|Tomatoes, Miracles and Mass Migration|
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
Our beliefs and values motivate our decisions, words and actions.
Wordsworth's words are as true today as they were in 1870 when first published.
Are our personal, social and political decisions dictated by how we feel at the moment? Or by what a politician has just declared? Or by how much or how little money is in our wallet and bank account?
Or have we recognized and acknowledged that we've been created for a much higher purpose: that is, knowing Our Creator, and being part of His plan for this world?
We can say "Yes" to Him or we can say "No". If we choose to say "No" we will remain a part of the problem, and miss all the joy and wonder of being a part of the solution.
On this basis then, let us choose to step over the line to the solution side where Truth and Love agree.
"Mercy and Truth have met together; Righteousness and Peace have kissed."
The expressions of faith and conviction which follow were born of long experience, study and persistence by each writer. The reader will grow and become better able to understand and act responsibly through the present social crisis.
Illegal immigration across
What follows suggests both practical and spiritual answers, because they cannot be separated. Together let us seek, so that we may find.
Lindsay House Publishing
Tomatoes, Miracles, and Mass Migration
This should make everyone think, be you Democrat, Republican or Independent.
"As you listen to the news about the student protests over illegal
immigration, there are some things that you should be aware of:
I am in charge of the English-as-a-second-language department at a
large southern California high school which is designated a Title 1
school, meaning that its students average lower socioeconomic
and income levels.
Most of the schools you are hearing about,
protesting, are also Title 1 schools.
Title 1 schools are on the free breakfast and free lunch program.
When I say free breakfast, I'm not talking about a glass of milk and
roll -- but a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices
that would make a Marriott proud. The waste of this food is
monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash
(OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK)
I estimate that well over 50% of these students are obese or at
least moderately overweight. About 75% or more DO have cell
phones. The school also provides day care centers for the unwed
teenage pregnant girls (some as young as 13) so they can attend
class without the inconvenience of having to arrange for
babysitters or having family watch their kids.
(OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK)
I was ordered to spend $700,000 on my department or risk losing
funding for the upcoming year even though there was little need
for anything; my budget was already substantial. I ended up
buying new computers for the computer learning center, half of
which, one month later, have been carved with graffiti by the
appreciative students who obviously feel humbled and grateful to
have a free education in
(OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK)
I have had to intervene several times for young teachers, and substitute teachers whose classes consist of many illegal immigrant students who have been in the country less than 3 months. These have raised so much hell with the female teachers, calling them "Putas", whores, and throwing things, so that the teachers were in tears.
Free medical, free education, free food, day care etc., etc., etc.
Is it any wonder they feel entitled to not only be in this country
but to demand rights, privileges and entitlements?
Those who point out how much these illegal immigrants
contribute to our society because they LIKE their gardener and
housekeeper and they like to pay less for tomatoes, should spend some
time in the real world of illegal immigration and see the TRUE costs.
There are: higher insurance rates, closing of medical facilities, higher medical costs, more crime, lower standards of education in our schools,
over-crowding, new diseases etc., etc., etc.
As for me, I'll pay more for tomatoes.
We need to wake up. The guest worker program will be a disaster
because we won't have the guts to enforce it. Does anyone in their right mind really think such workers will voluntarily return home?
There are many hardworking Hispanic/American citizens who
contribute to our country and many that I consider my true
friends. We should encourage and accept those Hispanics who have
done it the right and legal way.
The issue has everything to do with culture. There is a third world culture that does not value education, that accepts children getting pregnant and dropping out of school by age 15 and which refuses to assimilate. Secondly there is an American culture that has become so weak and worried about "political correctness" that we don't have the will to change the status quo."
(Comment by another, forwarding the above)
If this makes your blood boil, as it did mine, forward this to everyone you know.
CHEAP LABOR? Isn't that what the whole immigration issue is about?
Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage.
Consumers don't want expensive produce.
Government will tell you that Americans don't want the jobs.
But the bottom line is cheap labor. The phrase "cheap labor" is a
myth, a farce, and a lie. There is no such thing as "cheap labor."
Take for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children.
He takes a job for $5.00 or $6.00/hour. At that wage, with six
dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if
he files an Income Tax Return, he gets an "earned income credit"
of up to $3,200 free.
He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent.
He qualifies for food stamps.
He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care.
His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school.
