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Ignoring the wrong we see

How hard is it to find out that a particular thing you are doing is wrong and change to start doing it right?

I for one hate to be wrong. I spend a lot of time researching and reviewing information so I won’t be but occassionally it still happens. As much as I hate being wrong, I hate even more the idea of continuing to do that same wrong after learning the right way. Sometimes we refer to this as habit. And sometimes are habits can be destructive.

How can our society continue to do things wrong if it knows that there is a better way?

Income inequality is really bad in America and it displays our arrogance and greediness when we choose to do nothing about it. We are also extremely bias and violent as a nation and because of our western diet we are extremely sick. Everything I just named can be changed. It would actually benefit everyone if we did change. It would save our country financially, morally and humaniterally, but politicians on either side are not even discussing this.

At what point do we stop blaming ignorance and claim purpose? We must be allowing these things on purpose. It must be benefiting some larger entity that wants things the way they are.

Our country is heading toward another revolutionary war if things don’t get better. History truly repeats.

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The turkey won’t do it!

This is the time of year when hearts tend to open up a bit more and we feel charitable.

As soon as November hits we think of this time of the year and the people we see in our environment that are needy. Some of us only seem to notice or care about them at this time of the year. Most of these people have been struggling through life and the last thing that they need is a Turkey dinner.

You see, filling someone’s belly with food is still a good thing to do, but giving them the tools to gather their own grub is even better. If I were homeless or struggling to the point that I could not sustain my life, I could skip the meal for the sake of the family gathering.

I would want the family, not the meal. I would want the laughter, love, comfort and fellowship that defines the holiday. A turkey does not define the season, family does.

So wouldn’t it be great if instead of trying to feed the homeless, we helped them get a home. Or instead of giving food to the lonely, we invited them to our tables. The spirit of Thanksgiving (beyond the pilgrim narrative) is about acknowledging our gratitude for what we have and who we have it with. In short, the best thing we can do for someone in need on Thanksgiving is to give them love.

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The gift of presence

One of my favorite Stevie Wonder songs (and I have many) is the song “Don’t you worry bout a thing”.

He says not to worry about anything because when you check out the sidelines he would be there. If you have ever worried, this is very comforting.

I spent 24 years raising my children and I thought at differet stages of their development they needed different things. As I got towards the end of their upbringing I realized that there was one constant element that I really took for granted in giving to them. All they really needed was my presence.

Not money, toys, teaching, food, clothing, shelter or any other thing that can be obtained by money. They needed me there. I represented a security they didn’t believe would come by any other means.

As they got to know me, my presence became larger and more important. When their world got scary or confusing it was needful to have me there with that look of confidence that provides shade for them.

My oldest has often told me of the confidence he had and has in me. He believed that in every situation I would just “figure it out!” He trusted my anwers and awaited my perspective.

You know our relationship with God is supposed to be the same way. Sadly, we don’t always invite him to our pity parties.

We get content to go through things alone and even some of us don’t even allow others to help.

What good is having a relationship with the almighty if we are not going to take advantage of it?

There are people reading this blog right now caught in a stuggle and you’re probably nodding your head in agreement with this blog, but you have not given your burdens to the Lord.

Let’s pray: Father, we accept and acknowledge your love, patience and control and we call upon it now in our time of need. We need your intervention Lord. We need your understanding in our current situation. At times, Father, we have been negligent and have walked contrary to you will. We acknowledge this as sin and ask for your forgiveness. There are times when we have struggled in our faith and not been the example to others. Help us, oh God, to be more of what you called us to be and less like the world. Thank you for your presence in Jesus name. Amen!

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How are you maintaining balance in your world?

Something doesn’t feel right. You can’t quite put your finger on it but you have been off your game for a while now. Others are starting to see it. You feel it and it’s bothering you.

Nothing has fallen apart, yet but you don’t like this feeling. Chances are you are unbalanced.

So many factors lead to being unbalanced. To achieve balance your mind, body and soul must function as one. Just as if you were walking a tightrope. On the high wire you can see that the breathing and movements are all in sync. Everything about the body, mind and soul are singular now. When this is achieved, you are well balanced.

When you make a fist, if your fingers are not aligned together there is no way your punch would be solid or even effective. That alignment is key in a punch and it is equally key in your life.

What you eat, how much sleep you get, how stressed you are, who you listen to and the exercise you get are all factors in your balance. How do you regulate the things that come in and out of your life?

If you understand this then you know that it matters who you allow in your life. It matters how you deal with life’s stressors and whether or not you properly refuel yourself each day.

This is your wake up call! You must matter to yourself before you can matter to anyone else.

You only have one life, one body, one mind and one soul … don’t waste it!

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The Emotion of Christmas

I know we are just getting the Halloween stuff put away but the end of the year is coming and Christmas has already been queued up!

