Eternal Vigilance!

I ran across, & participated in, an interesting conversation at WolfMoon’s Q TreeHouse on the Jury system in America.  There is some great historical info within…so I’m sharing it here.  Please take the time to read through & add your thoughts in the comments below if you’d like to expand the conversation.

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Here is where you can find the beginning of this conversation:

https://wqth.wordpress.com/2020/08/11/dear-kag-20200811-open-thread/comment-page-1/#comment-569672

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    1. It basically means the media gets to shape the jury pool, to the point where to find an untainted juror you have to find people with barely enough brains to fog a mirror.

      Unfortunately, there’s probably Supreme Court precedent going back decades on this.

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        1. FIRST you need to HAVE JURIES!!!!

          “The primary function of the independent juror, is not as many think, to dispense punishment to fellow citizens accused of breaking various laws, but rather to protect fellow citizens from tyrannical abuses of power by the government!” — Merry Colin

          “Anyone accused of a crime in this country is entitled to a jury trial.”

          The Constitution may say so but, in fact, this is simply not the case — and becoming less so as politicians fiddle with legal definitions and sentencing standards in order specifically to reduce the number of persons entitled to a trial….

          ….As Thomas Jefferson put it to Tom Paine in a 1789 letter, “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” ….
          *http://prorev.com/juries.htm

          Thomas Jefferson also wrote in letters:

          “You seem . . . to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so . . . and their power [is] the more dangerous, as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots.” (Letter to William Jarvis, Sept. 28, 1820)

          “The judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. They are construing our constitution from a co-ordination of a general and special government to a general and supreme one alone. This will lay all things at their feet, and they are too well versed in English law to forget the maxim, ‘boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem’ [good judges have ample jurisdiction]. . . . A judiciary independent of a king or executive alone, is a good thing; but independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government.” (Letter to Thomas Ritchie, Dec. 25, 1820)

          Maybe this is the REAL REASON Thomas Jefferson is attacked and being tossed on the dung heap by the left.

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          1. This is absolutely awesome!!! Thank you so much for sharing this!!!

            On a completely separate note, Angelle Staria/at the Gates of War wanted me to let you know how much he appreciates your prayers & the words of encouragement that I copied to him the other day…God Bless!

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        2. AND then there is CASE LAW.

          If a Liberal Judge or Judge and jury go outside the actual laws to find a person guilty then it becomes enshrined in CASE LAW and that Judge or Judge and jury have enacted NEW LAWS without going through the normal process. (Think Lawfare)

          In the 1870s, Dean Christopher Columbus Langdell transformed American legal education by introducing what has become the standard first-year curriculum for American law schools – including classes in contracts, property, torts, criminal law, and civil procedure.
          •Langdell also developed the case method of teaching law, which became the dominant pedagogical model at U.S. law schools. His notion that law could be studied as a “science” gave university legal education a reason for being that was distinct from vocational preparation. Critics at first defended the old lecture method because it was faster and cheaper and made fewer demands on faculty and students. But advocates said the case method had a sounder theoretical basis in scientific research and the inductive method.
          *https://hls.harvard.edu/about/history/

          Our current ‘system’ is a bastardization of our CONSTITUTIONAL system! The Constitution, itself, is written in Common law. (That is a quote from Antonin Scalia.) Our Ruling Oligarchs have systematically sidelined common law and replaced it with ‘Equity law,’ the corrupt legal and judicial system that we have today.

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        3. More stolen from Black Beauty :
          April 25, 2018 at 12:56 am

          …a U Penn website where you can download the article as a pdf:
          https://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3957&context=penn_law_review
          Title of the article:
          HOW EQUITY CONQUERED COMMON LAW — Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in Historical Perspective

          This is definitely a turgid law journal article and it requires a lot of concentration for us laymen. I had to read it several times to make full sense of it. HOWEVER: You can easily see, even while skimming the article, how the Progressives used the very same arguments to attack the common law that they use, now, to attack the Constitution: “The common law is antiquated and it’s no longer relevant to our society.” ” The common law is too complex. It needs to be streamlined.” I marvel that they have gotten away with destroying institution after institution using the same hackneyed lies! Lastly, the footnotes in this article are a treasure trove of truths that basically catch the evil doers of each era red-handed, destroying the key features of our system. Among those, the common law is the most valuable, and its main institution, the common law grand jury was the most valuable tool to help keep the republic, as Franklin exhorted us to do.

          The common law grand jury gave the jurors absolute hegemony over the judge and the prosecutor. No request that they made–not for evidence or further investigation, or to examine evidence personally, or to hear witnesses questioned again–could be refused. The decision of the common law grand jury was final.
          Partly because I read this article, I came to the conclusion that the Founders intended for the common law grand jury to be the tool that made the People the fourth branch of government. They gave the people omnipotence, via the common law grand jury, so that they could nip corruption in the bud, as it first began to form, in local arenas. This is the key to the keeping of our republic. As we Drain the Swamp, we need to keep in mind that we must also restore the apparatus by which we can prevent the corruption spreading, again. I hope you guys give sufficient credence to what I am saying, here. I see this whole concept as being of central importance….

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    2. What I’d like to see happen is: get rid of voir dire (beyond ensuring the juror doesn’t know the defendant, victim, either counsel, any other juror, or any of the witnesses) as it’s just an avenue for jury stacking.

      If you MUST keep voir dire, reform it so it focuses not on finding someone who knows nothing at all about the case, but rather someone who is capable of putting aside what he thinks he knows when faced with contradictory evidence in court.

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        1. Grand jury?

