About Me

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Jim Killebrew has 40 years of clinical psychological work for people with intellectual disabilities, and experience teaching, administration, consulting, writing with multiple publications. Dr. Killebrew has attended four Universities and received advanced degrees. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D., Educational Psychology; University of Illinois at Springfield, Counseling Education; M.A., Human Development Counseling; Northeastern Oklahoma State University, B.A., Psychology and Sociology. Dr. Killebrew attended Lincoln Christian Seminary (Now Lincoln Christian University). Writing contributions have been accepted and published in several journals: Hospital & Community Psychiatry, The Lookout, and Christian Standard (multiple articles). He may be reached at Killebrewjb@aol.com.

Welcome to my Opinion Pages

Thanks for stopping by and reading some of my thoughts. I hope you will find an enjoyable adventure here on my pages.

The articles are only my opinion and are never meant to hurt anyone nor to downgrade any other person's ideas or opinions.

Scroll through the page and stop to read any of the articles you wish. If you like what you see leave a comment, then tell someone where they can find this site. If you don't like what you read then leave a comment reflecting your thoughts and I will read them when I visit the site from time to time.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Memorial day 2012

Decoration Day, it used to be called; as ladies organizations and schoolchildren went out to the graves of fallen soldiers during the Civil War.  A long-standing tradition has been preserved and even codified now into a Federal holiday.   

Memorial Day is usually celebrated on the last Monday in May when friends and family gather at a cemetery where their loved ones are buried to remember them with love and reverence.  At National Cemeteries throughout the country there will be remembrances of those who fought and died for freedom when families and friends go to pay their respects.  My mind is filled with memories past when we visited the various cemeteries where our loved ones were buried.  We placed flowers on the graves and remembered the ones who were buried there.

It is sometimes difficult to wrap our minds around a day like Memorial Day.  Although we have been fighting a war against terror and the men and women in the armed forces are being constantly held up for us to show appreciation toward, there is still something distant about what it means.  We have a tendency to compartmentalize our lives into neat little partitions that allow us to arrange our days and lives into distinctly different blocks of activities.  We create separate emotions, feelings and values for each of the activity blocks.  Sunday morning is "church" time; the activity is to "go to church."  Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. is "work" time; the activity is stuffed with "doing our job."  We behave in the "expected" ways that are dictated from the "activity block" in which we are engaged at the time.

Memorial Day is sometimes relegated by some to be an activity locked in our activity block labeled "Memorial Day."  When the time comes we take it down from our shelf of daily activities, take out the activity, dust it off since it has been a year, and go through the expected motions so we can conveniently repack that activity block at the end of the day.  Expending the least amount of effort we can, and getting it over with as quickly as possible, we move on to our next activity block forgetting the substance of the act in favor of the form.

Memorial Day should be different.  Rather than unpacking the activity to glibly move through it without thought, we might rather make a much richer experience by really examining the circumstances and cost that surrounded the life of that man or woman who paid the ultimate price to give us the opportunity to create those activity blocks in the first place.

Those men who were caught in a cross-fire between sworn enemies who were dropping mortar shells on their position creating a fire storm of molten rock and phosphorus rain dropping death and terror on their heads continued moving forward to establish a barrier against evil. 

Those medics, nurses and doctors close to the 38th Parallel continued their duties at the operating tables trying to save the lives of soldiers wounded in battles gave their own lives in America's struggle against communism.

Those young men who laid in the forest as the rain trickled down their helmets trying to remain quiet as enemy "regulars" marched down the trail beside their foliage cover caught sight that culminated in a battle eventually won by the Americans, but not without heavy causalities.
Those men and women who were weighted down with battle gear, in desert heat reaching 110 degrees in the shade as they rode in their vehicle across the sandy roads watched as eighty yards in front another vehicle containing their friends suddenly explodes and shoots straight up in the air in a ball of flame.  With roads filled with IEDs waiting to capture the unsuspecting vehicle, they each continue on fulfilling their duty and chipping away at the forces of evil headed by a dictator who has vowed to take away the freedom from Americans whom he calls the "Great Satan."
What were those men and women thinking at those very moments?  Did they see the faces of their wives, kids, parents?  Did they see their high school friends they had just parted company with only a few short months prior to their current experience.  Were they terrified, with hearts beating knowing that each breath might be their last?  Did some experience the loss of their closest comrade in arms taking their last breath just inches away?  The one thing each one had in common:  They were each giving their all for those back in the States for them to be able to experience the freedom of never experiencing what they were facing at that moment.

