Just Another Minute

My little world – just enjoying the ride

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New Debate/discussion for everone

Recently a friend forwarded an article from the LA Times.  It is an op-ed piece titled, “How secular family values stack up.”  intrigued, I decided to have a look, and what I found is probably what I expected.  What I expected, was someone outlining (in my opinion) that religion really isn’t needed in a child’s life.  Wow… look how far our country has fallen if this has started to be the main stream thoughts.

From here, I open up the discussion to all of you, and I will kick it off with my own thoughts on a few points to ponder from the article. The article indicated:

Secular teenagers are far less likely to care what the “cool kids” think – Really??? I think it’s rare that a child doesn’t care – religious or not.

Secular grownups tend to be less vengeful, less nationalistic, less militaristic, less authoritarian and more tolerant, on average, than religious adults… – Again really??? Some of the most vengeful, authoritarian people I know are those who have no moral compass, and no concerns what-so-ever regarding religion or not.  In fact, most people who fall into this category I just mentioned make fun of those who follow their faith.

Atheists were almost absent from our prison population as of the late 1990s, comprising less than half of 1% of those behind bars – Wow what a surprise!!! Especially after you look at the fact that according to a 2012 Pew Report, there are only approximately 2.4% of the US population who indicated that they were atheist to begin with! That is for the entire US. That would mean that 20% of all atheist are in jail. Umm, does anyone else believe that is a little high to you?

Democratic countries with the lowest levels of religious faith and participation today — such as Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Belgium and New Zealand — have among the lowest violent crime rates in the world and enjoy remarkably high levels of societal well-being. Interesting, but from what I have read, this has more to do with how the country handles the crime, and it perception in the community, than whether the country is religious or not. In Japan for example, crime is dealt with quickly and severely, plus is has the added stigma of failure leading some to commit suicide. Is that religion or culture?

Others points to ponder. Since the 1950s, look what has happened:
Substance abuse has increased significantly
Drug Overdoses has almost double in the past 20 years
Alcohol abuse has increased
Abortions have increased – 1950 had about 680, and in 2013 there were 169,368
More children are being born into a single parent homes than ever before
ACT scores have been slowly declining since the late 50s
Number of people going to jail has increased rapidly since 1975
Rape has increased significantly since the 60s
Depressed is at a near all-time high
Teen suicide has more than doubled since 1950 (15-19 year olds – 2.7/100,000 to 7.5/100,000)


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Cancer conversation

Family and Friends,

Last week many of you saw my email requesting that you pray for me and my family. As each of you know from that email my doctors found a 2.4cm mass on my right kidney – the outcome will most likely be Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Last week when I typed those words – Renal Cell Carcinoma – reality had not set in. I was in a good spot. In fact, I wore one of my favorite life is good brown shirts the other day. Well, the funny thing is I am actually still in a good spot. I feel blessed to have some fantastic doctors who are getting ready to do their thing. I feel blessed that I had a kidney stone that allow the radiologist to find the mass. I feel blessed to have a loving and wonderful wife. I feel blessed to have two fantastic daughters. I feel blessed to have loving and caring family and friends. I feel blessed, period. But at the same time reality has started to hit home.

Reality for me is knowing that cancer is a very real thing. I know that cancer has the ability to devastate lives – physically, emotionally, and financially. I know that, but I have also come to understand that it also has the ability to enlightened lives. The first time when it truly enlightened me was when my dad got cancer back in 2008 – I realized for the first time that life was more precious than I realized. I learned that life is most likely shorter than I expected. I learned that life was more valuable than I sometimes appreciated. I started to appreciate that every word matters. I started to appreciate every hug. I started to appreciate…

Learning from those life lessons that were thrown in my path, people around me saw a change. I saw it too. I started to avoid the negative, and preferred to focus on the positive. In addition, I also ended up leaning on my faith in God for support – realizing that I am much too small to go it alone.

Now after just a few short years, this ugly word has reared its head once again in my life. This time I am not a bystander. I am the one sitting on the exam table with the tumor inside. This time I am the one listening to doctors with renewed interest. This time it is my journey that I am forced to walk. This time it will be me who is asking for help, rather than being the helper. And to quote a close friend, I need to remember the word “Trust.”

So with that said, I humbling ask once again that you continue your prayers for me and my family. This is not easy for me to do. To put it bluntly I am stubborn and simply hate to ask for help. But my family needs those prayers, and yes so do i.

So in conclusion, I will say that we promise to keep you apprised of the situation – hopefully not in book form. If you don’t hear anything, then I am most likely sleeping, recovering, or just being lazy. In any event, take care, and I look forward to visiting with each of you soon.