Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bug's Bleat - - GCF: Looking for the Right Dress - - Photos

"Da Boys" in Lake Charles
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Bug's Bleat - - GCF: Looking for the Right Dress - - Photos

Annette and Ethan at Jimmy's Ordination

Jimmy and Vanessa


"Da boys" after the service.
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Bug's Bleat - - GCF: Looking for the Right Dress - - Photos

My Cousin Jeanne's Flowershop [(Jeanne's Country Garden) in Natchitoches, la.]

Jeanne and me

Donna Jeann and me

Josiah at his dad's ordination service.
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Bug's Bleat - - GCF: Looking for the Right Dress

Volume 12, Issue 17 Friday, April 23, 2010

Hello All,

We dropped Annette’s Chevy Traverse off at the body shop today. Now I've hit an animal in three different vehicles over the last 12 months. We were within 10 miles of home, after a 500 mile trip last Tuesday evening when Annette’s new (to her) Traverse was hit. Shesh!!!! We were able to drive the vehicle home but the right front quarter panel (along with associated lights, bumpers, etc.) is toast.
Several folks have volunteered to start riding shotgun with me to pick up the animals I dispatch with Annette’s vehicles.
Annette’s had a pretty rough year without counting the vehicles. She’s hung in there, in spite of severe pain and illness. But she still laughs at my jokes, enjoys the grand children and we savor the “good days.”
The 40th Earth Day was this week. . . . "The problem is here and now. The time for talk is past. The time for action is now." My comment on the first Earth Day published in the NY Times and Washington Post - via SSC Mulerider "Bray" reporter "Fuzzy" Thurman.
The first Earth Day was concerned with pollution reduction and population control. We've done a pretty... good job on the first item in the USA, but the second issue is pretty much ignored worldwide.
My favorite “Earth Day” political cartoon can be seen here []
And a pretty good summary of the last 40 years can be found at []
David and I discovered a FANTASTIC cheese shop when I went to Stephenville, Texas with him. Stephenville’s McCoy’s store was the location of another in his series of "Dinner With David" presentations to contractors in that area. David feeds supper to contractors and answers their questions about treating wood, wood products and wood supplies.
While there, we had a little free time and discovered the Veldhuizen Family Farm who produce GREAT cheeses We brought some home with us and I'm sharing their website with y'all. You won’t be disappointed if you order any of their cheeses or other artisan products.
Annette did not approve of our last “Bleat”. She said that none of it was true. Now that was an exaggeration. I referred her to “Da Bleat” motto, “We never let the truth stand in the way of a Good Story."
Speaking of Annette’s approval, Jimmy writes; “”This hat thing needs its own blog. There has been laughter, tears, and irrational parental behavior...real drama. Thanks, guys...“
For Easter, Annette got the boys Khaki Shorts and Khaki “newsboy” style Caps. At first they didn’t want anything to do with the caps. But after I put on mine, they got into the act, wearing them in funny ways. On Easter morning, Ethan insisted on wearing his sideways. In spite of the entreaties of his mom and dad.
There was an NBC story on toys for children undergoing cancer treatment recently. Sort of old news to me. When I was “living” at St. Vincent’s Hospital as a child, our Fairy God Mother brought each of us kids a present. Everyone was really excited.
My best buddy, Len from Forest City (who had burned his legs playing with gasoline under his dad’s tractor) got a fire truck that burst out of a station. Another child got a “barrel of monkeys” game and the little girl who had been severely burned while trying to cook (this little black girl had been rescued by a white Little Rock bus driver during the height of the Little Rock School desegregation crisis) got a beautiful baby doll.
I rushed to my room to see what I had. There, on my bed, was a wrapped present. I eagerly tore open the wrapping, ripped into the box, pulled out the packing paper and found ... a shirt!
Even if a kid wanted a shirt instead of a toy, where’s he gonna wear a shirt in the hospital? We all wore hospital PJs every day.
My mom had a deal with Donald Pittman. She just went and got what she wanted and he'd trade her for dinners at the Chatterbox. This went along fine until Pittman's got a new bookkeeper who sent a bill to the Chatterbox.
My dad got the bill and asked my mother why they owed $1,200 to Pittman's. She explained that he shouldn't worry about it; she'd trade it out in food. Dad replied; "You're going to give them $1,200 in food!"
Thus ended a good deal and we had to start paying for our Pittman's purchases in cash.
My physical therapists have found a new "evil" device to hurt me with. It's a sort of suction machine that pulls the scar tissue apart. I swear I can hear them giggling when they use this thing.
Netta Lehtola, who was our Finnish Exchange Student in 1989-90 wrote to let us know that her husband, Erkka was stranded in Portugal. She hopes that he can get home quickly once the volcanic ash cloud vanishes. Her grandmother is stuck in Italy. “At least they are in nice countries waiting to get home.”
I didn't even think about the massive flight delays they would be experiencing. Wow, those guys in Finland get it both ways... Radiation from Chernobyl and volcanic ash from Iceland.
If we're going to properly exercise our citizenship, we have to be informed. And one of the most important areas for the US now is Afghanistan.
I recommend you read "The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban" by Sara Chayes (she settled in Afghanistan after the Taliban[])
as well as follow the posts of Michael Yon []
CBS News reported that a U.S. District Judge in Wisconsin ruled that the annual National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. "It goes beyond mere 'acknowledgment' of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context," ... wrote Judge Barbara Crabb, who said the Day of Prayer violates the First Amendment's establishment clause, which bans the creation of a "law respecting an establishment of religion" in the Constitution.

