Lou Ness

Grandkids are Great, But ...

Jun 23, 2016

As I write, I am on a third breakfast at 7:30 a.m. with two of our 16 grandchildren. The dishes are growing in the sink, and the dogs sit under the table -- faithfully waiting.

For my week vacation, we take five grandchildren overnight, ages 3-11. We look forward to this time.

Kids are a natural fit for me. Having had four biological children and many children from foster care, I am equipped to navigate kid energy and mostly love it. However I am 40 years older, and the day ends much sooner than it did long ago.

What Will This New 'Card' Do?

May 12, 2016

Heard this comment: “Hillary is only playing the woman card.”

“Unfair” is shouted from her opponents! “This race is not about gender. It’s about issues.”  

I agree; it would be lovely if we could stay on the issues. If that were true, those words would not be spoken. It is about gender.

Think about this for a minute: Is there a “woman card?” Women have had to fight for every step of personal freedom and equality, however it looks today. This has taken centuries.

There's A Lot Of Good Around

Apr 21, 2016

I am always asked if I live in Rockford, which I don't.  My house is almost paid for, and I am near most of my grandchildren, so I am staying put.  However, I love Rockford.  I have since I came here to work in May of 2010.   

  With as much chatter about what's wrong in Rockford, every day I witness acts of kindness and charity.  I find people doing simply amazing things for their neighbors and community.  It's valuable to evaluate and reshape the vision of the future, but to wipe out the good in the present can be demoralizing.  

Chaplains Are Blessing To Community

Mar 10, 2016

For a Police Chaplain in Rockford, the calls come anytime. It could be 11 p.m., the middle of the day, or before the dawn breaks.

By the time you read the papers, the chaplain is home, the incident is resolved -- or on the way to being resolved -- and the family begins the long and painful journey of grief.

In Rockford, it is a chaplain who brings bad news to unsuspecting members of the community; a chaplain who will sit quietly while the reality of death enters their otherwise peaceful world.

There Are Reasons To Watch Our Words

Feb 18, 2016

Just imagine: A candidate for president repeats a slur shouted out by a woman referring to an opponent. When the candidate had the audacity to repeat the entire word, a cheer went up from the crowd. America loves its bad boys.

That kind of behavior is a magnet. It attracts people who have spent years hiding behind resentful political correctness while restraining themselves from shouting out ugly, spiteful hateful words.

In the last Harry Potter movie, Dumbledore says, “Words are still our most inexhaustible form of magic ... for good or ill.”

New Towne. The debate is fierce, the fears of the residents are alarming, and the Rockford Housing Authority is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I was at the resident meeting in Fairgrounds following the death of a young mother murdered while watching a video with her four children in their bedroom. A stray bullet went through the wall and killed her. The police arrived to find the four children hugging their mother as she lay dying on the floor.

Set Achievable Goals And Reach Them

Jan 7, 2016

We just had our first real winter storm of the season, and Farm and Fleet have their seed pods out, readying for Spring.

The New Year’s Eve party hats and noise makers have been put away. The last holiday of 2015 is gone; we have started over with new resolutions.

Right about now, I hear the thud of resolutions made for 2016 being dumped in the dead resolution bin. We all know this, it happens routinely. I have done this myself: I have even done the resolution to make no resolutions!

Coyote Symbolizes Human Dilemma

Dec 17, 2015

A coyote crossed my path last Friday. He showed up as I was driving through the congested and traffic-packed construction on the I-90 expressway.

The coyote stepped from the brush on the right side of the road and ventured onto the staging area, staring at me. I heard this question, “What are you doing here?” Emancipated and weary eyes asking, “Who are you and what have you done to my wilderness?”

Coyotes have adapted to our changing world and their loss of habitat. The coyote is growing in numbers and has staked its claim in its new world.

Weapons To Fight Terrorism

Nov 26, 2015

In my imagination - I hear young people sitting together asking these questions.

What will the body count be? They cannot ignore us when the streets run with blood. Everything is justified because our cause is righteous. Which of you will give your lives today? Then carnage.

They will not be the first group of human beings to act in this way and, sadly, they will not be the last. People have been acting in this way forever.

Slave traders feeling righteous about the people they kidnapped from their countries.

Something To Ask Santa For ...

Nov 5, 2015

Well, it’s coming: winter.

Most of us will pull the winter coats and gloves from dusty attic boxes and haul out corduroys, turtlenecks and sweaters.

Winter also brings the holidays … so much to anticipate!

Yet, for people who are homeless -- living in places without running water or heat (under bridges or in garbage dumpsters) -- there is nothing to pull out. The cold of the other night is merely a small taste of the Midwest winter to come.

They have dread.

Police officers are already asking me, as a police chaplain, “Where can people go?”