          I’d love to see some sort of mechanism where the accused gets to present exculpatory information right there, to avoid prosecutors who are prosecuting as a means of political grandstanding or intimidation.

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        1. For those not familiar, any party (including the judges) may enter the courtarena with bias — but not prejudgment. Jorj X. McKie, a legum during the Dosadi case, demonstrated that one of the judges on the panel had prejudged the case…..and speared him before the ruling was issued.

          One feature of the courtarena is that none of the participants is guaranteed to survive the experience — litigants, counsel, judges, officers of the court, or spectators are required to properly play their respective roles and can find themselves abruptly and unexpectedly under question.

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    3. The entire concept of a jury pool is that like-minded, common-sense individuals could evaluate what is known and come to a fair disposition. Instead, we have all these rules of evidence to see which attorney can best bamboozle the jury through strategic selection of withheld information.

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    4. Yhe Oligarcy running this country worked long and har to get RID OF JURY TRIALS

      Note on Jury trials in the USA.
      The 6th and 11th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 3 Section 2 give US citizens the right to a trial. However as Joan Biskupic stated

      “Anyone accused of a crime in this country is entitled to a jury trial.”

      The Constitution may say so but, in fact, this is simply not the case — and becoming less so as politicians fiddle with legal definitions and sentencing standards in order specifically to reduce the number of persons entitled to a trial….

      SEE:
      http://www.copblock.org/29691/what-is-jury-nullification/

      Here is how the politicians have gotten around the US Constitution to make sure citizens are denied their right to a trial:

      The Seventh Amendment, passed by the First Congress without debate, cured the omission by declaring that the right to a jury trial shall be preserved in common-law cases… The Supreme Court has, however, arrived at a more limited interpretation. It applies the amendment’s guarantee to the kinds of cases that “existed under the English common law when the amendment was adopted,” …

      The right to trial by jury is not constitutionally guaranteed in certain classes of civil cases that are concededly “suits at common law,” particularly when “public” or governmental rights are at issue and if one cannot find eighteenth-century precedent for jury participation in those cases. Atlas Roofing Co. v. Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission (1977). Thus, Congress can lodge personal and property claims against the United States in non-Article III courts with no jury component. In addition, where practice as it existed in 1791 “provides no clear answer,” the rule is that “[o]nly those incidents which are regarded as fundamental, as inherent in and of the essence of the system of trial by jury, are placed beyond the reach of the legislature.” Markman v. Westview Instruments (1996). In those situations, too, the Seventh Amendment does not restrain congressional choice.

      In contrast to the near-universal support for the civil jury trial in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, modern jurists consider civil jury trial neither “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” Palko v. State of Connecticut (1937), nor “fundamental to the American scheme of justice,” Duncan v. Louisiana (1968).
      http://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/amendments/7/essays/159/right-to-jury-in-civil-cases

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    5. Last comment on the DESTRUCTION of our Constitution and system of law.

      Dr. Harrison Schmitt (former US Senator (NM), astronaut, geologist, #12 man on the Moon) put it very bluntly

      It is now obvious that Congress got America into a real pickle when it agreed in 1933, as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal, to delegate law-making power to agencies under the control of the President. This unconstitutional and increasingly threatening situation became entrenched with the passage of the 1946 Administrative Procedures Act. APA set up the formal mechanisms for creating regulatory law outside any direct action by Congress.
      http://americasuncommonsense.com/blog/2011/02/01/regulation-and-the-constitution-1/

      That is why I put FDR ahead of the rest as the most EVIL President.

      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
      The transfer of power from the people and states to the federal government includes the granting of legislative power to the executive branch. This includes not only bureaucrats like the EPA and FDA making ‘Regulations’ with the same clout as a Congressional law but Executive Orders. (The Supreme Court ruled this was OK if there was a Federal Register where citizens could comment on the regulations. Ever seen anything about that RIGHT in any high school class??? Also did the over 5000 HELL NO’s! and very few YES! comments on the Federal Register stop the bureaucrats from giving us Animal ID anyway???

      Now bureaucratic departments have a ‘within house Judicial Tribunal’ that replaces the trial by jury, as well as complex ‘regulations’ no one can understand. Any question as to WHY farmers and businesses get fined millions of dollars that go DIRECTLY to THAT DEPARTMENT? In this way the Supreme Court intentionally trashed the Constitution and Amendment VII.

      “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved….” ~ Amendment VII

      Pretty darn clear isn’t it? But As I showed in a different comment the Supreme Court didn’t think so.
      ….

      Right to Jury in Civil Cases
      *https://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/amendments/7/essays/159/right-to-jury-in-civil-cases

      Toward the end of the Constitutional Convention, Hugh Williamson of North Carolina noted that “no provision was yet made for juries in civil cases and suggested the necessity of it.”

      There has recently been some attempt to put lipstick on the regulation pig:

      Cornell has the actual law
      5 U.S. Code Chapter 8 – CONGRESSIONAL REVIEW OF AGENCY RULEMAKING
      *https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/part-I/chapter-8

      There is also the cost of regulations:
      *http://www.nam.org/Data-and-Reports/Cost-of-Federal-Regulations/Federal-Regulation-Full-Study.pdf

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Well thanks for stopping by.  I hope this conversation kindles an interest in learning more about our nation’s founding & the profound thoughts & insights of those who bequeathed us the greatest nation on earth (warts & all).  We have a Judeo-Christian moral foundation & an English Common Law legal foundation & these foundation stones are those upon which a strong nation-state can be built.

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God Bless!!!

