is a partial image from a photo taken by a website
camera that has been set up to record the demolition of Winter Haven’s
unique Orange Dome and initial construction on The Landings retail
development. (BlueOx Inc./Tucker Construction Co.)
a bit sad to think of a Winter Haven without its Dome
Feb 7, 2012
Fla. — For my newspaper, I wrote a few years back that it
seemed like the tapestry of Winter Haven, the patchwork of things,
places and events that made up the community quilt, was being torn
was the result of news that the Florida Citrus Showcase, the organization
that put on the annual Florida Citrus Festival and Polk County Fair,
was going belly up financially, bringing an abrupt end to the long-running
celebration of citrus.
contributed to the commentary, including struggles at the landmark
Cypress Gardens theme park, the announced end of spring training
baseball in Winter Haven, the damage from back-to-back-to-back hurricanes,
citrus groves that were disappearing to make way for overdevelopment
and a drought that threatened the city’s signature Chain of
of the torn-up community quilt came to mind again the other day
with a reminder that the iconic Orange Dome, the original home of
the Florida Citrus Showcase on Cypress Gardens, really was doomed
and that its demolition is imminent. Given what we know, the unique,
mushroom-shaped building with the orange roof could be rubble in
a matter of weeks, if not days.
not upset that the Dome is going away, just a bit sad — and
sad that its demise will come with barely a whimper from the community
and those who appreciate its historical and cultural relevance to
have greatly fond memories of the Orange Dome, but I do have memories.
The first time I set foot in it was in early 1973 or 1974, when,
as a 12- or 13-year-old, I attended my very first Citrus Festival.
In my newspaper sports-writing days, I covered a couple of amateur
boxing matches there. I was also there for a few expos and community
events, such as the Winter Haven Festival of Trees and a spring
training welcoming party for the Cleveland Indians. The last time
I was inside the musty, badly air-conditioned and acoustically poor
building was in 2004 or 2005, when my employer at the time, the
News Chief newspaper, had a booth during the run of the wintertime
departure of the Cleveland Indians in 2008, when the city of Winter
Haven had no team at the ready to replace them for Major League
Baseball spring training at Chain of Lakes Stadium, there are big
plans for the Orange Dome site.
The city has
sold the property (for about $881,500) for the first phase of development
of The Landings commercial-retail development and, with the property
sale, automatically expands its tax base. Instead of spending taxpayer
money on expensive Dome upkeep and landscaping, the city will derive
annual taxes from the property and taxes from the businesses that
locate there. And area residents, of course, will have more choices
for shopping and dining.
interesting about this commercial development, starting with the
Dome demolition, is that everyone can watch it without leaving home.
The contractor, Tucker Construction Co., is working with a company
called OxBlue Inc. to record the construction progress on a cellular-based
camera located just off Cypress Gardens Boulevard and pointing toward
the Dome. Images are taken by the camera every 10 minutes and posted
to an Internet website
for the world to see.
At this writing (around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb.
7), the construction site camera was showing equipment being moved
into place around the Dome.
Yes, it’s sad, but as many would say, “That’s
might be hope yet for Cuban people
Feb. 4, 2012
Fla. — I saw an article in a Euro-centric newspaper that Cuba,
with the Marxist Castro brothers Fidel and Raúl getting older,
more mellow and less influential, appears to be on a path to political
liberalization, opening a way to the return of many Cuban exiles
in this country and in others.
was complete with a photo of Cubans in and around some 1950s-model
U.S.-made cars that thy somehow keep running.)
fond of the U.S. concept of liberalism, but in the case of Cuba
and its poor, oppressed and downtrodden people, liberalization away
from Marxism and communism would be a very good thing.
the United States will lift the now-silly economic and trade embargo
that has been in effect as a form of punishment and political statement
against Cuba since the Kennedy administration. I’ve advocated
dropping the embargo for at least 15 years.
actually has lost its teeth through the years with the passage of
several pieces of U.S. legislation that ease elements of the sanctions
and create trade opportunities in Cuba for a variety of American
businesses and industries.
On a related
topic, and at the risk of sounding a bit colonial, I’ve always
thought that Cuba would’ve made a nice additional pickup for
these United States. After all, we did occupy it at one time (Guantanamo
Bay is still ours), and the naturally beautiful island nation is
only about 90 miles off the coast of Florida — certainly a
lot closer to contiguous states than Hawaii.
