Tuesday, July 05, 2011
I have to say I'm very disappointed at all the backlash. If this were the Puritan era, this woman would be hung for witchcraft, regardless of her guilt or innocence.
What people fail to realize is that the system found her “Not Guilty”, which means she wasn't found guilty or innocent.
People, however, are quick to point out that by all accounts, she IS guilty.
How could she not be? She is selfish, self-centered, out partying and dancing with her daughter dead somewhere. She's laughing and carrying on when the camera is not on her and solemn only when the camera is running.
But was there any evidence that that conclusively make her the murderer?
During my divorce, my now ex-wife all but accused me of molesting my own daughter. Every vindictive statement she made against me was enough for the court to rule against me. I had to endure visitation under supervision for only a couple hours instead of an entire weekend. I was not allowed time alone with my children without someone watching over us.
I'm glad there was a system in place where I could take a polygraph test and once and for all dismiss the “charges.“
Casey was judged “Not guilty”. It's good enough for me.
To continue regurgitating the condemnation against her is simply callous and judgmental.
Aren't we Christians suppose to forgive? Yet what I see at every turn is everyone is too quick to cast the first stone.
At least one person on earth knows who murdered Caylee. He or she will have to answer for it someday.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I know I should be excited and jubilant...but in the grand scheme of things, I don't know how to approach the rest of today.
I do have on thought for today though...and that is I am not going to tell anyone that its' my birthday.
I've developed this warped mentality that true friends and those who care a great deal about me will set themselves apart from mere acquaintance by reminding me what today is.
People forget things --- I understand and accept that --- but true joy comes from knowing that you've made an impact on one person's life that they'd care enough to remember your birthday.
So maybe today is a day of reflection --- to gauge where my life is at in this short lifetime.
In the movie “It's a Wonderful Life”, Clarence Odbody was a second-class angel for over 200 years before earning his wings. All it took was to show a world without George Bailey.
It's a funny thing, but I sometimes wonder what this world would be like without me in it. When I look back at my greatest accomplishments, I often feel I haven't done my very best, that I've been teetering on failure.
Maybe that's why I'm content to quietly let this day go by. Maybe I'm waiting for a Clarence to remind me of my life, to give me a nod of confirmation that “No man is a failure who has friends.”
Monday, August 09, 2010
It's been a while, but for some reason tears started to come out of my eyes while driving down a stretch of road with a beautiful sunset ahead. I had to pull to the side of the road because I couldn't stop crying. I had been at my father-in-law's house.
I suppose I was crying because he is about to pass from this life and I don't quite know how to handle it. I've always been told that a loved one's passing is a celebration, that they leave this earth for the promises of heaven and eternal life.
We should rejoice for them, and rightly so.
This wonderful loving man, husband, father --- lived a good Christian life. No one is more thankful than I for having lived this lifetime knowing him, loving him.
As he lay on his bed, barely breathing, he is surrounded by the people closest to him --- his beautiful , loving wife, children, grandchildren, me.
I suppose I'm crying because I'm being selfish...what I would give to relive the days he called me “son”, the times he put his arms around me when I was down, when he always knew exactly what to say. Mostly, I miss him saying --- “I love you, guy.”
For a man who didn't bring me into this world, he is the one I can call “dad” with all my heart.
I love you too, big guy.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
Thursday, October 08, 2009
I was a little down because another work problem popped up that would require me getting stuck in this city rather than being home with my wife.
Nevertheless, I was very determined in resolving the problem to avoid missing my flight back home.
I was coming up to the city Power Plant when I looked up, smoke reaching several thousand feet in the sky, almost beyond the clouds.
Before the thought of "environmental pollution" reached my thoughts, I was able to see a distinct figure of a bearded man formed by the billowing white smoke.
In its sincerest form, it looked a lot like Jesus.
I said a mini-prayer thanking God for his Son.
When I got back to work, new part in hand, I was able to quickly resolve the issue that was going to keep me from being with my beloved.
I have to say, that God sure has a way on letting us know that no matter what, things will be ok.
Today greatly reminded me of how truly blessed I am.
... the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
I wondered... would she miss me as much if I were to leave this earth today? I realize that Aunt Diane had always been available for my children, that Aunt Diane always went out of her way to make sure that my children were cared for, that no harm ever came to them, to make sure that my
children got to see the airplanes, the fire engines, the dogs, their funny and fun-to-be around cousins, the birthday presents... How fun it was to be with Aunt Diane.
I realize too that watching my children grow, I have always felt like the man on the other side of a thick glass wall, seeing other people enjoy my children...but me. I try to get their attention, desperately knocking on the impervious see-through wall, but could never divert their attention away long enough to let them know that I was always there for them.
