26 February 2010

Essay for James “Rhio” O'Connor Memorial Scholarship

This essay is in response to the question, “What would I do to find out about treatments and other sources of help and how would I respond if I found myself in a similar situation to what Rhio faced.

Rhio O'Connor was diagnosed with mesothelioma and was given a year to live. Instead of giving up Rhio did his own research and lived for a total of seven more years. This man did his own research and chose what forms of therapy he would use. Rhio also had an optimistic spirit and a belief in something greater than himself which also helped him through the time.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is formed in a protective lining over many of the internal organs of the human body. The most common cause of this cancer was from asbestos exposure. Up until 1981 asbestos was used as the main heat shield fire resistant covering over many heaters, boilers, and heating/air conditioning combo units. In the most advanced stages of the cancer tumors on and around the abdomen or the lung may collapse.
Honestly, I am not sure that I would live my life any different than already do. I try to make a habit of being an avid researcher and a student of life, look for other ways that I may be able to approach the same issue, and try to live everyday if it was my last. Ultimately my trust is placed in something greater than myself and what his plan is for my life. In the end of life the one thing in common that seemed to be important to people was not what they did or did not do, it was who they had or didn't have around them. Its the relationships there were built, not built, or destroyed that weigh heaviest on the mind. At the end of my life I don't want to be concerned about the things I did, the money I had, or the the toys I had; I want to know that I enjoyed every moment of it with the people that were put around me.
The research I would do though would be from most any source possible. The hokey things like psychic surgeons and demonic exorcism would be out of my realm. Exploring things like humor, natural remedies, diet, and environmental changes would be on my list. I would not throw out prayer or some of the more invasive treatments either. I would make sure that the people around me knew that they were loved and that I had the support that I needed. There is nothing that can help any situation more than honest love.
I would also continue to pursue what was in my heart. Although I may throw jobs to the wind and just travel. One thing that I haven't had the chance to do and I would love to is to be so far out to sea that I can no longer see any land left. My tendencies would increase even more in helping others' pursue their dreams and goals. Being the encouragement and counsel that they need when they need it. I would make sure that on my head stone it would read, “This man did not go gentle into the night.”
With these things in mind reading just the little I have about Rhio has given me hope that this attitude is not isolated; that I am not alone in that thought process. It gives me hope that others out in the world today also embrace some of the same ideologies and that they too embrace life to its fullest. Part of me wants to say, “Its sad that some people have to wait until they know their time is almost up to truly live life.” But that really doesn't matter when they do, just that they do. It is like a light suddenly turned on in a dark room, the darkness flees and everything is seen the way it was meant to be.
I can hope and pray that even in this short response to some good questions can inspire maybe one person to live life a little fuller. Live with no regrets and keeps others' well being at heart. May the light shine on you all.

For more information please visit, http://www.survivingmesothelioma.com.

28 January 2010

iPad: My over-rated opinion

It is a niche market thing. I know does things to try and plan for the future and they have really intelligent people to do that, they are also good at whipping up a frenzy of consumer-minded buyers to aimlessly buy their products.

Also with the lock in with itunes and how all the software is becoming proprietary it is becoming almost a monopoly. I remember when Microsoft was sued for monopolizing when Internet Explorer was not allowed to be uninstalled from Windows. With how all the non-computer devices are becoming more locked to other programs not iTunes Apple is slowly locking people in in a similar manner to Microsoft.

Its not so much the device itself that I am not excited about, (but also think about such a device that uses transparent Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diodes) it can become super handy and the tech for smart cars is almost ready on a consumer level. Combine that with the Tesla Motors all electric cars and the self-adjusting cruise control with cameras on higher end luxury cars and then there is a vehicle that has a very low carbon foot print that is easy to use.... See More

Or in the medical field instead of paper charts everything because information stored on a server that is interfaced with on a mobile device. The iPhone does this already, but the bigger screen is handy when looking at x-rays, cat scans, or mri layouts

I am just not a fan of taking away choice. And I see the iPad as another step in creating a rabid corporate culture that divides people because of how emotional people get attached to a product. That's just a thing of human nature, but is it really wise to exploit it for money?

