About Me

My photo
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.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Military heroes

Without a doubt our service men and women are owed our deep gratitude for their service to our country.  They have voluntarily taken on the responsibility of service and sacrifice to our country that has sustained the freedoms all of us have come to love.  They are all heroes and should be counted as such.  In addition to those who are serving or served in active duty in all branches of service there is another group that deserves the title "hero".  That group is the family of those who have served throughout the world ensuring the continued presence of the American way of life. 
Spouses:  Mostly women, but many men have been and are married to a person in the military service.  Home fires have been kept burning; life continues to move on even when the military spouse is ten thousand miles away.  Bills have to be paid, oftentimes with less than adequate funding available, all the challenges of running a household must continue without the help of the absent spouse, children must continue to be cared for, questions answered, nurtured almost as a single parent, juggling the daily life of school attendance and all social activities.  In many cases the spouse is also working to help "make ends meet" and have to manage without the immediate advice of the absent spouse, and certainly without the actual working alongside with the spouse when that person is stationed away from home.  Perhaps the heaviest burden of all is living on a minute-by-minute basis each day with the constant realization that at any moment actual harm can befall their loving spouse in the pursuit of defending freedoms for all of us.  That is a heavy burden that most people whose spouse is not in "harm's way" simply may not understand.
Children:  A child whose parent is serving in the military and particularly those who are away from home, have a very difficult time coping with the absence of the parent.  The child is constantly reminded the parent is away doing a job that is meant to provide safety for citizens of our country.  The child, depending upon the age of the child, shares the dreaded "harm's way" burden knowing there may be notification on any day at any time of an event that will change his/her life forever.  On a daily basis there are many activities completed without the presence of the absent parent:  School activities, sports activities, church attendance, movies, meals, bedtime, vacations, homework, meeting friends, chores, eating out and just plain conversation.
Parents:  Parents of any age have a profound sense of apprehension when their child serves in the military, especially during war time and when the child is serving in a war zone.  Of course there is a great sense of pride from those who know the immense responsibility and honor the child has in being part of a network of a "Band of Brothers" who are protecting the freedoms of American citizens.  Even in the presence of that pride, however, there is a sense of loneliness that comes from knowing their in-law child and their grandchildren are suffering through their child's absence due to the job.
Siblings:  Brothers and Sisters of the person serving in the military are both proud and concerned at the same time.  Sibling relationships can sometimes be shaky or solid depending on the individual siblings.  As adulthood arrives with most siblings as happens when they begin to arrive at the age of eligibility to join a military service, a bonding begins to form that sets aside childhood or adolescent rivalries and is replaced by acceptance of decisions, support for choices and respect of person.  As with the other relations from family, the sibling has that gnawing sense of anxiety of the unknown, especially if the sibling is in a war zone that creates an environment of harm's way.
Grandparents:  Grandparents have all the feelings expressed and felt by other family members, but generally they have one feeling and awareness that others may not have.  With grandparents the likelihood exists that they have experienced both sides of the military in their lifetime.  Likely the grandpa has been in the military, perhaps in a war zone that has put him in harm's way.  The grandma remembers the hardships she faced during the WWII or Korea  period with rationing, restrictions, limited resources in the family budget and the constant waiting for the war's end.  Perhaps the grandparents were involved in the Viet Nam War that not only changed the political landscape of America, but the civil discourse as well.  They may well understand the turning tide of American sentiments toward the military when they grow war-weary.  They have an empathy that feels the pain of a grandchild who makes sacrifices only to return to a hostile neighborhood.
Ultimate Sacrifice:  Finally, those spouses, children, parents, siblings and grandparents who have answered that door with uniformed men standing on the porch knowing what the message they carried contained, are counted as heroes of the heroes.  As they stand at the door listening to the message of Brothers in Uniform deliver the untimely news from a "Grateful Nation" that regrets to inform the family of the loss, their minds soar to the darkness of grief while their hearts sink to the depths of loss.
When we celebrate the Memorial Day with our picnics, cookouts, car races, family get-to-gathers and a hundred other freedoms of our choice, we should also remember those who provided the ultimate sacrifice of defending those freedoms.  But not only that, we should remember all those families who supported and surrounded their military person with love and a bit of anxiety, fear and trepidation by suffering all the "what-if's" during the time they waited for the homecoming.  We should remember their standing tall as they learned of the supreme sacrifice their loved one made to secure and maintain the peace and freedom of our wonderful country.  In all respects they have earned the right to be called heroes as well.
Jim Killebrew             

