Sometimes The Best Choice Is To Not Choose

There are few things better than a good night's sleep. I have to admit that who to vote for has wakened me on several nights recently, in prayer as to whom to pray for, and peace to vote for the best candidate. The trouble is the peace simply didn't come in who to vote for, as much as it came in the decision to not vote in the 2012 election.

Many arguments are made about thousands who have given their lives for me to have the right to vote. The Suffragette Movement of women taking to the streets remind me of this great privilege they fought for women to have. Voting is a civil right, as thousands took to the streets in the 1960s to gain this privilege for all Americans, no matter their race, creed or color.

But the key terms here are right and privilege. While I am extremely grateful for the right and the privilege to be a part of the voting process, I also have the right and privilege to acknowledge, by not voting, that the candidates running for office have agendas and concerns that on some level affect who I am as an Evangelical Christian.

It's all been spelled out by media pundits what the character flaws are in each candidate so I won't belabor the point. Obama's moral stance on abortion and gay marriage kept me from voting for him in 2008. Nothing's changed. I thought for a while Romney might be a better candidate, but, he seems to have inconsistencies in his campaign that affects my peace about casting a vote for him as well.

So, I will exercise something greater than my right to vote, and that is to cast fervent prayers before God that He allows in office the candidate that will guide America in the best direction for the people. As I write this, a hurricane is barreling toward America's shores, already leaving in its path devastation and death. I've lived through a few hurricanes in my lifetime and know how unsettling a storm can be. Perhaps America, God is giving us fair warning; a reminder of sorts, that His Word is Truth, and altering it for our own agendas may not be best for us in the long run.

Be blessed. Pray before you vote, should you decide to do so. To be true to your conscience is to be true to yourself. At the end of the day, you will have to live with your decision. If you don't have peace, it is better to not vote and let God choose; than to violate your conscience by bowing to the peer pressure of others to just vote.

I live in a very Red state, and based on the way the electoral college is set up, always feel like in elections as close as this, my vote is wasted. A lot of people sense this to be true. America really needs to move to the popular vote, and until then, I won't waste precious time if I don't have a candidate I truly support and believe will make the nation better for the 99%.

Both of these candidates seem very Presidential. I trust whichever one wins will represent America, well, presidentially. But, which one has God deemed best? I trust I'll know in a few days after the votes are counted, and the "people" have spoken.


Hopefully the November Election Will Give Way to a Happy Thanksgiving

Taking a few steps away from the presidential campaign that's heating up for the big vote in a couple of weeks, I've begun thinking about what I'd like for my Thanksgiving menu, and, if I want to order out, or cook a holiday meal. I will be in the middle of a graduate program that I am currently going through the motions on in hopes of being done by Christmas. So, depending on my emotional energy come Turkey Day, will determine if my local deli will do the honors.

But, for certain, I am going to try to make a cornbread dressing, substituting quinoa for cornbread, and leaving out the eggs. Since the nutty flavors of quinoa taste better after a couple of days chilling in the fridge, I'll make it on Tuesday, meaning less work on the day of. Instead of a whole turkey, I will do turkey breast and a few turkey legs for those preferring the fattier part of the bird. Vegetables will be honey-glazed yams and blanched asparagus. Dessert for myself will be minced meat pie since I'm the only person I know who loves it, and I'll probably do an apple pie for everyone else.

Anyway, that's that. Stay in prayer that the election votes will give us a clear winner long before Thanksgiving Day, and that America will be able to count her blessings in peace.


A Betting Person Would Do Well To Put Money On Obama Serving Second Term as U.S. President

After all the political stomping and thousands of miles traveled to sell points on which candidate should be President of the United States for the next four years; it will ultimately simmer down to having very little to do with the 'selling' points. People like familiarity. And simply put, most people are not familiar with the life Mitt Romney has lived. No matter how genuine he tries to present himself, the shiny silverspoon life he was born into comes blaring into the hearts and minds of the people. I know people shouldn't have to be discriminated against because of their wealth; but, money matters really do come up in the conversations I'm hearing; particularly from the much younger and much older voters nearing, and in retirement. Quite frankly, the younger voters are most apathetic, but realize President Obama 'cares' enough to give them the most attention, addressing issues most relevant to their needs. Older voters realize they have too much to risk putting someone in office who's talking about vouchers.