But hold on
there, folks. Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I’m not advocating
giving up Hawaii for Cuba. Who says we couldn’t have had both?
abortion ‘right’ worth a celebration?
Jan. 14, 2012
Fla. — A brief newspaper story I came across this week both
saddened and angered me.
was announcing a Jan. 14 event in Tampa called “Roe on the
Rocks: Celebrate Choices,” a “celebration” of
the U.S. Supreme Court’s contorted 1973 decision in Roe
v. Wade, the case that led to legalized and almost limitless
Lucky for those who attended, the free event included refreshments.
The use of the word “celebrate” is what really got to
My thinking is you celebrate birthdays. You celebrate wedding anniversaries.
You celebrate the Fourth of July, Christmas and New Year’s
Day. But unless you’re cold, cruel and lacking a moral compass,
you don’t “celebrate” a female’s so-called
“privacy right” to have her unborn child sucked from
her womb in bits and pieces.
the United States of America no longer the great nation it once
was? Why would God withhold His blessings from this land? Look to
the things some of its people now “celebrate” and you’ll
find at least one of the answers to those questions.
Wide Web offers some value
Jan. 1, 2012
Fla. — I suppose I should be thanking *Al Gore, the former
vice president and Oscar-winning filmmaker (choke), for
inventing the Internet.
A few minutes
on the ’Net very early this morning saved me at least $75 and about
90 minutes of work.
My online time
was spent researching a possible solution to a problem that developed
with my garage door opener. The opener’s light wouldn’t go off automatically
a few minutes after the garage door was opened or closed.
It didn’t take
long for me to come across a suggested fix, which was to unplug
the opener from its power source for five minutes and allow the
logic board to reset itself.
Well, I did
what the suggestion called for and, by golly, it worked! After opening
or closing my garage door, the opener’s light now goes off on its
own after about four minutes. It’s as good as new.
is loaded with junk, lies and pornography, but it does have its
redeeming points. The solution to my garage door opener problem
is but one of those redeeming points, and that pleases me.
please me is that a technician for the company that made my garage
door opener didn’t offer the solution I discovered online when I
called the company help desk the other day. After I gave him the
model number for my opener and described my problem, the man told
me I had three choices: 1. Remove the bulb from the opener’s light
socket (which I had already done as a temporary fix). 2. Replace
the opener’s logic board (at a cost of time and about $75 for the
part). 3. Replace the entire unit (at a much greater cost).
None of the
technician’s solutions satisfied me, which drove me to the Internet
and my search for another option.
After my success
with resetting the logic board, this question immediately came to
mind: “If the solution to the problem was relatively easy to find
on the Internet, why didn’t the opener’s help-desk technician know
about it and suggest it to me?”
Could it be
that the help desk is less about helping and providing good solutions
and more about selling openers and opener parts?
The cynic in
me says “Yes.”
didn’t really invent the Internet, but he once boasted he did. He
really did win an Academy Award for “An Inconvenient Truth,”
a 2006 documentary about global warming, but the film was based
on junk science and, like a lot of stuff on the Internet, is everything
but the truth.
Harold D. Braddy,
the editor’s father, was little more than a kid when he joined
the military in the mid-1950s. This photo only recently became known
to the editor.
We love our
veterans — especially those close who served
Nov. 11, 2011
I would be remiss
on this Veterans Day 2011 if I didn’t say how much I am thankful
for our U.S. veterans — those who served our nation honorably
in the past and those who currently serve in war zones and in peaceful
stations around the world.
I am especially
grateful for two veterans most close to me: My late father, Harold
Dean Braddy, and my younger brother, Dwight Richard Braddy (named
for a U.S. president and a vice president who went on to become
in the U.S. Marine Corps for a hitch that began not long after he
graduated from high school in the early 1980s. I remember traveling
up to Camp Lejeune, N.C., for his graduation from boot camp.
Also at the boot
camp graduation was Dad, who then was about eight years into his
retirement from the military. He was really just a kid when he enlisted
in the U.S. Air Force in the early 1950s. He was in the U.S. Army
when he completed more than 20 years of service in 1975, having
earned the rank of chief warrant officer. I’ve never known
for sure why, how and when the move from the Air Force to the Army
occurred, but it seems to have worked out OK for Dad.
Unless you count
my many years as an always-moving Army brat (twice the family lived
on base at Fort Riley, Kan.), I never served in the military. But,
I wanted to.
