Branded is a great suspense story about innocence lost. BISAC = Law & Crime.
Hayden Heyer and the Twin Guardians is a wonderful tale about acceptance and love. BISAC = Love & Romance.
If Thanksgiving starts the Christmas season, then St. Nicholas Day (December 6th) is a reminder that Christmas is right around the corner. The shopping, decorating, cards, baking, and religious traditions can sneak up so quickly, you feel rushed and guilty for not starting earlier. Then promise to do so next year, but never do. Why? What do you think needs to change so you can have success? It doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does have to include others and some time management. Here are a few suggestions that work for me.
If you have the family over for Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner, put them to work. Nowhere, does it say you have to do everything yourself.
Putting up the decorations (or taking them down) doesn’t have to be tedious. If the family is still over for Thanksgiving, use them. Do it the next day as a family and start a new tradition. Better yet, have the men and kids do the tree, lights, and any outdoor decorations while you’re dashing through the stores on Black Friday. Or, just have a party. The goal is to have the decorations done by the first weekend in December.
The best time to bake holiday cookies is with the children on Thanksgiving. It gives them something to do while visiting and a great way to hand down recipes. Make sure you have all the ingredients and decorative tins ready, prior. If however, Thanksgiving doesn’t work for you, then try to combine it with another holiday activity like decorating. The goal is to do holiday stuff together with someone special.
Sometime before Thanksgiving, create a list of people you need to buy for, and place a dollar amount next to each person’s name, along with the method of payment you plan on using. Then try to stay on budget. Start your shopping as soon as possible. Right after Thanksgiving is perfect! Begin with places that have a layaway plan. This way you are not spending all your money at one time. It also gives you a place to hide the gifts from the kids until Christmas.
If you send cards to a lot of people that you never talk to, get a small notebook and use it as your Christmas card address book. It’s easier for updating information and doesn’t crowd your normal address book. It’s best to have them all in the mail before the second week in December. I start mine the day after Thanksgiving and usually have them in the mail by the end of November.
Now, you have the rush of the holidays managed and almost complete. You can sit back and enjoy! I am not going to go into religious traditions, since there are so many, but you now have the last 2-3 weeks to participate in holiday activities and help others.
Don’t forget to take time to meditate on the reason for the season – Jesus Christ.
The children of a recession seem to be in the middle of a financial war today. Public and private schools are decreasing their funding to make ends meet, while others are merging schools and eliminating teachers. But what happens to the children who need their skills and time? Are they put-off to the side until the economy gets better? Or crammed into an area with inadequate educators and struggling to comprehend the material?
Sure, parents do have the option to send their children to other schools or find other ways to get the help the child needs. But let’s face it, in today’s economy families are also struggling financially. They don’t have the additional funds necessary to place their children into private schools and most don’t even know how. It seems like money is more important than a child’s needs in a recession and it is disconcerting. Granted, there are plenty of experienced educators out there wanting to help but they don’t have the organization to back them, to do so.
So what is the answer? Do we wait until the government and the economy are back in the black or do we take the time out of our stress filled lives to make a difference ourselves. I am suggesting that people and organizations temporarily get involved. Community Centers are perfect for holding classes but other organizations and businesses can also help. Most unemployed people have the additional time and experience to volunteer but may feel overwhelmed by their situation. Yes, they need to look for work and go on interviews, but volunteering only takes a couple hours a week.
I too am unemployed, looking for work in a field that is saturated right now. However, I still volunteer my time to help 4th graders with their reading comprehension at the local community center. It only takes 1 hour of my time a week and gives me a nice break from thinking about my problems. I enjoy it and look forward to meeting new kids and families every few months. Also, I recently signed up to be a youth minister at my church. It is only once a week on a Sunday for a few hours but the rewards will be so great. Therefore, I am thinking others can volunteer their time too, until the economy is back on its feet again.
Help to educate a child who is struggling, whether academically or otherwise. There are so many areas that need to be addressed: reading, math, history, geography, physics, sports, swimming, cooking, wood working, auto repair, or any other area where a child needs assistance. The hard part will be finding a location where to hold an informational class outside of your home. The local community centers or library should be able to help. However, businesses could take in a child assistant in addition for a short time which teaches structure and discipline while at the same time understanding how academics works in the real world. The possibilities are endless; just think what you could learn from them; out of the box thinking for one.
