There is a fateful deadline in the Georgia General Assembly called Crossover Day, so designated because any piece of legislation not introduced into the second chamber of the legislature (“crossed over”) by that day dies for lack of support.
Merchants have always touted shopping. It’s de rigueur to complain about greedy moneymakers and aggressive, insane shoppers on the recently dubbed Black Friday. Decry the madness if you must but remember that it’s not a recent phenomenon; shopping on the day after Thanksgiving has simply grown in a logical, efficient progression over the decades. Internet shopping and increasingly earlier store openings were anticipated in a quainter way some 40 years ago by the arrival of the Sears Roebuck catalogue in the mailbox, an event my younger brother and I eagerly anticipated so we could drool daily over page after page of toys and games. The post-Thanksgiving commercial interest has been around since well before the Great Depression when President Franklin Roosevelt and Congress adjusted the Thanksgiving holiday slightly to give the economy a boost by adding a few shopping days before Christmas.
This week’s column is offered as a public service to readers who intend to pack their pistols to next week’s worship service at the mosque, synagogue or church. Leave your firearms at home, in the gun rack of the pickup truck or check them at the door with the ushers. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 20, 2012, upheld a 2010 Georgia law forbidding firearms in the Lord’s house. I don’t know whether the law allows one to carry a rifle to a church sponsored hayride or bring a shotgun into a one of those wedding ceremonies that take place because of certain unplanned conditions, but at least houses of worship must legally remain free of firearms.
I ride my bike through the Ardsley Park neighborhood of Savannah Monday – Friday mornings, starting before sunrise and riding 45 minutes come rain or shine, heat or cold. The only things preventing my routine are early morning hospital visits, the threat of lightning or flat tires. (A collision with a pedestrian also stopped one ride, but that’s another story.) I have been following this practice for at least 10 years, sometimes forcing myself to climb out of bed and get on that bike.
The headline in the Wall Street Journal caught my attention: “Facebook and Twitter Postings Cost CFO His Job”. Rachel Emma Silverman reported (May 15, 2012, B-1) that 63-year-old Gene Morphis was fired because he showed no restraint on Facebook and Twitter. The ex-Chief Financial Officer for the women’s clothing company Francesca’s Collection who received a salary of $1.8 million in 2010-2011 is now unemployed because of posts and tweets like these:
Author Jonah Lehrer has written a new book on how to foster and encourage creativity. As one who preaches and writes weekly I need all the creativity I can get and someday I may pick up his book entitled “Imagine: How Creativity Works” though it might have been sooner except for one unnecessary word in the book’s excerpt in the March 10-11, 2012 Wall Street Journal.
Do you ever pray for those who in serve in our government? In these beginning weeks of what will prove to be an exhausting year of focusing on government at every level, one of the most important things the ordinary citizen can do is to pray steadfastly and consistently for our leaders and those who are seeking to be leaders.
Eugene Nida died in late August in Brussels, Belgium, at age 96. Though unknown to many, The Reverend Nida was a groundbreaking leader in the field of biblical translation. Trained as a linguist, this brilliant scholar fulfilled a life-long calling of making the Bible accessible in hundreds of languages by translating the original biblical texts by a principle Mr. Nida called “dynamic equivalence.”
Former Commissioner of Major League Baseball Fay Vincent recently served up a curve ball in a Wall Street Journal op ed piece (Sep. 16 2011, p. A11) titled “Soak the Rich? No, Soak the Needy.” Mr. Vincent complained because the Obama Administration, as part of a comprehensive jobs and deficit reduction package, is proposing to reduce the benefit a donor can receive for making a charitable contribution.
My wife and I spent a few days in the North Georgia mountains last week and enjoyed the rare opportunity of sitting in a pew together at a Sunday morning worship service. Pastors have few occasions to sing from the same hymnal with a spouse.
A few years ago a clever ad campaign asked the question, “What Would Jesus Drive?” These days a different form of the question is being asked, “What Kind of Budget Cuts Would Jesus Approve?”
I begin this column with a tragic story of radical, fundamentalist Pakistani Islam and move from there to how it impacts us in the United States. The only Christian cabinet minister in Pakistan’s government was assassinated last month. Shahbaz Bhatti, 41, had been an opponent of the blasphemy laws in Pakistan and had spoken openly about his opposition to this brutal and repressive law whereby the Pakistani government (our ally in the war against the Taliban) can execute anybody who testifies to faith as a Christian. Bhatti was an advocate for tolerance and died in his automobile after an ambush in which 20 shots were fired.
In its January 19 issue, The New York Times carried a poignant story entitled, “Last Christians Ponder Leaving a Hometown in Iraq.” Written by John Leland and Duraid Adnan, it described a town of 10,000 people in the Anbar Province of Iraq where Muslim and Christian once lived next door to each other and Sunni and Shiite Muslim