Chino – When looking for an insurance company, Wright Insurance Services is the right choice. For the last 30 years, they have been providing the best in auto, home, business, and life insurance…and they are still going strong!
JB Wright Insurance Services is an Independent Insurance Agency, which means they represent many different companies so they can find the one that is right for you. Their staff has the knowledge and experience of their insurance products to provide maximum benefit and protection to their clients.
“Our goal is to provide our clients with the insurance they want at the lowest possible price, while providing them with the highest level of customer service,” said owner and agent, Joel Wright. “We can furnish our clients with an assessment of their insurance needs and choice of which package fits them best,” he added.
Being an independent agency allows customers to have stronger coverage, better protection, and the lowest possible rates. Wright Insurance Services has access to more options than any one single insurance carrier can offer. “This ability to compare pricing helps us secure you a lower premium,” said Wright.
Wright Insurance was founded by Joel Wright and his parents Bob and Myrna, and their company is now an agency that the community knows and trusts. “It’s quite fulfilling to have been a key source of insurance for thousands of people in the Southern California area, who have come to rely on us,” said Joel Wright.
Now, customers continue to spread the good word about Wright Insurance Services because they are treated like friends and family, rather than just clients. “Professional people who treat you like family is always The Wright Choice!”
Wright Insurance Services is located in both Chino, 909-628-0444 and in Santa Clarita, 661-244-5244. Visit one of their licensed professional insurance agents at 3340 Riverside Dr. Ste. L in Chino. However, if you want a quick quote, call 909-628-0444. “It’s always FREE and always FAST! Better protection…lower premiums…the WRIGHT choice for 30 years!” See ad on page 4.
Diamond Bar – C.J. Morris, Castle Rock, Evergreen, Maple Hill, Quail Summit, and Vejar Elementary Schools earned the 2020 California PBIS Community Cares Award for outstanding support to students, families, and communities during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.
Maple Hill Elementary produced several outreach videos featuring the “Making Lemonade Out of Lemons” school closure theme.
“We wanted to support our families with weekly messages of encouragement, read-a-louds, and suggested activities to promote social and emotional wellness,” said Principal Kelly Morris.
In one video, staff members suggested fun stay-at-home “opportunities” including exploring nature, dancing, playing board games, learning family traditions, and even having a backyard picnic.
“Let’s seize the day – better yet squeeze the day!” Morris exclaimed.
Evergreen Elementary fifth grade students wrote letters to assisted living facility residents during the first weeks of quarantine.
“Hopefully you’ll get to see your friends and family soon,” offered one caring 10-year-old who said she was keeping busy reading Harry Potter books, playing with sisters, and watching TikTok videos.
“I understand that you might not be happy and you can’t travel or eat at your favorite restaurants,” said 11-year-old Kyra Chen.
“You should always stay positive and try to have a good time!”
“The seniors loved receiving the letters and some wrote the children back!” said Principal Trina Dreyer.
Vejar Elementary hosted online weekly spirit challenges, family activities, and sent daily text messages.
Families stayed connected while posting first day of school photos in a shared Google folder for the August 10 challenge.
“We are working to make sure we continue to recognize the positive moments from our students and celebrate them during distance learning,” said Principal Whitney Prenger.
This school year will include virtual student shout-outs, birthday celebrations, Bitmoji postcards, and monthly assemblies recognizing Valuable Vejar Vaqueros for demonstrating respect, responsibility, and safety.
“We also look forward to providing virtual classroom visits and school tour footage to get our students acquainted and excited to return as soon as it is safe to do so!” Prenger said.
C.J. Morris Elementary staff members rallied together to provide supplies to students and families to support distance learning.
“We strive to be global citizens while implementing PBIS in conjunction with our IB Attributes,” said Principal Fayroze Mostafa.
“It truly takes a village!”
Quail Summit Elementary shared daily wellness activities and strategies to help students handle the stress of living in quarantine.
“Schools really need to think outside the box, now more than ever, when it comes to COVID-19,” said Principal Frances Weissenberger.
Castle Rock Elementary concentrated efforts on maintaining the sense of community built throughout the year.