The real reason a betting person would put their money on President Obama is simply because his life most reflects that of the American people on some, oft times painful level. He was born to a single mother. He eventually had a stepparent. His mother's domestic abuse allows him to be empathetic to children, and sympathetic to women who experience this silent epidemic. He ended up living with his grandparents. He went to a prestigious college. He padded his royalty status. He married and had kids. He's known student-loan debt. He's known inner-city life and the crises therein. I could go on. His life has pretty much run the gamut, and people believe he relates; he cares; he understands. However, to what degree people believe this, and how stirred they will be to show up, will be determined at the polls in November.

After last night's Vice-Presidential debate attempting to lay sole blame on President Obama for the condition of America's coiffures; and, a reminder that a man with five sons can only offer lip service to how great our military is, makes one wonder if he really knows the depth of sacrifice required on real-world America for starting wars.

This is an election for the history books. In three decades, how will the story read? Will President Obama be the comeback kid who put America back on steady footing; or, will it read as a one-term failed attempt at overcoming the real great divide in America: Partisan politicians? I can only hope it doesn't resemble the horror of 2000; dangling chads, and the embarrassment of a voting system so riddled with questions that even the world stood up and took pause. Yes, at this step of the game, if I were a betting person, and quite frankly I'm more of a "bird in the hand beating two in the bush" kinda' person; I'd have to put my dollar on President Obama's victory speech in a few weeks.


Cigarette Packaging More a Nuisance, Than Effective

In a perfect world, cigarette smoking would be as healthy as eating a piece of fruit, and it's aroma would be as perfect as an award-winning rose. But, (pun intended) they aren't. They are toxic to the body, and overpowering to the untrained senses. People who 'enjoy' smoking truly 'enjoy' smoking. It is their sanity saver. For some it is a bad habit they just can't shake. For others, too often the young, it's a way to look cool (pun intended). However, whatever the brand, and the dose of nicotine, stopping this wasteful habit would do you and the world's airspace a lot of good. But, this is not the purpose of this entry.

The government needs to stop wasting money. Putting tragic pictures on cigarette packaging seems to be aimed at scaring youth from indulging in their first pack. In this case the ads may be effective. The problem I have with the packaging is that if we're going to target cigarettes, let's not stop there. Let's put battered and bruised, even deceased women on beer cases, if that's what you call that big 24-pack I, too often see while standing in a grocery store line before the 'big' game.

Since the Marlboro man has long been banished from the small screen; let's go on and banish the silly guys sharing beer and football. Beer is a worse enemy to society than cigarettes, if you can believe that. People choose the ravages that may occur from cigarette smoking. But no one chooses to be hit by a drunk driver with beer cans strewn all about his/her vehicle. No one chooses to be attacked because alcohol affects most people, let's call 'em out, men, with a demon of nonsensical rage that allows them to say and do things they otherwise wouldn't have the courage? to say and do if they were sober.

I didn't know it existed; but October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. I shook my head at all the tv football commentators in their multi shades of purple ties; and, could only wonder if that was to convince viewers that many of them weren't perpetrators behind closed doors.

While I don't smoke, the price alone should be reason to say there has to be a better way. But, I have other vices I'm sure. I love chocolate cake, but I don't want an ad of a 500 pound person on my packaging to infer my risk of gaining weight. I love coffee; but, I don't want to be told that I might risk anything if I have more than two cups. While it's fine to put a warning label to protect the manufacturer, people have smoked for centuries. Many have lived to ripe old ages. I close with a restatement: If you're not going to target all vices, don't just target some.  For some people, smoking is the difference between sanity and jumping off a bridge; at least that's what they've come to believe. People should always be given incentives for stopping bad behavior; but, antagonizing full-grown adults with fear shouldn't be one of them.


Not Very Likely Jesus Had a Wife

Wow, the mysteries of life, present and past. In the present, it seems there are far more discussions worthy of the life of Jesus, and regarding the past would Jesus really have loved his wife had he never ever mentioned her existence in the words He spoke in the New Testament?

