On Mass Murders …. From my Pastor

Many are asking questions re: the 3 recent mass shootings in a row. People want to have answers to our epidemic, they want clarity not confusing rationale based on guns or politics! 

Murder is not new, but mass murder is a relatively recent phenomena. The cities of Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton are reeling at this time. They need our prayers. Oh, how I know about the shock and sadness after murder! Your life is turned upside down! And in many cases you go thru these feelings in front of not just your family and friends but members of your community! How awkward and strange it feels to have that spotlight on you.

The following is an article written by my former pastor, Dana Hanson. He gets to the core of the mindset and heart condition of a mass murderer. Thank you, P.D.!

With the recent mass murders in our nation, there are reactions that include this one expressed in a LA Times headline, “Two Massacres and No Answers”. As an absolute statement this headline is accurate. Each mass murderer is a unique human being who has choices as to how they to live their lives. We don’t know why people specifically choose to act as they do. We don’t have definitive answers. But we do know there are insights into these murderers, even some commonalities

The most obvious way a murderer will give us insight into what they did is by letting them tell us. They may leave a suicide note/ confession/ manifesto/social media evidence/ etc. This is certainly an insight toward “answers”.

Other than what the murderer’s say themselves, there are also key insights toward “answers” from a spiritual and psychological dimension. From Sandy Hook to Columbine to the most recent cases, there are commonalities.

Spiritually, these murderers chose to not want God in their lives. None of them were committed followers of the ways of Jesus. Obviously, “love your neighbor” and “love your enemy” are not part of their experience.

Nihilism is the worldview of many of these murderers. Rejecting there is any meaning to life. Rejecting any religious or moral principles, except one. In many of these mass murders, the perpetrator has become a god unto themselves.  Most often these murderers exhibit the “unholy” trinity of behaviors Jesus and the Bible most often speak against. These three responses to life provide the recipe for pure evil: Arrogance, deceit, and resentment.

Arrogance – You are the god of your own universe.

Deceit – You tell yourself lies, deceiving yourself into thinking that you are the only one who is right. You live this deceit with those around you.

Resentment – Your conscious anger toward the world, perhaps your subconscious anger toward yourself, where all of this anger builds up into pure resentment and eventually contempt. Contempt is where you don’t consider other people as worthy of existence.

Psychologically, once again the unhealthy trinity of arrogance (“narcissism”) deception, and resentment. The best psychological insight I have received on this topic is from clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson. In his book, Twelve Rules for Life: An Antidote For Chaos Peterson speaks about the “why?” when it comes to the despicable behavior of mass murderers in his Rule #6, “Set you house in perfect order before you criticize the world.”

Rather than summarizing his insights, you can listen for yourself. I am including this recording of Peterson reading this chapter. Also, there is this interview clip, where Peterson gives a brief review.

Recent Democratic Debates

Here’s my rundown of the recent debates in case you didn’t catch any of them.  Even tho I’m conservative I’m open to suggestions from moderate or liberal Democrats if they have the courage to think on their own and come up with pragmatic visions for uniting us as a country, keeping us safe, free and solvent. Here’s some observations …..

  1.     In retrospect, the recent debates seemed geared to a discussion between the candidates and the media, the questions didn’t reflect much of what the average citizen or working person is concerned about.
  2.     I like to know the person I’m supposed to vote for.  Why aren’t candidates being asked about their backgrounds, dreams and core beliefs? Relatable personal facts that let us know they’re like us.
  3.     What happened to the good ol’ Dem visionaries who dreamed up Peace Corp, etc? Where are the creative solutions for the people suffering in chaos across our southern border?
  4.    I’m looking for a leader who thinks for him or herself and isn’t trying to gain points with the media on the latest hot issue.
  5.    So many questions catered to people’s ego, centered on things we’ve already heard or read about in their bios.
  6.    I’m looking for candidates who understand the needs of the average wage earner, family person! It’s great to feel for people on the fringe but where are the plans for the jobs, safety & peace for the average law abiding citizen, all people?
  7.     Every true human is unhappy about border issues, but there’s a range of issues that have to be addressed in that crises. I want to hear some clear cut plans for the future given the people groups across the globe immigrating or sneaking across our borders.
  8.     We all know an impassioned woman carries some weight with her arguments, but some of the female debaters went way into another destructive realm. A constantly strident, angry woman won’t be appealing to the public.
  9.     I’d like to know what defining moment(s) shaped their life, character. I don’t want to know what offends them all the time! I’m looking for tolerant, fair-minded leaders who see the good in many people no matter what the color, beliefs.
  10.     I’d like to know if their lifestyle is sane, do they ‘walk the walk’, is it their habit to ‘do for others’ less fortunate?
  11.     I want a leader who’s willing to seek common goals across the aisle. Is there a candidate who’s open to mediating, building trust with the other side?
  12.     I don’t want a leader to think they’re running for President to seek ‘revenge’, bad sign!
  13.    I’d like to know who their heroes are …. not favorite movie characters! Was a family member a true mentor? Do they have a hero of faith or from history?
  14.    I’d like to know how they unwind, if they have a ‘life’, do they ever laugh? Or are they all ‘politics’ and no fun?
  15.    I’d like to know …. what books a candidate’s read recently? What new sources? Do they value good literature, historical periods, are they interested in developing character or raising money?
  16.    I’m looking for someone who can build ‘hope’ for all Americans. Someone who believes in ALL of us, not just a few ‘oppressed’ people.
  17.    I don’t want a candidate who thinks the office of President is where race problems will be corrected, incomes equalized. Don’t want a guy or gal who forgets that individuals are responsible for their outcomes.
  18.    I especially don’t want a President who wants our nation to become socialistic! I don’t want a Green New Deal, a Yellow Ribbon or the Red Door. I want to keep capitalism.
  19.    It’s important to me for a President to be a bona-fide American in their soul, and profess love for all the people who died for him (her).
  20.    I’d like a Democratic President to abhor violence, be absolutely against anti-Jew, anti-white & anti-male sentiments.
  21.    I want my President to look at the big picture and understand we are at a crossroads in Western civilization morally, financially, culturally.
  22.    I want a candidate to show compassion not just for immigrants but for the unborn, vets, the suicide prone and drug epidemics that are devastating our families, communities!
  23.    I want a candidate to see that violence is not just a teen issue but an adult one too. There’s gang violence, immigrant violence, human trafficking, Alt Left and Right violence.
  24.    I don’t want a President to give away money to people who have no ties to the U.S. and then neglect our homeless, vets, mentally ill, elderly, disabled, etc.
  25.    What is a Democrat now, what is their platform? The recent candidates spout socialistic values which will demoralize and bankrupt us even further.
  26.   I want a President who understands the huge threats we have here with censorship, free speech denied to peaceful people wanting to share their views!
  27. I want a Pres. to see how large some social media is getting, and how it needs to be used responsibly. Any large entity, even in govt, that’s too huge will monopolize free speech, free enterprise, freedom to live or move, and worship.
  28.    I want a leader who’s not ashamed to show his decent side, not fearful of the other ego seeking candidates.
  29.    I want a candidate who’ll choose a Vice Presidential running mate who’s not just a ‘yes-man’, but a person of integrity and values.
  30.    There’s more that can be done to bring our country together, but everyone needs to pull together. No entity on it’s own can decide our future, outside of God.

