Category Archives: Pain/Suffering

An Open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada

June 11, 2018

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau:

I want to apologise to you and the Canadian citizenry at large, for the shameful disrespect and open hostility U.S. President Donald Trump has displayed to you personally, and all of Canada.

Canada has always stood by her American ally. Anyone with a modicum of education, knows that Canada did NOT burn down the Whitehouse in the War of 1812. Under Trump’s leadership, the United States has alienated all her friends. The administration policies, do NOT reflect the value and core beliefs of this once proud nation. A cloud of suspicion hangs over the President who seems unencumbered by truth, ethics, and moral character.

A state of hostility exists between our nations. Economies are global. There is no reason to punish Canada, Mexico or any nation with tariffs. The economics of tariffs as you know, are a tax on consumers. The U.S. Government is filled with Crony Capitalism. As one journalist said, Crapitalism. The government now determines supply and cost.

My interests in Canada are personal.

Your priorities are distilled into protecting Canada, and its citizens from harm, whether that be physical, or economic. I believe Canada and Mexico have been diligent partners in negotiating a new NAFTA accord. I would not blame you (or Mexico) from walking away. I have always found Canada to be polite and reasonable. That can not be said of the current political landscape that exists in these former United States.

I am neither Democrat, or Republican. I am an Independent, whose dissent is quashed by current political underpinning. I wrote to you, to let you know Canada still has friends in America.

Rex Murphy said it best: “Twitter is NOT a conduit of enlightenment.” Q.E.D.


Wayne Guerrini

Eulogy for Louis (Lou) Guerrini


Louis Guerrini (February 27, 1926 – November 2, 2015)

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on February 27, 1926 to Italian immigrant parents, he was the only child of Ida and Albert. He grew up in the Big Apple where he went to public school. Speaking nothing but Italian until the age of 7, he learned English along with the rest of the kids from the borough.

Growing up during the Depression, his father, a veteran of World War I, succumbed from injuries he sustained during the war. He went to live with his Uncle Jovocino in New Jersey. He grew up, like his future bride, on a farm. Yearning for adventure, he joined the U. S. Navy in 1944. He was a Veteran of both World War II and Korea, and his unit received citations for both the Bronze Star and Silver Star. He was also active in the Fleet Reserve. During his career with the Navy, he befriended George.

George later introduced him to his sister, Angelina. They were married in 1949 in Syracuse, New York. Moving around a lot with Navy was no fun. But while in Virginia, the keel was laid for their first child: a son.

When Disneyland opened on Sunday, July 17, 1955, he was one of the first people in line. Never mind the 101F/39C temp! No one had told him it was only open to celebrities on that day, (it was open to the general public the NEXT Day) but he can honestly say, he was at Disneyland, (even if it was only the parking lot,) Opening Day!

He would later be stationed in San Diego, California where they bought a home, and moved in (with cat, pregnant wife and son) on Christmas Eve Day, 1955. First one to move onto the block. A few months later, their daughter Cynthia arrived.

When he was at home, he enjoyed being with his family. He took them to see South Pacific at the Rancho Drive Inn, in 1958. One of the few times when we we’re all able to get together.

During his career in the Navy as an Aviation Electrician Chief, his last cruise aboard the Aircraft Carrier, U.S.S. Kearsarge (CVS 33), he was the lead Chief in charge of the Electrical Helicopter maintenance, for the recovery of the last of Nasa’s Mercury Missions: Gordon Cooper’s Faith 7.

He loved holidays. But especially Halloween. He created the first talking pumpkin, affectionately called: Mr. Pumpkin. Blinking lights that flickered as he talked, and a speaker at the feet. Scared the little kids. But they ALL got a treat!

After retirement from the Navy, he ran as the city of National City’s City Treasurer against Ida Mae Kerr, in the 1960‘s. 1800 votes to the incumbent’s 2200. Not bad for a rookie politician, but a master of budgeting. He wasn’t known as nickel nose for nothing!

