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

Written by Rev. James L. Snyder

Gary Hemsely was running for some county political position — I've forgotten which one now. What I do remember is that he was a member of my church atrepparttar time.

Sometimes a pastor can get betweenrepparttar 118135 Rock of Ages and a politician without trying too hard. That seemed to be my predicament with Gary. In all things political, I have maintained one basic philosophy: Ask not what your country can do for you, just get out and vote.

I must admit, there are times when it is tempting to throw caution torepparttar 118136 wind, roll up my pant legs and wade intorepparttar 118137 political arena. After all, Christians wererepparttar 118138 first ones inrepparttar 118139 arena inrepparttar 118140 "good ole days." The problem, as I remember fromrepparttar 118141 history books, none of those early Christians ever came out of that arena.

If you think about it, there are some similarities between a preacher and a politician. Perhaps this is why some preachers dabble in politics.

The most obvious similarity would be inrepparttar 118142 area of communications. Both make their living by giving speeches of some type. The preacher gives his weekly sermon whilerepparttar 118143 politician gives his political oration.

The only difference between a sermon and a political speech is wind velocity. A good politician can change his views on an issue in mid-sentence. Not many preachers have mastered that slight-of-tongue technique.

A good sermon has three points, somewhat related to each other, and progresses toward a conclusion. A good political speech is pointless and related to a raging Nor'easter.

Another important similarity betweenrepparttar 118144 preacher and politician is in giving promises.

The man of cloth deals primarily withrepparttar 118145 promises inrepparttar 118146 Good Book. Someone has maderepparttar 118147 claim thatrepparttar 118148 Bible contains more than 30,000 promises. I cannot verify that number.

I have never stopped to count them. I do know that there are promises for every aspect of life and these promises are available to us throughrepparttar 118149 gracious work ofrepparttar 118150 Lord Jesus Christ. The most important thing aboutrepparttar 118151 promises inrepparttar 118152 Bible is that they are not contingent onrepparttar 118153 preacher's ability.

The man ofrepparttar 118154 campaign stump also makes promises. Unfortunately, nobody has ever tried to count these, as most count for nothing. These political promises range from anything to everything.

No politician would ever think of expressing his view on an issue without first checkingrepparttar 118155 latest poll onrepparttar 118156 subject. The politician's goal is to tellrepparttar 118157 people what he thinks they want to hear.

Someone once observed that if allrepparttar 118158 people who sit through political speeches were lined up three feet apart, they could at least stretch and sleep more comfortably.

The successful politician is an expert in foul play. I can sum up most political promises nicely: A chicken in every pot and a potshot at every Turkey.

A third similarity betweenrepparttar 118159 preacher andrepparttar 118160 politician concerns money. Both have a lot to say aboutrepparttar 118161 subject.

Behindrepparttar 118162 pulpit,repparttar 118163 preacher talks about tithing. Unfortunately, tithing is one of those spiritual disciplines carelessly bantered about and abused.

Weather Woman

Written by Tom Hale

Sometimes you just get lucky.

I ran out of gas in Paiper Machet, Louisiana, on my way to a convention for freelance bumper sticker writers. My "Watch Out For The Idiot Behind Me" had become an industry classic and I was to berepparttar keynote speaker.

This was inrepparttar 118134 days before there was an all-night convenience store with self-service gas pumps on every corner. There was one gas station in Paiper Machet and it would not open until 7:30repparttar 118135 following morning. That would get me torepparttar 118136 convention thirty minutes into late registration, provided my luck held out and my tires held air.

After I shut off my headlights,repparttar 118137 only other illumination in this little corner ofrepparttar 118138 bayou was a thin ribbon of green and red, riding a greasy fog that I traced back to a juke joint just overrepparttar 118139 tracks.

As I drew closer,repparttar 118140 smell of bar-b-q sang like a Siren in my brain and hastened my apprehensive footsteps.

The creaking door betrayed my attempt at a quick, clandestine peek atrepparttar 118141 place. All eyes rolled in my direction. It was readily apparent that these good people were not accustomed to seeing an apologetic grin wearing a Hawaiian shirt and moccasins.

Relying on raw survival instinct, I sought outrepparttar 118142 bartender. That gave me an excuse to turn my back onrepparttar 118143 somnambulant stares ofrepparttar 118144 stoned citizenry, but there they were again inrepparttar 118145 huge, spotless mirror. They had me surrounded.

I knew how to feign fortitude and present myself as a cool customer. After all, I was a keynote speaker, for cryin out loud. My body was inexplicably overtaken byrepparttar 118146 spirit of what sounded like Zippyrepparttar 118147 Pinhead on helium as I eked out, "Ya’ll got ‘nee beer?" I cast quick, accusatory glances aroundrepparttar 118148 room, trying to pin downrepparttar 118149 offending Voodoo Queen.

The barkeep silently drew a tall glass of Jax beer and sat it in front of me. I put a five onrepparttar 118150 bar. He put it inrepparttar 118151 cigar box that served as a cash drawer and flippedrepparttar 118152 lid shut. The ghost of Barney Fife politely inquired about my change.

"Cover charge."

"Oh, is there to be entertainment?" (Kermit The Frog)

Was there to be entertainment? Were there to be alligator dreams tangled inrepparttar 118153 Spanish moss long about four a.m.? Entertainment? Oh, yes. Yes, indeed. Tonight, at this inauspicious watering hole, just north of who-flung-the-chunk, and due west of Bum Fox, Egypt, there was to be entertainment. Blues legend, Blind Lemon Furniture Polish was to give his farewell performance.

I may have looked and acted like a total dork, but I knew my Blues. I knew what this event meant and I silently thanked God for allowing me to be present on this, this night of nights.

My eyes adjusted torepparttar 118154 dark and revealed a most welcome site: Danny Aykroid sitting in a corner booth, gnawing on a possum sandwich (or was it beaver?). I caught his eye and waved, probably a little too enthusiastically. He quickly looked away, his eyes darting down and right, pretending not to know me—which, of course, he doesn’t.

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