I'm trying to rack my brain remembering if my children ever came out for a surprise visit at my work. I can't remember a single time.
Yet in the pictures I have of my children, there are countless pictures of them in airports, on fire trucks and motorcycles, with Aunt Diane's husband in the picture.
Where was I?
My one and only excuse is a thin one. I was too busy making a living.
My children are growing up....fast.
It seems that Aunt Diane had a major contribution to their formative years.
Even though they will never know the countless sleepless nights I spent watching over them as they slept...
Even though they will never know how it pained me to reprimand them when they did wrong...the times that I missed with them because I had to work...that even now, how much I hate being away from them... Nothing hurts me more than to see my children in pain.
They will only be children for a short amount of time...thank God for that...
I can only hope that when I die, they will miss me at least a fraction of how much they miss their Aunt Diane.
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Luke 18:17
Friday, September 11, 2009
I have to be at work in 5 hours.
By the time I get this posted, it will probably be past 2am.
...But still. I can't sleep.
I didn't want to toss and turn in bed, so I decided to get up and catch up on some emails.
For some reason, I started to do work projects.
To divert my attention from the work I had just completed, I decided to read some old posts.
I read "Cleaning out the Garage" and when I finished, I cried my heart out.
I'm not sad. I'm not remorseful or regretful.
But when I think about my children, all I can do is reach out for them.
Well...here come more tears...I guess I'll sign off for now.
Monday, September 07, 2009
The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water.
The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.
The Lord said, 'You have seen Hell.'They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one.
There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.
The holy man said, 'I don't understand.'
'It is simple,' said the Lord. 'It requires but one skill. You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.'
Friday, July 17, 2009
These past two weeks have been one of the most memorable times of my life.
I spent every waking moment with my children.
I was there when they woke up.
I was there when they complained, when they argued, and fought.
I was there when they laughed.
I was with them when they cried.
I was there when they called out for me to reassure them, comfort them.
But now they're gone again, back to their usual routine.
I know that when they come back, my heart will jump for joy at the very sight of each of them.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
No big surprise there.
Not to discount all the great men out there who have raised wonderful and productive children, but for me I think this day is best used to honor Moms…No, not the Moms honored last month on Mother’s Day…I’m referring to Step-Moms.
I took my family to church this morning, greeted by all the church members who knew me, wishing me Happy Father’s Day.
As I shook outstretched hands and returned hugs, I couldn’t help but look at my wife…Poised, calm, keeping my two young children in tow --- holding the youngest one on one hand, with her other hand on the older one’s shoulders.
She is not the mother of my three children.
As I think back several months before we married, I can see a petite, beautiful, vibrant woman with no baggages… so full of joie-de-vivre.
When she married me, she became an instant mom.
Today, as my wife stares blankly outside the kitchen window, she can’t help but hear the two boys argue about the video game and my daughter blaring her Jonas Brothers songs.
I wonder what she’s thinking about.
Could she be thinking how quiet her single life was?
Could she be wishing for something else?
Could she be wondering if she made the right choices?
They say that “behind every good man is a great woman.”
Whether it be the first wife, the second wife, or the 10th wife…that saying is ever true.
I have to admit, I don’t deserve her.
She has her own struggles she had to deal with, but I’m very lucky that a wonderful, caring, beautiful, unselfish woman loves me enough to take me as I am --- baggages and all.
Happy Father's Day,
More importantly "Happy Step-Mom’s Day."
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
When I was little, my great-grandmother always had a way of making me feel secure when I felt the need for a security blanket.
Now that I'm an adult I still need and look for that sense of security and a reaffirmation to my belief that things will turn out okay.
This post provides just that ever-present blanket.
I know that you are having difficulty reconciling to the fact that you have to take a detour before reaching your goals. And because of this, you have felt slivers of resentment and disappointment that sometimes have caused you to spiral down to bouts of sadness and sorrow.
I guess the reason why I am writing you now is because I want you to know that there are no unanswered prayers. When you think that God has been silent, his silence in itself is the answer. It doesn’t mean that he has forgotten all about you. All He wants you to know that it is not time yet. You have to realize that you are not limited by your failures but only by your fears. There is so much to claim, so much to discover and so much to conquer. Think positive and let go of those fears. One day, you will be living your dream.
