Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Girl at the Beach

A couple lived near the ocean and used to walk the beach a lot. One summer they noticed a girl who was at the beach almost every day. She wasn't unusual, nor was the travel bag she carried, except for one thing; she would approach people who were sitting on the beach, glance around and then speak to them.
Generally, the people would respond negatively and she would wander off.  But occasionally someone would nod and there would be a quick exchange of money and something that she carried in her bag.  The couple assumed that she was selling drugs and debated calling the cops, but since they didn't know for sure, they decided to just continue watching her.
After a couple of weeks the wife said, 'Honey, have you ever noticed that she only goes up to people with boom boxes and other electronic devices?'  He hadn't and said so.  Then she said, ‘Tomorrow I want you to get a towel and our big radio and go lie out on the beach. Then we can find out what she’s really doing.'
Well, the plan went off without a hitch and the wife was almost hopping up and down with anticipation when she saw the girl talk to her husband and then leave. The man then walked up the beach and met his wife at the road.  'Well, is she selling drugs?' she asked excitedly. 'No, she’s not,' he said, enjoying this probably more than he should have.  'Well, what is it then? What does she do?' his wife fairly shrieked.  The man grinned and said, 'She's a battery salesperson.'  'Batteries?' cried the wife.  'Yes!' he replied.  'She sells C Cells down by the Seashore!'

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Story Behind Taps

We in the United States have all heard the haunting song, 'Taps'. It's the song that gives us the lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes. Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Elli was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land.
During the night, Captain Elli heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment.  
When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead.  The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.  
The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted. The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral.  The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate.   But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician. The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform.  This wish was granted.   The haunting melody, we now know as 'Taps' used at military funerals was born.  

The words are:
  1. Day is done; gone the sun from the lakes, from the hills, from the sky. All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.
  2. Fading light dims the sight. And a star gems the sky. Gleaming bright, from afar, drawing nigh; falls the night.
  3. Thanks and praise for our days neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky. As we go, this we know, God is nigh
 Remember those lost and harmed while serving their country. Also remember those who have served and returned; and for those presently serving in the armed forces.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sharing Your Faith – Witnessing

The streets and sidewalks of the United States are an open forum for evangelism.  The Constitution guarantees the right to preach the Gospel in public places.  The Supreme Court’s many cases involving preaching (or other speech activities) on the streets provide ready answers to those who challenge your right to give away religious tracks, pamphlets, and other printed martial and to speak with people on the street about your faith.

What laws protect my right to witness and share my faith in public?
When you give away religious tracts in public places - streets, sidewalks, and parks - you are engaged in a form of speech and publication protected by the United States Constitution and civil rights laws.  When you speak with someone about the Gospel while in a public place, you enjoy constitutional protection.
As American citizens, we are protected by the United States Constitution from government interference with our right of free speech.  This includes the right to evangelize.  Also, the Constitutions of every state in our country include guarantees of free speech, which are at least as protective of free speech as the federal Constitution.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides, "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech," and the Fourteenth Amendment states, "Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . . ."  The Supreme Court has ruled that these two provisions of the Constitution severely limit the power of federal, state, and local governments to interfere with speech activities on sidewalks, streets and in parks.  Moreover, Supreme Court “precedent establishes that private religious speech, far from being a First Amendment orphan, is as fully protected under the Free Speech Clause as secular private expression.”1 It is a constitutional axiom that the distribution of free religious literature is a form of expression protected by the First Amendment.2   As the Supreme Court unequivocally held:
The hand distribution of religious tracts is an age old form of missionary evangelism -- as old as the history of printing presses.  It has been a potent force in various religious movements down through the years. . . .  It is more than preaching; it is more than distribution of religious literature. It is a combination of both.  Its purpose is as evangelical as the revival meeting.  This form of religious activity occupies the same high estate under the First Amendment as do worship in the churches and preaching from the pulpits.3

