Cirrhosis

I lost another friend to alcohol last night. Cirrhosis. Only 46 years old. My mind is still groggy from sitting up through the night with the family after they received word of her passing. Her name is added to a long list of tragedies that have deeply affected people I love. She was a dear friend to our family and I enjoyed many long visits with her.

> My wife’s uncle spent something like 10 years in jail. A DUI that left another driver dead.

> A local friend lost her dad in a drunken crash.

> A parishioner lost 3 sons in their DUI accident. You can see their markers down by the river. In a separate accident several years later, another son was critically injured, nearly died and is incapable for independent living.

> A neighbor’s son hanged himself while intoxicated.

> One elderly grandma who attends our church struggles daily with alcoholism and it has affected all of her family with most of them taking the same path. The last time she came to church, she gave me a list of 8-10 children or grandchildren in jail currently for incidents where alcohol was a primary factor.

I have to go now, but my list could go on and on.

Let me just say, I hate alcohol and I hate what it has done to the people I love.

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Rez RV

Frank Jamerson, a friend and former SRST councilman, spotted this classic rez camper at the Eagle Butte Powwow this past weekend. His comment: “NDN RV!!! Sleep in comfort, ride in comfort!! No more sleepin on the ground…split level luxury!! Invite the whole family out for a ride on the powwow trail…another native invention.”

REZ RV 

All Things New

Our world is broken and messed up.

God created the world, looked over everything that was made and declared that it was very good. But we don’t have to look very far to see that everything is not good. While a lot of beauty, kindness and compassion remains in our world, everything has been tainted by evil, suffering and pain because of sin and the curse.

Stunning headlines grab for our attention day by day. A 72-hour cease-fire between Israel and Hamas lasts only a couple hours before terrorists attack and kidnap an Israeli soldier. Isis is sweeping across Iraq executing infidels and apostates. Russian rebels in Ukraine shot down a Malaysian airliner while the turmoil continues in Ukraine with Russian looking on hungrily. We have a huge humanitarian crisis at our southern border with thousands of illegal immigrants including unaccompanied children, but solutions are mired in politics. And have we forgotten about Boko Haram in Nigeria? Continue reading

A Rumbling Cultural Memory

“I have never met an Indian person who didn’t somewhere deep inside struggle with anger and sadness at what has happened to their people, and I have never met an honest and aware non-Indian person in America who didn’t somewhere deep inside struggle with guilt about what we as a culture have done to the people who inhabited the country before us. we can like each other, hate each other, feel pity for each other, love each other. But always, somewhere beneath the surface of our personal encounters, this cultural memory is rumbling. A tragedy has taken place on our land, and even though it did not take place on our watch, we are its inheritors, and the [world] remembers.”

-Kent Nerburn in the forward to Neither Wolf Nor Dog

Sober Thoughts

sober thoughts

An intoxicated friend stopped by tonight wanting a ride down to his mom or brother’s home. I would have been willing to give the ride but didn’t figure the family would appreciate me dropping him off in that condition. He’d just gotten out of jail for making trouble at his mom’s home a couple of weeks ago. I called the mom to double-check. I was right. They didn’t want him coming down.

He didn’t take the news very well nor did he appreciate the tactful explanation I tendered. Further, I apparently tragically undermined his perception of what a man of God should be, but it was my gentle probings regarding the possibility of a better life that sent him over the edge. He yelled at me for a while. Then walked down the street screaming and threatening.  Continue reading