Wanting to do more?

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I wanted to get down to the gun show this past weekend, but I've been about as busy as a one armed paper-hanger. My wife is out west helping fight wild fires; I'm here taking care of the little ones.

For those of faith, please pray for the communities she is working with -- they are on alert for evacuation -- and for my wife. The situation out there is getting dangerous ("her" fire grew by 15000 acres in a single day two days ago). While she generally isn't "on the line" (she is a fire information officer, she no longer is a fire fighter).

You can also be praying for me. I feel for single parents -- I used to be one -- and when things like fire duty take Jean away for the 14 - 18 days allowed per assignment, I wonder how anyone survives being a single parent of little children.

The "ack" for me is that many times I hear from Jean -- and she is in the places where they have evacuated people for safety sake. But she is good at what she does, and that helps a lot of people. I just hate having to stand by and watch!

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30 Comments

Eric the 1/2 troll said:

Imagine being a single parent with no education, no health insurance, no defense against the drug trafficers taking your kids from you, and no end in sight (its forever not just 14 days at a time).

Clearly if we want to do more there are people who will take us up on it.

Sorry, just bleeding my liberal heart.

Brian, Wow. Best wishes and God's help for a save return for her and end to the brutal drought and fires out there.

Single parenthood is rough when it is thrust upon one parent. You will do fine. I am sure you are too nice a guy for the kids to try and take advantage of.

Eric, Hey can you let me know when your birthday is? I have gift wrapped a couple pounds of relevance for you because I know you need some.

stay puft said:

wait, if I want to do more I should pray?


Jack said:

Yes, but wanting to do more has nothing to do with it.

Robin said:

Brian, You and your wife are in my prayers. I, too, was a single parent for a while and I know how hard it is. Let us know if you need anything.

Eric the 1/2 troll said:

"wanting to do more has nothing to do with it"

With what? This thread? That IS its title. You would think, then that discussing what more we can do would be relevant. Right, Joe?

Jack said:

Pay attention, Troll. I was answering puffalump's question.

jacob said:

Jack,
Troll does not pay attention to the original posting. Why should he feel contrained to pay attention to your comment?

If he did he might drift out of his zone of irrelevency. But, that would require basic reading comprehension skills. Since he hs demonstrated he lacks that and logic and accountability he safe in his zone.

Eric the 1/2 troll said:

Are you two now trying to participate in an irrelevant discussion on the irrelevancy of the discussion? Should I just move forward by saying that we all pray that Brian makes it through his 14 day trial (and - sincerely - hope for his wife's safe return)? Would that please the Jacks,Jacobs, and Joes of this irrelevant world?

Jack said:

Yes, the J-team would be happy.

Kevin said:

I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone who, on their own blog, requests prayer from "those of faith" should be attacked for asking for prayer? It's not as though he's asking anyone outside of "faith" to pray for, like, total annihilation of "the wicked people" (aka Pat Robertson). A call for benevolent prayer from anyone should never be attacked. Geez. Brian, if you posted that on a Buddhist blog do you think you'd get the same detractors? Or is it just more fun to razz you guys than it is to razz buddhists, jews, hindu, or arabs, mennonites, quakers, unitarians, amish, or b'hai?

zimzo said:

While we're all praying, let's pray that these exploited youths make it over the border to the U.S. where they can actually get paid for their work:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20056614/site/newsweek/

jacob said:

Thats right zimzo, let us encourage Mexico to continue its slide into anarchy and slavery by having all of its unemployed and downtrodden move HERE. Perfect solution!!

As the respect for the written law evaporates in this country you will soon find yourself in a situation not too different from the one in Mexico. Hmmmm. Maybe it might occur to you then that your solution was misguided at best, but I doubt it.

Jack said:

You're just showing your ignorance of Christianity, zimzo. Christians just pray for the people -- GOD knows how best to help them.

zimzo said:

So it's God that is sending them here. I guess that means you're working for the Devil, Jack.

Jack said:

Wrong, again, zimzo. (What a surprise.)

If they come here and are caught and deported, that, too, is God's will.

zimzo said:

And if they don't get caught and don't get deported, then that must be God's will. So why are you complaining about what God has willed?

Jack said:

One of the reasons God allows bad things to happen is so that they are there for us to fight. It develops character.

Wise man said:

Why is it that when some people can’t explain an occurrence they make God own it? I believe in God but he isn’t the answer to all that is unknown.

Jack said:

He is the answer to ALL, both known and unknown.

stay puft said:

razzing baha'i is a close 2nd

Jack, I love that G-d lets bad things happen so you have the opportunity to build character! classic!

Not particularly wanting this to get side-tracked into illegal immigrants ... I'll post an update. First, the wife got back this evening, safe and sound. Thanks for praying those of you that did. Now as to the fire situation, Jean doesn't actually call for evacuations, she reports conditions to the county and makes recommendations based on what might happen. The fire she was working, the Ahorn, she had recommended evacuations based on the prediction that it could threaten homes. The base camp for the incident was also moved, and the fire is still burning.

(As an aside, they do not let people work more than a two week assignment at any one time -- they work 14 to 16 hours per day, seven days a week during that time, and for safety sake, the rule will not allow her to stay longer.)