We need to share our gifts! What is yours?
When you think of the fall season, do you think of Halloween and Thanksgiving instead? Do they blend together as if one season? This is due to the Celtic stories of old. Stories that made such a lasting impression; we now consider them part of our society. So, what does fall mean to you? To me, it’s more of a mental picture than a specific meaning. I picture colored leaves, windy days, raking leaves, football, hay rides, jack-o-lanterns, corn mazes, caramel apples, bonfires, family gatherings, turkey, pumpkin pie, apple cider, hot tea, scary stories, and practical jokes. It’s putting an end to the hot steamy days of summer and entering into an entirely different world. One filled with mischief and intrigue.
Isn’t it wonderful how each season has its own look and feel? It’s as if God created each to be a separate world unto itself. Like a great novelist who brings life to a world that doesn’t exist. If you keep a diary, you know exactly what I mean. Not only did he have a hand in writing the bible, but he also wrote the seasons with its different genres. Spring, is filled with stories of new beginnings and young love – drama and romance. Summer, is filled with stories of adventure and comedy, especially if spent with family. Fall, is mystery and action, and winter has stories of fantasy and fiction. If you think about it, God really is the greatest writer of all time. Who else can write a story so believable, that it feels real? Only the great creator can do that. I bow to the great creator!
I have to commend the people who took a stand and did the right thing for young Averiona Hines in Milwaukee. She was hit by a bullet while sitting in her home and has had trouble sleeping ever since. When the neighbors heard of her difficulty, they decided to hold a prayer rally outside her home for support. That one act of kindness may have changed everything.
They didn’t get angry and make false accusations, like most people do about the questionable people in the area. Instead they peacefully gathered together letting whoever did it, know that they are not afraid, and what happened to this child is not her fault. They supported 12 year old Averiona in her time of need and told her she does not need to go through this ordeal alone. In doing so, it made her feel safer and stronger. She also learned a lot about kindness in the interim.
Yes, there is violence out there, but you don’t have to let it ruin your life. The support system that surrounds you is there to help you through it, and we need more of them. Violence happens every day, especially in areas where people are too afraid to get involved. But, that’s when we need to go door to door and invite those people to a picnic or backyard barbeque to build friendships and trust.
Averiona is only one victim of the evil that is trying to take over the world, and it will continue unless it is offset by something positive and good. That positive force is you and me. We are the good! God once said to me, “Strength is in your gentleness and kindness to others.” Here is the perfect example.
We cannot change the evil that happens, but this one neighborhood took the first steps at making a dent in its shield. This is what I have been talking about in my blogs from day one; getting involved in the community to make a difference. In the process they made the victim feel stronger and got to know some of the neighbors they didn’t know before. For all we know they may have empowered young Averiona Hines to be a leader in her community. Maybe even be the one to change the world, all because they showed her support in her time of need.
I went to a funeral the other day and it turned out to be a memorial/party, which was perfect. However, you would think that a military man, loving father, and 3 time husband who liked to have fun, would have more people at his memorial then a mere 50. Then I thought about other funerals that had low turnouts and recalled a friend telling me they did not want to go because they were not good with goodbyes. That made me wonder how popular this type of absence really is, and why it’s so hard to say goodbye to someone.Goodbyes should not be sad. It is an opportunity to move forward, to reach the next rung on the ladder, and to expand horizons. To eliminate the things that were holding you back and looking forward to spreading your wings with something new.
Goodbyes come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have the same thing in common – leaving something behind to move forward. Maybe that is where the problem really lies. It may not be the one moving forward that has the probably, but the one who is not, and feeling left out. Misery loves company and emotions love to get in the way, but let’s say we left emotion out of it. Would goodbyes still be hard? Now, add it back in, but what if the one left behind was also moving forward to something new and exciting, would the goodbye still be sad?