“Students and staff alike were mourning the loss of one another and the connectedness we shared,” explained Principal Jen Alcazar.
“We focused on helping all our Knights demonstrate perseverance and grit while at the same time building faith that things would eventually return to normal.”
The school posted messages of hope and inspiration on social media platforms using photos, videos, and student highlights.
Homebound students were also challenged to reach out to others who might be struggling.
“They responded with love, compassion, and action doing what they could to uplift one another and by sending messages to essential workers,” Alcazar added.
Diamond bar – Diamond Bar Restaurant Week returns next month, October 2-18, bringing with it even more reasons to dine out, pick up curbside, or get takeout meals from any local restaurant.
In light of the pandemic, this year’s promotion has been adapted to make it easier for restaurants and diners to participate. For restaurants, these adaptations include automatic inclusion, no participation fee, and waiving of discount or special offer requirement. For diners, it means they can order breakfast, lunch and dinner from any Diamond Bar restaurants of their choice and enter their receipts or share their photos on social media for a chance to win a number of prizes.
Launched in 2016, Diamond Bar Restaurant Week (DBRW) is a special campaign aimed at supporting local restaurants while highlighting the diverse and quality dining choices in town. It is co-sponsored by the City and the Regional Chamber of Commerce-San Gabriel Valley.
Dine and Win! Through our sponsorships, the “Dine and Win!” contest will have some very exciting prizes to be awarded at the conclusion of Restaurant Week.
How to Participate: Simply dine out during Diamond Bar Restaurant Week at any eatery in Diamond Bar, and save your receipts! How to Submit Receipts: Enter Your Receipts for the Dine and Win Contest: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: 21810 Copley Dr, Diamond Bar, CA 91765 See flyer on page 8.
Walnut Valley USD proudly congratulates Diamond Bar High School alumnus Jason Wright (Class of 2000) who has been named president of the Washington Football Team.
Wright becomes the first Black person to hold the league title, and at age 38 is the youngest team president in NFL history.
Wright was a NFL running back for seven years with Atlanta, Cleveland, and Arizona and a business consultant at McKinsey & Company for the past seven years.
The popular Brahma football player and class president attended Northwestern University and earned an M.B.A from University of Chicago.
In high school, he won back-to-back championships in 1998 and ’99 where he scored the winning touchdown to claim the CIF Southern Section Division II title and an undefeated 14-0 season.
“Jason was always an A-plus kid,” retired Diamond Bar High coach Terry Roche told the Associated Press. “It’s all a credit to his parents and family.”
“What a great day for him and his family and all of us that know him.”
The 1999 championship team was quarterbacked by Ryan Maine, who later became head coach at Diamond Bar, and is the current principal at Walnut High School.
Maine knew his friend was destined for great things since their days playing Pop Warner.
“He was always so smart, he was Diamond Bar’s class president, and he was going to Northwestern for medical school, but ended by being drafted and played in the NFL,” Maine shared with the Associated Press.
“He was our team captain and always one of hardest workers. He set an example. I always talk to high school students now and always tell them to surround yourself with people that make you better. I look at that class led by Jason, and he was one of those people that made us all better.”
Ontario – Voortman’s Egg Ranch has been in the business of providing farm fresh eggs to friends and visitors to the local area for over 60 years. Originally from Bellflower, the Voortman family – who has always been in the egg ranching business – moved their operation to Ontario in 1951.
Voortman’s has a small-town farm ambiance, with the latest in technology. Their happy chickens are enjoying their newly remodeled home; and their egg-processing machine can handle about 36,000 eggs per hour at its peak. If the average bird lays one egg about every 26 hours, that equals a lot of chickens at the Voortman ranch!
Did you know that you can tell how fresh an egg is by how high the yolk stands up in the frying pan after you crack it? Voortman’s will have your over-easies standing tall. Their fresh eggs are the highest in quality, with dark, nutrient-dense yolks. You will immediately notice a difference in your cooking and baking.
Have you ever wondered how long the eggs in the grocery stores have actually been sitting around? Despite the use-by date, there is really no way to know how long ago they were produced. With Voortman’s, the eggs are selected daily, on site, and readied for you in their store.