In between jobs, he took a position as a janitor in one of the schools in the area, to support his family. His Father-in-Law was ill, so his wife journeyed back to New York. He was left in-charge of the house. Let’s just say, cooking wasn’t his forté. But they didn’t starve. He also managed to break a leg (literally) at work, while she was away. He was never put in charge of the house a second time.

One of the families’ fondest memories, is gathering around the old Black & White Raytheon Television set, and sitting down to watch perhaps the greatest movie of all time: “The Wizard of Oz.” It’s wholesome message, is not lost in today’s world.

Returning to work at North Island (Coronado, California) as a Civil Servant, he repaired Avionics for the Navy.

They had 11 people living under one roof at the same time. And only ONE bathroom. Things did get tense sometimes. But they shared fond memories of lining up to use the bathroom.

But secretly, It was all about the food! Oh the stories. Friends would gather for Pasta Fagioli, Spaghetti, or whatever Ma, George, or Grandma was cooking that day (even if it was Hot Dogs, Sauerkraut, and Pork and Beans (in ONE pot!)) Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Easter. Any special occasion, would find lots of friends and neighbours coming and going, and the ever present pot of coffee always brewing.

His favourite food on earth however, was Chocolate. In any shape. Any form. Any size. We all had bunny ears on Easter, that had been “tested.” He shared from his secret stash, but only if you were good!He enjoyed taking his family on picnics on a Sunday afternoon, to the beautiful Balboa Park, near the famous San Diego Zoo. They would feast on Italian goodies. Prosciutto, Copocollo, Salami, Mortadella and Provolone sandwiches, olives, and fresh-baked Italian bread. Ahh. La Vita Dolce.

In 1968, he took his family on a whirlwind vacation across the United States. For 6 very long, very hot, and very humid weeks. They traveled in the back of a camper, from California to Arizona, where his wife proclaimed herself the Desert Queen. (Not to be confused with Dairy Queen!) They finally managed to go across Texas, and onto Florida to visit friends and family. Then onto New Jersey, and New York to visit all of the relatives. They would travel through over one half of the states in the Union when it was done.

In 1969, an accident that would drastically change his life occurred. While remodeling his daughter’s playhouse into a work shed, he cut off his left index finger. He was then called “9 Finger.” Everyone thought he was Mafioso, but of course, that was part of the mystique. Turning tragedy into something laughable.

He returned to school, and got his High School Diploma in 1970, just 4 days ahead of his son.

They got a dog, a toy French Poodle, whom he named P.i.t.a. (Pain in the Ass). He loved that dog. He was a great companion for the family. Finally retirement Day in 1981. He and his wife, decided that RV life was for them. So they loaded up and truck, and off they went!

In 1985, he became a Grandpa, with the birth of his Granddaughter, Julianne. They adopted another daughter, Karen, who became an integral part of the family.

They liked RV Life, and eventually sold their house in National City, California to full time it. They became S.K.P. members, and eventually settled down in Benson, Arizona. La Vita pensionato.

He and his wife sojourned all over the world: Italy, Greece, England, Nova Scotia, Yellowstone, and Ely, Nevada. He and his wife would spend summers camp hosting there and working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s, Forestry Service.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Ann, who live in Benson, Arizona. His son Wayne, who live’s in Tucson, Arizona. Daughter Cynthia Grand Daughter Julianne, and great Grand Daughter Ri, who live in San Antonio, Texas. Life now complete.

Louis Albert Guerrini Father, Husband….Dad.

Suicide is Painless — A Christian Perspective

I. Introduction

Suicide is Painless

through early morning fog I see
visions of the things to be
the pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see…

The game of life is hard to play
I’m gonna lose it anyway
The losing card I’ll someday lay
so this is all I have to say.

The sword of time will pierce our skins
It doesn’t hurt when it begins
But as it works its way on in
The pain grows stronger…watch it grin, but…

A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
‘is it to be or not to be’
and I replied ‘oh why ask me?’
and you can do the same thing
if you please.