It all comes down to perspective. If we look at goodbye as a process forward (even in death) then the goodbye no longer becomes sad or painful. It’s just an opportunity for improvement for both the person going through the change and the person watching it. I think all goodbyes should be a party, a celebration of accomplishments and the possibilities of what still lies ahead. It is not the end of something but the beginning. Once we look at them from this perspective, we will find them easier to deal with then we did in the past.
What would be the positives to these “so called” goodbyes?
|Leaving a job||Divorce||Graduating|
|Changing job positions||Losing a pet||Moving|
|Getting rid of a vehicle||End of a season||End of a relationship|
|Getting married (end of independence)||Changing a habit||Illness|
|Having a baby (end of free time)||Funeral/death||Ending a good book or movie|
It amazes me that the stock market is reaching highs that we haven’t reached since 2007, before the recession. Yet, people are still out of work, or working 2 or 3 menial jobs to make up for what they lost. You would think the companies that downsized would be hiring again, since the economy is rebounding and making money, but they are not. Most are only collecting applications, looking for that ideal candidate that can do everything at the lowest wage, while over-working their current employees. I realize rebounding from a major recession is going to be slow going, but you would think we would be further ahead by now, especially, if the stock market is reaching all time highs. I’m tired of hearing how the stock market is reaching highs while most of us are still struggling financially; and for those who lost their retirement fund in this recession, hearing about how the stock market is rebounding only adds salt to the wound. There has got to be a better way!
I think part of the problem is the way we pick and choose candidates. Job hiring and interviewing today has become a joke. The perfect way to find work and fill a position would be to apply for the position online, forego the in-person interview (this includes Skype), and have all positions filled within 7 days. This process would eliminate all bias from the process and actually fill positions in a timely manner – a win-win situation. The first person who had the credentials listed for the position and could fill 100% of the job description would get the job, and credentials would be judged by typed résumé, cover letter, references, and telephone interview only. Any falsification would result in an automatic fine.
That would be the ideal way to get a job, but things don’t work that way, do they? There are a lot of unethical interviewing techniques that are becoming the norm. Here are 3 examples: (1) Employers are asking for personal information (sex, age, and ethnic background) even though it’s illegal, but they get around it by listing them in a multiple choice layout and in a category called “optional” on the electronic application. However, they make it impossible to submit the application unless that area is completed. (2) Age discrimination – the phone interview goes great and you set the appointment date and time. However, once you get there and they realize you’re over 50, they let you sit in the waiting room past your appointed time, while interviewing younger candidates scheduled after you for 20-30 minutes at a time. When they finally call you in, they only give you 10 minutes in the actual interview before dismissing you. (3) Employers are keeping positions open for 1 ½ – 2 years. They interview and accept applications but have no intention of filling the position, and then say they are in the process of hiring. (4) Employers are asking for personal passwords to social networking sites. I really dislike this one. Since when does your facebook or twitter site effect how you do your job?
In my opinion, employers are asking for too much personal information, and if you tell them you’re not comfortable giving out that information, especially passwords, they tell you “then we can’t offer you the job.” They don’t want the candidate to embarrass the company. Since when did it become the employer’s responsibility for our personal lives and behavior? I thought we were all responsible for our own actions. Employers should only be responsible for the employee while they are on company time and on company grounds. It shouldn’t matter if the employee was injured while taking the bus to work, attends a New Year party and put pictures of it on facebook, helps at a nursing home, delivers pizzas on their days off, or plans on starting a family. That’s why we have flex schedules, vacations, and sick time. Besides, many people can work remotely today. We should not have to sacrifice our lives and our dignity just to get a job. There has got to be a better way!
New legislation has recently been passed to make pimps and purchasers of child prostitutes responsible for their actions. Seems they have been hiding behind The Safe Harbor Act, or good faith act as some want to call it. It protects those responsible but not the victims of sex trafficking because of a loophole. The new piece of legislation closes that loophole and increases felony charges from a class E to class B for those responsible, making them equal to those accused of rape. The problem is, not every state has signed this new bill to date and some are contemplating if it is even worth signing for their state. To my knowledge, those that have signed or are about too are: Alaska, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Washington. There may be more, but that is all I could find at this time.