I know at times that the challenge of everyday takes its toll on you. You have to remember that you only have to raise your face to the sky and bask in that silent appreciation of life. That somehow, your soul's yearnings are prayers in themselves, beacons that soar to the heavens to float gently into God's loving hands. And with that, I guess this goes to say that you should never forget to pray. A lot of things in this world happened because of prayers. Oh yes...good things, great things, and small ones, some unseen and some unnoticed, but still brought on by prayers. I have always believed that the powers that be are always there to nurture our dreams, to take care of us and to keep us safe. That somehow, as we go through life, these prayers envelope us and bring us safely to our place in the sun. Believe in the power of your prayers.
Along the way, you will meet a lot of people. Different kinds of people with different backgrounds. Some maybe similar to your own and that is an opportunity for friendship. But others have been given a different hand and that is an opportunity for kindness. Never pass up the chance to be kind to someone even if you think kindness is not deserved. It is not for you to judge. We all deserve kindness. Including you. You have to know that you have to be kind to yourself too.
Forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made, for the failures that you could have dealt with in a different way. In the same way, forgive others too. Forgive them for hurting you, for betraying you, for giving up on you, for causing you pain. Forgive them until you feel raw inside. It is the only way you can be liberated from disappointments and resentments. Above all, forgiveness frees your soul from the shackles of hatred. And when you become free of hate, there is nothing left but love.
Allow yourself to love, to believe in love. Allow others to love you and get lost in that wonderful feeling of love. I understand your fears that if you love, you are open to pain and sorrow. Love regardless. It is only when you know pain and sorrow that you truly loved. And it is only when you truly loved that you truly lived.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Californians will enjoy the Garden Grove Strawberry festival. Some will dance the night away at the Cajun Creole Music Festival. Still yet are the Greek Festivals, the annual Topanga day Country fair, the Annual Memorial day Street fair, and the Patriotic Memorial Day programs at the Forest Lawn.
The rest of the country will probably sit in front of their tv’s watching the Indy 500, or the NBA playoffs, maybe even watch College Baseball and Softball championship series games.
Some will barbecue in their backyards, inflate those rubber swimming pools and splash around with family members. Some may even take a much needed mini-vacation away from familiar surroundings and the demands of work.
Still, many people will see Memorial Day merely as a three-day weekend.
It is so much more than that.
It is a day that has been set aside to remember those who gave their lives for our country, who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy.
William Roseman, a small town mayor, couldn’t have said it better.
“We have a job - and it is to remind those who do not remember . . .
That it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the Freedom of the Press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us Freedom of Speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the Freedom to Demonstrate.
It is the soldier, not the preacher, who has given us the Freedom of Religion.
It is the soldier, who serves beneath the Flag, who salutes the Flag, whose coffin is draped by the Flag, who allows the PROTESTER to burn the Flag.
It is the soldier, not the politician, who has given his blood, his body, his life, who has given us these Freedoms.
And it is the soldier who has given us the privilege to sleep safely in our homes and to hold our children warm within our arms.
It is the greatest crime that it is only war that brings peace and it is the greatest sacrifice that men and women were struck in the prime of their lives so that we might enjoy such freedoms.
It is for we the living to prove that we are worthy of their sacrifice through dedication toward this hard fought peace that was purchased by these honored dead.”
Have you thanked a soldier or their families lately?
Sunday, May 17, 2009
So many events have happened in my life these past couple of years and the one solid thing in my life that’s given me the inspiration to see above myself suddenly occupied my thoughts. As I checked the charge on the battery, I remembered the day my sister in law Diane found out the seriousness of her cancer. She wasn’t given very much to live, yet here she is almost three years later, she’s seen her youngest son graduate from college. And God willing, she will be there when her son got married. These were goals she set for herself. Her source of strength --- the love she has for her son.
Diane may never know it, but she’s been a source of strength for me.
One of my prayers is that my children will always know, deep down in their heart, that no matter what --- I will always be there for them, that I value every single moment with them, that I love them no matter where they are or what they do.
Whenever I feel like my spiritual, emotional, and physical batteries are starting to run low on power, Diane’s story is the plug on my spiritual charger.
Because of Diane, I am constantly reminded that because of the power God has for me, not only can my batteries be recharged – God can do immeasurably more than I think is possible through me, through Diane, through His church.I can only wish that the situation between us were different, but things do happen for a reason. God has a bigger plan for Diane. Even if it means I have to be the one standing at a distance, I’m okay with that.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Eph. 3: 20-21
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Last week, I took out $200 that I was going to use for some personal purchases. However, when I arrived at the appointed place and having viewed the entire inventory of electronic items I absolutely no need for, I spent only $2 on a used book.
As for the rest of the cash, I am still wondering why I didn’t just put it back into my checking account.
