Recently I read an article written by a man who calls for people to “Quit Church”. The title is stirring and probably got a number of people to read his book with that same title. His whole point was to either give it your all…or not at all! Leave and Get out…now!
I’m sure he believes that this will stir people to support fully all that Christ would have them be and the end results would be that they would be totally committed and there would be no deficit in the church budget and the air conditioning will keep running during the hot summer months and their neighbors will be won to Christ…but he may have convinced the marginal believers to do as he said…QUIT!
If his advice is taken by those with a weakness of faith, eventually churches may look like the one shown here.
We must not forget that only a few church members from all types of churches and denominations, grand or small country gatherings, are often the ones who reach out to the homeless, addicts, victims of disasters and many other needs around the world. When the government or Red Cross is slow at trying to handle the matter, they step in. A hand-full of Christians run many of our hospitals and great universities were started by a few Christians who wanted a better life for everyone. None of them quit even though at times they may have felt that their faith to accomplish was weak and wanted to give up.
There will always be those who warm the pews and others who get fully involved. These people will be at every meeting, on as many committees as possible and are always available. Others will run the other way from such activities for whatever reason. Do we want them to leave forever? How will they replace God in their lives? The emptiness deeply felt and the void will surely be replaced with something else.
God does His work in the heart and the church is sometimes the only safe place that a person may have during times of trial or personal torment. Sometimes it is the stranger who is not a church member that walks into a church and sits on the pew all alone…seeking something…anything to help him or her find a way. They often don’t know that Christ’s Holy Spirit is there waiting in the quiet.
A handful of Christians may have reached deep into their pockets to keep that door open…just for this person sitting alone. It is what they have done as unto the Lord. Not everyone will do this, however, and the church leaders expect this even if they wish that it were different.
When the Church was first founded by the Apostles they had to give it all that they had…and most died a martyr’s death because of it. There is not a pastor alive who would not like to see his church pews filled to overflowing and not have to worry about church politics or any other matter. If only preaching the gospel could bring all people to give their full efforts, it would be grand. Unfortunately, a pastor or priest does not often see the fruits of their labor. Years later, someone may have remembered what they heard or felt in the church service even though their life was less than totally committed at the time.
Sometimes people will say “I’m not getting involved because I have been there and done that in my younger years.” They may have not been told that being a prayer warrior is also being involved. Not everyone can manage to be out-front all the time.
Yet, the minister continues to work with what he or she has and with those who decide to crawl out of bed on Sunday morning and make their way to a pew and to the altar for Holy Communion. Maybe that person never heard a word he said in the sermon, but he finds solace in the grace of the wine and bread, God reaches out to the heart whether the church is full or not.
It is entirely possible that God doesn’t care about church membership or even the church buildings in which we worship. These have been handed down by people who built them to honor God and to not forsake the assembling together as Christians, which we are admonished to do in the Holy Scriptures.
As a church body, we have what we have…those human beings who may be strong or weak. If the church closes because of lack of involvement or funds to operate, then it will close. Others will open even if they are fellowships within homes where they were started by the first Christians. Quitting is still not an option.
Perhaps Chris Sonksen of California who advocates quitting if you can’t step up to the plate, can think about some of these points. He says his organization gives “personal coaching to more than 200 churches and impacts thousands of leaders” with his book Quit Church ( if you can’t give it all). Has he lost sight of the fact that God can reach down and touch a life that is less committed? We would emphasize again, that it may be the open church door that still stands open where one can sit quietly and find relief from a noisy, violent, and often unfriendly world. The Christian church founders, through their courage, brought Christian faith to the world. They never quit when their faith wavered, but encouraged the believers to be “strong in the faith” through every problem.
I remember hearing a minister years ago standing before his congregation and telling them, “I have nothing to say to you today because I am in a desert place.” He then served Holy Communion and I have never forgotten his honesty. Should he have resigned (or quit) his call to ministry at that point? Of course not. He needed the prayers of the people for the rough time he was going through. No, quitting is not an option. How many times must it be said? We pick ourselves up through God’s grace and continue on. He will show the way.