‘Cause suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.
© Columbia/CBS Johnny Mandel (music) / Mike Altman (lyrics)

Each of us knows someone who has committed suicide or attempted suicide. It is no longer a passing fancy. 30,000 people every year. (2001 data from One person commits suicide or attempts suicide every minute. People choose to end their life early, because of seemingly insufferable physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial or spiritual pain. None of us are immune to the beckoning call to short circuit life’s miseries. Perhaps most recent in the minds, is the suicide of actor Robin Williams. We are not here to debate the efficacy of this final curtain call. We are here to remind Christians of their intrinsic heritage and worth.

II. Is Suicide the Unpardonable Sin?

Some Christian’s believe that suicide is the unpardonable sin mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew:

 “The man who is not on my side is against me, and the man who does not gather with me is really scattering. That is why I tell you that men may be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the Spirit cannot be forgiven. A man may say a word against the Son of Man and be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven either in this world or in the world to come!” (Matt 12:30-32 J. B. Phillips)

Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences. 28 Christ’s death was also a one-time event, but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever. And so, when he next appears, the outcome for those eager to greet him is, precisely, salvation. (Hebrews 9:27-28 The Message)


Simply, there is NO sin, including suicide that Jesus didn’t die for (past, present or future) that you can name. Taking God’s name in anger? Forgiven. Murder? Forgiven. Prostitution? Forgiven. Suicide? Forgiven. The only sin that cannot be forgiven is rejecting the “Wooing of the Spirit” as Dr. Charles Stanley so aptly puts it. If a person wilfully rejects the message of the Holy Spirit, this is the unpardonable sin. In the end, God grants the individual his desire to be eternally separated from him. “God’s choice is to let man decide their own eternal destiny, because the invitation is given to all.” (Richards, L. (1990). The 365 Day Devotional Commentary. Wheaton, Il. Victor Publications)

Doesn’t the Bible say you shouldn’t kill? There’s a commandment about that. No, the commandment from Exodus says: “You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13 NIV) Soldiers kill the enemy. Murder is the WILLFULL pre-meditation of taking the life of another.

Further proof, is left as an exercise for the reader to perform.

III. Eternal consequences of Suicide (lose rewards)

Be glad then, yes, be tremendously glad – for your reward in Heaven is magnificent. They persecuted the prophets before your time in exactly the same way. (Matt 5:12 J. B. Phillips)

Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.. (James 1:12 The Message)

You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.

I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 The Message)

The Christian that commits suicide forfeits any rewards God would have bestowed upon them, because they did NOT finish the race. The eternal consequences are unfathomable. Remember our rewards are in Heaven, for the life we lived as the ambassador of Christ.

What about Jesus’ life. Jesus said “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42 NIV) Jesus was obedient to the will of the Father. But what would have been the eternal consequences if Jesus had said: “My life is meaningless. I am going no where. This suffering has no purpose. I’ll take the easy way out and commit suicide.” Stop! Let that sink in for a moment.

What would have been the eternal consequences of suicide? if Jesus had committed suicide, to avoid Cavalry’s cross?

  • Mankind would still be lost.
  • Mankind would still be in sin.
  • Old covenant sacrifices – sin NOT atoned (paid for); it would only be covered.
  • No Holy Spirit to guide us.
  • No mediator between God and Man.
  • No eternal life. (John 3:16)

Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God. (Heb 9:15 The Message)

IV. What gives our life value? (Relationship with the Creator of the Universe)

“Relatively few of us experience the blend of contentment and godly intensity that God desires for each person. From the outset, we find ourselves on the prowl, searching to satisfy some inner, unexplained yearning. Our hunger causes us to search for people who will love us. Our desire for acceptance pressures us to perform for the praise of others. We strive for success, driving our minds and bodies harder and farther, hoping that because of our sweat and sacrifice, others will appreciate us more.

