Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Jody is a Great-grandmother

This little bundle is Emerson. Holding him his his grandmother, Linda Holder. He is brand new to the family so does not know a lot about us YET. He should be finishing Baylor University in the year 2030 when his grandparents reach the century mark as far as birthdays go. Plan on making that graduation ceremony since I missed Emerson's grandmother's graduation time at Hong Kong International School.

Wish them well as they take on the new century with all we taught them in the old century. Or tried.

Mean and meaningless campaigns

Presidential campaigns mean and meaningless (668 words)

The German magazine Der Spiegel writes that the GOP candidates are ruining the reputation of the United States.

There is even an extremist movement, the New Apostolic Reformation involved now. NAR has built their program from the Old Testament book of Joel. To them Joel describes how God is coming back to set up a “kingdom on Earth” with a church that will be “organized more as a military force with an army, navy and air force,” to hand out justice on all nonbelievers just in time for the second coming of Jesus.

H does this relate to the GOP nominees for office. The leaders of NAR, Doris and C. Peter Wagner, are considered apostles and prophets. They have this role because God Himself gave it to them. Several NAR apostles (Alice Patterson for one) helped organize or spoke at Governor Rick Perry’s August, 2011, Prayer Rally in Houston.

Thomas Muthee, the Kenyan pastor who anointed Sarah Palin at the Wasilla Assembly of God in 2005, is also a part of this movement according to independent researcher Rachel Tabachnick on National Public Radio.

Tabachnick writes on her blog: NARwatch: "The major topics at these [NAR] events [are] anti-abortion, anti-gay rights and the conversion of Jews in order to advance the end times. And this was very visible at Perry's events as these apostles led all of these different prayers and repentance ceremonies at [his rally]."

The religious community Gov. Perry associates with are not the folks who attend mainline Christian denominational churches. These people are not representative of conservative evangelicalism. They truthfully should be labeled a cult.

I do have a tad of pity for the television networks and any newspaper or magazine writers who have to cover these election “debates” or follow these candidates around like something important might be said or done.

How, I humbly ask, are these reporters expected to keep their sanity as day after day they hear the same old jingles? As one acquaintance of mine (and I do have a few who are of sound mind) said the other day: how can reporters and TV anchors write and talk about this rogue’s gallery with a straight face?

What was once thought to be marginal and bizarre has become mainstream. There was a time when truth was self-evident and easy to spot and accept. Now, just about anything goes.

Almost any avant-garde word from the airwaves goes unquestioned as gospel truth, no matter how unconventional. A politician can say all sorts of half-truths and outright lies and no one questions them. Evidently not many people are really listening to what is being flung to us from the political world.

Possibly I am being bias on this point of not fully appreciating all the good things that politicians do. Bias maybe but without prejudice or partiality and certainly with no preconceived notions or foregone conclusions. I am impartially predisposed to thinking independently, especially when it comes to things religious or political.

The family values of the ultra conservatives gets a pass when a public servant happens to have, one at a time, three wives. I must admit that our Texas governor was right when he said that anyone who cheats on his wife will cheat on his business or affairs of life.

We have had presidents who owned slaves (Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, Polk and Zachary Taylor). We’ve had presidents with alcohol problems (Pierce, Grant and G.W. Bush).

As far as is known seven had extramarital affairs (Jefferson, Garfield, Hardin, FDR, JFK, LBJ and B. Clinton). We do know that before the GOP hero Ronald Reagan became president he made B pictures for Warner Bros. I think Jane Wyman left him because he was such a bad actor. He was our only divorced president.

But back to the present GOP race for the White House that the Germans think is ruining our image, I quote Bob Scheffer, of CBS News. He said it best:, the presidential campaigns are “as meaningless as they are mean.”

✍Jody & Britt Towery
☞124 Northstar Dr.
San Angelo, Texas 76903

Runnin' fer president? Here's some advice

Bits of Wisdom from those who would be president

I read somewhere that sometime mistakes are too much fun to only make once. That is what makes the political campaigning speeches so much fun. This year- round profession of running for office offers all forms of missteps, bloopers and slip-ups.

A little advice for these candidates from the dictator Napoleon Bonaparte, who said: “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

There are several things that Texas Governor Rick Perry has said that show his insight and wisdom on the most recent history of our country.

For example last year he said: “George W. Bush did a incredible job in the presidency, defending us from freedom.”

And last February Gov. Perry spoke about the border town in Mexico: “Juarez is reported to be the most dangerous city in America.”

