My two cents on today’s news

The news and social media have been full of politics lately. Usually Trump-related but this morning I watched a video where a group of young kids wearing “Make America Great Again” hats stood and mocked a Native American as he sang a song of unity while steadily beating his drum. If you somehow missed this headline, you can read the story here.

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I couldn’t help but start crying as the kid stood in Nathan Phillip’s face with a smirk across his face. My heart broke for the indigenous people, the veterans who have fought so long and so hard just for unity and peace. As these Trump supporters were chanting “Build that wall,” I feel like they are the ones who should be on the outside of that wall they want so much. If you think about it, Nathan and his ancestors were here first. Out of anyone, they should be the ones wanting to kick everyone else out. But instead, they march for peace and unity. They’re singing songs urging participants to “be strong” against the ravages of colonialism that include police brutality, poor access to health care and the ill effects of climate change on reservations.

Watch the video and see that the kids don’t allow Nathan to move and taunt him the entire time. Nathan said he felt the spirit was talking through him. He didn’t back down and he didn’t stop even in the face of fear.

The saddest part of this story is that those kids were there on a field trip for school. They were there to support the pro-choice movement March for Life. What they’re supposed to be standing up for: life, and yet here they are saying build a wall and kick people out of our nation.

I don’t know about you, but when did only certain lives matter? And if that were the case, why not be pro-choice. In that regard, you could choose who lives and who dies. Which would avoid the need for the wall in the first place.

And I grew up catholic. Actually, I grew up Pro-Life and had this March of Life been about 20 years ago, I would’ve loved to had been there marching for life. But never would you have caught me anywhere near what these kids did. Being pro life means that you value every life, no matter their race, gender, background, or family. Growing up I was taught to love everyone. I had friends from many different nationalities, and aspired to learn as much as I could about other cultures and traditions as I could.

What do you think about this video?

And I’ll conclude with this quote from Nathan that I agree with:

“That energy could be turned into feeding the people, cleaning up our communities and figuring out what else we can do,” Phillips said. “We need the young people to be doing that instead of saying, ‘These guys are our enemies.’ ”

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Kate Spade and the unspoken truth

In case you missed the recent news, fashion designer extraordinaire Kate Spade was found dead after an apparent suicide. All the feels came over me today when reading about this great loss. But it also brought up the fact that just because it may seem like everything is okay on the outside doesn’t mean that’s the case internally. And it goes to show, just because you have money and are successful doesn’t mean you’re happy. Life is hard, for everyone. No matter how many material possessions we have, no thing can bring us true joy. Happiness is fleeting, and so are material possessions, but joy is eternal. And we must find this joy within us.

My heart and thoughts go out to Kate Spade’s family and friends though. None of them wanted her to end her life. All they wanted was for her to be happy and feel loved. I can’t imagine what they’re going through. My prayer is for them to find comfort in the middle of the storm that is death and suicide.

So many are quick to say suicide is selfish. And while it can be seen that way since those who commit suicide don’t think about anyone else other than themselves. It can also be seen in a different way. Perhaps if they were more selfish, they would’ve sought out help from others. Life is hard, and it’s not meant to be done alone. We have to rely on other people, but even people will let us down. Finding a source of joy beyond the physical world around us is key. I look towards God who gave us Jesus, his only son, to die for our sins so that we can have eternal life and joy in Him.

What helps you find joy and happiness in your everyday?

Suicide Prevention and the Holidays

With the holiday season comes an increase of sadness and depression. Some blame it on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) due to the decreased daylight, whereas other cases can be traced back to lonely or drama-included holidays. Speaking from experience, I can see where the holidays can be sad for someone since I lost my mom right before Christmas of 2015. I want to focus on suicide prevention and ways to lift your spirits despite the gloomy circumstances surrounding you.

Suicide Prevention: tips and tricks

  • Move! Stay active. I know it’s hard during these colder months, but staying active will increase your feel-good hormones. It may be too cold to exercise outside, but there are some great gym membership deals going on right now that you can jump on.
  • Eat better! Instead of grabbing processed and fatty foods, go for foods rich in protein, fiber, and/or good fats. I.e. eggs, avocados, oatmeal, etc. These foods will also help you stay full for longer and won’t tire you out.
  • Start or re-vamp a hobby! Whether you like to read books, watch movies, or play the guitar, pick up an old or new hobby to focus on. People who do what they enjoy find more joy in their daily lives.
  • Be social! Join a meet up group or a local running club. Whatever it is you like to do, there’s likely a group of people to do it with. Doing something you enjoy with others is a great way to make new friends.
  • Choose yourself. Love yourself. You are amazing and you are worth it.

