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Guest Post: CAN ANYTHING GOOD COME OUT OF THE CHRISTCHURCH MASSACRE? By Peter Rosenberger

The following commentary is a guest post written for us by Peter Rosenberger.
As the horrific events in New Zealand stun the world, Christchurch suffers the wounds of a tragically growing list of cities. While so many predictably rush to politicize and blame, the frequency of these events may have created an additionally unhelpful effect. Where most once put our hands over our mouth in horror, an increasing number merely pause to offer a brief tribute of sentiment as consolation.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” echoes often enough to warrant a predictive template on social media platforms to expedite the now traditional response. One can’t help but wonder the efficacy of the phrase to those forever burdened by such anguish.

“What thoughts?” “What prayers?” “To whom are you praying?” “What reply do you expect?” “How do grieving souls process others’ conversations with an all-powerful deity?”

The list of questions erupting from wounded souls must extend beyond the horizon.

In her core, America feels deeply and cherishes her citizens’ safety. Our society’s fracture, however, wrenches so many away from that core. As a result, we’re left disengaged—particularly if we disagree politically or religiously. How can we offer meaningful consolation to people on the other side of the world, if we can’t embrace our neighbors?

In Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, the hero didn’t offer thoughts and prayers, but rather action and care. He first noticed and then approached the assaulted man. Only then could he bind the wounds and carry the injured man to safety. Once there, the parable’s hero then ensured sustainable care.

With social media and instant news, glibness and optics receive more shelf space than the heart. But care requires something of the caregiver. Instead of the now trite, “…Thoughts and Prayers,” let us indeed think and pray, but also speak and act with frankness and specificity. When words fail us, it is understandable to land on a phrase that feels safe and appropriate to say, but to be effective at ministering to the wounds, we must go deeper.

Our thoughts and prayers are between ourselves and God. Our words and actions speak to others.

May we address those forever altered in their pain with such directness as President George W. Bush stated through a megaphone on a pile of rubble so many years ago following an event that shocked the planet.
“I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”

A President standing in carnage met the rawness of 9/11 with forthrightness and leadership.
Carnage in its’ all too many forms provides us with the opportunity to look at it for what it is—and speak hope and life to those around us. The only strengthening words are those communicating that the victim is seen, cared for specifically, and a plan is communicated to ensure sustainable care. Sentiment costs little and rarely comforts. Although costly, leadership always comforts.

The protection of citizens should remain paramount to any government. Part of that protection is equipping others to care for and protect themselves. Another part is seeing to those unable to do so. Let us offer more than thoughts and prayers. Let us offer leadership towards a safer, stronger, and more caring country seeking to assure one another that those who suffer will not do so in isolation. In doing so, we also provide leadership to those watching us.

The most effective leaders are often those responding to that great need of assurance in the face of overwhelming loss. In those moments, our vocabulary changes from stock phrases to specificity.

Leadership in suffering can be as simple as saying, “I see you, and I see the magnitude of your pain and sorrow—and I will work to make sure you don’t endure this alone.” Those words emanate from the heart. Displaying outrage is a collective pastime. Displaying our hearts requires a greater courage.

From shootings to mental illness to immigration to race, may we be a nation that binds the wounds, regardless of our differences. May we be a people who notice suffering of those around us.

The question remains: Can anything good come out of the Christchurch Massacre? If we us contemplation and prayer be a springboard to help care for and sustain one other, the answer is Yes. In doing so, our united hands can then better extend to wounded lives around the world.

Peter Rosenberger hosts a nationally syndicated radio program for family caregivers. For more than thirty years, he’s cared for his wife who lives with severe disabilities. He is the author of 7 Caregiver Landmines and How You Can Avoid Them @hope4caregiver

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#Giveaways 3//17

WOW! Check out this Awesome Fan Appreciation #Giveaway! Winner Chooses One of 4 Awesome Prizes all valued over $200. https://wn.nr/3n5MJ3

Duet is an all-in-one floor cleaning system, ENTER TO #WIN: producthype.co/duet #broom #mop #cleanfloors https://www.producthype.co/duet?referral=1IC8fkT&refSource=twitter 1x 4/1

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Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase in Theaters 3/15!