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The below quote is not from a relative, that we are aware of 😉

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Seven Year Itch

Today is officially the Seventh Anniversary of my son Josiah’s Liver Transplant, which happened 7-30-2013.  It’s been a strange couple of months leading up to this year’s anniversary so my “anniversary” post will take a different perspective than some of those prior anniversary posts have done (links to previous posts at bottom).

Where to begin…I’m going to copy/paste some stuff from other locations, mostly Caring Bridge, to give updates & a flavor of the journey.  I’ll (usually) put the copy stuff in italics so please scroll by if you don’t want All those details, also I’m putting the current writing in purple to ease the reading of this post 🙂  This post’s name comes from all the scratching & itchiness Josiah experienced with the excess bilirubin in his system.  That symptom finally calmed down after a couple of days in the hospital, thankfully…

Medications:

We’ve had some challenges with getting Josiah’s meds.  Some of the hassle goes back to an insurance change for 2019 that led ultimately to some cascading concerns that developed over time.  Here’s where I spoke/wrote about it at Caring Bridge:

Medication Madness

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

It’s been pretty hectic trying to get Josiah’s medication situation taken care of for the last month plus.  We underwent an insurance change December 1st that has left me “scrambling” to get his meds on track.  We’d been “spoiled” since his Transplant by having almost all meds shipped to us on a monthly basis from U of M’s Transplant Pharmacy, with just a monthly refill phone call needed.

The new insurance requires that we get his anti-rejection med, Prograf/tacrolimis, from a mail order pharmacy called Briova.  Of all his meds Prograf is the only one they handle.  Because of having to get Prograf from Briova we can no longer get the other meds from the Transplant Pharmacy.  So, we have jumped through multiple hoops to get his other meds established at the local pharmacy, where we’ve gotten his behavioral meds for like a decade & a half.

Some of his meds were previously provided in 3 month supplies.  The local pharmacy, at least as required by our new insurance, can only dispense these meds on a monthly basis.  We just picked up the first round of meds from them for January.  The ones that aren’t yet ready for refill are, at least on paper (or more accurately in the computer), theoretically set up to get filled in the corresponding months, 2 starting in February, & the final additional one in March.

We received one shipment of the Prograf last month without incident & are on track to get another shipment next week.  The local pharmacy has put all the meds, except behavioral which is exempted, on an “auto-refill” parameter, which is new for us.  Hopefully this will ultimately go off without a hitch.  It’s been very hectic between numerous phone calls, literal hours on hold &/or in stressful conversations, & much upheaval in trying to get the various sources to get the coverage in place with the new insurance & with Medicaid.

Hopefully all this effort will ultimately pay off with a smooth process going forward…but that remains to be seen.  I guess at this point we are slightly more than half-way there!

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Being cut off from using the Transplant Pharmacy was certainly Much less convenient in the process of getting Josiah’s meds.  It ultimately became actually more dangerous when we ran into difficulties obtaining his 1mg Prograf/Tacrolimus anti-rejection med earlier this year…

Well, working forward in time I discovered a med hiccup last year I’d completely forgotten about…yikes…

Some Prayer Needs–March 9, 2019

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

Please pray for my son Josiah to not have Any Liver Rejection complications.  I was refilling his pillbox last night, something I do every two weeks, when I discovered that I’d given him the wrong dosage of his anti-rejection med, Prograf/Tacrolimis, during the last refill.  He’s supposed to get 1.5mg in the AM & 1.0mg in the PM, but I had inadvertently given him 0.5mg in the PM for these past two weeks…He currently takes 13 pills a day–yikes!
He was supposed to get a blood draw in February, they still want these blood draws every 2 months, & I planned to do it at last month’s scheduled hospital/clinic appointment (I prefer U of M’s labs to the local ones so use them whenever feasible/coinciding with scheduled clinic visits).  Well we ended up rescheduling that appointment, due to bad road conditions, to this coming Tuesday so that’s when we’ll get his blood checked.
Please pray that if there are Any rejection issues that they will be revealed in Tuesday’s blood draw.  It has been 5 1/2 years since his Liver Transplant & he has thus far has Zero rejection incidents–Praise the Lord!  He has been fighting a bit of a cold, something he faces seasonally, especially since the transplant, but overall his health seems “fine”/”typical” (for him!)
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So in spite of my med errors referenced above it appeared from labs that things were still OK, thankfully…at least then…

March 14, 2019 Lab Report

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

Good News.  We heard from Liver Transplant about his recent blood draw & All of Josiah’s liver numbers look great!  He did have an elevated white count so they want us to see his PCP if he develops some type of illness.  Ever since his transplant he’s had nearly constant sinus issues (the docs claim that’s unrelated to transplant, but only God knows).  I wonder if he may have picked something up from Brandon who was pretty sick after getting his travel vaccines.  I never asked B if any of the vaccines were of “live viruses” for I think we’re not supposed to expose J to them, if possible.
I’m just thankful that my med refill faux pas didn’t appear to have any lasting negative impact on Josiah.  Perhaps this data could be applied in encouraging his Liver doc to consider J going on the weaning off anti-rejection drugs protocol.  The Nephrologist would like to see his Prograf reduced or eliminated since it’s so hard on his kidneys.  Managing J’s medical needs is quite the balancing act!
Thanks for your prayers on his behalf!  You all bless us so much!!!

