Iraq Posts

Immigrants Get the Jobs Done

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I stopped at the concierge desk. It was nearly 8 p.m. and we had not yet had dinner. “Where’s a good place to get pizza?” I asked.

“Giordano’s,” he replied.

“Is it far?”

“No, easy. Three blocks up to Michigan and then three blocks up to Randolph.”

“Where are you from?” I asked, responding to his thick accent.

I ask everyone in Chicago where they are from because almost everyone has an accent. The Uber driver who picked me up from the airport was from Kakistan. He’s earned his Bachelor’s degree in Moscow and is currently working on his Masters degree at DePaul.  The Lyft driver who took us from the library presentation to our hotel grew up in Mexico. “I was homeless as a child,” he said, explaining that he had a troubled mother. It is for those reasons, he has never smoked, never drank. His Muslim faith enables him to heal from all that childhood trauma.

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What Becomes of the Broken Children?

IMG_6656There’s a stillness over the house, the unusual quietness that is companion to the sick and ailing.  The Bean is sleeping now, propped up against a pillow that deludes his Mimi into thinking it helps him breath, being upright a bit instead of flat on his back as he most often sleeps. A Venti Latte sits here on the floor beside me. I don’t usually order the large ones but after the long drive that began in the gloaming hour and ended too late, I knew I would need double the caffeine.

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Gold Star Families: Making a President Look More Presidential

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There are these documents most every Gold Star family has stashed somewhere. The signatures on those documents change from era to era, but the White House seal, it stays the same. The ones I have are over 50 years old now. They belonged to my mother but she passed them on to me – the document keeper of the family.

There’s the Regret-to-Inform telegram confirming that Staff Sgt. David P. Spears was KIA on July 24, 1966.

There’s the Letter of Sympathy sent from the United States president.

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What’s Left of Right?

Karen’s Note: The following is a post from a veteran-turned-pastor friend. Many of you regular readers are already familiar with Roger.  Please feel free to share your thoughts with him. I know he’d like to engage with you on these matters. Roger lives and serves in Portland.

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On the Good News of Jesus from Matthew 5:21-37, Deut. 30:15-20,  Psalm 119:1-8,  1 Cor. 3:1-9

–by Pastor Roger Fuchs

 

Author’s note:  The terms “left” and “right” in this piece should not be taken as synonyms for liberal and conservative terms of politics.  Understand them as they are developed in the text.  As we are biased to right-handedness, so we are biased to believe in the rightness of our own ideas, sometimes to great harm.  My friend Karen has a term for this, the religion of “certainosity”.  There is a bit of it about these days… 

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Overcoming Evil

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Do good.

As much good as you can find to do.

Do it.

I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s book, The Broken Way. I want you to read it, too. I’m giving away two copies. For a chance to win, you need to leave your name below and promise to get another person a copy of the book. You can give them your copy or buy it. It’s up to you. I’m not giving away my copy because it’s a book I want to return to time and time again.

The one thing that has really struck me about Ann’s words is this idea of being a generous people. By and large, Americans are some of the most generous people in the world. Perhaps not surprisingly, Utah, home to the Mormons, ranks first in its charitable giving. But what is surprising is that Mississippi, one of the poorest states in the nation, comes in second in charitable giving, underscoring Jesus’s story of the widow in Mark 12, that out of her poverty, she gave all that she had.

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