The iconic mystery solving teenager from the classic Nancy Drew books is back with an all-new feature length film that will keep you guessing until the very end! The clip from “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase” above follow’s Nancy Drew and her friends teaming up to take down high school bully, Derrick.


In “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase,” (L-R) Nancy (Sophia Lillis) and her best gal pals George (Zoë Renee) and Bess (Mackenzie Graham) gather to make a plan.

Photo Credit: ©Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Preferred hashtag is: #NancyDrew
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*Trailer, pic, & info belong solely to Warner Bros. and their associates.

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#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Diversity is Key: Bryan Smith



SYNOPSIS:
It’s diversity week at Amelia’s school, and she has no clue what it means or why it matters. Every day, she’s introduced to cultures, cuisines and customs that push Amelia outside her comfort zone and test her preconceived notions about people and places. Is Mei really asking me to bow when I introduce myself? Is Rosa really celebrating toes, and how the heck do I eat something wrapped in a corn husk? And why is Malia’s mom gyrating in a grass skirt? Amelia has lots of questions (and a few concerns), but the more she experiences, the more she realizes how diversity makes life more fun. She also discovers that differences shouldn’t divide people because everyone shares something in common. Diversity is Key! was penned by Bryan Smith whose Without Limits book series celebrates children with character. 32 pgs.

MY THOUGHTS: Full disclosure: I was hesitant about this one. Many times when the word ‘diversity’ is used, the author pushes a specific narrative that may be against my own religious beliefs. I am SO relieved that Bryan Smith had more integrity than that!

In fact, he did an amazing job CELEBRATING diversity. He nailed the reasons why it’s a good thing and left out all the PC narrative nonsense too many of us have to listen to on media. It isn’t a risqué book in any way. Instead, we have 3 students who bring 3 separate identities to their classroom. Do’s and Don’ts in regards to politeness are discussed, but the children aren’t forced into participation or controversial topics. Even the mention of the Day of the Dead is handled beautifully. While it could’ve been presented in a Halloween-type way, our author takes the high road and specifies that it’s a celebration of the deceased loved one’s life. Well done!

The illustrations are spot on as are the multiple messages. Respect each other. Be polite to those who are different. Try new things. Respect those in authority and those older than you. Great messages. I enjoyed Amelia and her class. I give this one 5 stars.
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Giveaways 2/23

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Enter the Samsung Laptop Spring #Giveaway! #laptop #sweepstakes https://www.sweepsadvantage.com/sweepstakes-contests-blog/giveaways/samsung-laptop-feb22/?lucky=64175

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#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Freddie the Fly Bee On, Buzz Off: Kimberly Delude

SYNOPSIS: Freddie, our lovable fly, is tappin’ and flappin’ his way to trouble. He whirls around to and fro, buzzing from one distraction to another. Is it any wonder he forgets his lunch, fails his spelling test and leaves the house semi-undressed? Freddie is a go-go-go kind of guy who has no time to listen, focus or pay attention. His lack of concentration causes a real fright when he finds himself lost and alone at the zoo. Will that be the scare Freddie needs to finally take action and turn his BEE on and his BUZZ off? Readers will love finding the answers in this delightfully insightful tale by speech-language pathologist and educator Kimberly Delude.

MY THOUGHTS: If there was any character I could ever relate to, it’s Freddie! Having Parkinson’s means never sitting still and having the MOST difficult time concentrating. Poor Freddie can’t keep it together, either. Although flies may not be the most popular insect, this fly will find his way into your heart.

Kimberly Delude has done a terrific job addressing a problem that many elementary school parents see daily- forgetful kids who can’t stay focused. I love Gus, the zoo guide. His gentle guidance makes all the difference. It’s definitely a hat tip to patient parents! Freddie delivers on several fronts. His story promotes teamwork when he teams up with a fellow student to help each other. He demonstrates respect for authority by heeding the instruction & advice of those in charge. He shows responsibility for his actions by admitting his inattentive nature. Plus, he provides a solution in the end.

Adorable illustrations via Brian Martin add humor and depth to the characters. I am now a ‘fly fan’. There are two previous books in the series which I’d recommend also. ‘Freddie’ gets a 5 star review from me!
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I received the aforementioned title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine. Pic/synopsis belongs solely to the author/publisher.