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WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • What is a felony? • Do people with felonies deserve a second chance in the workforce? • The felon in Les Miserable.

First of all, this article is dedicated to Don and Lola Compton, who have led Shalom Ministries for over 45 years. The ministry began for hippies living in the mountains behind Santa Fe, and broadened to include inmates in penitentiaries in New Mexico. Part of the mission is to provide training for jobs and mentors when inmates are released, and to connect them with halfway houses. Please pray for Don’s recovery as he is in rehab for another month or so, after a debilitating health breakdown. If you would like to send a card: PO Box 90910, ABQ, NM 87199.… More “Would you hire or recommend a person with a felony for a job?”

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Photo of my grand-daughter Kara at the Prom. • I had only once before visited a homeless establishment, even though I’ve been in church all my life. • My avoidance and ignorance has now been replaced by a deep respect. • A practical mix of compassion and discipline leads to an inspiring success story.

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First of all, have I ever been homeless? I slept in my car one night after a serious spat with my wife. I climbed the Truchas Peaks in New Mexico, and slept in a tent for two nights, when a bear came into our camp and stole some food. In other words, these homeless stints were temporary.

HAVE I EVER BEEN HOMELESS IN A MORE PERMANENT SENSE?… More “If ever you or your kids or grandkids had to stay in a shelter for the homeless …..”

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • A heroin addict since high school • Death by overdose • Are opioid pain-killers the gateway drug? • Learning to be open about personal addiction

The following story and images are excerpted from National Public Radio. This true story is one of anger, tears, and depression…….but also of hope.

Patti Trabosh went on to explain why she was angry. First, it was the struggle to find a bed in a drug treatment program for her 22-year-old son Nikko Adam. He had become addicted to prescription painkillers and then heroin when he was still in high school. He’d been in rehab twice before, and relapsed both times.

Once she found an available treatment slot, it was the seemingly endless and maddening battles with her insurance company, trying to get them to cover Nikko’s treatment.… More “Some Truths about Opioid Addiction”

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • A prostitute crashes a dinner party. • With a crazy act of love, she becomes the center of attention. • The host secretly blasts her act of love. • A guest uses the gift of mental telepathy to criticize the host. • He then calls out the woman and rewards her. • The cozy dinner-party atmosphere is blown to bits.

To begin, at a dinner party Jesus met up with a prostitute, and some crazy things happened. Here is my “engineering” interpretation (the story is given in full at the bottom):

. • Jesus was invited to a dinner party by Simon, a church elder. He was reclining, probably on cushions. • A prostitute crashed the dinner party.… More “Learnings from a Prostitute Encounter”

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Four-year old boy illustrates how oil molecule travels through shale rock. • Oklahoma in 2015 recorded six times as many earthquakes as California. • Most of these earthquakes are a result of oil and gas activities. • Is fracking causing the earthquakes?

Earlier articles on Some truths about Fracking, Part 1 and Part 2, are available (click on the links, then minimize to return to this blog article).

PRESENTATION ON FRACKING AND EARTHQUAKES: On March 2 in the small town of Independence, Kansas, not far from the Oklahoma border, I gave a presentation to almost 50 attendees: teachers, corn and cattle farmers, lawyers, retired persons, as well as geologists and petroleum engineers.Ryker 2

THE ENTERTAINING PRESENTATION RELIED HEAVILY ON PROPS: (1) Ryker, aged 4, pretended he was an oil molecule and showed he had difficulty getting past people pretending to be lumps of shale rock in order to reach the wellbore.… More “Some Truths about Fracking (and Earthquakes), Part 3”

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Gravity waves……what are they? • Upcoming talk on Fracking and Earthquakes (by the Gray Nomad)

GRAVITY WAVES……WHAT ARE THEY? After searching for 30 years, scientists have found and measured gravity waves. This was announced yesterday. Gravity is the pull between the sun and the earth, or the pull between a human and the earth. Einstein one-hundred years ago (1916) published the General Theory of Relativity. In it he predicted gravity waves that would spread across the universe like ripples from a stone dropped into a pond. Except they travel at the speed of light.

But to create a gravity wave, you need to suddenly shift a very heavy object, such as a black hole. A black hole may be 30 times the mass of the sun, or almost ten million times the mass of the earth, but only 20 miles in diameter, which is mind-blowing.… More “Einstein and discovery of gravity waves”

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Palm Desert hiking • Joshua Tree hikes • The other side of happiness

TO ESCAPE THE COLD OF WINTER, I drove from Albuquerque to Phoenix to Palm Desert, where it’s usually 15-20 F degrees warmer. I was a temporary snowbird! Palm Desert is really a suburb of Palm Springs, California. It’s what you call low-desert because the altitude is close to sea level. But the mountains are impressive….. rising over 10,000 ft straight up from the sandy plain.

We took three hikes while we were in Palm Desert, and these are described below with pictures (to enlarge, click on a picture then hit back-arrow to return to blog). When I say we, I refer to Mary Ann my good friend from Kansas.… More “Hiking Toward Heaven — in California”

Prayer answer – WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • When pain is so bad you cry out in the night • Special song • God-intervention — a prayer answer • Disappointment before joy

We pray about things. And sometimes, when it’s serious, we pray and pray and pray. And sometimes no answer comes from God. Or it appears that way. A recent book called God on Mute  explores unanswered prayer in an honest and refreshing way. The book may shake up our glib beliefs about prayer and the role of suffering.

While I was reading this book, and engaged in wrenching prayer, God provided an answer. I wanted to document it as an engineer would. I am an engineer after all.

WHEN PAIN IS SO BAD YOU CRY OUT IN THE NIGHT: My good friend Mary Ann lives in Kansas.… More “Prayer answer – documented by an engineer”

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Birthday blahs. • Birthday happiness. • What turned it around?

I AWOKE THIS MORNING, AND IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY. So I lingered in bed, listening to National Public Radio.

As I was brushing my teeth, my step-daughter Kim called from the classroom. An enthusiastic chorus of Happy Birthday Popper came through my iPhone. About twenty 6-year olds remembered me from a class I once taught in there…..a memorable experience playing a didgeridoo for them!

Lots of birthday wishes came through Facebook, and that was pretty cool.

HOWEVER MY ARTHRITIC HIP WASN’T FEELING SO GOOD, and the promise of a third snowstorm in one week left me feeling down. Can also blame no sunshine to speak of this past week, and I am definitely a “Sundowner”.… More “Compassioneering on my birthday”

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Interview with Nicolas Henin, prisoner of ISIS for 10 months. • What startling insights he gained during this time. • A brief chat he had with Kayla Mueller who was later murdered by ISIS. • A different take on how many Syrian refugees the USA should allow in.

French journalist and author of Jihad Academy: The Rise of Islamic State spent ten months as an ISIS hostage in Syria. His special insights are startling, as revealed in an interview on 1 January 2016 by Democracy Now [DN], excerpted below (with minor paraphrasing by me). Henin has definitely earned the right to speak out calmly and clearly on this subject.

JAMES FOLEY BEHEADING: • US journalist James Foley was beheaded in August of 2014, four months after Hénin was released.… More “Some truths about welcoming refugees from ISIS: a different take”

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