Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"H" is for Hope!

I asked my friends on Facebook to help me with suggestions for a topic for the letter "H", and "hope" was the most chosen subject matter.

This tells me a few things: Either many people have a lot of hope and want everyone to know about it, OR things are so bad in our society today that people need some hope that their lives will get better.

Incredibly, as I sat contemplating this post and what I would write about, I saw quite a few commercials on television about this very topic, not hope exactly, but the idea that the future could be improved, a reason to give a person hope.  Health issues, Social Services, and Politics were just some of the ads I saw.

The number of ads for research and medications to help various illnesses were high.  In about two hours of watching t.v. I saw that there are many research studies going on to try to find cures for various diseases.  Having a chronic and incurable disease myself, I could only imagine how wonderful my future would be if there was a cure to make me healthy, and more able to enjoy my life by being able to do the things that I can only dream about now.  I have hope that day will soon come.  Can you imagine how much better your life would be if you could just take a pill and have your diabetes, high blood pressure or whatever ails you be under control for the day, giving you the freedom to do whatever you want?  New medications and procedures are being discovered everyday to give people the chance to do just that, and with those discoveries comes hope for a brighter future.

There were ads for Big Brothers and Sisters and other children's groups.  These programs bring joy, happiness and acceptance into a young persons life.  Their self-esteem blossoms from the friendships that they make and the new opportunities they have give them hope for a better life.  For kids from broken or single parent homes, the programs they can get involved in are priceless for their future.  Being in at risk situations sometimes, these kids don't generally have the same benefits as others, but having great programs for them to get involved in can make a huge difference in their lives.

Right now in Canada we are getting ready to exercise our right to vote on City Council and Mayoral races.  We hope that we check the right box and make the best decision about who's hands we are putting our Municipality in.  We also hope that we get the things that we need in our communities to help the citizens and get the things that were promised to us during the race.

There are many things that are going wrong in our world right now, from big problems like Global Warming, the Gulf Oil Spill and the economy to individual problems that we all have and want to be resolved.  In some cases we may be able to do some things to help ourselves out of undesirable situations, but other times these problems are just out of our hands.  When we can't do anything to help, at least we can HOPE.  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"G" is for God, What must He think?

While watching TV shows, listening to the news and reading current events on the Internet I have come across situations where people do things that just blow my mind and make me wonder what God must think.  I imagine Him up in heaven just shaking His head and wondering how the humans that He created in His image could act so unlike Him.

Some people do immoral, illegal and definitely cruel things in His name, and they really believe He told them to do these things or that he would actually be pleased with their behaviour.  There are other people that take His word, verses from The Bible, and pick out single sentences using them out of context, twisting the words around to make them fit their cause.  And there are others that remind me of young kids playing in schoolyards, because they haven't grown up or matured enough to be able to interact with others without situations escalating out of control.  These people and situations really make me angry and sad at the same time.

There was an Oprah repeat on the other day about a man named Tony Alamo.  He honestly believes that he is God's prophet and that He speaks directly to him.  He had a ministry with his wife, which seemed more like a cult, until she died.  He placed her body on a table in their home and had his parishoners pray over her for six months.  He said that God told him she would rise from the dead, be resurrected.  She didn't, but for some reason the people still followed him and "his word" anyway.  Alamo had many "spiritual" wives that he wasn't legally married to, some of them were as young as eight years old when they had their "unions".  A few of those brave young women were on the show.  They escaped from the compound, spoke out and he is now serving an over one hundred year sentence.  These women said that he told them that God spoke to him and told him who to marry and when.  The idea that some people think and believe that God speaks to them is not a new phenomenon, it has happened before and someone else will convince others that its true again.  Being a Christian this concept really bothers me, but the seriously disgusting and blasphemous thing about it is that this guy has sex with, rapes little girls and believes that God told him to do it and actually approves of his behaviour.  That's not the God I know.

Then there was the pistol-wielding preacher from Florida, Terry Jones, that wanted to declare September 11th of this year, nine years after 9/11 the "International Burn a Koran (Qur'an) Day".  Another piece of work.  When I first heard about it I thought it was some sort of a joke.  But then an image of the Pope came on the television and the news anchor said that he and other religious leaders from around the world were very disturbed by his plans and begged him to put a stop to them.  But he wouldn't be swayed.  Eventually someone got through to him and the event was cancelled.  I actually said out loud  "What is wrong with this person?" while I was watching the story.  This guy is a Preacher and wanted to burn a book that is just as sacred to Muslims as The Bible is to Christians.  These people that profess to be Christians yet turn around and behave so intolerantly aren't pleasing God.  Do people not take the idea of  "The Golden Rule" seriously anymore?

Other situations that I wonder what God would think about are the story's of people like Bethany Storro, the girl that threw acid on her own face yet blamed it on a fake African-American woman and Ashley Kirilow, the girl that faked having Cancer on Facebook and bilked caring and compassionate people out of close to $30,000.

I just find myself wondering what this world is coming to and what can be done about it.  If everyone thought and cared about other peoples feelings, beliefs and opinions as much as they think and care about their own, would be a really good start.  Don't you think?