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“That’s What’s Wrong with You Now…!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Can’t nobody tell you nothing! You think you know it all!  Mark Twain said, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”  You ought to mimic Paul who said, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified [1 Corin 2: 2].

There are just some people you can’t tell anything. Their minds are like steel traps – tightly shut and difficult to open. They have their mind made up and they’re not going to change for you, me… or even God. That’s pretty much the situation we discover in [Jeremiah 44] when Jeremiah warns the people that God is upset with their behavior… and they respond: “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD!” [Jeremiah 44:16]. They’ve made up their minds.  They liked what they’re doing. And they had no intention of stopping for Jeremiah or God.

I will venture to say that we all have come across people who think they know everything. Usually, they like to tell us how they know so much and make us feel like we are inferior. These arrogant personalities are perhaps the most difficult types of people to deal with.

But I just want to bring to remembrance to all the “Can’t tell me nothing” individuals. [Psalm 81:11-14], tells the story of a sad saga of a people who would not listen to God. From this Psalm, we learned that the nation of Israel did not listen to the counsel of God.  They tuned Him out and followed their own “stubborn hearts.”  You see, God told Israel through His commandments not to bow down to other gods, but they did not listen to Him.  Instead, [1 Kings 17:12] says, they worshiped idols, though the Lord had said, “You shall not do this.”  They chose to follow their own ways instead of God’s ways. And do you know what happened to the Northern Kingdom known as Israel? And because of their hard-headiness, in 722 BC, they were destroyed by the Assyrian army. Since they did not listen to God, and follow His will, God allowed the Assyrian army to defeat them.

What will happen to those of us who do not listen to God’s Word?  “He will punish us who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of Jesus” [2 Thess. 1:8]….. [2 John 9] says, “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.”

Listen, if we want to live godly lives, then we must listen to God’s will and then put it into practice.  The Bible teaches in [Deuteronomy 11] that if we listen and obey God, we will be blessed.  On the other hand, if we do not listen to God, we will be cursed.

God still lives and His Word still speaks. We need to listen to His Word because of our position before Him and our responsibility to Him. It is Finished!

 

Our House Grief Support Center, a Los Angeles Nonprofit, Is Offering Two Weekend-Long, Free Camp Experiences for Children Ages 6-17

LOS ANGELES, CA- OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center is hosting two weekends at Camp Erin-LA this summer (June 10-12 and August 19-21) at the scenic Camp Bloomfield in Malibu. Camp Erin-LA is a weekend-long camp experience for children and teens ages 6 to 17 who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or guardian in the past 3 years. Camp is free of charge for all children and combines traditional camp activities with grief support, education, and remembrance projects. Typical fun and engaging camp favorites such as rock climbing, swimming, arts and crafts, and campfires are interspersed with projects and experiences used to facilitate expression of feelings, memorialize their loved one who died, and promote healing.

When campers arrive on Friday, they are greeted with open arms by the dozens of grief specialists and trained volunteers who guide the campers through a series of bonding and grief-related exercises, as well as fun high-energy physical activities. They begin their camp journey with an intimate Friday evening ceremony where each camper shares their name, the name of their loved one who died, and places a photo of that person on a “memory board.”   Saturday evening’s Luminary Ceremony is equally powerful and another opportunity to come together to say goodbye to their loved one by writing a message or drawing on a lantern that’s lit and set adrift across the pool. OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center recognizes every person’s grief is unique in duration and intensity, and that commonalities of experience strengthen the value of a grief support group in helping the healing process. “By offering Camp Erin-LA, OUR HOUSE puts a support system into place, offering a safe space to talk and providing the tools to cope with their grief,” said Michele Prince, Executive Director of OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center. “Camp might be the only opportunity they have to work on their grief with other kids.”

Camp Erin is an initiative created and funded by The Moyer Foundation in Seattle, WA, a non-profit organization established by Major League All-Star pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen.  Camp Erin is named in memory of Erin Metcalf, a friend of the Moyers who lost her battle to cancer at age 17.   Camp Erin-LA was featured in an Emmy award-winning HBO documentary “One Last Hug: Three Days at Grief Camp”, which was produced in association with The Moyer Foundation and OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center.

For more information about Camp Erin-LA, please visit www.ourhouse-grief.org/volunteer-opportunities/camp-erin-los-angeles.

Omni Team Effort Reunites Missing Man with Family

Derman Redman

Derman Redman

Sixteen-year veteran Omnitrans Coach Operator (CO) Derman Redman was taking break one recent day at the San Bernardino Transit Center, and stopped to catch up with fellow CO Urbanita Ramon. She mentioned a flyer that she’d seen, asking for help finding a missing local man with developmental disabilities. He’d been away from home for two weeks.

“It lay heavy on my heart,” said Urbanita. “My brother is physically and mentally disabled, and I feel a kinship to people who live with disabilities. That’s what made me share the information with my fellow drivers – I even posted it online to help get the word out.”

The story also captured Derman’s attention, and he asked what the man looked like so that he could keep an eye out for him. Urbanita’s description sounded familiar; when she showed Derman the photo from the missing person flier, he couldn’t believe it.

“I know that guy!” said Derman. He recognized Roger, a regular passenger from his days driving Route 10. “But two weeks, wow. That’s a long time. Who knows what could have happened by now?”

Derman went on his way, but the story stayed with him all day, through his shift, and that night at home. Roger rode Derman’s bus for almost 10 years, and they had developed a good rapport.

“He was always friendly and nice,” Derman remembered. “Very quiet, but he would give you the shirt off of his back if you asked him.”

At work on his route the next morning, Derman pulled up to a stop and opened the doors as usual. There was a man waiting who looked a bit the worse for wear – his socks were muddy, and his hair was long and unkempt. But Derman thought he recognized him. He did a double take. Yes, he was pretty sure – the man was Roger!

“To be honest, the thought crossed my mind, ‘Did I summon this guy?’” Derman said. “I couldn’t move at first. Then I went up to him and asked, ‘Roger, is that you?’”

Roger simply said, “Yes,” as if all was normal.

“Are you lost?”

“No.” Very firm.

“Are you sure you’re not lost?”

“Yes, I’m sure.”

“When was the last time you went home?”

“I don’t know.”

“Are you sure you’re not lost?”

“I’m trying to get home right now,” Roger said. But Derman realized that he was at the wrong bus stop.

At that point, Derman decided to take action. Asking his bus full of passengers to “please wait, I’ll be right back,” Derman told Roger to “sit tight, and don’t move.”  Trusting Derman, Roger stayed put. Derman ran as fast as he could into the transit center, to find Supervisor Ricky Williams. He burst into the break room, out of breath, shouting “Ricky, I found that guy! The missing guy!”

Running back out to his stop to check on Roger and his passengers, Derman saw the missing person flyer on Roger hanging from the fence.

“I kept looking at the flyer and at the man. Could it really be him? And it was,” said a relieved Derman.

Ricky contacted Roger’s caregiver, Brigette Flowers, who drove all the way from Riverside to pick him up. She and her husband had been out looking for Roger every night for 12 days. He now is reunited with his family and recovering well from his ordeal.

“We got lots of calls during that time from people who said they saw Roger, but we never could pin him down,” Brigette said. “It’s drivers like Derman who see people like Roger every day, and care about them.”

Brigette isn’t Derman’s only fan. When he arrived home that night, he told his family about what had happened during his eventful day. “Daddy, you’re like a hero!” his daughter said.

“No, we just do a lot of things out there,” said Derman, trying to play down his role. But she wasn’t having it. “No, Daddy, anything could have happened to that man. You did a good thing.”