For grayson


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For grayson

  1. 1. His name is Grayson Blake hes an Gray may be considered an professional rightup and coming boxing superstar. now, but he already has a record of 3 and 0.If you were to watch this young man With one knockout to his credit, hes at thebox, youd understand hes going far. beginning and has many more bouts to go.Boxing is a sport that requires a lot He trains with an eye towards the future andof intense training, sweat, and tears. he is one who really does happen to believe;When you step I to the ring you must That “If you work hard and are willing tobring your best and put aside all fears. sacrifice, there is nothing that you cant achieve.Hes is embarking on a career path that Watch for him and remember the name of Blakefew people have the desire nor discipline. because this young man has a bright future ahead.Gray has the skill set to be a contender in Family is everything to this lion heart with histhe Welterweight Division that he is in. eyes on the prize―for this he was born and bred.Dont ever bet against him, unless you are They say to make as a boxer, perhaps an Olympianeither wealthy or have the money to lose. takes a lot of spirit, but it especially a lot of heart.First, you have to check him out and see Gray has all the making if a fine champion and withthis rising star, then youd be free to prayer and support from family, hes doing his part.choose.
  2. 2. Only the living are conscious that they will die. The one thing I would not have done is panic aboutIf I should die it would be too soon that I depart. that day, when once again, my life is on the line.But, not without leaving evidence of my being Because I recorded them all down as I knew that Iwhich I am blessed with a melancholy heart. should, that everything in the end will be just fine.The words will take on a certain symbolic I realize that some will see this as a fatalistic way ofmeaning that you will be able to understand seeing things, but still I have a trick up my sleeve.That the words—All truthful in questioning When those sayings are considered posthumously, thenthat which we seek by some unknown command. things will come full circle and even skeptics will believe.If it is a gift, and I think that it is an outstanding Some will recall that I was quite the “chatterbox” frompresent to share it all, and a weighty responsibility. a very early age I always had to know what was true.That people will be able to get it (without thinking I grasped not only what the adults said, but I also knewIm speaking in Chinese) to the best of my ability. why things were important to them but also my own view.Do not feel ashamed that you did not know, nor Thats the magic of a poets soul—There amongst thedid you see—For I was like an invisible wraith. things that are forever unclaimed in the lost and found.Traveling through time and space connecting the Are pearls and gems that are like diamonds in the ruffdots along my way leading me back to my faith. beautiful spell-bound words read and shared around.No one in particular would have made a much of That is what I shall miss most about people that we aremy paintings of words with incandescent light. all on the same journey towards an ever-present quest.They were merely opportunities for me to express To push the boundaries of what is physical and lookmyself with musings of my soul that come at night. with your eyes at words that will speak when you rest.You could not have known that sleep did not come All good things do eventually have to come to an end;easy, and there were many nights of pain and sorrow. It really matters how people will remember me then.That by the first light of dawn are forever in the And, they will recall a time when we crossed paths andpast and today, I get to look forward to tomorrow. we continued to connect through space time and again.I hope you smile when you read some of the clever If only one person is somehow changed for the betterwitticisms and my toying with words too hard to say. because of me, it would be like winning the Super Bowl.Knowing full well that the average person will not A final validation for the “Gift of Gab” that always wasget it and go about unenlightened throughout the day a righteous cause from the depths of this poets (my) soul.
  3. 3. I dont know about anybody else, but on the night of Not everybody was happy, especially those who support theNovember 4, 2008, I unabashedly cried and cried. McCain/Palin ticket and worked very hard to get out the vote.It was at this moment that I saw what was for many a Obama carried some unlikely states that were traditionally redThe dream come true―s bitter past finally died. We were ready for change and his supporters did not gloat.The election of Barack H. Obama was something I hoped Even those who did not have kind thins to say about Obamafor, although I thought Id never see it, I did so privately. recognized the significance of this historic election and gotThe affairs of this world generally do not concern me swept up in the moment as the country celebrated his victory.because I follow the requirement to live my life separately. Putting aside any derisive comments or any such thought.Not that Im unaffected by such things as war and politics, I As people have always done they will pick him apart andboth of which are among things that I do not participate. critique everything that he does, but he will hit the groundMy life course has been to follow the example of our Lord running and try to tackle the looming recession and answerto be neutral on worldly affairs and continue being separate. his critics by looking for solutions wherever they are found.Life has its own dictates and most times you only get one Even those who did not have kind things to say about Obamachance to bring about changes that people will understand. recognized the significance of this historic election and gotUntil such time things that were promised long ago occur, it swept up in the moment as the country celebrated his victory.does my heart good to see someone who is able to command. Putting aside any derisive comments or any such thought.Stripping off failed policies of the previous Administration As people have always done they will pick him apart andthat worsened Americas stock in the rest of the civilized world, critique everything that he does, but he will hit the grounda new day is dawning in which and the country has the chance running and try to tackle the looming recession and answerto reverse course as a new day is dawning―Emotionsswirled. his critics by looking for solutions wherever they are found.
  4. 4. Some families do it better than we doothers—Some that I know do it better.We do not have a family reunion andtheres no occasion that gets us together.I know families that celebrate everythinghappening in a relative life; everyone comes.If it is someones anniversary the wholefamily celebrates it because theyre all chums.So why is it that a family who has been blessedin so many ways and has talent to spread to all.Cant find the time to gather together to just betogether and enjoy a good time—off the wall.Realizing that people are people and will prettymuch do what they want to do, as they please.My family has never done this and you wouldthink that this is something to be done with ease.If people that we preach to are to see that this isthe best way of life and they can be happy like us.Then isnt prudent to demonstrate it in how youlive your life; how you relate on matters to discuss.Will they ever be convinced that we have the bestway of life that our Creator intended us to have?We are the ones who are supposed to know theanswers and set the example—putting it in halve.
  5. 5. “Sayanora, see you later, adiós, au revoir, arrivederci. "¿Nunca sè preguntado ústed porqué? Have you everTạm biệt, and goodbye, Sister Moon.” Goodbye. wondered why?” “Sister Moon” Is it your dumb luck?You are the lesser luminary whos the sole ruler of the Were you there when Cain, out of jealousy killed hisdarkness and the one who dominates the nights sky. brother because, he was what is called “Moonstruck.”“¡Mira!Viene el sol. Look. Here comes the sun!” "Le Roi le Voit. At the kings pleasure,” Has it not been your"Sister Moon.” Will you hide your own light? designated place from the beginning?” “Sister Moon.”The greater luminary is just below the horizon. Why then are there phases that you must always go through?What do you think of our Native suns might? Tạm biệt the reason why you play and rundown the sand dune? Is that"Ah sì, ahora recordarme. Ah yes, now I remember.” "Que serà, serà. What will be, will be, for you Sister Moon”You were given the subordinate role, “Sister Moon.” What mysteries are at the depths of your “Sea of Tranquility?”A footstool before the throne of God, second in What secrets do you have that before the seven “Creative Days”importance to the sun, that for you comes too soon. when you were there at the beginning before the dawn of humanity."Que làstima, què làstima por ùsted. Too bad, too bad "¡ Madre De Díos! Umm Al-Dunya. Mutter Gottes Mother of God!”for you,” “Sister Moon.” The sun is the giver of life. The sun determines the changing seasons, you know, “Sister Moon.”Leaving you to wage war upon the oceans and seas, It is part of the web that is the “Circle of Life” Without it all lifeturning tides into constant waves of sow and strife. would cease and you will not have your famed yearly “Harvest Moon.”"May tháy câhn náyco quen khôg? Does that sound “Sé pone el sol. The sun sets.” Is it enough that you wait for thefamiliar, “Sister Moon?” Trapped deep inside a tomb? opportunity to overtake the sun, Sister Moon?” Do you take delight?Do your sister stars weep tears made of stardust, simply You place yourself between us, hiding our life giving star from view―because you are barren just like a womans empty womb. The eclipse that plunges part of the earth in darkness from hidden light."Vas ischt das? What is this? You changed your color to The tale is not complete without mention of “Sun Moon Lake” thatred,” “Sister Moon.” Did you do this to give men a fright? is in China whose geography mirrors the very heavens as a respite.Does your “Blood Moon” color serve to scare them into This time, God did not make a choice, but chose you both to representcowering in the darkness if you refuse to give your light? paradise that once was and will be again and the need to remember it.