I've been a single parent in the past -- after my first wife died -- and it is truly difficult. This two week reminder caught me off guard, as most parents would be caught. Even in the case of a death, it is more likely than not (when young children are involved) that the death is sudden; young people rarely die from sickness that lingers, accidents are much more likely the cause. While I cannot help everyone, I do get to help several families that have small children. There are two in my church, and I know a family in which it isn't so sudden -- one of the parents is sick and most likely will die.

Just some things I know are difficult.

1)Getting to the store. It is amazingly difficult for a parent of small children to get out of the house for even a short trip to the store without major effort. If you know someone in this position, offer to watch the children while they get out for a couple of hours is a great idea. Even better for couples is to have one person go with the single parent -- I know I wanted friends to be with me greatly, and when a husband/wife offered to have the man go with me it was heaven sent!

2) Talking with another adult outside of the work environment. You might not think this is such a big deal, but it very much can be. A person that is a single parent used to have someone with whom they could talk regularly. Now they have no regular adult conversations other than at work (if that). Just being an ear can help.

3) For some, money could easily be a real problem. If a person losses the main breadwinner in the family and they didn't have much life insurance, then the financial pressure can be huge. Many people would feel uncomfortable about being given money outright, but there are ways of giving people things they would otherwise have to buy (or even luxuries they would not be able to afford). Providing something for one of the children would almost always be accepted. Harder to do creatively than just offering money, but well worth the effort. (As a deacon within my church, I get to help a lot of people with items they could not otherwise afford -- we purchased a special chair for a handicapped child recently -- they were very grateful).

4) Loss of friends is hard to take. When a parent goes from being a "couple" to being a "single" it can throw off many friends that know how to deal with another couple. Couples especially have trouble with the status change -- and if it were because of a divorce, the friends of the "couple" may feel like they have to choose sides, and if it is "messy" then it becomes even more difficult.

The list could go on much longer, but one of the things that is a common solution to it all is being a friend. Don't leave them without the support they need now more than ever (even though it might not be convenient). It takes more than what government programs can provide -- government programs cannot do what a firmly committed group of friends can. The government cannot do more than look out for the physical wellbeing of parent and children, but so much more is needed. If you know someone in this position, be a friend.

Linda B said:

Thanks, Brian, very hellpful insights from someone who has been there. So often we want to help but are uncomfortable or don't know what to do.

Jack said:

Puffalump -- it is a very poor parent who never lets his children learn from experience.

Thanks Linda. The I've seen a lot of people that come across as uncomfortable. They don't know what to do or say. Not knowing makes some of them distant, which is exactly what doesn't help. Another thing that a lot of people try to do is "fix" the problem. We don't like to see grief, so we try to fix it. Wrong answer. You can't fix grief, you can share it and thus make it easier to bear, but you can't fix it.

Wise man said:

Jack, I asked a simple question, I got a simple answer, I just expected more from you, I'm sorry I didn’t get it. You're a smart man Jack, you have so much to give, I'm just sorry to see you haven realized that yet, I hope someday you do.

Jack said:

Some things ARE very simple, Wise man. One of those simple things is that God is the author of everything. I'm sorry you haven't realized that yet. I hope someday you do.

Wise man said:

I too believe God is the creator of all, BUT just because he’s the creator it doesn’t mean he has all the answers…

As humans (created by God), we have the ability (that HE gave us) to learn a lot more after the creation (his or another) has made, that is why God provided us one of his greatest gifts, a brain.

It’s too sad many don’t want or choose to use it.

Jack, you have a gift, I see it in your writings, I just hope someday you use what God gave you – it is a gift, open it, you will love it, I promise you.

stay puft said:

oh snap! you gonna take that, Jack?

Jack said:

Wise man:

We study science to discover the laws of the universe. God put those laws in place, so He neccessarily has all the answers, at least in the scientific fields. That is one reason that I chose Astrophysics for my graduate studies -- the more I know of HOW the stars and galaxies were (and are) created, the closer I get to seeing the mind of God.

The humanities are necessarily more complicated, as God made the human mind far more complicated than stars and galaxies. As such, scientific studies do not suffice, because the scientific method cannot be applied.

That is also true in Astrophysics. We cannot do controlled experiments in Astrophysics. We can only get the observations that God gives us, and we must make conjectures that fit those observations. We then try to obtain other observations that confirm or, even better, contradict those conjectures.

Astrophysics is one of the few physical sciences that have this problem, but all of the humanities do. These even include the more mathematical humanities, such as economics (which I also study, but on my own, not in school). But even in these fields, psychology, sociology, political science, etc., God DOES have the answers. This presumes that God is all-knowing and all-powerful. Since He created the universe and all that is in it, the omnipotent is easy to believe. You may have more difficulty believing that He is omniscient. I will not try to convince you of that now.

The point is that I, and other scientists I know, study not only to learn the particular field, but to be able to look through a tiny window into the mind of the Creator who put in place those laws that we seek to discover.

The last graduate class I took was Quantum Mechanics. It is amazing. If the laws of Newtonian Mechanics held in the atomic scale, nothing would work! Electron orbits would decay into the protons, and even if they didn't, the electric repulsion would prevent fusion, and there would be no stars. And yet, in the macro scale, it is all simple enough for us to comprehend, and to give us a basis from which we can move to understand quantum mechanics. What a fantastic mind to create such wonders!

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