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Volume 15 | Issue 4 | Christmas Edition 2011

 

CHRISTMAS IS FOR CHILDREN

Those among us who feel too sophisticated to be childlike durlng this season often say that Christmas is for chlldren. For the sake of argument let me appear to agree with them.

lf Christmas really is for children then I hope you will open your heart to the children who fell through the cracks, the children we did not care about, the children we forgot. So let's pretend that I am the Ghost of Christmas Past who you may remember from Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol. No, I do not say that you are Scrooge who felt that Christmas was bah humbug, but perhaps in coming with me, you will learn some things you had not known. So take my hand and I will introduce you to some children very dear to me. Names, race and place of birth are not important in order for you to see these little ones. Important is what happened to them and their childhood, and the question we must ask ourselves about our absence.

I hear a knock on the door! And who do we have here? A sweet, innocent, little boy, but then all children are that, don’t you agree? But that is not all we see. We see a child who is told that he was
not wanted, a child who was sexually and physically severely abused by those who should protect him. Stop, you say. And I understand because this is too hard to see. And here comes another one who does have a mother he loves dearly. The father, welI...With our present day eyes we see that his mother will die when he is only twelve and that he will then be on his own. Can you imagine? On your own at age twelve? And I am not telling you everything that happened to him because l know you would not be able to bear lt. So, how about this little one? Can you bear to look at the little boy raised In a drug house and turned on to hard drugs at an early age, at the little boy whose parents quarreled violently and physically, at the one living on the streets of L.A by age twelve? Can you bear to look without it breaking your heart? May I tell you about the others as well? After all, I have only just begun.

Enough, you say, take me to the present! As the Ghost of Christmas Present I show you that some of those little boys have been killed by the State of Alabama and that the others are at Holman Prison on death row, dolng their best to give back in a positive way what they were never given.

And then there ls the Ghost of Chrlstmas Yet to Come. If I am that ghost as well, I must tell you that l am afraid to tell you what l see. I cannot look and so let me take you back to the present where there ls stlll time to love each other and wish all of our friends the peace and joy that is Christmas. As Tiny Tlm said in A Christmas Coral, God bless us one and all.

Esther Brown


FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK

Greetings from the Season folks!! Or, maybe that's Season's greetings. Either way, Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you all. This is Carey Grayson coming to you from the editor's desk again and I have a lot to tell you.

Where to start? Well, how about the great news? PHADP has become the proud recipient of RESIST's
3 year 4K grant! This will truly help us in these tough economic times.

PHADP has also been getting some overseas attention in the form of the Guardian (U.K.), the Times of London and Reuters. The Japan Times has also done an article on Alabama's habit of killing the mentally retarded. Esther has been working hard in the state media with interviews with the New American Dream radio hour and 3 interviews with the Huntsville radio station WEUP with Mr. David Person. The Huntsville Times also quoted Esther during Derrick Mason's time of execution. A time of great loss for PHADP and the world. I can think of no one better to carry our thoughts.

On a less pleasing note, Alabama has executed 6 men this year. One who was a board member of Hope and a dear friend. We will miss you all, and continue to fight in your names. We would like to thank Patrick Jackson, of the Tuskegee student chapter of the NAACP, and the Auburn student chapter of Alabama Arise for co-hosting the Journey of Hope events at Tuskegee and Auburn respectively.

We also would like to congratulate Esther on her newest award, from the Alabama NAACP for her work as chair of their Moratorium Committee. In case you haven't noticed...This woman ROCKS!! :) We would also like to congratulate our newest sub board members (David Wiggins and David Riley) as well as our Director of Information (Brent Martin); Your dedication has been noted and we are proud to work with you.

Our thanks go to all of our great supporters within the States and outside of them. Without you, we couldn't do what we do, so thank you all.

And to all of you out there, we at PHADP wish you a very happy holiday season and a happy new year! I want a Corvette in case anyone was thinking of playing Santa. Just saying.

Carey Grayson
Z-598 H-11


GOOD NEWS FROM RESIST

I am pleased to inform you that the Board of RESIST approved your group’s request for multi-year funding at our October 2”" meeting and awarded the Four Thousand Dollar ($4,000) year one installment of your Multi-Year General Support Grant. We understand that securing funding is a time-intensive process and appreciated the opportunity to learn about your mission, projects, and area of need over the last year. Board members afirmed their belief that your organization is a valuable resource for the progressive community and that our grant will significantly enhance your abi/ity to achieve your goals.

