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Eyes & Ears of Moreno Valley

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Dr. Michael Youssef wrote about; “The Spiritual Test” We can all remember our school days when we were faced with exams. These exams and tests were for our benefit. We must examine ourselves with the guidance of the “Holy Spirit” and always be ready to be tested, always being ready for exams is foundational to a positive life in Christ. Throughout 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote about all that God tought him and what gave him power to live positively in Christ in the midst of fear, Trepidation, imprisonment and flogging. In his conclusion to this letter he says, “Test Yourselves to see if you are in the faith, examine Yourselves!”
(2 Corinthians 13:5, NASB)

Where Dreams Soar

Juanita Barnes
Moreno Valley and the Inland Empire, I was asked to write the first part of this story.
Me! And I, am very, very humble to just be asked to do this for this young man and his family. To encourage us all no matter how long it takes, God is still an on time God. I can only just imagine how this mother and wife felt. This is not my story it is his, his name is “LUVELLE KENNON.” The Name of his story is “A THANKSGIVING BLESSING AND A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.”

I got up that morning and headed off to work thinking the day would be just like any other. Mid-way through the day I started having trouble breathing. I called my wife and told her I was going to stop by the hospital urgent care prior to coming home that evening. I had being to the hospital pretty regularly approximately two to three years prior and each time the physicians couldn’t find a problem. Dizziness and fainting spells resulted in my being diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

I was told my thyroid would have to be removed, but after undergoing the operation I was plagued by the same symptoms. This is where the story begins: My name is Luvelle Kennon and I am writing in hopes of encouraging you to stay focused and never give up on God. That day I thought would be like any other wasn’t. I walked myself into the hospital emergency room that evening.

The last thing I remember I was being placed on life support that night. My heart was failing.
The doctors discovered I had Cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart is enlarged and cannot pump strong enough to deliver blood and oxygen to the body. As a result, my heart and lungs filled with fluid and I could no longer breath on my own. Remarkably, God brought me through.

A few days I was released from the hospital. Months later I had a pacemaker placed to assist my heart and returned to work soon after. I continued working and going back and forth to the hospital with my original symptoms.

In mid- October 2008 I was taken to the hospital yet again with breathing complication
and chest pain. I was admitted immediately. Tests revealed my heart function was 5% - normal heart function is 50% - 60%. The physicians stated my heart function was so poor that I would need to receive a heart transplant in order to live.

The transplant team informed me that my blood type could make it harder for me to receive a heart. My blood type is “O” which is very hard to match because this type can only receive other O’s and O’s can be given to all other blood types. This meant there would be lots of competition for an available heart. I was placed on a list to receive a transplant and told the wait could be weeks, months, or longer if at all. Of course, it all depended on a heart becoming available and it being awarded to me (a whole process within itself). My family and I determined we would pray and we asked everyone we knew to pray as well. A sermon I once heard asked, “Who’s report will you believe?” We determined to believe God’s.

When I was released from the hospital I came home with a portable I.V so I could stay on the medicine needed to keep my heart pumping strong 24/7. I was home just six days and received a phone call saying that a heart was available for me! On the seventh day I received my blessing.

Your blessing may take days, months, or even years. Don’t give up on God! I pray this
encourages you and helps you face whatever challenges are rising in your own life. Whatever your situation, hold on. Help is on the way! It’s true… extraordinary challenges bring extraordinary blessings!

Be Blessed

Overcoming the Reluctance to Apologize -- Part 1 of 2

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Richard O. Jones
Children are taught to say, “I’m sorry,” whether they are actually sorry or not, when they violate another child or misbehave in some way. They are seldom taught the meaning of saying that they are sorry and the responsibility that comes with being sincerely sorry. This “I’m sorry” apology is often shortened to the single word “sorry” without any sincerity. More often than not the behavior of the child is not changed and they find themselves being forced to say “sorry” again and again.

Many of these children are made to recite this meaningless apology so often that when they apologize as adults their words are meaningless. Many family relationships are severed because one or the other parties involved in the dispute refuses to sincerely apologize. Based on their childhood experiences, many adults erroneously assume that an apology is a sign of weakness or a proclamation of being a bad person.

