Changes in CA Voting, Be Aware!

I’m sure you’ve noticed the new voting pamphlets in your mailbox! I took a few minutes to read them, then researched online for more support – (NOTE: Not all counties in CA will be using the new system, but Los Angeles, Orange are among the few counties that will be initiating the changes.)

It’s very strange to have all these changes at once! I was not aware these changes had passed the Assembly. They’ve tried to educate residents by putting up billboards, etc but I don’t read them! A simple mailing would have been more effective, I believe!

The most critical issue right off the bat is that our Presidential Primary has been moved up to a Super Tuesday date, March 3, 2020!  There won’t be a Presidential Primary vote in June!

The pamphlets are self explanatory, the only thing I think is an improvement is the font/layout of the sample ballot itself. Then, you’ll likely noticed that the local precincts have been done away with! We now have voting centers, instead of local precincts. In Los Angeles county there were 5,000 local precincts, but they are gone and replaced with 1,000 ‘voting centers’. There’s an extra booklet in your mail that gives locations for those centers.

Other entirely new voting features will be the interactive voting machines used to cast votes. Also noteworthy,  the candidates who used to be at the end of your ballot are now first, so we vote for President at the end of the list of candidates! Some people have complained that the interactive machines are set up so not all names are bunched together. So in some cases you have to go to another page to see the entire list of candidates for any particular position. NOTE: From an article I circulated on Twitter, I discovered that paper ballots will be available if a voter requests one. We will continue to get a paper receipt after voting.

Roughly 50% of L.A. voters use mail-in ballots. “Mail in” ballots will still be in use. You can find a mail-in request at the back of your Official Sample Ballot, or call the voters hot line no later than Tues, February 25th. After you vote, mail the ballot back in or drop them off at a voting center near your home/work.  If mailed, they need to be postmarked no later than March 3rd.

Another change to note is that in many cases the voting centers will be open for ’10’ days before Election Day. Also, one may ‘register to vote‘ at any voter center, up to and on, Election Day. They will have to verify you at Voting Headqtrs. before they give you a ballot on Voting Day, so be prepared to wait.

Los Angeles has 10,000 million residents, 5 million of those are registered to vote, so this is a huge change for such a large population! They say they hope the changes bring more people to the polls, but I think the new machines will be a challenge for many older, diehards.

                   Vote: Tuesday, March, 3rd

With all the changes and the word about voter fraud, some people will want to ‘track their vote’! Both mail in and voting place ballots can be tracked at :

                                             voterstatus.sos.ca.gov   or    vote.ca.gov

The State has 60 days in which to respond to you re: your ballot status.

For questions like finding a polling place, checking status:     Voter Hotline   800) 345-8683

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U.S. Census – Reminder!

The official U.S. Census takes place April 1, 2020. We will get a reminder in the mail mid-March and follow ups after the April 1, official census taking. Census can be done online.

                                   Official U.S. Census :  April 1, 2020.

 

CWT Magazine Article – by D De Han

I love blogging. Below is an article I wrote on blogging for CWT Online Magazine two years ago –

Blogging for Social Justice

Like many writers, I tried my hand at different writing genres, including song lyrics and a screenplay. Plus, I’ve journaled for years. My writing focus changed abruptly when my son was murdered three years ago.
I automatically began blogging as a way to deal with grief, and also share my quest for justice in my son’s case. My blog was my companion as I sought clarity after I befriended the defendants when the case ended. Blogging has not only been a way to see justice for my son, but also to make a connection with my “real” self and with others.
God gives us a personal identity at birth that no one can imitate, so I didn’t need to imitate or fear anyone else. If you’re being your real self, others will see it. A real godly person writes to share a common perspective on life that reverberates with others. Relating your topic to your real life is more interesting than manufacturing sentiment, making up fantasy, or using a rant to make your point.
When my son was murdered, I went through a rollercoaster of emotions. I wanted to seek justice for him, but I had to be real to myself and to God in my writing. These are some of the things that helped me keep my focus.

Journal for Release

If you haven’t found your voice, sometimes journaling can release a side of you that you didn’t know was there. All of us have hang-ups or doubts of some sort. The great thing about a journal is that you can say anything and no one will read it. Whatever awkward, upsetting or trite thing you could write about in your journal will never be seen by a soul and no one will judge you. You can share the deep things that move you that you might not share with others. Or the things that anger or scare you that you are afraid to admit to yourself out loud.
Journaling helps release hang-ups, even bad writing habits. It’s a tool for evaluating yourself so you feel more confident in developing your writing.