We are grateful to RESIST for its continued belief in our mission to be The Other Voice on death row as well as on the outside.

RESIST, 259 ELM STREET, # 201, SOMERVILLE, MA 02144. 617 623 5110 www.resistinc.org


THE HEART AND SOUL OF DEATH ROW

To the average person this would be the last thing that comes to mind about death row, but despite what you may have heard from the t.v. or read in the newspaper, there is an unspoken brotherhood on the row. I am not going to sit here and tell you that everyone loves each other but I can say that each one of us has respect for one another because we know that we are fighting for the same cause, that is, to stop the death penalty or get off the row.

I can not tell you how deep our bond is when someone gets an execution date; You would have to see it for yourself to believe it. The brotherhood is unreal, like none I have ever seen, not even with my own family. And I am sure some of the brothers here feel the same way.

We developed friendships that will last a lifetime, just like you would do with your brother or cousin. A bond that will stand the test of time. So, when you or one of your brothers receive an execution date, it takes a little out of you because of the love and bond that you have built over the years. And it makes you wonder, am I next?

It's hard not to put myself in my brothers shoes because I could very well be in the same situation where I would have to say to myself; I am going to die at 6:00 and I will never see my loved ones again. It's hard to imagine, but that is life as we know it.

Even though society may say we are cold blooded animals, they do not see the love that is shown to each brother that comes to death row, those who don't have loved ones, no one to care for them. That is when the heart and soul of death row comes shining through. That will make the darkest heart shine bright.

LESAMUEL GAMBLE
Z-626 0-2


DUNGEONS & DRAGONS FOR JOCKS
the nerd herd hits holman!

Fantasy football season is in full swing and the wanna-leaguer‘s are salivating. Players are being picked, teams being shaped, stats are being studied and the trophies are being polished.

One can't help but notice the eerie resemblance to another game where vast amounts of time and effort are dedicated to the keeping of records, building of boards and strategic placement of players you imagine yourself to be. I keep waiting to hear someone tell me about the helmet of unstoppable force they acquired
for their +4, tenth level lineman. Or their cleats of lightning speed. Or maybe how they cast a spell of the jockstrap of the insufferable itch on the opposing team.

Nerds and Geeks of the world, take heart. You are no longer the only ones spending your weekends in dimly lit basements pouring over your mercenaries and stat sheets. The secret is out! The Jocks have their own Roll Playing Game (RPG) now. So, hold your head high, as you take your wedgie, knowing the man who is yanking your draws is as much of a Geek as you!

CAREY GRAYSON
Z-598 H-11


STRUGGLE & CIRCUMSTANCE

I'm always asked how I am doing, and my response is "I can't complain." because complaining won't make my day any better what with the struggles I face on a daily basis; such as not being able to see the ones who love me the most. Especially my son and my grandma who raised me after I witnessed the tragic death of my mother when I was 9 years old.

As I sit on death row facing the possibility of losing my life and witnessing my brothers being executed, my good friend Eddie Powell (whom I was very close with) experienced a botched execution on June 16, 2011.

As I struggle under these circumstances, I must continue to keep God first in my life. I pray the people will come together and end the 2000 year old tradition of state sanctioned murder, and we as a Nation can move forward together, and backwards never.

S.L.B.


Season's Greetings!

Our last newsletter comes out around the holidays. The holidays can be depressing for all on death row. we must deal with the prison conditions, not being with family and loved ones and knowing that they also feel the pain of our absence.

One of the hardest holidays to face is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time to be thankful and celebrate what you have. At times this is difficult. I'm on death row. I live in a 5x8 foot cement box. I'm painted as a monster to society by people who don't even know me. And with politics playing a major role in the death penalty, an issue that should save my life or someone else's is easily covered up or overlooked. Therefore, my life ending with a drug that comes in a box with a_label that reads, "for Animals", a drug that the company which actually makes it says it wasn't made to kill humans. I have to keep looking for what I have to be thankful for.

I am thankful for the people who don't know me, people I've never met and have never heard of me, bit take a stand against the death penalty. I'm thankful for all our Projet Hope supporters because Project Hope wouldn't be able to do what we do without you. I'm thankful for the people who feel my life and my brother's on death row lives are worth fighting to save. I do have many other things I am thankful for. I wanted to take this time to let you and all our supporters know your love and support helps ease the pain of our hard times and pain. I want to end this by wishing you and your loved one's a very  Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays. Have a blessed and safe holiday season.

