Pastors and politicians; It's my party, I'll cry if I want to

Written by Rev. James L. Snyder

Continued from page 1

The truth ofrepparttar matter is, we present our tithes and offerings torepparttar 118135 Lord, not for a blessing but because we have been blessed already. Any other take on this subject does not carry biblical authority. The tithe belongs to God.

Behindrepparttar 118136 political platform,repparttar 118137 politician talks about taxes. One wants to raise my taxes.

Another wants to cut my taxes. The lips may say, "No new taxes," butrepparttar 118138 heart of every politician says, "expandrepparttar 118139 old taxes." It all depends on what your definition of "is," is.

It has taken me years but I have finally figured out my income tax.

First, list as dependents your wife, two children, car and three goldfish. Now multiply your age by six and seven-eights and subtract your telephone number. Add those figures, divide by your social security number and multiply byrepparttar 118140 number of electric lights in your house.

Now you have your gross income, which, after dividing by your chest measurement and subtracting your blood pressure you finally getrepparttar 118141 amount owed torepparttar 118142 government.

Don't tell me I don't listen to those political speeches.

This brings me to my dilemma with Gary Hemsely. He was running for a political office and wanted my support. What I do in that voting booth is between me and nobody else.

I smiled at Gary and said, "Gary, I'll support you as best I can," which I thought would berepparttar 118143 end of it. Gary took me more seriously than I thought.

"Pastor," he said to me, "would you mind if I gave my campaign speech in church this coming Sunday morning?"

There are those rare times when a preacher must evolve into a politician and this certainly qualified. I saw two problems to this.

First, Sunday morning worship is no place for a political speech. People might confuse their tithing with taxes, which would be taxing onrepparttar 118144 collection plate.

More important, Gary could say less in one hour than most people could say in three minutes, but it usually took him two hours to say it. He wonrepparttar 118145 National Stuttering Championship four years in a row, more than anyone to date. There was no way that I could allow this, but I did not want to hurt Gary's feelings.

I finally looked him inrepparttar 118146 eye and said, "I'm sorry Gary but we just can't do that. It is a matter of separation of church and state, and you don't want to be accused of violating that. It wouldn't be good for your political career."

Gary sawrepparttar 118147 rationale of my argument andrepparttar 118148 matter was settled.

Some critics of Jesus once tried to stump Him onrepparttar 118149 matter of taxes. He replied, "And Jesus answering said unto them, ‘Render to Caesarrepparttar 118150 things that are Caesar's, and to Godrepparttar 118151 things that are God's.' And they marveled at him." (Mark 12:17 KJV.)

A good citizen, no matter what political party affiliation, knowsrepparttar 118152 difference and does both.

The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road in Silver Springs Shores. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores and can be contacted at 687-4240. Rev. Snyder's new book, Romance Around A Parsonage Fireplace, is now available. His e-mail address is The church web site is

Weather Woman

Written by Tom Hale

Continued from page 1

A crisp harmonica fanfare drew our attention torepparttar wide, low stack of wooden R.C. Cola cases.

If I live to be a hundred—which Blind Lemon had accomplished a decade ago—I’ll never forgetrepparttar 118134 leathery majesty ofrepparttar 118135 man who slowly mountedrepparttar 118136 makeshift stage. It was dangerous to cram that much dignity into so cheap a suit. He only did one song that night. If you know your Blues, you know which one. His signature song.

The languid lids lowered over haunted, eyes—eyes that had looked out over a century of sadness, heartbreak, and futility. The lids crept open, revealing happy eyes that had experienced merriment and a defiant victory in spite of it all.

Nothing was forced fromrepparttar 118137 diaphragm; he just opened his mouth andrepparttar 118138 words fell out—like a trusty mule that knows its way home whenrepparttar 118139 rider is too drunk, or when it’s too dark to see. Words as familiar torepparttar 118140 Blues aficionado as "The Star Spangled Banner" is to a Boy Scout:

My woman is a cyclone: Lawd, she blew me to my knees.

There gorepparttar 118141 neighborhood, my heart, andrepparttar 118142 magnolia trees.

As soon as I fell, she got downgraded to a tropical breeze.

My lady, sherepparttar 118143 sunshine: she warms me with a life-givin ray.

She too hot to handle, and Lawd, I used to like it that way.

But she never went down, and baked me hard as a ceramic ashtray.

Weather Woman—the prognosticators ain’t got a clue.

Nobody can affect my pressure and dew point like you do.

Unseasonably spiteful (HEY!), indescribably delightful (YEAH!),

Cool breeze summer night-ful (HAH!) stentorian and frightful (WOO!)

It’s clear a storm is startin to brew.

My baby is a sandstorm; my soul is a wild tumbleweed.

Our love, a towering windmill, supplyin allrepparttar 118144 power we need.

But she sho screwed up my paintjob—she gritted up my nitty, indeed.

My Mama is a monsoon, WAW! she soak her man torepparttar 118145 core.

Replenishinrepparttar 118146 river ‘tillrepparttar 118147 banks shake, rattle, and roar.

Then she flooded my house, leavin snakes and mud all overrepparttar 118148 floor.

I never made it torepparttar 118149 convention. Somehow, after what I’d witnessed, it just seemed pointless and stupid. Kind of like this story. I’m working for Aykroid now; I’m assistant manager at one of his Danny’s Dixie Possum (or is it beaver?) franchises. And I haverepparttar 118150 paper hat to prove it—made it out of my college diploma. It just feels more like home somehow.

Yeah, sometimes you just get lucky.

Tom Hale is a featured author on He writes mostly about New Age topics, but cannot take anything too seriously for too long.

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