Third-generation egg rancher, Eddie Voortman, says, “We are a local, family-owned business that provides fresh, quality products to the public.”
Customers of Voortman’s rave about their all natural, cage free eggs, touting the freshness, and great pricing. One customer said, “They make the fluffiest scrambled eggs!”
The eggs come in all sizes and colors, depending on your needs. Whatever you choose, you will not be disappointed.
The household size and income criteria identified below will be used to determine eligibility for free, reduced-price, or full-price meal benefits. Children from households whose income is at or below the levels shown here are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Children who receive CalFresh, CalWORKs, or FDPIR benefits may be automatically eligible for free meals regardless of the income of the household in which they reside. Please contact Nutrition Services to verify if you have been Directly Certified, otherwise you may be asked to pay full price for meals.
Effective July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals if the household income is less than or equal to the federal guidelines.
Households do not need to turn in an application when the household receives a notification letter saying that all children automatically qualify for free meals when any household member receives benefits from CalFresh, CalWORKs, or FDPIR. Children who meet the definition of foster, homeless, migrant, or runaway, and children enrolled in their school’s Head Start program are eligible for free meals. Contact Nutrition Services if any child in the household is not on the notification letter. The household must let Nutrition Services know if they do not want to receive free or reduced-price meals.
Applications will be sent to the household with a letter about the free and reduced-price meal program. Households that want to apply for meal benefits, must fill out one application for all children in the household and give it to the Nutrition Service Office – 880 South Lemon Avenue, Walnut, CA 91789.
Households may turn in an application at any time during the school year. If you are not eligible now, but your household income goes down, household size goes up, or a household member starts receiving CalFresh, CalWORKs, or FDPIR, you may turn in an application at that time. Information given on the application will be used to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school officials. The last four digits of the Social Security number from the adult in the household completing the meal benefit application or checking that you do not have a Social Security number is required if you include income on the application.
Households that receive Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits, may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals by filling out an application.
Foster children are eligible for free meals and may be included as a household member if the foster family chooses to also apply for the non-foster children on the same application. Including foster children as a household member may help the non-foster children qualify for free or reduced-price meals. If the non-foster children are not eligible, this does not keep foster children from receiving free meals.
Your child’s eligibility status from last school year will continue into the new school year for up to 30 school days or until Nutrition Services processes your new application, or your child is otherwise certified for free or reduced-price meals. After the 30 school days, your child will have to pay full price for meals, unless the household receives a notification letter for free or reduced-price meals. Nutrition Services does not have to send reminder or expired eligibility notices.
If you do not agree with the decision or results of verification, you may discuss it with school officials. You also have the right to a fair hearing, which may be requested by calling or writing the hearing official: Brandon Dade, Director of Pupil Services ~ 880 South Lemon Avenue, Walnut CA 91789 ~ (909) 595-1261 x 31311
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at the Filing a Program Discrimination Complaint as a USDA Customer page External link opens in new window or tab., and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call 866-632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT Based on your annual earnings, you may be eligible to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit from the Federal Government (Federal EITC). The Federal EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. The Federal EITC has no effect on certain welfare benefits. In most cases, Federal EITC payments will not be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, food stamps, low-income housing, or most Temporary Assistance for Needy Families payments. Even if you do not owe federal taxes, you must file a federal tax return to receive the Federal EITC. Be sure to fill out the Federal EITC form in the Federal Income Tax Return Booklet. For information regarding your eligibility to receive the Federal EITC, including information on how to obtain the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 797 or any other necessary forms and instructions, contact the IRS by calling 1-800-829-3676 or through its Web site at www.irs.gov.
You may also be eligible to receive the California Earned Income Tax Credit (California EITC) starting with the calendar year 2015 tax year. The California EITC is a refundable state income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. The California EITC is treated in the same manner as the Federal EITC and generally will not be used to determine eligibility for welfare benefits under California law. To claim the California EITC, even if you do not owe California taxes, you must file a California income tax return and complete and attach the California EITC Form (FTB 3514). For information on the availability of the credit eligibility requirements and how to obtain the necessary California forms and get help filing, contact the Franchise Tax Board at 1-800-852-5711 or through its Web site at www.ftb.ca.gov.