  6. 6. It has been a very contentious summer. The American people feel that they are helpless, asThe effort to put the breaks on our debt. helpless as a bunch of fish caught in a fishing net.The President, Democrats, Tea Party and They have the right to complain as the are treatedRepublicans argued and if I had to bet.... no better than the average familys household pet.Most say that no one was the victor in the The President as our leader has tried to bring thediscussions and more debate has been set. parties together and is like no one Ive ever met.With the requirement to form a committee to But, the Presidency is a job after-all and he has foundmake more cuts, its as uncertain as it can get. out the hard way, he can do only what Congress will let.Unemployment is triple the national average, Some may want to go to another country and escapeespecially if you happen to be a returned vet. the madness to a far far away place on the fastest jet.These men and women served their country The debate with all its drama has shifted the focus fromin Iraq and Afghanistan and without any regret. growing the economy, proving that Congress is all wet!As politics as usual has increased the chance the To anyone who was following the debate and is as fedopposing sides will enter into a lengthy tet-a-tet. up with the process as America came apart at the seam,The frustration of the American people has risen to you might well ask yourself a question as you view theits highest level of dissatisfaction in numbers yet. accompanying picture, this―”What about his dream?”
  7. 7. he 2011 campaign season is up;on us and Some people think this dichotomy is a joke and think thealready there is the same level of scrutiny. basis of the present reality is nothing personal but the money..They are looking at potential challengers to Saying his “Stimulus Plan was more big government and aPresident Obama and opinions of who it may be. waste of money while taking Bush-ear tax credits is not funny.For his part, the President has had a contentious The “Tea Party was over before it hardly started and it allsummer to pass key legislation inside Washington. began with the mid-term elections and the big “shellacking.”The debate on the national debt was especially nasty It cant all be blamed on President Obama because he cantand people are upset with what Congress has done. help it people people dont wait for the details before attacking.Was the expectation of change what you thought it The “Tea Party was over before it hardly started and it allwould be and are you now disgusted and dissatisfied? began with the mid-term elections and the big “shellacking.”Did President Obama fail to live up to your expectation It cant all be blamed on President Obama because he cantor are you happy with his first term, because he has tried. help it people people dont wait for the details before attacking.Of course, the haters, nay-Sayers and pundits have already I could publish an assessment that realistically answers thegiven the President an F for failure for his first attempt. question on “what has changed” and wasnt it just wonderful.What grade would you give him for his efforts thus for in I could hit all the highlights and the low points without beingoffice when so many people hold the President in contempt. unfair to the President if only I could say that Im not cynical.Some people think this dichotomy is a joke and think the Try to walk in the Presidents shoes for a day and you will findbasis of the present reality is nothing personal but the money.. yourself easily overwhelmed by what he does for the nation.Saying his “Stimulus Plan was more big government and a After “just one day” you will want to go back to your normalwaste of mToney while taking Bush-ear tax credits is not funny. existence or do what he cannot do and that is take a vacation.
  8. 8. The moment two souls come come together in a Their rapture was all that it was promised to be when itunion of love, they are seamlessly meld into one. was decided that the sparks between them instantly ignited.The raw energy of pent up passion that is left to Their foreplay was a purposeful time of exploration ofwane in the afterglow when they are finally done. each other that built to an explosive point beyond excited.Very slowly they return to normal sinus rhythm It isnt always the case when it can be said that the bells pealbreathing, while sweat glistens and bodies cool. nature applauds and the angels in heaven start to quietly sing.In the light breeze blowing across them half in the Lovemaking is the greatest expression of the love betweenilluminating moonlight and in view of a slight pool. compatible people in expectation of all the passion itll bring.With the quiet that follows the screams of sheer And whenever the night is over there will be a rejuvenationdelight and pure pleasure as their bodies enmesh. of both mind and spirit to spread throughout the body whole.Drawn deeper in the moment of sensuous music urge A refreshing of satisfaction to their encounter with lingeringthem on to yield to the insatiable desires of the flesh. memories of the moment that had the ability to capture the soul.The music expertly chosen for its unique sensuality Those who disavow such pleasure are surely the most disciplinedlike how Ravels Bolero was used in the movie Ten. among both women and men who choose to be single or celibate.The character needed their lovemaking to conform to Their denial of the so-called “forbidden fruit” have their ownthe pace of the music in surround sound in their den. cross to bear for their sacred secret and theyve no knowledge of it.Like a musical crescendo, they reach an orgasmic wave If this life is to be over, a tribute to lovemaking and to all whovethat is like a Tsunami that seems not to crest nor cease. had the pleasure to experience it―truly is a gift from above.It is the most powerful feeling in the universe in a very Music and melody that combine to ignite passion so easily canclimactic physical and emotional and intimate release. only be performed by musicians who perform in the key of love.
  9. 9. What is the color of your dreams? Do you desire to give back to those who had a handAre they vivid, stark or in silhouette? in helping people like you to find a way to succeed?Does the landscape inspire you or Does your future goals include a place for charity orcause fear you for what may come yet? generosity towards those who are always in need?Do you view life as either black or white? Don you think a black man in a commercial of allDo in between shades of Grey even exist? white people can be characterized as just a token?Do you expect mornings to be bright and Do you believe the perception of African Americanssunny or will only gloomy days persist? has improved after each time the President has spoken?Do you like the color of your skin or do Do you believe that Affirmative Action is necessary toyou wish that you were another ethnicity? reflect the nations diversity as it stands right now?Does heritage have meaning in your life Does whether or not someone is in the country illegallyand can you relate your familys history? affect your view on the issues of migrant workers somehow?Are you politically correct when referring Do you think Barack Obamas victory will somehow opento anothers background or religious belief? doors for other minority groups to produce future leaders?Do you give respect to individuals who are Does the country owe a debt to those who have been dis-different from you and is reality that a relief ? enfranchised according to recent polls amongst its readers?Do you dream of being with someone with a Does being color-conscious help or hurt the minority culturea penchant and skill to entertain an audience? and can you tolerate the behaviors of neo-Nazis or the KKK?Do you live for the lim3elight or the fifteen Can you benefit from listening to the members of such groupsminutes of fame or do you use common sense? as they espouse hatred for Blacks, Jews, and anyone whos gay.Do you believe in role models that can mentoror become a big brother or sister you can emulate? These questions will never appear on a questionnaire for anyDoes you outlook on life say ”the skys the limit position requiring a high degree of judicial temperament.and do you agree with the need to teach and educate? In the privacy of our thoughts we can practice what we cant preach to others, because America is still a social experiment.
  10. 10. The lines of the world are drawn to Missionaries dont allow borders to keep them fromdelineate boundaries on the continent. preaching the Gospel message they have worldwide.Whenever there is encroachment or Even the most inhospitable places on earth cant stop them from proselytizing like God is on their side.dispute, their respective armies are sent. REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERSMost of the time neighboring countries As war causes people to cross borders like they haverespect boundaries without needing a gate. in places the Sudan, the boundaries must be re-drawn.Yheir have been noteworthy take over Displaced families end up in refugee camps and theirattempts like Sadaam Hussein and Kuwait. property and personal belongings are now forever gone.There are “Doctors Without Borders” who There are scientists engineers, and teachers amongprovide needed medical treatment for free. other disciplines that go to third-world countries to be,The work is sometmimes provided where an “Angel of Mercy” and try to alleviate some of thetheres hostility towards them, as it may be. suffering from starvation abuse, and disease they see.“Reporters Withgout Borders” go for the story As long as humanity exists divided there will alwayssometimes into hot spots so the truth gets out. be borders that countries need to defend and protect.They are bold and brazen in their efforts, yet But, when the peoples needs are not looked after orthey go into danger still devoted no doubt. corruption keeps them needy and suffering from neglect.There “Nurses Without Borders” who must Nationalism and patriotism will sometimes wane in time.treat the very sick with diseases like HIV-AIDS. Across the world there are wars being waged to enslaveRemembering that those who do this are everyday people who live in a repressive society run by a despotcitizens with a desire to help them out in many ways. who they want to be over-thrown, and their world to save.