He requires bilingual teachers and books.
He qualifies for relief from high energy bills.
If they are or become aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for
SSI. Once qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicare.
All of this is at (our) taxpayers' expense.
Such an individual doesn't worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowner's insurance.
Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material.
Such a man and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00/hour in benefits.
Working Americans are lucky to have $5.00 or $6.00/hour left after paying their bills and his.
The American taxpayers also pay for increased crime, graffiti and trash clean-up.
Email from a friend who is a Crisis Pregnancy counselor:
Per our conversation today...just wanted to share some thoughts with you.
Some of the girls who come to us at the crisis center, are indigent and have no family here in the
Many wire money to grocery stores in their country to help buy food for their families. Some can not find work, especially if they become pregnant. No one wants to hire them because of liability or because they can't perform the job. So many come to us for help in pre-natal care, or help with formula and diapers.
We point them in the direction of social services at times. Many times they are turned away, because they don't have a social security number, they can't receive any help.
It's not right that they come here without documentation, however, they share the same humanity as we do, and I think that Christ would look upon them with compassion.
Perhaps the church should take a more active role rather than just leaving it to the government.
Since the government has a large part in giving illegal people basic health services such as medical care, food stamps, WIC, etc., I think taxes should be taken out of their paychecks. If they are getting paid under the table, then the employers need to be held accountable.
Hopefully, fair legislation will be passed to deal with the financial end of things. But I can't see denying people the basics: food, the opportunity to work, and dignity. They should not have come here illegally--but if the tables were turned we need to ask ourselves if we would have sacrificed so much, even endangering our lives for the sake of our family?
Something must be done in their own countries to create jobs there---I figure an agricultural revolution may be part of the answer. If they weren't hungry and had jobs, perhaps it would lessen the mass migration to the U.S.
Hope these thoughts will help.
Have you ever read, "All things are possible to them that believe"?
Home in the Park
by Raylyn Terrell
Yes, it is true. Miracles still happen.
Some people have problems with the present real estate market and nearly everyone has problems with increased costs in personal and family transportation. My life does not include these concerns. I live a simple life, and I experience miracles. For instance, I have my home in the park.
It was the middle of June, 2006. I had just spent six weeks in a family homeless shelter for the second time in a year. I had no money, and there were no invitations.
That night I pulled my car into the lighted parking lot of a shopping center. Trying to stay cheerful, I prepared to sleep. It was do-able but not comfortable. The ambience of the lighted parking lot was mine again the next night...and the next, and the next. The fourth morning found me fatigued, frustrated and angry. I walked back and forth, venting to God, and praying every way I knew. Then His touch of love came and I became more peaceful.
It was Sunday. I drove to the church and went into the lobby.
A friendly missionary-in-training who knew of my homeless situation asked,
"How are you doing?" (I probably looked awful!)
Wearily I said, "Do you really want to know?"
His voice showed his concern. "I really do."
So I told him.
His face registered shock as he heard my story. "That's horrible!
Don't leave after the service. Wait for me. I'm going to go find some pastors. Then I'll come back and tell you what they say!" He said this over his shoulder as he quickly walked away.
As the service was ending, my friend rushed up to me with a grin that lit up everything around him "It's a miracle and they know it! A mobile home was donated to the church, and they want to offer it for your home! While they get the place fixed up you'll live with me and my wife. OK?"
Now I was the one who was shocked! Only God could have done this, and to think that my emotional pit was only two hours behind me!
After a friend and I celebrated at lunch, I drove twenty miles to the home of the missionary couple. They were sitting on the front porch with their two-year-old twins. Their warm, welcoming smiles and hugs drew me into the family in a hurry.
I was nearly numb with relief and quiet joy.
Their home was my home for the next five and a half weeks as I came and went, attending three college classes a week, studying and working on computers at the public library. During this period I also watched after a pair of fourteen year old twins while their parents were working.
When three weeks became four, we were getting concerned and really trying not to be anxious, because my friends had just sold their home. Their moving date was coming up fast! Then in the fifth week I was given a key, and with the help of two friends, entered the trailer home to do some cleaning. Several days after that, I said farewell to the missionary family, loaded my few things into the car, and moved into my new home.