Freedom.  Such a word; freedom.  It seems like Memorial Day and Freedom might be the same word.  Without Memorial Day, and the ones behind that Day, there would likely be no freedom.  We should never be so routine with our actions as to forget the real meaning of Memorial Day and the freedom that has been given to us by those who paid the price with their lives.
Jim Killebrew

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wedding performed in the garden

“Then the Lord God made a woman from the part he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’”

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and unites with his wife, and they become a new family. The man and his wife were both naked, but they were not ashamed.”  (Genesis 2:22-25)

“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”  (See Ephesians 5)

Not only did God make marriage to be between a man and a woman, He meant for it to be a sign of the relationship between Himself and His Church.  No matter what political changes are made to the institution of God's ordained definition of marriage, the original intent was the formation of a relationship that signified the relationship between Christ and His Church.  So, if a man replaces his bride with another man; and a woman replaces her husband with another woman, will their marriage continue to be a great mystery that signifies the relationship between Christ and His Church?
Jim Killebrew

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Retired citizens...promises broken

Retired citizens of Illinois who dedicated their lives by working for the state are disappointed.  The State made a promise to those people who began their career back in the 1960's and 70's.  That promise stated if you agree to work at a lower salary than most of the other states in comparable jobs, to work in the positions that take care of people with developmental disabilities, guard prisoners, administer countless programs built to improve the lives of those in poverty, make sure the court system in Illinois administers justice for each citizen, lead orphaned children through the maze of foster care, looking after the requirements of service providers to furnish the highest quality of services to Elder adults, build and repair highways, implement policies generated by the administrations, and obey the laws established by the lawmakers, then the lower salaries paid will be compensated by the state providing the cost of insurance during your retirement.

The Illinois Speaker of the House who put forth the Bill said, "We have no contract" with those people.  I believe that says it all.  We didn't have a contract; what we had was a promise.  What we had was a promise with politicians.

This article is not meant to decry the loss of the retiree benefit of state-paid health insurance.  Most reasonably prudent people realize the state is hopelessly in debt and will need to do something to right the ship before it sinks entirely.  The current group of retirees are those people who were born in the 1940s and 1950s who were born to a generation of parents who were called the "Greatest Generation."  We have been labeled as "War Babies" or the "Baby Boomer" generations.  We learned from our parents not only that we should love God and country, but we learned our responsibilities for family, neighbor and our community exceptionalism that drives us to dependence on God and each other as well as our own self-reliance.  By-and-large the majority of current state Retirees will grumble, but move on, pick themselves up and make the best of it just like our parents taught us to do.  So, again, this article is not meant to complain about the loss of the insurance specifically.         

It is meant to sound a warning.  A warning that something far more important has been lost along the way...integrity "the quality of possessing and steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or professional standards."  We are in this financial mess because of past plundering of taxpayer resources and actions of those few, or more than a few, who have seen the open troughs of public monies and have apparently engaged in a feeding frenzy for themselves and their friends.  "Earmarks" they have called them, "pork-barrel" is another name we have heard over the years.  Programs, tax-breaks, incentives, lavish life-styles; all at the public expense.  People who have won elective offices, some of whom, over the years who have been granted that voter-public trust and given fair salaries for their service, have somehow found ways to leave their office as millionaires.  We have shaken our heads and wondered how that had happened.  For evidence of misuse we need not look any further than two federal prisons where former State of Illinois governors sit incarcerated for trashing the public trust.

Now, although this is a problem we face in Illinois, we can see it is a problem throughout the nation as well.  So for everyone in America I say, "Take heed"!

This warning is meant for the ears of the generations who belong to our posterity:  take heed what politician's promises mean as you look at the final outcomes of those promises made in the past.  Examine closely not only the promises, but the integrity of the person who makes that promise.  Today's politicians, as aptly pointed out by the Illinois Speaker of the House, work only from "contracts" because the promises made are readily broken.
Jim Killebrew

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Old Codger's observations...

One of the things I have noticed over the past few years is that kids seem to be in control of their parents. It seems that a child announces what they're going to do and then the parent begins to negotiate with them.