Jesus made very clear early on that He was about His Father's business (Luke 2:49). Had He been married, His priorities would have shifted to being about His wife (and if any), His children's concerns.

Considering the fact that God honors marriage, and says that a man who finds a wife finds a good thing, Jesus very well could have been a husband (Proverbs 18:22). But Scripture leans to Him referring to the Church as His Bride (Ephesians 5:25-27). As members of the body of Christ, we are His Disciples, which clarifies why He said "She (The Church) will be My disciple." This is the first role of the Church: be disciples to Jesus' sheep (John 21).

It would truly be a miracle of human nature for none of the early disciples Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, to make mention of Jesus having a wife. Wouldn't mention have been made of Jesus' wedding feast, had He taken a bride, just as mention was made of His Baptism?

Jesus even regarded single-life as Holy because God was always the One served, and kept first. Emphasis is made that once married, the daily distractions of having a spouse detract from the sole and primary focus being on God (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). Jesus was very clear on how a husband is to love his wife, and a wife to respect her husband. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:22). The Church is clearly Jesus' Bride. We don't really need the drama of an incomplete scroll to cause confusion. While it's exciting, it really leaves no substance for rewriting the Holy Word as inspired by God. Do you really think God would have shunned His daughter-in-law by completely omitting her from Scriptures?

The final word: Jesus was born of a miraculous conception. He was pure, yet like man in all ways, except for sin. No disrespect intended, but had Jesus married, he would have consummated with a sinful human being as with married couples, "The two become one flesh" (Mark 10:8). Jesus was like man in all ways except for sin; thus sex with a mortal would have caused Him to deny His God-Person, and become a reflection of fallen man, instead of the Son of a Perfect God.

Let's thank Jesus for showing up and showing us how we should behave, mindful of what is most pleasing to God: Love thy neighbor, as thy self. Jesus gave so many words to live by, whether He did or didn't have a wife, is really of little importance in the big and eternal scheme of things.

Teen Sex Woes Greater Than Unplanned Pregnancies

It's really sad that in this day and time, something as preventable as teen pregnancy is wreaking havoc in the lives of young women and men, too. I've heard horror stories about IUDs and think a better alternative for girls too young to become mothers is a temporary tubiligation. It should be mandatory after a first birth or abortion, for young women who can't prove financial ability to support themselves, not to mention children! Most young women would far prefer the laparo'scopic procedure as opposed to an unplanned pregnancy any day. Since babies born to teens tend to increase the need for government dependency, you'd think a real solution to such a grave crisis would be at the top of the health-care reform agenda! Sadly, pregnancy is only one part of the problem for sexually-active teens. Birth control does not offer remedy to STDs and even worse, the rampant HIV-AIDs dilemma. Young and old alike should think long and hard about their decisions to be irresponsibly free-willing with sex, as the result can literally mean death.


Say What?

America, today if you see me driving down the street, or in the grocery store and I just start laughing out loud to myself (literally!), know that I have not lost my marbles. It's just me thinking about the mistruth that 47% of Americans don't pay ANY taxes. On behalf of the millions of under-employed and low-wage earners; not to mention those working two and three jobs just to keep up, I'm sorry that such ugly words were spoken. I am sorry for all the down-on-their-luck veterans who had to hear such cruelty; you know who you are; many standing at stop lights asking for help. If Mitt Romney is not sad for his blatant insult to real-world Americans, then I will sorrow for those stinging words.

Any thinking person knows the cliche, the only thing one HAS to do in life is "die and pay taxes." Real-world people pay at the pump, pay at the grocery store, at payday in payroll taxes, and more. If Mitt Romney is trying to prove that one of America's best U.S. Presidents should remain in office for another four years, he hit a homerun last night.

That wasn't a gaffe. His words were a blatant slap in the face to working-class Americans who do pay taxes, many times nearly half their earnings! It is very rare for a person born with a diamond-laden platinum spoon in their mouth to feel genuine compassion for real-world people.

I couldn't put my finger on why I didn't have peace about voting for Romney. Now, I know. Christians will have to answer who's the best candidate at the polls. At least we know President Obama can remember when he wasn't a one-percenter. Wow, somehow as I end this writing, I'm no longer laughing. I'm really sad for those people who thought someone had their best interest at heart, prob'ly doesn't; and yet they'll vote a GOP ticket 'cause that's what they do'.

