Tired of the Hate

Daisies

Pardon me while I go on a rant. I am so tired of hatefullness. I see it all the time and don’t understand it. Before anyone can accuse me of hypocrisy, let me state unequivocally that I have strong opinions and am not afraid to voice them. But you have never seen me rant that someone who’s mere ideas I oppose is “the lowest form of human life” a direct quote from a ultra-liberal “Friend” on Facebook about GOP Presidential candidate Scott Walker, and that was just the tip of the iceberg.

I see hate directed at Gays, blacks, Republicans, Democrats, Mexicans, Muslims, Huskies, Cougars, the list goes on and on. I’ve had some people do unspeakable hurtful things to me directly, some of these people were very close to me. I know others who suffered the same sort of treatment turn their affection around into hate. Some of these same people don’t understand why I don’t. I can’t. Its simply not in me.

I hate actions not people. Murder, rape, betrayal, and selfishness. I recognize the worst of the worst. But hate of people is too heavy a burden for me to carry. This isn’t about religion or faith, though my faith tells me to LOVE not hate, and to forgive. But its not my religion that prevents it, its just a deep seeded feeling.

I’ve been saddened by the immense growth in race hatred in the years since Obama took the White House. I didn’t vote for him, but remember in 2009 writing of my hope that his election would finally end the racial mistrust and hatred that existed. It didn’t. It has gotten worse. I think all this hatred can be fixed. But not by our current leaders. We need parents to tell kids to reject all those who enunciate hate. We need to teach our kids that the best way to persuade is with love, forgiveness, understanding and setting a good example. Nobody was ever persuaded by calling them a hateful name. Many have been persuaded by a kind word or gesture.

I believe illegal immigration is a serious problem in our country and needs to be curtailed. But it’s wrong to characterize so many illegal immigrants as “murderers, drug dealers and rapists…and I suppose some are good people” as Donald Trump has done. Yes, statistics show illegal immigrants bring a disproportionate amount of crime to our country. This is an uncontroverted fact. But the overall picture of the results of illegal immigration is the harm it causes legal Americans, yes in crime; but also in lower wages, fewer jobs, diminished social resources (i.e. benefits) and housing. That’s not hate for one group of people. That’s compassion for another group of people. Our people. Fellow Americans. There is no need to hate the illegals because they want a better life in our country. But they must do it legally, in a controlled manner in order to not hurt those to whom we owe the most; our own brothers and sisters and moms and dads.

People need not misunderstand disagreement with hatred. Too often I see people calling another a “hater” because of their views, when hate has nothing to do with it. Some one once said, “Anyone who thinks you can’t strongly disapprove of a persons actions and not hate them but love them, has never raised a teenager.” Jesus once said, “Let him among you without sin, cast the first stone”. Where is that sensibility in today’s culture? The woman who Jesus saved from a stoning didn’t get off without a reprimand. Jesus forgave her of her sin(s) then sent her away with the admonition to “sin no more”. When asked by his disciple Peter how often he should forgive a brother who sinned against him, “Up to seven times?” he asked. Jesus said “I say to you not seven, but seventy times seven”. That’s not religion. That’s common sense. That’s learning to live more happily.

Be strong. Be opinionated. Argue for your beliefs. But don’t hate the person who feels counter to you. Provided their beliefs don’t inhibit your ability to live and be happy…let them go. Let them live as they would see fit.

I am a much better man now than I was in years past primarily because I won’t let anger hurt me or others any more. It’s a wonderful way to live that took me too long to discover. It took someone hurting me in the most profound way to come to this way of thinking and feeling. But it’s made me better as a result. I honestly believe others can benefit as have I. (And now for some religion…) And upon embracing a life of love, peace and understanding I believe God directly intervenes and blesses you. And even if you don’t believe that…you bless yourself.

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My Favorite Child

I wonder if any parent loves one of their children over their other children. I’m sure it happens, but few parents would admit it. Societally its one of the biggest sins a parent can make; loving one of their own over the other or others.

With Father’s Day approaching I thought I would tell you about my favorite.

I have three kids. Two are grown and out of the house and my youngest is ending her sophomore year in high school.

Arica Nichole Schuett 2010My oldest daughter, Arica, is my favorite because she was my first. The gift she gave me of merely coming into my life and giving me the title of “Daddy” is not something anyone else can ever claim. I still remember holding her in one arm as we walked or I rocked her or swung her to sleep. She was always an independent child and played well on her own. But our father-daughter time was abundant and a treasure for me. I coached her in softball for years until her skill exceeded my coaching ability and I “handed” her off to a team and a coach more fully knowledgable about the finer aspects of high level fast-pitch. Arica played other sports too. Arica grew into a beautiful young woman. She won a Scholarship Pageant. She became an artist. And she remains passionate about anything she does, touches or says.