Peace and Blessings
David Riley
z-728 F—22


l First off I would like to thank God who is the head of my life. Secondly, I would like to thank everyone who gives me I a voice through Project Hope. Okay, now that, that's done. Happy Holidays to all. This will be my first Holiday season spent at Holman. While I oan't say that I‘m thrilled about the holidays I try to think about the real reason for the season. And give thanks for the things I do have. Some say that it isn't much to be thankful for. But I‘m thankful that I have life and that I'm able to talk to my little ones and loved one's on the phone. I‘m also thankful for the brothers around me. Because they keep me going. I say my conditions could be a lot worse and people say how. I really don't have an answer at times but I just know that some aren't as fortunate. God has a plan for all. We just have to pray and keep the faith in troublesome times. God bless and Happy Holidays to all.

Courtney Lockhart
Z-776 F-6


Hello to everyone!

I'm from the U.K. & I have a penfriend (through Human Writes) at Holman. I read the recent newsletter. I hope you don't mind, but the articles by D.R.O. & Lasamuel Gamble moved me to respond, as they rang true with my experience as a penfriend and I wanted to share my thoughts with you.

My 2 year friendship with David has enormously enriched my life. He has always been there for me, even though my hassles/problems are miniscule in comparison to what all you guys are going through every day. I hear of numerous examples of the concern you guys have for each other and the practical ways you help each other out.

In March, I had the joy of being able to visit. Everyone was so respectful & made me very welcome and I felt perfectly at ease the whole time I was there. It was good_to witness the friendship, laughter and banter that was going on and to be able to tell folks back home that I'd had such a positive experience. Maybe, in a small way, it helped some people re-think their views.

Lots of people in the U.K. * in other parts of Europe care a lot about you guys * we pray for the glorious day when the death penalty is a thing of the past. with my best wishes, thoughts and prayers to you all.

HILARY


Greetings to everyone. This year's almost over. I want to start by wishing all our families, friends and supporters a happy holiday season.

There have been a lot of ups and downs for me this year. I had no legal representation for most of this year. That alone was really stressful. Since the state of Alabama has placed me on death row, why wouldn't they provide me an attorney to see if my rights have been violated? Thankfully, I no longer have that problem. Now I can continue my fight against Alabama's death row machine.

I have lost some friends this year, down here. Most notably Derrick Mason, may he rest in peace. I felt honored to have been elected to the sub board of Project Hope earlier this year. Most recently, I have been selected to be a full board member. I have found a couple of new friends from outside of these walls. support
for the death penalty has fallen recently all across America, according to some polls.

The abolition of the death penalty should be a resolution for everyone for the new year. Simply because nothing good can come from it's evil means. Retaliation has never brought peace. It only leaves one wondering who they will hate next. A void surly to be filled in the near future.

Finally, in closing, only those whose hearts have forgiveness within can truly be considered honorable.

BRENT MARTIN
Z-746 N-3


ALABAMA NEWS

* There have been six executions this year:Leroy White 1-13-11, Glenn Boyd 3-31-11, Jason Williams 5-19-11, Eddie Powell 6-16-11, Derrick Mason 9-22-11, Chris Johnson 10-20-11.

* Three died from other causes: Willie Jackson, Lavon Guthrie, William "Corky" Snyder.

* Esther did an interview with the New American Dream Radio Hour on Oct. 13th. This can be heard on their web site.

* The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) gave a death penalty seminar in Birmingham.

* Esther attended the quarterly meeting of the AL NAACP, in Huntsville

* As Chair of the AL NAACP Moratorium Committee, Esther went to the Montgomery Rescue Mission's 20th Anniversary Celebration with Angela Davis as featured speaker.

* Esther voted for the moratorium issue to be on next years docket at the annual AL Arise meeting in Montgomery.

* Also in Montgomery, Esther attended the annual New South Coalition conference.

* Esther received the "SPECIAL COMMITTEE OF THE YEAR" award from the AL NAACP,at the annual conference in Eufaula, in recognition of the Moratorium Committee.

* Esther spoke to the AL Arise student chapter at Auburn University.

* Esther attended planning meetings, in Birmingham, for the Journey of Hope.

* In tuskegee, Esther attended a fund raising luncheon for the Tuskegee chapter of the NAACP.

* Esther did more than 3 interviews for the Huntsville radio station WEUP with David Person.