Diamond Bar – In 30 years as an incorporated city, Diamond Bar has maintained its status as a desirable community in which to live, work and visit. Contributing to this status are the safe neighborhoods, well-maintained roads, and clean and attractive parks, trails and recreation facilities. The City has been able to do its part to keep Diamond Bar looking and operating its best and to provide the programs and services valued by the community by practicing responsible fiscal discipline and thoughtful budgeting.
Although the City’s current financial condition is strong, Diamond Bar faces long-term financial challenges that will impact the City’s ability to continue to meet the community’s needs and priorities. In 2019, the City completed an extensive effort to assess its long-term financial outlook in light of growing costs and the absence of new revenue streams. This effort concluded that Diamond Bar is approaching a financial crossroads where measures will have to be taken to align expenditures with revenues. These measures may include deferring maintenance of roads and landscaped areas, delaying or abandoning plans for new construction or renovations of parks and public facilities, or paring down municipal services to core necessities.
Potential Sales Tax Measure: With expenditures anticipated to outpace available resources in the near future, the City is taking steps to ready itself for this fiscal challenge. Identifying new locally-controlled revenue streams to ensure the City can continue to provide and improve on existing service levels is one of these steps. Placement of a three-quarter sales tax increase measure on the November ballot is still under consideration by the City Council. For more information please sign onto www.diamondbarca.gov.
Chino – After nearly a decade of wheeling and dealing to collect his first ten aircraft, Ed Maloney opened the Museum on January 12, 1957.
The site was a former lumber yard in Claremont, California. The sign out front read simply, “The Air Museum.” There was no need to be more specific. At the time, no other air museums existed west of the Mississippi River.
Ed continued to grow the Museum, acquiring new aircraft, aviation artifacts, and memorabilia. By 1962, the Claremont facility had run out of space. At this same time, a new idea began to take shape – why not restore some aircraft to flight? To achieve this would require an airport-based location.
In June 1963, the Air Museum relocated to Ontario Airport in Ontario, California. Occupying two hangars, the Museum now had a home large enough to display the collection and room to conduct restoration work.
A few years later, in 1970, a unique opportunity surfaced. The non-flying, static aircraft moved to Buena Park, California to become part of the “Movie World: Cars of the Stars and Planes of Fame Museum.” Housed in two large buildings on Orangethorpe Avenue, the Southern California attraction remained open until 1973.
With the closure of Movie World, the next chapter in the Museum’s history saw yet another relocation. The Chino Airport, located on the border of the cities of Chino and Ontario, California, was an ideal location for the display of the ever-expanding collection, provided room for the important restoration work, and offered plenty of airspace for flying demonstrations.
Another significant change occurred with the opening in 1974 of the Chino facility. The Museum was given a new name. Combining the current “The Air Museum” with the “Planes of Fame” moniker, the Museum hereafter would be known as the “Planes of Fame Air Museum.”
Over the next forty-plus years, the Museum would continue to flourish. New additions to the collection continued. Restoration work put several rare and unique aircraft back into the sky, including the Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero, the Boeing P-26 Peashooter, and the Northrop N9MB Flying Wing. The annual Airshow commenced, thrilling the public with the sights and sounds of bygone eras. Film and television work, and several air racing victories by staff and volunteers brought added notoriety to the Museum.
Chino remains the base of operations for the Museum. Seven hangars house the collection with several additional buildings including the Aviation Discovery Center, the Research Library, the Model Room, and a small theater. Altogether, including structures and outside tarmac displays, the Chino location comprises a 14-acre campus. The collection now numbers close to 160 aircraft, and nearly a quarter of these fly regularly.
With our mission to guide us, and Ed’s vision to lead the way, the Museum flies on into a very bright future.
Pomona – The LA County Fair, slated for Sept. 4-27, was recently canceled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is the first time the LA County Fair has been canceled since World War II. Since the fair’s opening in 1922, the fair has only been canceled once from 1942 to 1947 due to the war. The fair did close for one day on Sept. 22, 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but it reopened the following day.