My second, Christopher, Chris off FB 11-2010 is my favorite because he is my only son. When he came into my life he proved to be all boy. He was a handful. He wouldn’t sleep at night, and because he was so active he kept hurting himself. We had more trips to the hospital with him than my other two kids combined. And every time he hurt, I hurt…so badly. It was as if I had the broken arm or I was getting the stitches. Christopher was and remains one of the sweetest boys, and now men that I have ever known. And I love his happy friendly demeanor. It became cliche` in our house for him to tell his Mom at least 1-2 times per week, “This is the best dinner I’ve ever had.” And he always said it with such sincerity. Chris became a musician and now leads a band as its song writer, guitarist and lead vocalist. He even has some songs when he’s on the keyboards; proving Mom and Dad’s investment in piano lessons wasn’t completely in vain.

Micah 1st day of 6th grade 002My youngest daughter, Micah, is my favorite because she’s my baby. She’s the last one I’ll ever have. And she assured that we would go out of the baby making business with a BANG. Unlike her brother and sister (and I’d say ME at a similar age) she has not been in a rush to be grown up. She has remained content being young, being a kid. She is Sooooooo funny and makes me laugh all the time. Her innocence and sweetness is something I miss terribly any time I’m not home when she comes bounding in the door.

It’s a blessing to me that I have 3 favorite kids. I love them equally but differently. You’d be amazed how often kids, and adults get the sense that they are not their parent’s “favorite”. And as a parent its important to know that creating that sense in your kids can be damaging to them and your relationship with them. It might be something you don’t know you do and don’t do intentionally. But be observant and aware. They will always be your kids no matter your or their age.

I LOVE April!

IMG_8755I have said for years that April and October are my two favorite months of the year. They just bring so much of what I love.

Sure I love Christmas and the whole Christmas season.

Snowy Renton Street

Snowy Renton Street

The parties and the love shared between people is like no other time. The busyness doesn’t bother me. It energizes me. But December doesn’t make my top list because of the weather. In the Puget Sound, where I live, temperatures in the 30s and 40s and a near constant drizzle or grey cloudy days are the norm. No. I want sun shine. Even if its cold, I want sun shine. So, sorry December you don’t make it.

July and August are very high on my list. It’s frequently sunny. I often enjoy BBQ parties with friends. Sunset at Birch Bay, WA And the baseball season is entering its second half, with pennant races looming. The good weather makes outdoor activities that I love more frequently possible. I love fishing. I love camping. I love driving in my convertible with the top down. It’s all good. But in terms of sports…baseball is the only thing going. I love baseball. But there is no college sports. NFL football is only in training camp and exhibition games that no longer interest me like they did when I was a kid. And basketball is fortunately only limited to the women’s game, which I only tacitly pay attention to. Sorry, all you Storm fans. I’m just not there. And sorry Sounders and MLS fans. I don’t hate Soccer like some who complain of its boring low scoring matches. But they have so many, boring low scoring matches. And I still don’t understand what games count, what trophies count, and how you can play in a tournament in the middle of a season that is completely unrelated to the league in which you play. So, July and August are close, very close. But they fall just a tiny bit short.

Green Bay Packers v Seattle SeahawksOctober is great because the weather at the start of the month is still pretty decent. We have FOOTBALL! Both college and NFL football are well underway, promising fun and excitement every weekend. And Major League baseball is conducting its playoffs and World Series with nearly daily intrigue. I can still go fishing. And, while I don’t do it much anymore…I can go hunting and enjoy a weekend with my dog. October also is the start of the NBA season. Since the Oklahoma Raiders stole my beloved Sonics from Seattle, the start of the NBA season means considerably less to me. In fact, it means almost nothing. I am still a bitter Sonics fan. But…I do love October.

And then…there is April. April is the first month since October or even September some years, when you can expect daily temperatures near 60-degrees. ! YEA! Warmth! I’m a fair weather fisherman, so April see’s me out on my canoe on local lakes.

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park

And in terms of spectator sports for the sports nuts like me? It’s a plethora of enjoyment, a cacophony of choices, a riches of experiences. It all starts with the NCAA men’s Final Four basketball championship. And in years like this when a local team, Gonzaga, is playing deep into the March Madness tournament it’s even better. Baseball’s opening day dawns in the first week with every year promising championship dreams…even when those dreams are irreconcilably impossible. I seldom watch golf or play it. But The Master’s this week and every year is not so much golf as it is an event and tradition and history. It’s often high drama. And for others, as I’ve already mentioned this doesn’t really apply to me…much…their is the soccer season underway with the Sounders here in Seattle and there is the start of the marathon NBA playoffs, the only major sport that takes two months to finish the season after having finished the season. Seahawks logo Lastly, us NFL and Seahawks lovers are given the gift of the NFL Draft in April, with the promise of new stars coming to your team to help take you to the promised land by filling the wholes you perceive your team has.