In the early
1980s, not long after my wife and I were married, I went down to
the Winter Haven Armory, inquired about joining the National Guard
and went to far as to pick up the enlistment papers. But, the wife
would have nothing of that and any talk of enlistment talk was off.
on this site about Dad and the unhealthy smoking and drinking habits
that I believe cut his life very short, but I couldn’t be
more proud of his military service and his two tours of duty in
the Vietnam war zone in the 1960s.
My many years
around but not in the military have left a soft spot in my heart
for the institution and for those who have honorably and bravely
worn the uniform.They have my undying respect and gratitude.
The Ledger remain ‘liberal’?
almost 40 years, The Ledger in Lakeland has been a New York Times
came to abrupt end Friday (Jan. 6, 2012) with the announcement that
the sale of The Ledger and 15 other NYT Co. papers to Halifax Media
Holdings LLC had been completed.
the papers included in the $143 million cash purchase by Daytona
Beach-based Halifax Media was my former employer, Winter Haven’s
News Chief, which The Ledger and NYT Co. bought almost four years
ago to eliminate a prime source of competition.
Ledger’s ownership by the NYT Co. brought prestige, great
media and technical resources, nice benefits for employees and usually
solid financial backing, but it also brought the baggage that the
local paper was, like its parent, very socially and politically
liberal in tone and opinion page content.
have wondered for years how and why The Ledger could be “so
liberal” in a county, Polk, dominated by basically conservative
to the “conservative” News Chief, which I served as
a newsroom employee for many years and later as editor, The Ledger
definitely leaned to the left.
was with the News Chief when it was purchased in March 2008 by The
Ledger and NYT Co. and worked as a NYT Co. employee for almost three
years. Honestly, as a conservative, I felt like a fish out of water
the whole time, though I liked and respected — and still do
— The Ledger managers and employees who went instantly from
competeters to colleagues at the stroke of midnight on March 10,
The Ledger’s new affiliation with Halifax Media steer it in
a more conservative course editorially? Will the News Chief remain
a basically “conservative” newspaper. I hope so, but
time will tell.
I noticed that with Friday’s issue of the News
Chief, all New York Times Co. logos and references to the company
had been removed. There’s a piece of me that will quietly
rejoice when all references to the NYT also are removed from the
signage at the office (and Ledger bureau) that houses the News Chief
in Winter Haven. —
JB (Jan. 7, 2012)
on TV are amusing
wasn’t watching TV tonight, but from the kitchen I could hear
the commercial for a new drug that was developed to offset the symptoms
amused me that while the first half of the commercial voiceover
was spent extolling all the benefits of the drug, the second half
was spent warning potential users about how the drug can make them
sick, make them go blind and even kill them.
The second half of the commercial is called the legal
disclaimer, and it’s the drug manufacturer’s way —
at least one way — of staving off potential lawsuits over
unintended side effects.
“The drug made your big toe fall off? Well,
we warned you,” the lawyers for the pharmaceutical company
can now say.
The way the ad text is written is altogether funny,
sad and absolutely necessary in an age of instant lawsuits. —
JB (Jan. 7, 2012)
great book from a former Winter Haven newspaper editor (and good
excellent resource for conservatives and conservative ideas:
good source of news from, for and about the right: http://www.1776coalition.com/
fine portraits and quality commercial photography: http://www.pezzimenti.com/
interesting read on our great 16th president, Abraham Lincoln:
who loved our 40th president will love this site:
great, useful and trendy technology:
great community project: http://ritzoncentral.com/
good movie: It’s a low-budget film called “Fireproof,”
starring Kirk Cameron. You'll cry — if you have any kind of
heart at all.
For breakfast out: Fred’s Southern Kitchen, 1551
Third St., S.W. (U.S. Highway 17), Winter Haven. The breakfast buffet
supper out: Manny’s Original Chophouse, 1100 Third
St., S.W. (U.S. Highway 17), Winter Haven. The food is good and
the prices are right.
marquee outside a local personal storage business: “Land
of the free because of the brave.” (It’s on bumper stickers,
local church sign: “Spend less time on Facebook and
more time in His book.”
church sign: “Questions are in life. Answers are
another area church sign: “God isn’t withholding
anything from you. He’s holding it for you.”
open invitation to attend: http://centralbaptistchurchwh.com/
To the approximately 39 percent of registered Polk County Republicans
who voted Jan. 31 in the Florida presidential preference primary.