12 January 2010

Very Rough Draft..... Work in Progress

Family Groups

I am not sure were to start with this, but I feel compelled to explain some of my mindset and experiences before I get into the dirty details of the matter. We all would agree that family is important and that being in close contact with people is equally important. We all understand that community is important too. We read about it, not just in the Bible, but in the newpapers and magazines. Many religions even talk about community and how important it is. That aspect is not unique to the way Jesus taught. Then what is it? I hope to explore this a bit.
Lets start out with a little background of my experiences. Growing up I had both of my parents and a younger sister. From what I was told my sister and I were close when we were children and I don't remember much about my parents' relationship with each other. I do remember that when my parents took my sister and I to their parties, I would sometimes catch glimpses them doing lines in a bedroom. I didn't know exactly what that was, but I do remember quite distinctly that there was something incredibly wrong with that. It was at that that way my respect for my parents start to degrade. Now this happened sometime in between pre school and third grade. Third grade was a different matter.
This is when my sense of family, stability, and a good relationship between my parents was shattered. My mom slept with another guy at a party at the neighbor's house. I remember this guy leaving little stuffed bears and things in cars and around hidden corners for my mom. He would also buy her things like bicycles and electronics. When I got handed one of these gifts I also remember feeling really slimy and wanted to see this guy dead. He became the focus of the anger, frustration, confustion, and hatred that tore apart my family. My pictures started taking on darker images and the weapons that I drew were intended to be used on this guy. Either before or after my parents got back together my mom took my sister and I to Southern Oregon to live with her mom.
I didn't like this from square one. I was already super pissed and became a gigantic pain in the ass. I refused to do anything that was asked of me, whined and fought till I got my way, and started to hide in an emotional shell. I was very mad at my mom and I didn't really understand why. She signed me up for school down there, which I played along with right up until the first day of school. I remember quite clearly that day, sitting in the back seat of the car passively resisting going in. I was thinking about how much the kids would make fun of me for the situation my sister and I were in and how unfair it was for my dad to not have both of his children. I said that day that I wanted to go live with my dad.
Over the next few months I lived with my dad and he was having a hard time with everything. He was extremely depressed and we never really had time to hang out because of my schooling and his work schedule. Even after my parents got back together there were distant from us, or maybe I was distant from them. Either way my sense of family stability and connection was destroyed. My sister's and mine's relationship spiralled into darkness as I became a very controlling person. I didn't understand how to handle the situation, but I felt the need to do something about it. As I myself sunk deeper and deeper into depression it seemed as it I would never have a real family again. I never could get along with people that had a supportive and loving family because of my jealousy of what they had and I longed for. I was driving away those people that could possibly help recover the one thing my heart wanted.
This attitude and depression lasted and got worse all the way until my early twenties. Most of my life I had always wanted family, but never had the chance to even come close. In my early twenties I had this profound encounter with the Son of Man, Jesus, that changed my life. Shortly there after without my realization, he put me into a situation were I started to see what family was like. It did come a group of people that were involved in a side ministry of a church that I was attending. Also running parallel with this change was a change with my sister and my dad. Through the circumstances we all just went through, they made some decisions to change their lives also. The three of us started to grow closer and closer. I opened up to them about what was happening inside of me and what was going on in my mind growing up. The family I had was becoming more like a family. My mom is a different story. Anyway this family thing was coming around. The next step of this process would come from this word community.
Living in Portland, OR I heard a lot about community. It was the buzzword, the one thing that a lot of people latched onto. Both in and outside of church walls being and living in community was a common theme. There were plans to reach out and how one could live with a group of people in community. This all sounded good, but something deep inside wasn't satisfied. There is a word inside of community that I saw missing from all the examples. Unity. There were plenty of rules on the community could work together, plenty of borders to define who did what and when, and every person had their own specific place. If the flow that was set up by one or two people in charge, if someone didn't do their 'job' or didn't fill their 'role', then grace was not the answer. Those people were met with gossip, passive aggressive resistance, and excommunication. From what I have read and experienced from this Papa, these were not the fruits of the community of what Christ had set up or wanted.
My answer to this, run away to Hawaii.
Hawaii as I was told there, is probably the closest any land can get to what the Garden of Eden would have been like. Community is another one of those things that people move towards here. It was very real too. Whichever community you were 'in' is were you stayed. The people within that community helped each other out and would fight for each other. There was this sense of pride in the community you were a part of. Whether is was the Hawaiian, Filipino, Hippie, Farmer, Houlie, or even which school you were attending. People would gather around their banners and come together. Something else I also saw within these groups of people was a willingness to forgive those within the community if they didn't act 'by the rules.' In fact there really weren't any outside of just general respect. There was one instance though that showed me that something deeper than just community must be needed.
I was living on this piece of property called The Shire. The people that owned this property had a big idea in mind. This property would be turned into a self sustaining community that needed to outside influence to continue its existence for the years to come. This was an attempt at community. Nothing was required, they did ask for monetary donations if anyone had money and all the help on the property was on a volunteer basis too. Give give out of the compassion and love in your heart. Some gave more than others, some gave nothing at all. To the guy that was the 'manager' of the property he never forced the issue. He had an understanding that some people that it took everything they had to just wake up in the morning. Drugs were freely shared, food and chores was another matter. I saw one instance that showed me something about community that helped to form my present thoughts. Over breakfast two people almost came to throwing fists over who cooked what and then something about who was a leader within the community and who wasn't.
Shortly after this event, things changed for the owners of this property and they had to set up contracts with people, to sign, on how this land was going to be used for agricultural use. Now here was community, a system of rules and expectations that defined each persons role within the community independent of love and relationship. Immediately I saw the missing piece and it started my thinking into something more. This got me to thinking of people in Hawaii and in Oregon that showed that real community is only maintained from a mutual love and a deep relationship built between the people. The question then became, where does this live as an example in the world today? Families. Family is the connection of community and love of those around you. Family is one of those sparkles in Papa's eye.

