Janet's Jargon

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Priorities--where are yours?

Eight years ago, in April, everybody was glued to their TV sets to watch the devastation of the entire cities of Grand Forks, ND and East Grand Forks, MN as the dikes broke and the water flooded everything. Then came the fires.

Ever since Monday morning, the same thing has happened with the Gulf Coast. One of our kids was there. Thankfully, he got out safely. Many people weren't so lucky. And for those who did escape the ravages of Mother Nature, they are in limbo. Where do they go? What will they do? Did their friends make it out too? Do they have any of their belongings left? And then came fires.

If you have lived through such travesties, it sends cold shivers up and down your spine. Our hearts go out to them. We want to reach out to them in any way we can.

But just a couple of days before that, a man who promotes himself as a Christian, a minister of the gospel, openly announced that he was calling for the assassination of the president of Venezuela. He can deny that he said that all he wants to; I watched the tape myself, and his message was loud and clear. This is the Spirit of Christ? The attitude of forgiving our brethren--70 times 70 times? This is loving your neighbor as yourself? Not in my Bible!

How much more good could he have accomplished by sharing some material goods and love with the people from the devastated area? Yes, prejudices abound--in all walks of life.

As Ivan (my hubby) and I were talking about this today, Ivan commented that perhaps Pat Robertson (the offending minister) should be deported--to Venezuela. Or how would he feel about becoming a "man without a country" and have to spend his life traveling from Venezuela to China on a Venezuelan oil freighter? I hear (from a pretty reliable source) that most of Venezuela's oil will be heading to China. Can anyone blame them?

For over 30 years Ivan and I have operated Mission Socorro, a charitable organization in the Red River Valley of ND and MN. We also have someone who was in New Orleans who has been in contact (via cell phone) with many of the people who are outcasts from their own homes and city. If you feel led to help them, a contribution to Mission Socorro (it is tax deductible) at P.O. Box 126, East Grand Forks, MN 56721 would be much appreciated. It will all be forwarded directly to families who have been misplaced. We know their heartache. We remember our own flood. It was 6 weeks before we could even go back to see if we had a home left.

And if you would like to read about how our hearty people survived, check out my book, "The Flood of the Millennium: The People, the Real Survivors" at amazon.com, bn.com or bamm.com. I think you will find it an inspiration. If you know someone from the affected areas, it might offer them some hope.

Thank you for visiting me. I welcome your comments. If you have any other inventive ideas for Mr. Robertson, I'd love to hear them!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Reflections on a good man

The world of journalism, television and good people will be missing one of its greats, in my opinion, with the death of Peter Jennings.

When I think of him, I see him at the beginning of the Iraq war. With tears in his eyes he told one of the reporters who was out in the streets there, "If you see that you are in danger, go in where it's safe. I don't care if we don't have any news to report." That, to me, was the ultimate classy reaction for a major newsmaker who had been in danger himself countless times.

No matter how harsh the news was that he reported, I don't recall him ever saying anything harsh or judgmental about any of them. I'm sure he felt it many times, but he never let it show. His warmth and affection for both his job and the people he worked with was what showed through. Peter, you will be missed!

I can't help but smile when I think of the space shuttle's landing being delayed a day. It is like the Universe is looking down and saying, "Hold off a day. Today is Peter's day."