Pray America pray; and after statements like this, vote. Acknowledge that neither of these people are perfect; but, one stands out more than the other. Kudos, President Obama, kudos!

On her way in to work this morning, my daughter summed it up best: Out of the abundance of a man's heart, his mouth speaks.


It's What I Call "That Time of Year"

I'd like to believe that there isn't a correlation between school shootings and approaching graduation dates. It's that time in the school year when jubilantly expectant friends and relatives may have to be told that graduation celebrations will have to wait a semester or two; perhaps even indefinitely. It's that time of year when all the efforts of hard work and studying add up to nothing more than a job at a fast-food restaurant and ever growing student-loan debt.

For those of you who might be in this place of your academic endeavor, take a long, deep breath and pause. Go on, take another one, and pause again. Now, hear me loudly and hear me clearly as I offer this assurance. No matter how perfect a picture elder family members or seemingly flawless friends have painted, it's all a grand illusion. There have been times in their past when they have had to acknowledge the indefinite postponement, or unexpected delay of an event. There have been times in their life when they have not completed a task in the time they or others had expected for them to.

Are you standing in the mirror today, wondering how to tell friends and relatives that your college existence has been a bit of a uhmm, four-year party? Are calendars marked with big colorful balloons highlighting the upcoming graduation parties others have planned for you, even though you know there will be no graduation, thus no need for parties of this kind? Take my lead.

First, put on your adult hat, and say, without explanation, there will be no party. There will be no graduation. Send an email or text, or make a phone call, whichever is easiest for you, only to those who are hosting celebrations. That’s it. Let the "shock" wear off for them, as well as yourself. This reality may take days or weeks to sink in, depending on their level of being open to processing your words. Only allow brief responses from those who know the value of responding with compassion and acceptance, requiring no details. Depending on how high strung the individuals in your life are, have peace that they may not call for years. Be prepared to be okay with that. Also, be prepared to accept that whichever direction you choose to take beyond this season of your life will be your own.

I've lived long enough to know to expect the unexpected. In disclosure, I'd like to share with you that repeating a course in the final semester has happened to me. I was a candidate for cum laude honors; and after repeating the course went on to receive the accolade. Countless others, some I know personally, have had this same experience. Some marched grandly across the stage, and had the celebrations, never telling a soul that they were shy a few hours of graduating. They accepted the graduation gifts and went on with their lives, doing quite well I might add. Others, as me, have quietly repeated the final three hours, and without fanfare moved on with the more important things in life.

The key phrase here is "moved on with their lives". Never let anything as temporary and unguaranteed for success, determine your future successes. While we'd like to journey through this life never feeling the pit of despair that disappointment can bring, that's simply not reality. I assure you, despite how you may be feeling right now, there are worse things that can happen to you than not graduating in a timeframe set by others. At most universities, the hours you've accumulated are good for a decade or so. Who knows, this delay may be God's way of tweaking the plan that takes you in a whole other direction.

No matter your age, you're young. You have tomorrow to pick up the project of the degree completion. You may find life is just fine without the piece of paper that will hang in a glass frame, rarely looked at by you or others. For me, my writings always have a bottom line. In this case, it's that you have a choice to accept this as the minor hiccup in life that it is, and continue onward to fulfill the Divine purposes for which you were born, or do something so heinous and drastic that life as you know it, will never achieve the picture you painted for yourself.

If those involved in your life can't accept and love you with your imperfections and disappointments then you're probably better off realizing that what they're requiring of you keeps them from having to examine the big plank in their own eye. Choose to take a deep breath. Enjoy a big hot pot of chamomile tea. Wait a few days or weeks before deciding when, or even if you will continue with the program, or pursue a path that requires you to think outside the box.

Don't do anything you can't reverse. You can't reverse killing someone, no matter how much you wish you could. You can't reverse snuffing out your own life, and risk the reincarnation belief, leaving you to cycle back in to repeat this same life process again.
Forgive me for appearing to make light of something as disappointing to learn that your plans have been altered or put on hold; but it's called the inevitability of human existence. Everyone who's honest has walked in your shoes on some level, having to accept a last minute roadblock or detour towards a goal. It's really not as deep as it appears on the surface. Simply put, life happens; and most often not in the exact order we thought or planned it would.

