I was reading his new book, “Deep State Target”, and how it had inspired me in a particular chapter.

I hardly ever use this title on social media, but I think the algorhythms picked up the word ‘murder’ and didn’t like it, even tho I wasn’t threatening anyone. Think I’ll change the title since Twitter, and probably FB, will be touchy.

I’m such a free speech advocate, and don’t want to be forced to change to be politically correct. But, it’s a technical issue with them I guess, as they have so many users, that’s one way they can filter out the really dangerous people.

I’ve got another title in mind with some of the same connotations, as I don’t want to forget the horrendous loss that night in Portland!

 

My New Book & Some Good Info

I’m sorta in ‘hiding’ as I finish my book.

I’m moving away from the shocking side of Marc’s incident and building the story around ‘relationships’! If we live according to this world, we’re supposed to be a loner where everyone works out their own path, own answers …. but the way it works best is when we surrender to both God’s order of things and decipher rightly about those He places in our lives.

My book will be for society in general. I feel people aren’t trusting their own conscience much anymore, this is the prime way God speaks to us, according to Ken E. Hagin. I’m not writing to show people how much I ‘know’ about God but I want to share how He sustains us in this modern age! He gives us our private ‘radar’ to help us in this age of confusion and needing to be politically right.

Downtown Portland, OR MAX rail track

On another issue ….. I’ve been going thru alot of questioning and anguish in the last 2 years about our country! Marc and I cared so much about many of the challenges in our nation, so it’s been normal to share about politics and cultural themes at times in this blog.  I mean, as Christian’s we live in a world of government, economics/jobs, and a natural world where we’re supposed to be involved and making our world a better place to live.

We’re so blessed in the U.S., the West but there are threats blocking our freedom to speak out, to feel safe, to live openly. Too many people outside our life are trying to make important decisions for us. Some of the traditional formats for discussing life as a nation are being dried up ….. authentic political debates, great books, good theatre, innovative music that expresses adult views or TV shows with real family drama.

Sometimes I’ve literally asked myself ‘am I the only one feeling so torn by what’s going on around me”? And of course, I know I’m not alone as there are many who’re concerned about the way things are being handled in their work life, home life, health, our political scenes.

I recently broke down and joined Kindle and oh, my, it’s opened up a whole variety of writers who’re in sync with my hunches and observations. I knew of futurist writers like George Orwell, Huxley, & C. S. Lewis foreboding doom in some areas of our Western Culture but I didn’t know many in America who’re looking at our world with eyes wide open?

Anyway, here’s a sample of the books on our cultural issues. There’s a whole world out there that I wish many more knew of, there’s people writing books who’re trying to help us cut thru the confusion. When we know more, we can arm ourselves and take action. Some of these books are historically based, some on family, some on our identity as human beings, some on the political world:

“The Vanishing American Adult’   –  Sen. Ben Sasse

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crises”   –    NYT Best selling author,  Robert Putnam

Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of American Elite Life etc… ”  –   William Deresiewicz

‘Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride’     –   Major Garrett

“The Tech Wise Family’   –   Andy Crouch

Coming Apart’   Challenges of White Society in U.S.    –     Charles Murray

 “Our Lost Constitution”   –  Sen. Mike Lee

Amusing Ourselves To Death”   –  Neil Postman

Dumbing Us Down: Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling’   –   John Taylor Gatto

There are so many more books, as well as groups, speakers, or people on TV sharing how our world is changing and what we can do about it. I wish more Congressional leaders were reading about some of these issues and sharing their views. We need to know where their hearts are.

Will share more books in the future …..