Monthly Archives: December 2016

FAREWELL by Dr. Thomas Sowell

 By Dr. Thomas Sowell ~ December 27, 2016

Even the best things come to an end. After enjoying a quarter of a century of writing this column for Creators Syndicate, I have decided to stop. Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long.

It was very fulfilling to be able to share my thoughts on the events unfolding around us, and to receive feedback from readers across the country — even if it was impossible to answer them all.

Being old-fashioned, I liked to know what the facts were before writing. That required not only a lot of research, it also required keeping up with what was being said in the media.

During a stay in Yosemite National Park last May, taking photos with a couple of my buddies, there were four consecutive days without seeing a newspaper or a television news program — and it felt wonderful. With the political news being so awful this year, it felt especially wonderful.

This made me decide to spend less time following politics and more time on my photography, adding more pictures to my website (www.tsowell.com).

Looking back over the years, as old-timers are apt to do, I see huge changes, both for the better and for the worse.

In material things, there has been almost unbelievable progress. Most Americans did not have refrigerators back in 1930, when I was born. Television was little more than an experiment, and such things as air-conditioning or air travel were only for the very rich.

My own family did not have electricity or hot running water, in my early childhood, which was not unusual for blacks in the South in those days.

It is hard to convey to today’s generation the fear that the paralyzing disease of polio inspired, until vaccines put an abrupt end to its long reign of terror in the 1950s.

Most people living in officially defined poverty in the 21st century have things like cable television, microwave ovens and air-conditioning. Most Americans did not have such things, as late as the 1980s. People whom the intelligentsia continue to call the “have-nots” today have things that the “haves” did not have, just a generation ago.

In some other ways, however, there have been some serious retrogressions over the years. Politics, and especially citizens’ trust in their government, has gone way downhill.

Back in 1962, President John F. Kennedy, a man narrowly elected just two years earlier, came on television to tell the nation that he was taking us to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, because the Soviets had secretly built bases for nuclear missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles from America.

Most of us did not question what he did. He was President of the United States, and he knew things that the rest of us couldn’t know — and that was good enough for us. Fortunately, the Soviets backed down. But could any President today do anything like that and have the American people behind him?

Years of lying Presidents — Democrat Lyndon Johnson and Republican Richard Nixon, especially — destroyed not only their own credibility, but the credibility which the office itself once conferred. The loss of that credibility was a loss to the country, not just to the people holding that office in later years.

With all the advances of blacks over the years, nothing so brought home to me the social degeneration in black ghettoes like a visit to a Harlem high school some years ago.

When I looked out the window at the park across the street, I mentioned that, as a child, I used to walk my dog in that park. Looks of horror came over the students’ faces, at the thought of a kid going into the hell hole which that park had become in their time.

When I have mentioned sleeping out on a fire escape in Harlem during hot summer nights, before most people could afford air-conditioning, young people have looked at me like I was a man from Mars. But blacks and whites alike had been sleeping out on fire escapes in New York since the 19th century. They did not have to contend with gunshots flying around during the night.

We cannot return to the past, even if we wanted to, but let us hope that we can learn something from the past to make for a better present and future.

Goodbye and good luck to all.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is http://www.tsowell.com. To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at http://www.creators.com.

 

A Special Thank You!

Dear Grace Church Friends and Family!

Christmas is a wonderful time to focus on Jesus and the Gospel! Most of you know that my father Davey Lee Meshaw went home to be with his Lord last Friday afternoon! Your love and support has been overwhelming! I can’t say “Thank You!” loud enough! Your prayers, hugs, cards, kind words, text messages and emails have truly strengthened us during our time of grief! Just before I stood to say a few words about my dad you came to mind! The Lord continues to use you in ways Cheryl and I cannot describe. Your love has been Christlike! I marvel at the abundant and sufficient grace of our loving Lord! With hearts filled with loving gratitude we say, Thank you!

Our new Sunday School Bible study has started! Joshua is our teaching focus at 9:45AM each Sunday morning. If you do not have a class join us and we will find you a Bible study! Also I want to encourage each of you to be on time to your classes. Typically families begin to show up close to 9:45AM. It is crucial that our childcare folks are in place and ready to serve. Do your very best to be on time for the start of your class. Joshua is an exciting book… I know you will enjoy it! Again, if you do not have a class, we have one for you! I want to thank EVERY TEACHER for their weekly study and preparation!!! I will see you Sunday at 9:45AM for Bible study. God bless you!

Our CHRISTMAS EVE COMMUNION SERVICE will be on Saturday, December 24 at 6:00PM. What a unique time and place to worship our newborn King Jesus! Join us and bring your families and friends! On Sunday, December 25 CHRISTMAS DAY we will have ONE SERVICE at 10:00AM. There will no evening service on CHRISTMAS DAY. Christmas is a tremendous time for wholehearted worship! Invite others to join you. It is a time to bless the Lord and our families with all that is in us!!! Let’s pray together for the Lord’s blessing upon our church and those around us!

Again, thank you for your gracious love and support for our family. Your care has sustained us in this needy hour! Loving the Lord and loving each other are the defining marks of God’s church. Cheryl and I love you and deeply appreciate your kindness to our family! You have always been there for us… Thank you! See you Sunday morning for Bible study at 9:45AM.

Merry Christmas!

Mike and Cheryl <><

 

“MEGA” CHRISTMAS JOY!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Christmas is all about Jesus Christ! The birth of Jesus was marked by “exceeding great joy.” For example, the Gospel of Matthew notes that when the Wise Men saw “the star” that they rejoiced with “exceeding great joy.” King Herod, ill will and all, did everything he could to destroy their joy and also kill baby Jesus. Since Christmas is all about Jesus, joy should fill the hearts of every child of God. With Herod’s words still ringing in their ears, the wise men pursued the promise of the prophets and found the Christ Child. Matthew 2:10-11 records what happened next, When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Notice that the joy of the Wise Men exploded with humility and sacrificial worship! Brothers and sisters, let Christmas 2016 be this kind of Christmas for you and yours… a Christmas marked by “exceeding great joy” and humble worship! Lord, fill our hearts with this same “exceeding great joy” and humble, sacrificial worship of the Wise Men!

This Sunday Morning (December 11th) the Down East Boys will be our special guests. They will be providing our special music for this special Christmas celebration. They are excited about their first visit to Grace Church. Pray for the Down East Boys as they come our way and let’s fill God’s House with beautiful music that glorifies our Lord Jesus! Invite your friends and family members and let’s rejoice together as the family of God! Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

As we look forward to 2017 I want to remind you that our Ministry Theme is COMMITMENT… Christ Above All. Our theme verse is Colossians 1:18 “… that in all things He might have the preeminence.” As followers of Christ, He must have first place in every area of our lives… CHRIST ABOVE ALL! On Sunday, January 8 we will be having VISION SUNDAY 2017 at Grace Church! On this special day we will be sharing our vision for Grace Church in 2017. Let’s begin praying now for VISION SUNDAY 2017!

REMEMBER THIS… CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT JESUS CHRIST! Let’s worship Him and give Him the glory and praise He deserves!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Mike and Cheryl <><