Category Archives: love your neighbor

Why the USA Must Take the Lead in the War Against ISIS Barbarism: It is the Right Thing To Do

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

I sit here safe at 7 a.m. pecking away at the keyboard in front of me. My thoughts, for the moment, are focused on the words I make appear on the screen. A cup of coffee sits to my right . My freedom in America allows me to be a Catholic and practice my faith without interference (so far). So at 7:45 I will leave and go to Mass.This is what being an American and living in the greatest country in the world is like for me and millions like me. Being blessed beyond belief, we are FREE to do what we choose except break the law.

It is about 2 p.m. in Syria. There are Catholics/Christians there. As I sit at this keyboard reports are coming from Christian aid agencies that ISIS satanic fueled  savages have overrun the city of Hassakah, killing 15 young Assyrians who tried to defend their families. In Tel Hormizd, 14 of the defenders were killed including two women, one of whom was beheaded. So far over 350 men, women and children have been kidnapped and brought to the Sunni village of Bab Alfaraj. The word going out from ISIS is that today, Friday, February 27, 2015, “all people should come to the mountain of Abdul Aziz to attend “a mass killing of infidels”.

Those “infidels” are our brothers and sisters in faith. They will be killed in horrible ways because they LOVE Jesus Christ. I pause and sip my coffee again. I have to take a breath. I LOVE the same Jesus. These people will be slaughtered today and I am no different in my core beliefs. If I were there I would not be here tomorrow. Yes, we Americans are so blessed yet—so many Americans don’t seem to get it. They do not seem to realize that this could be us, anyone of us. Even being an American atheist qualifies you for ISIS extermination. In that regard they are the same as we Catholics and Jews.

We are all “infidels” to these maniacs. But who is supposed to lead the charge against the 21st century genocide taking place? Who is supposed to stand up for the weaker and more vulnerable of those who have knives to their throats waiting for their heads to be cut off, ropes tied around their necks waiting to have their necks snapped, and who wear gasoline soaked clothing ready to be burned alive? I say, without hesitation, the United States of America is the nation and people who must take charge. Why us? I’ll tell you why us and it has to do with having God as our primary support.

We are still a Judeo-Christian nation and as such we have a responsibility. America is called the “melting pot” because we are unlike any other nation on the planet. We are Americans because we are all different. We are black, white, yellow, brown and red. We are Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Muslim. German, Irish, French, Tanzanian, Argentinian, Pakistani, Chinese, Indonesian, Mexican and on and on. We are everyone. We are supposed to be an American family. We are, in fact, the most diverse family ever. Since a family should take care of its own all of those being slaughtered in Syria, Iraq, North Korea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, France, Denmark and so on are our extended family.

We have all the resources, all the power and all the weapons. This is part of the privilege of being Americans. However, along with that privilege and honor comes responsibility to those of our extended family members that are weaker and less blessed than we are. If I have a family and a neighbor moves in and starts to attack my children I MUST defend them. It is the right thing to do. If I am incapable of fighting back myself and my family is at risk, I call upon my older and stronger brother(s) to help me. Since the family is the  basic unit of a society it follows that we, as Americans, must defend our  downtrodden brothers and sisters who have become the prime targets in the 21st century genocide, a genocide which actually began right here in America on September 11, 2001

At this very moment in Syria and Nigeria and in Iraq, Christians are being viciously murdered because they love Jesus Christ who preached the doctrine of Love Your Neighbor. It is time for the United States of America to unite the peace and freedom loving nations of the world and lead them in defense of  the freedom of all those who are extended family. It is the RIGHT THING TO DO.

                                     ©2015 Larry Peterson All Rights Reserved

On Valentine's Day a War on LOVE is Raging

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

 Valentine’s Day is here.  It is supposed to be all about Love. Yet beyond the heart covered Valentine cards, the flower bouquets and candy and all of that, we must, as unpleasant as it may be, recognize what we truly have going on this Valentine’s Day of 2014.  Yes, make no mistake, Love is under attack this Valentine’s Day and the war is brutal and bloody.

The Catholic News Agency (CNA/EWTN Newsreported today that Christians are the most persecuted people on earth.  Why is that?  Why is there such hatred by so many toward something that is all about goodness and love?  The word “CHRISTIAN” comes from the name of Christ, Jesus Christ.  Okay, is that a BAD thing? I don’t think so.

All Christians  (including 1.2 billion Catholics and 800 million Protestants  of varied denominations) follow Jesus Christ. That is 2 billion people or two thousand million people who follow His teachings and His promise of Eternal Life. What is the crux of His teachings? Well now, the bottom line is this, LOVE your NEIGHBOR & FORGIVENESS. Yeah, yeah, I know that many who proclaim to follow Jesus  do not even make an attempt to Love their Neighbor or Forgive anyone for anything. They let that old, deadly sin of pride rule their roost. Oh well, it is part of God’s gift of free-will allowing each and every one of us to make choices. However, the vast majority of Catholic/Christians do their feeble best  to follow His message.  For those that do it is a life-long work in progress and this was true even for the saints.