We are well aware that times are bad in America, mostly among the jobless and homeless. Gov. Perry last June had a solution. He said: “[Get] back to those biblical principles of you know, you don’t spend all the money. You work hard for those six years and you put up that seventh year in the warehouse to take you through the hard times. And not spending all of our money. Not asking for Pharaoh to give everything to everybody and to take care of folks because at the end of the day, it’s slavery. We become slaves to government.”

But our Texas governor is not the only politician with brains and “know-how.” Michelle Bachmann, Congresswoman from Minnesota says when she becomes president there will be no embassy in Iran. Amazing insight! The USA has not had an embassy in Tehran since 1979, when they stormed our embassy and took hostages.

Mrs. Bachmann is also good at science. In April, 2009, she said: "Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn't even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas."

The lady from Minnesota really outshines the other Republican presidential candidates. She and her husband run a clinic and she knows business needs. In January, 2005, she solved the jobless mess: "If we took away the minimum wage -- if conceivably it was gone -- we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level."

Even in the history of our Constitution, Congresswoman Bachmann has enlightened us on the freeing of the slaves during the American Revolution. She has said: "But we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States. ... I think it is high time that we recognize the contribution of our forbearers who worked tirelessly -- men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country."

I always thought slavery ended with a Civil War some 85 years later. Live and learn.

It would be a mistake to overlook the former businessman who claims he is no politician, Herman Cain. Mr. Cain sees China as a threat if they get the nuclear bomb. Some less knowledgeable people have been saying that China has had such capabilities since the 1960s. Mr. Cain, a favorite of the Christian Right, also seems to enjoy not knowing how to pronounce some of the world’s countries or dictators.

It is one thing to make a mistake, but it is another thing to keep making it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Makes A Statement For Peace

The road from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the expectant Mary and her husband Joseph was anything but a paved highway. It was one rough, yet ancient trail, and pilgrims of all faiths have traveled the dusty path for centuries.

Bethlehem was an ordinary market town in the hill country of Judah. It was about five miles from Jerusalem. The Hebrew Bible identifies Bethlehem, as the hometown of King David. He was crowned King of Israel some centuries before the couple from Nazareth got there.

It was just east of Bethlehem where the foreigner Ruth of Moab gleaned the fields along with her mother-in-law Naomi. The Jews of Judah were good to the immigrant work force. Live and let live was a good policy. It was in Bethlehem the Old Testament prophet Micah predicted the birth of the Messiah.

There are two accounts in the Bible describing the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Luke, an associate of the Apostle Paul and Matthew who was not liked or appreciated “for he was a tax collector.”

Two other Gospel accounts of Jesus life and ministry make no mention of Bethlehem. The Gospel According to Mark is thought to be the earliest of the four Gospels and John the final one written some 90 or 100 years after Jesus’ birth.

Other than these two birth announcements, early historians have made little note of it, even after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

You would have thought after the trial and murder of Jesus some enterprising reporter would have used some shoe leather to investigated this unusual and amazing prophet.

After Jesus’ miraculous resurrection from the dead still no headlines. A Jerusalem earthquake loosed many from their graves as the newspaper reporters slept. How interesting it would have been had someone interviewed “the no longer dead” as they held reunions with their “still living” loved ones.

A slow day in the newspaper offices is a day with little news of note. The birth, trial, death and resurrection of Jesus is not the only time when unusual events took place to little reaction.

One such event took place on the Western Front during the First World War. This happening took place in the cold rain and senseless killing in the filthy trenches of that war.

Stanley Weintraub, a military historian, retells the story in his book, “Silent Night.” A story thought by many to be a myth. It is one of history’s most powerful – yet forgotten – Christmas stories.

It was Christmas, 1914, when the war was just beginning. Soldiers on both sides threw down their arms and came together across the warring lines. They sang carols, exchanged gifts, ate and drank together naively hoping the war would come to an end.

It began when German soldiers lit candles on small Christmas trees and British, French, Belgian and German troops serenaded each other on Christmas Eve. Soon they were gathering and burying their dead, in the age-old custom of truces.

The Generals were angry at what was happening. Generals have little to live for but war – and they don’t like to lose. Instead of the soldier’s hopes to end the fighting the war sloshed on for four more years of carnage.

But a statement was made for peace that Christmas of 1914 just as the Bethlehem event of the coming of the Prince of Peace did. Like a dream, the impossible happened – and was promptly forgotten – as men got on with the grim business of war. War makes more news than peace.