October was a heavy duty month in more ways than one. Many of us had to leave our homes not knowing what condition it would be in when we returned. Would we have to throw away all the food we bought in case the electricity went off? Would there be water in the house or neighborhood? Would there be looting going on?
We went to Georgia for 5 days and upon our return, we were blessed to have no flooding, no electricity loss and nothing missing. Some debris here and there but not as bad as some friends and acquaintances who had heavy water and home damage. Some folks had loss of a loved one that week and compounded with the loss of one’s home – it weighed heavily upon them. My motto those weeks was “You never know what a friend, neighbor or stranger has to endure in their heart”. I thought of that when someone tried to cut in front of me driving or got impatient in the store line or was just downright grouchy. Everyone got more patience and caring from me in return. I try to bring it along now that things are somewhat more normal. But it’s not for all of us.
Our church’s school had flooding which disrupted the regular schedules and locations. Our many church ministries also were disrupted – some of which were difficult to relocate due to changing of the regular schedules and locations.
They say there is always ‘some good that comes out of something bad’ – sometimes it’s hard to look for it and sometimes it is just apparent.
Concentrating on what should we take and what should we leave including ourselves – I didn’t listen to or miss all the election and political landscapes – it seems civility and good old manners were absent from our everyday routines; until Florence came into town.
Although stress is high from leaving your home, it was negated by the camaraderie and caring of others on the road, in restaurants and hotels. We saw familiar faces , shared our experiences and learned from others of their experiences.
Back at home five days later we saw firsthand the good over the bad. Many of our weekly-held ministries had to rearranged due to space and manpower. The church communities in our area came to our rescue by offering their space and accommodations. God is alive in North and South Carolina. No church functions were cancelled, ministries continued and new friendships were formed. Some of the ministries – held weekly – continued and didn’t miss even one – much to the relief of the participants involved. The space-giving church staffs treated us as members offering to help and/or just by sharing their spaces and hospitality. The churches in our area do help one another – it doesn’t matter what denomination we or they are – they are practicing the Commandment “Love Thy Neighbor”. It was a welcome feeling through a bad situation and the feeling magnifies and goes forward.
One can only hope that good neighbors & situations continues not only here but in all of America. It is said that our country comes together closer in times of distress. Let’s pray that our country leaves behind the nastiness, fighting and disarray of our political system. We need to love our neighbors as we do ourselves – we can do it even with distress, problems or hurricanes . Caring and loving is all around us if we only seek it out. And it multiplies. And can change our culture.
It’s a fact – the older you get, the wiser you are. Now that’s a comforting thought. According to the daily news media, research supported by the Russell Sage (no pun intended) Foundation, the National Institute on Aging and the National Science Foundation Grant, indicates that socially, older folks, more than younger or middle-aged ones, are more apt to recognize and accept different values, acknowledge and accept uncertainties and changes in one’s life and to acknowledge others’ point of views.
So, mind and hire your elders! It’s not as important in life and work to know how the SEO works or how to program the DVR or how to text someone as it is to handle ‘social wisdom’ – how to get along with people and handle disagreements.
Researchers found that age affects wisdom at every social class, level of education and IQ. Even though older people don’t have the technological wisdom that younger ages have in computers and everyday technology, they do have the advantage of analyzing and solving social problems.
Demographic splits of groups numbering almost 300 — ages 25 to 40, 41 to 59 and 60 plus were given hypothetical situations regarding finance, economic growth, customs, and world problems. The researchers analyzed the results, not knowing which individual or group age the responses came from. Ratings were based on social interchanges such as compromise, flexibility, seeing the other viewpoint and mediating conflict resolution.
Then over 200 of the same groups participated in a second hypothetical area and yet a third comprising scholars, psychotherapists, clergy and counseling professionals.
The results of these tests concluded that economic status, education and IQ were related to having increased wisdom, but academics were no wiser than nonacademics with similar education levels. Researchers were surprised at how much wisdom the groups showed in disputing societal problems. Richard Nisbitt, one of the researchers said, “There is a very large advantage for older people over younger people for those (issues)”. Another researcher, Lynn Hasher remarked that “the study is the single best demonstration of long-held view that wisdom increases with age.”