Day of Prayer violates the First Amendment's establishment clause, Judge Barbara Crabb. America, are you paying attention?

We've allowed government to become so liberal, we just expect to hear rulings like this. Godly people allow some terribly ungodly things to occur.

"And so what academics are referring to is the normalization of deviation, as in, you see it so many times, you finally consider it to be an acceptable condition, is the issue. That's the point we're really doing some deep soul search about." Mr. O'Keefe - Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster investigation.

Robert Lyons
Some have compared passage of the health care bill to the Civil Rights act. The civil rights act was necessary. Folks who wanted to "act right" couldn't because of fear and peer pressure. My mom closed the Chatterbox dining room one day to serve three soldiers coming through town (one was black.) At that time, her business would have been destroyed if she'd openly served a black man. So she closed the dining room and served them there.
But the Civil Rights bill didn't contain provisions to bankrupt the country. It didn't give control of my health care to bureaucrats. This is a pork filled disaster for this country. If they really wanted to improve health care, they should have worked on improving Medicare and Medicaid.
Now, we need to work together to patch this bill up and, hopefully, save our country.
03/17/2010, the world lost a true hero and legend. The old Irishman went home on St. Patricks Day. Please join us in sending prayers and best wishes to the children and family of this legend.
The first man to fly Mach 4, Mach 5 & Mach 6
The first to fly above 200,000’
The first above 300,000’
The first to exceed 3,000 mph
The first to fly a winged vehicle into space
WWII fighter pilot and POW
Awarded the Air Force Cross in Viet Nam - the USAF’s second highest honor
The General will be buried in the Arlington National Cemetery
British billionaire Richard Branson's dream of space travel that thousands of people can afford took a leap toward reality with the maiden flight of the world's first commercial spacecraft over California's Mojave Desert.

Fox News might consider employing a "science" correspondent. Their coverage of Virgin Galactic's maiden flight of the world's first commercial spacecraft over California's Mojave Desert, repeatedly referred to future "orbital" flights with passengers which would last about 2 hours.

The VSS Enterprise, which had successfully completed what it called a captive carry flight attached to a carrier plane, is designed for "sub-orbital" service (up and then back down) flight only.

The VSS Enterprise test was a 2-hour, 54-minute flight and the actual passenger flights might be almost two hours counting taxi, take-off, climb out, release, powered flight, and glide back to the terminal. Actual time "in space" will be measured in seconds or a few minutes.

The VSS Enterprise remained attached to its carrier aircraft for the duration of the 2-hour, 54-minute flight, reaching an altitude of 45,000 feet, according to a statement from Virgin.
Video: Space tourism countdown

Eventually, the 60-foot long rocket plane will be taken 60,000 feet above the Earth by its carrier and fire rockets to propel itself into space.
I’m excited by Virgin Galactic’s success. But they are a long long long way from being able to build a NASA style booster capable of supporting the Space Station or servicing the Hubble or going to the moon, much less Mars.
Speaking of education, in the 6th grade, our class was taken to Little Rock on a field trip. We visited the capital, the old state house, the territorial restoration, etc. Instead of "No Child" and several other federal programs, I recommend the school administrators go back and duplicate our education. We managed to turn out a passel of doctors, engineers, lawyers, educators and other fine folks. Without much of the useless junk they force on kids today in school.
Up to a third of breast cancer cases in Western countries could be avoided if women ate less and exercised more, researchers at a conference on breast cancer said.
There is but one element of government, and that is THE PEOPLE. From this element spring all governments. John Adams - - Janet Holiman Dickinson
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. -Abraham Lincoln via Jon Copone
A true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him! - - Amanda Bowen Franks
In step with the founding fathers, conservative Americans believe that "All Men and women are Created Equal". LIBERALS BELIEVE that they must CREATE EQUALITY for all which implies they believe that some must be less equal. Isn't that an oxymoron? - - Robert Lyons
Rosemary Cragan Dolliver via ReFounders shared this news with us:

On March 24 Alicia Shepard, NPR Ombudsman, wrote; “Last week, I wrote a post about how NPR identifies people who support or oppose abortion. It engendered a lively debate inside and outside NPR. Today, some top editors got together to review the 2005 policy and decided to no longer use "pro-choice" or "pro-life."