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Appointment, med, & even Liver Transplant Clinic challenges continued…some info:

January 24, 2020 Today’s Liver Transplant Clinic…& catching up a bit

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

Hello dear readers & Prayer Warriors,

Josiah & I are (finally) back at the U of M Hospital to attend a long overdue Liver Transplant Clinic appointment.  I overlooked an appointment last April & this was the first time we could actually get scheduled (barring a Christmas Eve one that I nixed).  He’s supposed to be seen every 6 months, so that was a pretty big oops!

Thankfully, Josiah’s doing very well.  The bloodwork info from today’s visit wasn’t yet available but based on previous blood draws his liver numbers look fine.  His Tacro/Prograf tended to run on the low side so they are not likely to reduce his dosage at this point.

Apparently the generic forms of Prograf are becoming increasingly difficult to source as a component ingredient is in short supply in the US & it’s possible they’ll need to place Josiah on a different anti-rejection medicine in the future.  The one they discussed would likely be a once a day formulation of around 1mg (he currently takes 1.5mg AM & 1mg PM) so we’ll see how that goes.

At the first of the year we had insurance changes so he is no longer getting the Prograf from the mail order pharmacy.  We are to pick up the first dose of Prograf at our local pharmacy today (if all goes well).  I didn’t get clear understanding if we could potentially go back to getting almost all his meds from U of M’s Transplant Pharmacy as we’d done before last year’s insurance change.  If we could that would simplify the medication refill/acquisition process from my perspective.  The Adult Transplant Clinic does NOT coordinate other medications like the peds department did, though didn’t inform us of this difference, so we we had some major medication upheavals this year including Josiah being without his sleep meds for a number of months & having his sleep mightily disturbed.  At least he’s finally making some headway on using his CPAP to help him sleep better.

As it is we’re to come back in “6 months”, though the actual appointment is now in September.  He’s also supposed to get blood work every 3-4 months.  We’ll continue to try to get those blood draws at U of M whenever we are here & probably return to a lab in Dearborn when needed.

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Apparently the med challenges were more pervasive than my recall says…hmmm…

May 18, 2020 Quick Tidbits

We’ve still been having challenges in getting all of Josiah’s meds sorted out. I spoke with the pharmacist in person at the drive-through & she said that this CV thing is not nearly as bad as the flu usually is. They stopped having customers sign paperwork upon med pick-up due to CV so I suppose there is the possibility of easier to cover up fraud. Thankfully the doctor’s office finally followed through on some med stuff so was able to get Most pills…

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Next up…hospitalization for presumed Rejection (there are numerous details & updates at the Caring Bridge site, URL at bottom):

July 24, 2020 At the Hospital for Josiah’s Liver

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

Hello Caring Bridge Prayer Warriors,

Josiah & I are back at U of M on an inpatient basis because he’s having liver problems related to intermittent lack of anti-rejection meds.  We were blessed to get a single room so that I can stay with him during this hospitalization.  We got here last night & may need to stay for a few days.  We’re not sure how things will go as it’s fairly soon in the process, but the nurse that insisted we come in per the doctor’s request, thought we might be here 3-5 days.

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So, what happened is that we had some intermittent loss of all anti-rejection/immunosuppressive meds because of difficulty in getting the 1mg Prograf formulation.  We were able to tide him over with excess 0.5mg Prograf for a time but eventually both ran out.  He went without the meds for some time in early to mid June, had an interim of a slightly lower dose of Prograf while we awaited additional meds & then ran out completely in early/mid July.

We actually had a family hang out time at our older son’s house on Friday July 17 & Nathaniel noticed that there was an orange cast to Josiah’s eyes.  Apparently Clarissa had noticed it too on Thursday but forgot to say anything.  Neither Michael or I noticed it on our own.  We had numerous calls to U of M hospital & the local pharmacy & obtained enough Prograf to get Josiah back on the full dose, but only for 4 days.  We spoke with Liver Transplant clinic staff on Monday & Tuesday & they got the prescription for a different med but the pharmacy couldn’t Ever get it.  We ended up getting back with the U of M Transplant pharmacy & they shipped more Prograf (which they were still able to get, unlike our local pharmacy) so that Josiah didn’t miss another dose.  The nurse wanted new labs (finally, no one in the whole odyssey since the first lapse in meds in June had asked for labs) which we got on Wednesday.  Thursday they called back & wanted him in-patient to treat with IV antibiotics & steroids…& we were off to the races…

So Josiah just came home from the hospital a few days ago, this Monday, & is on the upswing from some degree of Rejection of his liver.  Apparently this was an “acute” incidence of rejection & not “chronic” so that is good.  He’s taking A Lot of meds again, currently 28 pills/day, as they try to calm the liver down.  We don’t know how long he’ll be on some of the meds but the steroid that is currently 6 pills/day will go down to 1 pill/day, & even later become a lower dosage pill than the current 10mg dose so in another month & a half or so he should “only” need 23 pills/day.  Technically he takes 3 pills a day that are over the counter so his current Prescribed meds are 25/day & to be down to 20/day in early September.

So, this has been a strange interlude in an otherwise mostly unremarkable post-transplant course.  We hope to never have another hospitalization nor to need another biopsy, like occurred last Friday, but everything still remains to be seen.

Josiah is in good spirits & our household is returning to what passes for “normal” around here.  So this anniversary we really are thankful that Josiah is still with us because according to one of the attending doctors while he was inpatient “we almost lost the liver & Josiah could have died”.  This is a very sobering situation to have recently faced & we’re still not completely out of the woods from it.  We don’t know if there might be long term ramifications from this bout of rejection…We’d greatly appreciate prayers for Josiah’s continued healing as we continue to walk down the strange & unique path of his personal Liver Transplant Journey…

God Bless You All & thanks for stopping by!

