THE LIFE YOU LIVE WAS HANDED TO YOU;
LOVE YOU HAVE GIVEN IN YOUR HEART YOU KNOW IS TRUE;
THE PAIN IN YOUR LIFE YOU TRY TO ENDURE;
BECAUSE FOR YOURSELF YOU KNOW YOU WANT MORE;
SO YOU CHERISH EVERY WAKING MOMENT HERE ON EARTH;
REMEMBERING THAT GOD ALLOWED YOUR MOTHER TO GIVE BIRTH;
SOME TAKE FOR GRANTED THE BLESSINGS THEY WERE GIVEN;
THEY TAKE THE PATH THAT GOD HAS FORBIDDEN;
TAKING STEPS WITHOUT THINKING;
DESTRUCTION OCCURS,THERE HEART IS BLEEDING;
LIVE LIFE AND CHERISH LOVE;
OTHERS NOT HANDED ALL IN LIFE;
LIKE A BATTERED HUSBAND OR A BATTERED WIFE;
OR EVEN A MOTHERLESS MOTHER AND A FATHERLESS FATHER;
NOT HAVING AN ATTITUDE LIKE WHY EVEN BOTHER;
THEY SEEM TO CHERISH THE LITTLE THAT WAS GIVEN;
THANKFUL FOR THE AIR THAT I BREATH;
GOD IS IN MY HEART I HOPE HE NEVER LEAVES;
NEVER SEEING ALL THAT NEEDS TO BE SEEN;
THAT’S WHY GOD HAS GIVEN US NIGHT SO WE CAN DREAM;
JUST REMEMBER NOT TO JUST CHERISH DAY BECAUSE WE NEED THE NIGHT TO DREAM AND PRAY.
The attitude of many teenagers is that an action isn’t wrong unless they get caught. They feel there are no boundaries that cannot be crossed and unless taught by their parents, they feel nothing is sacred. Parents and educators who try to put boundaries on teens become the adversary. Adults who question and criticize their choices are often labeled ‘judgers’ and ‘haters.’ In the media, they have been taught tolerance to the point of having no spiritual convictions or personal standards.
Young people go through a stage where they feel invincible, so gangs deliberately foster the myth of invincibility that only age and experience can normally dispel. Power is addictive, and many young people like the rush they get. Teens are very much influenced by the peers and the media. The music, videos, games, etc. are filling their minds and souls. As concerned citizens, the community has to take a role in helping prevent violence and redirecting the youth to a different way of life.
As soon as a teen in inducted into a gang, they are expected to perform crimes such as home invasions, brutal attacks, rape, murder or carjacking as a form of initiation. The psychological affect on the teen becomes overwhelming. This brings the new member’s own innocence to a halt and their self-esteem gets shattered. They then become a like-minded participant in the deeds. Once a new member does something like this and gets away with it, there’s usually some kind of tangible reward, such as money or stolen goods, as well as the applause and praise by other members for their courage and loyalty. When a young person is the center of a hero party atmosphere, it’s difficult to resist.
Parents should be the main influence in their teens’ lives, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. There are parents who are trying to be responsible parents but just don’t know how to be the parent that their child needs them to be. Parents can get help in the community they live in by contacting associations that offer help with teen violence. Community awareness is an important aspect of preventing youths from becoming involved in violent activities. A program like STRYVE, or Striving To Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere, is a national initiative led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent youth violence before it starts among young people ages 10 to 24. STRYVE’s vision is safe and healthy youth who can achieve their full potential as connected and contributing members of thriving, violence-free families, schools, and communities. STRYVE’s goals are to:
Increase awareness that youth violence can and should be prevented.
Promote the use of youth violence prevention approaches that are based upon the best available evidence. Provide guidance to communities on how to prevent youth violence.
What are the vivid memories that you have? Think back at the childhood memories and you will see that the memories that tug at your heart the most are those little things from your childhood. I can remember my mother telling me the story of when I was born. Every year on my birthday, she would call me and tell me how it took three days to come up with a name for her little baby girl. She said she finally came up with Tina Marie. I believe that I always loved my name because she made it sound so special.
