Monthly archives: August, 2017

Prayers for Houston …

From Facebook Messenger: Wayne Blaser, a former PMM Board Member, sent the following to me just a short time ago.

“Hi we are starting a prayer chain for all the people in Houston Texas please say a prayer and pass it on to as many people as you can. If you can’t pass this on please let us know so the chain doesn’t stop. Please just pass it on to as many people as you can. Prayers are needed!”

To go along with the prayer there is always a story at Media Mission. Desiree shares her story of being a teenager and her family escaping a powerful hurricane.

From Life After the Storm an award-winning audio series recognized by the Houston WorldFest as one of the finest productions capturing real life stories told by people experiencing life first hand and sharing their story of escape and rescue from your Presbyterian, United Methodist and Mennonite friends.

Producer Dennis C. Benson, Director Bill Wolfe, Host Larry Hollon, Engineer Kodo, and Asspciate Producer Gregg Hartung

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is the emergency and refugee program of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.


After the Storm Comes A Shore ….

Stories help us weather the storms of life. We learn from stories. We cherish stories.

Life After the Storm is a series of award-winning stories. We share them now as we pray and reach out to help those people living on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Ashley evacuates because she needs to get her young daughters out of the path of the storm. The storm is coming and it is time to leave. Listen to her storm story ….


Joseph is trapped on a roof top and waiting to get rescued from the high waters caused by the hurricane. Listen to his storm story …


Langford had is family leave and then he escaped and relocated to Michigan. He is starting his life over after the storm. Listen to his story …


Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is preparing to be in for the long haul to help with the recovery from Hurricane Harvey. More info by clicking on the link …


Hurricane Harvey

Stories from past storms has helped in the readiness and evcuation of cities, towns, and communities along the Texas Gulf Coast for Hurricane Harvey.

The award-winning series of stories called Life After the Storm has us emphatically pray and respond to those people impacted in the areas effected by Harvey.

Life After the Storm from survivors of storms on Passages …

Johnnie remembers the smell of dead bodies after Ketrina and escaping New Orleans. Listen to her story by clicking on the button below.


Bobbi helped others as much as she could in a terrible situation of working in Charity Hospital in New Orleans during the powerful hurricane. Click in the audio link below to listen to her story.


May feels deeply that things will never be quite the same after such a devastating storm. Listen to her reflection on the impact of a powerful hurricane by pressing on the audio button below.


Our prayers go out to all those impacted on Hurricane Harvey.

Beware of the storms of life!

Jim Morrison and The Doors “Riders on the Storm”


Another School Year

A teacher (also called a school teacher or, in some contexts, an educator) is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values.

Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone (e.g. when showing a colleague how to perform a specific task). In some countries, teaching young people of school age may be carried out in an informal setting, such as within the family, (homeschooling) rather than in a formal setting such as a school or college. Some other professions may involve a significant amount of teaching (e.g. youth worker, pastor).

In most countries, formal teaching is usually carried out by paid professional teachers. The focus here is on those who are employed, as their main role, to teach others in a formal education context, such as at a school or other place of initial formal education or training.

Stories about teaching from the Media Mission series of stories – Survivors. Survivors is where young people tell their stories of hope and inspiration.

Clark is starting on the path to become a teacher. Listen to how a friend encourages him to take a class that helps him to decide on teaching as a career. Listen to Clark’s Survivors story by clicking on the tab below.


Renee is influenced by a teacher that goes beyond the book to really making the topic and class interesting to learn beyond what you can imagine. She is learning to become a teacher by example of those teachers that taught her. Click on the tab below to listen to Renee’s Survivors Story.


Kay knows what makes a good teacher. She sees that teachers who enjoy teaching makes a positive impact. She really appreciates her German language teacher. Listen to Kay’s story by clicking on the tab below.


Many churches had or are having blessing of the backpacks here in late August and early September. Please include the teachers as well as the students and their families in the prayers for this up-coming school year.


“Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator”

Book Review “Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator” is the bestselling book by the marketer, public relations director, and media strategist Ryan Holiday. The book chronicles Holiday’s time working as a media strategist for such clients as New York Times Bestselling authors Tucker Max and Robert Greene as well as American Apparel founder Dov Charney. Trust Me, I’m Lying is a behind the scenes look at the current online journalism system. The book is split into two parts: the first explains why blogs matter, how they drive the news, and how they can be manipulated, and the second shows what happens when this is done, how it backfires, and the consequences of the current media system. Excerpt … “Reporters owe a duty to reality, not to platforms. Bloggers believe the opposite. Then once you understand the limitations of the platform, the constraints can be used against the people who depend on it. The technology can be turned on itself.” Some food for thought from one insight gleaned in reading this book. Recommended read by Matt Hartung.

I Hate You! I Love You!

How Can We All Get Along A Little Better?

The national conversation continues about how mean and nasty people can be to each other just because the color of peoples skin color is different.

Here are some more reflections from young people on racism from our Survivors series of stories.

Ashley struggles with people reacting to her skin color being black on Survivors. She wants to be given a chance because of who she is in being a member of the human race. Listen to her story by clicking on the audio button below.


Lean grew up in an all white community. She learns through experiences outside of that community an appreciation for all people. Listen to her story by clicking on the audio tab below.


Manuel is Hispanic and speaks two languages and expresses his love for being a citizen of the U.S.  Listen to his story by clicking on the audio link below to listen to his story.


Fred Rogers learning to break dance with Jermine is a good way to help young children to view a positive role model in helping to understand different people and cultures. Watch this clip from youtube by clicking on the link below.


Biblical Reflection on Racism as Part of the Human Condition
From the book of Esther 2:10 “Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordeccai had forbidden her to do so.”


Conversations for Charlottesville and Beyond …

Another time, another place, but not a different conversation because racism is one of those issues just under the surface waiting for an opportunity to be part of the national conversation. If not at the national level there have and will continue to be times on a smaller scale community by community when racism is realized through individuals and events. Conversations and naming it for what it is continues to be the first and most powerful step in dealing with this issue.

  1. prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.
    “a program to combat racism”
    synonyms: racial discrimination, racialism, racial prejudice, xenophobiachauvinismbigotrycasteism

    “Aborigines are the main victims of racism in Australia”
    • the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
      noun: racism

Here are some voices from Passages and Survivors that will be heard today and more stories added through the weekend to reflect on racism in our world.

Roberto experiences racism but seeks a way to connect to the person who is being racists towards him. Listen to his story on Survivors and discover the empathy he eventually feels for the person being racist. Click on the button below to hear his audio story ….


Pat grows up in a racially segregated city of Baltimore. She reflects on the positive things that has helped make her take stands for peoples civil rights on Passages. Reflect now on stories of racism to help you with the need to have a conversation with someone who is different from you. Click on the audio button below to listen to Pats’ Story on Passages.



More stories in print by clicking on this link


I’m depressed …

de·pres·sion  dəˈpreSH(ə)n 


  1.  feelings of severe despondency and dejection.

“self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression”

Trying to Understand What Made Maddy Run – book by Kate Fagan

NPR Morning Edition audio interview

Depression Strikes Teen Girls Especially Hard

Study says a vast majority of people who are depressed do not seek help ….

Screening positive for depression doesn’t mean you’ll get treatment study finds ….

From Africa the idea of the friendship bench can help phase the blues away ….


A review and alternative look at the Madison story ….


Survivors and Passages stories from a cross-section of people in talking about their experience with depression …

Two stories from Amalia on Survivors:

A Survivor of Depression on Survivors Elizabeth:

Sherry a young single mom takes us on part of her passage with depression …

Phil is a middle age man who suffers from depression …

Joni tells how being an artist that uses her mouth to paint gets depressed at times …

God be with us in the valley of depression!