Let’s talk about children. Your child or grandchildren may be the next “apostle” to the world. Removing them from church worship is also not an option because you don’t think you can give your all. Are we going to teach them to QUIT in other areas of their life…if they are somewhat reluctant to give it their all? Are you going to show them by your example that religious faith is not important because your faith is weak? Should we instead teach them that not everyone has the same spiritual foundation or strengths and there is hope for everyone. The theory of “All in or All out” is actually not realistic. We hardly do anything to that extent in life. Nothing is all black or white.
For many people, they baptized their children when they were only an infant. Did that promise you made at that time to raise them in spiritual grace mean only if you yourself were in perfect harmony with God? I doubt it. You have an obligation and vow that was taken for that little one.
I share with you now some special young people who have a message. They are imagining what it will be like when they finally see God face to face. We all will, you know. They also have dreams of the future. Encourage them to love God…even more than you think you do. Help them to take up the banner of faith…even when we may be lacking. These children, like those in our churches, are the future. Don’t quit on them.
Everyone who watched the royal wedding today in the beautiful St. George Chapel will have their own opinion of its significance, other than it was a very expensive wedding that may have brought excitement to people around the world…especially in England. I write this blog not to throw cold water on any of the festivities, but to point out that there may have been a missed opportunity.
Being an Episcopalian (Anglican to you Brits), I first have to say that the Episcopalians love their reverence, quiet solitude for reflection and prayer in their church services. We love beautiful choir music…soft and dignified…not boisterous. The church is a sacred place which is often called “God’s house.” It is not a theatre or a stadium. I am certain that the Anglicans throughout the world feel the same way.
Having said that, I have also been a part of “get down and happy” southern church services that put no stock at all in formality. Both places of worship have the pluses and minuses for different people. Some feel that music should be “praise music” and if the preacher preaches loud and long, then he is a “real preacher.” The ability to speak out and say “Amen” is part of the overall service. In most cases, in the Anglican (Episcopal) churches saying anything aloud is rare unless one is part of the service readings.
Episcopalians or Anglicans have Holy Communion each service. They might enjoy a shorter and to the point sermon. I have been to southern, African American churches where I was welcomed and actually escorted from the back seat to the front to share my love for Jesus with the congregation. I could not have been more warmly welcomed as a person not of color.
I want to comment on the American Episcopal Bishop, Michael Curry, who was asked to give the message at the royal wedding. He may have missed a golden opportunity. I don’t mean that he could have shortened his message or that his subject on God’s love was not a good one. He was certainly enthusiastic about what he was saying.
It was a message on love which was appropriate for a wedding. However, he only briefly mentioned Jesus with some words on “redemption” without explaining it clearly., Jesus gave his life and rose from the dead to bring redemption to mankind. He is the essence of God’s love.
Bishop Curry had an audience of a life-time with millions if not billions of people watching. Many of those people know nothing about the love of God or His redemptive power. Jesus is the “GREATEST LOVE of all, but we have to receive His Love just as one would receive a beautiful gift. This Perfect Love seemed to be minimized and somewhat lost as the sermon went on with other unrelated thoughts on “industrialization” and changin the world. This was unfortunate and disappointing.
God’s love and mercy also includes reconciliation, not division. When Bishop Curry began to talk about slavery…much of which could be contributed to the fore-fathers of the elite British audience in attendance…the message brought up a painful subject to many. As much as they might like to do so, the wedding congregation cannot go back and change their history. Neither can the Americans who came from England and bought the slaves to work their plantations. History is to be learned from, not lived over and over.
The bride and groom planned their wedding to be inclusive with choirs singing spirituals, which may have not been heard in St. George Chapel. This may have been a good, inclusive and memorable part of the wedding service. Some are saying, “Bishop Curry stole the show.” Perhaps…but his style of preaching was a genuine style of preaching for him and his background. The Anglicans have their style and he was in their territory for the day. If they were made to feel “uneasy,” perhaps the bridal party should have thought of that earlier.
We may want to be one, big world-family with everyone singing the same song and loving one another throughout the entire world. It is a lofty message. How likely is that to happen? Never…until Christ comes back and every eye shall see Him and every knee bows before Him. That will be real PEACE AND LOVE.