So, why the hatred? Why the persecution?  Why were more than 100,000 followers of Christ murdered in the past year alone?   The problem is the aforementioned  deadly sin of pride.  Why?  Because pride has filled the hearts of many and these are the people who now HATE. What they hate most is one word which is made up of  only two letters. That  word is NO. They want no-one dare telling them what to do or how to behave. They have embraced secularism (defined as: a system of political or social philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faith and worship). Christianity establishes boundaries.  Christianity tells us what God wants us to do and what NOT to do…why, the NERVE of Him!  So, many Secularists (not all) take it to another level in their personal, selfish requests to abolish the influence of institutions that have the temerity to say NO to certain behaviors. They even reject “natural law” for their own personal agendas.

They rant against Christmas which is all about “giving”. They rail on about using the name of God in schools and at sports events. They want Crosses at cemeteries taken down from the graves of fallen soldiers. In many cases those who hate Christians kill them. Men, women and children die every day in different parts of the world simply because they are followers of Jesus. How can  Love & Forgiveness be things to hate?

Well, nothing has changed since Jesus walked the earth two thousand years ago.  He preached Love & Forgiveness so they beat  Him, tortured Him and killed Him.  The loving crowds who screamed “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday turned fickle and screamed “Crucify Him” the following Friday.  The list of  people murdered for following Jesus over the centuries (including his own apostles) is countless. Being a Catholic and Christian was never supposed to be easy.  Jesus Christ did nothing but Love us, each and every one of us. Look what happened to Him.

So, on this Valentine’s Day, the question to be considered might be this. What is Love? The answer can be found in the Bible in the First Letter of John; Ch 4: 16-17.  “We have come to know and believe in the love God has for us. God IS Love, and whoever remains in Love remains in God and God in Him. 
Sadly today, February 14, 2014, the war on Love increases in intensity.

Faith Can Move Mountains, if You Believe: An Amazing Book

Review Redux:  The Priest & The Peaches  from 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Book!
This review is from: The Priest and the Peaches (Kindle Edition)

Often times, faith is something almost all of us have a hard time in having. Believing in something you can’t see is testing, most especially for those of us who have strayed from the Lord’s path. Believing in his goodness, in the fact that he’ll lead us along the righteous path, well, it can honestly be trying. The reason for this is because for some, the trials and tribulations they face along the way hard from them to place their trust in a being they’re really not sure exists.

For the Peaches, both young and old, their lives haven’t been that easy. The children lost their mother and grandmother at a very young age and have dealt with the consequences of their deaths ever since then. When their father falls ill, the children realize it’s another blow of disappointment they’ve been dealt with – a disappointment none of them wish to deal with just yet. Despite this, they’re determined to band together in hopes of helping their father through his ordeal.

The task of keeping the family afloat falls upon Joanie and Teddy’s hands, the oldest of the Peach children. Beeker, Dancer, and Joey don’t quite understand what’s going on, but for their father’s sake, they’re willing to pretend that everything is fine and dandy. Unbeknownst to the Peach children, their problems are just beginning.

When their father takes a turn for the worse and dies unexpectedly, Joanie, Teddy, and the children must find the strength within themselves to face the adversity that has now been lain at their feet. Their faith has been shattered and each one of them begin to wonder as to whether they’ll be able to bounce back from the brink of a darkness that seems intent on engulfing each and every one of them. Determined to pick up the pieces of a life they’d once known, Joanie and Teddy do their best to keep their family together.

The children’s unexpected saving grace arrives in the form of Father Sullivan, a man who believes completely in the blessings and virtues extoled by God himself. His faith is firmly cemented in the fact that God will provide for his flock no matter what happens along the way. Father Sullivan has tried to make this fact known to all those he meets wherever his feet have taken him. While there are a good many that shun the message he tries to deliver, he knows that there are a good many who will take the Lord’s words into their hearts and do the best they can with what they’ve been given – a certainty that becomes apparent when the safety and well-being of the Peach children inadvertently lands in his hands.

This was such a beautiful story. I enjoyed it immensely and recommend it to anyone for reading. It’s meaning, and the lessons found throughout the story, will touch a soul to its very core. While this is a Catholic fiction story, I think it’s one that will leave the person reading with a better understanding of God, of faith, of death, and even of life, be it whether they’re a religious person or not.