She continues, “What I think is most important…is that it shows a major benefit that accrues with aging…rather than the mostly loss-based findings reported in psychology. As such it provides a richer base of understanding of aging processes.” She also cited the critical importance of workplaces providing the opportunity for older employees to continue to contribute.
Many work places do the opposite and retire aging employees and replace them with younger employees at a lower salary, compromising the experience and life situations these employees can contribute to the work force by their ongoing and diverse experiences. More advantages:
1. They have good leadership skills. Older workers make good leaders because they often have stronger communication skills than their younger colleagues. They remember a time when communication wasn’t dominated by email or texting.
2. They know what they want. Older workers are more stable to stay at a job than to try to ‘climb the ladder” or job hop.
3. They’re loyal. Since older workers are typically more satisfied with their jobs, they also tend to stay.
4. They have a good work ethic. 90 percent of the respondents who were older said that being “ethical” is “extremely or very important” to workplace culture, the highest percentage of age-workers.
5. They have strong networks. Older workers have been in the workforce longer and they’ve had more time to meet people and network along the way.
According to the U.S. Census, fathers are fast disappearing from American homes and one in three children, or approximately 20 million live without one.
The census recorded the fact that 160,000 new families with children were added, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million and nearly five million live without a mother.
More than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father. Millions more have dads who are physically present, but emotionally absent. If it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency.
This fatherlessness can be seen in our homes, schools, hospitals and prisons and especially in families. Back when families were more intact, many fathers protected, mentored, guided, supported, taught values, played sports, added humor, and helped in bringing up their child or children. Today, there are many fathers who, for a variety of reasons, are absent, either emotionally or by distance and play a small or no part in bringing up their child or children.
Children need both parents’ influence for a balanced upbringing. They usually receive nurturing and care-taking from their mothers. Fathers can supply discipline, authority, companionship and be an example as a role model. Role models are important for both boys and girls. Boys look to their dads as the type of man they want to be when they grow up; girls look to their dads as models of a possible future mate. Fathers’ praise, unconditional love, encouragement, support, and guidance are as important to children as the fostering acts a mother supplies.
Research has concluded that the father/child relationship is more important than once believed. With a baby, a father is usually more physical at playing games than the mother and makes a playful and joyful contribution to a baby’s life. As small infants and children, they can receive assurance and empathy from a dad when mom is not available or busy with something else. School age children benefit from the caretaking of dads who help with their care in transporting them to school and activities, helping them with homework, or teaching them responsibility. Many fathers join in sports activities with both boys and girls through softball, baseball, football, soccer and form a lasting team tie with their kids.
Children who have both parents who express these characteristics are blessed, indeed. Sometimes, they may have grandparents, step parents, or guardians who also exhibit traditional and loving nurturing. Studies show that a father who exhibits love, kindness and faith values to his children – in turn foster those values that their children will emulate with their own family and children.
And sometimes, there are children, who, for various reasons, may be absent a father. He may have died, or separated away from the family, or simply is out of the picture. There can be a family member or male friend who can pitch hit for an absent father and help fill the void a father leaves. An absent father in a family could make his child at a higher risk of drug abuse, smoking, alcohol abuse and other risk-seeking behaviors. Other problems with absent fathers can be unhealthy relationships with others, poor grades in school, and problems in social relationships.
At some point in our lives, all of our fathers will leave us. For those of you who mourn a lost father, for whatever reason, take heart. We still have a Heavenly Father, Who will never leave nor abandon us.
Recently I heard a great quote by Sigmund Freud: “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” God bless ALL fathers this Father’s Day – may your love and caring for your children bless and reward you with love returned.
McClatchy reports: “Group Pushes Debate Moderator To Ask Questions Submitted By Public.”
Fresh off of the Open Debate Coalition being cited as a source of questions in the second debate, two coalition leaders met with the moderator of the next debate, Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
They delivered petition signatures — now over 20,000 strong — urging Wallace to ask questions in tonight‘s debate that rose to the top of PresidentialOpenQuestions.com where 3.6 million votes were cast on over 15,800 questions. Wallace said our bottom-up questions are on his radar (and called us “very persistent,” which we’ll take as a compliment.)