But the man or woman who lives only for the love and attention of others is never satisfied — at least not for long. Despite our efforts, we will never find lasting, fulfilling peace if we have to continually prove ourselves to others. Our desire to be loved and accepted is a symptom of a deeper need — the need that often governs our behaviour and is the primary source of our emotional pain. Often unrecognised, this is our need for self-worth.” (Mc Gee, R. (1992). The Search for Significance Devotional, Houston, Tx. Rapha Publications, page 16)

  • “God doesn’t really care about me.
  • I am an unlovable, worthless person. Nobody will ever love me.
  • I’ll never be able to change.
  • I’ve been a failure all my life. I guess I’ll always be a failure.” (op cit. Page 14)

What about suffering? This may be one of the most important values of suffering.  If life on earth were a constant joy, why would we fix our hope fully on the grace to be brought to us at Jesus’ return?  If life on earth were without difficulty, how would we remain sensitive to our need for God?  If life on earth were without trials or persecution, how would we be forced to choose between commitment to Christ, and comfort or ease?

As Peter said, suffering does have value.  It reveals the genuineness of our faith, and brings praise to the Lord.” (Richards, L. (1990). The 365 Day Devotional Commentary. Wheaton, Il. Victor Publications, pages 1108-1109)

I am reminded of the true story of my friend Ian. It was the first time I had ever visited Tucson, back in 1996. The last night I was with Ian, I said, “Ian, I want to ask you a very hard question.  It is hard for me to even ask this question.  You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.”

“I’ve seen you suffering with this affliction, and there is nothing I or medical science can do to alleviate your condition.  You WILL die. Ian, what has stopped you from putting a gun to your head, and ending it all?  The words just spilled out of my mouth.  I gasped.  I thought,  “Oh my God, what did I just say to him?”

Without hesitation, Ian said, “Because I know that God will heal me. Either in this life, or the next.”  Ian received the ultimate healing a few weeks later.  He understood the value of his relationship with God, EVEN through a time of great adversity. He never gave up. He refused to take the easy way out, even though his body was racked with pain.

Suicide is:

  • The belief that God is NOT omniscient (knows everything).
  • God is NOT omnipotent (in control of everything).
  • God is NOT omnipresent (God is everywhere).

If a person talks about suicide: take it seriously. If they joke about suicide: take it seriously. Eternity is in the balance.

Many suicidal people I have talked to, feel that they have no value; no self-worth or self esteem. They believe the lie: self-worth = my performance + other people’s opinion.

God is able to offer succour to anyone who trusts in Him. God does NOT bring us to Disneyland in the midst of a trial. God provides just enough shade, a broom tree, so that we can rest and go one more step.

Our performance and others’ opinions will always fluctuate. We need to anchor our beliefs in something far deeper than man’s opinion. Because Jesus didn’t short-circuit God’s will, and died on the cross for you and for me, this is what happens the moment we become a Christian:

  • All your sins are forgiven: past, present, and future. (Col 2:13-14).
  • You become a child of God (John 1:12, Romans 8:15)
  • You receive eternal life (John 5:24).
  • You are delivered from Satan’s domain and transferred into the kind of Christ. (Col 1:13)
  • Christ comes to dwell with you (Col 1:26; Rev 3:20).
  • You become a new creation (2 Cor 5:17)
  • You enter into a love relationship with God (1 John 4:9-11)
  • You are accepted by God (Col 1:19-22)

(op cit, page 187)

This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. (1 John 4:9-11 The Message)

Let’s personalise scripture. Let’s change John 3:16 to this:

 “This is how much God loved [ME]: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that [I should NOT] be destroyed; by believing in him, [I] can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling [ME] how bad [I] was. He came to help, to put [ME] right again. [IF I TRUST] in him [I WILL BE] acquitted; [BUT IF I] refuse to trust him[, I WILL CONTINUE BEING] under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of [MY] failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when [I AM] introduced to him.” (John 3:16-20 The Message)

We have a choice. We can build our self-esteem on our performance and other’s opinions, or begin to reshape our self esteem, based upon Christ’s atoning (payment in full) sacrifice to buy you and me back from “the wages of our sin.” (Rom 6:23)

What does the Bible say about Suicide:

But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!” (Acts 16:28 New Living Translation)

“Suicide does not end the chance of life getting worse. It eliminates the possibility of it ever getting better.” – anonymous


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

Depression FAQ

Robb K. Looks back 5 years after Battling Cancer

Robb K.

