Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mental Illness Awareness Week


Next week is Mental Illness Awareness Week.  I mention this as I have suffered with mental illness and I hope that in my suffering I can help those who also suffer.  Now that I am in "remission," what have I learned?

1. Don't judge someone with mental illness.  You have no right if you have never been there.
2. Everyone is different.  What works with one person may not work with another.
3. Mental illness is not a moral failure.  It has been proven to be genetic and environmental.
4. People don't choose to be mentally ill.
5. Mental illness does not discriminate.  It goes across all races, cultures, and socioeconomic factors.
6. It is ok to take medication and/or seek help from secular sources. 
7. There is no cure.
8. It is hell on earth.
9. It is not an excuse, a personality flaw, or a crime. 
10. People with mental illness need help, not jail.

For those who suffer:
1. Get help!
2. It's ok to ask for help.  We are not an island.
3. If there are people in your life who judge you, don't listen.  They don't know what they are talking about.
4. God understands.
5. God loves you!
6. You are not a failure!
7. It will get better!
8. Don't give up.  Your life matters.  You have a story to tell.
9. Do what works for you. 
10. Do one thing at a time.  Don't worry about tomorrow or dwell in the past.  Focus on today.

National Alliance on Mental Health

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Never Violence

I write this in thinking about Adrian Peterson, the MN Vikings player who was suspended indefinitely after being caught abusing his son.  He kept saying it was punishment and that he was punished in the same way himself as a child.  Adrian swore up and down that he was a good dad and did not abuse his son. 


I hope that people like Peterson can unlearn the harmful patterns of parenting they learned as a child so that they can stop the cycle of violence in their own families.  In this way maybe we can create a more peaceful world without violence.  A world without extremists, mass shooters, and the like.  A world where the ones considered weak are cared for and protected, instead being beaten and pushed down.  A world with no bullies. 

I suppose some would say well that won't happen until Christ returns.  But that doesn't mean we give up, we give in.  We can each do our part, however small, to teach our children, protect our animals, and treat each other with respect.  We can make the world a bit better than we found it by doing our part.

That is my goal: the make the world a little bit better than I found it. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

FDR Four Freedoms

Roosevelt’s “Four freedoms speech” Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union: 01/06/1941  

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.  

The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.  

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.  

The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants-everywhere in the world.  

The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.  

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


I took this picture today as my family and I were on our way home from the Minnesota History Museum.  On Main Street in Anoka a group of motorcyclists stood here with flags and signs, and a few loyal passerby honked their horns.  I love how I live in an area (Anoka county) that has flags on every overpass all year long.  I love how every year a group comes to this place to raise more flags and remind us of this terrible day.

We must never forget. As it has been 13 years since it happened, I still feel sick to my stomach when I am alone and thinking of it.  When I see the images on the TV screen, I still cry.  When I sing the Star-Spangled Banner at the games I still get choked up. 

Maybe I feel things too much, but this event still affects me.  I wasn't even here, I was in Paris.  I didn't know anybody that were in the planes or in NYC.  But I felt the fear for the first time, fear that my country, now beloved, might cease to be.

Maybe I am being melodramatic, but I know that empires come and go.  Countries change from one day to the next.  Governments shift from kingdoms to republics.  At one time the middle east was the epicenter of art and science while Europe was in the middle of the dark ages. Now it is a wasteland in a never-ending war.

We are a new country.  We are patriotic.  Many times in Europe I heard comments on how patriotic Americans are.  We sing our anthem as we drive by our embassies.  We proudly display our flags at restaurants, stores, and government buildings.  We hold our hands to our hearts as we sing the anthem at the games, watching the flag wave in the wind.

Will we always be so patriotic, or will we eventually be divided like so many other past empires, fighting over a piece of land. Fighting between religions and race, culture and caste.  It never seems to end, this human need to battle others for this piece of land.

I don't know.  But I do know that as long as I am here, I am going to hold my hand to my heart as I sing the anthem at games.  I am going to vote in every election, even though I doubt my vote counts.  If I don't do my part, if I don't remain faithful to the founders of this great nation and those thousands upon thousands that fought and died for our freedoms, then the enemy has won.

I am not going to give up.  I am not going to give in.  Freedom is too precious a thing to throw away.  People all over the world die for freedom.  I received it from the blood of martyrs.

God Bless America!