Dee's Blog
www.takecourage.org
Thu 09/24/2015
Update on a Young "Old" Friend
Mood:  cool
Topic: Making Changes

For an update on an old friend of mine, please check out http://www.takecourage.org/deepwnd.htm

I think you'll find it very exciting. 


Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 5:03 PM CDT
Updated: Thu 09/24/2015 5:05 PM CDT
Sun 05/25/2014
Mixed Emotions
Topic: Making Changes

I woke up this morning listening to NPR, as I do most mornings.  The news of Maya Angelou's death brought sadness along with rejoicing for the wonderful contribution she has made to so many of our lives in this work.

Moments later, I heard an exclusive NPR interview with President O'Bama about his unique perspectives on foreign affairs. He talked about peace without going to war, spoke of sadness about all the tragic loss of life that has been sustained because of our long history of seeing war as a way of making peace.

These two African-American have probably done more to inspire me anyone in the past two decades.  Their constant sense of presence in my life define what I long to accomplish as a writer who loves responding to my readers.

Then, as I turned on morning shows, I heard of how people are uniting at Harvard and across our nation to address the recently-recognized, long-standing crisis of sexual violence on our campuses.  I vowed to do all I can to stand alongside these people, especially using www.takecourage.org to provide education on the topic of institutional collusion.

At the same time, I am wrapping up the final details of the most extensive project I've ever undertaken:  the writing of Just Following Orders.  Thanks to my co-author Nancy Ketter, we'll be offering this novel, to students and teachers in middle school, an easy-reader version for reluctant readers, an e-book--all of which I believe will appeal to adults, as well.  PLUS, a fun-filled, educational website as an extension of Just Following Orders AND a second blog, where you'll be more likely to find me on a regular basis.

We hope to have all of this released by July 4.  The new website for Just Following Orders will be www.justfollowingorders.takecourage.org  

As you might have guessed, the book is about courage and peace in the midst of the horrific guerrilla warfare in 1863 that took place in western Missouri--all of this inspired by my heroines and heroes who have lived for peace.


Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CDT
Mon 04/08/2013
Welcoming a New Generation
Topic: Making Changes

From the onset of my advocacy writing (in 1993), I've noticed that most readers who have taken my work seriously have been at least fifteen years younger than I am.  At first, that was disturbing--until I realized that the next generation tended not to need so much explanation.  In fact, they were finding new ways to put into words the things I'd been trying to say!

Today, I'm thrilled to have found another example.  Yet this blog is from a teacher who is probably younger than either of my children!!  It clearly shows that her class, filled with kids who are the age of my grandchildren, could easily "show up" almost anyone in my generation. 

After all, they have the courage to speak the unspeakable!  Please read:

http://accidentaldevotional.com/2013/03/19/the-day-i-taught-how-not-to-rape/


Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 8:43 AM CDT
Updated: Wed 07/10/2013 10:26 PM CDT
Sat 03/23/2013
After a Quarter of a Century!
Topic: Making Changes
We've come a long way in a quarter of a century! It was exactly twenty-five years ago that Ron and I were forced to resign because we refused to keep quiet about a Baptist missionary colleague, a sexual predator who had managed to quietly return to the States while keeping his protection from prosecution through the legal loophole that protects US citizens from being prosecuted for crimes committeed overseas. His victims included one teenager younger than the one for which a stateside pastor of a Baptist megachurch in Chicago was just given a LONG time to think! It is a strong reminder of how far we have come in this difficult work. It makes me very proud to have been a part of the movement that has often worked quietly behind the scenes! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/20/jack-schaap-sentenced-ind_n_2918139.html

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 9:27 AM CDT
Sun 02/03/2013
A Point of Agreement at Last!
Topic: Making Changes

One of my good friends told me recently that she is burdened by the polarity she sees in the western world more than any other thing that disturbs her.  Well, I'll be seeing her tonight; and I can't wait to share with her what I learned this week, while attending a conference on slavery and human trafficking at the University of Kansas.  http://www.ipsr.ku.edu/CIPA/HumanTrafficking/program.shtml

It seems that people on the extreme right AND the extreme left have been agreeing for years that human trafficking must end.  In fact, Chuck Colson and Gloria Steinem were two of the leaders in getting anti-trafficking legislation passed!  So was the governor of KS, Sam Brownback, who kicked this conference off, in fact. 

The most likely reason for any person to be roped into slavery today is the offer of a job.  No, most of these kids and adults (the average age to begin is 13) don't have to be coerced.  Being at economic disadvantage makes them vulnerable, whether they are in the United States or India, the country that leads the world in the number of victims.

Compared to slavery in the pre-Civil War days, people are very cheap commodities!  In the mid-19th century, a Southern slaveholder would expect to pay as much as $1800 for a single slave.  That's the cost of building a house back then!  Today, the price averages $90!!!  While the population has soared, the number of slaves now exceeds all of those who were ever enslaved in the Deep South in pre-Civil War days!  Supply is up; demand is up since there is still plenty of corruption and more crooks in our world due to the soaring population, as well; yet price is down.

I kept wondering, during the keynote speech, just what you and I can do as ordinary citizens.  Turns out, the most important thing is to keep our eyes open.  Ask:  "Where is the human trafficking in our community?"  Cause it exists in every state in the United States, as well as every country in this world!  More to come......


Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 2:59 PM CST
Updated: Sun 02/03/2013 3:00 PM CST
Wed 01/23/2013
Keeping Congress Busy!
Topic: Making Changes

Marie Fortune always gets the message across so well, so there's no need for me to waste my time with this.  Please read Fortune's blog for today.  Then, take action as she suggests.  Let Congress know this is another issue where they need to get moving!  After all, women's lives depend on it--our friends' lives, our daughters', our granddaughters', our mothers, if not ourselves or our neighbors. 

http://www.faithtrustinstitute.org/blog/160


Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 6:13 PM CST
Mon 12/31/2012
Last-Minute Resolutions
Topic: Making Changes

The breaking news, at this very moment, is that they've reached a last-minute deal in Washington!  Like all New Years Eve promises, we'll have to wait and see if it's worth the paper it's written on.

Seems to me that most resolutions just scratch the surface.  They center on things external, without the revolutionary changes we need to make if we are going to see personal transformation.

I just get sick at heart every year when "turning over a new leaf" seems to be no more than going to the gym and pushing back from the table more.  Not that these aren't important.  They are VITALLY important for the physical well-being of our ailing population.  We are killing ourselves by not doing the basic self-care that used to be so much easier in leaner times when most of us earned our living by the sweat of the brow.

If we are to cease colluding with evil, we must break habits in our thinking that keep us stopping short of taking responsible actions on matters even more important than the superficial resolutions that keep us locked in nothing more than gazing at our own spiritual navels.  Or getting to the point we can even see them.

 Dee


Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 9:23 PM CST
Mon 11/19/2012
Hidden in Plain Site
Topic: Making Changes

For months, I've been planning to get back to this blog.  Yes, life's complications got in the way so many days.  Often these were "good complications:"  Places to go, wonderful friends coming over, our family events that so fill our lives with joy.  There were also new readers to add to the delightful friends I've met along the way through my writing.

Yet, in the back of my mind, it was my readers, new and old, who have kept me inspired to get back to the blog.  

What I really needed to do, I thought, was to get an RSS feed set up on the site.  This would allow readers to better keep up with new entries through their Favorites.  I pursued ways to do this, starting with calling the "non-tech" support for my host.  I was told that an RSS feed wasn't available, but would have to be set up by someone who knew how to do it.

So I searched for that person, high and low!   People wouldn't even return my calls when I called local computer experts.  I ran an ad at the local University, wanting to hire somebody to help.  Not a single person seemed to know what I wanted.

Finally, through a kind co-worker of a family member, I discovered that an RSS feed is already set up!  Over on the sidebar of this page!!!  Yes, look to the right.  See it?  It's been there all along!

You, as a reader, can click it and subscribe in 2 seconds on most computers because you probably already have an RSS feed, even if you don't know it. You will still have to go to Favorites on your command bar to check your RSS feed quickly to see if there are  new entries.  It's a great way to keep up with blogs like this--something I never knew with my limited state of computer literacy.

What a reminder that often the answer is so close to us that we may fail to see it! 


Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 11:14 AM CST
Updated: Mon 11/19/2012 1:30 PM CST
Sun 03/25/2012
Reminder Comes Unexpectedly
Topic: Making Changes

How things change over time!  Sometimes they get worse, of course.  Yet, often with social issues, the "getting worse" is just a backlash. 

 It's two steps forward, one backward--on the average, anyway.  Yet one step can take a hundred years or more.

 Last night, we had the privilege of attending a concert performed by singers and dancers from the award-winning Soweto Gospel Singers.  It took place in an auditorium that was state-of-the-art--including it's handicapped accessibility.  We went with another couple.  The lady is also in a power wheel chair, so we made a demonstration of sorts, just getting the two vans parked, and "parting the crowds" who wisely gave respect to two fast-moving, heavy-duty chairs making their way to reserved seats that their chairs now automatically command, thanks to the ADA act.

The program took us back to our first visit to S. Africa.  In my mind, I sat watching the housekeeper for the guest house as she ironed sheets, to protect us all from the tsetse fly that loves to attach itself to fresh laundry.  It was from this dear lady that I learned the awful truth about Soweto's residents as she rushed to get through her work so she could be back home there before the sun went down.  Failure to do so would bring out the Johannesburg police to arrest her for trespassing on ANY property in this whites-only city!

Briefly, I spoke to one of the lead singers after the concert.  Chances are she never herself experienced apartheid, which probably ended before her birth.  Yet, in our conversation, I let her know of how upsetting it was for me to even know one person who was a victim of this awful set of laws.  By contrast, here I was meeting a young lady who sings joyfully of freedom and spirituality.  And I was sharing at seeing that joy from the other side of the torn remnant of change. 

Take courage!


Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 2:34 PM CDT
Sun 01/29/2012
What Gives Me Some Optimism
Topic: Making Changes

 Near my computer, I put a Christmas card I got from my friend Amy this year.  It says:  "the Four phases of Santa:  1. You believe in Santa  2. You don't believe in Santa.  3. You are Santa.  4. You Look like Santa" 

 I'm starting to realize that we must become more like the person we want God to be if we are to self-actualize.  I like to think that, some days, I'm on the way.  Other days, I know I'm very far from it.  Still it remains an aspiration.

My faith still teaches me that institutions and cultures can change over generations if we, as individuals, each do our own part.  None of us are stagnant.  We just move at a snail's pace.


Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 4:45 PM CST

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