The Threat to the Delmarva-Atlantic Coastline

This information and commentary concern all Americans regardless of what side of the political aisle one supports.  I believe that most Americans feel our lives are enriched by a healthy environment that gives us so much joy.  Joy that comes from our National Parks, camping facilities, wildlife refuges and our seaside resorts.  One such resort along the Atlantic coastline is a quaint little town called Ocean City, Md.  For many years Ocean City has been a popular vacation spot and a thriving year round residence.  Ocean City and the other small towns in proximity have a robust year round population whose livelihoods rely on the resort and fishing industries.  In fact, all along the Delmarva coast are many places similar to Ocean City.  I would be remiss in not mentioning the renowned refuge of Assateague Island and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  This barrier island spans the coast of Maryland and Virginia and is the home and refuge of beautiful beaches, wild ponies and other wildlife.  Chincoteague’s  famous pony run and auction every July bring visitors from around the world.

Since our current administration advocates for an increase in fossil fuel development, I felt compelled to point out the threat to the Delmarva coastline.  Environmental Impact and Coastal Effects of Offshore Energy System Statements started as early as 1985.  I found many on-line resources and after a few hours consolidated a few facts.  In March of 2015, President Obama banned offshore drilling for 5 years citing the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.  Per a New York Times article of 12/20/16, President Obama announced is executive declaration to indefinitely ban offshore drilling from Norfolk, Va. to the Canadian border.  NYT further says that President Trump is expected to roll back some executive orders or law suits to effect fossil fuel companies and jobs.  “The declaration’s fate will almost certainly be decided by the federal courts”, said Patrick Parenteau, a Professor, Vermont Law School.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a division of the US Dept. of Interior, recently denied 6 seismic survey permits in January, 2017.  An article on seismic surveys from Earth Justice in January, 2017, titled, “Drilling Halted, The Atlantic Still Faces an Offshore Threat From the Oil Industry” is informative.  Seismic surveys search for oil and gas deposits.  Earth Justice describes seismic “blasting” as “air guns that discharge resounding booms at 12 to 16 second intervals, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for months on end”.  Oceana.org describes seismic surveys as airguns that are used to find oil and gas deep underneath the ocean floor. “Airguns are so loud that they disturb, injure or kill marine life, harm commercial fisheries, and disrupt coastal economies. These blasts are repeated every ten seconds, 24 hours a day, for days and weeks at a time”.  So even if offshore drilling is currently banned, several companies have requested seismic surveys to be completed as early as this year (Earth Justice).  The effects of all marine and wild life would be devastating.  For more information, see http://www.earthjustice.org/blog/2016-april/drilling-halted-the-atlantic-still-faces-an-offshore-threat;  oceana.org/our-work/climate-energy/seismic-airgun-blasting/overview;  and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, at http://www.boem.gov/Atlantic-Oil-and-Gas-Information/

This is an issue very dear to many and requires that we be diligent and pro-active.  With the appropriate research hundreds of incidents of oil spills occur yearly.  I cannot envision Ocean City, Assateague, Chincoteague, Bethany, Rehoboth and all our beautiful beaches and wildlife covered in thick black oil with the environment destroyed for years to come.  Given the disregard for Standing Rock, Environmental organizations, a pro-fossil fuel director of EPA and the possible eradication of the EPA altogether, I beg we be diligent on this issue and not to become complacent.  Alert your representatives, senators, congressmen, the White House and Environmental organizations.  Tell them no to seismic surveys and never to offshore drilling.  Thank you for your time.

Advertisements

Potential Harm By Christian Division

These days our nation is divided and at times in turmoil.  Yes, I may be considered a lefty snowflake, but my most important title is Child of God. Most days I need to remind myself of that particularly on social media.  I’ll admit that at times I fail miserably.  I hesitate to call this blog a “christian” one as even the word christian can evoke negative emotions for some people.  For a lot of non-believers being christian is associated with judging, condemnation and elitists attitudes.  Non-believers don’t want any part of this and frankly, I don’t blame them.  With the present political division I’ve noticed a trend of increased christian division.  Recently, I had a social media conflict with a sister in Christ in which I overlooked that at the end of the day we both loved the Lord. It then occurred to me that my lack of humility and a sense of pride, because I KNEW I was right, was not how Christ taught. I apologize to anyone I may have offended in my pride filled comments. It is my firm belief that some of the words that we speak are divisive and certainly are not comforting to those who are hurting and seeking rest for their souls.