In conclusion, don't let your emotions take you to a place you wouldn't want to go tomorrow (i.e. prison, grave). Suck up this less-than-joyful moment. Take life's blow as an adult. While you may be on the ropes, you're not down, and you're not out, if you take this glitch in stride. There is a tomorrow. It's up to you if you will choose to take the journey in the light of hope, or the darkness of despair.

Be blessed above all things. Seek help if you're feeling desperate. And remember you are not the first, and far from the last person who has to renege on a plan, college related or otherwise.


Free Birth Control Pills Come With Questionable Issues

Recently, embers on the topic of free birth control pills raised my ire; and, according to news commentaries that of many in opposition. I withheld writing a full piece; because, quite honestly, I was thinking similarly to what everyone else was speaking and writing. I am against free anything, outside of a gift; and well, we know even that comes at a price on some level; which btw, makes it perfectly ok to decline one’s offer.
The reason I get so flustered at the thought of all women getting free birth control is because the majority of these women are single; and, according to my Christian values shouldn’t be engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage. It’s called fornication; an odd sounding word; yet, packed with Biblical teachings of consequential results for behaviors done outside of God’s ordained will. My problem with giving free pills to single women has a lot to do with condoning wrong behavior; and in a roundabout way, promoting immorality in basic terms.
It’s similar to giving an alcoholic a free beer; or a smoker, free cigarettes. You see, an alcoholic really needs to modify his behavior and not drink. A smoker needs to modify his behavior and quit smoking. Similarly, a single woman needs to stare long and hard in the mirror and with honesty decide if sex outside of marriage is really in her best regard, or an expensive thrill to her emotional and physical well being.
I emphasize single women because I do believe within the confines of marriage; birth control serves a reasonable purpose for a couple during the female’s fertile years. However, the government offer to just give free-for-all birth control to single ladies is like saying its okay to go against the Biblical principles our founding fathers built our nation on.
I grew up in a time when being discreet was a given. I’m sure it still is in many cases. Getting pregnant in high school was looked on as taboo. Girls had to leave the main-campus setting for some undisclosed location for pregnant girls to fulfill their academic studies. Nowadays, the media seems to glamorize girls who boast of being pregnant and “engaged”. Ugh, whatever happened to married, and then conception?
I’m drifting off center a bit; because the primary topic of this writing is the dispensing of free pills to single women, many in their teenage years. I suspect the underlying goal for this drastic consideration is an indirect attempt to counter the high rate of teen pregnancy. Sadly, this will be another expensive and ineffective government effort; because a majority of teens engaged in sexual activity are too ashamed to admit it; thus, shying away from asking for contraception out of fear of parent involvement. Perhaps birth-control pills can just be free-willyed out to all teens in high school, like condoms; and, if they choose not to use them they can do what many who receive them will do; sell them.
On the heels of this birth-control controversy, I read recently that HIV rates are going up among women in the black population. I am seriously concerned that the message about the dangers of having unprotected sex is not keeping up with the messages perpetrated by some of the popular music teens are attracted to. Potentially deadly images that getting high, whether drugs or alcohol, and having wild unprotected sex with multiple partners, and oftentimes “whose-the-daddy” drama having no consequences, is obviously proving a toxic mix for today’s youth. Contrary to a popular slogan to ‘just do it,’ unprotected sex is not only costly to one’s financial disposition; but, to the physical and emotional well-being of all involved.
I must admit that I am very concerned about the moral direction the U.S. appears to be going. Entertaining the idea of offering free birth control to females who, in many cases, should not be having sex in the first place, sends a very poor message. I certainly am not going to cast any stones at the young women who choose to engage in sex before marriage; but, I am going to require that they afford the $30. monthly cost for their decision.
Sex comes with great responsibility; and even greater consequence when done irresponsibly. Until the President can offer a solution for the increasing HIV rates, I think it would be wisdom to avoid the appearance of condoning sex outside of marriage on any level. The moral fiber of our country is unraveling like a cheap sweater. Supporting bills that promote, and possibly even encourage immorality is only adding to the dilemma, not the solution.
Teen pregnancy is on the rise. HIV rates in certain demographics are on the rise. How is the pill going to genuinely help alleviate these two financially catastrophic health crises? Some may argue that the pill prevents unplanned pregnancies. Really? Then why doesn’t it seem to work, considering those in financial need get pills from Planned Parenthood.
I’m signing off for now. The situation is only bleak to those who buy into it. There is a greater health crisis in the dental world. I would rather support a bill that would guarantee all citizens a “free” bi-annual teeth cleaning and fillings. I am saddened by the number of young people who have gaping spaces where teeth have fallen out, and they simply can’t afford to replace them. They can’t get jobs because of this unsightly health issue. Honestly, the suggestion of giving free birth-control pills to unmarried women is an insult to individuals who just want to have an appearance that allows them to compete for a job in the real-world.
If the First Lady is sincere about promoting health in young women, she should fight the free birth control issue, and tout abstinence along with her healthy-eating campaign. The bottom line about the free birth control is that it sends the wrong message on many levels. It says to the teen, tottering on the fence regarding premarital sex, “When you’re ready, sex is okay; married or not”. Nope, wrong thought.
The message we should be conveying 24-7, is that sex is for marriage, and the potential consequences for doing so outside of that bond is x, y, and z. Under this new plan, the woman will take the pill, and perhaps not conceive; but, in the process she contracts horrible diseases, some for which there is no cure, and have emotional scars for multiple partners she loved and um, “lost”. I don’t know what direction the President intended the birth-control train to take; but, hopefully it will derail before the November election. The fact that his favorable ratings have actually gone up in the past few days has me wondering how much the free offer of birth control pills has to do with it. Interesting. Very interesting.