  11. 11. Like millions of fellow Americans, I depend on the monthly There are valid issues related to the nations debt that shouldbenefit check that I receive from direct deposit Social Security. be resolved in the spirit of compromise if it can be achieved.The budget debate this summer caused a panic when there The arguments for those unwilling to reach an accord, rememberwas discussion on Social Security and Medicare causing anxiety. politics is a fickle female sometimes and not to be believed.The ugly debate showed the unwillingness of Congress to The long-term status will depend on cuts made elsewhere incompromise in the face of international criticism and default. the overall budget submitted to the President Office by Congress.In the end a deal was struck but looming questions remain; The American people stated their displeasure at how theyWill Social Security remain solvent and not be under assault? performed during the process and they should also see a redress.Any attempt to attack social Security and Medicare will be There is responsibility, enough to go around, but that is a weakpolitical suicide and the “baby-boomers” wont allow it to be. argument and the voters bear the blame if they expected more.The issues go straight to the heart of the matter and these two How are they going to answer their constituents who they claimprograms exist because that is the obligation of our society. interests is what drives them on the House and Senate floor.In fact the numbers are going to increase as the boomers come President Obama may not achieve the same results as Presidentof age and are eligible for these benefits, what will you say? Clinton and enjoy a balanced budget and actually have a surplus.There are some very powerful people that will dedicate all But, that does not mean the Presidents obligation is to all of ustheir time and efforts to ensure that never happens that way. Americans and this duty he must try to impress and not be callus.
  12. 12. Youd think it would be easy—The blind need to have assistance, and Seeing for the first time, ever.are coached or led about by animals. Being born blind is not as badThey have caregivers each and everyday. as sight being taken from you.They act as substitute eyes for them. Stupidity, accident, or intentionallyCreated in the minds eye is a picture —It doesnt really matter howoff dazzling color—Pressing the eyeball. The result is the same, darknessSort of like a kaleidoscope, only unreal. Blackness and darkness forever.But then, their heart loved it, cause it was. It is like being in a cave with noIn the absence of light, you probe, feel and visible light to guide your steps .move cautiously along to get anywhere. Also you have no sense of directionHowever, with light comes color and with Anything that prevents light and/orcolor comes variety—differences are noticed. theres only darkness is blindness.Walk slowly towards the light, because just Peering into blackness is like seeingbecause there is light doesnt mean welcome. into an abyss not knowing whatsA light in pitched blackness is a fixed spot there looking back at you—Scared?on an invisible compass—A destination. Is it a friend or foe and no way to know.How could you have not known? Are you Maybe its like seeing inside your ownblind? Or maybe you didnt see it clearly. soul and not believing what you see.Maybe the lens was just dirty and needed You just might be able to see in a newa good cleaning so that you can now... See? way, like those who are remote viewers.Now that light has found you and you can It can actually be quite painful—being thrust“see the light,” Youll want to see everything into bright light after being in total darkness.all at once, but do not be tempted to do so. Is the dot on the horizon is the source of it ?It takes time to adjust to the light—Do it slow. It is a journey worth undertaking for the blind.
  13. 13. Whenever a child is sleeping, haveyou ever wondered what they dream?A childs imagination can think themost unbelievable things as they deem.You cannot know the things that a childmay aspire to achieve or one day become.All children at a point dream big dreams.Not all are encouraged to achieve as some.How cruel it would be if a parent were tothwart them before they have the chance.To reach their potential and live their dreamwith all its possibilities, passion or romance.A wise parent is the one who is protectiveof their young mind and to assist them to grow.If you have had the good fortune to live yourdream, then you have experience and must know.When a childs sleep is fitful or restless, it couldbe a sign that the child, not knowing is troubled.The chance that they will have a life full ofdifficulty and controversy is more than doubled.Take a glimpse at your sleeping child and watch herfor a while―you can easily imagine or see.That childs future is reflected in the look ofcontentment on her face and your responsibility.
  14. 14. Join us on World Poetry Day as we celebrate the creative spirit of poetry and of free verse. We hope that you have the chance to experiment with poetry and maybe participate in a slam If you have not had the chance to discover poetry, Today, free your mind and let thoughts take flight. Sail on the seas of your imagination and discover that poetry can take you to the highest height. There are many styles to choose from, but it is best if you create your own style and express your voice.Write a sonnet, a rhyming or non-rhyming poem of any length you want, poetry always gives you a choice. As a poet myself, I can tell you to try your hand at “collagetry,” which is what you get if you add images.They can convey more than the words themselves and strike a common ground with some ancient addages.
  15. 15. At last, at last, at last, Thank God Almighty! At last, I can be joyful that I was still alive toNot “Free At Last,” This isnt about freedom. witness Barack Obamas historic achievement.Its about a day that many African Americans Like many others I am lost for words to sayincluding myself, thought would never come. just what his being elected President has meant.At last there is irrefutable evidence to support At last a milestone has been reached that will bethe notion that any black man can be selected, noted in future Black History month an established major political party as its They will tell the incredible journey from thisnominee for President and actually be elected. son of former slaves who now leads our nation.At last the rest of the world can see democracy At last the parents of all children, but especiallyin action, as America lives up to its promise. those of poor economic background or poverty.Giving a chance for an aspiring junior senator Have an example that they can point out to theirwho is African American to extend his service. children show that they can have an opportunity.At last, here is a shining example of what can At last it has come full circle―the era of civilhappen when you possess a higher education. rights and the African American sense of pride.You must also set your standards high enough Back in the sixties, saying, “Black and Proud”and sacrifice in order to reach your aspiration. was polarizing and drew suspicion to either side.At last the First Family looks a lot like mine, At last the color barrier has been broken andbut there are others with stories of their own. change has come faster than the speed of sound.Being raised mostly by a single parent and a Who will have the opportunity in the future is agrandmother whom he thanks as hes grown. question to be answered the next time around.
  16. 16. The following is a Public Service Announcement Be aware that depression Depression can occur at any for women of all socioeconomic status and ages. time and there is evidence that it can lead to a stroke.Do you know the medical screenings that are Depression is a medical condition and it can be treated,appropriate for you to have in your life at this stage? but the coincidence of a stroke increases if you smoke.Starting in your late teens through your twenties you The annual check up should include these blood testshave annual pelvic exams and if there is concern, you and screening for cholesterol, thyroid, blood sugar, too.may need to see your doctor more often to keep on To prevent the onset of osteoporosis, levels of vitamin Dtop of any changes, so that you will know what to do. might be checked by the doctor when hes checking you.Report to your gynecologist yearly for a full exam so Report any changes you have noticed to your doctor andmake the appointment now and you will not forget. do not hesitate, especially if you think its not really bad.Some cancers and other diseases have a hereditary, so Your doctor can best advise you if it warrants furtherget your family history and you wont have any regret. investigation and if its something serious you will be glad. And that is s goal worth achieving no doubtWomen of color need to be especially aware of theincidence of both diabetes and high blood pressure. This PSA has brought to you by a humble poet who has aSee your doctor and have your blood pressure knack for writing spontaneous verse and who has no clout.monitored to prevent this “silent killer” to be sure. Pay attention to this PSA and you will live a healthier and happier life if you do and that is a worthy goal, no doubt.
  17. 17. It happened during a Q&A with the press I was hurt, I was angry as I thought about all thein the early days and it was about race. individual celebrations that they attended that night.If President Obama had any reaction to it Fifty states helped sweep him into office, so whyat all, it did not appear anywhere on his face. did they not celebrate, this does not feel quite right.It was a good strategy to help introduce the I have resisted venting my disappointment to somePresident to the nation, but it was answered. newspaper editor muting my own sense of outrage.The President in his almost surgically-used How proud Americans are the ones for whom this daywords and he answered the question undeterred. rewarded and who are cynical this day and age.He said more or less that the significance of the I challenge every state to in the future find a way tohistoric election and this day was not lost on him. honor the road to the White House and show tribute.Then he said the most heartfelt and sincere thing President Obama would never suggest such a thingI think anyone could come up with just on a whim. because it is about accomplishing things. So astute!After expressing his feelings about this historic The nation comes together in times of disaster andelection and the emotions of “Inauguration Day.” should do so whenever it is time a time to celebrate.He did not miss the point of its significance and was This was not done for the President the first time, buthumbled then, “Unfortunately it only lasted one day.” as the saying goes, “Try, try again; It is never too late.