Am I soliciting when I hand out religious literature and share my faith?
No!  Giving away free Gospel tracts and talking to people about salvation is not the same thing as soliciting.  The Supreme Court has held that there is a difference between soliciting and leafleting.  The Supreme Court permitted the postal service to enforce a rule against asking (soliciting) for donations on postal property.  However, the Court suggested that it would reject a rule that banned free distribution of literature on such properties, stating:
As residents of metropolitan areas know from daily experience, confrontation by a person asking for money disrupts passage and is more intrusive and intimidating than an encounter with a person giving out information.  One need not ponder the contents of a leaflet or pamphlet in order mechanically to take it out of someone's hand, but one must listen, comprehend, decide and act in order to respond to a solicitation.4
The Supreme Court considered a restriction on leafleting and another restriction on solicitation of donations in airport terminals.  The Court concluded that solicitation is separate from literature distribution and that, despite the fact that the airport terminals were nonpublic forums, a regulation barring the distribution of free literature in the terminals was unreasonable and unconstitutional.  Accordingly, while a city official may, in some instances, not allow solicitation, such a regulation may not be broadened to include literature distribution.  As long as you are giving away your literature for free, and not asking for donations, you are engaging in the most protected form of speech.5

Where can I go to hand out Gospel tracts to the public?
You can go to any publicly owned street, sidewalk, or park.  In legal terms, streets, sidewalks, and parks are called "traditional public forums."  The Supreme Court has held that a traditional public forum is government property that is traditionally opened to public speech, 6 including such places as streets, sidewalks, and parks.7 That means that these are the places that are open to public speeches, leafleting, newspaper distribution, political rallies, public marches, and other speech activity.
You are not merely limited to streets, parks, and sidewalks for tract distribution; courts have found many other places to be appropriate.  Subject to local laws and ordinances, airport terminals, bus and train stations, and walkways surrounding government-owned coliseums, stadiums, and memorials may be appropriate locations for leafleting.8
Sometimes a city official will get confused about these "traditional public forums."  The Supreme Court rejected a Wisconsin city's argument that the streets and sidewalks of a residential area were not the sort of "traditional public forums" that the Court had held were generally open to free speech and activities.
The Court noted, however, that some time, place, and manner restrictions are permissible depending on the nature of the streets at issue. For example, a rule against parades between sunset and sunrise on residential streets serves a valid purpose of protecting the peace of a neighborhood when most residents are resting.  It is wise to look up local laws and ordinances ahead of time.  You can always call the local police station if you have questions.9

If I am witnessing on the public sidewalk in front of a business, am I “loitering,” and can I be required to move away from the business?
No! "Loitering" is the criminal offense of remaining in a certain place (such as a public street) for no apparent reason.”10 Evangelism activities, however, are a legitimate purpose for standing on a public sidewalk.11
Do not stand in the middle of the street where you will be obstructing the flow of traffic.  The government may prohibit this in the interest of vehicle and pedestrian safety.12 Your right to use the sidewalks, streets and parks is not a license to make them unusable for others, e.g., barricading a sidewalk, allowing only those who will take a tract to pass.13

Do I have the same rights to witness on the streets of a town in which I don’t live?
The constitutional protection of free speech under the First Amendment applies to all citizens and aliens and extends throughout the United States. Thus you are not limited to sharing your faith on the streets, sidewalks, and parks in your town.  The Supreme Court has acknowledged that “speech on public issues occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values, and is entitled to special protection.”14

What should I do to get started witnessing and sharing my faith in public?
First, devote time to prayerful preparation.  Next, select a location.  You may choose a place because of the opportunity to reach many people - outside a sports stadium or near an historic monument.  You may also have a target group in mind.  For example, if your burden is for young people, you will want to pick locations where they pass by or gather.
If the location you choose is not a nice, simple sidewalk location, you should speak to the appropriate authority to discover what rules have been adopted to govern your activities.  (This does not mean that you must always accept, as good law, a rule barring leafleting.)  Check with a county clerk, the police department, the security office at the stadium, or similar offices.  This will let you know what to expect when you witness.
If you are in a public place and are stopped from distributing free literature, do not assume that it was correct for you to be stopped.  Too many Supreme Court cases have been decided against governments on these matters to assume that the government is always right.  Just by challenging them, the government often changes their policies.