Wallace then announced the topics he’ll ask the candidates about — including three areas in our top questions: Social Security, immigration, and the Supreme Court.
Here are three next steps we can take toward achieving our goal of making Open Debates — where questions are submitted and voted on by the public — the norm in American politics.
3. If you use Twitter, continue urging Chris Wallace and his producers to ask the questions below that rose to the top of the Open Debate Coalition’s voting site. Urge Trump and Clinton to answer them too.
Thanks for helping us organize debates that reflect the real concerns of Americans.
Emily Brown is director of American Life League Life Defenders, the outreach arm of ALL building a culture of life with a new generation. While reading a post entitled 20 Tips on Your First Abortion, Emily reacted to what the author had to say – “I could really feel her immense pain. So, I decided to respond to this gruesome article with a positive, empowering, and upbeat message about pregnancy. We do not need more people shaming women into abortion, rather we need positive messages that affirm the immense empowerment that bringing a human being into this world has on women.”
Reality just slapped you in the face. You’re pregnant! What does that mean? A teeny tiny human being is growing inside of you. So, now the freak out begins.
It’s completely normal to feel terrified, worried, and completely shocked. After all, you might have been relying on some sort of birth control. However, you knew none gave any guarantee that you would not become pregnant. So here you are.
Don’t let your worries take over! It’s very easy to be in panic mode for a few weeks or even months. Look beyond the insecurities and worries. You are strong!
Look for loving support. You need someone who will hug you and comfort you, not someone who wants to shame or belittle you. Sometimes you just need a little affection, and this is definitely one of those times!
Know you are not alone. Every day, hundreds of women discover they are pregnant. Other women are in your same situation!
After you have turned to someone for support, it’s time for information. Learn what the heck is happening inside your body! You can find websites or books on fetal development and medical articles to learn about the tiny human you have within you.
After reading information on fetal development, come to the realization that you’re a pretty big deal! After all, you are now carrying and protecting a little human being.
While you’re on the internet, search your area code, along with “crisis pregnancy centers.” Find the closest one and make an appointment ASAP, for you definitely have loads of questions.
Unlike abortion clinics, crisis pregnancy centers do care about your welfare and they understand that your surprise pregnancy is a BIG deal. They will treat you with the loving care and respect you deserve!
The time between making your appointment and going can be a terrifying period. You are scared and a million things are rushing through your head, like how to afford a child or how to raise a child alone. Take a deep breath and believe in yourself! You are stronger than you think.
While you’re waiting for your first appointment, learn more about this person growing inside your body. Watch a 4-D ultrasound of a preborn baby growing. Find the stage you are in and marvel at this tiny human.
The appointment day has come. While in the waiting room, focus on the positive messages. Take a look at the brochures, pictures, or wall art and remember that only good can come from this appointment. Nothing here will harm you!
It’s FREE! What? Yes, crisis pregnancy centers’ services are free! They can offer pregnancy resources, prenatal vitamins, pregnancy tests, and services such as parenting classes, counseling, baby supplies, and other financial aid.
While at your appointment, you will not have “pain like someone sucking or pulling out your insides.” Rather, you will feel comfort and support—two of the things you need most.
You will be reaffirmed that you are a strong independent woman! You are more than a pregnancy; you are a mother.
Remember every time you believed you weren’t strong enough, smart enough, happy enough, pretty enough, and so on, and stomp those falsehoods into the ground. You are empowered—empowered with a newfound sense of reason and the ability to care for another human being.
You will not let your empowerment be diminished by people telling you that you are not ready or fit enough to be a mother.
Even after your appointment at the crisis pregnancy center, you still find many moments when you are scared to death. It’s okay; that’s normal. You have a human growing inside of you and you just found out. That’s a huge deal!
Do not let those fears and worries take control of you. You have the opportunity to bring a new life into this world. Do not take this for granted! Many women try their whole lives to have a child.