A brief history of St. George Chapel: St. George’s castle chapel was established in the 14th century by King Edward III and began extensive enlargement in the late 15th century. It has been the location of many royal ceremonies, weddings and burials… Windsor Castle is a principal residence for Queen Elizabeth II and its chapel is the planned burial site for the Queen. Other kings are buried here as well as some familiar names:
- Jane Seymore Queen of England, in 1537
- Henry VIII King of England and Ireland, in 1547
- Charles I King of England, Scotland and Ireland, in 1649 (credit Wikipedia)
VIDEO: St. George Chapel Choir rehearses for the wedding day.
Congratulations to the new couple.
A friend of mine sent me this writing and I thought I’d pass it along to my readers with a few modifications. (not certain of the author).
These words are simple…no frills…just plain truthful advice. So here goes…the wisdom for a world torn to shreds, full of anxiety, looking for some word of wisdom…other than the greatest words of wisdom ( Proverbs in the Holy Bible, which are my favorite).
Now, I can’t end this blog here for I had a great deal of tension and stress today as I tried to make bread. It wasn’t a peaceful day. Perhaps a picture or two will be better than a thousand words and I certainly didn’t have time for Yoga.
Since I was trying a new recipe, the container where I usually allow my yeast bread to rise was not large enough. You can see the results as it overflowed…and overflowed. Thankfully my oven was not turned on, but the clean-up was huge! Nevertheless, life must go on. Rescuing what I could, I continued the task at hand…making my bread. As you can see, all was not lost!!
And doggie says, “May your stress and worries be few.”
POWER…POWER…POWER to the people worldwide! Yes, this power is what blogging your thoughts is all about when you decide to be a blog writer. You will be able to reach people around the world. Since becoming a blogger and following others on their blogs, I have actually made friends with people around the world. Through the internet and blogging programs like WordPress, we are able to speak our minds, concerns and joys as well as thinks we have learned from research and reading before writing. Not all will agree with what we have to say. No problem…for we have the freedom to read or not read. We can choose to write or not write. Yes, I’m using that glorious word…FREEDOM!
Below is a map that I photographed from my WordPress site. (Thank you, WordPress, for keeping such great statistics to share with us….even the names of the countries that view our posts.) Over a period of my nine years of blogging, the world has practically been covered. Amazing!
When I first began writing my books, I knew I had more to say and wanted a book that I could hold in my hand. That was accomplished in the last several years. I also knew I wanted to sit down and write to friends and the world something on my mind that I did not have time to put in book form. I’m not putting down anyone who loves…loves…LOVES….their Facebook, because it serves a purpose for some. I, however, moved away from that venue to be able to write more in-depth on any particular subject. What I was having on my plate to eat…as some wrote me about… just didn’t seem interesting enough to me or anyone else for that matter….but history, music, and inspirational messages do find a place worth spending my time and effort. To each his or her own.
Many senior citizens are on the computers daily, writing to children or grandchildren. They have a life story that they can share with people around the world. Their stories and wisdom in living life can prove to be inspirational in so many ways. How about giving it a try? The youth of today will find you online and may need all the help they can get.
I would encourage anyone thinking of not only reading a blog, but actually starting a blog for themselves, to do so in 2018. It isn’t hard and you can learn step by step. With practice on what you can do…write…add pictures…add videos etc…you’ll soon be a pro! ( Here is WordPress Link. Tell them Boyer Writes sent you.)
Again, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all from Boyer Writes… make it a NEW YEAR of WRITING.
Michael Bloomberg has had some harsh words to describe our now President Trump during the campaign, but recently he has begun to sound more like his pragmatic side.
Who exactly is Michael Rubens Bloomberg? He has been a Democrat…a Republican..and is now an Independent. According to Wikipedia, in brief Bloomberg was born in 1942. He is an American businessman, politician and philanthropist. He is a billionaire, raking as one of the richest people in the world. However, he has joined The Giving Pledge where billionaires will give away at least half their wealth. He is the owner of Bloomberg L.P., a global financial services, mass media, and software company. Bloomberg served as Mayor of New York City for three terms.
Recently Lang of ABC News wrote an article that you may have missed. She told what Michael Bloomberg, who did not vote for President Trump, had to say about the now President Trump and what the politicians and the country should do. It is a far cry from other things he has said, but his words are probably some of the most sensible and best advice that the country can have at this time.
Regardless of what your personal opinion of Mr. Bloomberg may be, Boyer Writes felt it was important to pass this along to all our readers… for his recent words should be put into practice by everyone. It is what our democracy is all about.