Here's the memo that was just distributed to all NPR staff”:

"NPR News is revising the terms we use to describe people and groups involved in the abortion debate.

This updated policy is aimed at ensuring the words we speak and write are as clear, consistent and neutral as possible. This is important given that written text is such an integral part of our work.

On the air, we should use "abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)" and "abortion rights opponent(s)" or derivations thereof (for example: "advocates of abortion rights"). It is acceptable to use the phrase "anti-abortion", but do not use the term "pro-abortion rights".

Digital News will continue to use the AP style book for online content, which mirrors the revised NPR policy.

Do not use "pro-life" and "pro-choice" in copy except when used in the name of a group. Of course, when the terms are used in an actuality they should remain." [An actuality is a clip of tape of someone talking. So if a source uses those terms, NPR will not edit them out.]


David Sweeney
Managing Editor
Dr. Wilson and Dr. Sizemore were my doctors. I liked them both but my mother always gripped about Dr. Sizemore. If you knew my mom, you know she liked to speak her mind and he had a way of stopping her. She'd call him in the middle of the night and he'd be very very rude to her and then agree to either come to the house or meet us at the clinic (I was sick a lot.) Then when she saw him, after stewing about his rudeness and ready to give him a piece of her mind, he was always very polite and treated me with great care.
It really irritated her that he was so nice when she saw him and she couldn't come back at him.
A group of 40-year-old classmates discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally, it was agreed upon that they should meet at the Ocean View restaurant, because the waitstaff there were good looking and had great bodies.

10 years later at 50-years-of-age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally, it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View Restaurant, because the food there was very good and the wine selection was good also.

10 years later at 60-years-of-age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally, it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View Restaurant, because they could eat there in peace and quiet and the restaurant had a beautiful view of the ocean.

10 years later at 70-years-of-age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally, it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View Restaurant, because the restaurant was wheel chair accessible and they even had an elevator.

10 years later, at 80-years-of-age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally, it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View Restaurant, because they had never been there before.

Thanks to Waneta
My classmate Chuck Jackson, shared this memory of “LATE SPRING SEMESTER 1972 - HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS”
I listened to the other nominating speeches and then rose to the dais having had mere minutes to prepare my remarks. "My name is Chuck Jackson, and I am a member in good standing in the Southern State College chapter of our organization. I rise to place in nomination for the presidency of our STATE organization someone I know well. Alan Duncan and I attend the same church and sit in the same Sunday school class. He is an avid and somewhat competent golfer. And he is SHARP! In high school, ..."

Here, I ostentatiously started thumbing through several pages of my speech notes (a hastily collected assortment of conference fliers and several blank pages torn from a spiral binder).

"... Alan served in several and various leadership positions all the while maintaining an honor roll gradepoint average. Had he not sat two seats in front of me and an aisle to the left, I would NEVER have passed high school chemistry! His COLLEGE grades have been so high as to be suspicious, but I have YET found a SINGLE person who has EVER caught him cheatiń!
As president of our college chapter over the last year, Alan has provided exemplary leadership for some of the BEST Business students in the STATE ... and ME! It is with great pride I place in nomination for the presidency of the state chapter of..."

Here, I went blank. I had FORGOTTEN the name of the organization! After what seemed the longest second in my life, I turned to the banner hanging behind me and read,

"Phi ... Beta ... Lambda, Alan Duncan!"