Family is important I am sure we all can agree on that, but being as we live in America that has fostered this spirit of independence and self-reliance, do we understand just how deep family goes. When looking at other cultures or some religions in the world, family is the number one thing. Say take Islam for example: countries in which Islam is present the children are not even expected to attempt to leave the parents home until at least the age of 22 or 23. That is a four year difference from what happens here in America. Those years may not seem like a lot, until you have lived through them. As an adolescent a person is starting to develop their uniqueness as a person and personality. This time frame is the solidifying of such growth. Also, in Hawaiian culture the Ohana, family, is a top priority. When you are ohana, ohana sticks together. When one ends up hungry or homeless another member of the ohana helps them out. When everyone is out kayaking in the long boats, every able body helps to bring the boats to shore when the rowers are done. There is a personal pride within each Islander for which family they live in and belong too. This list could continue on for a long time, but I just wanted to point out that most of us still have a long way to go in understanding the richness of a true family connection that runs deeper than DNA.
Part of the reason of family, from my limited experience and observation, is to teach each and every person how to foster deep relationships with people over time and through both the best and worst of times. For when things get bad and someone leaves your life that damages both individuals. Or even when two people have a disagreement or a very emotional fight, damage is done to both parties. With a shallow relationship, which is what many never progress beyond, there is no room for reconciliation and a mending of the wounds. This is not in anyway, yet a theological scholar I am not, from what I read throughout the Bible what Papa, Jesus, God, the Father, ever wants for his children to experience. Living with your own family means there is no escape from the situation and it has to be worked out. No matter how much verbal venom is spit back and forth, no matter how many knives are planted in one another's backs, stomachs, hearts, or kidneys, there is no escape from the family you grew up around. In this case, with very exceptional circumstances withstanding, those relationships with family still exist today. I would almost be willing to become a betting man to say that those relationships continue to get deeper everyday. If it can be done once, why not again. A person's family started out as strangers and unknown people in each life; love was the one thing that kept everyone bonded together through all the seasons life had in store.
As a baby, this is pure speculation, we had no real understanding of love. We are violently thrust into an entirely unknown world full of strange things for all of our senses and left to figure it all out without any apparent help. If it wasn't for some loving family each baby would be left out in the unknown, alone, and they would die. (As all babies that are abandoned do.)
Even in these families though, there isn't much reaching out beyond the group. That is were the community aspect comes into play. To move beyond what has been established to use that connection to help others or maybe even invite them in to the circle. I mean think about, a person sees this group of people that are so close that the love is felt without even a word spoken. These people seem to be full of something that normally is missing from in front of our eyes, yet inside we all long for it. We don't have a name for it, just a need. A group of people seem to have it and then that same group of people invite that very same person in! What a treat! It would be like that cold and homeless person invited in the warm and loving holiday dinner that for many seasons they had only seem from the outside through the windows. On top of that invited to stay in the house! It is not good to foster the family connection without in some way sharing it with the world that is around us.
Really, what I am getting at is that someone needs to bridge the gap between the two and allow them to be transformed into something wholly something new. Something that sheds light just from its mere existence, something of the form of a kingdom living inside each and every person and a kingdom that has its gates open with a big welcome sign outside. Crowds of people just waiting and even crowds stepping out of the gates, to help and share the connection and gifts that exist within this kingdom. Why can't that someone be us?