If you find yourself considering suicide or suffering from depression, don’t hesitate to call 1-800-273-8255

Check out this website HERE for more resources and information. Let’s get the conversation going and let it continue on everywhere.

World AIDS Day

AIDS_ribbon-08-1024x1024Today is World AIDS Day which always falls on the first day of December every year. It is a day where people worldwide unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the HIV virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, over 35 million people have died from HIV or AIDS. This is one of the most destructive pandemics in history. Thankfully, there have been scientific advancements in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect the people living with HIV, and we understand much more about the condition these days. Despite this, people continue to be diagnosed with HIV, people don’t know the facts on how to protect themselves and others, and there are still stigmas and discrimination in regards to the people living with the virus.

World AIDS Day is important because it reminds us that HIV has not gone away. There’s still a vital need to raise money and increase awareness surrounding the virus.

What can you do?

Show solidarity with people living with HIV on World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon. You can also donate towards HIV treatment research and education. Or, if you need a fun coffee pick-me-up you can go to Starbucks and they’ll donate 25 cents if you order one of the following drinks:  Peppermint Mocha, Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, Caramel Brulée Latte or Eggnog Latte. So go get your holiday drink and sparkle on!

Thoughts and Prayers

You know the standard saying, “My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.” It’s one of those nice things you say to someone who’s lost a loved one, maybe a parent or a family pet. It provides a little tiny bit of comfort in the midst of sadness. When I lost my mom, many said this in their own words. So many different combinations of the same saying. Some people offered their help, but I wasn’t sure how or what they could do to bring my mom back, or to alleviate even an ounce of the pain.

But losing my mom to cancer seems to be a drop in a bucket compared to the oceans we’re experiencing with these recent mass shootings. When will the turmoil of killing innocent people end? Thoughts and prayers are just a starting point, but what we need to see is action and change. Without these things, nothing will change other than the location and number of deaths. This past weekend, it was a church and 26 dead. Next week, who knows where and how many will lose their life prematurely.

More than words..

We are quick to talk. We are quick to pray to God, especially during these difficult times. We think if we have a list of prayer requests and pray daily that we’re good. Like God loves us and we did our part. But I think we’re missing the major point of prayer. It’s not a one-sided conversation where we blab our problems (and sometimes praises) to God and hope that He fixes everything. Actually, even more importantly, prayer is meant to open our ears, mind, and heart. This way we can listen and hear God when He tells us what to do. The answer is rarely “sit and wait,” although it may be in certain situations. But when it comes to something so epic and life-altering like 307 mass shootings in the USA this year so far, I feel like more than nothing is needed.

The irony

thoughts and prayersYesterday, as I was sitting in a church not very different than the First Baptist church of Sutherland Springs, Pastor Chuck was speaking on evil, the devil, and the fallen world. The Fallen Worlds consists of the evil within us, the evil around us, and the evil above us. There are four tactics of the evil one that leads to him winning in this fallen world. He uses doubt, temptation, deception, and accusation to get inside our heads and make us feel like we’re the evil ones.

But know that with God we can conquer anything. With the right tools, we can stand our ground and say “Not today Satan.” With the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shoes of the Gospel, the Helmet of Salvation, the Shield of Faith, and the Sword of the Spirit we rise above evil and are protected from the Devil himself. Unfortunately, this past Sunday, for one man he succumbed to evil and chose to take the lives of as many church members as he could, and then his own life.

No panacea?

universal-health-care-1095124_1920.pngIs there a cure to this madness? Can we stop these mass shootings from happening? Is it the guns or the mental illnesses? Or is it terrorism? Whatever you may think the cause is, it all roots back to evil. And without God, there is no hope. But on the same token, we can’t just think and pray away this. We must act. Pray, think, be quiet, listen, then do. God calls us as Christians to go above and beyond for our fellow man. We can’t just sit by the sidelines and hope for a miracle. We have to be the miracle.

If you enjoy my writings and would like to see more, please leave a comment below, subscribe to my newsletter HERE, and consider donating HERE for the holiday season. Thank you to all of my readers, I love all of you.