Words to live by

Today is Tuesday. Today, I received a letter from a person I have been thinking about for the last few weeks. His name is Kevin. He found my address written in a book that was given to him by my son and contacted me earlier this year. He was being moved to another prison shortly after contacting me. I managed to get a letter to him uncertain that it would reach him in time.

It’s been at least 6 or 7 months since his last letter. I was surprised and happy to hear from Kevin again. He had been moved; in fact, he was moved 3 times.

You may remember an earlier blog post about him. Kevin is gay and he was set up by a homophobic student and his family. Kevin went to prison for receiving a picture of this high school student having sex with his girlfriend. How duplicitous.

In prison, in most southern prisons, a gay person labeled as a sex offender is a target for violence.

Kevin told me that his journey has been grueling. He has been thrown in solitary confinement on arrival of each prison for his safety. Yup, you get punished for being a target.

He quoted some of my words in the last letter I had sent him. He told me that my words of encouragement kept him going. He found them to be true and he knew that I cared about him.

Words to live by. If you know me at all, you can probably guess what I might have said to him.

Words should build; words should encourage; words should be real.

To my dear friend, Kevin: you are in my prayers and in my heart.

I long for justice tempered with mercy and compassion. I long for decent people who live by ethics..we are so far gone from that in our farcical system of so called justice.

Words. #Peace

Ted talk

Today is Wednesday. If we remain in the dark, we can’t shine a light for those who have no voice.

This is America..😰

#Peace

Glorify

Today is Sunday. Today, I did a bit of reading and research. I was sparked to do when 2 things happened. First, I was approached by students to contribute money to their high school sports program. Second, I listened to the speech of a self absorbed and arrogant football player.

When I was is in school, those who excelled in a sport were popular with teachers, staff and other students. These athletes were somehow given a larger step above the rest of us and tended to be glorified. That hasn’t changed very much today; in fact, it is widely prevalent. The participation in sports isn’t a bad thing, yet we have come to make it a thing that separates the mighty from the weak.

Art and music programs will be cut; but, it will be a cold day in Hell when sports programs lose funding.

When US teams compete, we tend to wipe up the floor with other teams. It’s about physical superiority not intellect. We are not teaching our kids about good and fair sportsmanship; instead, it’s about crushing the opponent.

Once upon a time, a coach in a prominent Indiana high school allowed some very destructive and sexual hazing to go on. When he was threatened with dismissal, parents went to his defense at the expense of the abused students because his teams were often in the championship playoffs.

Sick.

My research included how the Nazi’s glorified sports and those who excelled as athletes. They duped parents into pushing their children into athletic programs and promising that those kids would be superior to everyone else.

If you don’t pay attention to history, it repeats itself.

We should be encouraging our young people to be kind and supportive of each other. Build community, not barriers.

I don’t give to school sports; but, I do give to community programs like when cops in my town played basketball with local youth so they could build positive relationships.

Peace.

Even though we walk a dark valley…

Today is Friday.

The LORD is my shepherd;

I have all that I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows;

he leads me beside peaceful streams.

He renews my strength.

He guides me along right paths

bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk

through the darkest valley,

I will not be afraid,

for you are close beside me.

Your rod and your staff

protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me

in the presence of my enemies.

You honor me by anointing my head with oil.

My cup overflows with blessings.

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me

all the days of my life,

and I will live in the house of the LORD

forever.

#Peace

Resolve

Today is Thursday. Today I have renewed my resolve to be kind; to be merciful; to be forgiving; to be courageous. There are nasty, power hungry villains that troll this world to derive pleasure from cruelty and God help me, I don’t want to be like them.

I pray for the weary; the struggling; the suffering. I pray those with malicious intent to fall into their own traps and be exposed for who they really are.

If you are going to suffer, then suffer for truth, for integrity. Duplicity puts on masks and smiles like a shark. But, truth will come to shine like the noonday sun and only those who choose to wear sunglasses will remain in the darkness of ignorance.

#Peace

Persecuted

Today is Tuesday. Today, I understand more about myself, about Paul and especially, about Matt.

Persecution by those who are never held accountable can and does change you as a person.

I told some more than once that our lives after Matt’s release would just start the second chapter of the nightmare. No one can really understand the depth of wickedness we must face unless he/she has been abused and suffered by those in power.

It has begun. We are together as a family and try as my son might to walk with honour and integrity, those who wield power continue to persecute with a sickening vengeance.

There is beauty in truth. There is grace and healing in compassion. There is a strength to bend but not break; courage to face malice without returning evil for evil.

We are weary; we are heavy hearted; we are battle scarred. Yet we know who keeps our souls and we will wait for the One who executes real justice.

“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing
what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice
our values rather than simply professing them.” Brene Brown

To all our friends out there, we love you. Keep us in your hearts and honest prayers. 😘💞

Transfer!!

Today is Friday. Today, I received a letter from Joe. He was given permission to transfer to the prison where Chad is now located. These guys were together for at least a couple of years before Chad was transferred.

They had become the son and father to each other. When Chad was moved, I became very concerned for both of them. They were devastated and scared for one another.

Today, I was given $50 to use for “my peeps in prison.” I can start putting baskets together for them for Christmas.

I missed Chad’s birthday and that made me sad and frustrated. But, I put in some extra hours and was able to send him stamps depicting dinosaurs. He asks for stamps frequently.

I can’t visit my peeps in prison like Jesus encourages; but, I can write and send books and funds, and Christmas baskets.

I am looking forward to a letter telling me Chad and Joe are able to see each other again..;)

Love is an action.