I believe that my thoughts on christian values are biblically sound and are directly taken from what Jesus demonstrated in His life.  My prayer is that all people find comfort and peace and a feeling of belonging through Christ’s words.

The Old Testament is a wonderful group of books and prophecies that exhibit the love God had for His people.  People will frequently cite O.T. scripture that support their personal beliefs, but it is important to know that when Christ came He had a new agenda.  His ministry was one of love.  Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30).  At one time in my life I was weary and I so needed rest for my soul.  I was fortunate that I took in Christ’s words and not those of condemnation and judgment.  I had felt worthless related to bad choices in my life which just led to more bad choices.  In the following words of Jesus, I realized I had worth and value.  Listen with your heart.  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.  Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulder and goes home.  Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep’.  I tell you in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent”  (Luke 15:4-7).  It was easy for this lost sheep to repent because of the shame and remorse over the bad choices I had made.  I remember thinking, “He’s looking specifically for me!”  You may wonder who are His sheep?  His sheep are those who love money above all else, those that hurt with their words or actions, the woman who has had abortions, the man or woman who lie with other of the same sex, the murderer, the thief, the pedophile, the drug addict, the prostitute and so on.  No matter what others may think, no sin is greater than another.  Christ states clearly in Mark 3:28:  “I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them”.

Do I still sin or say words that may hurt others?  Absolutely.  I am very imperfect as is all mankind.  Paul says in Romans 3:23-24, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ”.

Although I sometimes forget my principles before speaking or replying on a social media post, I try hardest to remember Christ’s repeated instructions to love one another.  When asked what was the greatest commandment, “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  Love your neighbor as yourself'” (Matt. 22:37-39).  See also, John 15:12-13.

In spite of my best attempts to separate church and state, the most recent divide regarding stewardship over God’s creation and loving our neighbors, hurt me.  So in light o Christ’s Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20, I will try harder and I respectfully request that we all pray to guard our words and that we be kind to one another.  This way if even one person is seeking rest for their soul, they might conclude by our words and, hopefully subsequent investigation, that Jesus was a pretty cool dude.  Thank  you for your time.

FOR WOMEN ONLY: POST-ABORTION, PROLOGUE

The following statistics and information and the inability for women to openly come forward prompted me to present the “Saveone” bible study by Sheila Harper, along with God’s Word and His guidance, in a confidential and anonymous way.  Please read this prologue before determining whether this study is for you or maybe someone you know who is in pain, depressed or have any of the below symptoms of Post-Abortion Syndrome.  This study will bring healing to you, like myself, who may carry guilt, shame and feelings of worthlessness.

Rather than asking questions or wanting to review any information directly on this blog, please email me at suzannemarie1223@verizon.net and reference “study”.  Thank you.

PAS, Post-Abortion Syndrome, symptoms:  guilt, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, anniversary syndrome, fear of infertility, irrational fears of losing future children, eating disorders, alcohol abuse.  (from:  ramahinternational.org)

Facts:  women with post-abortion are 3X more likely than other women of child-bearing age in the general population to commit suicide;  81% have at least one mental health issue;  1.5% seek help for mental health issue;  80% suffer from PTSD;  a California Medicaid patient study found a 154% increased risk of suicide;  and, 110%  of women have an increased risk of alcohol abuse.  (from: healthresearchfunding.org dated 3/19/15)

Statistics:  Per a Guttmacher Institute report of 2008, 72.5% of women with past abortion identify as christians;  200,000 christian women abort per year.  Per Lifeway Christian Research Group, 70% of women with past abortion identify as christian. (from:  christianitytoday.com/women/2015/february/secret-shame-of-abortion-in-church)

