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February 26, 2005

These words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear Friends,

These words of Martin Luther King, Jr. are phenomenal.

"There is something wrong with our world, something fundamentally and basically wrong. I don't think we have to look too far to see that. I'm sure that most of you would agree with me in making that assertion. We haven't learned how to be just and honest and kind and true and loving. And that is the basis of our problem. The real danger confronting civilization today is the atomic bomb which lies in the hearts and souls of all people, capable of exploding into the vilest of hate and into the most damaging selfishness - that's the atomic bomb that we've got to fear today."

If you feel that Dr. King's words are true -- that the most dangerous bomb is the hatred inside our hearts -- I hope you'll look into the Department of Peace legislation and see how it can contribute to a new kind of thinking about violence in the world. We need the same holistic revolution in politics that we've already attained in medicine: we must deal with not only symptoms of a disease, but with its root causes as well.

We can do this. Join the cause...

Marianne

Posted by mwblog at 4:54 PM

February 23, 2005

Important to Know, Important to Act - Genocide in the Sudan

Dear Friends,

I have been increasingly dismayed by reports of genocide in the Sudan, and today I read an article by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times that broke my heart.

A Sudanese government-backed militia called the janjaweed is seeking to clear the area of all non-Arabs, pillaging and burning African villages, and already having killed at least 70,000 people. Horribly similar to the Rwandan genocide several years ago, this insanely brutal activity will only continue if we fail to act.

The late Senator Paul Simon said after the Rwandan genocide, "If every member of (the U.S.) the House and Senate had received 100 letters from people back home saying we have to do something about Rwanda, when the crisis was first developing, then I think the response would have been different." Former President Bill Clinton has said that his greatest regret is not having taken more action in Rwanda at that time. Genocide in Rwanda is seen in hindsight, however; the tragedy in the Sudan is unfolding right now.

We have power to help stop this, if we use it; you and I can make sure that our Congressional representatives know we care and want to see action. There are in fact various things our government can do -- from sanctions to freezing the assets of those Sudanese officials who support the genocide -- but our government will assuredly not act unless we, the people, raise our voices.

Please go to to www.congress.org is you do not already know where to email your Senator and Congressman. Tell them you want the American government to use its strongest influence to stop this tragedy. You can look on www.savedarfur.org or www.darfurgenocide.org for further information about the crisis, in which men, women and children are dying the most horrible deaths even as we speak.

This is a moment to use our democracy, to raise our voices loudly and clearly, and extend our love to those in desperate need. Let us pray for our Sudanese brothers and sisters in need, and do what we can to save them.

All my best,

Marianne Williamson

P.S. Please pass this note along to your friends.

Posted by mwblog at 7:12 PM

February 18, 2005

Why We're Here

by Elsa Joy Bailey

Imagine a brilliantly colored world atlas
spread out, vast as a tablecloth,
across your dining room table.

You stand before it, peering at its
endless nooks and crannies,
its giant pools of blue water, looking over
the exotic and unfathomable names of cities
and countries beyond your awareness.
You take in the whole of this mammoth map,
parts of which are familiar as dust,
parts of which are completely alien.

And pretend you've been given an assignment:
to bless and forgive every piece of this huge map;
every name, every river, every mountain, every desert,
every village, every spa, every bridge, every coast,
every battleground, every street sign.

Now you can stop pretending.
Because in truth that's exactly the way it is.
You and I have been given such an assignment:
to forgive everything, everyone, everywhere.

You ask: but with a world that stretches
so many miles out of sight, with such an
immense list of characters and events,
how on earth do we accomplish such a
herculean task?

Piece by piece by piece.

Actually, it's simpler than it seems.
(Simpler -- but not easier.)
This world is much like a hologram,
which means that to entirely forgive
and bless the small piece of map
on which we stand and live
is to forgive the whole.

So we start right where we are.
Day by day, we are here to learn to see past
what our eyes and ears report;
to see through surface to essence.