  18. 18. Suicide is not chosen; it happens when painexceeds resources for coping with pain. Christ Jesus came into this world sent The psalmist wrote, “if errors were what you by Jehovah God as a ransom sacrifice. watched, O Jehovah who is there able to stand?” He suffered an ignominious death that Knowing that our imperfections He offers some included torture as was a Roman device. comfort for those who are suffering on demand. The heavens wept and lightnings flashed Understanding the mindset of those who have brilliantly at the very moment he expired. or attempted suicide are not thinking clearly. The Roman soldiers casts lots over his They cannot understand the depth of Jehovahs clothing as was prophesied, not required. loving kindness and that He loves each dearly. The heavens opened up and the angels To considers ones self-worth, it is plain to see wept at this expression of divine love. what events have contributed to these feelings. All that he suffered was for our benefit and Is a crucial step if we want to avoid the pitfalls an absolute testimony from heaven above. of traps set by the Devil as he tries to dealings. When someone does not like himself, he or she is It takes “strength beyond what is normal to usually accompanied by moderate to severe pain. assist us in our need to overcome our shame. They have a dire need to make the suffering end And when times are especially hard we know is by whatever means and they have little to gain. behind the scenes and who is the one to blame. That sets up thoughts of taking the easy way When sadness takes hold of us and we feel like out by ending their life by committing suicide. we are all alone, we know this cannot be true. Unlike the theme song from the long-running It helps to know that there are others like you series, “MASH,” it is not easy matter to decide. who need Jehovahs comfort from feeling blue. Separation from Jehovahs love is a slow and Anytime the “older men“ pays us a visit with deliberate, and careless form of spiritual suicide . copious amounts of healing oil for the head. Blinded by the guilt of sin, they know that from It is a good day to contemplate our awesome Jehovahs peering eyes they are unable to hide. Gods ability to rescue us from feelings of dread.
  19. 19. As to warnings about lung diseases like COPD and high bloodC. Everette Coop, former Surgeon General of the U.S. pressure, I am concerned to give the effort my very best to quit.was first to recognize dangers of cigarettes and the harm. Like any other form of addiction, smokers crave nicotine that isArmed with statistics that showed the rates of throat and boosted with carcinogens that most people do not know are in it.other cancers and used his position to sound the alarm.Suddenly there were warning messages on cigarette packs Smoking has a somewhat calming effect on people with nervousthat warned of low fetal birth weight among other diseases. conditions and has been reported to actually aid long-term memory.But, people continue to smoke, even after learning the But, the longer a person smokes the greater the risk of dying fromtobacco industry doctored them and does whatever it pleases. any number of causes that are eventually discovered upon autopsy.I smoked on and off for several years and understand that to I have finally “kicked the habit” for the best reasons in the world,quit smoking is harder to do than heroine or cocaine to beat. my family who loves me and God in heaven who expects cleanliness.Smoking does seem harmless to some and yet, in America No doubt smoking is a bad habit and to finally quit and to give uppeople have gotten the message and have begun a hasty retreat. smoking is the only way a sincere believer can achieve Godliness.Pregnant women who smoke run a high risk of having babies I urge all smokers to participate in the “Great Smoke-out day and towith low birth weight and other health problems when born. pick a day and quit―Ait wont be easy, you can succeed.Learning difficulties, asthma, a predisposition to heart disease Supportive friends and family who care about you will be of benefitare just a few of the thing that smoking causes, so doctors warn. and knowing what triggers the desire is all the information you need.
  20. 20. Look inside the mind of a poet and you will To engage in discourse with a poet is a chance to seelikely find yourself in an insanely busy place. their world view and is more than you bargained for.Electrical synapses seemingly firing all at once The whole universe of words and their wisdom tendsand the truth is it never shows upon their face. to pour forth from the heart when a poet has the floor.The soul of a poet is in bondage, tethered to A poet only reveals about themselves and their humblethe floor of reality and not so by their choice. existence leaves a lot of questions to be answered or not.Hoping to compose something either inspire Spending quality time with a poet you can be truly leftor confound by using their own prosaic voice. with a sense of awe at what they can do with a thought.The mind of poet is expansive, from the depths of Great orators of the past knew what, when and how tothe ocean, shallowest hole, or highest mountain peak. say important things that soon became the talk of the day.A poet is connected to the living world all around us Poets lent their voice to the chorus of people, but with athe bases of knowledge itself they continually seek. uniqueness that distinguished them in a pretty special way.One does not put themselves with the masters of Oh, to be just like them, as glorious as the daybreak thatrhyme and verse―eventually they succumb. teases away the darkness along with the days rising sun.To the desire to emulate them, perhaps with a style The poet is rent to pen one thoughtful verse if he is toof their own fortunate enough maybe t catch a crumb. have satisfaction for the effort whenever the day is done.Some thoughts are light and airy, like a cool breeze It is, perhaps, the only time one can say something andblowing in off the ocean on a hot mid-summer day. actually have a completely different meaning in mind.Instantly, a thought crystallizes in the poet’s mind It is in the soul of the poet that you can glean a newthat is simple and just like a picture, easy to convey. meaning of life, as in the verse of many poets youll find.
  21. 21. The playgrounds for the rich and famous offers freeFor most of us the only membership that we membership only to the right “kind” in their clubs.can enjoy is a gym or our graduating class. Their self importance is attenuated by the prestige itMembership in a fraternity or sorority can be affords them and there is no concern for those itor amongst leaders like a group of military brass. snubs.Those who are selected to become a member of The highest political office that can be reached in ora specific group or an organization in a society. nation is without a doubt the Office of the President.feel privileged for the opportunity and must keep There are perquisites however, and is the mostthe groups pledges and follow rules it has as priority. exclusive club, open to anyone who is a legal resident.Groups like the Masons and the Knights of Columbusare familiar to most as theyve been around for awhile. It wasnt too long go that the first African AmericanAs is the Fraternal Order of Police who have a “Widows was elected as and appointed to State governorship.and Orphans Fund and the reputation that is a lifestyle. The nation as a whole did not celebrate this African American “first”―its importance was let slip.There are too many exclusive memberships to evenbegin to count and not everyone is invited to be a part. There was a time when women were excluded fromAdmission is denied by some groups based on race or old country clubs and even the military was divisive.other factors in discrimination with no place from the The historic election of Barack Obama is a strongstart. signal that the White House is no longer exclusive.You have to have an I.Q. Over 130 to be a member of Let us hope that after the 2012 election whatever theMENSA, the group of smart people with no age limit. outcome will usher in a new era of opportunities.You can be a high school dropout and still be in the Maybe the future will see the first woman Presidentgroup, if you have the required intelligence to be in it. and women politicians represent real possibilities.
  22. 22. Mr. President, you stated during an interview with news anchor You are loquacious and obviously well-read to speak so eloquentlyKatie Couric during a Q&A the Bible is your favorite book. History teaches that one must listen as well as speak with his equals.I wholeheartedly agree as its counsel is timeless and of great Whether heads of state, Prime Ministers, President or ruling despotbenefit to anyone who decides to give the Bible a closer look. whose arrogance challenges the world, you will determine the sequel.You, no doubt are familiar with this proverb that says that says You are also writing a new chapter in American history that will be aclearly “when there is no vision the people go unrestrained. testament to all who fought for civil rights and equality and will doYour vision for Americans to be working, the economy is robust, For this time you were born to lead and to conquer the toughestour enemies have been subdued, and the workers highly trained. issues facing the country with the goal of better times, it is up to you.How are you going to sway those who oppose you and accuse you Anytime you feel down-trodden or question whether you are fulfillingof being a fraud and try label you un-American to those who doubt. the oath you swore when you took this job, you remember this verse:Will public forums and and appearances and all the network news “The road to greatness is filled with obstacles that you must surpass.coverage help or hurt as you constantly try to get the wod out? If you think of those who came before, we can prevail if its worse.”Many prayers will be with you and your family who accompanies I never thought I would see the first African American President in myyou to foreign soil where your diplomatic skills are likely to shine. lifetime and cant express my profound delight you have this chance.Many people around the world celebrated with the country as we May the “peace of God that excels all thought” guide and direct youcelebrated your historic victory and share the same view as mine. as you do your utmost to govern to the very best of your ability.