This is a time to start fresh. Take advantage of that and flourish!
Someone asks at every horrific memorial service, “Why do we have so much violence?” “When will it change?”
Some voice the reason as mental illness; others mention religious persecution; political figures blame it on the gun who has no mind of its own. I say it is in the minds of our culture.
In little more than a half century, our culture has changed from “happy is the average family with two children living in the suburbs”. Elvis was banned on TV & and shown only from the waist up so his pelvic motions weren’t viewed by the kids. His gyrations were ‘disgraceful’.
Newlyweds planned for the ‘blessed event’ and the word ‘abortion’ wasn’t ever said out loud; it was rare and ungodly. Dads worked and brought home the bacon and Moms were the rule of the roost, making a home for the family and was there when the kids got home from school.
God was an integral part of life; even in public school, students took turns reading Scripture from the Bible in homeroom before they said the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and started their day. The family structure usually had a faith base, took their annual vacation together and sat down each night, together, to share dinner and the day’s events. Patriotism – God & Country – were staples of life. Kids were happy, played outside, had friends and a safe place at home. Girls could be tomboys and boys could take dancing lessons – they grew up and emulated their Moms & Dads who were their role models. They are the grandparents of today. If you ask them, they will tell you they had ‘happy childhoods”.
Over years, our culture changed; many folks changed during the 60s and 70s. Drugs, free love and the Vietnam War. People rebelled against the ‘establishment’, family structure, and the ten commandments. “Do what feels good.”
Many of the folks from that era are now integrated in our government today and hold high offices. President Obama, who was indoctrinated in Indonesian schools, didn’t say the Pledge of Allegiance to America or sing the Star Spangled Banner. Over years, our culture changed.
Today, Hollywood has evolved from “disgraceful” pelvic motions to nudity, progressive- liberal lifestyles, profanity and easily accessible porn. Hollywood supported legalizing same-sex marriage, transgenders & abortions. These are our new generations’ role models. Babies are no longer ‘blessed events’ – they are ‘mistakes’ and ‘women’s right’ to abort them – 87% of them aborted for ‘inconvenience’. Some abort them for gender selection. We have morphed into the desensitization of aborting and gone the extra step of cutting & hatching still breathing infants to sell their body parts. Life has ceased to be sacred – what’s the difference between hatching or killing babies or shooting down students? What are we saying to the next generation?
Due to seven elected judges who decided to allow same sexes to be married – now we have Dads & Dads and Moms & Moms. Many at some point break up and change their minds and then become Dads and Moms again – and these are our new generations’ role models. The government has supported gender change, and some of our young teens are able to ‘change’ their sex without parental permission. You are allowed to be a different gender at any time if you ‘think’ it. And culture is allowing & suggesting people to end their own lives. These are our new generations’ role models.
Technology came about in the 1980s and has transformed our newer generations into human robots who are computer & cell phone addicted. One of the effects of obsessive use of cell phones is narcissism – multiples of selfies posted on social media – coupled with loss of communication – less conversation, personal interface and abbreviated messages called texting. They don’t speak much to each other or their family or their parents. These young people will be the role models of the next generation.
Breakdown of the family through the growing self-interests of busy parents and uncommunicative children coupled with the breakdowns of faith and emergences of government-initiated different lifestyles has fractured family life as we knew it. Members of the same family frequently spend holidays or special occasions separately with 2nd or 3rd generation step-parents and not the orginal family. We are morphing into a culture where love, caring, sharing, loyalty and family values are replaced by overlapping of different values, interests and mindsets.
Our changing culture is consistently becoming nasty if you are not (in their view) politically correct – and you are labeled a ‘hater’ ‘bigot’ ‘racist’ or worse.
Government and celebrities do this. If you value faith, you are called superstitious, a Bible Thumper, a radical right-wing or worse. Your traditions, beliefs and actions are criticized as offensive, but atheists, and these name-calling persons are protected by the communistic-founded ACLU. It is OK for them to be offensive to faith people but we must satisfy them and not God & common sense? So who and what are we, anymore? Do we want no God, no Commandments of right and wrong? Are we our own mapmakers of our destinies. Where’s our voices?