Are you against sex trafficking? Do you want to make a difference in your area? Contact your state representative and let them know that you support this new legislation and would like your governor to sign the bill. Creating harsher penalties for pimps and johns may make them think twice before getting involved. If not, it will put them behind bars a few years longer.
I have been studying Theology and Christianity for some time, and I am now considering starting a blog to simplify the Christian faith for those who never went to church and don’t know what its all about. I am not interested in preaching, just educating.
Would you be interested in learning what things mean and why they are the way they are?
What kind of questions do you have? Let me know.
Send me a message.
This website is the Official Website of Author D. Perdue Henderson (dph) and updated by me dph. It was created in November 2011 and will be in the process of design until the end of the year.
I received a call this morning from my pastor, Father Mark. He is a very special person, upbeat, positive, and very inspirational. Someone you want as a friend, not just a pastor. He called to tell me he is thrilled to hear that my book is available and plans on buying a copy to help support my ministry. I was surprised to hear the word ministry in connection to me and my book. That’s not something I was going for. Then he reminded me of a conversation we had when I told him that I was writing it, that I was inspired by God to do so. God even picked the subject matter for me. It’s not something I planned on writing about, but I did. Everything fell into place after that and quickly too. From the moment of inspiration to its conclusion was less than 30 days. A week or so later, I was notified that I was one of the winners of the competition and they were offering me a copy of my book and the ability to have it published. Three months later it was on Amazon.com, Createspace.com and Barnes and Nobel.com for sale. God definitely had a hand in all that. All I recall is watching events fall into place and information on the subject fall in my lap.
After being reminded of all this, I got to wondering if this is something I was led to do. It is something I feel passionate about, and I do have some knowledge on the subject since I was almost taken myself and my sister was. Maybe this is my destiny. I do want to make a difference in the world and in the life of an innocent child. Maybe it is suppose to be my ministry.
I’ll need to meditate on this for awhile.
Here is a moral question – is it less of a crime if a parent abducts their own child?
In my eyes, abduction is abduction and it doesn’t matter who is doing it. Parent, grandparent, or stranger, it doesn’t matter. It is still wrong. If the courts choose one person over another, there is usually a very good reason behind the decision and that decision should be honored and upheld.
From the child’s point of view, they do not understand what is going on. Why they are being taken in the middle of the night, or why they can’t go home after school. They are lied too and sometimes beaten if they don’t obey, left crying and confused. Then suddenly their lives are turned upside down and they are now in a strange place, surrounded by strange people and living on the run. Is this right? Is it fair? The stress of being forcibly removed and lied too, leaves permanent scares and it doesn’t matter who it is, child or adult. Would you put your child through it? Would you want to go through it?
Here is another moral question – as a community, should we look away if we know the abduction is because of a custody battle?
Shouldn’t we be more concerned for the victim, which is the child, then what others think? Why should an innocent child be treated like a piece of meat dangled in front of a pack of hungry animals?
What should be done? Should laws be stricter? Should children be taken out of the divorce settlements and custody cases handled separately? Should we just look away and ignore the entire issue? What is the right thing to do for the innocent and abducted in our communities? In the world?
If you thought slavery is a thing of the past – think again. It is very much alive in 2012 in every city, state, and nation in the world, and growing stronger every year. Human’s chained, beaten, intimidated, drugged, sold for profit, and held against their will. Why? Simple, the need and want is there to acquire people for profit and to provide a service.
Sex Trafficking falls under the slavery category and it’s what I am trying to bring awareness too. You may think that something like this only happens in 3rd world counties to attractive women in their 20’s, probably for marriage, but that thinking would be wrong. Sex trafficked people are mostly between the ages of 8 and 20 of all races and in all nations. The most requested ages are children (boys and girls) between 12 and 15. Why? Because they are easy to manipulate and can fill the fantasies of sex offenders and sexual addicts, mostly through intimidation. How do they acquire these kids? Easy, they take them! Kidnap them from the local grocery store, movie house, mall, school, park, or any where they may be alone for a short period of time; a typical smorgasbord for the picking. Sometimes the parent is still around when it happens too. That’s right; the same children you see every day playing in your neighborhood can one day be abducted and forced into the industry, never to be seen again.