Write Your Deepest Beliefs

Never be afraid to write your real heart on a matter. That’s how I usually start a blog post. I write down my inner voice, then I go back and add a quote or example or I see I need to delete something. It’s exhilarating for me to write my heart out. At least I am good to my conscience and can sleep at night.
Use discretion when you write like this, but don’t fear the risk you are taking. I’ve written about things I felt might be misconstrued, but in the long run I’m glad I risked writing it. Many times people would write me saying they have a similar reaction, so my fears were unfounded.
If you don’t share it may mean you don’t care. You’d be surprised at the breadth of knowledge and concern many godly people have, and how welcome they’d be by you revealing their thoughts. You don’t need to play it safe all the time. God likes it when his kids take risks at times.

Pursue Hot Topics

Our media is full of chatter on various issues. I believe people are hungering for understanding about hot topics. They want clarity. But they want writing that is informed and insightful. You may have genuinely constructive things to say about a vital subject in life. You may have a suggestion on how to deal with an economic or environmental issue that never occurred to anyone. You may have a good answer for human relations in some area. But if you fear you don’t know enough or people won’t listen, your desire to see others live a more vital life will be lost.
I don’t let bad reporting on a hot topic I care about get past me. It’s one of my pet peeves, I guess. If I read or watch a story that ministers to me or aggravates me in some way, I know others notice it as well. I jot down my “take” on the issue, until I can assess if it will make a good blog post. This method keeps me feeling involved with life. There’s nothing worse than feeling riled over the political or other realms and feeling you’re helpless to bring change.
God speaks in our spirit all the time, showing us his ideas on family or world issues. An old writer’s axiom says, “A good writer doesn’t remember, he writes it down.” So,  write your hot topic thoughts. You may be surprised at how much it helps you think about the issue and seek prayerful solutions, and this could lead to a great article or book.

Seek Wisdom from Other Writers

I compare and contrast my writing on any topic with what others are saying about it. I don’t want to be repetitious or bore my readers. I especially don’t want to be too self involved, that I’m no good to others. I want the instincts of other good writers to rub off on me. I value their experiences and views.
When I wrote on the topic of grief, I shared my heart. But I listened to and read about the experiences of others.
When it came to murder, it was the same. I asked questions and did research.  I dug deep to share at times, and it encouraged me to see how others handled such a hard subject with grace and grit.

Write for the Future

How does your topic relate to the lives of people in the future? As godly writers, we need to think about that. Say why your topic is important in the long run. Explain why it’s a common issue that others deal with. Centering your piece on a person, your personal passions or difficulties can be a good way to start an article, but you always want to consider the larger scheme of things. Writing with God’s purpose in mind we need to understand that even commonplace topics have eternal significance.
Write without fear or condemnation, in your first draft. Always be alert for those who write and confirm something inside you, or convict you to change or look at writing in a fresh way.
The murder of my son changed my perspective on my life and my writing. I started sharing my authentic self about all the important issues we face. His murder may have ignited my writing, but now I seek love and justice on a greater scale.
* Note – Diane De Han is a blogger at MarcsJustice.com. She’s currently writing a book based on her blog entries which share how God carried her through the murder of her son, and how she befriended the defendants. Diane is a CNN Documentary candidate.

Raising an Adult: By Stanford Freshman Dean

On Twitter it’s fairly obvious some youth are good academically but have little understanding of life. People joke about them cause they get hurt for things they shouldn’t, obsess over certain causes, or expect things that just aren’t going to happen unless you work for it. In all my years as a Director/Teacher, and reflecting on what worked with my 2 sons, I’ve been glad for articles/books like this below..

In “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, a former Freshman Dean at Stanford shares how to raise successful adults. Success occurs as a culmination of emotional, problem-solving, and intellectual skills that are largely learned during childhood.

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With my students little while back –

A writer/parent wrote  …. “This week, I sat in an auditorium with a couple hundred other parents at my daughter’s high school to hear what author and former freshman dean of Stanford University, Julie Lythcott-Haims, had to say about an epidemic of “over parenting” and the ways that this trend is influencing an entire generation of kids.  Lythcott-Haims has experienced the problem first hand as a college administrator and has written the book, How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, to document her experience and help parents reprioritize and refocus.

