Monday, March 30, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
GOD LIVES UNDER THE BED AUTHOR UNKNOWN
I envy Kevin. My brother, Kevin, thinks God lives under his bed. At least that's what I heard him say one night.
He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen, 'Are you there, God?' he said. 'Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed...'
I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin's unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.
He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he's 6-foot-2), there are few ways in which he is an adult.
He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them.
I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life?
Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.
The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.
He does not seem dissatisfied.
He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work.
He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day's laundry chores.
And Saturdays - oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside. 'That one's goin' to Chi-car-go! ' Kevin shouts as he claps his hands.
His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.
And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips.
He doesn't know what it means to be discontent.
His life is simple.
He will never know the entanglements of wealth of power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.
His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working.. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it.
He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax.
He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others. His heart is pure.
He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue.
Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God.
Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child.. Kevin seems to know God - to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an 'educated' person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion.
In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity, I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith.
It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions.
It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap.. I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances - they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God's care.
Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God.
And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I'll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.
Kevin won't be surprised at all!
FRIENDS ARE ANGELS WHO LIFT US TO OUR FEET WHEN OUR WINGS HAVE TROUBLE REMEMBERING HOW TO FLY
Monday, March 23, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
You all remember Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona , who painted the jail cells pink and made the inmates wear pink prison garb. Well.........
SHERIFF JOE IS AT IT AGAIN!
Oh, there's MUCH more to know about Sheriff Joe!
Maricopa County was spending approx. $18 million dollars a year on stray animals, like cats and dogs. Sheriff Joe offered to take the department over, and the County Supervisors said okay .
The animal shelters are now all staffed and operated by prisoners. They feed and care for the strays. Every animal in his care is taken out and walked twice daily. He now has prisoners who are experts in animal nutrition and behavior. They give great classes for anyone who'd like to adopt an animal. He has literally taken stray dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them place in dog shows.
The best part? His budget for the entire department is now under $3 million. My friend adopted a Weimaraner from a Maricopa County shelter two years ago. He was neutered, and current on all shots, in great health, and even had a microchip inserted the day we got him. Cost them $78.
The prisoners get the benefit of about $0.28 an hour for working, but most would work for free, just to be out of their cells for the day. Most of his budget is for utilities, building maintenance, etc. He pays the prisoners out of the fees collected for adopted animals.
I have long wondered when the rest of the country would take a look at the way he runs the jail system, and copy some of his ideas. He has a huge farm, donated to the county years ago, where inmates can work, and they grow most of their own fresh vegetables and food, doing all the work and harvesting by hand. He has a pretty good sized hog farm, which provides meat, and fertilizer. It fertilizes the Christmas tree nursery, where prisoners work, and you can buy a living Christmas tree for $6 - $8 for the Holidays, and plant it later. We have six trees in our yard from the Prison.
Yup, he was reelected last year with 83% of the vote.
Now he's in trouble with the ACLU again. He painted all his buses and vehicles with a mural, that has a special hotline phone number painted on it, where you can call and report suspected illegal aliens. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement wasn't doing enough in his eyes, so he had 40 deputies trained specifically for enforcing immigration laws, started up his hotline, and bought 4 new buses just for hauling folks back to the border. He's kind of a 'Git-R Dun' kind of Sheriff.
TO THOSE OF YOU NOT FAMILIAR WITH JOE ARPAIO
HE IS THE MARICOPA ARIZONA COUNTY SHERIFF
AND HE KEEPS GETTING ELECTED OVER AND OVER
THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY:
Sheriff Joe Arpaio (In Arizona ) who created the ' Tent City Jail':
He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.
He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails. Took away their weights Cut off all but 'G' movies.
He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects.
Then He Started Chain Gangs For Women So He Wouldn't Get Sued For Discrimination.
He took away cable TV Until he found out there was A Federal Court Order that Required Cable TV For Jails So He Hooked Up The Cable TV Again Only Let In The Disney Channel And The Weather Channel.
When asked why the weather channel He Replied, So They Will Know How Hot It's Gonna Be While They Are Working
ON My Chain Gangs.
He Cut Off Coffee Since It Has Zero Nutritional Value.
When the inmates complained, he told them, 'This Isn't The Ritz/Carlton.....If You Don't Like It, Don't Come Back.'
He bought Newt Gingrich's lecture series on videotape that he pipes into the jails.
When asked by a reporter if he had any lecture series by a Democrat, he replied that a democratic lecture series might explain why a lot of the inmates were in his jails in the first place.
More On The Arizona Sheriff:
With Temperatures Being Even Hotter Than Usual In Phoenix (116 Degrees Just Set A New Record), the Associated Press Reports:
About 2,000 Inmates Living In A Barbed-Wire-Surrounded Tent Encampment At The Maricopa County Jail Have Been Given Permission To Strip Down To Their Government-Issued Pink Boxer Shorts.
On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached138 Degrees Inside The Week Before.
Many Were Also Swathed In Wet, Pink Towels As Sweat Collected On Their Chests And Dripped Down To Their PINK SOCKS.
'It Feels Like We Are In A Furnace,' Said James Zanzot, An Inmate Who Has Lived In The TENTS for 1 year. 'It's Inhumane.'
Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic. He said Wednesday that he told all of the inmates: 'It's 120 Degrees In Iraq And Our Soldiers Are Living In Tents Too, And They Have To Wear Full Battle Gear,
But They Didn't Commit Any Crimes,So Shut Your Mouths!'
Way To Go, Sheriff!
Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders. Criminals should be punished for their crimes - not live in luxury until it's time for their parole, only to go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers money and enjoy things taxpayers can't afford to have for themselves.
Sheriff Joe IS still Sheriff in Maricopa County , Arizon
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
FOR THE WIFE WHO SAYS IT'S HOT DOGs TONIGHT,
FOR THE HUSBAND WHO IS ON THE SOFA BEING A COUCH POTATO,
FOR THE TEENAGER WHO IS COMPLAINING ABOUT DOING DISHES
FOR THE TAXES I PAY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM EMPLOYED .
FOR THE MESS TO CLEAN AFTER A PARTY
FOR THE CLOTHES THAT FIT A LITTLE TOO SNUG
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.
FOR MY SHADOW THAT WATCHES ME WORK
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM OUT IN THE SUNSHINE
FOR A LAWN THAT NEEDS MOWING, WINDOWS THAT NEED CLEANING, AND GUTTERS THAT NEED FIXING
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE A HOME
FOR ALL THE COMPLAINING I HEAR ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT
BECAUSE IT MEANS WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH.
FOR THE PARKING SPOT I FIND AT THE FAR END OF THE PARKING LOT
FOR MY HUGE HEATING BILL
FOR THE LADY BEHIND ME IN CHURCH WHO SINGS OFF KEY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I CAN HEAR.
FOR THE PILE OF LAUNDRY AND IRONING
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE CLOTHES TO WEAR.
FOR WEARINESS AND ACHING MUSCLES AT THE END OF THE DAY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN CAPABLE OF WORKING HARD.
FOR THE ALARM THAT GOES OFF
IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM ALIVE.
AND I AM THANKFUL:
FOR THE crazy people I work with
BECAUSE they make work interesting and fun!
AND FINALLY, FOR TOO MUCH E-MAIL
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I HAVE FRIENDS WHO ARE THINKING OF ME.
Live well, Laugh often, & Love with all of your heart!
Monday, March 16, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
God said, "No. Her spirit is whole,
I asked God to give me happiness.
I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, "No. You must grow on your own
I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, "No. I will give you life,