1 Capitol Square & Advisory Bd. v. Pinette, 515 U.S. 753, 760 (1995)
2 Heffron v. International Society for Krishna Consciousness, 452 U.S. 640 (1981)
  Lovell v. City of Griffin, 303 U.S. 444 (1938)
3 Murdock v. Pennsylvania 319 U.S. 105, 108-09 (1943) (footnotes omitted)
4 United States v. Kokinda, 497 U.S. 720 (1990), Id. at 734 (plurality)
5 ISKCON v. Lee, 505 U.S. 672 (1992)
  Lee v. ISKCON, 505 U.S. 830 (1992)
6 Hague v. C.I.O., 307 U.S. 496, 515 (1939)
7 United States v. Grace, 461 U.S. 171, 177 (1983)
8 Bd. of Airport Comm’rs v. Jews for Jesus, 482 U.S. 569 (1987) (resolution banning all first amendment  
   expression in the public forum of an airport was unquestionably overbroad)
  Grace, 461 U.S. at 180 (holding that the sidewalks surrounding the Supreme Court constitute a public
  Jews for Jesus v. Mass. Bay Transp. Auth., 984 F.2d 1319 (1st Cir. 1993) (overturning a complete ban on
  noncommercial expressive activity in a train station)
9 Frisby v. Schultz, 487 U.S. 474 (1988)
  Id. at 481
10 Black’s Law Dictionary 1027 (Bryan A. Garner ed., 9th ed. 2009)
11 See Chicago v. Morales, 527 U.S. 41, 53 (1999) (noting the difference between remaining in one place
   with no apparent purpose and conduct intended to convey a message).
12 Sun-Sentinel Co. v. Hollywood, 274 F. Supp. 2d 1323 (S.D. Fla. 2003)
13 Cox v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 536, 555 (1965)
14 Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138, 145 (1983).  (Many cases which the ACLJ has won involve visitors
   from other towns or other states.)

Catholics giving more in Ohio, Kentucky

Catholics in Ohio and Kentucky are giving more money this year than they have in almost a decade to the church’s largest annual fund drive.  Church officials say donors recognize a greater need in tough economic times and are digging deeper to help poor families, social service groups, retired priests and others who benefit from the fundraising campaign.  They also attribute at least some of the increased giving to the church’s high-profile opposition to national health care reform rules, which Catholic bishops say threaten religious liberty.
Although donors usually don’t give a reason for their contributions, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Diocese of Covington both have received letters and calls from donors expressing support for the church’s opposition to the health care reform law.  “Some of the faithful are feeling more of a connection to the church these days because of the beating we’re taking in the public square,” said Michael Vanderburgh, director of the archdiocese’s stewardship department. “They want to stand in solidarity with the church.”
Collections so far are running ahead of last year’s pace in both dioceses, and church officials say total donations are on target to top $4.2 million in Cincinnati and $3 million in Covington by the end of the campaigns in December. Both would be the highest since 2003.  Covington has seen an increase in individual donors, from about 8,900 last year to 9,300 this year, but Cincinnati has pulled in more money with fewer donors. The number of contributors in the archdiocese is down from 33,400 to 29,600, while the average pledge is up from $116 to $135.  The big push for donations is over, but the campaign runs in both dioceses for the rest of the year and additional contributions are expected to trickle in for months.
Bob Stautberg, a donor to the archdiocese’s campaign since it began in the 1970s, doubled his contribution from $500 to $1,000 this year. The Indian Hill man said tough times inspired him to give more.  “With the economy the way it is, the need for what the archdiocese does is great,” he said.  The fundraiser is known by different names – Cincinnati calls it the Catholic Ministries Appeal; Covington the Diocesan Parish Annual Appeal – but the money goes to similar causes in each diocese.
Catholic charities and social services, including food banks and aid to poor families, get about one-fourth of the donations. Retired priests, Catholic education programs and other causes get the rest.  The dioceses already have collected about 75 percent of the money pledged, and church officials say donors historically make good on all but a small fraction of pledges.  The uptick in donations is especially encouraging to church leaders because it comes at a time when Mass attendance continues to decline, both in the region and across the country. Two out of three Catholics in the Cincinnati and Covington dioceses do not regularly attend Mass.
Vanderburgh said the response to the annual fundraiser suggests dedicated Catholics are willing to do more, even if there are fewer of them in the pews.  “It means people aren’t in line to jump off the ship,” he said. “It means they are faith-filled people.”  He said most appear to be responding to the need they see in a difficult economy, but Vanderburgh and others said the recent flap over health care reform is having an impact, too.  “I have had some feedback about the challenges the church is facing,” said Michael Murray, director of the stewardship office for the Diocese of Covington. “Because of the church being under fire, people see that. They want to support the efforts of the church.”
Catholic bishops and others have argued for months against federal rules requiring businesses and institutions to offer their employees insurance that includes birth control coverage. They say the rules infringe on religious freedom because they violate church teachings that consider birth control a sin.  President Barack Obama changed the policy so it now requires employees to get birth control coverage directly from insurance companies, but the bishops rejected it as inadequate.  Many priests in Ohio and Kentucky have spoken from the pulpit about the issue and conservative Catholics, in particular, have rallied to the cause.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops does not track changes in fundraising habits in America’s dioceses. But a spokeswoman said calls, emails and letters to the organization suggest that both the economy and health care reform are important issues to church leaders and lay Catholics.  The increased giving also indicates Catholics angered by the church’s handling of the clergy abuse scandal may be opening their wallets again. From 2003 to 2005, the years immediately after the scandal broke; donations tumbled 20 percent or more in both dioceses and continued to fall for several more years in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
“It has quieted down quite a bit. People have forgotten a little about it,” said Dan Frondorf, who leads the Cincinnati chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “The lack of bad news has helped them.”  Some say the church is doing a better job of getting out the good news, too. Luncheons, personal appeals, Internet campaigns for online donations and other outreach efforts are regularly used now to explain the fundraisers, where the money goes and how Catholics can contribute.  “The need is greater,” Stautberg said. “But I also think they’re doing a better job of communicating the need.”