I found this presentation to be incredibly insightful and I’m excited to share what I learned (it can really be boiled down to two main things which are mentioned at the end).   But before I dive into the recap, a little background…

As Julie served as the Dean of Freshman at Stanford, she and her colleagues were astounded as the academic caliber seemed to increase dramatically from one freshman class to the next.  “Every batch of freshman is more accomplished than the last” She explained. ” Somehow their median GPA is a little higher, their SAT score is a little higher,  they’ve done more AP’s than ever… they’ve got stories and novels and… Who are these people?” But she also found that their academic success is not the only thing that distinguishes them from previous generations.

She explained that, overall, this generation seems to lack the executive function necessary to make it on their own.  Many students don’t make eye contact, don’t interact with teachers, and when they’re lost or needed help, they text their mom before advocating for themselves. Julie believes that this is directly correlated with another new development: The behavior of parents. Never in Stanford’s history have so many freshman parents called in to discuss things like:  their student’s roommate situations, teacher complications, opportunities for their student to perform research at the college, and even to discuss their child’s grades.  Now remember, this isn’t 3rd grade, or 8th grade, or even senior year of high school that she’s talking about.  This is COLLEGE and it’s STANFORD UNIVERSITY for crying out loud.  Could there possibly be a correlation between these over-parenters and their kids who seem to be floundering in the basic skills of life? Julie is certain of it.

THE PROBLEM:

The problem, Lythcott-Haims asserts, is  “helicopter parenting.”  It’s defined by a parent’s will to “engineer” a particular outcome in their child.  Julie likens it to the process of sculpting a bonsai tree. If you manicure it the right way (make it take certain classes, ace the right tests, and master the most-impressive pastimes), it will become exactly what colleges want to see. I think that most well-intending parents are guilty of a little helicopter parenting from time to time.  As I listened to her various examples and quite hysterical true stories that represent this parenting style, I found myself running through my own habits, trying to determine whether I fall into this category.

She mentioned some of her peers that won’t let their 12-year-old attend an age-appropriate movie with a group of friends (without an adult).  She talked about the parent that finishes their kid’s school assignment because it might not be worthy of an A on its own.  Or the parent who insists that their child FIND THEIR PASSION and then… “Take it off the shelf and show it to the college people.”  She talked about the concierge parents who insist on making little Trevor’s life as comfortable as possible so that he can excel in those areas that really matter… the stuff that shows up on the transcript.  But something is continually overlooked by these helicopter moms and dads.  It’s not just the grades that matter.  It’s not just the extra-curriculars.  What studies indicate time and time again is that executive function comes from something more.  We’ve got to take a step back from this “checklist” approach to parenting and start looking at the “raising” of our kids with the big picture in mind.

THE CONSEQUENCES: 

This push toward a sort of superhuman teen is imposing big consequences.  Lythcott-Haims presented recent studies which indicate that college students are more depressed, anxious, and hopeless than ever before.  She explained that self awareness and confidence are developed through a mastery of basic problem-solving skills. Skills that are found in the everyday tasks of life: keeping your room clean, making yourself breakfast, remembering your own deadlines, and learning to self-advocate when things go wrong. When we take away our child’s opportunity to solve problems, we also eliminate that process of growth.  When we allow our kids to act for themselves (drawing up boundaries and giving guidance and love along the way) they will develop the confidence and compassion that they need to be successful adults.  This won’t necessarily translate to straight A’s for every child, but, HERE’S THE CLINCHER,  straight A’s aren’t the recipe for success.

THE GOOD NEWS

Countless studies indicate that SUCCESS is not contrived by the caliber of your school, your grades, or even your IQ.  Success occurs as a culmination of emotional, problem-solving, and intellectual skills that are largely learned during childhood.  The other good news…

In the United States, it is not necessary to attend a”ranked” school to be successful or obtain a great job.  Studies suggest that being in a smaller school can actually be more beneficial because there’s a higher likelihood of mentorship between student and teacher.  Being the “big fish” in a little pond is a better scenario than being overwhelmed in a “top school.”  As Julie put it, “We must believe that they can get a great education at any number of universities.”