This is Lang’s article in its entirety:
“Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said America should “get behind” President Trump because “the public has spoken, whether you like the results or not,” during an appearance on ABC’s “The View.”
Bloomberg said that opposing a president just because of one’s alignment with another party is the wrong approach. He referred to a 2010 interview with The National Journal in which Mitch McConnell, at the time the Senate minority leader, said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
“That’s my country. That’s my kids and grand-kids,” Bloomberg said of his reaction to McConnell’s statement. “You have to make it work. We have an election — whoever wins, you got to get behind.”
“He’s our president, and we need this country to be run well. I didn’t vote for him,” Bloomberg added. “Let’s just all hope that Donald Trump is a good president of the United States.”
Also a businessman and philanthropist, Bloomberg said Americans should direct their energy toward changing the outcome of the next election rather than fighting the current administration.
He said people in other countries “try to tear down the government and have a revolution” when their candidate doesn’t win but Americans should be more strategic.
“We should sit back and say, four years from now, how do I get my woman or man elected? And that’s very different,” he said. But Bloomberg said people should still fight policies they don’t agree with.
“You can protest. You can elect other officials, write letters, make phone calls,” he said. “But in the end, the public has spoken, whether you like the results or not.”
Bloomberg joked that Trump had “a little help from the Russians” in the 2016 election.
As for whether the result of Tuesday’s special election in Georgia has serious implications for the future of the Democratic Party, Bloomberg warned people not to read too much into it.
But he said “one thing” the congressional race, won by Republican Karen Handel, showed was that “all the money in the world can’t buy an election.”
“The public is a lot smarter than people give them credit for,” Bloomberg said.
In the end, he said, it was Trump’s “Make America great again” message that resonated with voters.
“I don’t know what the ‘again’ means,” Bloomberg added. “We’re better today than we have ever been. Still, that’s the key.”
Post note: We may want to think about that last sentence. Are we in America truly “better today than we ever have been“? Think about these words:
- Health and Addiction
- Loss of employment
- Race Relations
- Respect for Law Enforcement, School Officials and Parents
- Faith and Church Attendance
- World turmoil and terrorism
You decide if we measure up to other generations. It is for certain that we must come together to make changes to all of these areas…through sensible thoughts, words and actions. Yes, we must work together to make changes…starting within ourselves.
VIDEO: Make me an Instrument of Thy Peace (Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi) sung by The Canadian Tenors
International Women’s Day: It may be a surprise to some that women of the past often hid behind a man for any ambition that they may have had. Did you know the following?
George Elliot was not really a George, but a Mary Ann Evans. Known for her writing such books as Silas Marner, she hid behind another name…a male name. In the nineteenth century, women writers often used male pen-names so that reviewers wouldn’t be prejudiced against them as women. Charlotte and Emily Bronte published under the names Currer and Ellis Bell, and the famous French novelist George Sand was also a woman, Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin.
Prejudiced? Yes, we have our prejudices…and women have had to fight that battle for a very long time. It may seem strange to our young people today when they see women holding signs up about equal pay. It hasn’t been long in this country that women fought to simply vote. We might ask how many did not use that right and privilege in our past election?
We ride on the backs of those who have gone before us. What a shame to let them down. Minority women …and men…also fight the battle of prejudice. Recently, I heard the term “white privilege” and if people felt guilty because they just happened to be born white. The person being asked this question looked puzzled and did not know what to say to the interviewer. If they had been thinking quickly, they might have answered something to the effect…”What country are we speaking of in relationship to white privilege?” It certainly depends on the country that has the majority of people. Most likely there would be “black privilege” in most African countries as far as jobs etc. We know that there is prejudice when one is the minority in certain countries to the religion that they follow. In nations with the majority are Muslims, the Christian or the Jew may be the target, of not only discrimination, but life-threatening attitudes on being infidels. People with the same religion may be targets of another brand of their same religion. So it goes on and on…the prejudice that is felt around the world for one thing or another. Gender is no exception.
Here are a few women who have stood out in history, not hiding, but making their voices heard when many were fearful to do so. (Slide show)
Today, I would like to salute the women of the world for without you there would be no world. You give birth and through you…the generations follow. You, in most cases, cook the food that goes on the table, often after a hard days work. When there is a need to help the others in your household support the family, you pitch in and often save the day. You are smart…ambitious to do your best…and you are to be commended.