Manning May Need to Redefine First-Love Role

It’s really sad to watch a person having to find and settle on a second love. It is obvious that Peyton Manning has a one-and-only love for the Colts. It would be nice if in life we could just come to a peaceful acceptance that the end of a season, while difficult to accept, has arrived. I realize a person has a desire to exit stage left on his own terms, and at his own time; thus, Manning allowing himself to be convinced that a second love will satisfy. I find it hard to believe his need to play has anything to do with money; and, more so with pure unadulterated ego. Sometimes, life does us a favor by closing the door for us. Injuries are a body’s way of saying it has had enough of being banged up. Has Manning looked in the mirror lately? He has the face of a television sports anchor. I realize that if your mind assures you that you still “have game” it’s difficult to take a more primrose path. But wisdom whispers to consider another approach. Stay loyal to your first love, even if the loyalty seems to not have been reciprocated. In essence, it really was. Even though the Colts’ decision to let Manning go was to a great degree, primarily business; it was also a decision that said, ‘We love you too much to see you make a bad injury worse, endangering your future health for years to come.’ I understand that it’s difficult for a man to be rejected. Rejection is never easy. Its sting feels like sleet hitting your bare skin on a cold winter's day. But when a positive light is shined on it, rejection becomes a veiled blessing of unending gratitude chocked with new opportunities. I’m sure Manning will re-sign with some team. I’m hopeful that he’ll wake up one morning and say, ‘You know what, I’m going to take a step back, look at life, and make a rational decision on what my best next-move looks like, not only for me; but for my family.' I envision a happy sportscaster quarter-backing Sunday games in a suit and tie, behind a desk. Certainly someone of relevance has seen that this guy has a face made for television. Every now and again life makes us pack our things and start a new career journey. Perhaps, now is Mannng's time. In closing, I'm reminded of the boxer who failed to realize the last fight was the last fight, and that youth had given way to age, and moved on. The tragic part is the boxer didn't get the message, and tried to deny the ravages of time by reentering the ring, succombing in bitter defeat to youth's pounding.