By Dan Horn (Cincinnati Enquirer: May. 25, 2012)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Isn't it Strange

How a 20 dollar bill seems like such a large amount when you donate it to church, but such a small amount when you go shopping?
How 2 hours seem so long when you're at church, and how short they seem when you're watching a good movie?
That you can't find a word to say when you're praying but you have no trouble thinking what to talk about with a friend?
How difficult and boring it is to read one chapter of the Bible but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a popular novel or ZANE GREY book?
How everyone wants front-row-tickets to concerts or games but they do whatever is possible to sit at the last row in Church?
How we need to know about an event for Church 2-3 weeks before the day so we can include it in our agenda, but we can adjust it for other events in the last minute?
How difficult it is to learn a fact about God to share it with others; but how easy it is to learn, understand, extend and repeat gossip?
How we believe everything that magazines and newspapers say but we question the words in the Bible?
How everyone wants a place in heaven but they don't want to believe, do, or say anything to get there?
How we send jokes in e-mails and they are forwarded right away but when we are going to send messages about God, we think about it twice before we share it with others?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

ACLU Barring Prayer in the Military

ACLU has filed a suit to end prayer from the military completely.  They're making great progress. The Navy Chaplains can no longer mention Jesus' name in prayer thanks to the ACLU and others.

Let us pray...
Lord hold our troops in your loving hands Protect them as they protect us Bless them & their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. In Jesus name, Amen.

This one is false.  The ACLU is not pursuing (and has never filed) a lawsuit seeking "to end prayer from the military completely." Navy chaplains also are not prohibited from mentioning Jesus' name in prayer, nor has the ACLU engaged in any effort to bring about that result.  (   11 April 2011)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Daily Survival Kit

Today, I am giving you a Daily Survival Kit to help you each day.
Toothpick – to remind you to pick the good qualities in everyone, including yourself.
Rubber band – to remind you to be flexible. Things might not always go the way you want, but it can be worked out.
Band-Aid – to remind you to heal hurt feelings.
Eraser – to remind you everyone makes mistakes. That's okay, we learn by our errors.
Candy Kiss – to remind you that everyone needs a hug or a compliment today.
Mint – to remind you that you are worth a mint to your family and me.
Bubble Gum – to remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything.
Pencil – to remind you to list your blessings every day.
Tea Bag – to remind you to take time to relax and go over your list of God's blessings.
This is what makes life worth living every minute of every day.