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Ever since having this Special Connections blog I’ve done a Transplant Anniversary post so if you might like to dig deeper into Josiah’s Transplant Odyssey here’s how:

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If anyone’s interested in more details, after we get settled (at the hospital), I’ll be attempting to update his Caring Bridge site here:

https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/josiahcurren

If for some reason the details of our experience on his liver transplant journey would be a blessing to anyone here’s where you can dig in:

Archive of Liver Transplant Journey: https://jazzmanjournal.wordpress.com/about/

Distilled version from above archive: 

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/four-years-ago-today-a-transplant-tale/

Shorter distilled version: 

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/5-years-going-strong-my-sons-liver-transplant/

Even shorter view 😉 : 

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2019/07/30/6th-anniversary-of-my-sons-liver-transplant/
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Funny, I was planning another “anniversary” post for July 30 & didn’t anticipate to have to weave in the potential rejection issues that appear to be bubbling to the surface now…I guess you just never know what’s coming down the pike. Thankfully we have the Lord to help see us through the rough patches! Well God Bless you guys…

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I copied all of the above from here the Caring Bridge Journal entry of 

July 26, 2020 Sharing Q-Tree encouragements, 1st Message

but this material above was still a copy/paste from the below original location…

https://wqth.wordpress.com/2020/07/23/dear-kag-20200723-information-warfare-open-thread/comment-page-3/#comment-555499

I’m going to copy a lot of other things from Caring Bridge that give a different flavor to the experience we’ve been going through recently, but also reflect some ongoing challenges…

Mama Bear, Bear Cave, &/or Bear Trap:

Losing the Care Pages service, that we used prior to Caring Bridge, was a significant loss of a supportive team of interested & prayerful people.  We had less than 10% of the people who’d at least periodically followed Josiah’s Journey at Care Pages move to Caring Bridge.  I personally have limited support mechanisms so I felt this loss acutely…

