Category Archives: In the News

Benefit of the Doubt: Mel Gibson vs Heredi

I found it very interesting that the People of the Second Chance chose Mel Gibson as their latest Never Beyond Poster Series choice… but after all the controversy that he’s caused, not so surprising.

His first movie, Passion of the Christ caused a large uprising of emotions, followed by his anti-semantic rants which made him a complete outcast around here…. Israel that is.

Yes, I live in the one country that probably hates him the most.

And to be honest with you, most of that hatred comes from one particular group… the Ultra Orthodox Jews (Heredi).

His new movie, the story about Judah Maccabee, has only outraged them even more, and to say there is no love lost between Mel and the Heredi is an understatement.  Sadly, second Chances are NO WHERE to be found on this side of the ocean.

Which leads me to my question of  “Who do I struggle to give a Second Chance to?”

…and the answer ironically is: them. The Heredi…

Living in Israel, I have seen and experienced first hand the struggle to love and show grace to this group of people.  The very same ones who are furious with Mel for his bigotry and hate-filled Jewish comments repeat the pattern by showing bigotry and hate-filled comments about various groups outside of the Orthodox Community.  I have seen countless videos, news reports, and with with my own eyes have witnessed the wrath of the Heredi.

So what makes Mel’s bigotry any different than the Heredi’s? Is his hatred any different than theirs? Should I give them the benefit of the doubt when they are throwing their stones?

Although I struggle in showing them love and grace, I know I must.  HE sacrificed everything not only for me, but for them.

Especially for them. and for Mel too.

So, they both deserve a second chance. And a third, and a fourth, and a fifth…..  Because how many more chances have I received from HIM!?!


I guess the term, blizzard, is just too old school…. now it’s a Snowpocalypse, Snowzilla, Snowtastrophy, SnOMY etc.

It’s not just with storms and blizzards, our society has become “creative-crazed”.  We want the most creative ideas, the most creative fundraisers, the most creative brands… the most creative commercials.

With the superbowl coming up, we all know that everyone’s looking for the best and most creative commercials to keep us entertained. When I was home over Christmas I saw some commercials already prepping for the superbowl with “to be continued…..” at the end to draw us in: annoying for me because I won’t get to see the rest of the commercial, but brilliant as a creativity stunt.

So, where am I going with all this creativity???

Unfortunately not too far: you see, my creativity juices have seemed to nullify as of lately.  I love to be creative! I love new ideas, new concepts, new buzz, but I don’t know where mine’s gone…. and I just want some of it back!  Not quite sure how I’m going to do that, but until then I will just enjoy the creativity of others.

And for all of you braving the SNOWPOCALYPSE: enjoy your day off and stay warm!  Drink a cup of cocoa for me too, please!

Golden Globes Boredom

I haven’t watched the Golden Globes in forever, which I’m finding out isn’t really that big of a loss.  Since I happen to be in the states for another week, I decided to watch them last night…. and I was completely bored!

The show itself was difficult to watch all the way through, especially if you don’t know any of the shows or movies that were up for awards (except Glee, which I was happy won for TV show).  I was disappointed that the ONE movie I LOVED this year (Inception) didn’t win anything, and the fact the Leo wasn’t nominated at all must have made me a bit bitter too.

The one thing I ALWAYS love about these award shows is the Fashion! What girl doesn’t wish to get all dressed up in those amazingly expensive dresses!  So, even though I could’ve easily changed the channel to watch a re-run of anything else, I did enjoy watching the red-carpet pre-show.

Here’s my two favorite dresses: Anne Hathaway and Scarlett Johansson.  I think they both looked so elegant and sophisticated, and I would die to wear either of those dresses!













Did anyone else trudge through the Golden Globes?

Hand of Hope

On their site, (in)courage asked, What Hope looks like in our lives.  I was going to sit this one out, but then I received the following email from my aunt with a story that I could not NOT write about.  Even though I have no connection whatsoever to these people, THIS is what HOPE looks like to me……

This picture began circulating in November, last year.  It should be “The Picture of the Year, but it won’t be.  In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the US paper which published it, you probably would never see it.

The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby, named Samuel Alexander ARmas, who is being operated on by surgeon, Joseph Bruner.

The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would neot survive if removed from his mother’s womb.  Little Samuel’s mother, Julie ARmas, is an obstertrics nurse in Atlanta.  She knew of Dr. Bruner’s remarkable surgical procedure; practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb.

During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby.  As Dr. Bruner completed the surgery on Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully-developed hand through the incision and firmly grasped he surgeon’s finger.  Dr. Bruner was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile.

The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity.  The editors titled the picture, “Hand of Hope.”  The text explaining the picture begins, “The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus, Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother’s uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life.

Little Samuel’s mother said they ‘wept for days’ when they say the picture.  She said, “The photo reminds us pregnancy isn’t about disability or an illness, it’s about a little person.  Samuel was born in perfect health, the operation 100% succesful.

Hand of Hope

Sudanese Refugees Update

I have been writing about my work with the Sudanese Refugees, and the problems they have been encountering with the government. (I also mentioned it in last month’s newsletter as a prayer request.)  Their status in TA has been big news the past few weeks here as well, even making it to the front page of The Jerusalem Post.  

A couple days before the Aug. 1st deadline of deporting them out of TA, the Israeli government made a statement, postponing the deportation until a further date. There had been an outcry among the people here on their behalf, especially regarding the children who were born in Israel, therefore becoming Israeli citizens.  I was actually surprised to see such an outpouring of support for the Sudanese, when there has been such mumbling about them even being here.

That being said, this was only a temporary decision, and the future of the Sudanese in TA is yet to be seen; but, I know for all the families we work with, they are extremely relieved and happy.  They can once again walk the streets without fear of being picked up and imprisoned or sent to another city (for now).

TII #3: Snake Robot

When you are a tiny country, completely surrounded by enemies who want nothing more than to wipe you off the map, you have to come up with BRILLIANT ideas such as this…

Its a robot snake, able to get images from areas where human soldiers cannot reach. Awesome!


It seems as though the Israeli news channel wasn’t too keen on their report making it to You Tube for the world to see. Sorry, the video’s been pulled, but I swear….it was really cool!!!

Inside The Hamas

This morning the war took another dramatic turn, as terrorists from Lebanon have joined in against Israel.  Now we have rockets coming at us from the south (Hamas) and the north (possibly Hizbullah).  Yet, I am still amazed at the response protesters are showing against Israel! Fox News recently reported an inside look into the Hamas organization, with a young man who was the son of one of the founders of Hamas.  He was to be the next in command of Hamas, until he had a life-changing experience.  

What he says about Hamas is incredible; I wish everyone could see this video.  Here is part 1 of 6.  I strongly encourage you to just take some time to watch the whole thing. Its an extremely important look into this war.  This war might be physically happening in the Middle East, but if you think it doesn’t affect you living elsewhere….think again!  

If you want to watch the rest of the segments, after Part 1 is finished, click on the Part 2 thumbnail.


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