Wishing you love, gratitude, friends to cherish, caring, sharing, laughter, music, and warm feelings in your heart.

Special Poem For Older Folks

A row of bottles on my shelf
Caused me to analyze myself.
One yellow pill I have to pop
Goes to my heart so it won't stop.
A little white one that I take
Goes to my hands so they won't shake.
The blue ones that I use a lot
Tell me I'm happy when I'm not.
The purple pill goes to my brain
And tells me that I have no pain.
The capsules tell me not to wheeze
Or cough or choke or even sneeze..
The red ones, smallest of them all
Go to my blood so I won't fall.
The orange ones, very big and bright
Prevent my leg cramps in the night.
Such an array of brilliant pills
Helping to cure all kinds of ills.
But what I'd really like to know
Is what tells each one where to go!

Maxine's Annual Physical

After the eighty-three year old lady finished her annual physical examination, the doctor said, "You are in fine shape for your age, Maxine, but tell me, do you still have intercourse?"
"Just a minute, I'll have to ask my husband," she said.  She stepped out into the crowded reception room and yelled out loud: "Henry, do we still have intercourse?"  And there was a hush.  You could hear a pin drop.
He answered impatiently, "If I told you once, Maxine, I told you a hundred times, what we have is Blue Cross!

90 on Your Telephone

I received a telephone call last evening from an individual identifying  himself as an AT&T Service Technician (could also be Telus) who was  conducting a test on the telephone lines. He stated that to complete the test I should touch nine (9), zero (0), the pound sign (#), and then hang up. Luckily, I was suspicious and refused.
Upon contacting the telephone company, I was informed that by pushing 90#, you give the requesting individual full access to your telephone line, which enables them to place long distance calls billed to your home phone number. I was further informed that this scam has been originating from many local jails/prisons.  This item is another example of a scam warning that has been continuously circulating via the Internet for the better part of a decade, thereby receiving vastly more publicity than it warrants. Although the warning has some kernel of truth to it, only a very small, specialized portion of the phone-using public is vulnerable to the scam described therein.
This scam does not affect residential or cell phone customers — it only applies to businesses, hospitals, government agencies, and other organizations that still use telephone private branch exchanges (PBXs) rather than Centrex lines to handle their calls. On certain PBX systems (i.e., ones for which pressing '9' is the signal to obtain an outside line, and there are no restrictions placed on outgoing calls), a scammer could gain access to place expensive, long-distance phone calls by tricking an employee into initiating the #-9-0 sequence. Outside of a few other settings where one might have to press '9' to obtain an outside line (such as hotels), the likely result of pressing #-9-0 will simply be a fast busy signal.

Tick Removal

Summer is here and the ticks will soon be showing their heads. Here is a good way to get them off you, your children, or your pets.
I had a pediatrician tell me what she believes is the best way to remove a tick. This is great, because it works in those places where it's some times difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc.
Apply a blob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20), the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away. This technique has worked every time I've used it (and that was frequently, and it's much less traumatic for the patient and easier for me.
Unless someone is allergic to soap, I can't see that this would be damaging in any way. I even had my doctor's wife call me for advice because she had one stuck to her back and she couldn't reach it with tweezers. She used this method and immediately called me back to say, "It worked!"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Your Age By Chocolate Math

  1. First of all, pick the number of times a day that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10)
  2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)
  3. Add 5
  4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator
  5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1,762.  If you haven't, add 1,761.
  6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.
  7. You should have a three digit number
  8. The first digit of this was your original number
  9. (I.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each day).
  10. The next two numbers are your age!
  11. This is the only year (2012) it will ever work.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A New Way To Abduct A Female