Moving on from CarePages.com

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

I’m so thankful to have now found another site where updates about Josiah’s situation & some of our family happenings can reside.  It will, however, likely be a bit of a learning curve to make adjustments & learn the new “tricks of the trade”.  Thank you for your patience & understanding.
~~~~~~~~
from another Journal entry from the same day:
Since this is a new platform I’m not sure how “interactive” it will end up being for more dialog style communication.  I do know that if you write to either Josiah or I at WordPress.com at any of our websites, as long as you are signed in, we’ll get notifications of your communications & can more easily reply.

Here are sites I manage at WordPress.com that will notify me if you write:

JazzmanJournal.wordpress.com
SpecialConnections.wordpress.com

Josiah manages these sites:

JosiahsFreakShow.wordpress.com
JosiahTheSecretWeapon.wordpress.com

We’d both Love to hear from you & thank you so much for praying for Josiah’s many needs.

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Still more from another Journal entry that day (I was busy setting groundwork at CB):

Another key part of Special Connections delves into our recent Special Education case & fallout.  That sobering look is found here:

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/commenting-on-only-the-rich-will-have-rights-article/

This below post has a bullet-pointed section containing many of the impacting issues surrounding Josiah’s life:

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/thoughts-on-i-cant-do-this-special-needs-life/

Though Jazzman at CarePages primarily focused on medical needs this next post discusses aspects of the spiritual side of managing special needs:

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2016/10/09/thoughts-on-faith-crisis/

This post is about keeping it real & how our interactions with church(es) have been complicated by special needs:

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2016/02/24/special-needs-church/

Well that’s more material than most of us might feel like tackling, but I wanted to make it easy to find out more about Josiah & our family’s experience managing his complex special needs for anyone who might wander by.

Thanks for your caring & prayerful interest in Josiah’s life.  We so appreciate you supporting him & us before that Throne of Grace.  Blessings!  Valerie

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This is truly just keeping it real & sharing part of what being a caregiver for someone with complex special needs can face.  I’ll share my journal entry & the 2 comments below it & my replies but try to leave out the extraneous “likes” etc.  Mask off warning:

Someone (elsewhere) asked how I’m doing, so I’m sharing my reply…Please pray for me, Thanks…

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

I’m sorry you are carrying such a heavy load.

 

I’m relatively OK.  I’m seemingly “stuck” in some type of quasi-PTSD hopelessness loop over not being able to get any positive traction on my son Josiah’s Special Education case.  I’m still furious about how they broke the law with impunity & how the legal protections for the vulnerable are twisted into butt-coverage for the bureaucrats…it makes one feel so helpless/hopeless.  I did Major work for like a year & a half on Josiah’s Special Education case & when we finally talked with an attorney (after some funding from a family member made such a conversation possible) he basically said “there’s nothing you can do for your son…but I’d really like you to go ahead & be an advocate for other kids”.

 

I’m not fully ready to concede defeat but am still so burdened by the pain & frustration of it all that it is Very Hard to move forward mentally or emotionally.

 

My husband wants me to speak with a Counselor but I am skeptical that there is really anyone out there (besides God) who can grasp the magnitude of what we’ve faced historically with our son, it’s ramifications in our lives & for me personally, & I can’t even muster the energy to attempt to contemplate having such (allegedly) therapeutic conversations.

 

I’m not (obviously) actually very good at “letting things go” & really need the Serenity Prayer conceptually to help with this process.  I hate to “give up” but I also hate to see the “system” escape unscathed & have Zero Accountability.  It’s also still too bitter & unapproachable to try to advocate for other people’s kids (even if I could muster the energy or find the appropriate avenue to do so) when there is still so much that needs attention in my own son’s life.

 

These are like those “first world problems” that lefties mock people for.  Not the basics of food, clothing, or shelter but more the apex of that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramids proverbial “Self-Actualization” BS arena, I think.

 

Sometimes I think I’m just too scarred from all the battles to even begin to know how to live in “regular” society.  I’m in pseudo-hibernation/cocooning in hope that (eventually) winter will end (my fat stores will melt off!) & I’ll emerge a beautiful butterfly with sufficient energy to pump those superfluous abdominal fluids into those nascent but hopefully beautifully majestic wings & somehow manage to soar above before my brief sojourn planet-side is over!

 

OK, so it’s very late & I’m expressing my self in verbose flights of fancy…Thanks for asking how I am…I hope you don’t mind my ridiculous reply!

 

If I may quote you here “I am an emotional basketcase and the pain is brutal and that’s the upside of my grief right now.”  I really do relate…

 

Betty Hogan|Nov 8, 2017
You have done a good job of trying to explain your “pain, frustration, helplessness, hopelessness, and bitterness” which no one but yourself and God can ever really understand. I pray God will help you release it all to Him and let Him heal you and then use you. You have such great talent and ability that you really could help many others as you continue to help your own son. I continue praying for you, Josiah, and individually for each of your family members with love.

!

Valerie CURREN|Aug 30, 2018
Dear Betty, I’m re-checking this blog to see where I might have missed responding to others so am finally getting around to replying. I read your comment closer to when it was written & was just as touched then as I am now. Thank you for taking the time to express these sentiments for I very much value your perspective & insights having tackled autism within your family too. Your prayers & encouragement are truly sustaining! Blessings…

 

Timothy Potter|Nov 6, 2017
Your reply is not “ridiculous.” I have been praying for your healing. I pray you will be able to turn over to God these frustrating things that you can do little to change. I pray you will look to the Lord to guide you into the future He has for you.
Valerie CURREN|Aug 30, 2018
Thank you for sharing these thoughts & for your prayers…
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Here’s an abbreviated version of a journal entry including an interaction w/ another special needs parent at a Special Olympics game:

Floor Hockey, etc.

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

Josiah has made a decision to attend his Special Olympics Floor Hockey Tournament in Lansing this weekend!  It was hard & conflicting for him to decide & he also really wanted to attend the Football Playoff Game with the Allen Park Bull Dogs.  He said goodbye to the Junior High kids & doesn’t think he’ll be doing this similar coaching type of work next year because the friend who got him into it isn’t planning to coach next year.  He really enjoyed it though!

Michael & I, my mom, Brandon, & B’s friend made it to J’s Floor Hockey game on Tuesday.  It was fun for all of us to see him & his team play…and to meet the young lady he really enjoys talking to at Special Olympics & social events.  Ironically the team’s Goalie is Blind (at least to some degree)–& the score reflected that!

I ended up sitting near another mom of a kid on the opposing team from “Jo Brighton” (a special needs school/facility that the Director of AP’s Special Ed thought J would attend after HS–long story).  It turns out her son & Josiah were classmates in Pre-School & Kindergarten in Allen Park.  We’d actually all attended the same ice cream social event at a park back then (not that we recalled each other).  Her son & Josiah did not seem to recall each other but maybe they’ll get the chance to renew their acquaintance a bit at states.  She initiated trying to find the connection because of Josiah’s name, that she remembered even after like a decade & a half…