Robb K.

Robb K.
May 6, 2014

Five years ago, to the day, I awoke long before the sun was up to prepare myself for the longest and the shortest day of my life. I took the hottest shower I could stand. I swallowed a small bluish-purple pill to calm my nerves and make me compliant.

I sat in darkness in our living room trying to mentally prepare myself for surgery and not knowing how the procedure was going to turn out. Prior to that day, I had never had surgery, received stitches or even a cast prior to that day. I’d never visited the emergency room because I’ve lived a mostly safe and boring life. In the four-ish month stint prior to that morning, I had completed 25 treatments of chemo and several weeks of a bleeding edge chemotherapy treatment taken via large beige pills. I can remember their slight chalkiness, their warning labels for no one else to touch them but me (even touching them was hazardous to the non-sick).

I remember putting on my stupid basketball shorts and stupider pajama pants over top of them. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and trying to imagine where my new scars would be and if they would be distinguishable from my fat fatterson stretchmarks.

I can’t remember who drove to the hospital, if Christina drove… or if I did it.

I remember walking from the car to the waiting room in the surgery center and seeing some family there. I remember seeing friends in the waiting room and people from church praying with me just before a nurse calling my name to go back to a cold room to change into a gown.

I remember smelling iodine. I remember crudely joking about the cold. I can remember the anesthesiologist’s Siberian Husky-like blue eyes. I can remember Dr. Shedd turning on a radio and reassuring me that he was going to do the best job he could do. I remember the white plastic bar of the surgery table. I remember thinking I was too fat to fit on it. I think I remember looking at the ceiling and the lights before I blasted off into infinity. I remember the being all cares and phobias being removed by pharmacology as if each one were a finger to pluck from a ledge.

I can remember waking up and seeing three things. A boring clock like you imagine every hospital has. The OR nurse who was crying. She had long blonde hair in tight curls. Those kinds of curls always remind me of some kind of fancy pasta whose name I don’t know because I was born too low for it to be important. Standing next to the nurse was my wife. She was also crying and holding my hand and touching my face. (These three things are in ascending order of importance , before someone says something about me recalling a nurse before my wife).

I can remember feeling around my abdomen trying to figure out where the surgery site was. If it was high, that was good. If it were low, it was… less than desirable. Because I am always at the mercy of the universe’s statistics, my new wound was in a third and previously undiscussed surgery sight. I didn’t understand why everyone was crying and if they were good tears or bad tears or if I was even awake yet. Good news was tempered with bad. Positively ebbs and flows with occurrences of set back and disappointments.

I don’t remember talking to the surgeon but I do remember repeating the words “Thank you” aloud. I remember saying it after everyone left. I remember saying it before falling in and out of sleep every day and night I spent in the hospital and I remember saying it when I finally came home.

I am not always thankful. I thought I always would be. But today, tonight, I am remembering and I am thankful to still be here.

Where can I go, when I’m addicted?


Where can I go, when I’m addicted?

Betsy is an attractive middle aged blonde, living with her parents. In this economy it is difficult to make ends meet. Appearances are often deceiving. Besty had travelled from the mid-west, to take care of her parents: her father has senile dementia, and her mother just had surgery to remove a cancerous tumour, and has a feeding tube.

One day I heard a knock at the door. It was Betsy. Her hair was a bit dishevelled, she slurred her speech, and she was not steady on her feet. As she passed by, I knew the reason. She was drunk. I could smell it on her breath. God must have had a reason to send her my way. Like the prophet Nehemiah, I shot a “prayer arrow” (Neh 2:4-5) to God asking for wisdom.

