This time of year, Christmas for Christians, Chanukah for Jews and Ramadan & Eid-El-Fitr for Muslims, is a joyous time of year where peace and harmony and good will to men and women hold court. It reminds me of the every day life of a Mason. This soul filling feeling of great peace and the universality of the human race in harmony is the message that Freemasons live every day of the week.
But joy is not everywhere. There is also an increase in loneliness, despair and depression at this time of year. Many lives are not going well and some souls seem to be losing the struggle. But all is not lost. Where there is faith there is hope and where there is hope there can be rejuvenation. Such is the message that Howie Damron, singer and song writer, would like to leave with us this season.
It is with great humility that I address each of you about this matter. I spend most all my time in Motivation through my music about Freemasonry. Teaching our youth about how understanding our Brotherhood can help them from choosing the wrong path in life. The Wisdom within Freemasonry is Motivational and the accountability is priceless. My Passion has turned into a Mission for many reasons but one is in constant mind at all times.
My oldest son “Little Howie” is and has been an Addict for many years. It has been a life that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. His story is one that would chill you to the bone. Drugs has cost him everything and almost his life more than once. It destroyed our family but somehow God raised us back up many times.
Over the many years we tried everything. It is an awful feeling watching your child slowly dying and you feel hopeless to stop it. My wife and I have felt every emotion there is to feel and honestly we had given up. He was involved in a horrible accident in my new truck that no one understands how he lived through it. There’s almost nothing that anyone is going through that Kim and I didn’t go through all these years. He was In numerous rehab centers and then after a very short time he relapsed. It appeared that nothing would work for the 27 year old.
Now we have our son back. It’s been almost four months and he loves it so much that he’s dedicated to Graduate which takes a full year. That’s not all. He informed me that he was going to open his own center up next year. He found the answer and by the Grace of God himself so did we. We have received the greatest Christmas Present that any parent could ever ask for. It’s a program unlike anything he or us ever witnessed. It teaches self discipline that is beyond all understanding.
There is hope my friends. Howie JR is Living proof of it.
If you’ve never been affected by addiction or someone in your family hasn’t been then first off you need to bow your heads and give thanks. If you are in need of help then contact me. I will start dedicating my time now to the Ohio Grand Lodge program that’s dedicated to reaching out for help. It is the Masonic Model program and it’s needed now more than ever.
Addiction is an illness that’s not understood easily but I do give you my word there is an answer.
Many times I and many other Masons have indicated that Masonry is a way of life and that Masonry makes good men better. What does that mean? It seems so nebulous and often repeated it becomes a trite phrase. How do we make good men better? How can we say Masonry is a way of life, virtues to be lived?
In reality it is not what we do in the Lodge room that affects a Mason’s life so. It is the teachings we carry outside the tyled Lodge into our every day world, a world that is often fractured and broken. Here we must live, here we must survive. And the choices we make, the path we take is often for a Mason, ones that he or she makes with a much broader understanding of the consequences these decisions will have.
In what manner is Masonry a way of life? Howie Damron will tell you:
As a Nashville entertainer over the many years I’ve witnessed drugs being abused often. As a matter of fact I’ve witnessed its use going from seldom to constant. It seems that 3 out of 5 families are seeing the epidemic and it’s still growing. Before I went on the road back in 1990 as a traveling entertainer, my Dad introduced me to something that did save my life and that’s Freemasonry. He had been a Mason for some time. He became my road manager and we visited Lodges all across America in every town I was performing in for a very special reason. Accountability. Although I saw and was surrounded by horrible drugs I never touched even one. Many of my band members over the years overdosed and died. I spend my time introducing Freemasonry because of these facts. Many times I’ve almost made major mistakes that could have taken my life but it would always come back to my mind how I knelt at an alter and kissed the Holy Bible.
I will start dedicating my time now to the Ohio Grand Lodge program that’s dedicated to reaching out for help. It is the Masonic Model program and its needed now more than ever.
May you take this message in the holiday season of your faith and transform your life, making good choices and at crossroads selecting the right path. And may the blessing of heaven rest upon us and all Masons and non Masons everywhere, may brotherly love prevail and every moral and social virtue cement us.
From the Editor - This is a very important program, the Masonic Model Student Assistance Program, which is a gift from the Freemasons of Ohio to the schools in their communities.
Why is it so important? Because every day:
- 110 teenagers attempt suicide
- 20 teenagers kill themselves
- 202 children are arrested for drug offenses
- 340 children are arrested for drinking or drunken driving
- 1,115 teenagers have abortions
- 1,225 teenagers drop out of school
- 1,234 children run away from home
- 2,860 children see their parents divorce
- 5,700 teenagers are victims of violent crime
- 7,945 children are abused or neglected
The program consists of a three-day intensive training seminar that enables core teams of faculty and staff members to effectively identify and refer at-risk youth.The professional trainers, manuals, overnight accommodations, and meals are all provided at no cost to participants.
The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio offers an average of 3 training sessions per school year.