Friday, May 24, 2013

Public servant

This is a misnomer if I ever saw one.  We think about our politicians who are supposed to be representatives of "We the People" in our government system referring to themselves as "public servants".  This is a government "of the people, by the people and for the people", and those representatives have traditionally through the years been called "public servants."  Those elected to offices throughout our land, especially to state and federal offices, have made careers out of their offices when they can.  Oftentimes, however, instead of following what the framers of our government envisioned as "citizen leadership" with people stepping up to serve the electorate and all others who did not vote for them, returning back to their profession and home after serving a term or two, they have found ways to be re-elected for many terms making the office a career that even provides retirement benefits.
Those changes from citizen leadership to career politicians has yielded a process that has become a culture of political leadership that goes well beyond the representation of those whose interests matched the person elected for the first term.  Having gained "seniority" the politician also gained power and position through constant re-election.  Having gained power and authority, the politician begins to garner favor among the "special interest" groups that supply more tangible benefits to the politician that exceeds the "will" of those constituents who initially elected him/her to the high office.  We now find representatives of our government making voting decisions based on poll results that go well beyond the local constituents.  We find politicians voting on spending plans along "party" lines that benefit people in other locations other than local districts.  "Favors" are exchanged for votes with politicians voting for policies and laws that go well beyond the will of the people who first elected them.
Now we are witnessing a corruption of power with career bureaucrats that have been appointed or hired by the politicians who have created careers for themselves.  There is a "culture of power" obtained by those in "government" who wield that power to sway politicians and impose their will on the people to gain what the culture of power is seeking.  We witness that with the records from reporters and editors in the Associated Press (AP) being collected by the very government department that should be upholding the laws for We the People.  Instead we witness the erosion of privacy and a bit of the Constitution the representatives are obliged to uphold and protect.  We are witnessing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wielding power to target conservative groups whose ideology does not agree with the power brokers in the government agency.  Now we are being told the IRS is going to be the oversight government agency that will implement the healthcare for every American.  Will they really be true public servants, or will they make servants out of the public?
Is it any wonder the American people are losing trust in those politicians who are supposed to protect the rights of We the People?  They are no longer public servants, they are overlords in control of the people who have been made the "servants" to an overreaching government.
Jim Killebrew       

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Negotiate with God

Genesis 18:16-33 tells us about Abraham negotiating with God about the fate of Sodom.  God has seen the wickedness in Sodom and has told Abraham he is going to destroy the city.  Perhaps fearing for his nephew Lot and his family who lived in Sodom, Abraham began a negotiation reminding God that it may not be right to destroy all the city when righteous people are living there.  God agreed to spare the city if fifty righteous people could be found.  Perhaps Abraham knew the character of the city that he knew there might not be fifty righteous people living there.  So he began to negotiate with God; if forty-five can be found will the city be spared?  God agreed with that number.  However, Abraham continued to negotiate downward in increments of five until he finally reached the number ten.  If ten righteous people can be found in the city can it be spared?  God agreed with ten.  Of course we know by reading the full account that even that number could not be found; ultimately God passed judgment over the city and destroyed the city.
I wonder if sometimes we don't have the same heart as Abraham as we live in a world that we are seeing devolve with corruption, greed, sin and wickedness as each day passes.  God has clearly stated His requirements for living and has laid them out in the Bible for all to know.  I believe if we listen closely we will find that people are negotiating with God trying to convince Him to change His mind about what He has commanded and clearly made known. 
The problem is that we really are no different in character and personality than those people in Sodom so many years ago.  Even in our negotiations we falter and stumble inevitably further into sin even if God has provided the Grace to accept our negotiated terms.  We can never be satisfied with what we have since when we move outside of God's Grace we revert to our sin nature and never find satisfaction; we always want more than what we have. 
Through the process of negotiation we forget that God, the Creator of the Universe, sets all the boundaries, establishes His commands and communicates to us what He requires.  His Grace is sufficient for each of us, but we believe we need more, and ultimately desire more.  We bargain with God to bend a little, "I know God you have stated you want us to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us, but you know how sweet vengeance is.  Could we just strike back a little, just to teach our enemy a lesson?"  "We know God you are not a respecter of persons and you look on the heart rather than the outside of a person, but surly you can understand that there are different ethnic groups and class distinctions that have to be recognized in our cultures and since we are living here we should parcel out the stations in life for different people groups, shouldn't we?"
God is not slack, as some men count slackness, but He will render judgment in spite of our futile efforts to negotiate His changing His mind.  Perhaps the best thing for us to do is submit to His Grace and allow Him to provide for us His power through His Spirit to strengthen us to live within the provisions He has already made for us, and refrain our futile attempts to negotiate a change of mind for Him.
Jim Killebrew

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Self radicalized

It seems this term "self radicalized" is being tossed around a lot intimating that people who are already in America are somehow independently, without the help of anyone outside their sphere of influence is helping them to become "radicalized" to engage in terrorist activities.  This was the almost immediate conclusion the Administration drew regarding the two men who were charged with the Boston Marathon bombing; they were "self radicalized."
That seems almost like an "oxymoron" where a person can become influenced to the extent of being "radical" about some cause without there even being a cause to be a part of.  In the case of the Boston bombing where bombs were made, detonation devices were constructed, certain materials were used in combination that closely resembled the same combination used in other bombings in other parts of the world, containers to carry the explosive material were common to other bombings in the Middle East, and now three other people have been arrested in connection with the two who carried out the bombing.  Not being an expert in these matters, it still seems that just on the surface of the evidence so far one would have to at least consider the two bombers may not have been working alone.
Therefore, if all of those similarities exist, the components, type of explosives, canisters (pressure cookers), types of shrapnel, the older brother traveling to Russia for six months, reading and studying the material published by radicals in Islam, then how can the Administration conclude within just hours of the bombing and arrest of the one brother that they were "self radicalized"?  Could it be that has to be the conclusion in order to fit the narrative the Administration has projected that they have destroyed the capability of terrorist actions world-wide?  If so, it seems like a very dangerous position to turn a blind eye to extended investigations, restricting theories of cause to just a narrow narrative and shutting down interrogation efforts prematurely to curtail the collection of further threats.  Those actions, it seems, could put the citizens of America in further danger.
Jim Killebrew