December 22, 2014

A Christmas Prayer

Dear Lord, this Christmas Season, with thanksgiving and humility we celebrate the birth of our Savior. With awesome wonder we contemplate Your word: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

We can’t understand the miracle of the birth of our Savior, who was fully God, yet fully man, for miracles are yours to will and to work. We need only to believe, and our prayer, Lord, is for faith to believe, and grace to follow the example of our Lord and Savior in loving you, and loving one another as He has loved us.

Thank you for the greatest gift ever to a wayward world. Let us honor that name, Jesus Christ, and follow His example of love and service this Christmas Season. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

— Donald G. Mashburn

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Views on the Things That Were and Things That Might Be

By Donald G. Mashburn

Ferguson Death Not a Matter of Police Training

In the wake of the unfortunate death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and the senseless burning and looting that followed, President Obama made a pitch for more police wearing cameras to record activities when meeting up with lawbreakers, suspected lawbreakers, or those who for some valid reason they wish to question. But the president did not involve himself with the demonstrations that followed the grand jury’s decision not to charge the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown.

Nor did the president insert himself into the ongoing debate as he did in the Trayvon Martin shooting death in Florida. Referring to the shooting death of the black teenager Martin, the president said, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin.”

In that statement he made no direct to George Zimmerman, who shot Martin, but the president seemed to get caught up in the sensitive issue of a black teenager being shot by a non-black, the same issue that some blacks use to justify burning and looting of businesses owned by both black and non-black merchants. But in the Ferguson shooting, the president did not associate himself with Michael Brown who was shown in a video taking items from a store, and after not paying for them, pushing the storekeeper aside as he left.

The main differences in the president’s positions are that in the Trayvon Martin case, the president did seem to identify with the black teenager, while in the Michael Brown shooting by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson policeman, Obama seemed to somewhat indirectly join in the anti-police chorus being heard across the country, by urging expenditures for more and better police equipment training.

The president fell into the same hole in logic that catches so many of the black defenders of victims they don’t know, in events of which they know none of the real facts.

Like so many of the black demonstrators across the country, the president seemed to ignore or not understand that Michael Brown would still be alive if his behavior had been different. The simple fact is that if Michael Brown had learned and adhered to the teaching that one should not steal, should not take from others unlawfully, and should not resist or fight with policemen, Brown would be alive, and Officer Darren Wilson would still be working and helping keep the folks of Ferguson safe.

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Wave Election Big Boost to Republicans — If They Don’t Mess It Up

The November elections went well for conservatives, Republicans, and for the country, considering the unconstitutional actions of an activist President with low poll numbers and a legacy that seems to be afflicted with terminal poor judgment, and a sorry disregard for promises and statements made previously.

But the Republicans have a responsibility to the nation. The need to avoid, at all costs, the arrogance and cockiness that afflicted certain GOP leaders after the November 1994 elections. Back then, confident that the elections somehow bestowed upon certain leaders great personal affection of voters far and wide, some of the new-to-power GOP leaders got carried away.

The new House Majority Whip, Tom Delay (R-TX) was especially abrasive and careless with his poorly-chosen comments about how the Republicans were now in charge and would run things the they wanted. New Majority Leader Newt Gingrich was a little smoother, but his manner still came across at times as smug and cocky.

As happens, the political pendulum swung the other way, and over time the country had Congressional leadership inflicted on it with names like Nancy Pelosi, in the House, and Harry Reid, in the Senate.

Those names should be enough to make the GOP in both houses in the new Congress to take note and resolve to elect leaders with some statesmanship, but above all, leaders with some tact and common sense.

Truth is reality examined up close so that its shape, color or identity aren’t blurred by the mists of time, the haze of distance, or the fog of faulty memory.

An open mind is OK if the back door is closed.

It takes courage to stand up for something right, and wisdom to sit down and listen.

The swaying of the tree doesn’t produce the wind singing through its branches.

Birth and death are beyond our control, but the choices we make in between are.

Taxes and death are unavoidable, and it’s hard to dodge a lot of the other stuff, too.

Reputation is what others think of you; character is what you really are.

There is hardly anything that lawyers and politicians can’t make more muddled.

I had rather listen to a witty fool than a vain person acting foolishly.

If you can’t find a good reason to do a thing you’ve found a good reason to not do it.

If you like people, you have a good chance of being liked yourself.

Some well-rounded politicians get that way from being rolled repeatedly.

Yesterday is spent; we can’t borrow tomorrow; we have only today.

Some lawyers too lazy to work and too nervous to steal got into politics and it solved both problems.

It’s often hard to fit in and stand out at the same time.

Faith in Jesus Christ offers an opportunity to exchange what you can’t keep, for a gift of eternal life you can never lose.

Wisdom isn’t found in knowledge but grows from the pursuit of it.

What is right always trumps who is right.

Effort without talent can be discouraging, talent without effort a shameful waste.

A man who has money to burn usually can find a woman willing to be a match for him.

An old man realizes his kids may not be the best of kids, but they’re still the best he’s got.