Roadside Memorials – Distractions or Remembrances?
We’ve all seen them; crafted hand-made memorials to mark the spot on the highway or road where a loved one died. Some have a cross and flowers or a stuffed animal – others are more elaborate with life-size posters and entrenched like a shrine. State officials worry that they are distractions and hazardous to drivers and may cause more accidents. They are not without controversy: some feel restrictions should be placed on them; others feel that survivors of loved ones who die on the roadways psychologically need to memoralize them at the place of death and will continue to do so, regardless of legislation and other attempts at control.
Not long ago, South Carolina, in an attempt to curb (no pun intended) numerous memorials or grave markers along our roads and highways, offered new state-provided signs to put in places where loved ones met their deaths in accidents.
Some other states have already done this; West Virginia began offering signs two years ago. Florida actually instituted a ban on roadside memorials. Florida, in 1997, provided free generic signs. You can see thousands of these signs on Florida’s roads dedicated to remembrances of place of death. West Virginia’s signs cost $200 and are in place for three years and then returned to the family.
Although there are no statistics to support states’ claim that home-made memorials are distractions and cause accidents, states also claim the markers are hazardous to lawn maintenance on public property for private reasons.
To remedy this, South Carolina is also offering signs like Florida did to replace the markers, but they are offering them at $250 each. They are printed “Drive Safely” or “In Memory of” with the deceased person’s name. They remain for two years and then the plaque is returned to the family.
North Carolina also has roadside sign plantings for $250. Normally, they replace ‘hazardous’ markers but leave other ‘non-hazardous’ markers for 60 days and then give it back to the family.
Did you receive any family pictures of babies, nieces, nephews or grandkids for Christmas in a photo card? It used to be very popular. Or did you get an email copied to numerous ‘friends’ with photo attachments or on Facebook in lieu of a phone call, card or mailed photo? These photos remain on your computer or cell phone & not in a picture frame or in your wallet.
When you have a lunch date or attend a party, do people show you pictures in their wallets or flash their cell phone to slide over the pictures? Generation G overlaps into Generation Alpha from 2013 to 2025 – the generation reaching adulthood in the second decade of the 21st century, perceived as being familiar with the Internet from a very young age.
Do you hear things like this – especially from the grandparents who may not be resident ‘digital natives’
This is my grandson when he was 10 – he is now 18. His parents haven’t sent any recent photos.
Her wedding album was online – no, we didn’t get any photos. And I was in the wedding.
There’s lots of pictures of the kids on Facebook. But we don’t do Facebook.
We bought a bunch of photo albums on sale but we don’t have any pictures in them.
No, I didn’t see her cell phone pictures – we don’t have that feature on our cell phone.
I never learned how to download or open pictures or send them on the cell phone.
Once I learn how to do it, it will become obsolete & changed and will have to learn all over again.
Wikipedia also offers: “Most of the traits that will define this generation have yet to emerge. However, many are highly connected, having had lifelong use of communication and media technology like the World Wide Web, instant messaging, text messaging MP3 players, mobile phones and tablets, earned them the nickname “digital native.”. Pew Research tells us the percentage of cell phone owners who use their devices to access the Internet has more than doubled since 2009, and ‘82% of cell phone users take pictures with their cell phones over cameras’. (And that was 11 years ago)! Since then, we now have Instagram and Cloud Storage.
Our family has many photos from the early 1900s through the late 1900s. They are wonderful memories and eventually passed down to the kids. Some of them are on our walls and mantels, giving us ever-changing look-a-likes of families or scenes within them. Sometimes they look like different family members over time, they remind us of the time and place they were taken. Sometimes we notice things we missed the first time we saw them.
Photographs are priceless. Some people put them in safes or vaults for protection against fires – that’s how much they are valued. Sadly, they are decreasing quickly. How do we protect photographs on CDs or DVDs which eventually may become obsolete like much technology ends up or access them from a broken computer or disabled cell phone?