Alan rose to the dais and accepted the nomination. He was a fine state president.
Chuck explained; January of 72, Debbie Lindsay had set up a Phi Beta Lambda table in the student center. She had cleaned up FINE that day, and was pretty as a new pin. As I was passing to go to the post office, she called me over to sign up. I tried to excuse myself by explaining that I was a Political Science major with a minor in Sociology. Exactly what she said over the next four seconds is a blur, but it was such a mixed plethora of explanation of entreaty that I found myself compelled to sign the roster. Three monthly meetings later and the lot of us hauled off for Hot Springs and the state conference. On three minutes notice, I nominated Alan in the morning. Later that afternoon, I was entered in the statewide competition for extemporaneous speaking and won.
He who thinks only of number one must remember this number is next to nothing. - - Jay Brown
I've seen my chances come and go and come back around again, but every time they took me by surprise....~Russ Taff - - Thanks to Jimmy Malone
The only time you run out of chances is when you stop taking them. - - Daryl Cox
A health care plan written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, signed by a Prez who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, to be overseen by a surgeon...... general who's obese, financed by a country that's broke. What could possibly go wrong?"
Sometimes I wake up grouchy and other times I just let him sleep. :) - - Nancee Davis Law
My memory is a mixture of fact (about 15%) and fiction (about 85%)
Speaking of Studyhall . . . Hattie Lee Whaley was in my mother’s class. One day in study hall, she asked to go to the bathroom and the teacher replied; “you girls just want to go visit, you can’t go to the bathroom when you’re in study hall.” Hattie Lee was furious but politely sat still for the rest of the period.
The next day, Hattie Lee brought a “tow sac” with her to study hall and hung it on a nail by her desk. After a few minutes, she asked to go to the bath room. Again the teacher denied her request. So Hattie Lee got up from her desk holding a tin syrup can (like many kids used to carry their lunch), pulled the “tow sac” off the nail, stepped into it, pulled it back up and hung it on the nail. She then reached down to the bottom of the sac, opened the syrup can and removed a mason jar of water she had in it (of course, none of this could be seen by anyone else in the study hall.) She opened the mason jar and, squatting in the sac, slowly poured the water into the syrup can.
You can imagine the sound.
Then she sealed the jar back up. Put it back in the can and sealed the can back up. Stepped out of the “tow sac” and set back down at her desk.

She was never denied permission to use the bath room again.
Following the passage of Obamacare in the House of Non-Representatives last night I have come up with a new word for the English lexicon: "stupak" meaning "a useful idiot" or "one that compromises their principles under pressure"

Used in sentences: Bart, you are such a stupak. or Bart, why did you stupak when you should have stood firm?

Feel free to use this new word in casual conversation and especially in political talk.