- I was walking towards my car one evening when a young lady in her tweens approached me asking for donations. When I asked her for which institution the donation was for, she promptly replied with “St. Jude’s.” But when I asked her which chapter she belonged in, she couldn’t give me an answer.
I responded with “Sorry, I don’t even have any cash with me” then left with conflicting thoughts. Indeed I had lied. I had just taken out a stack of $20 bills that I was going to use for some personal purpose. I could have easily given her one of the bills, but I realized that a young lady her age wouldn’t be going door-to-door. Nevertheless, I still felt bad… I managed to keep my $198 in my pocket.
- When I got to my van, my stomach decided to complain to me - $19 on sushi and Chinese food.
- After I left the Chinese food place, a well dressed gentleman gave me a sob story of how his vehicle had broken down a few blocks away and needs a few dollars to get it towed to a shop nearby. $25 attached themselves onto the gentleman.
- This Sunday, I think I may have placed two of the bills into a donation box for a young family who had lost their father/husband. Two of the bills went into the collection plate.
- Tonight, I bought a used cell phone for $70 from a young couple with a small child. Of course, it turns out that the phone can’t be activated because Verizon shows the phone as being stolen.
- Once again, my stomach grumbles at me for the little attention I gave it. As I reach for my wallet to pay for the food… Not enough cash!
I’m extremely disappointed that the phone doesn’t work. But I figure, that couple could probably put the $70 to better use. I called them back to tell them that the phone doesn’t work… Of course, I’ve yet to get a return call.
It’s ok, I suppose.
…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Understandably so, the people were so conflicted that they were caught up with keeping their lives. The great king at the time could have turned any trivial idea into law and it would have to be followed, else those who disobey will die.
The problem is, none of these human-made laws are God’s laws, and often go as far as going against Godly ideals.
Last night, I watched as a beautiful young lady listened to a very basic question “ Do you think every state should… [legalize same sex marriage]? Why or why not?”
Her response was received with a mix of applause and boo’s “I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman…No offense to anybody out there. But that's how I was raised and that's how I think that it should be between a man and a woman."
She didn’t win the contest.
In addition to her loss, the judge who posed the question later was interviewed and attacked her.
…last I looked, homosexuality is a sin.
I admire that this woman stood by her values.
I’m sure that as she answered this ridiculous question, her parents could not have been more proud to have raised such a strong ethical woman.
Imagine how her parents must be feeling right now as they watch a video of the judge – this gay man who has nothing good to say.
I’m shaking my head at the thought of raising my children in a world where it’s ok to “fit in”, where the “me” is more important than the common good…where a gay man can go bash Godly beliefs on national television and be applauded.
To answer an old cliché, rather than asking for world peace, I would ask that Hollywood stay out of politics, that all news media stick to reporting --- not shoving their agenda down our throats.
Leave politics to the politicians.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
On this particular day, the gentleman brought his lawn chair, his sleeping bag, a book, food, and umbrella --- apparently ready to spend the day again with his son.
Today, however, passers-by kept interrupting his visit , asking him questions, introducing themselves to him. He wished they would just leave him alone. He had devoted this entire day with his son, not entertaining people who walked up to him. Nevertheless, he was able to read the book he wanted to read, relate the story he wanted to tell, open the album of pictures of his son from birth to the first steps he took, through his first days of school.
By nightfall, as he prepared to sleep on that patch of grass with his son, concerned passers-by notified the local authorities. He didn’t care. He was only keeping the promise he made to his son. This was his son’s time. Nothing else mattered.
In the past, the gentleman hadn’t spent enough time with his son. He was always too busy at work, making a daily living to provide as best he could to the family. Time seemed to fly as the son grew into an independent young man, trying to make a name for himself, no doubt partly to get his father to notice him. So the son joined the military, finding himself in the middle of an unpopular war.
Soon, the son returns home, having received a newfound respect from his dad. Things couldn’t have been better between them.
Tonight however, dad can’t hold back the tears as he curls up next to his son.
For as much as he wants to put his arms around his son, he can’t. He wishes he could have those times back when he could have run home from his busy job and tell his son how much he loved him, but those times are passed. Now, he can only hold on to the memories he barely remembers --- memories of a disappointed face, a sad smile of a little boy he left as he dashed out of the house to work.
Now the only physical thing he can hang on to are the grass he’s curled up on and his son’s name on the headstone laid atop the patch of grass he was laying on.
Now all he remembers are the uniformed gentlemen at his front door, the emotion on his wife’s face as she falls prostrate to the floor as she ultimately knew the message before it could be delivered. Their son had died in battle.
Today, as we commemorate our veterans, let’s also keep those our veteran’s left behind in our prayers.