WHAT WE CAN DO

To conclude the lecture, Julie gave the audience the ultimate take away.  These are the two best things that each of us can do for our kids to help them become successful adults:

1 – Give them chores.

2 – Teach them to love.

Really. It’s that simple.  And if you’re like me, your intuition has known it all along.  But here’s a little more research to back it up:

The longitudinal “Harvard Grant Study”  (one of the longest studies of humans ever conducted) found that success in life comes from having done chores as a kid.  The earlier the kid started, the better.  When our kids are too busy to do chores, we eliminate the biggest factor for success.  The Harvard Grant study also found that happiness in life equals LOVE.  Not passion, LOVE.  Love of people and love of human experience.  If there’s anything that we can do for our kids, it’s to teach them compassion, work ethic, and the love that can be found at home.

Jan. ’20 Book, Blog Update

Here are some tidbits on what’s going on behind the scenes with my book and blog:

The first major part of “Dying for Attention in Portland” is a memoir sharing the daily/weekly events of my son’s homicide investigation and my personal quest for answers leading up to & including the defendants’ sentencing. The second half of the book is the afterword, where I befriend the defendants, and share my takeaway from the case & reflect on various cultural issues. I’m nearing the end of writing and am editing before I show Beta readers.

Going thru a murder investigation isn’t like going to the dentist for a root canal, where you know it will be over soon. If I hadn’t have had the most fabulous D.A., & two perfect detectives, the outcome might not have allowed me to have the strong life I have today! I’m very grateful that since I was ‘dumped’ into a horrific situation in a strange city, the people assigned Marc’s case were exactly what I needed. I feared shoddy police work or a poor D.A., but that didn’t ever pan out. Portland is a progressive city in many ways, but I really needed just old fashioned quality and assurance, not fancy showmanship, or false illusions given me from the people representing Marc. So, the book will represent a well-rounded story of the case.

D.A. for Marc’s case, Nicole Jergovic

My blog Marcsjustice.com will still be a viable account but I’m considering adding another blog site, one that deals with the various cultural & political issues we’re currently facing. MJ blog shares the story of the case and my personal journey for those seeking insight on violent crime & victory over tragedy. But I’m more and more branching out and sharing on the troubling issues in the headlines, and am considering separating the two themes into two different blog sites. I have a tentative title for the new one and will share details when it comes time. By the way, people from around the world read my blog. Besides my stateside mailing list there’s readers from Canada, Europe and almost every continent.

I decided against the book publisher I originally had and am talking with others who have a better royalty agreement. Am also looking to increase distribution thru making an audio book. There are many people who have long commutes every day and who actually prefer audio books! I think my story lends well to that approach, & my speaking voice would fit right in.

Another thing I’m excited about is that I’m researching on using video as a format. Podcasts, Utube & reality TV are very popular nowadays and I have friends, contacts who post videos on FB, Utube. Even though I have ‘who wants another podcast’ syndrome, I totally believe in the journey I’ve been on. I listen to videos on how others manage their lives in this age, and am encouraged. People are desperately seeking a way to navigate the challenges in this culture, and our historical Christian/Judeo traditions have so many rich solutions that would solve our cultural troubles. I’m not a teckie, so takes me longer to pick up certain new skills.

Thanks again for all your love and support! I know it’s a stretch to think that reading a blog/book on a son’s murder would lift up anybody. I had to really work past that fear when I started writing. I never thought I’d go thru something so traumatic and come out so positive. Just ridiculous!

All things are possible!

 

Was Jesus a Socialist?

Apparently there’s biblical proof that He was, said this young troll on Twitter recently.

Few months back I was reading the tweet of a progressive politician when this young female on the thread told me Jesus was a socialist! She even gave me several verses from the Bible to supposedly prove it!

I think the topic of the tweet was capitalism/socialism and she just appeared on my thread seeming very nice and eager to know more about politics and Christians. I hesitantly shared a couple things not knowing if she was serious, and like that ….  her manner became very accusatory,  condescending! She even told me, a long time believer, I was ignorant, uncaring!

At one point I had shared my general belief on how our government works in conjunction with our capitalist system and she whipped out this line that Jesus was a socialist’! I was new with trolls when I encountered her, and extremely alarmed about the recent talk from new House Dem’s spouting socialist jargon. I asked her to ‘show me in scripture’ where it says Jesus was a socialist, and she immediately sent me about ‘5’ verses!