Tom Broom
Before talking to her Sunday School class about Heaven and Hell the teacher asked "Does any of you know where bad boys and girls go when they do bad things"
"Sure" one little boy chimed up "behind Rosemary's garage!"
Thanks to George Ingram
Gracie Lou Oliver Murphy is proud of herself. She finished a jigsaw puzzle in 6 months and the box said 2-4 years.
To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. -- Thomas Jefferson via Greg Jones
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." - - Albert Einstein
You really do need to be reading Jimmy’s blog []
~~~~~ - - Have a great weekend!

Tool Man Has All the Right Tools To Inspire
One hardware store in Brooklyn, NY has no need for a computer. One special man named George has the entire inventory and phone book memorized in his head. Reminds me there are few things as wonderful as finding the place exactly where you belong.
Watch Video >> []
History Made In Los Angeles and On Mt. Everest!
I have a mishmash of inspiring headlines for you today, including a 15-year-old girl becoming the youngest elective office holder in Los Angeles and a historic clean up on Mt. Everest--hasn't happened in 60 years!
Watch Video >> []
America is not at war. The military is at war. - - America is at the mall, or watching the movie stars. []
Each week the Defense Department highlights military personnel who have gone above and beyond in the war. [] - - Robert Eldridge - -
The latest from Michael Yon, the foremost “milnews” blogger on the web.
Michael Yon posted on Face book: - - “Got word from military today. Am being disembedded as of 30 April. No idea why. Not a big deal. Not going to fight it this time. Will cover Battle for Kandahar from outside the wire from the Afghan perspective. (Still some dispatches in the pipeline.)
Have sent a message to Public Affairs”:


Need to inform readers why am getting the boot. Am not appealing the decision but asking for clarification. Who made this decision and why?

Admin: Will start to extract myself soonest from field. Probably push out from Afghanistan next week or so. (Not enough time to do quality work with another unit.)

Good luck with the Battle for Kandahar. This will be a rough, decisive year. A great deal of this battle will take place in the media. General McChrystal is not good with media. These scandals -- such as the Special Forces raid gone-awry and subsequent cover up -- are undermining his/our credibility. Lack of U.S. military credibility is very damaging. (I don't trust the messages coming from Kabul, so it seems unlikely that others will.)

First comes the censorship...

I know this comes from above your level. Thank you for the support. It has been great.
Response from military re embed cancellation just arrived. Important to consider that I invested heavily in time/expense to stay with 5/2 SBCT to the end. I came at invitation of 5/2 SBCT and they understood that I was coming for a long embed. Having done this work more than anyone during at least the last two wars..., I strongly believe that this decision had to be blessed by a General officer. Will say it clearly: I do not trust General McChrystal or his PAO staff to honestly report to the American public.

I must leave Afghanistan to get a visa and will come back alone. Important to bear in mind that though I am best known for my work with troops, have spent a great deal of time outside the wire. Have written far less about that time, but it has informed my writing and the record is clear that I have called the trajectory of Iraq and Afghanistan as well or better than anyone, and typically far ahead of the pack. This comes from hard work and constant study of the people involved. (Not studying what they say, but what they do and who they are.)

Operating with combat troops is very, very dangerous. It is in fact a relief to me (if unfortunate for readers) to get the boot; my chances of emerging from the war with all my arms, legs, eyes and life are probably 5x higher when going alone. There is a journalistic-swagger to going alone which is perpetuated by those who refuse or mostly refuse to go into combat. Reality is that danger and discomfort typically are far higher with combat troops. I know the military side very well. Contacts are vast and varied. Going alone will hardly diminish my access to intelligence, opinions, and operations. I just won't be getting shot at or picking up arms and legs after a bomb.

So this is Adios to combat with the military, and Hello to streets of Afghanistan and elsewhere, and to halls of influence in power centers around the world where the decisions are made.

This email just in from Public Affairs:

First, thanks for all the great work you've done since arriving in February. I hope the three months you've spent here was what you hoped for and that you've gotten all the support you've needed.

Unfortunately, we have an extremely long wait list of other professional journalists (81!) that we need to give an opportunity. We'd love for you to come back at some point and I wish you the best in your remaining time here and safe travels in the future.

Take care.

Brian DeSantis
Media Support Center
Regional Command South
Kandahar Airfield Afghanistan
My response:

MAJ DeSantis,

Thank you and good luck in the media battle.

Very Respectfully,
Your Writer,

Michael Yon

Please remember that this website accepts no advertisement and is dependent on your support.
Very Respectfully,

PS Please sign up for my updates at "Michael_Yon" [] (not Michael Yon).

We’ve Watched:
The Closer:
Did You Hear About the Morgans?
The Hurt Locker

My Man Godfrey
Father Goose
Cash McCall
Up Periscope
It Happened One Night
How to Marry a Millionaire
Civil War: The Cause (1861)
People Will Talk
Green for Danger
Thomas & Friends:
Roughnecks: Pluto Campaign: Freefall
Tugger: The Jeep 4x4 Who Wanted to Fly
The Pride of the Yankees
30 Rock: Ssn 1: Pilot
Ball of Fire
Shakespeare in Love
Our Mutual Friend:
Romeo + Juliet
84 Charing Cross Road
North & South:
Bleak House:
The Girl Can't Help It
Fort Dobbs
The Remains of the Day
Far from Heaven
Grand Champion
The End of the Affair
As It Is in Heaven
Tweety's High-Flying Adventure
Black Narcissus
The Bodyguard
The Price of Milk
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon

Paper We’ve recently read:
Catalyst : a tale of the Barque cats / Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough.
The punishment of virtue : inside Afghanistan after the Taliban / Sarah Chayes.
Texas tough : the rise of America's prison empire / Robert Perkinson.