We are learning to forgive it all.
The ripe lush strawberry that made us itch.
The pothole that tore a hole in our tire.
The grocery clerk with an attitude.
The relatives we try to avoid.
The co-worker who appears to hate us.
The newspaper report of a gang shooting.
The water bill that is inordinately high.
The washing machine that shrunk our sweater into a doll's dress.
The driver that splashed mud on our new jacket.
The sun that refused to come out when we needed it.
The endlessly long line at our favorite restaurant.
The head that blocked our view at a concert.
The checkbook that doesn't add up.
The irate letter from a landlord.
Everything.

These are our daily assignments;
the extraordinary opportunities we are given
to see past the skin of all moments
and catch the shining innocence that waits beyond
and beneath the obvious.

Is it easy work? No.
Does it take a long time to complete? Yes.
But of course we are given a lifetime
in which to do it.

And when we have moved through our
private map, piece by piece by piece, and,
with the help of the Undying Love at our center,
have come to release each face, each instance,
each folly -- what happens then?

Freedom.

by Elsa Joy Bailey

Posted by mwblog at 2:08 PM

February 17, 2005

Only if Love Should Pierce You

Do not forget that you live in the midst of the animals,
horses, cats, sewer rats
brown as Solomon's woman, terrible
camp with colours flying,
do not forget the dog with harmonies of the unreal
in tongue and tail, nor the green lizard, the blackbird,
the nightingale, viper, drone. Or you are pleased to think
that you live among pure men and virtuous
women who do not touch
the howl of the frog in love, green
as the greenest branch of the blood.
Birds watch you from trees, and the leaves
are aware that the Mind is dead
forever, its remnant savours of burnt
cartilage, rotten plastic; do not forget
to be animal, fit and sinuous,
torrid in violence, wanting everything here
on earth, before the final cry
when the body is cadence of shrivelled memories
and the spirit hastens to the eternal end;
remember that you can be the being of being
only if love should pierce you deep inside.

-- Salvatore Quasimodo --

(translated by Jack Bevan)

Posted by mwblog at 6:41 AM

February 14, 2005

Sex and TV

Dear Friends,

I wrote this article for the Detroit News, which published it this last Saturday. Enjoy...

Marianne


SEX AND TV
by Marianne Williamson

So now that we've cleaned up and completely homogenized the Super Bowl commercials and mid-game entertainment, I guess we can all feel much better. Phew, thank goodness we handled that. God forbid there might have been a breast showing anywhere. How simply disastrous that would have been, what with so many children watching and all.

In fact, as a mother of a fourteen year-old girl, what bothered me about the horrified reaction to Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction last year was the implication that breasts are bad. I didn't mind my daughter seeing a breast; she has a couple of them herself. What made me uncomfortable was the message that they are something to be ashamed of! Would we have gone nuts if Justin Timberlake's breasts had been exposed? Of course not! The deeper, more significant issue here is the continuation of woman-hating projection of guilt onto the female body, created by the very same so-called moral and religious forces that then express such outrage to see it exposed. There is nothing either religious or moral about making a woman's body seem dirty.

But I tell you what I do mind: supposedly healthy, prime time, admittedly otherwise entertaining comedies in which people discuss sex like it's after dinner candy, a casual hobby or a joke that sometimes works and sometimes (oh, too bad) simply doesn't. Now that concerns me for the morals and emotional well-being of my child. Millions of American teenagers sit and watch some of their favorite actors discuss sex and love as though they are mere comedy -- which they are not.

To me, the sexual content in primetime comedies has become a far more corrosive element in our society than a woman's breast showing here or there. What we should be concerned with is America's popular conversation about sex. The sexual revolution of the nineteen sixties exposed a lot of old hypocrisy, but it also created a whole new slew of monsters. How many millions of us learned the hard way that casual sex can deeply wound -- the heart, the soul and even the body? How, with AIDS not yet driven from our midst, can we all be so complacent about popular comedies -- playing night after night -- that make having sex seem about as important a decision as where to go for dinner or shop for a new pair of shoes? I am not a prude, but I find all that unconscionable.

I want my daughter to be proud of her burgeoning womanhood, but I also want her to be very clear that it is her most priceless and precious gift from God. Above all else, it is not to be taken lightly, by herself or by the males around her. But we cannot expect our children to take sex too seriously, when so many of America's most beloved, primetime TV shows are making it the fodder for so much comedy.