She wanted to go to the store for more booze. She had the keys to her car in hand. But she realised that she could not drive. Okay God, what do I do now? Almost by instinct, we have a tendency to do a knee jerk response. We want to play junior Holy Spirit, and judge. I sensed that was not my role. That is NOT what God wanted. It was a “woman at the well” (John 4:1-26) scenario. There is an old saying: “In vino veritas.” In wine, there is truth. I have 2 ears and 1 mouth, so I did twice as much listening, than talking.

As I listened, I discovered that she was trying to take care of her parents by herself, with no respite (rest and relief.) My family reached a point with my Dad, where we could no longer provide for his care. I understood where she was coming from. Betsy’s mother is very critical of her, and did not appreciate the sacrifice. Her parents did not drive her to drink, but they contributed. Scripture warns parents not to exasperate their children (Eph 6:4)

I asked Betsy, what role God played in all of this? She said: “I can’t believe a loving God would allow my parents to suffer this way.” “Ahh” I muttered to myself: “The Disneyland Syndrome.“ For a moment, I was able to share good news. I gave her a card for an online church, which she can access from her computer, on her schedule. God opened the door, just a crack.

There are many people who are on the fringe of society. Drunk, poor, addicted, gay, hiv/aids, lonely, widowed. Where can these people go? I could have just shut the door, instead God provided an opportunity to share the good news.

can i take my addictions into your theology
is it big enough to feel my pain
or will i stain your glass
with street smells and sweat
and where can i go
and where can i go
when i’m addicted?

Steve M. –

God NEVER promised a Disneyland


I encounter people who seem to have the notion that once they become a Christian, all will be “well with their soul” as the hymn declares.

Life presents us with difficult challenges and tough decisions. But Disneyland? God never promised this to me! What do we do when the scorching heat of the barren desert experiences comes vaulting into our life? It might be the loss of a job. A sudden lingering illness. The loss of a loved one. Where is God when it hurts so much, I can not make it through another minute? The rescue helicopter is in the distance, but it just flew over once again. They never saw the shouting and furious hand waving. Did God abandon me in the desert to die alone and frightened? There seems to be, no hope. And yet even in the darkest of times, God provides just enough shade for us to make through the next moment.

1 Kings 19 is a natural backdrop. Let’s back up for a moment. In the previous chapter, the prophet Elijah had just called down fire from Heaven to consume the sacrifice. In chapter 19, we find the prophet alone in the desert, running from those that would kill him. He was ready to die. Did you notice something? God does NOT scold Elijah for being depressed. God simply asked: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” God did NOT remove him from the desert. Instead Elijah found a broom tree (chapter 19:4) and sat under it. God provided just enough shade for the prophet to make it through the next moment.

In the desert experiences, faith is refined and proven. God did NOT remove Elijah to an oasis. God does NOT bring us to Disneyland in the midst of a trial. God provided a broom tree, just barely enough shade, to be out of the scorching heat for the moment. Too often we want to escape the seemingly never ending desert experiences. Remember God is with us, even in the desert. Chuck Swindoll said: “Remember past victories. They will sustain us when the negative tide of emotion enters our life from time to time.”

All of us have to come to grips with “the problem of pain” as C.S. Lewis so aptly stated. Does suffering have value? Life is not always a joy. It isn’t always wonderful. It is often times painful.

As Larry O. Richard said: “This may be one of the most important values of suffering. If life on earth were a constant joy, why would we fix our hope fully on the grace to be brought to us at Jesus’ return? If life on earth were without difficulty, how would we remain sensitive to our need for God? If life on earth were without trials or persecution how would we be forced to choose between commitment to Christ, and comfort or ease? As Peter said, suffering does have value. It reveals the genuineness of our faith, and brings praise to the Lord.”

We are called to be a broom tree and provide shade to a weary world.

“Hope is the thing with feathers,
that perches in our soul.
and sings the tune without words,
and never stops at all.”