As I grew older and my mother was going through testing and evaluations in order to be put on the liver transplant waiting list, I can remember sitting in the Doctor’s office with her as they asked many questions about how and why she became an alcoholic during the 8 years that she drank. When she was in her thirties, she drank and in a matter of 8 years developed cirrhosis of the liver. It was my sister-in-law’s death that transformed her life. She was led to the Lord after being homeless by my brother’s wife. Two weeks later, she received a phone call that her daughter in law had died in an auto accident; leaving behind two babies. My brother lost the love of his life and I remember how I thought –there must be more to life than this! I began to seek God and my mother became a step in mom for my nephews. God changed her life and she lived the remaining years of her life serving her Lord with all of her heart. She was very sick for a long time. Doctor’s told us she may only live a few months but she lived 14 years before she finally received her call to be at the hospital on Thanksgiving day in 1994. I remembered how so many thoughts raced through my mind as I remembered the hard years of watching my mother suffer and struggle through life. I did not ever think of those things until the doctor began to ask her questions. My heart was so overwhelmed with the memories that I did not know existed; I began to cry. I suppressed all those thoughts throughout my childhood, but on that day those memories overflowed in my mind and spirit. On that Thanksgiving night, I gave thanks to God for healing my mother. A week later she died after being in the ICU and I lost many of my memories when my mother left me. I became angry with her for hurting herself by drinking and I lost faith in God for taking her away from me.
I knew that God had given her 14 years instead of a few months but I wanted her back and my memories were going through my mind in what seemed to be a movie. It wasn’t until God healed my brother as he lay in a hospital bed in ICU, (after having his cancer ridden lung removed) that I began to remember how great my faith had been for many years. The doctors told our family he would have to be put on life support and his chances were not good for survival. I prayed and asked God to please restore my faith by healing my brother. That night, the doctor’s came back and told us he was breathing on his own. A week later, he was awake and on his road to recovery!
My faith has been restored. I have those memories back and I am determined to create memories for my family by living a life that overflows with God’s grace.
As I enjoyed this last thanksgiving in a vacation home in Florida with my daughter and her family, my thanksgiving memories are now full of joy. Thanksgiving has a different meaning now. Moving on in life after a tragedy takes time, but remembering that life is like a book, full of chapters helps bring healing. As we finish one chapter-another one begins.
Allow God to give you a heart that seeks him and give thanks each day for your memories and for the memories to come. In the age of quality time verses quantity, remember that your children will remember the little things-the everyday things.
The great family vacations will be remembered, but the times of those little things in life will create an equally lasting memory.
Thanksgiving is approaching and it is a time to remember the needs of others, and a time of giving thanks. There are many families who for the first time are facing the holidays with fear of not having enough on their thanksgiving table. There are many food banks in the area that will be providing food this holiday season to those in need. Don’t be afraid to let your needs be known. Many of your neighbors are going through the same struggles. Pride stands in the way of receiving a blessing and by refusing to accept a blessing; we are stealing a blessing from those who are able to give. The local food banks are blessing others with their giving. Many of Buck’s County residents will be experiencing a happy holiday because they allow others to help in their time of need. Each one of us have the ability to give in some way; it can be in monetary or it can be in giving of our time and energy. A giving heart is a happy heart.
As you give thanks this Thanksgiving holiday, remember those who are struggling. Give whatever you can and beyond. If you see your neighbor in need of clothing, food or a helping hand-reach out in an unusual way this year and start a tradition in your home that will bless others.
There are many ways that you can bless others. A kind word along with a financial blessing will lift a heavy burden. A bag of groceries left on a porch of a neighbor who you know is struggling will mean so much to them. A gasoline gift card is another way to lift a burden. Donating to the local food bank is another way to help hurting families.
For those who have a need let your need be known. For those who can bless others- go ahead and be a blessing, give and it will be given unto you.
Living life for many is not easy. I remember growing up in a home without a father to take care of us. My mother left my father because he was getting into trouble with the law. He was the son of a Fire Chief and had three brothers who were Police Officers. How could he be on the other side of the law? There are many questions that I still don’t have answers to. After his father died of a heart attack, he began to go down hill. My mother was raising four children on her own at a very young age. The lifestyle that my father lived led him into years of incarceration. His family had no more to do with him. Except his mother; of course. Mother’s carry the heavy loads on their hearts. Growing up as I did, brought me to many places throughout the years. We moved about three times each year. The fact that my mother struggled, was clear in our homelessness. When I think of how blessed I am to have a husband who is a great provider, I remember how in the Word it speaks of how we love Christbecause he first loved us. Giving His life for us, so that we can have eternal life. (John-3:16) Recently, my daughter told me of a young women who has become homeless. She has four children to raise. Family has tried to give but they too are struggling to survive. This family goes from one place to another every few days, because the shelter if full and there is no housing available. I researched and found a few ministries that give help for people in need. I know first hand how it is to be homeless as a child. Women who are alone, hurting and just trying to survive need our help so they too can experience Christ’s love and compassion. They too need to live a full life. Homelessness hurts…
Share the love of Christ .Pray about what we can do to help those in need., and do it.
Romans 8:16-17: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”