It was July 21, 2006 and hot. Very hot. For that first week, I would arrive "home" after dark, when the temperature had gone down a little. Since I had agreed to pay for the utilities and had not yet been able to arrange an account with the electric company, I did without the power. No refrigeration, no lights, no water heating, no stove, no clothes washer and dryer, and NO AIR CONDITIONING!
One week later I was able to make delayed payment arrangements with the electric company, and within several hours, all the above were working. Did I ever sing praises and thanks that day!
When I moved in, it was to a decently clean place with only a futon and a unique blue rug. Other than these, there was no furniture or accessories. That first week I "camped" overnight, with doors on opposite sides of the trailer partly open to admit whatever breeze might be blowing. Of course I was praying and trusting God for my safety and wellbeing. I really needed the cooler air.
Then with the electricity turned on, things began to improve quickly. The youth ministry of the church had scheduled a "home invasion" for my place, and I had been asked to submit a "shopping wish list."
So on Saturday the 29th, 25 teenagers, their youth pastors (with wife and baby), and several parent helpers, "invaded" with basic kitchen equipment, shelf unit for one bathroom, new towel and washcloth sets for both bathrooms, and a tall bookcase. The refrigerator and freezer were well stocked, and staples put on shelves. It was a wonderful gift! Before they all drove away, we went onto the porch and everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to me! Their final gift was the killing of some wasps, and the removal of their nest. I was really being well cared-for.
Several days later, two strong men and I drove the twenty miles to my friends former home, now empty, and from the garage took the blue sofa (double reclining), and table with six matching chairs. These were gifts from the missionary couple. Later, after they were placed in my living area, I said to myself, : "NOW this is beginning to look and feel like home!"
Week by week the gifts continued to come: a pair of end tables with drawers, and two brass lamps. several nice pictures, a microwave, plates, cups and glasses, also, a coffee maker, iron and ironing board. A computer work station came, and a computer system as well. Then a television and VCR were added. A bed, desk and chair, pillows and bedding furnished the guest bedroom. A nice bed linen set was given for the futon, and in my favorite colors! Two armchairs-man size, were given as well. Now I was ready for company.
Yet, even as my household was being given to me, my automobile was taken away.
When an official of a non-profit organization heard I was in danger of losing my car, he said: "I'll see what I can do." But somewhere along the way, he gave up on the idea, and did not inform me. My hope for this particular help was in vain. So, on the morning of September 5, 2006, I opened my front door to find that my car had disappeared from its parking space.
Several phone calls revealed that the car had been repossessed while I slept. The shock lasted for several days, and my way of life became greatly restricted. Since I live more than three miles from the nearest bus stop, the bus is not a practical answer for me. I was over seventy-four years of age and in quite good health, thank God. By grace, I prayerfully resigned myself to a new lifestyle, mostly lived in the mobile home.
There were occasional phone calls to the company which did the repossession, because my personal property within the car was not returned to me. The license plates were not returned either. After nearly six weeks, the company agreed to make a nominal payment to me for these things.
There were calls to the bank which owned the note on the car. There were calls to prayerful friends. Gradually I was at peace with the situation, and began to make the most of the tranquility which was God's gift to me at this time.
Internet research, writing and editing, along with prayer and Bible study were my daily activity. For exercise, I walked to the postal lock-box, and some blocks further. I walked to the shopping center five blocks away, and carried back my purchases.
While in the grocery produce section one day, I admired some tomatoes,
thinking how nice one would taste. Considering the small cash amount in my purse,
I passed by the tomatoes thinking-"Another time, perhaps."
As I walked with my shopping bags to the highway where I would cross,
I stopped to push the pedestrian crossing button.
My gaze went down to the base of the pole. Then I saw it!
On top of the cement footing holding the pole, lay a fallen leaf.
Perfectly centered on top of it was a beautiful, ripe tomato.
Now I got very excited, and as I imagined an angel
placing the tomato there for me to find, I thanked God!
The reader may try to explain this away somehow, but it
was very big for me, and it really did "make my day!"
With an extra spring in my step, I finished the walk back to my home in the park, repeating to myself: "Seek first the
And then, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Oh yes!!!
On one of these excursions, while walking on the side of the busy highway, I saw a car quickly pull off the road ahead of me. A woman jumped from the car, walking to meet me while saying, "It looks like you've got quite a load there. Do you live nearby? Can I give you a lift?" Over time we became friends, and her helpful kindness helped to ease my trials from that day.