* PHADP was mentioned in the Guardian (U.K.), the TIMES of London, and Reuters.

* The Japan Times did an article about how the.U.S., and Alabama specifically, make a practice of executing the mentally retarded.

* The Journey of Hope is coming to AL. We are grateful to Patrick Jackson of the Tuskegee chapter of the NAACP for co-hosting the event on Jan. 10th And to the AL Arise student chapter for co-hosting the Jan. 12th event at Auburn University. Further details on our web site.

* We thank the South East Alabama Gazette for all of their continued coverage of death penalty related issues and your support of PHADP.

* PHADP received a 3 year grant from RESIST.


Dear Family and Friends,

Greetings and salutations! How was your year? Did you do all that you planned? Did you keep any of your resolutions? Any of them? Personally I can't even remember any of mine. So much for evolving into an enlightened being. I guess I will  just have to continue existing by faith and the grace of God. The setting of my life story couldn‘t be more monastic and yet absurdly dramatic. That is if you don't actually live here and only believe what television and the movie's portray. The holiday season spent on death row can't be described in general terms as it is such an individualistic experience. Different for each and every one of us. Some seek communion with their neighbors. Some call home in the hopes of communicating with their loved ones. Some of us have kids. Some seek a cocoon of self-pitying solitude and depression. Some pray. Some curse or something in that vein. Some are truly thankful for what they have even if it is not considered much in a commercial world. Some, like many of their free world counterparts are never satisfied and sadly will never be satisfied. Some of us stay busy while others relax. Some will laugh and some will cry; Some will stress out over their cases or not getting everything they wanted in their Christmas packages. Or not getting their Christmas packages when they expected. Some will worry about their family members. Some will receive good news from home and some will hear bad news. Some will watch basketball. Some football. And some will watch anything but sports. Some will eat alone and some of us will break bread, plan and prepare meals in conjunction with · our neighbors. Our brothers. If any of this sounds familiar then maybe just maybe we aren't as different from the rest of society as the politicians would lead you to believe. As for me, I will awake on Christmas morning, thank God for allowing me another day. Then I will open, read and enjoy all the Christmas cards I received. I save and open them on Christmas morn like presents. Something to look forward to. Then I will pester my neighbor Mark and exchange greetings with several of my other tier mates. Then most likely some Christmas cartoons, yes some death row inmates enjoy cartoons. And then some football followed by a call home to talk to my son, my folks and my sister Cassie. My brother Bryan passed this year and I will deeply miss talking to him. I will then await the State tray upon which I will choose what to eat right then and what to put up later to go with the burritos or sandwiches Mark, Jeff, Boo and I have planned. More sports on television complete arguing close calls with various neighbors especially if they are rooting for the opposite team. Then the "feast" with my neighbors will be assembled and eaten while we reminisce about past "feasts" such as the current Project Hope Chairman's infamous fish tacos which made me sick for several days after ingestion. We will also reminsce about the brothers who are no longer with us to share our "feast". Things usually taper off and get pretty quiet at this point as we drift into our own reveries of Christmas pasts. And that is how I will more than likely spend my Christmas unless Santa sends the stealth helicopter piloted by Angelina Jolie that I have been asking for. Yes, some death row inmates still believe in Christmas miracles.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Ronald B. Smith Jr.


Love and the Holidays

Happy Holidays to all of you out there and to your families as well. I.do hope that as you sit at the table for Christmas dinner with your families that you will take a moment to pray for the brothers and sisters who have been lost to the senseless hands of injustice in this great State of Alabama. Also, I ask for prayers to the families of all victims of violent crime as their holidays are not the same without their loved ones either.

2011 has been a year of great tragedies as we all have seen with the tornadoes in Alabama, to the tsunami in Japan. Let's hold all of our brothers and sisters up in faith no matter their race, religion, sex or beliefs.

I have also had a year of ups and downs but for the most part it has been good. I have found true love with a gorgeous woman that I was quite sure being in my position was not possible to find, Never did I know or feel such caring, kindness or the heartfelt love that I do with her. She was truly a God sent blessing. I have more true friends than I ever thought possible too.

Please when you are opening presents or sharing with your family whatever celebration you may have, take a minute to tell each family member, what they mean to you and how much you love them. So be it Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or anything else, let's celebrate having each other for one more day. And let's
pray that 2012 sees the death penalty turned upside down. I do hope each of you has aHappy New Year.