We’re able to feel the Peach family’s pain, their laughter, their fears, and their triumphs as they seek to make the most of a situation that is way out of their control. We’re able to watch a family grow within a period of seven days while faced with an adversity that, at times, seems to want to topple the family altogether. The fact that they’re able to bounce back and find strength and meaning within the very world they live in goes to show us that anything is possible only if you believe.

It’s like a Christian song that was taught to me when I was little, if your faith is like that of a small mustard seed, you can move mountains. The book made me realize that it’s very much true. Anything is possible, but only if you believe. More so, if you believe that God will be there with you no matter what comes your way.

"I Could Not Imagine Being 18 and—" see for yourself

  “I recommend this to my friends and anyone else that loves historical fiction”, Sandra Stiles

Review Redux:

5.0 out of 5 stars Priest and Peaches, from February 3, 2012
By 
Sandra K. Stiles (Sarasota, Florida) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Priest and the Peaches (Kindle Edition)

I could not imagine being an eighteen year old with my life ahead of me and suddenly my life is changed drastically. Teddy must find a way to take care of his siblings after their father dies. He does the best he can. The neighbor downstairs is causing problems for Teddy. He needs help so he turns to Father Tim Sullivan. Help comes in many forms including guidance in matters of everyday life. There are moral lessons to be learned seasoned with a touch of Christianity. There were pats where I just cracked up, like the boys jumping on the bed and pretending to be super-heroes. I think the reason I loved this so much was because I could relate to it so much. I remember jumping on our bed with the wire springs and having it collapse on us. I also remember my mom trudging up the steps to reprimand us. I remember tying scarves around my neck and pretending to be mighty mouse as I jumped off our back steps. When my mother was injured in a car accident and spent a month in the hospital in traction, my father put me in charge of my younger sisters aged 11 and 7. I was only 13 years old. I had to cook breakfast and get us ready for school, take care of my normal chores on our farm, help with homework, then fix dinner and take care of the dishes. It was tough. I could relate also because my experiences took place around the same time period.

I felt Teddy’s burdens as he tried to hold it all together. I felt his stress and heartache. This was one of those books that had you laughing one minute and then had your heart being squished. This is a young adult book, but I am telling you that adults will enjoy this book just as much. I definitely recommend it to my friends and anyone else that loves historical fiction.

Pope Francis I—God's Kind of "Big Shot"

Last week I wrote a piece commenting on why “I Love being Catholic”. This past week has validated those feelings. “Hello, Pope Francis. Nice to meet you.”  Unbelievable.

I loved it when the cardinals went into conclave. The doors were locked and sealed behind them. No communication devices of any kind were permitted. They shut themselves off from the world and I thought that the 5000 journalists, reporters, broadcast folks and whoever else wanted information must have been going crazy. Speculation was rampant and no one knew anything. What I noticed and became fixated on (as I am sure many others might have too) was the bird sitting on the smokestack. It was alone and it stayed for the longest time.  How many statues have you seen of Francis of Assisi with a bird on his finger?  Was that God communicating to all of us what was about to happen? After all, God doesn’t need a cell phone or an iPod. “Hello, Pope Francis”.

How about the inexplicable angel cloud that appeared in the crystal clear skies of south Florida around the same time the new Holy Father was introduced? It was broadcast over numerous stations and many thousands were witness to it. Was God introducing us to His new representative here on earth? I think He was. “Hello, Pope Francis”.

I believe that it is easy to be Catholic as long as you stick to the fundamentals. You follow the “Golden Rule” and love your neighbor. That is Numero Uno, Numerus Unus, Number One in any language. “Hello, Pope Francis”. Did you really refuse to live in the palatial edifice that was available to the Cardinal of Buenos Aires and choose instead to live in your own small apartment?  Did you really turn down a chauffeured limo and take the bus to work like the plain folks? Oh no, you did your own cooking too? Did you not realize that you were the highest cleric in the land of the Pampas and Gauchos? What, are you kidding me? You also  frequented the slums surrounding the city. You kissed the feet of Aids’ victims and blessed unwed mothers? What kind of “Big Shot” cleric are you? You are God’s kind of “Big Shot”, that’s what kind.

Today, most Holy Father Francis, you are the “Biggest Big Shot” cleric in the whole world. So what have you done so far. You rejected  the papal Mercedes and took a Volkswagen to the conclave hotel to claim your own bags and pay your bill with your own money. You are certainly a strange “Big Shot” Holy Father.  All you had to do was ask someone to fetch your bags and pay the bill.  In fact, you might want to check but it is possible the  Vatican has a running tab for Popes all around the Eternal City.  But you do not care about that, do you? After your introduction as our new Pope you decided to take the bus along with the other Cardinals back to the Vatican for dinner.