And I haven’t even mentioned the blooming of flowers and their scents and colors, and the return of leaves to the trees and birds and little animals scurrying about after a winter in hibernation. Life begins again in April. I LOVE IT!

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Total Broadcasting Service supports The Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King County. Please consider clicking on their logo to go to their site and make a generous donation.

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Emergency Feeding Program Podcast

Recently Emergency Feeding Program’s Director Glenn Turner, Project Coordinator Belynda Dunbar, and Office Manager Marlene Poland were guests on the Living Well podcast of Seattle Professor Zenobia Bailey.

Hear it here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/btr.shows/show/7/450/show_7450269.mp3

If you don’t know about this special non-profit program listen and learn. Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King County is a truly unique organization that is Fighting Hunger By Design, with a supplemental feeding program for those in greatest need locally. You can donate at http://www.emergencyfeeding.org/.

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Your author of this blog is a board member of the Emergency Feeding Program and am proud to donate my time and efforts to help them realize their goal that nobody goes hungry in King County.

My Incredible Morning Run

IMG_8755In my on going efforts for fitness, health, and continued youth I woke this morning, dressed in my sweat suite, grabbed my cell phone and ear plug headphones and embarked on a morning run. After I was done I realized what an extraordinary start to my day I experienced.

It was a cold March morning with temperatures in the upper 30s. As I left my Renton home through my garage I zipped up my jacket all the way to my neck. I plugged my headphone buds into my ears, plugged the cord into my phone, and turned on the music. I like up-beat music as I run, and classic rock is my up-beat music of choice. Journey was the first band I enjoyed.

At 51 years of age with arthritis in my hips and a slightly torn right labrum loosening up for anything physical takes a little more time than it used to. The darkness of pre-6am enveloped me as I awkwardly began running out of my driveway. The first few hundred yards of my runs see me looking quite geeky as I shake off the cobwebs of a nights sleep and free-up my muscles and joints. I’m flapping around like a fish out of water, and my legs are rotating as a wheel with no lug nuts.

After the first song had played Led Zeppelin was in my ears and head. Good Times, Bad Times. I wasn’t feeling great. My hips were growling at me and the cold was nipping at my ungloved fingertips.

I then looked up from the sometimes dangerous cracked sidewalk and saw a beautiful full moon through the Douglas Firs setting in the west. It shown through the trees and was hallowed by a cloudy mist. It was my beacon lighting my dark path on my journey. It inspired me. Between looking down to watch for missteps on the uneven sidewalk I would look up at the glowing orb. Sometimes I had to search for it as it ducked behind a tree or apartment building. Cars whizzed by at 40 mph when I finally grunted my way to a main road with a smooth level sidewalk, the moon still glowing in the west, descending over the Olympic Mountains.

I run a route that’s about 3.5 miles. It takes me about 30-35 minutes. I’m not fast, just steady. As I rounded the Fairwood shopping center I began the journey home. That would take me east. No longer fighting to keep running or feeling stiff from old age and a thorough nights sleep I am quickening my pace. And a funny thing happened. Dawn had broken.

Rush, Seal, and Pink Floyd sang in my ears as the sidewalk became more easily visible in the growing light. As more hills, and the start of a side-ache begin to challenge me I begin reciting the Hail Mary, over, and over, and over again asking the Mother of Jesus to bless me in my efforts and carry me through.

The final 2-300 yards to my home is the steepest hill on my route and a real struggle as I’ve already run over 3-miles. But not this morning. My eastward trajectory and up hill slant had me peering into a glorious sunrise. Pink skies and some blue clouds inspired me to sprint. It was a beautiful morning.

Sunday, daylight savings time begins. So my next run will be in what is now the 5am hour. It’ll be dark, and I won’t see a darkness and a full moon followed by a beautiful sunrise in the east. I realized and asked myself how often, in the Pacific Northwest, will I run on a clear sky morning, with a full moon, and clear starlit skies followed by sunlit blue, and biting and exhilarating cold all during the same 30 minute run.

Is it pessimistic to say I may never experience this glorious combination again? There are only 12 full moons each year, the number of clear skies in Seattle are notably few, I only run 2-3 days per week and because of my age and my arthritis that amount is going to decrease as time moves on.

My morning run was extraordinary, special, inspiring, fun, and possibly one-of-a-kind.

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For Whom Do You Provide Your Compassion?