Ah, well. Slowly but surely, these things might change. Hollywood writers and producers will have kids themselves. They'll see what they're doing, and hopefully they'll reign themselves in a bit. Until then, as parents we have to provide our own counterforce; talk to our kids, make sure they understand the dangers of casual sex, and try to provide another kind of picture: sex as holy, sex as pure and sex as love.

Madonna's book entitled SEX, which came out years ago, was a disgusting presentation that I threw out of my house. But then she had her own kids, and now she's the epitome of righteousness. Go figure. So yes, please, Jennifer, get back with Brad and have a baby. And Debra and Courtney, I'm so glad you have little ones in your arms now. A few years down the road, you might have rethought some things. I suspect -- and hope -- that certain lines of dialogue won't feel so right to you anymore. You won't want your own kids to hear it, and then ours will be a lot better off.

Oh, Hollywood. Go have more children. Fall in love with their innocence. And think about what you are doing.

Posted by mwblog at 8:44 AM

February 9, 2005

A Prisoner's Plea

Dear Friends,

I frequently receive letters from incarcerated readers, most recently due to the publication of "Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul." Many of them are very touching.

Today, I received a letter from a man in prison in North Carolina, a "loner with no one wanting to talk to me." He wrote, "I spend most of my time alone in a little room writing and reading. Therefore, I would say to you, that if you know of someone who would like to write a lonely person with no friend other than Jesus Christ...," he would be most grateful. "I need a friend just to talk to. Nothing more. I'm not a con man. Just a lonely man needing mail from someone outside the prison system."

I'm hoping that with this posted on my Journal, someone might read it who has the time and heart to be a ray of light in the life of this man. If it's you, please write to me on my comments page and I will send you his address.

Thanks.

Marianne

Posted by mwblog at 11:48 AM

February 6, 2005

There Is No Tomorrow

By Bill Moyers
The Star Tribune
Sunday 30 January 2005

One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington.

Theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven true; ideologues hold stoutly to a worldview despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. When ideology and theology couple, their offspring are not always bad but they are always blind. And there is the danger: voters and politicians alike, oblivious to the facts.

Remember James Watt, President Ronald Reagan's first secretary of the interior? My favorite online environmental journal, the ever-engaging Grist, reminded us recently of how James Watt told the U.S. Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In public testimony he said, "After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back."

Beltway elites snickered. The press corps didn't know what he was talking about. But James Watt was serious. So were his compatriots out across the country. They are the people who believe the Bible is literally true -- one-third of the American electorate, if a recent Gallup poll is accurate. In this past election several million good and decent citizens went to the polls believing in the rapture index.

That's right -- the rapture index. Google it and you will find that the best-selling books in America today are the 12 volumes of the "Left Behind" series written by the Christian fundamentalist and religious-right warrior Timothy LaHaye. These true believers subscribe to a fantastical theology concocted in the 19th century by a couple of immigrant preachers who took disparate passages from the Bible and wove them into a narrative that has captivated the imagination of millions of Americans.

Its outline is rather simple, if bizarre (the British writer George Monbiot recently did a brilliant dissection of it and I am indebted to him for adding to my own understanding): Once Israel has occupied the rest of its "biblical lands," legions of the antichrist will attack it, triggering a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon.

As the Jews who have not been converted are burned, the messiah will return for the rapture. True believers will be lifted out of their clothes and transported to Heaven, where, seated next to the right hand of God, they will watch their political and religious opponents suffer plagues of boils, sores, locusts and frogs during the several years of tribulation that follow.

I'm not making this up. Like Monbiot, I've read the literature. I've reported on these people, following some of them from Texas to the West Bank. They are sincere, serious and polite as they tell you they feel called to help bring the rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. That's why they have declared solidarity with Israel and the Jewish settlements and backed up their support with money and volunteers. It's why the invasion of Iraq for them was a warm-up act, predicted in the Book of Revelations where four angels "which are bound in the great river Euphrates will be released to slay the third part of man." A war with Islam in the Middle East is not something to be feared but welcomed -- an essential conflagration on the road to redemption. The last time I Googled it, the rapture index stood at 144 -- just one point below the critical threshold when the whole thing will blow, the son of God will return, the righteous will enter Heaven and sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire.