What That Might Look Like

Since in writing I am unable to lay a whole bunch of concepts on top of one another, due to the fact that one letter must proceed the next, I may just start with an environment. Now a disclaimer, I am no way THE authority on this matter all of the information I will provided is purely my own conclusions from within my experience and conversations with Papa, that being said the environment seems like the best place to start. The environment is everything outside of each person and relationships between individual people. We are working from the outside in it seems. An environment in which family bonded relationships can be established while at the same time encouraging the outreach of communities may seem like a monumental task. One that nobody could do along and with the strength of one person. I would agree, it was never intended to be done alone. Our main example with this is God himself. Of all things he could have made himself be, he chose to have a perfect relationship within himself. A relationship that is bonded in perfect love and expresses itself in the same way. And onto Jesus, every step of his life he could have easily just taking over the world with the signs he could do, the armies he could call upon, and go the road alone. Instead he invited a young engaged couple into his circle and eventually 12 very difficult friends too. With these people he then sent out to do what he taught them, to live life in such a way that the expressed love and heart of the Father could not be denied. This Man of Son had an air about him, that everywhere he went the environment changed. And those 12 close to him obviously lived
in a different one.
This environment does have some distinct qualities about it. They were evident based on the interaction that the Christ had with people and also how those people continued after the ascension.

   It was okay to make a wrong guess around and to make mistakes. Nobody was ever devalued based on anything that was or was not said. He walked in such a way that everybody had value.
   Asking questions was never a wrong thing to do. There was always a response, but the act of asking a question never once was shot down with ridicule or shame.

09 November 2009

Wolf: Always had my interest

I found these interesting.

To understand totem wolf symbols, one must first understand the heart of the Wolf. This takes time because the Wolf has had to endure many false stereotypes, misconceptions and misunderstandings.
Some common traits that accompany totem wolf symbols:
  • Intelligence
  • Cunning
  • Communication
  • Friendliness
  • Loyalty
  • Generosity
  • Compassionate
Not at all the picture of ferocity or terror, the Wolf is a creature with a high sense of loyalty and strength. Another misconception is that of the “lone wolf.” To the contrary, the Wolf is actually a social creature, friendly, and gregarious with its counterparts. ***googlesmall.sthml***
The Wolf is an incredible communicator. By using touch, body movements, eye contact as well as many complex vocal expressions – the wolf makes his point understood. Those with totem wolf symbols are of the same inclination – they are expressive both vocally and physically. Those who have the wolf as their totem animal are naturally eloquent in speech, and also have knack for creative writing.
Totem wolf symbols belong to those who truly understand the depth of passion that belong to this noble creature. The Wolf is a representative of deep faith, and profound understanding.
Further, the Wolf possess a high intellect, and have been observed using strategies about hunting, habitat and migration.