– Emily Dickinson

Dear Chairman of the Board Mitsui Sumitomo

This letter needs to re-surface from livejournal to here:

Maybe it’s time to send another letter. It took them over 5 years to pay back prescriptions before I sent this letter.

Hi Wayne

Tom asked me to email you regarding your rx. Workmans comp has quite paying for this rx. The last check we received was for $8.37 and stated that the charge exceeded the official medical fee schedule allowance. This means that they have a fee schedule and based off of the ingredients it will allow a certain amount to be paid. I have called them twice stating that this does not even cover the cost of the drugs involved let alone our labor involved in making the prescription. I have not received a response from anyone as of today. Tom said that you typically call and get this handled as they have done this before. Please let me know if you need anything else from me.



Dear Chairman of the Board of Mitsui Sumitomo (Japan)

28th October 2011

Current Mood:
pissed off pissed off

United States Postal Service: Registered Mail Receipt Number: RA787583690US Cost $16.84 USD for 2.1 ounce letter with receipt.


Tucson, Az 85745 USA
October 28, 2011

Toshiaki Egashira, Chairman of the Board
c/o Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Limited
27-2, Shinkawa 2-Chome Chuo-ku
Tokyo, 104-8252, Japan

Dear Mr. Egashira:

First some background information on me. I am a former employee of SCS (1989 – 1992) where I worked at MMA as the on-site contract manager. I suffered an on-the-job injury, and that claim was finally settled in 1996. I receive Worker’s Compensation Benefits from one of your subsidiary companies: MSIGUSA.

Here are the specifics of my claim so that you can identify me:

Claim’s Administrator:
Mitsui Sumitomo Marine Management (USA), Inc.

Injured Workers name: Wayno
Claim number: claim number went here
Date of Injury: date of injury went here

Employer: SCS

I have dealt with a Mr. Greg Averetta, the Claims Supervisor, and with Rick Cornejo, the Worker’s Compensation Manager, regarding claims. Obviously things are at a standstill, which is why I am writing to you.

Here are the outstanding issues:

1. I have unpaid Pharmacy bills (see attached) from 2006. Yes, over 5 years ago. I can not obtain any more medication (it is specially compounded, it is not over-the-counter), until the past bills are paid. I have asked my claims representative, Donna Thomas to investigate the cause for the delay (see attached), as well as Mr. Averetta, and Mr. Cornejo. Nothing has been done to pay this past due amount. Emails to all 3 of these employees, go un-answered. This is a disgraceful and shameful practice. What can you do to help pay these back bills, and ensure that they are paid in the future in a timely manner (30 days NOT 5 years?) I am currently without ANY medication, and no way to obtain any more. NOTHING IS BEING DONE. STILL AWAITING A REPLY.

2. I had gone over 4 years without treatment, because no one was able to find anyone in Tucson, Arizona that would accept my out-of-state, California Worker’s Compensation insurance, in Arizona. Finally I saw a doctor after 4 1/2 years, earlier this month. An MRI was done, and the Doctor referred me to a Back Specialist. NOTHING IS BEING DONE AT MSIGUSA ABOUT THE TRANSFER. STILL AWAITING APPROVAL.

3. The Doctor wrote me a prescription (see attached) for a new Electronic Muscle Stimulator. NOTHING IS BEING DONE AT MSIGUSA ABOUT THAT EITHER. STILL AWAITING APPROVAL.

4. I have filed 2 complaints (see attached) with the Division of Worker’s Compensation. They have also chosen to do nothing.

5. I turned in a Medical Mileage claim form last week to Donna Thomas. No acknowledgement of receipt. AS FAR AS I KNOW, NOTHING IS BEING DONE AT MSIGUSA ABOUT THAT EITHER.

This is shameful, disgraceful, and a disgusting manner in which to treat a former employee, and now injured worker. I appeal to your sense of honour, duty, and decency in helping me to resolve these issues in a timely manner (BEFORE DECEMBER 31, 2011)


Rough English translation:

The treatment for me who am the original employee of the corporation which suffers from rear leaving behind obstacle of after the labor disaster the shame [zu] which is lacking in grade as the Japanese enterprise is the behavior which should. I protest strictly. And, adequate treatment is desired urgently.

