Football ignites the headlines already. The season starts well before baseball season is over – it’s already a headline catcher. Football coaches at every level of the sport, whether high school or professional, are being reminded that there is a restriction on religious activities that coaches can promote with the team. The Supreme Court stated that a “school district has a constitutional right to protect students from religious coercion…” «Read the rest of this article»
As we move into spring and the substance of 2009, the year will continue to bring renewal. Changes in power, approaches, and results will impact Clarksville, the State of Tennessee and the nation. For when we pray “God Bless America,” there is the opportunity for renewal for us personally as well as nationally throughout this year.
In 2009, we have a favorable wind of renewal available to re-establish virtues, moral principles, and moral quality to our government at all levels. In foreign policy let us be done with torture, rendition and the deliberate misleading of the public in the guise of justifying action that leads to placing our men and women in uniform unnecessarily in harm’s way and demolishing governments of other nations. Let this year be the year to bury the order of pre-emptive military intervention against what we perceive as nefarious nations. «Read the rest of this article»
A few words directed to a friend, neighbor or family member or even an adored pet, can release a resevoir of strength within . Normally, these are words of appreciation and acknoledgement.
At Fort Leonard Wood, the Army’s largest basic and advanced training post, I served with command leaders to include hundreds of drill sergeants of all ranks. I served, too, commanders that I would have followed into combat at any time and any place. How did these men and women impress me and receive my loyalty? They were leaders trained in reassuring and encouraging others. They elicited a sense of self with new recruits, NCOs and officers with a reassuring word. «Read the rest of this article»
The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is a dynamic lobbyist for all military retirees. Members include veterans — retired Marines, sailors, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel.MOAA is a non-profit , veteran’s association dedicated to maintaining a strong national defense and to preserving the earned entitlements of members of the uniformed services and their families. It is vigilant in safeguarding and extending the benefits of all veterans. When MOAA speaks to Congress, they listen, and take immediate action. «Read the rest of this article»
Humor in Uniform is a favorite section in the Reader’s Digest. Having served as a soldier and Army Chaplain, for 20 years, in time of peac and for two years of war in Vietnam, I appreciate recognition given our soldiers, even if its humorous.Being rather serious and solemn by nature, I have a psychological need for entertainment, especially humor. I meet this need for balance for jocularity by selecting cheerful TV programs to watch while exercising at the Athletic Club. When I get there early enough, I’ll watch my all time favorite, M.A.S.H. «Read the rest of this article»
One of my goals in aging is to keep my mind alert. I devote a portion of each day to acuity. To be mentally keen is a challenge.
To achieve this goal I discipline myself in reading, writing, and thoughtfulness. My first activity of each day, after walking our pet, Cassie, is to read the daily devotional from The Upper Room. It’s a spiritual, mental and psychological lift.
I budget time to read the local paper. At the Athletic Club I often read while on the treadmill. That’s when I get started reading the weekly publication of Newsweek. «Read the rest of this article»
Crepe Myrtle flower
Only a few more weeks and our trees will be budding with new leaves for the year 2009. It is fascinating to watch their transformation in the spring. This budding will be swiftly followed with out brilliantly colored songbirds building their nests among the newly sprung to life branches of the trees. The trees closest to the house will be occupied first, trees that enhance our lawns and the countryside.
In building our house six years ago, we had regular contractors for the project. We went the mile and invested thousands of dollars in the lawn and yard. We hired Tim, a professional landscaper, to plant shrubbery, sod and trees.
For us an appealing and robust lawn was a priority for the property. In childhood, I recall climbing, scaling the robust trees that grew on grandpa’s farm in the Ozarks of Missouri. I recall too climbing the persimmon tree to retrieve the ripened fruit for a snack. My cousin Leroy example emboldened me to climb to the highest branches. «Read the rest of this article»
Annually I receive a letter from the IRS concerning the previous year’s filing. These letters and mini-audits precipitate anxiety, additional work by my CPA, and a modest fee. This year was an exception, though. The letter came, but I greeted it with acceptance instead of anxiety. Over the years, I have discovered the IRS to be reasonable in regard to my personal finances. I recognized, too, that this organization for accountability is unpopular, even though it provides an indispensable service.
The IRS reaches out with its policy of accountability to individuals, businesses, organizations and even places of worship. In the case of the latter, I read about their interest with the Kenneth Copeland Ministries of television fame. The IRA has initiated an investigation of their alleged abuse of tax exemption. «Read the rest of this article»
President Obama is a person of faith; he recognizes the strength (spiritual) that is released in his personal life as he practices daily spiritual exercises.
While on active duty as a U.S. Army Chaplain, I appreciated serving, ministry and working with chaplains who were also assiociated with the same denomination as President Obama.
Already our new president is strengthening the bonds of religion and society and how government, churches, and religious organizations can work together to better community and country. However, there are guidelines and regulations for each to follow to ensure maximum success.
On the campaign trail. President Obama emphasized his Christian faith; in speeches he connected faith and public policy. For instance, he spoke about the present “faith-based” initiatives. He recognized the value of a partnership between government and religious faith organizations dedicated to improving communities. He is already pledging and committing to expanding and renaming the faith-based office. «Read the rest of this article»
The probing question “Are you ready to retire?” is more perplexing today in the light of our financial plight. There is uncertainty about the place we call retirement. As I write I have a “happy face” coffee cup staring at me; one that has been diverted to a container of pencils, markers and pens. I wish we could don a happy face as we ponder our retirement and a secure financial future. Instead, for many our dreams for that better future had taken on a sad face.
It’s hard to maintain a happy face about our future when our personal finances and monetary worth for retirement are steadily declining, when our retirement plans are going bankrupt. In our communities, cities and states are raiding their rainy day funds to prevent raising taxes. International governments and their citizens are also in financial straits. Presently, places from our own Clarksville, to Mexico City, to Heidleberg, London, Asian cities are all experiencing financial world. Such unfortunate events precipitate the “sad face” facing retirees. «Read the rest of this article»