  23. 23. When Barack Obama was just a candidate One of the Presidents supporters in 2010 said shehe was not deterred despite standing in the rain. was “tired of defending him,” making some say:He was not able to stop the downpour, but the “The President is not in touch with the country andtens of thousand there with him did not complain. they wonder what happened to change anyway?”It was his intention to be wherever he was with him in the pouring rain― he could not stop it?expected and to see each and every resident. Are you disappointed in the lack of progress and doThis was his style to be personable and really you think he deserves another term or should he quit?listen to the people if he was to be President. If you no longer support the President do you give theMillions of you came to celebrate his historic Tea Party and Republicans credit―what about politics?victory and the occasion was important to all. It is the nature of politics such as it is and the issue isBut, the President was soon to learn that the to do whatever has to be done until it one day sticks.success of his policies was not to be his call. Which do consider to be more important: Standing inHe learned very quickly that “Change” was not the rain with your future c”Commander-in-Chief” orup to him and he must work with the Congress. remembering the “Promise of Change” and continueIf he is to advance his Administrations goals and to stand with him now and understand what he stands for?objectives, he must press the many issues to address.
  24. 24. One day Eve was by herself and a serpentSome people think that the Bible started to speak with her about the of Genesis is just a story. They both knew what death was becauseThere was no Adam and Eve and the animals died and this they could see.that is meant to be an allegory. The serpent was the Devil and told her thatThey say that it was written by a God kept something from them, as he triedclever man in order to help find, to make her eat from the forbidden tree bya way to teach people a lesson inferring to Eve that God had purposely that would keep in mind. Eve kept looking at the tree and decided theAdam was said to have been made tree would be good for food and ate God and formed out of the dust. She eventually gave some to her husbandHe spent much time by himself, so and much worse for them was yet to come.that God thought a mate was a must. God punished Adam and Eve for what theyGod said it was not good for the man had done an put them out of their Eden be by himself and put him to sleep. He reserved judgement for the Devil who wasHe took one of his ribs anfd formed responsible for their sin and having to roam.Eve and brought her to him to keep. This is why God sent His only-begotten son toGod performed the first marriage and die on behalf of us and regain what Adam lost.brought them together as man and wife. The lesson is quite clear: Wwhen we disobeyHe gave them a command to be fruitful God, the penalty of death is the ultimate cost.and a warning that could mean their life. The truth is that the Genesis account is a factAdam had the responsibility to teach his much of which was dictated by God above.wife many things and to make sure sheunderstood what God expected of her The need for us to have it available to us is aso that Eve would always act obediently. blessing from God and an act of devine love.
  25. 25. Lurking in the shadows and hidden from view Finding the truth about alleged abuses of power isand the glare if spotlights searching him out. most difficult when the persons position is above the law.There was a man some say was the true brains Unrestrained power is a liability and can even persuadeand the real reason the Iraq war came about. a President to break the rules and this is a fatal flaw.This powerful individual had the Presidents ear Former president Bush believed he had this authority toon the intelligence leading to the troops invasion. enact policies that he deemed to be of national concern.Something that America had never done, go to war; The lesson of history can be applied here and the reasonfailing to get support nor succeeding at persuasion. is what they refer to as hubris and eventually they will learn.Allegedly, he was also the mastermind behind water- This behavior cannot stand and the public backlash shouldboarding and other forms of torture that is abhorrent. b e enough to ensure that no individual can be allowed this.It is unimaginable that the U.S. could allow such a He must not use his position to operate at will without censuredevice and trying to get information by water torrent. or accountability and neither should concern come to be amiss.The extent if his power was demonstrated when he There is no need to mention this uber-powerful man by name―used his position and influence to fire state attorneys. but if you do nit know who he is, his last name rhymes with rainy.Using his position of authority in a manner that is, if Congress have the authority to demand answers to what he hasnot unlawful and may have crossed ethical boundaries. done and in whose authority, but details are, at best mostly grainy.This important man was also able to get the assistance Individuals who think like this fail to comprehend that theof the telephone companies to spy on fellow citizens. rule of law is sacrosanct and demands that we all comply.all of this was, ostensibly done in the interest of our The only way to uphold the law is to ensure that there arenational security―unprecedented in historys denizens. no exceptions, no matter the position or office they occupy.
  26. 26. Love is an emotion, the personification of There is a lack of natural affection on the part of manywhich cab only be summed up in God. people throughout the whole world today.The wonders of creation itself fills us with They do not owe anyone anything, even those they shoulda sense of wonder and we are rightly awed. care about or at least that is what they say.The Bible tells us that we were created in the There is a proverb in the Bible that says: “Expectationlikeness of Him and have the capacity to love. postponed is making the heart sick” quite literally.When we show love to one another we are If you consider the degree that love influences the mindsharing a gift that came directly from God above. because it is the seat of motivation, it had to be.Mankind has put a name or label to everything we The American Heart Association has information onmanydiscover in the course of exploration and know topics concerning killer heart diseases and more.that in the scheme of things there are times when our The things that can cause a heart attack are specific toexperience defies our ability of love to show. personal lifestyle and is preventable at the matters core.We have always been comfortable with the who, what, Love is not a disease, but it can make you sick whenwhen of matters, but never understand how. you get that feeling that you have not had for a while.What is it about love that makes it frustrating and Maybe you did not think it could happen to you as youdifficult to cope with sometimes especially right now. maintained your single and free attitude and lifestyle.
  27. 27. When a family member took their life Violent death is especially hard to cope with and isfor a long time I felt completely numb. traumatic in both a psychological and physical way.I was not able to show any emotion and Part of might feel like it died too and it is naturaland because of it I considered grief dumb. to shut down for a little while before you have a say.The reality is that I merely postponed the There are many activities that surround loss and griefgrief that would someday surely come. and in the heat of the moment harsh words may be said.I am better at holding my emotions in check This too, comes with the territory and should not affectand tend to do grieve privately than some. your ability to cope because your loved one is now dead.Whenever there are more questions than When a loved one dies of disease or old age it still hurtsanswers, it can lead to depression or anxiety. just as it does for sudden tragic death that leaves us sad.Not knowing the circumstances that caused Trying to remember only the good things about them is awhatever happened to cause their end is reality. way to turn all the sadness of grief into reason to be glad.Anyone who, like me finds that they are not The absence of tears does not imply that you have noyet able to express themselves in grief, you are emotions or that you do not care about your loved one.not to be criticized for this because “grief is a Something will spark a memory some day and you willprocess, not an event” and leaves an invisible scar. shed the tears that have been delayed and it will be done.
  28. 28. When it comes to preserving our Fifth Amendment rights Laws are designed to protect our rights and not only theunder the Constitution, passionate argument cannot dissuade Courts have the duty, we must as individuals do our partthe passions that are aroused when there is any attempt to To serve on juries of required to decide cases that are thelimit free speech and the Supreme Court cannot be swayed. most difficult and might establish legal precedent as a start.You cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theatre and believe you It can be said that all things may be lawful, but not all thingsare protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. are advantageous and the saying has an element of truth in it.When the Supreme Court sided with protestors at military Your rights and mine stop when it limits or adversely affectsfunerals it erred and their decision was not the best solution. the rights of others and the harm that is done hurts quite a bit.To say to a grieving family, “You just have to put up with Freedom of speech is a guarantee that allows for Freedom of“Thank God for dead soldiers” signs is just too much to bear. Worship, the Press, and the Right to Choose to name a few.The justices apparently do not understand the emotional toll Whether or not you exercise your rights is always up to thethe protestors take on lives of those which they do not care. Individual and the limitation is not just a legal point of view.The highest court in the land could have said, “Yes, you have You might as well muzzle a bull then to trample on the rightThe right to protest, but you must respect the grieving family.” of freedom of speech and it is a fundamental right in societiesThis would not have encroached on the right to Free Speech that are free and the people have a voice and can choose forand would have put the matter to rest for each side finally. themselves the things that are acceptable in their priorities.