To the approximately 61 percent of registered Polk County Republicans
who DID NOT vote in the Jan. 31 Florida GOP primary. Come on, folks.
We’re Republicans. We’re conservatives. We can do better
recent events, will Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood
be forever linked in our minds?
group came so close to doing the right thing
4 , 2012
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — I had plans Friday to write a piece about the Susan G. Komen
for the Cure foundation and how pleased I was to learn that the nation’s
leading breast cancer charity had severed financial ties with Planned
I’m glad I didn’t. A follow-up would’ve been necessary.
This morning I read that the Komen foundation leaders, under
intense criticism and pressure from social media and other corners, had
reversed course. The foundation will continue to provide grant money to the
abortion-providing Planned Parenthood, supposedly for its breast
Not only has my pleasure with the Komen foundation turned to
displeasure, I am truly disappointed and disheartened that its leaders, fearing
loss of the almighty funding dollar, succumbed under Planned Parenthood-led
pressure to retain the foundation’s original grant rules. Those rules flow
allow the flow of foundation money to Planned Parenthood, while the grant rule
changes announced earlier in the week would’ve cut off that flow.
In essence, the Komen foundation leaders took what amounted to be a highly
moral stance toward its relationship with Planned Parenthood and
then retreated, coming down squarely on the side of mammon — the
pursuit and love of money.
Tax season and
presidential politics combine to fire up the debate about the U.S.
tax code and options for replacing it.
the tax code; ponder move to national sales tax
Feb. 7, 2012
JAMES W. MacMEEKIN III
Fla. — Reducing the federal budget to meaningful programs
is only one of the many chores required of a U.S House and a Senate
that, conservatives hope, both will be controlled by Republicans
following the Nov. 6 election.
Confronting the Internal Revenue Service — and its 40,000-plus
pages of rules and regulations — will test the political fortitude
of the newly elected. But, it must be done.
The U.S Department of the Treasury employs about 150,000 individuals,
including the new 16,000-member IRS audit force, which will cling
to their leader’s economically disastrous tax agenda to the ruination
of any return to full employment.
The IRS must be virtually eliminated. The income tax must be completely
Angel” was painted by Pietro da Cortona in 1656.
me tell you about my guardian angel, Andrew
Feb. 5, 2012
Fla. — One of the things enjoyed by children is being told
that each of us has a guardian angel watching over us. When young,
we have fun thinking of something like that, and it stimulates our
imagination. As adults, though, I think many people would be embarrassed
to admit to believing in a guardian angel. The world of adults has
hardened us to focus on the toughness of realities, causing many
of us to relegate such ideas to the shadows and privacy of our minds.
For a large part of my life, I rarely spoke of religious matters.
I am not sure how long I was outside the church of my youth, but
it had to be 30 years or more. Still, the roots of my childhood
training stood waiting patiently for the chance to come to life.
Sometime in my early senior years, I found my way back with help
from my late wife. The time was right. The roots sprang to life.
It was a while, though, before I developed a relationship with my
guardian angel. That happened in my 70s. What made me more aware
of my angel was those little memory events we seniors are prone
to — forgetting car keys or the grocery list when leaving
to go shopping, for example. Forgetting why I entered a room is
another one. It doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes
to the bathroom for some reason; just other rooms.
I found myself saying “Thank you” each time I would
be reminded where these things were, or why I entered the room.
It seemed as though my childhood angel was letting me know he was
still hanging around. He had not forgotten me even if I seemed to
have forgotten him. As a retired guidance counselor, I had enough
psychology courses to expect folks to give scientific explanations
for the memory prompting.
When I think of memory prompting, I think of all the cartoons depicting
a little angel on the right shoulder and a little devil in the red
suit with his pitchfork on the left. Freud would say that his Superego
(conscience), Ego and the Id (“it” in German) were at
work. These would be forces from within a person. I prefer the more
At one point, I asked my angel what his name was. I told him I didn't
want to say “Hey, you” when speaking to him. After a
few weeks with no answer, I grew impatient. I said I would give
him a name. I remembered reading a story told by Joan Wester Anderson
about Mother Angelica, the television nun. She was said to have
chosen her religious name because of having had an angel-contact
experience. I decided that I would call my angel Angelo. I told
him that I hoped he was Italian.
Several weeks passed with me using that name, until one day when
I received a memory prompt that what I wanted was in my trailer.
As I moved from my Florida room up the steps into the trailer, I
said “Thank you, Angelo” as usual. This time, however,
the name “Andrew” popped out of my mouth. I was stunned.
