Friday, July 29, 2016

What Creates Homelessness

What creates homelessness? Below are some reasons:

1. Unemployment - military training rarely qualifies for civilian jobs;
2. The shortage of cheap housing; 
3. Veterans with disability (PTSD) and persons with substance abuse; 
4. Lack of family support – those who, all their lives, avoided to support their children, siblings, their own parents, and extended family like ex-spouse, cousins, uncles and aunts while they had the resources to do so, find themselves with no one paying back.  

   The first three are for society and governments to address.  The last one is a homeless by choice.  A man can choose to avoid paying his own children support by doing undocumented jobs or putting up a business in someone else’s name to.  

   I know someone whose children grew up and eventually became professionals without his help.  As he advanced in age, the undocumented jobs went to younger candidates and he had no employment track record for any legal job application.  

   Aside from Supplemental Security Income (SSI), he had no social security contributions to benefit from.  The monthly maximum SSI amount as of 2016 is $733.  Here, we factor in item 1 to 2, his unemployment due to age and inexperience, and shortage of cheap housing that his SSI can afford.  As for no.3, he avoided the military draft by marrying at sixteen, however, his substance abuse started when he was seventeen and continued till he was seventy.  

   His children has disowned him.  His ex-wives have moved on.  His parents have died and his siblings, in slightly better situation are not willing to adopt him.  The man now lives in the streets, in a state with four seasons.  That means killer winters and torching summers over 100 degrees.

   Another group of homeless by choice is the runaway.  I flew the coop at seventeen for no valid reason other than baseless pride and arrogance.  I wanted adventure and dangerous liaisons.  When I needed shelter, my cousin Ate Fely, in her kindness, took me in for a season.  

   I did not evade a military draft, on the contrary, I was war freak.  I did not ditch child support, in fact I have raised three professionals.  I worked all my life.  To this date, head hunters are still emailing me from my LinkedIn, for jobs I no longer have the health to do.  

   Fast forward to 2015, I went home from California at middle age.  I have come full circle.  I found myself back in Ate Fely's home.  She is still my go-to whenever I’m homeless.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Benefits of Drinking Ginseng Tea

   When I was in my 40’s, a friend of mine came by to sell me a very expensive item she believed would do my health a lot of good.  I wasn’t sick but I wanted to help her out so I bought the Red Korean Ginseng Extract.  I was impressed that it came in a wooden box like a treasure with a little bitty spoon used for measuring into a cup of tea.  It didn’t taste bad, but it was not the typical taste of tea.  After a month of drinking the ginseng tea, I noticed my pee came with what looked like red sand that settled at the bottom.  I don’t eat or drink sand so I believe the ‘red sand’ could be kidney or bladder stones that the ginseng disintegrated and expelled.  

   Twenty years later, I came across the effects of ginseng on dialysis patients from Kidney Disease Symptoms, which sort of supports my theory on the ‘red sand’.  It says ginseng can:

“1. Lower high creatinine level - Creatinine level is one common blood test item that will increase with the decline of kidney function. 

2. Regulate blood pressure - Kidneys have the function of keeping fluid and sodium balance and secreting renin. When they are damaged, they fail to work normally. Ginseng is one famous nourishing medicine that is able to regulate blood pressure and restore cardiac function.

3. Improve hematopoietic and platelet function - In addition to cleanse blood, making EPO, which stimulates the body to produce red blood cells, is another important renal function. Ginseng or its extractive has the effects of protecting and stimulating hematopoietic function, so as to increase red blood cells, hemoglobin and platelet. This can alleviate renal patients’ anemia largely.

4. Boost immune system - In this case, ginseng can help improve their immunity and fight against various problems.” (WARNING: People with foreign body implanted such as pacemaker, stent, graft, shunt or transplant should ask for doctor's approval before drinking ginseng.  Raised immunity could result in rejection or blood clotting.)  

   “Ginseng may help with stimulating physical and mental activity among people who are weak and tired. A Mayo Clinic study revealed that ginseng showed good results in helping cancer patients with fatigue.” (From: MNT)

   Recently, I found Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea from Lucky.  I remembered the ginseng in the wooden box.  I tried it and after a week of drinking this tea with ginseng, I felt incredible energy.  That weekend, I attended an all-day convention in Cow Palace which ended at 5:00 pm.  The sun sets at 8:00 pm here in San Francisco so I had time to clean two cars, carrying the buckets of water from inside the house to our street parking.  WOW!

See also:

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Art of Preaching

   Preaching has been called a ‘vocation’ by Catholic priests, a ‘calling’ by Mormons, a job for those who pass around collection box as they preach in street corners and inside buses.  No one has heard of preaching as an art. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 4:2 said “Preach the word; be at it urgently in favorable times and difficult times; reprove, reprimand, exhort, with all patience and art of teaching.”

   Art is typically a painting, a sculpture or architecture.  Religious mages have been worshiped by pagans and those who claim to be Christians.  This article does not concern pagans.  The above Biblical passage would involve only Christians.  Painting and sculpture for religious practice has been forbidden in the Bible long before art schools happened.  The Book of Exodus 20:4, explicitly commands against creating images, whether for preaching or worship.  

   How can preaching be an art form?  The Jehovah's Witnesses, follow what the Bible preach, and only what the Bible preach.  To encourage Bible reading, their art of preaching has taken many forms through the years.  

  • The ‘sandwich’ board worn by members pacing the streets; 
  • The magazines, brochures and tracts have been translated to over 200 languages, using whatever printing technology is available.

  • Books were written to put together Bible based articles to fit the age of the reader.  The books lead the readers to specific Bible passages that could help them on whatever situation they are experiencing.  Some were written to highlight Bible characters, its history and contribution to Jehovah’s plan of saving mankind through God's Kingdom, that Jesus instructed to pray for, "Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.  Let your Kingdom come..."

  • When the internet arrived on the scene, was born.  It provides publication download for free,  with a choice of over 821 languages, including sign languages

  • To make preaching interesting and entertaining, videos are now available.  JW Broadcasting has streaming and videos on demand that any streaming device (i.e. ROKU) can bring to your television. There have been Hollywood films with Biblical characters.  However, commercial films are created for profit, hence often sacrifice Bible truth for sensationalism.  
  • Cart witnessing has been added to catch those who door to door preaching don't find at home.  It may seem to be a throwback to the ‘sandwich’ board, however, cart witnessing gives away free copies of printed literature in different languages.  It serves as a billboard in places where one could not be put up, like inside a train station or along crowded streets.  
   The art of preaching, as Paul suggested in his letter to Timothy was taken seriously by the ‘faithful and discreet slaves’, purposely unnamed, to avoid taking credit.  They are simply following the organized preaching Jesus himself taught his disciples. "And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14)  

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