Sincerely,
Jason Sharp
Z-729 I-9


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6


This Christmas...

This Christmas will be different for me and others here on the Row. There are five main reasons things will be different that I can think of off the top of my head. One, there will be no Uncle Leroy. I use to love to hear him say, "T-Bone, what are you looking for most out of the Christmas box?" An hour long conversation would ensue afterwards, with him telling me about all the different meals he planned to hook up, ending with me becoming real hungry. Another reason this Christmas will be different...I won't hear about Glenn making a multiple course meal that would feed a small army. I find joy in hearing how the brother's here share and break bread with those that are either less fortunate or just can't cook. (Smiley face) This Christmas will be different without the main chef Jason who took so much pride in the casseroles and meals he would cook. And I'm always up for a taste test. And he would light up with that big grin to see you light up after a few bites. This Christmas will also be different without Eddie, who was like that cousin that you loved to see coming home for the holidays, and hate to see go when he left. But they would always assure you, "I'll be back next year." Eddie would always be busy getting his cards in order. His special cards to be sent out all over the U.S. but, especially back home to Chicago.

But on a personal level this Christmas will be especially hard for me. This will be the first one in over 10 years that my Brother Derrick won't be here to eat with, talk with, laugh with, and reminisce with on how things use to be with family around this time of year. We use to love to share those stories and each year it seems as though we would have more and more to talk about. But that is what we did. We didn't just talk and share stories as conversation. we listened to each other, and without that, this Christmas won't be the same.

Leroy White was executed January 13, 2011. William "Glenn" Boyd was executed March 31, 2011. Jason Williams was executed May 19, 2011. Eddie Powell was executed June 16, 2011. And my BFF Derrick Mason was executed September 22, 2011. I would like to say to all of you that this Christmas will be different for different reasons. Remember it will always be the same in your heart. Merry Christmas! ·

Remember the reason for the Season,
Anthony Tyson
2-641 N-17
Holman 3700 ,
Atmore, Al. 36503

A gift: For those of you that still have your loved ones with you...if you listen to them now, you'll hear them forever.


A Friend is gone but never will be forgotten

I arrived on death row on July 26, 2007. I met Derrick Mason on July 27, 2007. He came out that morning and fed breakfast. He in troduced himself to me and we began to talk from there. He gave me an extra tray and then sat down in front of I-1A and we talked until he locked down. All I wanted to talk about was my innocence and the law. He told me about Project Hope as well as how Tyson was well equipped in the law. From that point forward we became the best of friends until the day of his departure. Even though he is not physically here with me, I still consider him a good friend. We never had an argument : Never. He knew that I was doing bad on finances so he used to look out for me when he was able. When God blessed his finances
to do so. This continued up until his departure. Derrick also use to buy my chicken, fish and corn dog trays from me so that I could keep what I needed on hand. He and I didn't consider the tray deal as him buying them from me, but just as a way of me saying thanks for looking out for me during these rough times. I told him once, and he understood that I wouldn't ever sell him anything and that he could get anything from me if I had it to give. He said to me, "I understand you are doing bad right now, but don't worry about that because I consider you family." I told him likewise.

Derrick and I use to talk everyday. He was in I-4 and I was right above him in, a new assigned cell, I-18A. The last time I spoke to him was on 9-21-11 when he was coming off the visitation yard from a visit with his family. He, Tyson and I talked briefly before the officers took him back to the death cell. We all were full of joy and high hopes of a miracle. The last time I heard his voice was on 9-22-11 when he came from visitation with his family. He called out, "Alright I-side!" I tried to break down the door hollering at him. I was hollering, "Alright, I love you bra, Alright!" I know that he knew that already but it is always good to hear it, especially from someone who really sincerely means it. Thanksgiving and Christmas will not ever be the same without you bra. And I still love you.

My birthday was the week of his murder, 9-19-11. it wasn't a good one because I knew what that week might bring.

Randy Lewis
Z-741 I-18A


The holiday season is upon us again. It seems time passes quicker each year. As I sit and think of some personal story to share or a joke to make fun of myself, my mind draws to a blank. In fact, with each holiday season that passes, the holidays seem more and more like just any other day.

I recall when I first arrived to death row, it was possible for it to still feel like the holidays. We then recieved visits during the holidays, and we also were allowed Christmas packages from home. Now the holidays seem dreadful because there are no visits at Thanksgiving or Christmas anymore. Also, Christmas packages are ordered through a company, erasing any sense of home. Now, there is the concern of wanting your loved ones to feel some sense of the holidays with you. While during these tough economic times, you also question having your family purchase the expensive holiday packages.

