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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Death and Resurrection

Today is Easter, 2013. The Day of Resurrection. Alleluia!

Eleven years ago today, I celebrated this day with my middle child, Russell Grant Collins, who was not feeling very well.  It was only five days before his forty-first birthday and we were concerned that we could not get a diagnosis for his health problems.

The day after his birthday he fell, was taken to Pella Regional Health Center and then flown by helicopter to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines where seven specialists tried to discover the source of his illness. The next day, on April 7, 2002, Russell died. An autopsy revealed he had widespread cancer, probably starting in his lungs and then migrating and completely destroying his liver.

This Easter is especially difficult for me because the date of Easter is the same as in 2002 and the week ahead will contain both Russell's birthday and his day of death. My son-in-law Juan, who was born the same year as Russ, died in January this year, at age 52.

But Easter reminds us that Christ is risen, and because he lives we shall live also. Much as I miss Russ and Juan, I know we will meet again in God's good time.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Selma to Montgomery, March, 1963

March 7, 1963
Scene from "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, Alabama.

Forty-eight years ago this month, on March 7, 1965, approximately 600 people began a march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital in Montgomery to petition for protection of black citizens who were being kept from registering to vote. After only six blocks they were stopped at the Edmund Petus Bridge by state troopers and local law enforcement personnel who drove them back with tear gas and billy clubs. 

The scene of this "Bloody Sunday" shown on the nightly news was crucial in growing support for the cause of civil rights around the nation.

Two weeks later, after a call for support from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and others. approximately 3,200 marchers began the march again. Others joined until four days later when they reached the capital 25,000 people were in the crowd.

Aaron Connors and Dar Jones, two fictional characters in my novel Too Much Left Unsaid, participate and I tell the story of what they felt and how it affected their lives. 


My novel will be published by The Write Place, and should be available in mid-June.

If you want to know more about the events of that March march, you can go to the link I have inserted.

Email me at if you want more information about my book or comment below.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Why being Right might be wrong.

I was in high school when I first realized that
 other people do not think like I do.

Before that moment of enlightenment, I "used to think" that somehow others came to different conclusions from mine because they were not reasoning clearly.

But then I discovered other people
   are starting in a different place
   and seeing the whole situation in a different way.

Seeing the problem from another viewpoint leads to a very different solution.

Mark Putnam, President of Central College, has a blog called Mark My Words that I follow.

Last week, Mark pointed out

   we all view everything from a bias that we might not even notice.

We may be quite right about something from our own point of view,
   but we are wrong if we fail to realize that other viewpoints are possible.

If we hope to dialog with people who come from differing backgrounds,
  we need to do a lot of listening to discover how they are seeing the problem.