My own translation:

Originally, I was an employee of the corporation. But the corporation now suffers from backward thinking, and I am left behind with an obstacle after the worker’s compensation claim was finally approved, after a lengthy dispute. My treatment by the U.S. subsidiary, lacks the behaviour that a Japanese Corporation would normally give. It is shameful. I protest strongly, and adequate treatment is desired urgently.



God answers prayer:

If you have read my post Letter to a friend with Cancer then you know Robb has dealt with some very tough issues. I got this note today:

My wife and I have been patiently waiting to announce our pregnancy until we felt like it was the right moment to do so. We’ve had a very tough time with pregnancy and tried for many years without success. We watched many of our friends become pregnant and we always did our best to be encouraging to them while dealing with our own issues of infertility. If this is something that you deal with or have dealt with in the past, please know that we are always willing to lend an ear or to speak with you about your struggle. I know this may be a weird thing to write about as we announce our newest, and possibly only, addition to our family. However, we know what it’s like to struggle and want to be as transparent and compassionate as reasonably allowable. We can laugh with you, cry with you and if you want us to be angry with you, Christina isn’t very good at that, but I’m good enough for the three of us.

At the risk of sounding preachy, indulge me for a moment. We cried when doctors said I had cancer. We rejoiced when I remain cancer free. We cried when we were told we couldn’t have kids because of the treatments, we rejoiced when we found out we were pregnant. I don’t always act like I believe in a Healer. Sometimes, I don’t. Call me fickle, but today I believe in one. Rejoice.


Remembering Steve M.

Steve M. paintingOf all the people I have met in my life, few compare with Steve M.

I met Steve over 20 years ago, when they were doing a radio show, called RadioHope. Steve was in Phoenix, and I was living in Southern California at the time. We corresponded for years. At last I had found a kindred spirit.

God brings people into our lives for a purpose. Fundamentally, he transformed me and my ministry. I used to hang out with the metalhead crowd. As I got to know Steve, I discovered he had compassion for the outcasts of society: the punkers, goths, skaters, cutters, homeless, elderly. Anyone whom God put into his life.

Steve grew up in Arizona, but would spend time visiting a small town in Minnesota, where his family and my friend Cyndi now lives.

I never knew a lot of Steve’s past. But you could tell from his writings, especially poetry, (see Outcast Press ) that he was no stranger to pain, suffering, or brokenness. Complaining is definitely something that was NOT part of his essential nature. Reaching people with the gospel, was his goal. At the centre of his existence, you would find an Evangelist. One who well understood the human condition, and one who would take the time to build a genuine relation with someone.

If I had only two words to describe Steve, one would be hopeful. If you travel around Phoenix, Tucson, or any town that he visited, he did what he called an art installation. He infused hope wherever he went. He would bring healing art (Dia de los Muertos style) to the homeless. If you see the word “HOPE” on a fence or by way, you knew he had been there.
The other word that describes Steve, is humble. Steve was not ostentatious, and his only penchant in life, seemed to be sports du jour. He loved to watch a good game on TV with his family. Steve had the right balance between ministry and home. A value he passed on to his sons.

For me personally, he was the one who painted my new home. I was privileged to have him as a friend, a kindred spirit, and a fellow shadow dweller.

I will always remember his contentment in life, his dedication to God and his family, and his spirit, which made all men yearn for the Creator of the universe. See you in Heaven, old friend.

”When a man of God dies, nothing of God dies.”
— AW Tozer

Hope in Tucson, Az

“Hope is the thing with feathers,
that perches in our soul.

and sings the tune without words,
and never stops at all.”
– Emily Dickinson


Thot 4 the Day — 2013


The loneliest people are the kindest.

The saddest people smile the brightest.

The most damaged people are the wisest.

All because they do not wish to see anyone else suffer they way they do.