Wolf: Feb 19 – Mar 20
Deeply emotional, and wholly passionate, the Wolf is the lover of the zodiac in both the physical and philosophical sense of the word. The Wolf understands that all we need is love, and is fully capable of providing it. Juxtaposed with his/her fierce independence – this Native American animal symbol is a bit of a contradiction in terms. Needing his/her freedom, yet still being quite gentle and compassionate – we get the picture of the "lone wolf" with this sign. In a nurturing environment the Wolf is intensely passionate, generous, deeply affectionate, and gentle. Left to his/her own devices the Wolf can become impractical, recalcitrant, obsessive, and vindictive.

Just thought provoking

03 November 2009

Halloween Story- Little Red Riding Hood

   Once upon a time this woman who was known for the red riding cloak she wore everywhere, awoke with a knock on her cottage door. She wasn't really sleeping, just in a state of meditation for vampires really don't sleep. When Red opened her door, her cousin was standing there. It was a pitch black night with only a hint of thunder in the distance. A vampire's eyesight made the night like day, nothing hindered their vision. Red's cousin was at the door, she never said a word, just handed her an ornate bone scroll case sealed with red wax and a black satin ribbon. Red's cousin, with no sound and with the swiftness of the wind, disappeared from Red's sight.

   Red opend the scroll and quickly read the letter inside. Her grandmother was sick. Red knew that she must visit her grandmother; to be that old of a vampire and sick was very rare. Red filled her basket with treats and trinkets to help her Grandmother feel better. After this she put on her red riding cloak and headed towards Grandmother's house; just then one lightning bolt streaked across the sky.

   This forest was scary even for a vampire. It was filled with werewolves and hunters alike, each looking for their next kill. Red, though, grew up not knowing the dangers. Red was moving through the forest enjoying each moment of the sights and sounds of the forest at night.

   While on her way to Grandmother's house, Red came across the Big Bad Werewolf. He called to her, "Hey, young vampire were are you going?"

   "I'm going to my Grandmother's house. She is sick," answerd Red.

   The Big Bad Werewolf continued, "I could go with you to protect you from the hunters." The Big Bad Werewolf only wanted to eat Red.

   "That's okay. I'm almost to Grandmother's house." responded Red.

   The Big Bad Werewolf seeing a chance to eat Red through trickery decided to let her go. "You better hurry up then, young vampire." With that the Big Bad Werewolf disappeared into the forest.

   When Red got to Grandmother's house, she noticed smoke coming from the chimney. The door was oddly left open just a tiny bit, so that when Red knocked the door opened. Red just went in, it was her Grandmother's house after all. The place was a little unkept, this was not like Red's Grandmother. Grandmother was a very tidy person adn spent much of her immortal life cleaning. The room was dark except for a couple candles, but Red noticed a wine glass set out for her. She drank from the glass and marveled at the taste of the blood. Red had never tasted blood so invigorating.

    With glas in hand Red went to where Grandmother would lay down. When she saw her Grandmother, Red became even more suspicious. she acted as though she hadn't noticed anything unusual. "Grandmother, I'm sorry that your sick and I couldn't get here sooner. How are you feeling?" Red asked.

  The Big Bad Werewolf disguised as Grandmother answered, "Come closer love. This sickness has made my eyesight weak."

   As Red moved closer she became almost sure that this wasn't her Grandmother. Moving into a place to see Grandmother better, she questioned the imposter, "Why, Grandmother what big eyes you have now?"

   "Well, when I am better I shall be able to see you better, my love," answered the disguised Big Bad Werewolf.

   Red's next question came quickly, "Why, Grandmother what big ears you have now?"