I expect that I am not alone in my thinking and there are many on the outside that are going through similar changes. Many families are falling from the middle class and are finding it hard just to keep a roof over their heads. Some may be dreading the holiday season also.

There may not be many gifts under the Christmas tree this year, or any big holiday dinners. Yes, some will say it is about the real reason we celebrate the holidays, being thankful and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. But, truthfully we want to celebrate in the way of family, friends, gift-giving and family dinners.

I wish joy and peace to all this holiday season. No matter how times may be, we all must remain hopeful, patient and thankful. I will be making the best of the moment and hoping for the next.

In Love and Peace
Nicholas Acklin
Z-648 N-7A


Best Wishes

As the holiday season approaches I'm sure the stress levels are raising due to the economic turmoil going on around the world. Please, know that I send my prayers, and best wishes out, and up to you all and for you all. Be blessed!

Financially, times are hard but love is free. So, as the holidays draw ever closer, and the stress of big meals and gifts rise higher I ask that you alleviate some of the pressure put upon you by focusing more on all the blessings of love you have in your life. If you're anything like myself, and my family, you like to travel during the holidays to spend those special days surrounded by family and friends. This year such travels may not be possible, but I am sure the very same feelings of love, joy and peace will be present. Just look into the faces of the loved ones you're blessed to have in your presence. How can you not feel some of that stress slowly fading away? Smile at them and watch them smile back... not even knowing why you're smiling at them in the first place.(ha,ha,ha)

So, as you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, or grab that first present from under the Christmas tree worry less about all you're going through and just enjoy the moment and blessings of all you have.
I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas. My prayers and thoughts are with you all and I send my best wishes to you all.

As for myself, I'll be missing and thinking about my family during this holiday season, as I've done now for far too many years. So, as I speak of alleviating the stress of the holidays, I do it now knowing what is truly important during this time after being without them for so long...F—A—M—I—L-Y! The food is good. The gifts are great. Having your family during the holidays is a blessing.

So, I send my best wishes that your holiday season is filled with family, love, peace and joy. Oh okay, I guess a good meal and a couple of gifts won't hurt.(Smile)

Happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas!

Love and Blessings,
Anthony Boyd
z-578 N-9


Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

PSALM 37:4


TRUE FORGIVENESS 

We all have a story to tell. You may think it is impossible to forgive your unfaithful husband or wife. You may feel you cannot forgive your abusive parent. You may feel you cannot forgive what was done to your son or daughter.

How can we forgive the church leader who took advantage of his position? what about the person who lied to us or about us, or the person who believed those lies?

People experience real pain when they or someone they love is hurt by another person. It is often harder to forgive when the one who has been hurt is someone you love deeply, especially your child.

It is often easier to forgive what is done to us personally than what is done to those we love.

Remember, at the foot of Jesus' cross, no one seemed very sorry. There was no justice at His "trial" if you could even call it that. A perverse glee filled the faces of the people who demanded His death. "CRUCIFY HIM!" they shouted. What was Jesus' response? "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

This must be our response as well. On the other hand...having an unforgiving spirit usually begins with resentment. Resentment is seen when a person holds a grudge and becomes inwardly bitter. They become preoccupied with hate and self-pity.

I sometimes wonder if we don't nurture a wound and make it bigger each time we think about it until it becomes a part of our essence.

I cannot advise a person on how to heal because I don't have the skills or competence to do so. what I do know is that the more we think about a hurt, a suffering, an enemy, the more strength we give to those sufferings. If we want to get rid of something, we must stop feeding them. Little by little, they will die of starvation.

There is an awful lot to learn. The more we learn, the wider the horizon gets and the more we still have to learn. Just look at life step by step. day by day. It will take us thousands of years to learn, experience and really know and understand every thing.

Total forgiveness is a lifelong commitment, and we may need to practice it every single day of our life.

Forgiveness is a choice we must make, and it is not a choice that comes easily. If it were easy, why do you think Jesus would mention it again after He finished the Lord's Prayer?

He knows forgiveness is difficult, but...even God found it wasn't easy to do what He did either, but He did it anyway. He sacrificed His son and He asks us to make a little sacrifice in return.

Remember what Christ said,"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."

ULYSSES SNEED
2-590 F-19