Times have changed and in many ways we are better for it. In other areas of life, we are still finding our way out of the sins placed upon us as women. There is still the horrors of female sex trade, sweat shops and abused women. Women may be called the “weaker sex” because physically most of us have less physical strength than the men of the world. However, there is nothing weak about most women…in their courage and in their abilities. In this century, we just look differently and in many cases, we act differently. Modern woman can march for their rights, but often do not represent the average woman when combining rights with vulgar speech or hated rhetoric. It may be good for all of us to look to more recent history to see what women have done to keep freedom ours so that we can enjoy what we do have.
Question: Whose shoulders are we standing on for the rights and privileges we have today? One large group of women are those, like my own Mother, who dropped everything for the war effort for their brothers, husbands, and family men who were fighting in far away places during WWII. They were the Home-Front Women, better known as Rosie the Riveters. There was nothing lazy or unpatriotic about them. They knew they had a job to do…and by gosh…they were going to do it! If they didn’t know how, they knew they could learn. (Slide show)
The Holy Scriptures, that were written in a day when women were often thought of as property or definitely had their place, lifted the woman up and praised her. Even Jesus reached out to the women with the least in reputation, and did not rebuke, but simply said, “Go and sin no more.”
In Proverbs 31: 10-31, a wife, in particular, is praised for all the things she does. One will notice that she is described as a business woman. Maybe she didn’t have a real estate license, but she knew how to negotiate and buy wisely. She is also described as a woman who loves God and reaches out to others.
” An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her,and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”
As a woman, wife, mother, teacher, friend, and neighbor, I thank God for the women in my life that have shown me their love, support and example. It is not all about being on equal footing in all areas of life, but in what we can appreciate about ourselves to have had the privilege of being female.
There is no more hiding. Unlike George Elliot, my books may never be famous like hers, but I have MY name on them of which I am proud and thankful. We have freedoms and privileges that many women of the past could have only dreamed of. GO GIRL…be proud but thankful!
Who is Doug Schoen and why does his opinion on our U.S. election matter?
Douglas Schoen graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, and holds a degree from Harvard Law School as well as a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University. He has lectured at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
Perhaps most of all, we may want to listen to what he has to say because he is a Democrat who has known the Clintons since 1994. He was a strong Democratic supporter and adviser to them. He is now reassessing his vote and tells us why in the video below and in his writing for The Hill.
Let’s be clear. Schoen is not a supporter of Trump…but he does care about what will happen to our nation and the turmoil or even “stand-still” or “Constitutional crisis” that our government will face if there are trials in the future…after the election… for supposed wrong doing.
Schoen wrote the following: “…Moreover, we simply cannot face a situation where the president elect may need or want a pardon from the president to govern. Or worse yet, need to pardon herself after she takes office. As of now, I have no confidence that either of those questions will be answered by Election Day or that we will have full clarity on an investigation into what could be as many as 650,000 emails that found their way to Weiner and Abedin’s computer. However, in good conscience, and as a Democrat, I am actively doubting whether I can vote for the Secretary of State. I also want to make clear that I cannot vote for Donald Trump as his world view and mine are very different. I remain a Democrat and proud of the work I did for six years for President Bill Clinton between 1994 and 2000 and I write with extreme sadness. But I cannot in the waning days of the election make the case that Secretary Clinton should be elected. I still share her worldview and am much closer to her approach to policies than I am to Donald Trump. That said, with America facing a potential constitutional crisis after her election, I am not able, under the circumstances we are now facing, to vote for Secretary Clinton….”
You listen and see if you think he makes sense, then read Mr. Schoen’s full article in The Hill .
This blog is not a political endorsement, but it is FREEDOM of SPEECH and our ability to express it.
Good for this guy who not only knows his rights, but also has a great design ability. Standing up for his rights as an American, but not out yelling at anyone or causing damage to property in order to be heard. He’s just using what is his own….and making a statement. It is a good thing that we still have freedom and the “correctness police” cannot bang on our doors or take over our property. Maybe we can all learn something from him and his creative spirit. Thumbs up to this American. He reminds me of the spirit of the people I am getting to know here in the Virginia mountains.