The mom & I ended up sharing some Special Ed war stories, etc. & several of the things I shared literally had her jaw dropping.  Thankfully for them their trajectory in that domain has/had been much more straightforward than was ours.  Her son has Down Syndrome so his issues/needs are (perhaps) less complex than are/have been Josiah’s.  I certainly appreciated the understanding & compassion this lady exhibited to me…as well as the hug…

Next week J & I will be meeting with his Case Manager/Supports Coordinator for the monthly face-to-face conversation.  We also are scheduled to see his “Primary Care Physician” for what usually ends up being a very thorough & exhausting overview of his needs & systems.  Eventually she will have to refer him to another care-giver as she is technically a Pediatrician.  Given Michigan’s Special Ed “generosity” of (sometimes) providing services through age 26 I believe this Doctor may carry “kids” up to that time, but I’m not sure.  The last time I inquired about it there were no known Doctors that have practices dedicated to the Complex Special Needs individual in adult care, so we are going to be leery when the time comes to leave her Medical Home style-care–as well as her Christian support.

We’ll also likely be getting Josiah’s liver blood tests done this week.  Hopefully this time we can actually begin the weaning down process from/off the anti-rejection meds.  It would be an ideal time to start this (from my perspective) for we’ll be seeing the Transplant Clinic in a couple of months & they could thoroughly assess how such weaning was impacting Josiah’s liver function & health at that time.  Eventually his Transplant care will also shift from Pediatrics to Adult services.  It seems that they re-assess the appropriateness of such a transfer of care every (other?) 6 month Liver Transplant Clinic visit.  Because of the nature of Josiah’s Developmental Disabilities he still doesn’t function like a “regular” person his age usually does.  Hopefully whenever such care transfer occurs the new Provider(s) will be up to the task of caring for his complex needs (& mother!).

Although I don’t anticipate these care changes coming yet it’s always a possibility.  Please pray for God’s favor & timing of such (potential) changes & that He would direct our steps so that Josiah can continue to receive excellent care & the “totality” of his myriad needs can be addressed, at least to some degree.

Thank you, again, for your prayerful care of our family & in particular Josiah.  God Bless!

Betty Hogan|Nov 11, 2017
So glad for the update as I continue to pray for each one of your family every day and your concerns and praises help me in praying. I continue to be delighted that Josiah is enjoying Special Olympics as it has meant so much to my Willie. Much Love to all from Betty.
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Here’s some more info about the liver, Special Olympics, family, & challenges, abbreviated–thankfully 😉 :

Floor Hockey Tournament, etc.

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

Well, Josiah came home yesterday following Floor Hockey & he was Very Excited.  His team, The Tsunami’s, won the Gold Medal for their 4 team division!  He ended up scoring the final goal of the game, a game clinching shot to lead his team to Victory 16-14 over their opponents.  He said this was his first “official” goal during an actual game (vs a scrimmage) for the entire season.  He thought when the ref blew the whistle that he’d gotten a penalty instead of a goal so was thrilled when the crowd erupted in cheers at his score.  He used some of the money we’d sent with him to buy a T-shirt commemorating the Tournament event & along the back of the shirt it has the names of all the participants (in very small print) for each region of Special Olympians.

He also ended up having some special times with the Lord while he was away.  At one point, in thankfulness, he snuck away alone to worship & pray & was moved to tears in his brief time with the Lord (he’s so Tenderhearted in that area!).  He & one of his roommates ended up watching some Sunday worship/preaching/church TV & being blessed.  He also had some short conversations with a couple of teammates about the Lord, & it appears that there are several Christians amongst his colleagues!  He’d forgotten to take his Bible so found the Gideon Bible in the hotel room but didn’t prefer to use it because it was a translation he wasn’t familiar with so hopefully “next time” he’ll take his Sword!

His Basketball Season with Special Olympics starts this evening with their first practice.  His Respite/Community Living Supports workers will be juggling scheduling so that the guy, Hamzah, will usually be involved on the Basketball days.  So far the new girl, Colleen, seems to be working out well for Josiah here too!  Please continue to pray for Josiah’s Christian Witness to these workers & beyond!

We met with his Supports Coordinator/Case Manager, Brittany, this afternoon.  For some reason some aspects of our historical battle with the Special Education Case came up again.  This lead to a wide ranging discussion of where we’ve been, where we are, & where we Might be going.  Josiah, thankfully, only got partially revved up here, but just wading through that muck at all is still draining (at least to me)…When we see Brittany next month it will be time to complete some type of Health Assessment so we set that appointment for after the Cardiology visit so that in the event his Heart Needs require further intervention we’ll be able to put that info into the mix.

Thursday should be a busy day for us with Josiah’s blood draw in the morning & that Doctor’s visit in the later afternoon.  In the interim there is a “Book Club” meeting at our local library I May attend.  I’ve never actually been to a Book Club event in my life & “randomly” grabbed a flyer for this one & managed to get through the book in time.  Ironically, or perhaps providentially, this ended up being a Christian novel…so perhaps pray for me that I can muster the energy to attend this event & possibly “fellowship” with the other readers…we’ll see.

Late Thursday Josiah & Brandon are planning to head Up North to the Hunting Shack for Rifle Deer Hunting Season.  As I wrote previously there will be A Lot of comings & goings to that region of Oscoda County in the next few weeks.  Please pray for health, safety, & fellowship with family & friends, & especially with the Lord while the Hunters pit their wits, skills, endurance, & “luck” against the elusive Northern White Tail Deer.  Josiah always Loves to get up to The Shack even if he is not (yet???) a hunter.  Michael plans to head up Friday or Saturday as does his friend Pete & eventually 2 or 3 of his sons.  My Dad & his long time hunting friend Clyde are already there & my brother Mike is heading up this weekend too…I Can’t Wait for all the Fun Tales.  This chance to get back to nature & simpler times (one room, tar paper, hand pump for water, & outhouse facilities) is a vital aspect of our family’s fall into winter season every year.  Each time the hunters return they’ve always left a bit of their heart Up North & need some adjustment time to re-assimilate.  I’m so thankful that this Heritage of Love for Hunting has been passed down for 3/4 of a century & more!  Michael has said that Hunting Season is his favorite time of year!

So thank you for sharing a bit of our journey & for your (continued) prayer covering for Josiah & our family.  May the Lord continue to supply All of your needs according to His riches in Glory, in Christ Jesus! 

Blessings!!!

Love Thy Neighbor

BakoCarl of the Q-Tree has put together a beautiful presentation of gospel truth pertinent to these difficult days.  I will borrow liberally from him here, below italicized, & intersperse further thoughts & all images shown.  God Bless!

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Millions in the U.S. either personally believe or support people who believe that:

  • Although the threat of spread of COVID-19 requires that businesses and churches must be closed, families isolated in their homes, people prohibited from using parks or walking alone on a deserted beach, it’s acceptable for thousands of people to gather together for hours to protest police use of excessive force, and, in the process, killing and injuring people, looting and burning businesses.
  • Although 3,000 Black Americans are murdered by Black Americans every year without public protest, it’s acceptable to riot, causing multiple deaths, hundreds of police injuries, and hundreds of millions of dollars of damage, because systemic racial prejudice by police is baselessly assumed as the root cause of the death of a drug addicted, porn acting, counterfeit money-passing career criminal with multiple convictions and jail sentences.
  • Although pets and other animals must be treated with care and compassion, it’s acceptable to strike people you disagree with politically with bike locks, hammers, 2 x 4s and the like.