   "Well, when I am better I shall be able to hear you better, my love." replied the Big Bad Werewolf.

   "Why Grandmother what big teeth you have now?" came Red's final question.

   "Well, when I am done digesting your Grandmother I will be able to eat you better, my love." With that the Big Bad Werewolf knew that he had been found out. He leaped at Red and because she moved with vampire speed, missed. The Big Bad Werewolf crashed into Grandmother's closet, where what remained of Grandmother fell out, along with many wine glasses filled with her blood.

   Red ran away into the dark forest were the lightning storm was in full bloom. The Big Bad Werewolf tracked Red down and cornered her with no sign of escape. Just then it sounded like thunder was right behind the Big Bad Werewolf. A few moments later another sound of thunder, then another, and one last sound. Four sounds in total and then the Big Bad Werewolf fell over dead.

   Red still not sure what was happening, stayed still. About half a minute passed and then one of those hunters came into sight. Red knew he would kill her too, so she hid her face under the hood of her red riding cloak.

   "Hello there young lady, are you okay?" came the calm yet excited voice of the hunter. Red just stayed hidden and quiet. The hunter moved closer, to try and comfort Red. When he came close enough, Red leaped at him, bit his neck and drank the hunter till no blood remained.

           THE END

18 October 2009

Chaos Abounds

Everything is spinning out of control, no sense of direction
  He only whispers Relax
Fortune frowns on one soul today, the days stretch into weeks
  The whisper is I am here
Resources running thin, no stability in sight. Things always changing, no daylight
  Trust yet remains, however thin it may be
Lost, vunerable, wounded, and confused; these are the colors of the changing season
  The whisper, You are Mine

What to do, where to turn?
           do I run? Hide? Fight? or sink

Darkness were is your release?

06 October 2009

New Phase: A Waxing Life

The turbulence of drama and others' bad decisions leads me to betterment for myself. And sometimes it gets started when you wake up one morning finding out that a person you lived with, flipped their attitude over in a moment and started aggressively asking you to leave. Stating they had legal right to kick you out in less than 24 hours, to move your stuff, and to lock you out. Sounds like an introduction to either an anger driven drama or the possibility of a murder mystery. Thankfully it was more of the first, well out of those two choices thankfully, but in the middle of all of this a response of mine to this guy was, "If you wanted me to go you could have just asked, but since you want to pursue it the legal way, make sure you do it completely by ORS 90." I doubt that will happen. The reason given for this kind of treatment, "I'm protecting my credit score." I did tell this guy that I would be unable to pay my portion of the rent until the 15th. This 'friend' then promptly tries to kick me out and states, "Go be homeless and have a happy life." No this guy shouts that he is a christian, wasn't it this kind of treatment that cause Ghandi to say, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christian are so unlike your Christ."?

This guy made his choice, showed what was inside himself, and now he will have his harvest of the seeds he had sown. His choice was not a reflection of the Christ living within him or how it has affected his life. The only thing, even more so as I reflect upon his personality, that is shown in this former friend is the fact that outward appearances is what drives his interaction with people. A white-washed tomb. Grace bombs fall. No blame is inside of me toward the community that also wears that label or the man it speaks of. Sometimes others put me into this community of Christians, I just enjoy hanging out with the man Jesus.

This may seem a little disjointed, but that is because my mind is still reeling and whirling. This is just another step in showing what it would take within a small, family group to maintain a peace. The initial reaction would be to create rules to follow and have a severe punishment if they weren't followed. Does this really bring about an inward change and make every action a work of love? Typically not. So what would then? Possibly creating a time, a place, or something like there were people can speak their mind freely, let the feelings out; then as a family discuss how it can be rememdied and then together work it out.

To end this short update, this guy who's name is Greg Bennett, is someone who's pride keeps pulling him deeper into hell and slaps away any hand extended to help. Only Jesus can reach him now, this man has rejected his agents.

(At least from my experience)

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.- Mahatma Ghandi

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