I mean, people don’t accidentally have verses at their fingertips to give out to folks on social media. I was trying to grasp what kind of person would send me info and if I didn’t like the views, attack my credibility as a person? I’d never encountered these types of relentless people before. I understood no normal youth would spend their personal time researching socialism, the Bible and intimidate adults. From a few other encounters I’d had I assumed she was a troll from some political ‘front’ group trying to shame and terrorize the average Christian, conservative, whomever. I’ve suffered from groups of trolls swearing at me, saying I’m crazy, or piling on top of my thread in the dozens, once in the hundreds. Just to hound me!

Her Bible references were ridiculous! A short sentence from a Psalm, one from when Jesus fed the 5,000, and few others having to do with ‘scattering abroad’. The message of the Bible is about God sharing with individuals how to walk with Him in all our realms of life. The Bible isn’t a text on politics and economics but a personal love story. I remember Senator Obama making a speech once and taking scripture out of context and attacking it’s meaning, integrity. I was sickened by his utterly false comprehension of the passage. I didn’t know at the time how he’d been attending a church in Chicago for 20 years, where the minister preached, among other things, hate towards America and white people.

A couple other people came on our thread to defend that gal. They didn’t seek to ask my opinion but reiterated her warped views and slammed me when I differed. It was like a ‘robotic’ chain of people pouncing on me, it was quite obvious they were trained to do this. This was a far cry from youth being passionate about a cause, this was engaging in a whole line of propaganda, repeatedly, to wear me down.

I didn’t block her at first as I was curious how far she was going to go with her propagenda, but I now avoid her type like the flu. Most of my blog readers aren’t on Twitter but I need to alert you again to what’s going on out there if you decide to join it …. watch whose tweets you respond to! Also know, Twitter is roughly 22% of the adult population and about 10% are tweeting 80% of the tweets …. so, it’s really a small percent of the people who’re involved in ‘mind control’. Yet, it’s those people we hear most about, not all the good grassroots news, & chatter going on.

I can’t emphasize enough, we can’t be blind to the machinations of some political propaganda engines out there who want to derail or defeat conservatives, Christians, Jews! The Left has always been around, it’s not new. What’s new is how they are infiltrating not just the realm of higher education, but using social media. We need to also be aware there are social media trolls or robots from China/Russia, the Left, the Soros family groups, progressive/socialist Congressional members teams or God forbid, the secret side of an American intelligence source. People are trying to confuse us with lots of data, and give us info that weakens our values.

I’m not going to defend Jesus or capitalism now but Justin T. Haskins‘ book  Socialism is Evil is an excellent primer on the history of Marxism and how it essentially takes away our freedoms! It’s very straight forward and not a long, difficult read.

Thanks for sharing this and sending me your comments! I always appreciate it!

Continue to Enjoy your Holiday!

Odd Merry Christmas

                           Merry  Christmas !!

Bikes are not off limits from being decorated –

Religious holidays are not just a time of joyful celebration but also a time of tension! The holy family knew it, we know it. We put alot of effort into holiday planning & festivities but many times don’t feel appreciated or we simply feel empty. We don’t know why we repeat hallow rituals.

Five years ago yesterday I was in a courtroom in Portland, OR.  attending the Bail Hearing of the main defendant in my son Marc’s murder case. I never dreamed I’d be doing anything like that at Christmas! Never crossed my mind in a million years! 

But God said, ‘Surprise, Diane, you traveled 1,000 miles for this & are very tired, but I’m giving you the gift of an honest case. And the defendant won’t be allowed to walk free. I loved Marc so much that I’m continuing to give him justice, just so you know I’ve been with you all along!’

Little did I understand that every Christmas hereafter I’d be going thru a similar exchange of gifts. Not a request for justice like the Xmas 5 years ago, but the ‘gifts’ of deep PTSD & survivors guilt that are my odd new holiday gifts! And the more that knife of survivors guilt goes in me, the more angry & strong I feel. You learn to fight back, you have no where else to go. Defeat is not an option.

That transformation never leaves me. I can’t tell you how much richer my life is now that I know God will go with me everywhere I need to go in my quest for what is truly just. These gifts have also helped loose me from the grip of keeping phony traditions alive during Christmas and other holidays.