I had not used that name for so many years, I could not remember.
I said, “OK. I get it. Andrew it is. I guess you’re
would classify me as crazy. It doesn't bother me. I have developed
a thick skin when it comes to criticism. I know I am right. That
is what matters. I think that God’s grace has strengthened
me in these recent years. Not only have I been a regular church-goer,
but for five years, I have even served as a eucharistic minister,
helping to serve the blessed sacrement at mass most weekends.
When I was in college, I had an inflated opinion of teachers and
professors. I felt that they were all “brains” who got
nothing but A's for marks. Well, one day my professor, a man with
a doctorate degree, admitted that he was terrible at math and had
failed it. This fact impacted me. It helped change my life. I have
since recognized the value of personal honesty as a means of helping
people to acquire realistic perceptions. Hence, this article.
I encourage all of you reading this to fight the tendancy to conceal
any relationship you might feel toward your guardian angel. You
might never get a message coming from your own lips as to what his
— or her — name is, but please acknowledge your angel’s
presence and willingness to help you.
Jesus might have given you a get-into-heaven-free card by accepting
Him as your Savior, but remember that we can blow it all by acting
in an irresponsible and sinful manner. I think it pays to have someone
on the inside to keep reminding us of things. Angels don’t
just remind us of car keys. They also remind us of the good things
that our Lord expects of us.
Murphy of Maine is a winter resident of Frostproof, Fla. He can
be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
is an image from the website of Republican presidential candidate
Mitt Romney, who on Tuesday (Jan. 31, 2012) won the Florida Republican
presidential primary by a wide margin.
Florida, GOP nod seems a lock for Romney
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — I didn’t vote for Mitt Romney in Tuesday’s Republican
presidential preference primary (my vote was for the no-nonsense Ron Paul as
sort of a statement both against the GOP establishment and a very weak field of
candidates), but I’m not surprised Romney took Florida convincingly.
In really a four-person race, Romney received 46.4 percent
of the Florida GOP vote. His closest rival, former U.S. House Speaker Newt
Gingrich, could muster only 31.9 percent despite a solid victory in the South
Carolina primary just 10 days earlier; while former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of
Pennsylvania and Paul, a Texas congressman, finished with 13.3 percent and 7
percent of the vote, respectively.
What contributed to Tuesday’s lopsided victory for Romney,
the businessman and former Massachusetts governor? Here’s how I see it:
have been in title game
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Most sports fans and many
casual observers of the national news scene knew by Tuesday morning
(Jan. 10) that the University of Alabama had defeated Louisiana
State, 21-0, in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) title game in
New Orleans the night before.
What’s my excuse for not know the results of
the game until Wednesday? I have three, actually. 1. These days,
I rarely watch television, including TV news. 2. A onetime talk
radio junkie, I seldom now turn on the radio — in the car
or anywhere else. 3. I completely forgot until Wednesday morning
that the game was played Monday night.
I wasn’t surprised that Alabama, ranked second
in the final 2011 BCS poll, had upset undefeated and No. 1-ranked
LSU, the only team that had topped the Crimson Tide during the regular
I was a little concerned, though, that ’Bama
fans would use the game result to mock me for having written almost
five weeks ago that their team didn’t deserve to be in the
BCS title game.
My point in a Dec. 4 column (you can find it here)
was that the BCS system is very flawed by allowing a team that did
not win its conference championship into the BCS title game. (That
game usually decides major college football's mythical national
championship, the MNC.)
Not only did Alabama NOT win the 2011 Southeastern
Conference title, the team didn’t even play in the SEC title
game. LSU got into that game by winning the SEC Western Division
and then won the SEC title by defeating Georgia.
My Dec. 4 column never addressed whether Alabama could
contend with and even defeat LSU in a rematch (as it obviously did).
I never wrote that Alabama didn’t stand a chance against the
mighty Tigers. I wrote only that a team without a conference championship
should not be eligible to play in that season’s BCS title
game. And I haven’t changed my opinion about that —
no matter what happened Monday night.
Because the competition factor — a paper matchup
of two strong teams — was not a basis for my opinion, today
I am not eating crow and I am not wiping egg off my face.
loss possible when exercising some discipline
Dec. 31, 2011
“17 USED TREADMILLS”
That’s the message I
saw on a sign outside a used sporting goods store I drove by in
Winter Haven a couple of weeks before Christmas.