Today’s digital natives are into selfies and photobombing. Not my photo album kind of memories. Photographs themselves are duplications of memories, good times and remembrance of loved ones.
So you’ve decided you’ve had it with all the friends you had all these past years – you’ve outgrown them. You have nothing in common anymore. You say, “Some live far away – others are too busy with their lives to keep in touch and there’s lots of new friends to make in this big old world and this definitely appeals to me right now”. You think?
You continue: “So what if she was my maid of honor at my wedding and he was the baby’s Godfather. That was then and this is now…My oldest ‘friend’ I met when we were both three years old – we’re related somehow. Now he’s a liberal and I’m a conservative. My best friend all through junior high and high school has different interests, friends and activities from me. It’s time to turn a leaf and make new attachments.” You think?
Many of us have busy active lives, even more so if we have kids and/or still work. New friends are interesting and fun at lunch or for a night out or a dinner or movie together. We may have similar interests; our jobs, friends of friends, neighbors, etc.
Imagine a life-changing event comes up or an important decision you have to make. Or a family issue. Can you turn to that fairly new friend to offer solutions or advice on what they would do in your shoes? But how long have they lived in your shoes? Do they know your revolving family history and the key players? Do you know them as intimately as a 10, 15, 25 or 30 year friendship?
Many of us can call a long-time ago friend after a substantial time lapse and tell him or her what you’re going through. These friends can fill in your life blanks themsevles They know your past actions, family relationships and personal history as well as your patience, endurance and value quotients. You don’t have to start from the beginning of your life to explain your present situation and fill in the blanks like you do have to with newer friends. Perhaps there are tentacles to the situation that you don’t wish to share with someone you don’t know well. Long-time friends pretty much know a lot about you. There ‘s so much you would have to explain about your life events that an old friend already knows. Who better to assess what is before you – your problem and offer solutions? They know you – how you react- how you see things – what’s most important to you.
Here’s a test: stop reading this and call an old friend. You can interface with them no matter how long it’s been since you last spoke together. You go right back from where you left off and feel comfortable with it. You cannot duplicate that gift. You’ve been through many things together – things a new friend hasn’t shared with you . And will they repeat it to someone else? You already know which friends are trusted ones.
Now wait just a minute – do you really want to ditch your old friends? Having relocated myself and meeting new ‘friends’ I enjoy the friendships, but it lacks the strength of time that old friends give you. By the way, keeping tabs on life-long friends can extend your life span. Click here: http://www.rodalenews.com/friendship-and-long-life
The notary public is said to the oldest branch of the legal profession that exists in the world.
The office of the notary goes back to the Roman Empire and early history of the Catholic Church. The Romans developed the office and from that the Church devised it’s own system to handle civil matters after the fall of the Roman Empire.
The word notary is derived from Latin ‘nota’ — a system of shorthand developed by M. Tullius Tiro (103-3 B.C.) This method was used for agreements, conveyances and other instruments and they were described as ‘notarius’. Notarii were semi-officials whose numbers grew as the empire grew into a guild or company that had limited supervision, regulations and fees.
Notarii were also officers of the Catholic Church and Pope Clement IV appointed seven in Rome to describe the acts of martyrs who might suffer there. Later it was declared that the papal notaries could act in any country.
Notaries were known in England during the Middle Ages but since the law did not require deeds or other instruments in common use to be prepared, they were not needed by medieval law and therefore, not recognized. During the 17th century, common law became the supreme body of of law in England and the office of notary public became less important.
The settlers who left England to find a new life in the new world, brought with them the common law of England including the notary public. They were described as “…a notary public. who confirms and attests the truth of any deed or writing, in order to render the same more credible and authentic in any country whatever. And he principally made use of in courts of judicature and business relating to merchants. For a notary public is a certain kind of witness, and therefore, ought to give evidence touching such things as fall under his corporeal senses, and not of such matters as fall under the judgement of the understanding.”**
The early colonial charters started enacting laws affecting the office of the notary public. They designated an officer who was authorized to appoint notaries, defined their duties, settled their fees, and provided territorial limits of their jurisdiction and other matters.