Happy Chanukah to my Jewish friends –

In Mark 7:6-7 Jesus speaks to the Pharisees:

“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

     And in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments (traditions) of men.”   

What a way to live!  Knowing God cares about the infinite details of my life so I can go on in joy. I’ve told Him a number of times, ‘Gee, God, what a crazy life you’ve given me! You constantly break down the ‘old’ Diane, (with all her assumptions), and give me new opportunities and people!’ It’s been especially helpful to have this strength as I’m struggling to be a solid voice in our country in the face of huge opposition and ignorance from many close to me or far.

God definitely is in our religious holidays, active in this world. I’m so glad I got re-directed and shown a new path, there could have been a totally different outcome if I’d have clung to fear or depression.

Book Intro: ‘Dying for Attention in Portland’

Here’s a portion of the Introduction to my book. It helps set the stage for the book’s emphasis. (Remember, the book is not like MJ blog in every respect!). Please read the Preface also to prepare for the tone of the story –

                             “Dying for Attention in Portland”

                                                      Introduction

      “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.”  

                                                       –  Carl Jung

“On November 22nd, 1963, President John  F. Kennedy was riding in a limo along with the governor of Texas and their wives. As they wove along the highway, waving to the public lining the streets edge, President Kennedy was shot twice …. once in the neck, once in the head …. before slumping over towards his wife Jacqueline in the back seat.”

“While we listened to reporters on TV or radio, President Kennedy was being treated at Dallas’ Parkland Memorial Hospital Trauma Room 1. In stillness we waited for some indication of how serious his injuries were. We went through a multitude of feelings, thoughts and reactions together …. all because we honored our President and felt stricken ourselves by the attack he suffered.

The deeply tragic news stunned everyone in America and around the globe! It never mattered most of us were from different political parties, races or religions. As we all kept our eyes on TV coverage we were ‘one people’ with a common bond ….we valued the life of our leader! And …. back then, we trusted the somber, hushed tones of TV reporters and the few facts they could scrape together in their quest for updates on President Kennedy’s condition.

Do we have a populace now that’s as cohesive as that of 1963? Are we bound by a common respect for life and death like the majority were in 1963? Even a space alien would tell you ‘NO’.

Things have changed in the last couple decades. We’re living in a time where murder or mass murder is a bit more commonplace in the news. Our views about violence are increasingly being controlled by media, not by trusted sources like our families, church. 

I wrote this book because many times we judge or fear an act of violence and cannot foresee any reason to think any good could come out of it! We generally see homicide as happening outside our realm of life experience and simply don’t want to have any dialogue past the tragedy itself … but that’s unhealthy. Our fears, revulsion many times keeps us stunted from letting our hearts and minds question, ‘how could this have happened’. Or ‘what kind of legacy can come out of the murder of a cherished one’? 

In this age where media is king, and real human life is trivialized, we usually don’t get to know anyone very deeply or form lasting relationships. We make immediate judgements of others based on their comments, clothing, demeanor or accent instead. I detest that trend and don’t want to cave to that tendency that makes life cheap, and murder not so horrific.  I don’t want to give into the media hype that conveys violence doesn’t hurt the victim’s families or society for long, or it’s easy to get over.

I’m sharing in these pages a raw experience because we’re all made better by others unadulterated life experiences!  I believe the recounting of personal experiences enriches survivors of a tragedy as well as the public. We rely on those around us to give us accurate personal accounts of life during joy and pain, it’s the normal way people negotiate through life with a healthy attitude.

I hope this book helps open up dialogue on this topic so we grow past our fears, pessimism.

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Have you ever thought beyond your fear of violence, death? We are so shielded in this age re: pain but it’s a part of life we need to accept in order to be wholly functional. God works in the good and hard times, He never lets anything go to waste!

SHARE  THIS!  THANKS!

Really … ‘Down with Prayers & Kind Thoughts’

There are some things people should not question! Like ‘prayers’ for instance.

This chant on social media where people are saying ‘enough with prayers and thoughts, we want action’, is really sorta silly. Prayers are meant to heal, protect or to guide. They are not a substitute for research, discussion, voting or action. Detractors have got praying wrong.