About two weeks ago, I sent out this blog, Is there another choice?, on the fact that there could be a chance that another person could derail both political parties in his bid for President as an Independent. The readers who responded said, “It is too late. There is no chance.”
It seems that this candidate, Evan McMullin, is banking on a strategy that has not been successful since 1824…but could it be a possibility considering the dislike of many people for both of the other choices?
Do you know how the House of Representatives plays into this stategy? Here are the facts:
John Quincy Adams was elected President on February 9, 1825. The election was the only one in history to be decided by the House of Representatives under the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution after no candidate secured a majority of the electoral vote.
Look at this link which explains the pros and cons on Mr. McMullin’s run and the hope that history could repeat its self. (See Strategy )
Below is the content of the first post with a video of Mr. McMullin, in case you missed it: “Almost everyone that I have talked to since the Democratic and Republican conventions, have said that they are “holding their nose” as they go to the voting polls this November. We know that huge amounts of money have been spent, as well as billions of words uttered, to promote two choices, but is there another choice? ”
As our children are growing up, we compliment them when they are doing the right thing. I have never heard of a parent paying a child to be good. Yes, we may have given them allowances of a few dollars, but that was for tasks that they were expected to do. Not doing them…meant no allowance. Through that allowance, a child may be encouraged to buy something that they especially want; save part of it for a “rainy day” and give some (maybe 10%) to the poor or the church.
Things have changed drastically it seems. Some children have grown up to be adults and have decided that “crime pays”. To keep these people from killing each other, one city has decided to PAY them to be good. You can read all about it in an article written by Tim Murphy . Crime was so bad in Richmond, CA that the cry was “do anything…to stop it”.
This is when they came up with the idea of paying criminals not to kill each other or anyone else. DeVone Boggan became the director of the Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS). His committee members combed the streets of Richmond, making a list of criminals that they would approach with a financial offer. The police, at one point complained about the ONS because their policy was not to pass any information to the police department. Some criminals who agreed to try the ONS’s proposals were being paid up to $1,000 a month for this arrangement.
At the onset, the crime rate went down about 10%, but by the end of writing his article about Richmond, Mr. Murphy came to his conclusion on the policy of paying for good behavior:
“…Three weeks after I met with Boggan, the city’s 137-day murder-free streak ended. A 38-year-old man was killed in a drive-by shooting, and over the next few weeks, Richmond seemed to be sliding back to the bad old days. A 43-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man were gunned down within 24 hours of each other. A 30-year-old woman shot the 16-year-old father of her child in a dispute over his new girlfriend. A robber was shot and killed during a break-in. None of them was on Boggan’s list.
It appears that some City Councilmen, who spoke out about the validity of the program of payment to criminals for good behavior and asked for a investigation into use of finances in Richmond, CA, were threatened.
Mr. Hoggan writes “…In 2014, we celebrated the lowest number of firearm assaults and homicides in more than four decades. Richmond recorded a 76 percent reduction in homicides and a 69 percent reduction in firearm assaults from 2007, when the Office of Neighborhood Safety was created. In reality, we’ve achieved these results not simply by the cash incentive. Our change agents work with about 150 clients a year, at a cost of about $20,000 per person, which pays for daily mentoring, coaching and companionship. By comparison, it costs our city about $200,000 to hire one new police officer.” (The ONS is funded by the people of Richmond and at time asks for donations.)
According to writer, Megan Walsh, The police do not work with ONS, though, and there have been tensions and, sometimes, embarrassments. In 2011, a brawl broke out when rival gang members arrived at City Hall to pick up their checks. The ONS staff refused to hand over the names of those involved. Bill Johnson, director of the National Association of Police Organizations, says that can send a message that police aren’t part of the solution — which in turn could be “corroding the social fabric we all have to live under.”
Maybe this is why people do not speak out to what is wrong or degrading to the moral values of the communities around us. Fear is a weapon that not only terrorist use but by those who have “sold their soul” to evil ways.
Michael Linsin gave some advice to teachers about not bribing their students with rewards if they will do their best work. I think his advise could also be applied to any town, state or nation that might be considering a similar program as Richmond. Here it is in part:
“Rewards lead to entitlement. When you offer rewards(money) in return for good behavior, you create a peculiar sense of entitlement. They’ll feel entitled to receive something for merely doing what is expected….