The 2020 LA County Fair was canceled due to the “limitations placed on large public gatherings by state and county public health officials because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Renee Hernandez in a news release. “For the safety and well-being of guests, Fair officials are following the guidelines of public health officials who are advising against large public gatherings for the remainder of the year,” added Hernandez.
The LA County Fair sees approximately “1.1 million guests during its 19-day run and has an estimated economic impact of $324 million annually in Los Angeles County, with $58 million in the City of Pomona and securing more than 500 full-time equivalent jobs,” according to the news release. The Fair is expected to celebrate their 100-year anniversary in 2022.
Fairplex President and CEO Miguel A. Santana says that the decision to cancel the event was not easy to make. “My heart is heavy, for our guests who come out to make memories, our vendors who rely on the Fair circuit for their income and our employees who work so hard all year-long to create this special event,” Santana said. “The LA County Fair is an iconic event that celebrates the best of Southern California. It is beloved by many. But we had to take into consideration the health and safety of everyone.”
Los Angeles County Fair Association Board of Directors’ Chair Heidi Hanson agreed by saying they had no choice but to cancel, even though it was hard to do. “The one thing we can promise is that the LA County Fair will be back, better than ever – especially as we plan for our Centennial,” added Hanson.
Los Angeles County First District Supervisor Hilda L. Solis also spoke about the cancellation, since the Fair resides in her district. Solis said it will be disappointing, but necessary to miss the end-of-summer celebration, according to the release.
“Like many of you, I grew up eagerly anticipating each year’s opening of the LA County Fair, and I cherish my family memories of this special yearly event,” said Solis.
“Unfortunately, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel the LA County Fair due to our current public health crisis. We must make these short term sacrifices to preserve the health of the people we love. We do this to protect our communities. I am certain that once we get through this challenging time, we will come back stronger and even more appreciative of the things we love and hold dear.”
Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger also commented on the closure, since a portion of the Fairplex is located in her district.
“Like every fan of the LA County Fair, I am saddened to hear of its cancellation this year. I love the Fair and have many fond memories from my experiences with family and friends,” Barger said. “But we are in the middle of a major public health crisis and our priority is the safety and well-being of all of our residents. Through our efforts to slow the spread, I know we will soon be able to enjoy activities like the LA County Fair again.”
That sentiment was echoed by the head of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd. “Our recovery journey is underway, but it will be a slow one. Working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 is our new normal for the foreseeable future. But I have faith that if we continue to make these difficult but necessary decisions now, we will be able to enjoy all that the LA County Fair has to offer next year.”
Those who have already purchased season pass boxes were informed that they can receive a refund. The following three refunds options are available: credit toward the 2021 Fair plus one extra season pass; turning their purchase into a donation to the Fairplex COVID-19 emergency fund for the community; or a full refund. Information on refunds can be found at www.lacountyfair.com/refunds.
The Fairplex in Pomona, CA has been the home of the LA County Fair for years, in addition to the 300 year-round events. However, they announced they are canceling the remainder of its self-produced events for the rest of 2020, including June’s Cheers Wine, Beer and Food Festival; Fourth of July spectacular KABOOM!; Oktoberfest; and the Day of the Dead celebration En Memoria.
However, the Fairplex has continued its community benefit mission by working with partners to offer coronavirus testing, hold drive-thru food pantries and offer free childcare for the children of healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers at its Child Development Center. For more information on Fairplex, visit www.fairplex.com.
Walnut — Over the past several weeks, tech savvy teens from Diamond Bar and Walnut High Schools quietly answered a call to aide first responders during the global pandemic.
When students learned of the dire shortage of personal protective equipment for frontline medical staff and how anyone with a 3D printer could fill the void – they sprang into action.
Diamond Bar High’s DB Engineering and Team Sprocket robotics partnered with parent Joe Bloomfield, owner of Spyder3D, to design and manufacture reusable 3D printed facemasks and face shields.
Six members of the school’s Printed Works Club are creating a facemask that must be easily printable by those new to 3D printing, require little post-production work, be reusable, and accept multiple types of filters.