So what does this mean for public policy and the environment? Go to Grist to read a remarkable work of reporting by the journalist Glenn Scherer -- "The Road to Environmental Apocalypse." Read it and you will see how millions of Christian fundamentalists may believe that environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded but actually welcomed -- even hastened -- as a sign of the coming apocalypse.

As Grist makes clear, we're not talking about a handful of fringe lawmakers who hold or are beholden to these beliefs. Nearly half the U.S. Congress before the recent election -- 231 legislators in total and more since the election -- are backed by the religious right.

Forty-five senators and 186 members of the 108th Congress earned 80 to 100 percent approval ratings from the three most influential Christian right advocacy groups. They include Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Assistant Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Conference Chair Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Policy Chair Jon Kyl of Arizona, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Whip Roy Blunt. The only Democrat to score 100 percent with the Christian coalition was Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia, who recently quoted from the biblical book of Amos on the Senate floor: "The days will come, sayeth the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land." He seemed to be relishing the thought.

And why not? There's a constituency for it. A 2002 Time-CNN poll found that 59 percent of Americans believe that the prophecies found in the Book of Revelations are going to come true. Nearly one-quarter think the Bible predicted the 9/11 attacks. Drive across the country with your radio tuned to the more than 1,600 Christian radio stations, or in the motel turn on some of the 250 Christian TV stations, and you can hear some of this end-time gospel. And you will come to understand why people under the spell of such potent prophecies cannot be expected, as Grist puts it,"to worry about the environment. Why care about the earth, when the droughts, floods, famine and pestilence brought by ecological collapse are signs of the apocalypse foretold in the Bible? Why care about global climate change when you and yours will be rescued in the rapture? And why care about converting from oil to solar when the same God who performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes can whip up a few billion barrels of light crude with a word?"

Because these people believe that until Christ does return, the Lord will provide. One of their texts is a high school history book,"America's Providential History." You'll find there these words: "The secular or socialist has a limited-resource mentality and views the world as a pie ...that needs to be cut up so everyone can get a piece." However,"[t]he Christian knows that the potential in God is unlimited and that there is no shortage of resources in God's earth ... while many secularists view the world as overpopulated, Christians know that God has made the earth sufficiently large with plenty of resources to accommodate all of the people."

No wonder Karl Rove goes around the White House whistling that militant hymn, "Onward Christian Soldiers." He turned out millions of the foot soldiers on Nov. 2, including many who have made the apocalypse a powerful driving force in modern American politics.

It is hard for the journalist to report a story like this with any credibility. So let me put it on a personal level. I myself don't know how to be in this world without expecting a confident future and getting up every morning to do what I can to bring it about. So I have always been an optimist. Now, however, I think of my friend on Wall Street whom I once asked: "What do you think of the market?" "I'm optimistic," he answered. "Then why do you look so worried?" And he answered: "Because I am not sure my optimism is justified."

I'm not, either. Once upon a time I agreed with Eric Chivian and the Center for Health and the Global Environment that people will protect the natural environment when they realize its importance to their health and to the health and lives of their children. Now I am not so sure. It's not that I don't want to believe that -- it's just that I read the news and connect the dots.

I read that the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has declared the election a mandate for President Bush on the environment. This for an administration:

* That wants to rewrite the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act protecting rare plant and animal species and their habitats, as well as the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires the government to judge beforehand whether actions might damage natural resources.

* That wants to relax pollution limits for ozone; eliminate vehicle tailpipe inspections, and ease pollution standards for cars, sport-utility vehicles and diesel-powered big trucks and heavy equipment.

* That wants a new international audit law to allow corporations to keep certain information about environmental problems secret from the public.

* That wants to drop all its new-source review suits against polluting, coal-fired power plants and weaken consent decrees reached earlier with coal companies.

* That wants to open the Arctic [National] Wildlife Refuge to drilling and increase drilling in Padre Island National Seashore, the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world and the last great coastal wild land in America.