My Story:  For many women the pain of past abortion is overwhelming.  They live with guilt and shame.  As one of these women I was struggling, particularly in my christian walk and I just couldn’t get close to God.  I joined a community group, did Bible Studies, read the Bible, but I always felt like an outsider looking in.  You see because of my past sin and my guilt I felt unworthy and exempt from God’s grace.  I truly believed that eternal salvation was not in my future.  This also affected my relationships with other christians and again, I felt like an outsider.  I was sure I was the only christian woman who had sinned this way.  I went on feeling far from God, feeling guilt and despair.  Well, God started working on me through meditating, thinking on His Word and through my wonderful community group.  God said to me, “Susie, you are still my child and I can bear your misery no longer”.  Much like God told the Israelites in Judges 10:18.  I started to internalize and recognize in my heart that God did love me, that I was redeemable and that it grieved Him to continue carrying around all that guilt and shame.  Guilt, shame, feeling of unworthiness are not of God.  Of course, the evil one loves it because it keeps us from growing closer to God.  I finally understood what my community group leader tried to explain to me a few years ago…from 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.  How healing and freeing God’s Word became to me.  I was forgiven and now I look forward to eternal salvation and a new heaven and a new earth.

With this Bible Study called “Saveone” by Sheila Harper, God’s Word and His guidance, I pray a healing and redemptive restoration to the heart of any woman who hurts and feels unforgiven from past abortion.  Like myself, you can walk freely and joyfully into the merciful and grace-filled arms of God.

My next blog will be on Chapter One: Your Source of Courage, and blogged on May 28th, 2016, hopefully giving you time to order, receive and read the Forward and Intro.  Please do not read ahead to the chapters.

The book can be ordered on Amazon.com, titled “Saveone” by Sheila Harper, 2008 and is available new or used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beat Cop

My heart is prompting me to tell a story and I hope I’m not too long-winded for you.  With all the bad press regarding police officers, and I’m sure there are a few bad apples as in any profession, I decided to tell my story. I want to tell you of a cop, a flashlight and a 10 year old girl.

When I was 21 years old, I began working for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. and continued to working there for the 6 years.  I was surrounded by police officers, detectives and a variety of law enforcement officers of every sex, ethnicity, religion and age in almost every branch of the Metropolitan Police Department.  I was a young woman who interacted with those who had experienced almost every inhumanity man can think of, on another.  It was the time when DC meant Dodge City and it was “open season” on police officers.  Murders were over 500 per year, thus the distinction of being known as, “The Murder Capitol”.  I often received sage advice concerning my safety, such as, don’t park next to vans, park under lights, have car keys in hand and survey your scene;  was among some of the wise advice. Even after Sgt. Tony Silva from 7th District proposed and with a resounding yes,  Detective Kanjian, who worked in the Career Criminal Unit as a seasoned investigator, and also a man of few words, in his deep gruff voice, advised, “Girl, don’t marry no roller”, then shaking his head.  I have to laugh whenever I remember Kanjian speaking those words.

But really this story is about a little girl who lived in N.E., Washington, D.C., in the old 12th Precinct and a cop who walked a beat. I wish he were still around to tell him thank you. I had horrible insomnia as a child.  I would stare out of our 2nd story window looking down onto Randolph Street anticipating the arrival of my father with very mixed emotions.  Little girls love and want to please their fathers, yet I was also afraid of mine.  Sometimes he would come home late at night and there were many times he did not come home for days.  But almost always, on the nights at that window, there was a policeman walking his beat who noticed me and said hello by flashing his flashlight on and off. The first time he did this, I was a little scared. Perhaps little girls should not be up so late. Just the act of him saying hello in such a specific way made me smile and feel valued. I’m not sure how long this happened, but I do know that after a while I anticipated this policeman’s hello instead of my father. I’m almost 60 years old now and this incredible memory is still capable of positive emotions and smiles when I think of this officer’s “light” and the significance he brought to this little girl. It is in those little things that we can impart the touch of God, even without knowing it.