What I've seen in many cases is that the kids are better negotiators than their parents. --Jim Killebrew

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day Mom

Mom was born in 1912 in a little settlement in Oklahoma called Creekola.  Wally Waits, from Muskogee, Oklahoma is a historical and genealogical researcher who said, " History repeats itself: almost one hundred years ago, Muskogee County was the location of frenzied drilling.  The Boynton [oil]  Field was the smallest field in the county. Oil fields commonly took their names from the nearest town. As time went by, the oil field's name morphed into the Boynton-Haskell Field and then into the Boynton-Creekola Field. As more was learned about the oil field's dimensions, geologists added Haskell and Creekola to Boynton's name to better describe the field."  Of its demise, Waits said, "All oil fields reach a point where wells are no longer producing sufficient oil to justify running the pumps. Boynton Field was a smaller field and that point came early. Today, Boynton Field is little more than a footnote in history."

Although during the past one hundred years the little oil field settlement into which she was born has long since passed; but for my Mom, she flourished for just a few days under ninety years.  During that time our world was blessed with the presence of a lady of strength who was full of love for her family and friends.  She had come from a large family where she learned the give and take of family life.  Her early decades were filled with being in a family who was essentially "company owned" by the Oil Company that drilled the fields around Muskogee.

Barely getting her breath from the teenage years of the "roaring twenties", she plunged head-long into what was called the "Great Depression" which resulted with the Market crash in 1929.  Struggling through those years by living on a shoestring, she had married and already had my two older sisters and older brother by the time the Japanese Imperial Navy and Air Force bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941. 

With the United States' entry into the World War that was already in progress in Europe, she was again struggling with a family as she waved goodbye to my Dad as he was shipped off to the Army.  Those were days of hardship for those left behind, especially the Moms who had children to care for.  Making every penny count, and the ration cards for most essentials, she cared for the family while Dad was eventually shipped to Europe to help fight the war.  Before he left, however, the twinkle in his eye became a reality for me.

The bomb blasted its way through the bunker. Sandbags twisted their way through the air, landing askew on the bunker's floor. Sand oozed from the bags mixing with the already muddy muck on the floor. Men scrambled to plug the hole, trying to shield themselves against the onslaught of enemy fire. The sounds of war made their way to the ears of those men in the bunker. They were there defending the American way of life. On that, and many other calamitous days, perhaps for one of those men, posterity was unfolding in another scene ten thousand miles away.

The room was sterile and the lights were bright. As my Mom lay panting in the throes of yet another contraction, the doctor sat in the ready position in front of the stirrups urging her to push harder. With as much adrenalin flowing through her veins as was perhaps flowing through my Dad's in the bunker, her final push resulted in my being ushered into that sterile, brightly lit, and starkly cold hospital delivery room. At that moment, though they were miles apart, I had become the living essence of my parent’s union, and somehow perhaps, even in their separation by miles, they were together.

From the point Dad left for his army duties Mom was the head of the household.  After his training and before he shipped out for Germany, Dad started the events that led to my Mother's October 1944 birthday presenting her with a gift of yet another son.  It was later that I learned I had been labeled as a "war baby".  Now with four children and a husband embroiled in the war effort ten thousand miles away, Mom had to use her strength and savvy to provide for herself and her family.

People in those days endured trials and grief that as a child growing up after the war and during the next two or three decades was seldom endured.  Making dollars stretch, finding the best bargains in food and clothes and teaching respect for each other fell to Mom.  She always made the best of it always giving her family the very best she could.

Looking back I can see where Mom was the doctor, teacher, lawyer, preacher, mender, disciplinarian, arbitrator of arguments, provider, soother of hurts, but always Mom.  She cooked all the meals, washed all the clothes, shopped for all the clothes, took us to church and Sunday School, kept us all on course and made it fun to be in "our family".

Mom was always there for us.  After the War, and the return of my Dad, being what today we call a "homemaker" since she did not work outside the home, she was there when we needed her the most.  I remember one specific time I really needed her, and as always, she came through with flying colors.

One day I remember I played hide-and-seek with my little Sister. It was mid-morning and my Mother was inside the house. My Sister was not too much older than a toddler. When it was my turn to hide I knew that I could find the best place where my Sister could not find me. I did.