The hard way : a Jack Reacher novel / Lee Child.
Kindle books we recently read:
Star Wars: Jedi Trial: A Clone Wars Novel by David Sherman
Against All Odds (Heroes of Quantico Series, Book 1) Irene Hannon
The Incumbent (Madison Glenn Series #1) by Alton Gansky
Rooms James L. Rubart
The Punishment of Virtue Sarah Chayes
Healing For a Broken World: Christian Perspective on Public Policy Steve Monsma
The Jungle Book Rudyard Kipling
FREE Weights and Measures Study Guide: Conversion of over 1,000 units including Length, Area, Volume, Speed, Force, Energy, Electricity, Viscosity, Temperature, & more Homeplace, The Gilbert Morris
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood Howard Pyle

Poems of William Blake William Blake
The Dark Tide (Free for a Limited Time - With Bonus Material) Andrew Gross
Immune (The Rho Agenda : Book Two) Richard Phillips
An Enemy of the State - a novel of the LaNague Federation (The LaNague Federation Series)
Photos on the front of this week’s “Bleat” include shots of me with my cousins Jeanne and Donna Jean, Jimmy at his Ordination, Annette and Ethan at the Ordination Service and “Da Boys”
We’ve now got several addresses on the web for "Da Bleat." For the latest issue, go to Other issues can be seen at
Our photos are posted at
If you want to see photos of the April ’08 train wreck in Magnolia, go to
Feel free to share the "Bleat" with any and all. That's why we publish it.
Be sure and keep Dr. Pat Antoon and his lovely wife Mandy in your prayers.

Recipe(s) of the week - - Simple Baked Chicken
Makes 6 servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 136.2
Total Carbs 2.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 1.3 g
Total Fat 1.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Unsaturated Fat 1 g
Potassium 300.9 mg
Protein 26.2 g
Sodium 165.7 mg

Dietary Exchanges
2 1/4 Meat, 1 Starch, 3 1/2 Very Lean Meat

Flavorful and moist baked chicken.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Difficulty: EASY

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup Salad Dressing, vinaigrette, Italian, fat free

1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2 Brush chicken with dressing. Place, skin-side up, on a baking pan.
3 Bake 45 to 60 minutes, basting once or twice with dressing, until chicken is golden and cooked through.

Parental Priorities
William Wilberforce, Amazing Dad
By: Mark Earley|Published: April 23, 2010 9:26 AM

I hope you saw the 2006 film Amazing Grace about the life of William Wilberforce. Well, there’s a new book out that shows a side of Wilberforce I never knew about.

You’re probably familiar by now with William Wilberforce, the great Christian statesman who led the fight against the British slave trade. You probably know, too, that Wilberforce is an inspiration for so much of the work we do here at Prison Fellowship and BreakPoint. But how much do you know about William Wilberforce the father?

Wilberforce and his wife, Barbara, had four sons and two daughters. Despite the overwhelming weight of his religious and political duties, Wilberforce made his children a priority. And when they were away at school, he showered them with letters. Those letters tell the story of a father who was loving, encouraging, and always anxious for their spiritual welfare.

My friend Stephanie Byrd thought that this side of the great man deserved attention. And she’s right. She’s put together a book called Amazing Dad: Letters from William Wilberforce to His Children.

In the extensive excerpts from his letters, we see him advise his children about education, career, time management, and financial generosity, but most of all on the importance of a strong and secure faith in God. Without that faith, he told them over and over again, none of the rest mattered.

Having misspent his own youth before his dramatic conversion to Christ, Wilberforce wanted to make sure his children were grounded in the faith from their earliest years. Unlike many other parents in early 19th-century Britain, Wilberforce was far more concerned with their spiritual success than with their worldly success.

His priorities for them were always in the right order. When he wrote to his son Robert, he said, “I am quite satisfied with the diligence and zeal with which you are prosecuting your studies. But let me earnestly entreat you not to forget that there are claims and interests of a still higher order. And I hope my dear Robert will see to it that these are not neglected. There is always danger, lest students should abridge the time they ought to allot to prayer.”

Even though Wilberforce wrote in the style of his day—a style many today find slow going—anyone who reads his letters will feel Wilberforce’s passion for the spiritual well-being of his children.

For example, to another son, Wilberforce wrote, “You are the son, my dearest Samuel, of parents who I can truly declare have made your eternal interests the grand object of their care, and who on this principle...have endeavored to preserve you pure from all contagious influences from corrupt associates.”

And like parents today, William Wilberforce knew he could only offer guidance. The grown child would have to choose his course in life. So he continued to Samuel: “Now you will choose your associates for yourself, and on the choice you make...very much will depend [on] what is popularly called your character, meaning the aggregate of a man’s moral principles and feelings.”

If you, like Wilberforce, are consumed by the “eternal interests” of your children, I can heartily recommend the book Amazing Dad. Come to our website,, and we’ll show you how you can get a copy—and learn some vital parenting lessons from a great statesman and a great father.
Further Reading and Information

Amazing Dad: Letters from William Wilberforce to His Children
Stephanie Byrd []

Happy Birthday, William Wilberforce: A Hero’s Legacy
Chuck Colson []

This Is Why He Came and Died
By: Chuck Colson / April 2, 2010 10:00 AM
Reflections on Good Friday

How does Good Friday inform our Christian worldview? Reflect with me on that.

Can it really be just three months ago we gathered with loved ones to celebrate Christmas? What joy we felt as we celebrated the birth of the baby Jesus. Emmanuel. God with us.

But today, on Good Friday, we reflect on how that beautiful babe in the manger came to fulfill a mission. A terrible and glorious mission! God invaded planet Earth. He became a human child, to live as one of us, to call us to repent, to love God with our whole heart, minds, and souls, and our neighbors as ourselves.