Some people are smart enough to realize that apologizing quickly without being forced into it is an effective way to win favor with the people. For example: President Elect Senator Barack Obama was quick to sincerely explain or apologize for his public inconsistencies, mistakes, or
false accusations by his adversaries especially as it pertained to his racial and religious views.

As a result, President Elect Obama is the most popular figure in the world. A person that refuses to admit their mistakes or apologize, as President George W. Bush for instance, becomes very unpopular.

Notice the celebrity or public trials.

Some people confess their guilt and express remorse immediately, seek rehab, if necessary,
while others deny everything until the evidence against them is overwhelming. Then they publicly apologize and usually get religion. Even in a court of law, one of the key signs the judge and jury is looking for in a defendant is a genuine sign of remorse. Once this is established the defendant will receive leniency otherwise he or she might get a stiffer penalty.

There is a common denominator in a majority of the real life courtroom small claims cases on television. The plaintiffs and the defendants stand on opposing sides of the courtroom often in bitter litigation each claiming the other is the wrongdoer.

However, after the judge filters through the legal liability, it is often determined that the
underlining driving force of the lawsuit the absence of a sincere apology. Doctors are often sued for malpractice because they, on  the impersonal and impassionate advice of their lawyers, failed to apologize for a medical error. Today many malpractice insurance companies are instructing their medical policyholders to apologize because it have been discovered that when doctors apologize the lawsuits go down. Millions of dollars in court cost, lawsuits, and thousands of hours of court time could be saved if people would forsake their pride and
apologize, especially when they know that they are wrong.

Email: richardojones1@verizon.net

The Obama Presidency - A New Multi-Racial America

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ImageThere may be a tendency among some in our communities and elsewhere to see the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States as a magic bullet that will instantly solve all our problems.

Some commentators have even suggested that an Obama presidency ushers in a new ''post-racial'' era that lowers the urgency and takes the spotlight off the need for equal opportunity and economic justice for urban and African Americans.

I strongly disagree. This may be a time for celebration, but it's no time for complacency. While it is true that for the first time in a long time, African-Americans and other minorities can feel like we have a real friend in the White House, we must also understand that President-elect Obama can only be effective if the same extraordinary coalition of white, Black, Hispanic, Asian-American, and Native American voters that elected him, now works together to support his agenda for change. In my view, the Obama presidency marks the beginning of a new
''multi-racial'' era in American governance that empowers and employs more of the growing diversity that is America's great strength in solving our common problems.

The thing that impressed me the most about the Obama campaign was its ability to bring so many heretofore disparate parts of America together in common purpose. Candidate Obama liked to say that this election was not so much about him as it was about us. He stressed that change comes from the bottom up, not the other way around. That means that we as citizens and advocates must take an even more active role in governance at all levels.

Our voices must continue to be heard from City Hall to the halls of Congress to the White House. I am encouraged that the Obama transition team is putting a high degree of emphasis on building, as Bill Clinton did, an administration that ''looks like America.''

But looks are not enough.

We still have a lot of work to do. On the one hand we now have the ultimate successful role model in Barack Obama. On the other hand, we see that fewer than 50 percent of African Americans graduate from high schools in many major American cities. We see a financial crisis with huge numbers of African Americans losing their homes, jobs and life savings.
We see an unemployment rate that's double that of whites, and wide academic achievement gaps. Our prisons are disproportionately populated by African American males. Taken together, these facts underscore the reality that the first black president does not mean we can now all close up shop and go home.

People like you and organizations like the National Urban League are more important than ever
to lifting up our communities and moving this country forward. In the coming weeks, I will talk about some of the most difficult challenges facing the emerging Obama Administration – from the needs of our children to the growing importance of minority businesses -- and suggest ways we can work together to move our empowerment agenda forward.

In 10 weeks, we will have a new president who campaigned on the promise of change. It is now up to us to help him keep that promise.

Marc Morial is president and CEO of the National Urban League.