Motorists passing my
truck at the time might have seen the wry smile that came to my
“Now, that says a lot,”
It told me that the
store likely paid almost nothing for, and probably was asking top
dollar for, several treadmills that people wasted their money on
and wanted to get out of the house.
It told me that the
store was taking advantage of the holiday buying and gift-giving
season to help ring up some sales — not that there’s anything wrong
It told me that the
store also was timing the treadmill sales to the coming new year
and the penchant among many people to resolve to lose weight and
And it told
me that at least 17 people in the area likely gave up on their resolution
and didn’t want to have a treadmill around the house to remind them
(How many more people
are there who gave up on their fitness resolution but still have
a treadmill or some other large piece of exercise equipment taking
up space in the family room or garage?)
I’m here to say that
anybody — anybody — can lose weight and get fit and that nobody
— absolutely nobody — needs to waste hard-earned money on expensive
exercise equipment to do it. (Sorry, manufacturers and retailers.)
irony of it all
This piece of
art, created in the wake of the recent protests against corporate
America and Wall Street, is making the rounds on the Internet. It
shows well the irony of the protests and the hypocrisy — idiocy?
— of most of those doing the protesting. You can go here
for a larger version of this illustration.
Hussein Obama is the president of the United States, but can Americans
trust this man to keep the nation strong, well defended and free?
(U.S. government photos)
cue, ‘Obamaspeak’ follows failure of budget ‘Super
Nov. 27, 2011
JAMES W. MacMEEKIN III
HAVEN, Fla. — Recently, President Barack Hussein Obama proposed
a “Super Committee” to provide the nation that which
Congress could not. Namely, a federal budget that would simultaneously
reduce America's $15 trillion indebtedness while continuing the
expansion of Barack Hussein’s entitlement programs.
definition, there could be no budget acceptable to both the Sociocoms
(aka “Democrats”) and alleged conservatives (aka “Republicans”).
There should be no surprise at this ideological impasse. It came
off as planned by the Sociocoms.
the truth about Social Security? Is it a Ponzi scheme or is it a
perpetually viable and dependable financial safety net for older
Americans? (Illustration by Joe Braddy)
Security (1935-2011): Where is the rage?
Oct. 8, 2011
JAMES W. MacMEEKIN III
HAVEN, Fla. — Recently, there has been some controversy regarding
the administration of Social Security. One Republican presidential
candidate had the audacity to suggest it was a Ponzi scheme. Another
Republican presidential candidate suggested otherwise.
Let history be your guide. Since 1935, when President Franklin D.
Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, the trillions
of working-men and women dollars, placed in trust for their eventual
retirement have, indeed, been faithfully doled out to retiring workers.
several decades, more dollars flowed into Social Security than required
for disbursement. Naturally, our elected officials (aka “politicians”)
couldn’t help but notice the mounting pile of (formerly) silver
certificates. They were fast to take advantage. Rather than expose
these silver certificates to the vagaries of the (gasp!) stock market,
where, from one day to the next, who knew what fate awaited the
Keep watching this space
and see the bird as it takes on new personalities in a series drawn
by James W. MacMeekin III. (Exclusive rights are granted to PolkCommentary.com
for publication of this cartoon series. No other publication is
permitted without written consent of the artist.)
How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are
in possession of, and which no other people on Earth enjoy!”
— Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), author of
the Declaration of Independence and third U.S. president
never too late to be what you might have been.” — Mary
Ann Evans, aka George Eliot (1819-1880), British
regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” —
The final words of Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale
before he was hanged by the British on Sept. 22, 1776
open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on
them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter
is New Year’s Day.” — Edith Lovejoy Pierce
has to remember that every failure can be a stepping stone to something
better.” — Col. Harland Sanders (1890-1980),
founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchise
amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the
credit.” — Harry S. Truman (1884-1982),
33rd U.S. president
all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.”
— Thomas Edison (1847-1931), American inventor,
founder of General Electric
Thanks be to
God for his unspeakable gift. — 2 Corinthians 9:15
man ever complains of want of opportunities.” — Ralph
Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American essayist, lecturer
“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I
know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.” — Lee Greenwood,
singer, “Proud to Be an American”
will work unless you do.” — John Wooden
(1910-2010), college basketball coach
sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity
in every difficulty.” — Winston Churchill,
former prime minister of Great Britain
not to become a man of success but a man of value.” —
Albert Einstein, mathematician and physicist
you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in
the first place.” — Unknown
will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our
people.” — George W. Bush, 43rd U.S.
was first an amateur.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
(1803-1882), American essayist, lecturer and poet
“Work spares us
from three evils: Boredom, vice and need.” —
in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
— Henry David Thoreau, American author
is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t
pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for,
protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” —
Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. president (1981-89)
love of wealth makes bitter men; the love of God, better men..”