And today we should tremble and shudder as we remember the horrible climax of His mission. Beaten, scourged, mocked, and stabbed, Jesus mounted the cross, receiving the just punishment for your sins. For my sins. For the sins of the world.

This is why He came and died.

Yes, Easter is coming. The light is at the end of the tunnel. But that’s days away. Today, stop. Think about why He came and died.

He came because He knew that mankind was lost. He knew that we would kill our own babies in the womb by the millions. And that many would call this horrible evil good.

This is why He came and died.

He knew that hatred would drive men and women to strap bombs to themselves to kill innocent people in the name of religion.

This is why He came and died.

He knew that man would deny that God was his creator. That man would seek to remake himself in his own image, tamper with the genetic code, and treat human life as mere test-tube material.

This is why He came and died.

And He knew that His own bride, the Church, would grow cold and distant, forgetful of the faith given once for all. Comfortable with the world and its ways. Seeking relevance instead of love, pleasure instead of holiness.

This is why He came and died.

And He knew that you and I, covered with sin, could never stand before God, our all-holy Father, without His supreme sacrifice.

So today, don’t look ahead to Easter. Instead, reflect on the Passion. Examine your life. And repent! Repent of your sins, repent of your coldness of heart. Ask God to grant you the desire to serve Him, your Lord and Master, with all your strength.

And then, please, ask God for a spirit of repentance and revival to sweep down upon the Church—and upon the nations of the world. It is our only hope in these terrible, dark times.

We speak so often on BreakPoint about Christianity being not just a relationship with Jesus, but an all-encompassing worldview—a way to see and understand all reality. But the Christian worldview is brought into focus only by the cross.

Indeed, if the joy of Christmas and the glory of Easter are the light by which we see all reality, then the cross, Good Friday, is the lens through which we see it.

Allow me to recommend a wonderful resource to help you meditate on the depth and wonder of Good Friday—and how it defines all of reality. It’s called Death on a Friday Afternoon: Meditations on the Last Words of Jesus, written by my dear friend, the late Richard John Neuhaus. You can learn more about it at

May God bless you on this terrible, wonderful day.
Further Reading and Information

Death on a Friday Afternoon: Meditations on the Last Words of Jesus
[] Richard John Neuhaus

The Faith;jsessionid=1F5A74EBBFE00A3099B4D13D77C7E6CF.jvm1?productId=77-2687&categoryId=&tab=detail

The Truth about Everything: Death on a Friday Afternoon | March 21, 2008

Copyright © 2010 Prison Fellowship. All Rights Reserved _ _
Residents of Columbia County, Arkansas are represented in Congress by:
Senator Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D_ AR)
Phone 202_224_4843
FAX 202_228_1371
Senator Mark Pryor (D_ AR)
Phone 202_224_2353
FAX 202_228_0908
Representative Michael A. Ross (D _ 04)
Phone 202_225_3772
FAX 202_225_1314
Other states congresspersons can be found at: []
Words of the Day:
# garrulous: talkative; also, wordy.
# fatidic: of, relating to, or characterized by prophecy.
# cacophony: harsh or discordant sound.
# exiguous: extremely scanty.
# defenestrate: to throw out of a window.
# lucre: money; profit.
# impecunious: habitually without money; poor.
# sylvan: pertaining to woods or forests.
# portentous: foreboding; ominous.
# neophyte: a novice.
# popinjay: a vain and talkative person.
# bedizen: to dress or adorn in gaudy manner.
# hugger-mugger: secret; also, muddled, disorderly.
# slake: to satisfy or quench; also, to cause to lessen.
# malversation: misconduct in public office.
# manumit: to free from slavery or servitude.
# grok: to understand.
# land of Nod: sleep.
# megrim: a migraine; also, a fancy or whim; in the plural, low spirits.
# interlard: to insert between; to mix.
# indefatigable: untiring.
# Pyrrhic victory: a victory achieved at great cost.
# dishabille: the state of being carelessly or partially dressed.
# neologism: a new word or expression; the use or creation of new words or expressions.
# ne plus ultra: the acme; also, the most profound degree.
# bloviate: to speak or write in a pompous manner.
# pelf: money; riches.
# oneiric: pertaining to or suggestive of dreams.
# transmogrify: to transform.
# disport: to frolic; to amuse (oneself).
# scapegrace: one who is wild and reckless.
# agrestic: pertaining to fields or the country.
# empyrean: the highest heaven; the heavens; the sky.
# wastrel: a person who wastes; a loafer.
# moil: to labor; to toil; to drudge.
"If poverty is the mother of crime, stupidity is its father." - Jean de La Bruyere

"It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!" - Mark Twain

"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." - Samuel Johnson

"In the field of observation, chance favors the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur

"Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern but impossible to enslave." - Baron Henry Brougham

"Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work." - J. G. Pollard

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not." - Andre Gide

"What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do." - Aristotle

"A professor is one who talks in someone else's sleep." - W. H. Auden

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting." - e.e cummings

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." - Abraham Lincoln

"Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's heaven on Earth." - Mark Twain

"If you want to see what children can do, you must stop giving them things." - Norman Douglas

"The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance." - Socrates

"I have learned that to be with those I like is enough." - Walt Whitman

"To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness." - Bertrand Russell

"Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young." - Sir Arthur Wing Pinero

"Envy comes from people's ignorance of, or lack of belief in, their own gifts."- Jean Vanier

"Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others." - Buddha

"To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom."- Bertrand Russell

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."- Thomas Paine

"Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own." - Robert A. Heinlein

"A man should always consider how much he has more than he wants; and secondly, how much more unhappy he might be than he really is." - Joseph Addison

"It is better to live rich than to die rich." - Samuel Johnson

"The brain is a three-pound mass you can hold in your hand that can conceive of a universe a hundred billion light years across." - Marian C. Diamond

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts." - Richard Feynman

"Nature is man's teacher. She unfolds her treasures to his search, unseals his eye, illumes his mind, and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence." - Alfred Billings Street

"The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants." - Omar Bradley

"Man and Woman are two locked caskets, of which each contains the key to the other." - Isak Dinesen

"Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship." - Benjamin Franklin

"Tragic sins become moral failures only if we should have known better from the outset." - Jared Diamond

"The destiny of every human being is decided by what goes on inside his skull when confronted with what goes on outside his skull." - Dr. Eric Berne

"As poetic as it might seem to think so, nothing good comes of victimization." - Robert Sabbag

"We don't understand life any better at 40 than at 20, but we know it and admit it." - Jules Renard

"We have to believe in free will. We have no choice." - Isaac Bashevis Singer

Excerpts From Prime Minister Netanyahu's Powerful Holocaust Remembrance Day Speech
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Apr 19, 2010)

"It is not enough to simply do good and be tolerant. A free society must ask itself what it will do when faced with the destructive forces of evil that seek to destroy and trample man and his rights. There is no tolerance without boundaries and the boundaries of tolerance must be outlined. And all free countries must define these boundaries for themselves. The historic failure of the free world when faced with the Nazi menace was that they did not stand up against it in time, while there was still a chance to stop it."

...Read Full Story []

Croatian Doctors Baffled When Girl Wakes Up From Coma Speaking Fluent, Perfect German
Teresa Neumann (Apr 19, 2010)

"There are references to cases where people who have been seriously ill and perhaps in a coma have woken up being able to speak other languages—sometimes even the Biblical languages such as that spoken in old Babylon or Egypt."

...Read Full Story []

310 2nd Ave SE
Albany, Oregon 97321
US Orders: 1_866_358_7426
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GCF: Looking for the Right Dress

Shortly after the birth of their second child, a husband offered to
take his wife shopping for a new dress. He endured more than two
hours of listening to her complaints about which figure flaw each
dress accentuated.

As she emerged from the dressing room, having tried on the last
selection, she asked for her husband's opinion.

By this time he had learned just the right things to say. "It's
perfect!" he exclaimed. "It makes your waist look smaller, your legs
look longer, and slenderizes your hips."

Just then another lady in the dressing room spoke out. "If there is a
dress here that will do that, I'll buy them all!"

\\\\ \_/ / \ \_/ ////
\ / Deja Moo: \ /
\ _/ The feeling that you've \_ /
/ / heard this bull before. \ \
_ ____________________________ _
/ )| Thomas S. Ellsworth |( \
/ / | | \ \
_( (_ | | _) )_
(((\ \>|_/ )___________________( \_| ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><>
They're Back! Those wonderful Church Bulletins! Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences (with all the BLOOPERS) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:
The Fasting and Prayer Conference includes meals.
The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'
Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.
Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall.. Music will follow.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice .
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. Is done.
The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
- -------------------------
The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church.. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last Sunday: 'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.'

Thanks to Waneta
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Madeleine Begun Kane Latest Column - - - - Senseless About The Census

Attention unhinged wingnuts: Obama’s Census illegally invades your privacy!

That’s a paranoid lie of course, but one that was started by Michele Bachmann and her cohorts. Ironically, it’s been reducing U.S. Census compliance to the detriment of the very people who are bitching about it. Here’s Philly Inq’s Dick Polman:

In the kingdom of ignorance, this story reigns:

Anti-government conservatives - apparently clueless about the history of the country they want to “take back,” and willfully believing the Pinocchio whoppers circulated via spam mail, talk radio, and YouTube - are currently engaged in a fascinating form of protest. Millions are refusing to fill out their 2010 Census forms.


The trend is so alarming that one Republican congressman, Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, felt compelled yesterday to plead with his right-wing brethren to fill out the forms; as he wrote on, the popular conservative site, “If we do not respond, we will not be counted, and if we are not counted, then we effectively will not exist.”

Most notably, he urged his readers not to believe “the blatant misinformation” that has been circulated by “otherwise well-meaning conservatives.” Which was a polite way of saying, “Don’t listen to the liars.”

That brings me to my latest limerick:

Senseless About The Census
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Crazed conservative protestors scream:
We must “take back” our nation’s their theme.
Self-destructively rash,
They treat Census like trash.
Good luck with their blockheaded scheme!

MAD KANE’S HUMOR BLOG is © Madeleine Begun Kane

© Madeleine Begun Kane. All Rights Reserved.
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Hope you enjoy the newsletter.
Again, thanks to all our contributors this week.
"Remember Pearl Harbor? Remember 9/11!" __"Bug"
God bless and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!
God is Good and Faithful CU 73 IC JFM CSP NREMT_I KC5HII

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