Eyes & Ears of Moreno Valley

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In this time and season we are not a people that do not know who we are. We know
how to praise and worship our way through, because our power is in our praise and worship.
I read something recently that Dr. Price said: “The Prayer Of Praise And Worship. In this prayer, you are not asking God to do something for you or to give you something. You are not even asking for direction and dedicating your life to whatever it is God has called you to do. Rather, you just want to praise the Lord, to thank Him for His many blessings and mercy. You want to tell Him how much you love Him. A good example of this type of prayer appears in Luke 2:20, discussing the reaction of the shepherds who had seen the baby Jesus.

Where Dreams Soar

Moreno Valley, the more you shop here in the city the more you improve the quality of life. One percent of every dollar you spend in Moreno Valley goes back to the general fund.

It helps the city to have a safer and a cleaner environment and this will attract other retailers
and restaurants. Moreno Valley stay close to home, do your shopping local.

Did you know? Moreno Valley is the nation’s 15th fastest growing city according to the U.S. Census Bureau; 3rd fastest in Southern California behind Victorville and Irvine. Day Street separates Moreno Valley from Riverside. Only when you shop on the east side of Day Street are you contributing to the local economy.

Riverside celebrated the homegoing service of one of its longtime residents, Rev. John
C. Jackson, Sr. this past Tuesday at Park Avenue Baptist Church. Rev. Jackson will be
greatly missed. He and his wife Mrs. Lillie Jackson have worked very hard in the city to
make things better for all mankind. To the family our prayers are with you.

To all the readers may you have a very blessed time with your families and may the joy of “Thanksgiving” be with you and yours.

Thank God for your family, because when it is all said and done “FAMILY IS ALL WE HAVE IN LIFE.” My Bishop said it best for me, “This should be a time of celebration.

This should be a time of thanks, This should be a time of cooperation: This should be a
time of interaction.”

Be Blessed

Holiday Safety Tips for Women Traveling Alone

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Richard O. Jones
It’s been in the news lately that fake police officers are pulling women over with
red lights and sexually assaulting them.

Over the years, there’ve been many cases like this, all copycats of a crime in 1948.

The Caryl Chessman case, which eventually was a 1977 TV movie called, Kill Me If You Can, starring Alan Alda as Chessman. The Caryl Chessman case probably engendered more anti-capital punishment sentiment than any other case has, before or since (a hundred times more than the outcry to save Stanley ‘Tookie’ Williams from execution in December 2005).
Chessman was a 27-year-old parolee from Folsom Prison who had spent the better
part of his adult life in and out of prison in January 1948 when he was arrested in
Los Angeles as the Red-Light Bandit. The Bandit would approach victims parked in
lonely spots, with a magnetic a red light on the top of his car resembling that used by
the police, and rob the victims -- sometimes taking the woman to another area and forcing
her to perform sexual acts with him.

Chessman was captured, convicted, and sentenced to death. Then began a 12-year struggle by Chessman to escape the gas chamber in San Quentin Prison. He wrote 4 books in his own defense (a lot of convicts write books while incarcerated and gain public sympathy). All of the books were very popular and Chessman gained the support of a many celebrities even Rev. Billy
Graham, Eleanor Roosevelt and countless other luminaries. Some of his books were even translated into other languages. They were to no avail, however, and after 8 stays of execution he was finally executed on May 2, 1960. Since the Chessman case, hundreds of rapes have been reported using the same M.O.

A spin-off of the Red-light scheme is the bump and grab scheme. This occurs when a
man sees a lone female driver in a secluded area usually at night and bumps the rear of
her car. When she exits to access the damage and exchange information, she’s attacked, robbed, raped, or perhaps worse.

Seven tips for a woman driving alone at night to minimize the likelihood of a redlight
bandit and/or the bump and grab scheme are as follows: (1) Always carry an operable cell phone (2) Avoid secluded areas as much as possible (3) if red-lighted or bumped in a secluded area at night, continue to drive until you get the 911 operator on the line and tell him or her your predicament (4) drive to a well-lit populated area before stopping unless 911 operator says
different (6) honk horn continuously to attract attention (7) intoxicated women are more vulnerable; therefore, don’t drink or use drugs especially when traveling alone.

(8) if an uniformed man claims to be a policeman, ask to see ID even though he may wear a badge but still call 911 on your cell phone before he even approaches your car. The first thing to tell the 911 operator is your location and ask him or her to stay on the line with you until you feel safe.

Email: richardojones1@verizon.net

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