Whether there is snow or not, department stores have already sounded the Christmas alarm. Some radio stations have already begun playing festive music and the children can feel the excitement coming.

I grew up celebrating this time of the year in a huge way. Not only was I born near Christmas but my parents made sure all of our holidays were joyful. I, in turn, did the same thing for my kids and so for 50 plus years, Christmas has been celebrated in my life.

This particular holiday carries a stigma like no other. Christmas is not just a day, it’s a feel of emotion that surrounds us. The surrounding is like a takeover and before you know it you are humming a tune or craving eggnog.

For some,  this time of the year is sad because we are remembering loved ones who have passed away. For others, it reminds them of tragedies that happened whether it was a loss of a job, an arrest, someone in prison or they’ve suffered some type of abuse.

It’s difficult in your happiness to remember someone else’s tragedy, but we should.

With the political climate the way it is and the promises of the Trump tax break not being the relief for the middle class as promised, this year we remember those who are having a hard time being festive at this time. I am reminded of the people living in Flint, MI and their water crisis which is still a long way from being corrected. Our brothers and sisters in Puerta Rico who could not afford to leave. Those around the globe fighting senseless wars. Those who are homeless, starving or in poverty. I’m thinking of those stuck in abusive situations and those who are innocent and are in prison and those 3200 others who are serving life sentences for nonviolent offenses.

I’m think of all the people in hospice and those who are anxious about pending test results. I’m thinking of all the people around the world who struggle with mental health issues and all the children who are in the government system because of trouble in their families.

I’m sure there are others but what I hope to accomplish with this blog is that you dear reader will not just think about people you know in these situations I have named, but that you will be moved with compassion to make a difference where you can.

There really is a reason for this season!

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Where did we get democracy and who said it was best for us?

Democracy means rule of the people and we got it from the place that helped to establish western civilization and that was Greece, particularly Athens.

The earliest existence of a democracy in the world began with the work of a man named Cleisthenes, in Athens in 510 BC. From it’s conception voter suppression has been a part of it. In Athens they had much debate over who should be allowed to vote. They settled on free men who owned land and homes (the rich). Women were not allowed a voice at all and the rich decided the laws because they were able to create and maintain laws that helped their cause.

The concept of a democracy sounds good on the outside, but when you zoom in for a closer examination you find that greed, power, riches and prestige overpower integrity, character, honesty and righteousness.

It takes a special group of people to negotiate a democracy that doesn’t become self serving or forgets about it’s poor and oppressed. So far in the history of democracy we have not seen a nation of people about to do this. Athens failed greatly with only a tenth of 140k being able to vote. Democracy for them created a permanent underclass and exalted the greedy.

Fast forward to today and you will find the exact same thing. The US has failed at creating a country based on democracy with the constitutional guidelines given. The forefathers knew the history of a democracy and created rules that were unfair from the beginning. All men created equal did not include all of mankind because women and slaves were not included. Liberty, freedom and the pursuit of happiness were equally exclusive.

What has happened over the last 50 years is a change in the American citizen. Change and evolution is happening and we keep thinking that we are changing into our concept of what a democracy should be. We are not. Our democracy is what it was supposed to be: A promise to the needy and a vehicle for the greedy. Not many are interested in creating a nation of equality, the people just want their turn on top.

What we are really searching for is not equality, but fairness. Individual achievement should not be hindered as long as the playing field is open for the advancement of every body.

In another blog I’ll talk about what that looks like but for now, think about and discuss with friends what you really want America to be. At the end, see if you and your crew came up with something that benefits everyone.

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Capitalism vs. Socialism — the real argument

Capitalism was a great idea born in the minds of ambitious individuals who knew if we were to become a great nation we would have to have a system that was sustainable for everyone and the value of stability, capitalism would bring, would allow all participants to stand on their own.

It would create whole families who could grow and enjoy a life of opportunity. It would create industry, careers, advancement and opportunity. We could see free enterprise and create competition and transfer power back and forth from the seller to the buyer.

Those who are up-to-date on their history will recall the agricultural age and how we graduated to the industrial age.

We saw new industries created and skill trades paid great money. You did not have to go to college to earn a good living or to take care of a family. All you had to be able to do was work hard and earn your living. What’s not to like?

Well, capitalism’s ideas did not include everyone. Much like our Constitution, it was written with the idea that “we” only included white men. “Everybody” did not include everybody. Even now, we know this but we have never attempted to change or amend this in our Constitution or in the mindset of America.

We have been negligent with our administration of Capitalism and for those crimes, those who benefited should pay.

How would it feel to prosper at someone else’s expense? How would you like it if great benefits were only extended to a select group that you were not in? And how would you feel watching others benefit greatly from your hard work?

This is the disposition of most Americans and it will only lead to revolution. That’s history saying that, not me. Stay tuned.