So, “Hello, Pope Francis I”.  “Hello” to a follower of the man from Assisi who was a  lover of the poor and downtrodden and animals.  What a way to start a Papacy. You have humbled us all and made us proud. We must all thank the Lord for sending the world His kind of “Big Shot”.

Another 5 STAR unbiased review for The Priest & The Peaches

The book has been out for over a year and below are two  reviews. One  is brand spanking new and the other is almost one year old.  This book, based on a true story, is about blue-collar folks living and working and sharing their lives together in a tough NYC south Bronx neighborhood. The untimely death of the widower, Yimey Peach,  leaves his five kids to fend for themselves. Father Tim Sullivan, the parish priest, quietly guides them on their parentless journey starting with their father’s somewhat raucous New Year’s Eve Funeral. Characters such as Migrane Magrane, Fadeaway Walker, Little Red Coffey and others lead a bizarre contingent of family friends who are there to bid their friend Yimey, a Happy New Year. Only problem is they have usually had way too much to drink. Even the neighborhood shrew, the despised Beatrice Amon, gets involved–VERY involved. This book is funny, sad and definitely inspirational. See the two reviews below or go to Amazon where there 46 reviews posted,  mostly with 4 or 5 stars

5.0 out of 5 stars Well done, February 26, 2013
This review is from: The Priest and the Peaches (Kindle Edition)

Peterson has created a captivating novel that stars a large cast of unique characters who keep you enticed and make you not want to set your e-reader down even though it may be well past your bedtime! Your heart will be touched as you journey with the children. A few well placed unexpected twists add to the story, surprising the reader. A great read

5.0 out of 5 stars The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways, April 10, 2012
This review is from: The Priest and the Peaches (Kindle Edition)

Here is an alert to this book. Make sure you have a box of tissue ready. You will either laugh until you cry and you will cry at the sad moments. This book is that good. It is amazing to me how together these five orphans were. There was never any doubt in their minds that they all wanted to be together. The older two children who are in their late teens could have easily said nope I do not want the responsibility of caring for my younger siblings. They stepped up to the plate and decided that they did. To me that in itself speaks volumes. Teenagers are normally in their own little world not looking out for anyone but number one. ( Believe me I know I have 2 of my own.) The Peach family is a family that you will fall in love with. I found this book to be highly entertaining. I loved how be kind to others is a main theme of this book. How one good deed can turn into many more.

If you are interested in finding out more about Larry Peterson and his writings you can check out Tribute Books or his blog.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Smile, Laugh, Cry, be Mad and Inspired

Review Redux:

4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT read for anyone, April 2, 2012
This review is from: The Priest and the Peaches (Kindle Edition)

(I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review)
I have never read a book that really inspired me. A book that made me smile, laugh, cry and be mad. A book that actually teaches you life lessons, instead of what television creates today to be okay…teen pregnancy, bullying, etc. This book takes you into a World, when Teens have to become adults and children have to grow up way too quickly after they lose a parent or even both their parents. What society also thinks about them. How could children take care of children? Their nothing, but bad children, etc. At least that’s what people assumed.
This book proves people wrong. It also proves, you can’t judge anybody by who they are and what they are. Anyone is dealing with a struggle harder than yours…and this book definitely digs deeper into that saying.
5 Kids…who are newly orphaned. Known as Yimey’s Kids or the Peach kids. They just recently lost their father and now they have to find away to survive without them. It’s bad enough, they had lost their Mother also. Through so many challenges and obstacles, they conquer it all, with the help of friends and family they never knew they really had and the help of one another. With one saying…”L-Y-N”. Which you will learn a lot about in this book. I didn’t know what it meant until mid-way into the book and once I found out what it meant, I understood so much more.
I have a quote or saying that hangs on my Wall at home that could go with the ending of this book so well, “Faith is not believing God Can, it is knowing that God Will.”
Larry Peterson, definitely has a different writing style that I’m used to. I’m the usual Paranormal Romance Addict who thrives on the Para normality and of course the Hot Steamy Romance Scenes…but this book took me out of my fantasy world for awhile and made me realize, I need to pick up more books like Larry Peterson’s. A book that really can teach you something in the end, even if it’s fiction. He made me fall in with the characters. He made me realize how much I wanted to jump in the book and help them out.
It may have taken me a little longer than usual to read this book, but that’s because I was slowly reading it to savor every moment of learning about the Peaches Kids.
I recommend this book to anyone who has ever thought their life was difficult or struggling at times. This book will put in perspective how life can be unmanageable in times…but in the end, anything is manageable as long as you believe.
You’ll also learn a lot from this book about not judging someone by their character or even appearance.
This is a definitely must read even to those readers out there who think this book is not for them. I challenged myself to read outside of my “Normal” Genre…and now I can’t wait to dig deeper into this kind of Genre again and also read even more books from Larry Peterson.