Rewards cheapen the intrinsic motivation to behave. Being rewarded to behave cheapens the intrinsic merit of being a valued citizen. In other words, it puts a price tag on the priceless.
Rewards lead to more and more and more. When you put a price tag on good behavior by offering rewards… will demand higher and more frequent payments. Rewards, you see, are not only ineffective in the long term, but they weaken over time.”
Mr. Linsin concludes: “The Ultimate Reward Good behavior is its own reward because it offers one self-respect and confidence…”
If a person has no confidence or self-respect…or has never been taught right from wrong, how will paying him change his heart or motivation to not kill, steal or commit crimes?
One has to ask, “What is our society coming to?” Have we become so callused and insensitive to what is right and wrong that we no longer have conscience? Yes, there is a big problem with incarceration and an over-crowded jail system. Has this problem become so big that “Do the crime…serve the time” no longer has meaning?
Is parenting so bad among many parts of our society that we are no longer teaching right from wrong to our children? Are we allowing impressionable minds to watch so much violence on T.V. and video games, that even our young people are becoming de-sensitized? This would also apply to children who must endure alcoholic, drug addicted or abusive parents…to them or to each other.
When I was an Assistant Principal to elementary students in Florida, there was so much misbehaving in the classroom that I had to take care of. When taking a child to my office, I would ask them to lay down on a blanket that I had next to my desk. Within minutes, the child would be totally asleep and stay that way sometimes for hours. A security officer at one of my schools, told me that I should ride with him some night into the community. He said I would see little children from ages 5-10 out on the street with parents who were gathering for who knows what reason. Children did not do homework; read with parents, or get the sleep they needed. Of course the same students came to school hungry the next morning for the free government provided breakfast. Even if some children are not roaming the streets late at night, they may be left in their rooms with a TV or computer as a sitter, with no expected time to crawl into bed for a good night’s rest. More and more is being exposed of teens who are finding themselves victims of the internet crime. America, we must wake up!
Are we ignoring teaching our children because we also have an addiction to the electronic devises around us?
How much time do we spend reading and sharing conversation that teach values to our children or grandchildren?
Drug addiction has reached a new high, even among the middle class and elite that often leads to crime to feed the habit. Will we also begin to pay the dealers not to deal? Is that also what Richmond is doing? Of course that would not work, for the profit margin difference to deal or not to deal would be ridiculous. So many questions…and so few answers to a society that needs new spiritual and moral revival We must have an awakening within ourselves and our communities. It will take leadership as well as the ordinary person to make a difference. It is not easy to work hard; get an education and then find a job to support oneself. Fast money is alluring and deceptive. The rich and famous like sports stars and entertainers, who are looked up to by much of our society have a responsibility to speak out to the value of hard work and perseverance.
I hope that Richmond, CA will find an answer to their criminal element…and for all communities that suffer from the problem of crime. Paying the criminal to be “good men and women” may not be the answer. In most cases, no amount of bribery will change a soul. Only God can do that. Perhaps Dr. Phil says it best, “When are we going to stop rewarding bad behavior?”
Cleaning out old files can be most enlightening. Perhaps ages ago, I copied a letter from a father to his child. He felt it was the best advice he could ever give because it had taken him practically a life time to learn.
I thought that since gift giving was over for the season that maybe there would be a reader who would like a “belated gift”. Below is a portion of the letter written by Harry, whose wisdom may be a new slant on our thinking. It could even save the lives of one in despair. I would suggest that every parent read this with a child who is old enough to understand…or send it off to those who are trying to find their place in this confusing world. (Thanks, Harry)
“…If I could give you just one thing. I’d want it to be a simple truth that took me many years to learn. If you learn it now, it may enrich your life in hundreds of ways. And it may prevent you from facing many problems that have hurt people who have never learned it. The truth is simply this:
No one owes you anything.
…It means that no one else is living for you, my child. Because no one is you. Each person is living for himself; his own happiness is all he can ever personally feel. When you realize that no one owes you happiness or anything else, you’ll be freed from expecting what isn’t likely to be.
It means that no has to love you. If someone loves you, it’s because there’s something special about you that gives him (or her) happiness. Find out what that something special is and try to make it stronger in you so that you’ll be loved even more.