Sunday afternoon around 5 pm I headed into the Target. It was still light outside and I parked fairly close to the entrance. As I got out of my car and began walking towards Target, an older lady shouted to me from the passenger seat of a car about 30 feet away from me.  "Ma'am you must help me, help me please, help me Ma'am!" I looked at her in the eyes and started to walk towards her when I remembered an email my Mom had sent me a week or two ago about rapists and abductions using elderly people to lure women in.
I paused, memorized the license plate and immediately headed into Target to get a manager to come help this lady, just in case something was up.  While the woman manager headed out there, I kept a close watch just because I was curious what was wrong with the lady and wanted to be sure nothing happened.  As the Target lady walked up towards the car and got very close to the old woman in order to help her, the back door of the car flies open and a large man with a stocking cap on, jumps out and sticks a gun to the lady's stomach as he shoves her into the back of the car.  I yelled out "call 911" several times and just as I was saying that, a policeman who happened to be on the other side of the parking lot and who, luckily had seen the entire thing happen, raced over to the car.
He was able to stop the car and arrest the male as well as the old lady, who was involved in the scheme.  By God's grace everyone was all right, including me, although I think we were both shaken up.
Just because you individually don't go over to help someone doesn't mean you have to leave them in trouble, but don't go alone, you really don't know what might be going on.

I checked with Snopes ( and it claims that this is just a legend, a cautionary tale.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Mother’s Love

A very special Atlanta Braves’ baseball home opener on April 8, 1974. It was a night game against the Dodgers and it was a complete sellout. Williams looked around to see that, seated immediately behind him was singer Pearl Bailey. Up at the plate: the immortal Henry Aaron. On the line: Babe Ruth’s record of 714 career home runs. Aaron had tied the record and tonight he was aiming to break it.
Understand that this was nearly 40 years ago. An AfricanAmerican player was about to topple the great Babe Ruth--and a lot of people in the country didn’t like it. Aaron got a lot of mail that year--more than 930,000 letters in all, far more than any other person in the country. Most were fan letters--but about 100,000 of them were hate letters, some containing death threats.
Williams says he was on the edge of his seat when Dodgers pitcher Al Downing hurled the ball toward the plate. Aaron swung and connected. The crack of his bat echoed through the stands. The ball was gone. Home run. Babe Ruth’s record was shattered. The ballpark went nuts. “As Aaron rounded second base,” says Williams, “a couple of teenagers--both white--jumped over the retaining wall and ran onto the field, chasing Aaron. For a moment, no one knew what they had in mind, but then it became clear: they were celebrating and cheering Aaron on. As Aaron crossed the plate, the dugout emptied as the Braves streamed onto the field to surround him, cheering and whooping it up. But amid all those ballplayers around Aaron was a short, sixty-eightyearold black woman. She latched onto Aaron and wouldn’t let go of him.
“Henry Aaron turned and said to her, ‘Mom! What are you doing here?’ “‘Baby,’ said the mother of the new homerun king, ‘if they’re gonna get you,’ (thinking of the death threats Aaron had received) ‘they’ve gotta get me first!’”  That is love only a mother could have for her child.

Pat Williams, A Lifetime of Success, (Grand Rapids. MI: Fleming H. Revell, 2000), PP. 109-110, adapted by King Duncan

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New Pledge of Allegiance

Now I sit me down in school where praying is against the rule.
For this great nation under God finds mention of Him very odd.
If scripture now the class recites, it violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple, orange or green, that's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise. Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.
For praying in a public hall might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate, God's name is prohibited by the state.
We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks, and pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but first the Bible. To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen, and the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's 'inappropriate' to teach right from wrong, we're taught that such 'judgments' do not belong.
We can get our condoms and birth controls, study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed no word of God must reach this crowd.
It's scary here I must confess, when chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make: should I be shot; my soul please take!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Shoebox

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about. For all of these yeas, he had never thought about the box.  But one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife's bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box.
            When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000.  He asked her about the contents.  'When we were to be married,' she said, 'my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.'  The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness. 'Honey,' he said, 'that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?'  'Oh,' she said, 'that's the money I made from selling the dolls.'

 A Prayer . . .
Dear Lord, I pray for wisdom to understand my man; love to forgive him; patience for his moods; because Lord, if I pray for strength, I'd beat him to death.