“Our team has developed a working prototype that meets all of our requirements,” said senior Logan Tang of the facemask that can also be easily scaled to fit different face sizes.
Next steps include calibrating the strap attachment points to increase comfort while holding the mask in place, he said.
Instructional Dean Gabriel Aguilar’s living room is currently in production mode on the project.
Since the school is shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Diamond Bar High administrator brought a bay of 3D printers home to aid a special effort.
“Several community partners contacted us to see how we could leverage our 3D printing and manufacturing capabilities to support the need for face shields,” Aguilar said.
“Rather than collecting dust, these machines are now producing 30 face shield frames per day, using materials donated by Spyder3D.”
WVUSD FIRST Robotics Teams joined forces with the SoCal Makers COVID-19 Response Team to create face shields using 3D printed frames and clear plastic transparency sheets.
To date, Team Sprocket, Walnut Valley Robotics, Aluminati and 2nd Rebellion have provided approximately 600 free face shields to this initiative, which has supported nearly 100 medical centers, including West Covina Medical Center, Pomona Valley Medical Center, and Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.
Walnut High’s Wolf Corp Robotics team members are making do-it-yourself (DIY) face shields for health care workers and those providing essential services, including Walnut Valley USD Nutrition Services staff serving weekday Grab & Go meals.
The shields are low cost and very easy to make with three main components: foam, elastic band, and a transparency sheet.
Each member has pledged to construct 15-20 protective face shields from home and over the weekend 50 additional gifts were delivered to essential workers in the community.
Aerospace engineer and mentor Eric Gever established the SoCal Makers initiative organizing groups of colleagues, robotics students, and local makers interested in making a difference and helping to produce the face shields.
Teens are not only solving real-world problems, but getting more interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematic.
“While many students may be thinking of this time away from school as an extended break, those who have remained involved in the Socal Makers Response Team have stood to benefit greatly though their participation in this project,” Gever said via Go Fund Me.
It only snowed 2-3 times a year in Dallas. It was a nightmare to drive in the traffic. Most residents had little experience driving in snow and on ice covered roads. One time in early January, the Superintendent of the public schools canceled classes because of the weather. It seemed like a wise decision but the sun came out by noon, the snow melted and the Superintendent looked foolish.
A few weeks later, when snow was again forecast for the Dallas area the Superintendent did not cancel classes. Students and teachers were expected to report to school. Unfortunately this was a serious snow storm and there were many accidents on the roads. In fact, my wife and I were in an accident as a car slowly slid down a hill into the side of our car. A mother who was trying to get her children to school hit our car while I was trying to get their teacher to school!
Many people were critical of the Superintendent when he canceled classes on a snow day in January and many people criticized him when he did not cancel classes on a snow day in March.
This sounds strangely familiar as we face the current Corona Virus situation. It is easy for people to be critical of government officials for decisions and actions they have and have not taken. Some feel leaders did not act early enough. Others feel that many of the actions and restrictions are an overreaction. State and local officials are making decisions regarding school closures, canceling public events and restricting travel. It is easy to criticize them.
We are living in an uncertain time. It is easy to focus our frustrations on our government and business leaders. Many people are fearful and concerned about how long this will last and how bad it will get. I think our parents and grandparents felt the same way when our nation was attacked by the Japanese in 1941. I’m sure there was fear and concern about how long the war would last and how bad it would get.
There is a wonderful promise found many places in the Bible that says, “Fear not for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10 / Acts 18:9-10). Let me encourage you to open your Bible and read these verses for yourself. Pray for our country and our leaders. Help a neighbor or a classmate.
With God’s help and by helping one another we will get through this together.
Perhaps you can relate? Someone approaches and asks me how I’m doing.
Conjuring every ounce of strength I have left I force a smile.
“I’m good! How are you?”
Why did I just lie? Is it because I think it’s what they want to hear? Is it because it’s what American culture has trained me to do? Is it because I don’t really want to think about it? Is it because I don’t even know? Is it because I don’t know them? Is it because I don’t want to go that deep right now? Or is it because hidden somewhere deep down inside of me I’m afraid they won’t care if I told them the truth, and that would be worse than if they never asked me in the first place.