When people do things for you, it’s because they want to__because you, in some way give them something meaningful that makes them want to please you, not because anyone owes you anything.
No one has to like you. If your friends want to be with you, it’s not out of duty. Find out what makes other happy so they want to be near you.
No one has to respect you. Some people may even be unkind to you. But once you realize that people don’t have to be good to you, and may not be good to you, you’ll learn to avoid those who would harm you. For you don’t owe them anything either.
…You owe it to yourself to be the best person possible. Because if you are, others will want to be with you, want to provide you with the things you want in exchange for what you’re giving to them.
Some people will choose not to be with you for reasons that have nothing to do with you. When that happens, look elsewhere for the relationships you want. Don’t make someone else’s problems your problems.
Once you learn that you must earn the love and respect of others, you’ll never expect the impossible and you won’t be disappointed. Others don’t have to share their property with you, nor their feelings or thoughts.
If they do, it’s because you’ve earned these things. And you have every reason to be proud of the love you receive, your friend’s respect, the property you’ve earned. But don’t ever take them for granted. If you do, you could lose them. They’re not yours by right; you must always earn them.
A great burden was lifted from my shoulders the day I realized that no one owes me anything. For so long as I’d thought there were things I was entitled to, I’d been wearing myself out…physically and emotionally trying to collect them.
No one owes me moral conduct, respect, friendship, love, courtesy or intelligence. And once I recognized that, all my relationships became far more satisfying. I’ve focused on being with people who want to do the things I want them to do. That understanding has served me well with friends, business associates, lovers, sales prospects and strangers. It constantly reminds me that I can get what I want only if I can enter the other person’s world. I must try to understand how he thinks, what he believes to be important, what he wants. Only then can I appeal to someone in ways that will bring what I want. And only then can I tell whether I really want to be involved with someone. I can save the important relationships for those with whom I have the most in common.
It is not easy to sum up in a few words what has taken me years to learn. Maybe if you re-read this gift each Christmas, the meaning will become a little clearer every year. I hope so for I want more than anything else for you to understand the simple truth that can set you free: No one owes you anything.”
What exactly is Nihilism? The article written by by Luca Volontè explains what has been happening in Europe for some time. We ask the question, “Is this now spreading to America or is it already here?” and “How dangerous is it to the values in our society…especially if one values his or her faith and culture?”
Read and you decide. Article by Mr. Volonte
Ever think what actually means the most to a child? At this Christmas season when we are thinking of a special gift for that little one that we love, we may want to think what he or she would grab first if there was a need to run away from danger or they were feeling insecure and afraid.
This may sound strange, but the little boy below had survived the terrors of war and obviously shared this terrifying time with his stuffed animal. Both of them look as if they have had a rough experience. I can only guess that he and his family had to run for a shelter when the bombs dropped on London during WWII. There must have been many things in his home, but this is what he loved most. This animal with the odd-looking head probably was the one thing the boy always slept with…and it could not be left. There seems to be an instinct to have something comforting during difficult or scary times. Parents need to be aware of this when a child faces the unknown.
A little girl sits on the edge of a fallen beam. She too is in London facing the fears of war. She holds close her doll. That doll had to be saved just as she did. Call it her female instinct to mother her baby…or just something of comfort and assurance. She may be whispering softly, “Everything will be okay, baby. Mother says the bombs have stopped! Mother always knows.”
Fast forward to our own generation of children. What would be the first thing they think to hold onto during a terrifying storm or when going to bed after seeing too much on TV about the brutality facing people in the world today. Would they hold close a cell phone, an electronic game…or their favorite stuffed animal or “Linus blanket”?
Speaking of Linus Van Pelt, Lucy and the others from Peanuts always gave him a hard time about the blanket he dragged around with him. Didn’t they all know…and don’t we, that “Happiness is a warm blanket”? What we hold closest to us often gives a feeling of security from the problems of life. We, as adults, think we have lost our need for the “blanket” and try to substitute other things in our lives. Somehow they are just not the same.
This leads us back to the holidays and our gifts that we give to our friends, neighbors, or family. Make it something comforting…a warm pie; a bowl of soup; cookies and milk ….or something warm and cuddly….especially for our children.