So what do you do to become a Notary Public? It varies depending on which state you live in, and in other countries. Some countries require educational requirements or additional information. Since I was a notary in New Jersey, I will list that state’s requiremernts and rules to give you a flavor of qualifications, rules and responsibilities. Other states’ requirements and rules can be found on the web or at your town hall offices.
Example of one state: Qualifications to be a Notary Public in the State of New Jersey:
must be 18 years or older.
must be a resident of New Jersey or a resident of an adjoining state who maintains, or is regularly employed in, an office in this State.
must not have been convicted of a crime under the laws of any state or the United States, for an offense involving dishonesty, or a crime of the first or second degree.
A notary public is appointed (commissioned) by the State Treasurer for a five-year period, and is sworn into office by the clerk of the county in which he/she resides. (usually a $25.00 fee). Appointments can be renewed for subsequent five-year periods.
Services that a duly commissioned and qualified (sworn) Notary Public performs in any county in N.J.:
Administer oaths and affirmations; take acknowledgments; execute jurats for affidavits and other verifications; take proofs of deeds
The majority of notaries perform acknowledgements – witnessing the signature of a person or persons. To execute legally, these steps are necessary: 1) That the signer of a document appear before the notary, (you cannot acknowledge the signature of someone who is not present – not even a husband or a wife – you may be signing their house away without their knowledge!) 2) That the notary positively identify the signer, (as stated above, notaries cannot accept a previously signed/dated copy without witnessing the signature) and 3) That the signer both acknowledge the signature as his/hers, and that the signature is made willingly.
Identification documents are not required if: 1) the signer is personally known to the Notary, or 2) a credible witness, known to both the signer and notary, swears to the identity of the signer.
If the signer is not personally known, the notary ensures the signer appears before him/her and presents at least one form of identification that provides a physical description of the signer– ie., driver’s license.
Responsibilities of the Notary:
The notary reviews the document presented for completeness. This is not a formal legal review, such as would be performed by an accountant or an attorney. Rather, it is a review to ensure that there are no blanks in the document. Should blanks be discovered, the signer must either fill them in or strike them out by drawing a line or “X” through them. It is a quick view; the notary need not know the contents of the instrument; he/she merely is witnessing that the identified singer actually signed it.
Ensure that the signer understands the title of the document and is signing freely and willingly. By obtaining positive ID and asking brief questions as to the title and basic substance of the document, the notary can make these determinations.
Sign, date, and stamp an acknowledgment certificate The notary’s ink stamp should include the date on which the notary’s commission expires. The stamp should be placed next to, but not over, the notary’s signature. (If the notary does not have an ink stamp, his/her name and commission expiration date must be printed or typed on the certificate as indicated.)
Make a journal entry. *This is key and very important. The jornal entry provides evidence and an audit trail thereby protecting both the notary and the general public. Required information includes: 1. date and time of notary act, 2. type of act (i.e., acknowledgment), 3. title of document, 4. date document was signed, 5. signature; printed name and address of each signer, and if applicable, each witness, and 6. form of ID — e.g. identification document, personal knowledge, or credible witness.
Note: Journals should be bound to prevent tampering. Journals may be obtained from stationers or professional associations.
Charge only the statutory fee ($2.50). Actually, most notaries supply services free of charge, especially in corporate or banking settings. I have seen notary fees for $15.00 or $25.00 in some business establishments.
Actions Notaries are prohibited from doing:
Never pre-date an action. The notary may never date an action (acknowledgement, jurat, etc.,) prior to the execution (signature) date appearing on the document involved.
Never lend a journal, stamp, or other personalized notary equipment to another individual.
Never prepare a legal document or give advice on legal matters, or matters pertaining to land titles. This includes the preparation of pleadings, affidavits, briefs and any other submissions to the court.
Never, in the capacity as a notary public, appear as a representative of another person in a legal proceeding.
Never, in the capacity as a notary public, act for others in the collection of delinquent bills or claims.
**Reference: Manual for Notaries Public of New Jersey/American Society of Notaries; NEW JERSEY NOTARY PUBLIC MANUAL