— W.L. Hudson
fight for freedom, then they begin to accummulate laws to take it
away from themselves.” — Unknown
reason Christianity is the best friend of government is because
Christianity is the only religion that changes the heart.”
— Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), author of
the Declaration of Independence and third U.S. president
or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases
its own spiritual death on the installment plan. — Martin
Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), U.S. civil rights leader
will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose
our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
— Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the
higher our position, the more modestly we should behave.”
— Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 B.C.-43 B.C.),
Roman philosopher, statesman
Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
— Proverbs 14:34 (KJV)
give an order that can’t be obeyed.” — Douglas
MacAuthur (1880-1964), U.S. Army general
only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
— John Powell, British statesman
person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten
out almost every other area in his life.” — Billy
Graham, American evangelist
devil is not afraid of a Bible with dust on it.” — Unknown
time is never found again.” —
Benjamin Franklin, American patriot, statesman
with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for
it is better to be alone than in bad company.” —
George Washington, first U.S. president
Wisdom is the
principal thing; therefore, get wisdom; and with all thy getting,
get understanding. — Proverbs 4:7 (KJV)
wake up grumpy. Other times I let her sleep.
fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.
were walking down the road and one was a salted.
for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping
when they ran out of money. — Anonymous, but contributed by
had to specify, in one word, why the human race has not, and will
never achieve its full potential, that word would be meetings.”
— Dave Barry
husband is often a wife’s full-time job.
I’ve got to get in shape. Yesterday my imagination ran wild,
and today my arms and legs are sore. — From the collection
of Jack Murphy
with no humor is like a job that is no fun.
percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
you hear about the two radio antennas that got married? The wedding
was terrible, but the reception was excellent!
For good and
bad, for better or worse, a vehicle bumper sticker usually will
be a reflection of the person behind the wheel.
Here is what
I saw on the bumper of a white sedan I parked next to recently in
front of a Walmart store in Winter Haven:
of being born again, why not just grow up?”
I take from
that the owner or driver of the car is ignorant, just mean or some
obviously has no idea what being born again — “saved”
in the Baptist vocabulary — means. He or she doesn’t
understand that a person who is born again actually is very mature
— mature enough at least to realize that there’s no
way a person can earn a home in Heaven by his or her own accord,
by his or her own deeds or behavior.
what else the bumper sticker tells me: The person responsible for
it has an anti-Christian disposition and a life that requires some
kind of divine intervention.
If there was
ever a time to have a Bible tract to stick under the windshield
wiper of a car, that was it. — Joe Braddy
Almost by accident
tonight, I stumbled across the big, bright and beautiful stars.
Oh, I knew
they were up there in the heavens, hung perfectly by God in His
glorious creation, but tonight they seemed extra wondrous.
In a change
of routine, I went outside around 7:30 p.m. to cool down in the
cool night air following a round of exercises, and when I looked
out and up, there they were. Those stars.
the light of the moon wasn’t around to interfere, and the
sky was so clear, the stars seemed to be extra bright. And extra
big. And extra beautiful.
I am thankful
for the stars — and the little time I could spend with them
tonight. — JB (Jan. 16, 2012)
About a week
ago, I heard for the first time a song that hints of a Christmas
message but clearly delivers a gospel message.
Sung by two
talented ladies at our church, “Immanuel” was made popular
by the contemporary Christian trio Point of Grace.
our God is with us, yes he is with us still. Immanuel, he has not
left us, and he never will.”
Immanuel (or Emmanuel) means “God with us” and is another
name for Jesus Christ.
references to the song, I came across a performance of it by Point
of Grace on YouTube. You can find it — and, I hope, enjoy
it — here.
“His strength is perfect when our strength is gone. He'll
carry us when we can’t carry on.” — From “His
Strength Is Perfect,” a song by Steven Curtis Chapman
“He was there all the time ... waiting patiently in line.”
– From “He Was There All the Time,” a contemporary
like these I have a Savior, In times like these I have an anchor;
...” — From “In Times Like These,” a gospel