Whatever reason we have let’s be honest – we all lie. We lie about how we’re doing. We lie about who we are. We put on a face. We play the part. We act it out. We behave the way we think people want us to behave. We bury the feelings.
Now we have a million reasons why we do this. It could be our up bringing, our lack of trust, or it could simply be because John Wayne said it’s “What a man’s got to do.”
Why is John Wayne so awesome?
But whatever the case is, we continue to suppress what we’re going through and we hide our struggles and sins from others. But, that does not erase the ever nagging question in the back of our minds… is this is the way it was supposed to be? Is this how life is supposed to be? Am I hardwired in my DNA to deal with everything on my own? Is this the way God wanted it to be? Does God want me to carry this weight alone?
I mean sure, not everyone needs to know your deepest darkest secrets and not everyone needs to know you’re not having a good day. But maybe someone should know. Maybe suppressing the pain, hiding our struggles, and lying is not what God wanted for us.
I find it to be fascinating that Jesus had a tremendous amount of compassion and grace for every sinner He came into contact with and yet He was extremely hard on the people who acted like they had it all together. We don’t have to guess as to why He felt this way – Jesus made it clear for us:
Matthew 25:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appearto people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
I’m no theologian but it seems to me that Jesus really didn’t like it when people faked it. And although we like to picture Jesus as a blond haired hippy surfer, carrying a lamb on his shoulders, smiling all the time, and saying “God bless you” – it may not be too far of a stretch to say Jesus was pretty angry at these religious leaders and He may not have been smiling or carrying a lamb at this moment.
And if you think about it God has never liked it when we hide. In fact, this problem of hiding goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3 tells us that when God came walking in the Garden after Adam and Eve sinned and ate from the tree God commanded them not to eat – they hid from God. This made God angry. And they weren’t the only ones. Jonah once tried hiding from God too. He got on a boat that was headed in the opposite direction from where God was calling him. Jonah though he could run and hide from God. I remember that not going very well for him.
Something about a big fish?
In the same way, many of us are still trying to hide from God today. We hide behind a smile. Behind a title. Behind a façade. A part we play for the people we think will judge us if they really knew us. Can I encourage you today? Drop the mask. You may be fooling people but you’ll never fool God. And God doesn’t want you to be perfect but he does demand that you’re honest. God can help a sinner but He can’t help someone who pretends like they’re not a sinner. God can do anything and He can save anyone but one thing God won’t do – He won’t save someone who won’t admit they need a Savior. Drop the mask. Tell God the truth and then go tell someone else the truth.
The world is shutting down, so it may seem. Though is it? Or is the universe telling us something? We have been ‘social distancing” for years. Ever since we became the electronic world, people don’t seem to talk nor communicate.
Everywhere you look, people are on their electronic devices. Many people for a very long time have not looked up from their phones.
I have seen people in restaurants on their phones and not focusing on the person in front of them. I walk by people on the streets and they will bump into me not paying attention. Many car accidents I have read are caused by texting. So this social distancing is not new, it’s just now we can’t stand next to each other unless they are six feet away. But let’s be honest, many people never realized there was someone who was standing next to them.
Maybe now we can get a grasp on life and think about what there is out there. There is a world of beauty and people that will smile at you.
Sometimes I felt so alone in a world of people, why because some have no idea who or what is around them. Some never look up from their phones to see a smile in front of them. Or they are too busy worrying about the next selfie to post from where they are.
Now that everything has shut down and nowhere to go, maybe, just maybe, some will look up from their phones and see there’s a beautiful family in front of them and put down the electronics and get back to basics.
Enjoy the quiet moments, smile at the simple things, and have fun by talking, what a concept. Hopefully, on the other side of this crisis, life will be better, friendships and families will be stronger. Plus, the love of electronics will subside and the world will become a more delightful connected place between one another.
Melody Kraemer is the Editor and Publisher of Macaroni Kid Jurupa Valley-Eastvale and Autism Mom Adventures. For more information or general encouragement, feel free to email her at: email@example.com.