Tattoos on the Heart

Preface and Introduction: I think the main theme of this book is directly in the name of the chapters the preface and introduction. The theme is giving you a bit of basic background into how Father G decided to write the story. You also get an incite into his character and how he feels bout the homies. In the introduction he talks about Homeboy Industry and the people there. He discusses the trouble that he went through trying to create an organization.

My favorite story would be the story of Luis. I liked how he managed to become one of the most notorious drug dealers to a worker at Homeboy Industry. He was the type of guy who to clever to be caught by the cops when selling drugs but once he had a daughter he wanted to become a clean man. I really admire him for that. I also like his snarky attitude which reminds me of myself a lot.

Chapter 1 God, I guess: The theme of this chapter has to do with how we perceive God. The whole point of Homeboy Industries is to try to imitate Gods kindness. It is about the idea that God is just to big and far away for us to even reach him. The fear that God might only begrudgingly loves us. The theme is that we can't possibly pervive Gods unimaginable love for us.

My personal favorite story would be of Cesar. What i liked about the story was all of Father Gs little bits of sarcasm hear and their. I also liked Cesars oblivious moments in the story since he wasn't used to being around people and wasn't aware of how scary he looked.. I enjoyed the emotional bit at the end with Cesar and Father G. It was sweet to read about Cesar sobbing up when he here's Father G call him his son.

Chapter 2 Dis-Grace: The theme of this chapter is the disgrace you feel for doing wrong. It's about the desire to accept God so that you may come to terms with the harm you've done. I think it's saying you should not feel shame or guilt for yourself. Instead you should be self loving and loving of others. You should always feel hope even if you are disappointed with yourself and feal disgrace.

My favorite chapter two story is the one about Speedy. I personally liked the moment when he said I don't care if I live or die and Father G told him that he cared. Speedy saying he didn't care makes a lot of sense since he was a thrill seeker. He would run into enenmy territory and get a bunch of guys to chase him. The thing that was a catalyst for his change was Father G and Yolanda's words and I found it to be rather sweet.

Chapter 3 Compassion: The theme of this chapter is compassion in us and in God. The idea of compassion is not just one quick fleeting emotion instead it is a long drawn out emotion you feel towards another. In order to be closer to God we must know how to spread our compassion to everyone. The theme is to have compassion like Jesus as "Jesus was not a man for others. He was one with others" (Boyle). It is about feeling compassion for the lowly and the outcast. To feel for others you don't agree with like gang members from different sides.

In this chapter I liked the story of Anthony. Anthony was a young man with the desire to become a mechanic. liked how much Father G tried to genuinely get Anthony a job. He managed to convince his mechanic Dennis to give him a job as an assistant. I enjoyed the excitement of Anthony as he got to do what he loves.

Chapter 4 Water, Oil, Flame: I think the theme of this chapter is to stand your ground. The need to be resilient to failure. Father G even says that the gang members who get an education become more resilient to rejection for job applications as their view is broadened. The more they are rejected the harder they work to get the job. The theme is to be as patient and resilient as God.

My favorite story of chapter 4 was the story of Miguel. Miguel was a twenty three year old homie who worked on the graffiti crew. He was abused and abandoned by his parents and left alone. What I particularly liked about this story was that he and five of his homies were hanging out on New Years waiting by the oven for the only meal they have, a turkey. I just found it kind of humbling and heartwarming.

Chapter 5 Slow Work: I think the theme of this chapter is that things take time to change. The idea is that for people(gang memebers) you shouldn't expect a speedy recovery back into society. It will take tons of time and effort to pull of reforming them. Even for God it takes time to get his divine plan for us done. The main idea is don't give in just because things aren't going your way, it just takes time.

Chapter fives best story is Joey. A man who has just entered Gs office excited to tell him something. It turns out he got a job as the mouse at Chuck E. Cheese. It sounds lame but the reason he's doing is because he is going to have a son and wants him to be born into this world seeing his dad with a real job. It just shows the power that family can have on people. Turning them from crooks to honest living people.

Chapter 6 Jurisdiction: The theme for this one is to accept those around you. Even if you were hostile to a group in the past you still have the chance to start a new. The idea they're trying to convey is that you can create a place of mutual acceptance. All we have to do is pay attention to the positives in each other and that will be a great starting off point. If we hang in there and rely on the teachings of God we shall become better people.

My favorite story would have to be the one about Riche and Chepe. They're two gang members coming with Father G to several talks in Bakersfield. While driving they stop at Cocos to get some food. When they get in everyone is staining at them and the lady at the front is being disrespectful to them. When they get to their table though a new waiter comes out and she treats them with respect showing her boundless acceptance.

Chapter seven Gladness: The main theme for this chapter is gladness. We need more gladness in our lives especially in this day and age as depression becomes more statistically common. We need to se the gladness in front of us in order to appreciate it. Wherever Jesus went he was always glad. He hung with the lowest of the low and still was happy and that is a great example of how we should be.

The best part of this chapter would have to be the one about Spider. Spider was from a gang in Aliso Village but now worked at a hospital moving patients and tools around. He lives in an apartment with his wife and two sons. What I like about him is when he was talking about watching his kids eat before he eats. It just seemed like such a loving and fatherly thing to do that it touched my heart.

Chapter eight Success: The theme of this one is the concept of success. It debates weather or not success is good. As Mother Teresa said "We are not called to be successful, but faithful. The point is that sometimes success can get in the way of our faith. We should focus on what's in front of us and let God do the rest.

My favorite story this time is the story of Soledad. Soledad is the mother of four kids and an expansive heart. One of her kids, Ronnie, fought in Afghanistan and when he returned was gunned down by a gang while Soledad listened. She ended up spiraling down from there as depression destroyed her. One of her sons Angeldecides enough is enough and assists her in her recovery. It is just inspiring to me to see someone so low rise up and rebuild themselves again.

Chapter 9 Kinship: The theme of this chapter is kinship. In this book it is all about enemy gangs trying to work together in kinship. We are always creating groups in our society, democrat/republican or conservative/liberal which usually just ends up separating us apart. When as followers of God we should be trying to bring ourselves together in kinship under him. That's the idea of this chapter to let God assist us in forming close bonds.

The best story of this chapter would have to be Bandit. Bandit was a crack dealer who spent a lot of time in jail. Later on he married and had kids. Fifteen years later he asked Greg to bless his daughter because she was going to college. The best part for me was the little joke bout the daughter studying criminal psychology and having her dad be her first subject.

Tattoos On The Heart: Fin

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