I read the news just this week and learned how the Environmental Protection Agency had planned to spend $9 million -- $2 million of it from the administration's friends at the American Chemistry Council to pay poor families to continue to use pesticides in their homes. These pesticides have been linked to neurological damage in children, but instead of ordering an end to their use, the government and the industry were going to offer the families $970 each, as well as a camcorder and children's clothing, to serve as guinea pigs for the study.

I read all this in the news.

I read the news just last night and learned that the administration's friends at the International Policy Network, which is supported by ExxonMobil and others of like mind, have issued a new report that climate change is "a myth, sea levels are not rising" [and] scientists who believe catastrophe is possible are "an embarrassment."

I not only read the news but the fine print of the recent appropriations bill passed by Congress, with the obscure (and obscene) riders attached to it: a clause removing all endangered species protections from pesticides; language prohibiting judicial review for a forest in Oregon; a waiver of environmental review for grazing permits on public lands; a rider pressed by developers to weaken protection for crucial habitats in California.

I read all this and look up at the pictures on my desk, next to the computer - pictures of my grandchildren. I see the future looking back at me from those photographs and I say, "Father, forgive us, for we know not what we do." And then I am stopped short by the thought: "That's not right. We do know what we are doing. We are stealing their future. Betraying their trust. Despoiling their world."

And I ask myself: Why? Is it because we don't care? Because we are greedy? Because we have lost our capacity for outrage, our ability to sustain indignation at injustice?

What has happened to our moral imagination?

On the heath Lear asks Gloucester: "How do you see the world?" And Gloucester, who is blind, answers: "I see it feelingly."

I see it feelingly.

The news is not good these days. I can tell you, though, that as a journalist I know the news is never the end of the story. The news can be the truth that sets us free -- not only to feel but to fight for the future we want. And the will to fight is the antidote to despair, the cure for cynicism, and the answer to those faces looking back at me from those photographs on my desk. What we need is what the ancient Israelites called hochma -- the science of the heart ... the capacity to see, to feel and then to act as if the future depended on you.

Believe me, it does.


Bill Moyers was host until recently of the weekly public affairs series "NOW with Bill Moyers" on PBS. This article is adapted from AlterNet, where it first appeared. The text is taken from Moyers' remarks upon receiving the Global Environmental Citizen Award from the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.

Posted by mwblog at 1:56 PM

February 5, 2005

A Tale of Six Boys

My friend Rhonda sent this to me. Let's pray for our men and women in uniform, and thank them constantly in our hearts.

Marianne

==========================================

The Boys of Iwo Jima

(From the book: Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter)

by Michael T. Powers

Each year my video production company is hired to go to Washington, D.C. with the eighth grade class from Clinton, Wisconsin where I grew up, to videotape their trip. I greatly enjoy visiting our nation's capitol, and each year I take some special memories back with me. This fall's trip was especially memorable.

On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the most famous photographs in history -- that of the six brave men raising the American flag at the top of Mount Surabachi on the Island of Iwo Jima, Japan during WW II. Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of the statue, and as I got closer he asked, "What's your name and where are you guys from?

I told him that my name was Michael Powers and that we were from Clinton, Wisconsin.

"Hey, I'm a Cheesehead, too! Come gather around Cheeseheads, and I will tell you a story."

James Bradley just happened to be in Washington, D.C. to speak at the memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good-night to his dad, who had previously passed away, but whose image is part of the statue. He was just about to leave when he saw the buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and received his permission to share what he said from my videotape. It is one thing to tour the incredible monuments filled with history in Washington, D.C. but it is quite another to get the kind of insight we received that night. When all had gathered around he reverently began to speak. Here are his words from that night:

"My name is James Bradley and I'm from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on that statue, and I just wrote a book called Flags of Our Fathers which is #5 on the New York Times Best Seller list right now. It is the story of the six boys you see behind me. Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team. They were off to play another type of game, a game called "War." But it didn't turn out to be a game. Harlon, at the age of twenty-one, died with his intestines in his hands. I don't say that to gross you out; I say that because there are generals who stand in front of this statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen years old.