  29. 29. The ancient Greeks were the first to exercise a Some people have the notion that these representativesform of government that the people had a voice. are somehow protected such as how God protects fools.This kind of governance was called Democracy But, they must have the right personality, education,and the people enjoyed the fact they had a choice. political and personal agenda, with the necessary tools.This was on the minds of our founding fathers This little experiment in Democracy has made America aswho left behind the kind of tyranny from a king. great as it is for two hundred years and is still going strong.When they first arrived on American soil with The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are unique among theall the possibilities this new nation could bring. nations on earth and why those who come her feel they belong.The issue that sparked the cry for independence This “land of the free and home of the brave” welcomes thosewas the issue of taxation without representation. who desire to live and work here as long as they obey the laws.They wanted to decide for themselves how best to The grateful citizens of America appreciate those who governgovern and what direction to take this new nation. on their behalf, even when they show their humanity and flaws.America was built on a promise that all men would The U.S. Government as the largest employer in the land hasbe free to pursue their dreams as its cornerstone. the responsibility to protect and secure its borders from enemies.It broke free from the vestiges of the “Old Country” To prevent future terrorist attacks, such as 9/11 or the Oklahomathrough revolution and saying no to a king on a throne. The city bombing of a federal building and any possible atrocities.The men and women who represent the people, come The nations defense takes the lions share of the federal budgetfrom all walks of life and recognize the privilege to serve. and there is a constant battle as to how taxpayers money is spent.Their terms are not set, but continued service is based No matter who is in the White House, or the political party theyupon their voting record as long as they keep their nerve. belong, the nation survives the based on the founding fathers intent.
  30. 30. When I was a little girl growing up, it was Without proper guidance for a mature female figure whomexpected that my sisters and I would read. they can confide, and their emotions can run to the extreme.There was a constant effort to keep me away Girls can end up with eating disorders, self-mutilation orboys and all the problems they could lead. other behavior that can lead to her having low self-esteem.Girls who didnt like to play with dolls were A teenage girl will “act out” and become rebellious in wayscalled “Tom Boys” for wanting to play rough. that they never behaved or acted in an extreme manner before.Growing up with older brothers is a good way They may threaten to run away and may defy and refuse toto look out for myself and learn how to be tough. do what you ask of them or refuse to listen to you anymore. Where are girls to turn to when they need “motherly advise?”In gym class there very few options for girls; We If they need straight talk in the manner of televisions Dr. Phil,had volleyball, basketball, dance and gymnastics. there is only one obvious answer and that is to be like the “BigThe sweeping changes brought about by Title Nine Sister can be there for her while she finds herself and she will.allowed girls in other sports which was fantastic. Mothers are not the only ones who can sit a girl down and talkFinally, the disparity between girls and boys athletics to her in such a way that she does not feel like being defensive.ended and girls could get sports scholarships as well. Sooner or later they need to hear the “facts of life” and not theIt was a chance to attend college and gain valuable digested version so that she will understand when she is pensive.experience that could help them in other areas to excel. There is a famous quote by Susan B. Anthony, who was an earlyBecause girls develop physically and tend to mature supporter of a w omen’s rights, especially with the right to vote.much faster than boys they can be subject to abuse. “A woman must not depend on men to protect themselves, weOlder men with bad intentions have used their status must always be prepared to defend ourselves, she said, endas a coach to get into a girls life as a legitimate excuse. quote.Advertisers are especially adept at enticing this vulnerable, So mothers do you talk to your daughters and keep the channelsocially significant, fresh faces that drive this demographic. of communication open for not only the time called , “When.”They create advertisements aimed at these young girls who If they did not listen to what you said back whenever you triedare impressionable and at a disadvantage to avoid conflict. to talk and she ignored everything, you must consider the “Then.”The signs of young womanhood—the curved figure, the There are so many avenues of opportunity for young ladies todeveloped breasts, and the onset of monthly periods early. explore and her future depends upon the degree that she is wise.Can make them want to be more of the woman they are Discretion is not only valor in the theater of war, but it also is thebecoming and as a consequence reject things that are girlie. early warning system for girls to be aware of troubles disguise.
  31. 31. In the second Book of Timothy in the Holy Scriptures it saysconcerning the Last Days: “Critical times hard to deal with Things that happen in the country like the economy and jobs notwill be here...” and it outline what evidence there would be only affect us directly, but also impact on those whom we cause hardship to humanity how it would be forthwith. People feel paralyzed and cannot afford the basic necessities of life―that originally a gift directly from God in heaven above.Of these critical times it went n to say that they would behard to deal with and that is the essence of todays reality. Many people have lost confidence in the government and believeThe condition does not exist in just one location, the that even the church has failed in its mission to help or intervene.whole world has prodigious evidence of extreme difficulty. The church does not hold the place it once held and this amid a climate of dissension and the scandal about abuse was unforeseen.By critical, the meaning is clear that people everywherewill be affected and therefore, unable to survive or cope. There re many ways to describe this current state of affairs, but itThese times are indeed desperate and the incidence of ones has a significance beyond what we are experiencing and its meaning.having no natural affection, greedy, haughty, not open to any Any attempt to trivialize what people are experiencing does notagreement, and proving false to godly devotion means no hope. answer the questions and in most cases it ends up being demeaning.The kind of reality that meant things went according to the There is a satisfying answer as to what these “critical times” actuallyprescribed manner to which we are used to, now gives us pause. does mean and we can look to reliable source for the complete truth.No longer can we take for granted having a home, good health Gods Word, the Bible is where our present circumstances is fullyand financial security in our lives as an entitlement or because. explained and the present conditions―do not have to be a sleuth.
  32. 32. Not everyone is cut out to be a Marine and the ones that succeed without a doubt say its worth the sacrifice.Their motto is “Sempre Fidelis; Always Faithful You can never know the feeling from getting the honorIf you do not already know they are the Marines. and respect that comes from being as Marine unless youThey are the “few and the proud” and once a give it a try; understanding success is not a roll of the dice.Marine always a Marine―their exploits go unseen. It is a fact that the Marines are the best at what they do―To say that they are always faithful is quite an Their sacrifice to accomplish their mission cannot be denied.understatement as not too many things are faithful. Like any other branch of service, there is the possibility thatThe United States Marines are a unique branch of things can sometimes go bad, evidenced by those who died.the Department of Defense and we are most grateful. Becoming a Marine is an accomplishment that is attainableYoung recruits come to the Marines with a lot of by the select few with the will and determination to succeed.attitude and the belief that they are already fit. They are fully trained, fully equipped with the best equipmentBut, after twelve weeks of “Hell on Earth” they available and integrated in a system that provides all they need.learn things about themselves while wanting to quit. If you see the distinctive uniform of a U.S.M.C. member youBy the end of their intensive training they have grownfrom being an immature youngster to a mature man. might want to say, ”Semper Fi” and he will likely appreciate it.They are well prepared to join the ranks of fellow Remember that they are “Always Faithful” and it is an honorMarines in protecting our nation the very best they can. for them to serve their country and are proud they did not quit.
  33. 33. The warriors instincts saved his life that day, His is a proud and diverse history about which littleand it was fortuitous that he quickly realized, is known by the masses and misunderstood even today.As he readied himself for the battle to come Native American heritage is unique in its various tribalthat his sworn enemy already had him sized. cultures and how they are able to survive living that way.As the warrior was stalked by his enemy and They have recorded much of their history on colorfulThe ensuing battle for his people was near. totem poles which describes many events in great detail.He had to call upon all of his training and put The lone warrior is a symbol of a way of life that cannot beaside any thoughts of failure nor succumb to fear. erased and has despite being scattered managed to prevail.At long last his enemy gave away his position and They make use of “strong medicine” to keep themselvesThe warrior exhaled as he reached into his quiver. healthy and strong and understand the turning of the sun.He was on the offensive and hoped that his enemy The path of the warrior is out of necessity a lonely one, asWould not move so the fatal blow he could deliver. The warrior cannot be distracted once the battle has begun.Such is the pride of this native warrior who has not Warriors are given names after animals that possess certainanything of his own except his culture and tribes. characteristics and this name the warrior will proudly bear.He is a man of honor who was selected as the one He is distinguished from other braves who have yet to bemost capable and in tune with Mother earth’s vibes. tested and by the colorful tattoos that they also often wear.The warrior’s code is sacred and very few men can Where there come a time that there will be one last lonepass the rigors of hours of training that it demands. warrior fighting for his people’s way of life and change?A warrior who dies in battle is revered indefinitely History will perhaps tell his story one day if there iswhile the chief ensures all the respect it commands. anyone left to report the life on the once forbidden range.