Summary:

Winner:  I think the winner was the American people. We got to see for ourselves who’s opposing Pres. Trump. The candidates are helping us and Mr. Trump make up our minds early on.

Runner-Up: The media was close, almost tied. They’ve done their best to hoodwink everyone, even the candidates, into their system of operating politics. They are trying to ruin creativeness, spontaneity and character in America, and it’s almost working! (If any candidate so much as suggests a solid vision they spread it all over so that it’s either taken up by other candidates, smeared as wrong or they say it’s been tried before and didn’t work.) 

I’m Moving but Staying

How are your summer plans working out?

I’m moving! I don’t know how you feel about having big intrusions in your life but moving was not on my list of things ‘To Do’!

What’s your approach to your ‘belongings’? I didn’t think it would be helpful for me to just box things up without clearing out the useless stuff from many years …. but, which items are ‘outdated, useless’? One thing that’s driven me is the fear of identifying as one of those who clings to things in their garage or stores them in units, never to meet again.

I really like some of my ‘things’. Besides family photos, I love my decor, my art on the walls, my books and cooking ware. ‘Things’ give us a sense of identity and rootedness, we need a certain amount of stuff. But, living for them or living in the past scares me. I prefer to deal with the good and bad back there, and move on. I’ve gone thru so much in the last few years, I see the promise of a good future and try to live fully in the present! I can’t let a murder or any memory steal that from me like I used to think it would.

Do you like change? It’s very hard for me, especially while I’m writing a book. It’s also hard when you’re still aware you’re going thru a tragedy. A move doesn’t take away anything associated with the crime, what happened still happened, at least I’m not into ‘escaping’ pain like some people try to do thru moving.

But  ….. the timing is right. There’s other things in my future. It’s actually been exhilarating to let go but also am feeling resentment cause I hate coughing all night after sifting thru & packing dusty stacks of books. I’m not used to being sore from lifting and sorting boxes of memories. Icing the painful muscles helps.

The toughest part is making myself get past the kicking and screaming to sift thru the rest of Marc’s personal items! It’s forcing me to think back to the crime, his loss. It’s still hard to believe what happened! It’s like some terrible nightmare, a dream that I dreamed that will go away in time! But it won’t, and that’s okay. Sometimes the terror comes back and sits at my throat and chokes my breath. It’s associated with just the terror of death itself. The devil wants to keep scaring us.

If I’m ever buried in the ground, I want to be buried with both my sons school work, not my jewelry or photos. I learned thru their daily exercises just who my children truly were. What they thought about themselves, life, others. Last nite I read some of Marc’s notes from Oregon Culinary Institute (OCI), where he studied to be a chef. I just couldn’t do it for long, too painful.

We all move for different reasons. This move reminds me that I’m not a victim anymore. It would scare me to stop my journey. As I’ve gone over photos, mementos from the past I’ve really surprised at how I’ve grown past some memories. I’m past certain dreams of my family or aspirations our culture placed on me. Those attachments are gone, the lasting hopes have won! I’ve come full circle and looked at what I tried to be as a youth and later, and some has been fulfilled and some were a darn waste. I’m blessed to be able to do this clearing out, like starting over.

Many people have used the mantra ‘keep it simple stupid’, it helps a lot to think like that. Saying goodbye is okay. I have to let this whole journey take me where I don’t necessarily know what will happen. I can’t allow myself to miss the boat, stay in the past or in grief. I need to ‘stay in love with Marc’, build with others. Use my time to continue to share about the case in a new way, write about our cultural issues.

Moving is never a great experience itself but it’s the new life you anticipate that sees you thru! I know Marc is smiling from heaven!

 

‘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!