The old icebox was in the garage, sitting toward the back, with some lumber stacked around it. This was not a modern refrigerator, mind you, it was an old ice box constructed to be air-tight when the door was closed so as to keep the compartment inside colder by the block of ice placed in the chamber above it.  Climbing over to the front door, I opened it, climbed inside and shut the door to the sound of a definite "click." Almost from the moment I heard that sound I realized it was a mistake. I was taken with the realization that it was very quiet inside; it was also so dark that I could not see my hand in front of my face. With all my might I began kicking and pushing on the door trying with all my strength to open it.

My Sister had long since abandoned her search for me, and had already turned her interest somewhere else. My Mother, of course knew nothing of the game we were playing. Time passed and I continued to try to break free. All my efforts failed; with each try my strength ebbed, until I felt I was going to collapse. Somewhere in the distance I could hear my Mother calling my name.

With all the strength I could call upon, I once again began screaming for help. One last cry for help and then I was silent. It seemed only a moment when the door to the icebox opened fully. The light poured in, even from that dingy garage. My Mother grabbed me up from my would-be tomb and ran into the house to nurse me back to health. It was only by the grace of God and the fact that she had completed lunch that she called for me, and found me.  On that very day, my Mom literally saved my life!

Mom was special because she spent her life "raising" her kids, caring for them, counseling them, advising them and most of all, loving them.  The Bible says that the length of a human life is but a "vapor" that is here today and gone tomorrow.  As one generation comes and goes another takes its place.  Mom is gone now, but she left her mark on each of her children and their children as well. 
We miss you Mom and love you very much!
Jim Killebrew     

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Marriage from God

“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”  (See Ephesians 5)
When the Apostle Paul spoke of this he was inspired by the Holy Spirit. It harkened back to God's thoughts in the Garden of Eden. The relationship has been tied by God between a man and a woman, but secured through the marriage of that man and that woman to represent the relationship between Christ and His Church. No matter what the political thoughts and practices of any culture drifts toward, it will never change the intent of God.
Jim Killebrew

Biblical marriage different than same sex marriage

On May 9, 2012 President Obama announced he supports the marriage between same sex individuals.  That declaration made him the first President of the United States to officially make such a declaration.  This age-old issue continues to ring throughout our land and around the world really.  In fact, this issue has likely been around for thousands of years.  No matter how many states or nations proclaim the equality of unions between genders, either opposite or the same, there will always be one thing that the Biblical union in marriage between a man and a woman will have over all other unions, that is God’s blessing.

The state can pass laws that totally equalize the unions between genders, and in a secular, civil society that is well within their purview.  Many obviously consider it a fair thing to do, equalizing all gender unions pertaining to rights and the sharing or disposition of property.  After all, who decides that man/woman marriages deserve rights above and beyond those of man/man, or woman/woman relationships?  It is all decided in civil, legislative or judicial venues.

The difference of course becomes noticeable and apparent when a person moves his/her life from the secular life to the submission of the Christian life.  For the Christian there is a significant difference between the God-ordained sanctity of marriage and the secular, civil laws that sanction same sex marriages.  For the Christian that difference is the knowledge of living within the Will of God or not living within the Will of God.

Each individual makes free choices regarding his/her life-style.  After reading and studying the sacred Scriptures that Christians refer to as the Bible in such passages as Leviticus 18:22, 20:13 and Romans 1:25-27, 1Corinthians 6:9 and 1Timothy 1:10, each person decides what to believe.  If a person decides these Scriptures are in error or have different meanings beyond what they say, then that person is free to practice any life-style that conforms to the secular, civil laws of the state or nation in which they live.

The Christian person believes that God is unchanging.  No matter how earnestly an individual, state or nation tries to create an exact replica of God’s holy marriage; it can never be done in same-sex unions in such a way as to make God change His formula.  He established the parameters of marriage between a man and a woman as early as the Garden of Eden.  It is recorded for us in Genesis 2 the foundation of marriage: 

“Then the Lord God made a woman from the part he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’”

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and unites with his wife, and they become a new family. The man and his wife were both naked, but they were not ashamed.”  (Genesis 2:22-25)        

The conclusion of the issue will always be the fact there is a great difference between a secular, same sex marriage and a Biblical marriage; the same sex marriage disregards the Biblical injunction from God, while the Christian marriage abides within the Biblical injunction from God.  Mankind can ascribe all the rights and status they want to a same sex marriage, but it will never be a God-ordained marriage.