  34. 34. Life as we live it each day, is full of Round and round and up and down, childrenups and downs, not unlike a carousel. riding and the carousel never ceases to delight.To the extent that we try to live with The old remember when they were young andreason, we can get along quite well. can remember the sounds, smell, and the sight.A carousel is usually accompanied by the The ups and downs of life should be expected, nolively sound of a calliope keeping tune. one can escape the vagaries that come our way.As rides seem to go, it ends when the ride We must ride the carousel that accompanies us onstarts to slow down and it ends way too soon. our way to living our life fully, come whatever may.The ups and downs that we face in life do We cannot ignore the opportunities that presentsnot have musical accompaniment or theme. themselves and must anticipate them as a fact.We chase rainbows for the elusive “pot of Whether or not you get a chance at the brass ringgold” and hope to live the American dream. or not will depend on skill alone as your final act.When you live a normal upright life, you It is much easier to ride on a carousel than to deal withcan always proudly hold your head up high. life and always come away at the end totally unscathed.You do not have to fear any calamity nor do But we cannot depend on luck or others to help us outhave to worry, nothing will make you sigh. we have to be responsible for how and why we behaved.
  35. 35. You can tell something about a person through their On the dawn of September 11th we were already putting up fliers ofpets—while some prefer a dog, others prefer a cat. our beloved tabby cat April everywhere around the neighborhood.Ours was a cat family since before I was born and my At the end of the day we were all exhausted that we almost didn’town family carries on the tradition; 9 lives and all that. hear the mewing coming from a dumpster not far from where we stood. Checking inside a cardboard box were astonished to see seven”April” was as much a part of the family as anyone kittens with their eyes still closed were crying loudly for their mother. .else and came with a big cat, crazy cat, cool cat attitude.She could meow her head off at you if she is mad or if and instantly all of our fears evaporated and we were elated that sheshe happens to be in one of her ever-changing feline mood. delivered her litter and by their looks they were copies of one another.We visited an animal shelter and when we saw her it was We gathered them up in their box while April nervously stood watch“love at first sight, “not just for us, but also on Aprils part. And took them to the veterinarian and learned that all would survive.April nuzzle a lot and meowed if we tried to walk past her as Our joy was unmistakable and we could not wait to get our newbornsif she knew we were there to see only her, warming our heart. home where April could take care of them glad that they all were alive.Her name, April stuck because that was the month we got her, The next day April took off again and was nowhere to be found andand besides, was already named April by her previous owner. again, we were anxious as to where April could have disappeared to.She makes instant fans of everyone who comes to visit and is The kittens had to be fed and we used an eye-dropper to accomplishjealous, secure, confident in our word no one will dethrone her. this while still worrying about their mother not knowing what to do.She is the most photographed member of our household, so wecouldn’t help but notice one day that April was getting fatter. Early the next morning an officer came to our house and asked to talkFor the life of her we knew we were not over-feeding her so we to our dad, and instantly I knew that the news wasn’t going to be good.took her to the veterinarian to hopefully learn what was the matter. When the officer left our dad told us that a man thought he had run over a dog or cat and stopped to see what he hit, as a good neighbor should.To our surprise we found out April was pregnant and the vet told He found April lying very still in grave distress because of her to watch for strange behavior the closer April got to her time.She had a habit pulling disappearing acts and we did not know if Evidently she must have gotten hit by the car shortly after giving birth.she would have her litter at home with us or else in filth and grime. He took her home and tried to take care of her the best that he could, but, after having survived this far hurt, April was not long for this earth.On September seventh April disappeared again, but this time she After April died we aired a segment about her restating that we adoptedwas gone for a couple of days and all of us were really worried. her in response to a story on dogs and cats needing a home for some.Mother said that she probably decided to have her kittens in She gave us four girls and three boys, all of which, except one wereprivate and we hoped for the best that none of them would be buried. adopted by caring people who saw our story and were moved to come.
  36. 36. So, here I go again, losing out on the I cant keep my wedding rings anymore becauselove that for so long I thought was mine. they stand for a fiction that is in reality just a lie.Only to have to face the truth about it― You dont have to tell me twice that you decidedthat for me, love simply ran out of time. to give living with an “alternative” lifestyle a try.This was nit how it was supposed to be; Yes, you might think you had my blessing as IYou and I splitting up, today within hours. smiled and tried to put on a happy face instead.I feel as hurt as a little child who was hurt I didnt encourage you to make that choice, butwhen he picked mommy weeds not flowers. I know this has been your desire and enough said.I remember the song, “Band of Gold” and in Whenever I tried to get you to talk about it, youit she sang something about their honeymoon. ignored me and got moody and that is a true fact.I didnt think I heard her right when she said So, I tried to learn for myself what will be thethat night, they stayed in separate rooms. outcome of your conflict and continued with my act.Thats when I masde the connection to us and I dont think of you with love anymore and it painsthe reality is, its you and me blowing my heart. me to say Ill never love again, the cost is too much.We dont spend any time together anymore and To play with someones emotions is a cruel andI think we exist in separate worlds always apart. mean thing to do and it has a very devestating touch.
  37. 37. From time immemorial everything My parents gave me a name that meansdiscovered has been given a name. valor as the courage displayed during war.Anything new is assigned one by its My middle name is one of the fruits ofdiscoverer and its always the same. Gods spirit, and not something to ignore.Why is it so important to name the There is a name, however, that is greaterperson, place, or thing we discover? than any other name in the entire universe.Is there a special meaning to the Its a name whose meaning has implicationname given to one name over another? to all souls and can be found in a Bible verse.The giving of names has its beginning It is our Creator’s personal name, “Jehovah”with the first man named Adam by God. and means “He causes to become” whateverAdam was given the chance to name the He needs to be for the sake of humanity andanimals that were to him strange or odd. all that he provides that will never end ever.The first woman was named Eve as she This unique name has a place in the mindswas to be the “mother of all living things. and hearts of those who have come to know.things,” and was to have children to fill He avails himself to those who are meek andthe earth and enjoy the happiness it brings. desire to serve Him and true worship show.
  38. 38. From the first brush stroke on, the scene slowly startsIts a solitary endeavor, often lonely and to take shape and the artist fine tunes details in stages.totally insulated―a world of no distraction. Similarly, as a writer I approach my canvass with aThe writers life is a contradiction in terms of thought and listen to my mind as I fill the blank pages.expectation and the mind/body interaction. Unlike an artist who has a place like a gallery whereWithout assistance from a teacher or mentor his works are open to the public, on display to sell.we descend into deep meditation and thought. Any writer, be it essayist, columnist, novelist, poet orSometimes needing a rhyming dictionary orother writer aids to get the exact meaning sought. critic, when its done do you know if youve done well?Its comparable to the world that an artist facing a A writer who has a receptive audience and is widelyblank canvass who has been given creative license. known share their craft and eventually get recognition.He will stare at the canvass, doing nothing at all Thus, lies the impetus to write and a career is born forwaiting for a burst of inspiration that makes sense. them like a car roaring to life when you start the ignition.An artist cannot be hurried, nor can he work under In reality some writers got recognition posthumously andpressure to produce an original work that is perfect. others never got any attention at all yet continued to write.Many artists make a sketch of their proposed work In my case, I imagine what I am writing as if it is dictatedto fix it in their mind that they later on can dissect. and all I have to do is write it down and this is hardly a slight.When he finally decides to paint, the concept is It chose me, by allowing me a creative outlet that came to mefine tuned by the type of paint and type of brush. naturally and I never questioned the provocative nature of this.The brush strokes are unhurried and deliberate, but Working a lone and in the background Ive become part of thehis minds eye sees the end result and does not scenery―unnoticed and obscure and no opportunity to miss.rush.