During the months of living in my home in the park, there's been an on-going battle with creditors seeking to squeeze out of me money which I did not have. Time after time, through phone calls and letters, the debt collectors wheedle, threaten, and extend their "final offer."
One debt consolidation organization, Debt Relief of America (a subsidiary of the huge CitiGroup financial empire) managed to trick me into signing a contract for their services. Before I caught them they had deducted more than $200 from my bank account. They aimed at getting $900 which was 1/10th of the amount I owed to banking organizations. To date, Debt Relief of America has not responded to my demand to return my money.
My trust in the integrity of
In one word, I will boycott. Yes, I will boycott, and I will blow the whistle! Too many individuals and organizations have stolen from me. A company in which I was a partner, was stolen by its two top officers.
I will not tolerate this any longer. In legal matters "the deck is stacked" against the poor who cannot afford legal counsel. Contracts are written with the "bottom line" in small print. Once that bottom line is signed by the poor widow who has only Social Security for income, she is a prey for the greedy designs of financial institutions. Chevy Chase Bank pushed my late fees up above $100.00 before they let me close my account.
Before moving into my home in the park, I obtained the help of the Disabled American Veterans organization, to reopen my claim for Survivor's Benefits with the Veterans' Administration. It is now a year later. The VA denied this claim, for the second time in thirteen years. If my last appeal is denied, I shall go to my congressman.
In the meantime, both my teeth and my eyes need urgent professional help, and the bills will be in the thousands of dollars. While this daughter of a career USAF officer, and widow of a retired USAF Master Sergeant, needs the survivor's benefits for necessary health reasons, multitudes of illegal immigrants are collecting millions of dollars from the federal and state governments in the
Is there something wrong here? It appears so. It is certain that I am one of many thousands of American citizens going through needless suffering because of wrongful priorities in national fiscal policy. [Thankfully, in early 2008, the Veterans' Administration at last granted my petition for Survivor's Benefits.]
My Lovely Greenery
Have you ever been deprived, for whatever reason, of a garden which had given you much pleasure? If you have, then you will relish this.
As a homeowner for thirty-six years while bringing up my children and seeing them all go, I developed a great love for gardening. Step by step I studied, then practiced small-scale organic gardening, and grew some fine vegetables and herbs. Some ornamentals came by way of catalogues.
The roomy porch of my home in the park was empty and surrounded by a fence topped with a wide ledge. "Container plants would work here" I thought. One day two sons came with three large potted plants-a privet bush, a nandina, and a Japanese maple! No leaves were on the maple because it was winter. But oh! I joyfully imagined them!
There were empty pots of different sizes, and many packets of seeds. I started some seeds inside to be taken out to perch as soon as the danger of frost was past. Wonder of wonders, I had a garden again! And I monitored growth several times each day, carefully watering each plant, and speaking lovingly to it. As of this writing I've enjoyed radishes, leaf lettuce, thyme, basil and chives. Tomatoes are on the way!
(A word to the wise):
Don't ever try to tell a plant lover that speaking to plants is foolishness!
Because down in his spirit, he knows that:
When truly spoken, words of love and encouragement are the carriers of LIFE.
In our opinion, the people of
The answer is simple. We start by praying:
"Lord, Your kingdom come, Your will be done. What would you have ME to do here and now regarding the illegal immigration situation?"
Then, "Lord, what would you have US to do about it? The
Then, "Lord, what would you have THEM do about it?" THEM here refers to our elected representatives: in this instance, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. In areas where sheriffs and judges are elected, they should be included.
Believing, praying people will study the appropriate parts of "The Manufacturer's Handbook" to learn what He has said about such things. While doing this, they learn what the "Maker" wants of them personally, and corporately. They will learn that the work of elected representatives is not the same as their own, for they are charged with making and enforcing the laws and keeping the peace.
In this process, believing, praying people will find laws on the books which do not agree with principles in "The Manufacturer's Handbook." Then they will pray and work to have such laws repealed. William Wilberforce of Great Britain was an outstanding example as he prayed and worked with friends for fifteen years, until slave trade in the
So, are you ready, people of
Are you ready to make history again?
Let us make it a blessing and an example for all by beginning:
"Lord, Your kingdom come, Your will be done! What would you have ME, US, THEM to do? It is your plan. Thank you for showing it to us!"
Raylyn Terrell, founder,
Lindsay House Publishing LLC