(He pointed to the statue)

You see this next guy? That's Rene Gagnon from New Hampshire. If you took Rene's helmet off at the moment this photo was taken, and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a photograph. A photograph of his girlfriend. Rene put that in there for protection, because he was scared. He was eighteen years old. Boys won the battle of Iwo Jima. Boys. Not old men.

The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the "old man" because he was so old. He was already twenty-four. When Mike would motivate his boys in training camp, he didn't say, "Let's go kill the enemy" or "Let's die for our country." He knew he was talking to little boys. Instead he would say, "You do what I say, and I'll get you home to your mothers."

The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from Arizona. Ira Hayes walked off Iwo Jima. He went into the White House with my dad. President Truman told him, "You're a hero." He told reporters, "How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only twenty-seven of us walked off alive?"

So you take your class at school. 250 of you spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the beach, but only twenty-seven of your classmates walk off alive. That was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes died dead drunk, face down at the age of thirty-two, ten years after this picture was taken.

The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop, Kentucky, a fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. His best friend, who is now 70, told me, "Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch of the Hilltop General Store. Then we strung wire across the stairs so the cows couldn't get down. Then we fed them Epson salts. Those cows crapped all night."

Yes, he was a fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age of nineteen. When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother's farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning. The neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.

The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John Bradley from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but he would never give interviews. When Walter Kronkite's producers, or the New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say, "No, I'm sorry sir, my dad's not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no phone there, sir. No, we don't know when he is coming back."

My dad never fished or even went to Canada. Usually he was sitting right there at the table eating his Campbell's soup, but we had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn't want to talk to the press. You see, my dad didn't see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, 'cause they are in a photo and a monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a caregiver. In Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died, and when boys died in Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed in pain.

When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, "I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who did not come back. DID NOT come back."

So that's the story about six nice young boys. Three died on Iwo Jima, and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7000 boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank you for your time."

Suddenly the monument wasn't just a big old piece of metal with a flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero. Maybe not a hero in his own eyes, but a hero nonetheless.


Michael T. Powers HeartTouchers@aol.com

Copyright © 2000 by Michael T. Powers

Write Michael and let him know your thoughts on this story!

Michael T. Powers, the founder of HeartTouchers.com and Heart4Teens.com, is the youth minister at Faith Community Church in Janesville, Wisconsin. He is happily married to his high school sweetheart Kristi and proud father of three young rambunctious boys.

He is also an author with stories in 29 inspirational books including many in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and his own entitled: Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter." To preview his book or to join the thousands of world wide readers on his inspirational e-mail list, visit: www.HeartTouchers.com

Posted by mwblog at 10:13 AM

February 4, 2005

Peace Is The Way by Deepak Chopra

Dear Friends,

I cannot recommend more highly that you read "PEACE IS THE WAY," the new book by Deepak Chopra. With every page, I thank God he was born.

All my best,
Marianne

peaceistheway.jpg

Posted by mwblog at 3:24 PM

February 1, 2005

Sunami, Wonder-Full Elephants

From the unbelievable chaos of the Tsunami disaster comes an incredible tale from Jim France of the Pavilion Hotel Group in Bangkok. At a resort on Phuket, one of the most popular attractions is (was) elephant rides. As many as 8 people on one elephant, first into the surrounding forest, then down to the beach, to lunch at a fresh water lagoon, then back to the hotel.

The elephants (9) were kept chained to in-ground posts, not because they needed to be, but because it made the mothers feel better because their children seemed safe from a tromping when feeding the beasts.

About twenty minutes before the first wave hit, the elephants became extremely agitated and unruly. Four had just returned from a trip and their handler's had not yet chained them. They helped the other five tear free from their chains. They all then climbed a hill and started bellowing. Many people followed them up the hill. Then the waves hit. After the waves subsided, the elephants charged down from the hill, and started picking up children with their trunks and running them back up the hill; when all the children were taken care of, they started helping the adults. They rescued 42 people. Then, they returned to the beach and carried up 4 dead bodies, one of a child.

Not until the task was done would they allow their handler's to mount them.

Then with handler's atop, they began moving wreckage.

Posted by mwblog at 3:22 PM