  39. 39. A disaster is never a planned event Those who lived through the storm were thankful toand they always occur unexpectedly. be alive despite losing everything they have in life.Making plans ahead of time is the The lesson for everyone is obvious that at such timesonly way to ensure non-complacency. we are reminded of the precariousness of living in strife.The word “natural” is frequently used Hard to imagine simply being thankful to be alive withto describe disasters such as a tornado. all of the good, bad and indifferent that we go through.Those who barely survived one or lost Considering the finality of death, it is easy to understandloved ones have a another view to show. that life is a do-over and we get a second chance to do.Some might consider the worst possible Perhaps it is far easier to be thankful when times are goodday at work a disaster when it finally ends. but, disaster does not discriminate on those it may affect.But, like a plan landing you can walk away It only takes one brush with death to realize you have afrom is a good one, so it always just depends. need to give thanks and its the one thought we often neglect.Understanding the chaos that sometimes seems Being thankful for the least of things means that you see theto accompanies the “best laid plans” we make. fragile nature of life and can easily adapt when things go bad.It helps to anticipate the worst possible outcome It also implies that you know to take adequate precautions soas youll be grateful that its not a chance to take. you dont end up being short-sighted and wishing that you had.Consider the case of Hurricane Katrina and the We should all be grateful if we enjoy “good fortune” and welife and death struggle in which some misbehaved. have not had to contend with disasters of any kind so far.For those that listened to the warning to evacuate, it And realize that once-in-a-lifetime events occur sooner orwas this decision to go that ultimately their life saved. later and we must accept that this is how things in life are.
  40. 40. You know youre getting old when you seethe President transforms right before your eyes. He has had to battle to make his point and take his caseOn the eve of his inauguration, he had a head directly to the American people through televised address.full of dark hair that was not Grey you realize. Despite his attempts he has faced stone-walling and the kind of interference that makes it difficult to make progress.A robust and youthful-looking Barack Obamastood poised to seize the reins of government. If solitary is the way that the President wanted it to be, heYet, in just over two years, he has more than a would still have to proceed cautiously in order to succeed.few Grey hairs on his head like the precedent. He would have to compromise often and has the power to veto if Congress does not submit bills that we actually need.It seems that stress of the job causes the Presidentfrom day one to undergo this visible amazing change. No one outside the halls of government can begin to knowBeing POTUS means carrying the concerns of each the demands on the President and that he must try to enforce.citizen and world leader without room to rearrange. He must answer the people who correspond with him while keeping his agenda despite “political winds” to stay the course.The affairs of the nation as well as events on the inter-national scene, occupies everyday his heart and mind. Before you make fun of the fact that the President just turnedDealing with Congress to pass needed legislation is fifty and already has a head full of neatly trimmed Grey hair.never easy, neither political enemies who are unkind. It is not easy to bear the burden of the nations highest office and do so everyday for four years and with compassion and care.
  41. 41. Best wishes for the First Family Going back to the last days on theOn this Thanksgiving Day and Campaign trail, you did not stop to grieve.After watching your official duty For the woman who helped raise you(The pardoning of the turkeys) Because the country wanted to believe.I have something Id like to say. If ever there was a time that called for itOn this day it is also our duty. That time— At this moment you must try.To help those without the means Not to figure out what went wrong, butTo participate is a thing of beauty, to be human and go ahead and cry.As you eloquently state as a reminder You have more than enough reason toin your usual self-deprecating way Give way to tears as our Savior once did.of the “shellacking” that you received Seeing the condition of the people for—On that fate mid-term election day. His emotions he sometimes publicly hid.In your private moments, away from M . Pr e s i d e n t t h e r e i s b u t o n e rthe outside and the medias glare. pr u d e n t c o u r s eDo you wonder how you could have we t o g e t h e r wi t h y o u r t r u s t e d adv i s or s t o t ak e .gotten it so wrong to be so unaware? An d I b e l i e v e t h a t o n c e we h av e d o n e s o we c an r e g r oup and s t i l l a di f f e r e nc e ma k e .
  42. 42. People frequently comment that “shes such a Shes been the favorite bridesmaid at more weddingslovely girl and would make a man a good wife.” that can be counted and it has never gotten to her mind.She has warm and genuine smile and has all She is the most self-assured woman that a man is likelythe necessary skills that girls must learn in life. to encounter in his life and no better person can he find.But, she is one that is hard to catch and seems Whenever someone takes too much of an interest in her,that she is in no hurry to become someones bride. she is likely to let him down gently or else run and hide.She has been known to run away if anyone tries Tease her if you must, but she is determined to stay asto fix her up for a date and she puts the idea aside. she is “single and free” and to never be someones bride.One by one her single friends were married and it You cannot get her to explain herself or to elaborate onher that was the one who was always a bridesmaid. why she prefers to remain unattached or what she meant.Hooked up with a best man who was not exactly a She makes a valid point about the cost of weddings andmatch maid in heaven and she thought it never paid. often mentions the amount of time and effort that is spent.The irony is that guys are crazy about her because Marriage and a family is a natural desire to fulfill byshe is not the other girls and not the “typical chick.” many girls from time of their first romance to their “day.”She loves sports of all kinds, is funny, not girlie, and But, others like the independence of being single and docan take a joke besides having a mind that is quick. not intend to change because in truth they like it that way.
  43. 43. ver was to become of this little experiment heSeveral years ago it was quite by accident, was convinced that it is a gift he was given by God.the poet discovered he had a literary voice. All of those senseless rhyming exercises he once didAlways rhyming in his head, when it came have taken on greater significance and are never especially writing poetry, he had no choice. He had once questioned his sanity and was desperateThere was always a singular thought, that he to see a means to an end and finally figure things out.could not allow to escape his curious mind. All the years he never considered a life composingThe words came suddenly and without a clue rhymes he never had use for were―without a to the final meaning of them he would find.The timing too was strange as it followed his He had to start believing in himself if he were to be asdisability, the damage to his psyche was severe. successful as other famous poets such as Maya Angelou.Those seemingly endless rhymes he used to do His life did not have to be defined by an interrupted jobwhen he tried to put his mind anywhere but here. and he could work for himself in all that there was to do.He lost his chance at a career ladder position that You have to use whatever gifts God gives you and notwould have made him set for life with prominence. give in to the temptation to simply give up or even quit.But, disease reared its ugly head and he had to get Discovering a talent that was once taken for granted ashis retirement papers in and he did so with reticence. a potential resource by writing could never hurt one bit.Wondering what to do with himself he noted that he When he finds himself enjoying better times, he canwas putting his sorrow to use in a very poetic way. thank God who gave him this special ability right now.And decided then and there that this talent of his What was not possible yesterday has a purpose and awas going to be a new career, so he started that day. place in his mind and heart that is appropriate somehow.
  44. 44. The summer of 2011 has been the “season of his According to recent poll numbers, the Americandiscontent” for the President of the United States. people have said loud and clear “enough is enough.The effort to increase the federal deficit turned They believe it is time to hold their elected officialsinto contentious and often slanderous debates. accountable, despite that in Washington times are tough.The newly minted members of Congress were a Optimism is at an all time low which is directly reflected inpart of an effort to deny the President any chance. the absence of consumer spending that recovery depends.The conduct of the Speaker of the House led the This likewise affects the Gross Domestic Product that is achorus of those against compromise at a glance. Switching gears ti his campaign for reelection, the PresidentWith the deadline looming that the nation would be made a difficult executive decision as is usually the case.unable to pay its bills a move that would be historic. He faces a difficult road ahead, while trying to defend hisIncreasing the debt ceiling was deemed necessary to decisions and his plans to bring more jobs that are in place.economic growth that has been for too long caloric. Some have asked the question, “ how did we get so far inThe President tried to get his message out to the debt and how could spending be allowed to get out of hand?”voters themselves, many who are now very cynical. It is as if fiscal restraint is a concept that no one in WashingtonThey have lost confidence in government and say cares about because everything that comes is by their command.Congress is to blame for the reason it became critical. If the President hopes to serve another term, then he must tryThe prospect that this once thriving and prosperous harder to shape the nations future and regain his credibility.nation could be suddenly be in a position to default. The disillusionment of those who voted for “change cannot beMade the President offer compromises that would understated and they will vote with their conscience inevitably.effectively bring Congress to where debate can halt. Time is slowly passing by without a shred of good news toAn over whelming number of Americans said they allow people some optimism that things will improve to hold.were disgusted with the performance of Congress. Disdain for politics may be a factor in the 2012 elections andThey say that Washington, and by extension the it will determine if improvement will happen as we were told.federal government has too many issues to address.