  • Although micro aggressions must be identified and stopped because they’re hurtful, it’s acceptable to loot and burn down businesses as a means of protesting policies or actions you disagree with.
  • Although COVID-19 requires that extreme isolation and quarantine actions be taken to prevent its spread, it’s acceptable to require that COVID-19 positive patients be placed in nursing homes with elderly patients with comorbidities who are the most vulnerable group for death in the U.S. population.
  • Although your psychological health and physical well-being must be protected, it’s acceptable to mechanically tear apart babies in the womb or cut the spinal cord of their exposed heads with scissors to kill them, and then to sell their body parts for thousands of dollars.
  • Although Socialist leaders and regimes have ruined the lives and caused the deaths of millions of people in the last century, it’s acceptable to insist on more and more Socialist policies be included in the laws and services of our democratic constitutional republic, the most successful government on earth.

These “Although” and “it’s acceptable” examples are just a few of the many inexplicable dichotomies that are integral to the destructive mindset of millions.

Most of us are bewildered at the lack of facts and logic that are inherent to this mindset.  We can’t comprehend how these harmful views can be held by any rational person, let alone millions of them.

Our laws are generally based on our Judeo-Christian heritage, principles and beliefs.  And therein, I believe, lies the root of the problem.

The two great principles that form the basis of Jewish and Christian thought and practice are:

Deuteronomy 6:5  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

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Or, more expansively,

Deuteronomy 10:12-13  And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?

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And,

Leviticus 19:18  You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.

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Leviticus 19:34  The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.

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And, of course, as summarized by Jesus,

Matthew 22:36-40  Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

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Love God and love your neighbor.  These are simple in concept, but, because we are weak, flawed and fallible humans, impossible in practice. 

But, these are God’s commands for us and, because He knows they are impossible for us in practice, “He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  This is the Gospel that forms the beginning and foundation for our Christian beliefs.

If you try to apply general Christian teachings to support any of the “Although” and “it’s acceptable” examples above, you will fail.

Do we have Christian principles that tend to support forming crowds to protest certain actions . . . crowds that are first merely disruptive, but then lead to disobeying police, physical violence, looting, burning of businesses and injury and death?

1 Peter 2:17  – Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

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Romans 13:1 – Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

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Romans 12:18  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

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1 Timothy 2:1-2 – I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

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Do we have Christian principles that would in any way condone policies that endanger then result in deaths of thousands of elderly?  The elderly are not people who have become a burden on society and who are now subject to removal.

Leviticus 19:32 “You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

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Do we have Christian principles that even remotely permit the killing of a baby in the womb, let alone allowing a born baby to dehydrate and die over a period of days after birth?

Job 31:15  Did not He who made me in the womb make him, and the same One fashion us in the womb?

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VC note:  I couldn’t find an image for the Job 31: 15 passage so above & below are a Slight Mashup of the concepts expressed there…

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Jeremiah 1:5  Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;

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Do we have Christian principles that mandate or support Socialism as a form of government?

There are many Biblical examples for those that have material goods to remember and even be generous to the poor.  But there is nothing that mandates or supports local government in confiscating the wealth of those that have more and distributing it to those that have less.

We are guided in our ethics, our morals, and our sense of right and wrong by God’s Word, our parents, our pastors, our friends and associates and the influence that God’s Word has had on society as a whole and our general precepts and specific laws.

But, referring back to the destructive mindset, there are millions in our country who don’t seem to be influenced by Judeo-Christian principles.  They seem to live at a different level of understanding than we do.  They don’t need and won’t accept facts or logic that contradict or show the negative consequences of their destructive mindset.

It’s as though they have fallen under the influence and control of something or someone else.  Well, perhaps that is exactly the answer.

John 1:5  The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

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Romans 1:28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

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1 Corinthians 2:14  But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

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2 Corinthians 4:3-4  But even if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden only to those who are lost, whose unbelieving minds the god of this world has blinded, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

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And that, I believe, is why it is entirely appropriate to label the violent demonstrations, the physical attacks on police and on the people supporting President Trump, the looting and burning of businesses, the resultant injuries and deaths, the recent calls to defund or disband those that enforce our laws, . . . all these actions operating in opposition to the Judeo-Christian principles that guide our lives . . . as evil, absolutely evil.

We may sooner or later get out of the messes that are near or at the level of a direct threat against the continued existence of our country, but we must not forget . . .

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

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Please see the entirety of BakoCarl’s post, linked immediately below, for more good stuff!!!

via Dear KMAG: 20200614 Open Topic

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May we choose to act on the wisdom of the ages to love the Lord, to serve Him, to love our neighbors in the manner we would want to be loved by others & in the way that we love ourselves.  May we come to the Lord & seek His Face & His Grace to do unto others as we would have others do unto us regardless of how they actually treat us…

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Take heart & do not be discouraged.  God is good & loving & desirous for us all to come to Him.  He will enable us to live in love with those about us, to forgive, & to be comforted & healed by His Mercy, Love, & Grace poured out to us all, through Jesus Christ His Son.

May the Lord guide us each on our own personal journey of faith, hope, joy, & love for Him & for our neighbor.  God Bless & Keep us all, in Jesus’ Name!

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Luke 10: 25-37 King James Version (KJV)

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

King James Version (KJV)

Public Domain

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Luke 10: 25-37 New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[c]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Footnotes:

a.  Luke 10:1 Some manuscripts seventy; also in verse 17

b.  Luke 10:15 That is, the realm of the dead

c.  Luke 10:27 Deut. 6:5

d.  Luke 10:27 Lev. 19:18

e.  Luke 10:35 A denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see Matt. 20:2).

f.  Luke 10:42 Some manuscripts but only one thing is needed

 

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Both passages shared above found here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2010&version=NIV;KJV

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