It seems to me the chants are deriding the fact that folks are sad, hurt or confused after a tragedy, an illness or whatever. We pray many times immediately after an incident because we have no words to describe our shock or pain re: a cancer diagnosis, mass shooting. We don’t know how to console at first but we know God does. We know it’s wrong to bottle up things, and suffer in silence, no matter how painful or hopeless the situation looks.

Prayer is user friendly as even little children can understand it. Prayer has always been used to bring peace or protection during times of war, or hostility. It’s been offered during fires, storms, to heal the sick and as an instrument of peace over political upheaval. It’s been an eternal source of good for people, never used as a curse for evil like witchcraft is used!

Prayers aren’t always formal, clearly thought out or instantly answered. It’s the language of the heart and soul for ourselves or others whom we may not even know. There’s no place it can’t go. It’s powerful like Superman in some respects cause it goes faster than a speeding bullet thru glass doors to reach our child or enters hospital surgery rooms. Prayer works in an Iranian prison, a battlefield or a Manhattan jail like Reikers.

Prayer doesn’t hurt like a shot. Beginners have access to it’s power like the pros. There’s no need to fear prayer, unless you’re trying to hurt one of God’s loved ones. If you stand next to someone praying it’s power won’t rub off on you to force you into saying ‘Hallelujah’.’

Since Marc’s tragedy I’ve been prayed for by Jews, Christians, Democrats & Republicans, people of all colors, rich & poor, pastors or lay persons. I learned not to assess who’s close to God or not, who holds what wisdom, or power, in the prayer world! People everywhere are growing in faith and at various plateaus on their faith journey not always knowing they are a lot closer to God than they realize. I grant them space and am grateful for the love given –

Prayer is sometimes used with the wrong objective by the misguided, but is still a powerful source for good in this world, so critics should stop yapping –

2nd Hardest Post I’ve Ever Written

I don’t know where to start! 

I’ve been on Twitter for over a year, discovering how it truly works, who it impacts. It’s way different from FB. It’s a platform that shares news stories from recognized news outlets as well as personal opinions from people like you or I, on the daily political or social issues in this world.

Portland, OR City Council meeting

There’s a huge wave crashing down upon us in America that we all need to wake up to!

I’ve lived on the West Coast where we are encouraged to live the ‘good life’, so it took me awhile to get used to the intensely fast paced life of D.C.  While there’s many normal people on Twitter you should be aware of the people trying to tear down our political and social institutions! I‘m referring to a plethora of people voicing their opinions on every possible topic not in a civil way but in an effort to propagandize or shame intelligent, moral or patriotic people.

It’s very sobering to actually read on Twitter how some despise us for standing up for our 1st and 2nd amendment rights, or for example, the rights of the unborn. What is most alarming to me recently is the shocking threads on Twitter & from some current Democratic Presidential contenders to put down our form of government and bring ‘socialism’ to the United States!!!

This new group of people online is like a cancer as they’re trying to change our national fabric by causing such a ruckus that some state or national leaders are changing laws to avoid a stand off with them! Some officials think the agitators for socialism are a fresh wave of new morality …. they aren’t!

I was so naive about this growing threat!! It’s intolerable to think ‘socialism’ is better than what we have now! It’s lunacy to think people are entitled to so much free stuff, when we’re so debt ridden, and many are struggling just to get along! I’ve commented on tweet threads where the followers try to propagandize me to believe Jesus was a socialist! They give verses from the bible, use all kinds of attacks on my intelligence, character to put my beliefs down. They’re like robots, and indeed some are paid to spout ideologies, in a robotic fashion. The platform isn’t encouraging independent thinking, but lends to political grandstanding by youthful amateurs in many cases.

Many of the people I grew up with or go to church with have assumed that if we live peacefully and do good to others, the bad folks will be voted out or the good Lord will correct our problems, after all …. ‘the good guys always win’, right? But, that’s never been true and we’re entering a new era now where we have to look squarely at the tide coming against us!

Also, our traditional values of not judging others, being open to different ideas is not respected much any longer by many outside our life. I love a good newspaper but they are being relegated to second class news sources for the most part now, and we’re getting so much biased news on TV nowadays! Cable news, Utube and social media have replaced most of the papers, TV. People are truly wondring how to ferret out the truth from the biased commentary on TV!

