Category Archives: religion

Make America great.

On an early day in February, in a quiet moment, I sat at my desk, in my study. I was warm.  I was not in want.  I was lucky as deaths from the virus passed 450,000. 

And I thought about making America great again. Maybe he was right, that America is no longer great, but was the reason because we lost manufacturing jobs to China? Does that make a country, great?

I believe we are no longer great because we have lost our way.

America once stood for something.

Not just one thing many things.

Freedom, Justice, Equality.

It was a place of hope where people would come to, from all over the world, for the chance at a better life.

Our founding fathers, imperfect individuals, many of whom own slaves, created the Constitution and Bill of Rights because they envisioned a more perfect union. They knew that they were not capable of getting there, but they gave their children and children’s children the ability to go beyond what they could even imagine.

Lady Liberty calls to the world, Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.

She does not say give us your white Christians and the rest can go to hell.

My parents’ generation, the greatest generation, fought in World War II to end fascism not to import it to our country.

Dr King did not want perfection.  He just wanted to place where his children could sit at the same table. Was that too much to ask for?  To sit at the same table with people who disagree with you and talk as equals.

Being great is a process not a destination. We were never great, but we were always on the way to greatness. I fear we have lost our way.

Can we believe in God and not believe;

That all men are created equal? 

That we should help the widow and the orphan? 

That we should welcome the stranger in our midst?

That we are stewards of the Earth but we do not own it?

Even the small plot of land where we will be buried is not ours.  With our very last molecule of energy, we feed the bugs and worms and nourish the Earth around our disintegrating coffin.  If our last act on Earth is one of charity, why is being charitable so hard to do when we are living?


god

god cries for the unborn child but does not think of the million people who have no hope.

god believes that life is precious but that black lives do not matter.

god raises one group of people above another and turns his back on those living in helplessness, poverty, war, and despair.

It seems to me that god is just a concept in which we hide our prejudices.


Keep me in your prayers

I recently hit a rough spot

In a life filled with rough spots.

In a weak moment,

I told an acquaintance.

She said, “I’ll keep you in my prayers.”

I’ll keep you in my prayers.

That is all she offered to me

In my sorrow and pain.

 

Now to some that is enough.

A social understanding

That we are all helpless

In a raging shit-storm.

So I will say this phrase

And we can part

And avoid any unpleasantness

And think there is hope.

 

To me, prayer was always

More for the one who prays

Than for the object of her prayers.

It makes that person focus on a problem

Until a solution appears

Which should eventually lead to an action.

 

“God, please give me that promotion.”

Eventually, you will realize that

Until you merit that promotion

By going the extra mile,

You don’t deserve that promotion.

And that will change you

Into someone who deserves the promotion.

 

But does God listen?

“Prayer hotline, this is God,

How can I help you?”

If God is God,

Shouldn’t he already know our sorrow?

Will he help us only if we ask?

And only if we ask in the right way?

Does that mean that God wants us to suffer?

Should a parent not feed her baby

If the baby doesn’t ask?

 

If God will listen to me, and not to you,

Does that mean that God favors

One person over another?

One group over another?

Does this mean the racists are right?

Of course not.

 

This is an ego trip,

If you think you have a direct

Hotline to an all powerful being.

Is God your errand boy

And you just give him a honey-do list?

 

If you must pray,

Ask for guidance

On how you could help,

And then help.

 

And the next time someone

Tells you their sorrow,

Ask, “How can I help?”

And then do what you can.

 

Prayer is not a substitute for action.

It is action.

 

“He prayeth best,

Who loveth best,

All things both great and small,

For the dear God who loveth us,

He made and loveth all.”
-Cooleridge


Holidays

There are many ways of celebrating this holiday season

New Year’s ball dropping, campfire making s’mores, Christmas caroling

All of them are better with family and friends

Sometime we take for granted the gifts we have

And I’m not talking about the ones under the tree

But what of those people who have no family, no friends to share this spirit of joy with?

 

Our soldiers on foreign lands

The elderly in nursing homes

The homeless on the street

What does the holidays mean to them?

Standing outside in the cold looking at the logs burning in the fireplace

What can we do too bring love into another’s heart?

 

So before that meal

Before that football game

Before opening your gifts

 

Give thanks

Because there is little difference between you and them

Think

About those in need,

Do something

For others who are hurting or in pain.

 

 

 


Strange Coincidence

Today on the news, there was a story about a baby that was found abandoned in a church’s nativity scene.

The exact same thing happened in a book that I finished writing last year.

I was sending it out to publishers.

I was going to self-publish it January 1, 2016 if I had no interest.

But after finding out about this real life event, I hit the publish button.

A Walk in the Valley is now available for sale.

Here is the info:

A Walk in the Valley

Authored by A. F. Winter

List Price: $12.99

6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm) Black & White on White paper 220 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1490902869 (CreateSpace-Assigned) ISBN-10: 1490902864 BISAC: Fiction / Action & Adventure

A Walk in the Valley is one man’s journey to self discovery. John B. has been living on the streets for several years after a personal tragedy destroyed his idyllic life. At first he believes that the visions he sees are hallucinations brought about by alcohol but he soon realizes they are spirits of the dead. They will not give him peace until he helps them. This novel is part horror, part detective, and part spiritual awakening.

CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/4347912


While Paris is Bleeding

While Paris is bleeding

We complain about the decorations

On our coffee cups.

We talk about building walls to keep illegals out

So they can’t pick the crops we place on our tables.

 

While Paris is bleeding

We engorge ourselves becoming obese

While our neighbor’s children have not eaten today.

We make plans for Thanksgiving

As another Black youth is buried too soon, too soon.

 

How can we not be aware of the sorrow that surrounds us?

All around us, every day.

 

While Paris is bleeding

We go on serenely

With only distractions to clutter our lives.

 

And we think that God loves us

Because, in our minds, we are doing so well.

So we stand up, fists clenched, and angrily yell,

“Damn all of you sinners, you’re going to hell!”

At the homeless veteran, the impoverished child,

The tired and poor, the huddled masses

Asleep at the foot of our Liberty bell.

 

And Paris is bleeding.

Jerusalem too.

And Beirut is bleeding.

And Yemen, Cairo, the Ukraine and Kabul.

And Nigeria, Denmark, and Istanbul

And Blacksburg, Sandy Hook, Chattanooga,

And Charleston is bleeding.

We bleed too.