A recent Facebook post by one of my loved Liberal Friends read, “I pity the legacy of a person whose life as a humanitarian ends in a death that is used to beat the drum of war. I’m sure that’s the opposite of their intent.” Obviously this FB poster was showing compassion for someone. Kayla Mueller

It was a reference to the death of American Kayla Mueller. She was a hostage held by the Islamic terrorist army, ISIS (toward what end and what purpose remains unclear). She was taken hostage in August 2013 while awaiting a bus in Syria where she had gone to provide aid to those suffering from the year’s long civil war in that country.

The Facebook post got me thinking, this person doesn’t want war under seemingly any circumstance.  I don’t know if that is true. But I do know this person and believe that to be true. It frustrated me because like too many peace lovers in this world and this country this person seems perfectly willing to let the abuses of ISIS continue unabated.

I am not beating the drums of war with ISIS. I’m not completely sold on what is America’s interest in war with this radical group. But for those peace-nics who think war is terrible I’ll remind them…war is already underway and on going. The hope is that America’s involvement would hasten peace sooner rather than later. I would also ask that those who champion peace in our time at any cost, (a la Neville Chamberlain) where is your compassion for those ISIS butchers, rapes, enslaves. and holds hostage? For whom do you provide your compassion? ISIS killing

It is well documented that ISIS is a barbaric organization sworn to live life and make everyone else live life by Sharia law. For crying out loud, they advertise their barbarity on tv and the internet with video taped beheadings of people they captured and held as hostages for no other reason than these people didn’t subscribe to their religion. Where is the compassion?

It reminds me of the immigration debate. Proponents of immigration amnesty in the United States also advocate a more open border. They have compassion for the millions of Latin immigrants who illegally cross our borders in order to have a better life in the U.S. These people leave poverty, drug wars, and other forms of hopelessness to come to a greater more prosperous country, the United States. Certainly they are deserving of our compassion…in addition to our jobs, our medical facilities, our welfare money and in some cases our prison accommodations. 

The problem is Latino immigrants who enter this country illegally are hurting American citizens. They take jobs from those who would otherwise get those jobs. That would be Americans. They also take jobs at lower wages often without government withholdings, thus driving down what would otherwise be a more competitive salary situation for American citizens in labor, service or construction. It’s worth noting that in most cases these Latino illegal immigrants are not taking the jobs and driving down the wages of America’s college educated, and well-off people. No, the poorest and least educated of Americans are the ones whose jobs and wages are adversely affected by illegal immigration. It’s these same poorer American citizens who find medical care and welfare benefits harder to come by because they’re being provided to someone here illegally.  So…I ask again…for whom do you provide your compassion? 

Here’s another one. A man and a woman are married for many years, until one of them decides to cheat on the other. The victim of the betrayal is devastated, depressed, even suicidal. They had remain true to their marriage vows and worked hard to do their part in making for a successful life and marriage. Due mostly to the betrayal the marriage breaks apart. Due to circumstances the betrayer has to move out of the home the two had enjoyed for years while the spouse who was true remains in the house. Both are hurt emotionally, psychologically, and financially. Divorce is BAD and it hurts both parties and any children as well. For whom do you offer your compassion here? The cheater is probably more hurt financially and in terms of lifestyle. They have to move out of the home they’ve had for years. They’re losing the benefit of a second income, not to mention companionship. They’re lifestyle takes a devastating blow. We certainly should provide them with our compassion? Right? But…they cheated. They caused the problem that was singularly responsible for the break up? Aren’t they getting what they deserve?

The other spouse who was betrayed is hurt too. They too lose companionship, and the benefits of a second income. They’re lifestyle is hurt too. But at least they get to keep the house in which they’ve lived for so long. At least they don’t have to move. But they’ve been betrayed. They may never trust again because the person to whom they gave all of their trust betrayed them. Certainly, we can provide them with compassion, right?

The sad part is…in this last…and usually in most scenarios of conflict compassion is appropriate for both sides. But in giving it to one…often the other is forgotten….and the hurt continues.

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Understanding the Six Types of Forgiveness

The link below is to an article written by Dr. Jerry E. McKeehan.

Have you ever found it difficult to forgive? Have you ever felt yourself in the wrong for continuing to hurtfully remember a wrong done unto you? Do you think forgiveness is mandatory? Or is repentance by the offender a requirement BEFORE you grant forgiveness?

What does the Bible say? Would it surprise you to know there APPEAR to be contradictions in the Bible?

This article does a great job of clarifying those purported  contradictions. I hope this is read by everyone who has struggled with forgiveness.

http://www.purposedrivenchurch.net/pdf/Forgiveness%20Six%20Types.pdf

Many thanks to Total Broadcasting Service video editor/producer Marianne Petersen for presenting us with this helpful article.

 

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