I’ve had to change the way I see our country now. While many of us are hard working and trustworthy, there’s people who are going to bypass discussing with us the destiny of this country! The marches, threats of violence are gaining ears from politicians as there’s little place to discuss alternatives. News sources and social media are not the places or people who we elected to lead us as a people! Laws, policies should be decided by legislatures and in open discussions with all of us having a say.

Not to worry! There are many grassroots people becoming awake to the coersion of forces outside our normal political process. I’m going to share a book list soon as well as resources to keep you up to date. Now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand, or say you hate the news so won’t turn it on. You don’t want to wake up some morning and find there’s harsh socialistic laws you never heard of or voted for!.

Many of you are like I was, in my own humble world, trying to be a good citizen by keeping my life intact.  In the last few years I’ve been dealing with a crushing blow from the loss of my son, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to go thru another serious wake up call. But we’re all headed for one if we don’t wake up and become more active re: the people and ideas trying to take charge of our government.

My relatives and many others I know have no idea what’s going on in D.C.! Marc and I kept up with vital news and understood the threats to a degree, but what’s going on now is appalling! Our cherished America is being threatened by people who don’t have any ties to normal life or love others. It all seems to be about political correctness, not freedom and abundance for all! Many think, ‘oh, Congress is too corrupt, just people arguing’, so they don’t want to get involved. That’s not true, there are many people in Washington writing books, articles, speaking out on hate crimes, dwindling middle class, caring about the sanctity of life in the U.S. Many vets, teachers, Dr’s, pastors speaking out for the good of all.

There’s much we can do! Open your eyes, read my posts, check out things online or listen to cable news. There may not be a Third World War with bombs but it seems like there’s one going on in the world of ‘values’, human dignity.  Talk to your family and friends. Go over with them the great things we have here compared to other countries! Ask if they want it to be taken away by socialism? God never intended Christians to be blind or absent re: the threats against our country!

It’s our civic duty to take charge of our country when she needs us! What will you do?

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5th Anniversary, It Still Hurts

At this time of year I get a ‘visitor’, a specter reminding me of a painful event. I’m used to it now, I can’t fight it. It’s not right to do so either cause it cheapens life.

Even tho Marc’s in another realm …. I’m not ‘over’ him!  When you’ve been so close to someone and then they’re killed by another, you don’t get ‘over it’!

I listened to a dad recently talk about the daughter he lost to murder and he said, ‘I don’t want to go on without my daughter in my life, but I HAVE to.’  That is exactly what I had to discover after Marc left earth!

Life becomes so very intentional! There’s a huge power that comes over you when you realize you’ve dealt with death and faced the murderer of your child! Just knowing you’re alive after the most horrific life event, and you still trust God, is so life confirming!

You can’t believe the separation from your child is real, but living is ‘doable’! Your heart doesn’t want to get used to not calling your child, or waiting to meet again, or wanting the best for them …. but you’re released from feeling almost suicidal depression! You discover the thing you feared most has happened …. and the pain is bad ….but life’s ‘doable’! God’s in this with you to show you there’s more to do on this earth for the love of others than you ever fathomed!

I’m very grateful for all those who’ve supported me along the way, but you have to step out from the receiving end and ‘do’ something about the love you knew! After the comfort cycle, there’s the need to find your new life so you don’t become a ‘statistic’! One of those sad folks that people talk about behind their backs.

I don’t know what would have happened to me if I hadn’t found others modeling a future without a child. John Walsh and Dr Paul Klaas were dads who lost children to murder and turned their deep love for their children and outrage at loss, into locating criminals, raising awareness re: crime, & locating missing children. I’m so grateful for Renee and Mary, moms in Chicago and FL, who forgave their child’s killer and forged relationships with them.

Pastor Les Ferguson, Jr., in MS, wrote a book about recovering after his wife and sons were targeted for murder. His book, “Still Wrestling”, is a penetrating story of deep tragedy yet one of the most phenomenal restorative journey’s you’ll ever read. These folks have inspired me to keep writing on the subject of murder, forgiving and raising awareness about the cultural issues Marc and I cared about.

Thanks to all of you who read my blog and support my book efforts. You help me keep Marc’s legacy going! To have men and women walk down a path that’s very raw with me has been very eye opening and humbling! It affirms what I was hoping to find in life all along!