YELP, A Great Stress Reliever

I recently learned that YELP stock is going public. Having moved to a new town a while back, I've come to not only learn the city; but, what real, paying customers think about particular businesses. Most recently, I found myself querying, of all places, the United States Post Office to get a vibe for customer-service experiences. I went to the YELP site to write my own opinion; but, after reading the first few 1-3 star entries, figured it would be an effort in redundant futility. However, something I didn't expect occurred from this experience. After reading the quirky details of customers' experiences, I actually felt better; and far from alone. Since the first of this year, I have failed to receive two packages: one in January, another in February. Usually a yellow slip is left notifying of delivery. In each of these cases, no package, no yellow slip. Hmmm...So after losing money on the first package for failed delivery, I thought I'd call to inquire about the missing items. I won't go into detail about my effort; because, my anxiety-relief, thanks to YELP, would be negated. So, on that note, hopefully I will follow-up in the next few days on the mystery of the missing packages. Thanks, YELP and all customers, satisfied and those, not so much. I will encourage anyone with an extra few bucks to take advantage of the Initial Public Offering when it becomes available. YELP is a handy little gem, beyond its purpose of informing the public.

Prescribing Drugs to Drug-Prone Vets Unethical

On the heels of "almost" completing a counseling program, I was alarmed by a recent article that touted giving prescription drugs to war veterans who are returning from duty with alcohol and drug issues. It might not have gotten my attention so readily except for a recent job search turning up pages and pages of job opportunities for drug counselors to treat returning soldiers. Throughout the aforementioned program, students are consistently taught the Hippocratic Oath: "Do no harm to the client." Is it just me, or does it seem unethical to give an addict exactly what he or she is yenning for? Are we setting these returning heroes up for utter demise by giving them more drugs to counter their already addictive behavior. I know prescription writers will blast me for believing that anxiety meds only mask a person's problems, instead of forcing them to lasso what emotionally ails them and begin the long journey to healing. Just as I don't believe that war is the answer; drugs most times are not the best answer either. Any addict who is honest with self, will admit that sobriety first starts with the desire to dry up or out. But, I am concerned that numbing the emotional and physical ravages of war, with synthetic drugs,is far less costly to "taxpayers" than the tedious and time-consuming, and too costly, long-term counseling sessions these soldiers need to assimilate back into civilian life.
Interestingly, my attempt to comment on the article written in USA Today was blocked. Just the same, kudos to the 30-year vet who made the ethical decision to do no harm to himself by declining the offer of drug-addicting synthetic pain killers. We teach our kids to "just say no to drugs" only to send them to war with drugs being the very things we offer them on their return. I wish I could put my finger on it; but, there is something very unethical about this concept.


Whitney Houston Synergy

I hesitated to write this post for a week now; but realize I have to after hearing of her mother's experience with the doorbell ringing three times and no one there in the natural to greet her. For me, it was last Saturday. I had just completed my time in the Word. I live in a central time zone. It was around 3 p.m. and "out of the blue" I made a comparison to Whitney and Natalie Cole who recently visited our town. I said the difference between the two was Natalie had seemingly held off her drug-demons. My daughter's response was 'Yes, sometimes we can be our own undoing.' Her words troubled me; as I knew that to be many a person's truth. Needless to say I was totally blown away when I learned on the evening news that Whitney had died.

Sadness has gripped me this week. I've sung more Whitney Houston songs than I can remember; realizing this is due to the media overload of speculations. Based on all that has come out regarding her erratic behavior, it's apparent she had protective handlers similar to Michael and Anna Nicole. I have my belief of what happened; but, suspect this will be deemed an accidental drowning.

Whitney had such a bright aura despite the demon-controlling drugs that went unchecked. To those who still have a chance to get it right, let this be a reason to do something good for a needy cause. To whom many talents are given much is required. The talents, the money, are for God and His Glory! In my heart I know Whitney knew that. Her last on-stage appearance makes me smile; gives me hope and peace that Mercy and Grace ushered her over. Twenty years ago she sang a beautiful rendition of 'Yes, Jesus Loves Me.' She sounded like she was ready to preach.

My sadness will fade over time. Her music will live on. This should be a wake-up call for many. Sometimes we have to commit those we love to rehab as many times as it takes to help them heal. But sadly, the bottom line rings true: Sometimes we truly are our own undoing.

Many prayers for all who mourn her passing. Today's invitation-only service will be chocked full of celebrities who could have intervened; but, for whatever reasons didn't. Yes, she was loved; but, sadly allowed to deteriorate to an unhealthy state of existence. That's it. I've said my peace. I do believe as she was transitioning over last Saturday her actions were her own undoing