Slavery has been around for thousands of years and it looks like it is here to stay. Is it right? No. Is it fair? No. But who is going to stop it? Our counties leaders? What can they do? Every few years they are replaced in office and then whatever process that was started is put on hold or eliminated. WE need to get involved! WE need to remind whoever enters into office, that we are passionate about this subject and will fight to not have progress put on the back burner.
How was African slavery abolished? One person took a stand and said no, while others saw the slave as a person with feelings and not a thing. How was slavery abolished in Egypt? The same way; one person said this isn’t right. These are God’s people and he does not want them abused and treated as property. How was child war soldiers freed? Same way; one person said no, then another, and another until a coalition was formed, and it is still fighting today. The business of sex trafficking is not going to change anytime soon. Why? Because sex trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry. Why would they want to change? It’s easy money. Besides they can buy whoever gets in the way. But does it make it right? No. Is this what God wants? I doubt it. The only way slavery is ever going to end is if we “The People” raise our voice and take a stand for what is right and just. Someone needs to make the first move. I am, by starting a blog on this subject and letting people know this is not a fictitious problem. It’s very real and a lot of innocent children are the victims. Will it be easy? No. Will change happen overnight? No. Will people get hurt? Probably; but if we do nothing, then we stand for nothing. Our military fights to protect our people from foreign enemies every day. We need to do the same for the enemy already within our walls.
God placed the idea of my book Branded in my heart for a reason – he doesn’t like what is happening in the world today, especially to the innocent children. He wants us to get involved and stand our ground; to fight the war on evil. Would you like to see evil defeated? Slavery defeated? Then help me! Share this blog with others.
I left the school, put my headphones on and started my music, heading home. I was a half block from the school and passed a beat up old van, as I was changing songs. The side door quickly opened and startled me. A big burly man that reeked of cigarettes jumped out and grabbed me. He threw me in the van with one quick swoop. I had no idea what was going on and was really scared. I scooted to the corner behind the driver, who was now driving away. I was screaming and kicking at the man telling him to get away. I told him to leave me alone and to let me out. I even threatened to call my Dad, but I never had a chance. He immediately took my music and phone away from me and tossed them out the door, along with my backpack. He pushed me down on my back and climbed on top of me, sitting on my knees. He checked all my pockets, empting them and tossed everything I had out the door too. The only thing he forgot was my lucky penny my Grandad gave me for my birthday last November.
I was listening to the news and realized there are numerous children being abducted and raped today. That led me to thinking what those children would be experiencing while going through something so traumatic and what they would be like as adults, if they were forced to stay with their abductors. Also, what I would do if I was in their situation and only 12 years old.
When I started writing this book for a NaNoWriMo competition, I had no idea where it was going or what the moral of the story would be. I just wanted to write a story about abduction. I never expected it to become the book that you’re reading today, but I guess God had other plans.
We may not be able to eliminate child abuse or abductions from the planet, but we can open our eyes to what is going on in our own communities and listen to what is “not” being said by the children in them. I hope this book gets you thinking how you can make a difference. This book is mine.
If you haven’t heard how easy it is to kidnap a child yet, watch this video. It just happened on February 9, 2012.
A little girl was looking at the toys in the toy section of a Wal-Mart in Georgia when an ex-con walks up behind her, grabs her and tries to walk away. The girl said she remembered her stranger danger training, and decided to scream, kick, and fight back, which is what saved her life.
This could be your child, niece, nephew, etc. This is why I stress talking to your children about stranger danger and why it’s so important for YOU to take an active role in your community.
Here’s a hypothetical to think about. What if the child couldn’t get away from the man? What do you think would have happened? What if you were at that same store at the same time and in the same section? What if you noticed a man with a hand over the mouth of a child walking down the aisle? Would you say something or just think it’s a dad disciplining his child? What would you do? What would you say? What if…(use your imagination)
Permanent link to this article: http://www.dperduehenderson.com/
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