Monday, December 21, 2009

Greater Is He That Is In Me-My Tribute To Oral Roberts

I have been surfing the articles and blogs about the death of Oral Roberts. It is a little depressing. To read them, one would think Oral was little more than a snake oil salesman to those of us that are too na├»ve or uneducated to see through his act. The 900 foot Jesus, prayer hands, the “God will take me home” speech, the dead baby incident and his hocking of religion are all featured prominently in every article. Little is mentioned about the man himself, who he was and what he did for those he helped find Jesus or why he did the “crazy” things he did, believing he was acting in obedience to the Father God he loved. Just criticisms of a character they never knew.

One of the little known facts about my life is my two years at Oral Roberts University. It was a place I had wanted to go to school more than anywhere-except Harvard, which was financially
out of the question. For me, being accepted to ORU was a badge of honor. They didn’t admit just anyone and back in the early 80’s, that was saying something. The students that went to ORU were the cream of the crop, academically, spiritually and physically. No one coasted through their classes there-it was as if this Christian University had a chip on its shoulder and had to prove their students could fair with the best in the country. We worked hard, prayed hard, laughed hard, and forged relationships with others that would last a lifetime.

I have to admit, I didn’t always agree with Oral and Richard but I was never asked to give up my analytical mind in order to attend. The “Name it, Claim it-Blab it, Grab it” prosperity mentality they espoused did not jive with what I knew to be true. I struggled with the “Us vs Them” mentality that sometimes crept in to every conversation about ministering to the world. And we all hated the dress code, especially in winter. But the desire to be better people and learn to become disciples of Jesus was never lacking. We all had weaknesses; we all strove to change. In the end, we learned to be the Salt of the Earth, giving flavor to the world without becoming like those who we wanted to save.

To read these blogs, one would think that Oral was a crazy “Jim Jones” who had convince thousands of convulsing charismatics to give up their life’s fortune so he could live in a mansion. Really, if that’s what he did with my money, I don’t know. I gave freely, feeling God’s leading to contribute, believing it was given to further God’s kingdom.

I do know this: He wasn’t the Charlatan of his SNL stereotype. He believed in a great God, who sent His Son, Jesus to save us from our sins, to heal us from our diseases and to live according to His good will and purpose. Oral made mistakes; he sinned like the rest of us. No, he wasn’t ever healed of his hip problem-Paul was never healed of his either. Even Job was tried. He questioned, was corrected and his faith became stronger. Maybe that’s what happened with Oral, too.

And in the end, that’s what it’s about, for me. No matter the trial, the triumph, the victory or failure, is my relationship with the God whom I serve becoming stronger-and was his. Because when all is stripped away and we are standing there before our Savior, did we draw people closer to Jesus or did we drive them away. Will Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” or “Depart from me. I never knew you.” I believe, whatever his foibles, there was a great celebration in heaven for a servant who completed his race, remaining faithful to the God he loved. Did Oral Roberts push the envelope? Yeah, maybe so. Did he take people out of their comfort zones and encourage them to want more of God? I know he did with me.

To the critics and naysayers, I say pull the log out of your own eye first. The world is a better place because of men like Oral Roberts. Many have been healed, clothed, fed and saved because of his influence on his “flock” of students. To those who loved what he believed and embraced it, well, I guess I am preaching to the choir. We can only hope for the “welcome home” he got from Jesus.

With great affection,
Linda Trimmer-Annalora
Oral Roberts University 1981-1983

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Obama Care-A Real World Example

On the eve of President Obama’s town hall meeting in Belgrade, I would like to site an example of government run care-in the form of Worker's Compensation Insurance.

In Montana, we have the ability to “choose” our Worker’s Compensation Insurance Provider. When you are a big business, it works out great. Even if a few people get hurt at work and need to rely on the worker’s comp insurance, it’s not that big of a deal because the cost of those workers who are hurt is spread over a much larger number of employees. At the end of the year, the amount of premiums paid in is compared to what the amount of claims paid out and the magic number, or Modification Rate, is determined for your policy. This modification rate follows your company throughout the life of your policy. When the rate is low, so are the premiums. When the rate is high, your policy is canceled and your company must find new coverage, because no one is “supposed” to do business without worker’s compensation insurance.

I own a business in an industry with high numbers of injuries: specialty construction. On top of that, my company is small: 7-12 employees, depending upon the time of year. So if one of my employees is injured, those costs are spread over a much smaller number of people and premiums. If I have a large claim, which any medical claim would naturally be, I am disqualified from my low rate plan and must find a new insurer. When the Modification Rate is high, I must go to the “Insurer of Last Resort”, the Montana State Fund.

And this is what will happen with a public option in Obama Care. If you happen to have any risk factors, your Modification Rate will be higher than those that don’t have those factors. Are you of child bearing age-Mod Rate goes up. Do you have cancer or diabetes in your family-another check mark. Are you over the age where the cost of your health care cannot possibly be “recovered” through future premiums-another check mark.

Some say these are scare tactics; I say this is reality because I live it in the form of Montana State Fund. To deny this is the way it will work is to be an ostrich. Sure, we have a choice, as long as there are no risk factors…which will never happen this side of heaven.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Washington DC Chronicles-Where's Mine

Could anything be more perfect in Washington DC than this picture? This tiny squirrel was spotted “grabbing his fair share” on the Capitol lawn…of course, it was all he could do to carry it up the tree. Yes, this little guy is grabbing twice his weight in squirrel gold…getting his piece of the apple being handed out by the trillions.

The sad thing is his take was modest compared to my Senator, who is purported to be this biggest recipient of health care lobbyist dollars, per the Washington Post.

This reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw in Ennis, MT-

“Invest in America-Buy a Congressman”

Monday, July 27, 2009

Washington DC Chronicles-My Reflections

I just returned from my first trip to our nation's Capitol. It was all at once exciting, overwhelming, emotional and frustrating. I want to share what I learned, mostly for me to remember the thoughts, observations and emotions and sharing them with you, my gentle readers.

Let me just say how many wonderful, honest, non-agenda driven Americans I met on our trip. I was amazed at the crowds of people just wanting to get in touch with "their America". What is sad is how many people are there with an agenda, an agenda that is not necessarily in our best interest.

As we were leaving, my son bought a t-shirt in Washington that said this:
"I love my country; it's the government I'm afraid of.

I don't know if my Polyanna optimism is there yet, but it is close. Especially after the things I saw.
So, the literary adventure begins...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dear Mr Kligerman-I accept your challenge, Part 1

This blog was written in response to a letter in the Bozeman Chronicle, July 10, 2009. Mr. Kligerman's beef is with a fellow writer who calls the President a dictator and our government socialistic. He challenges the reader the "Gimme me a f'r example" on the constitutional violations of the President. I have accepted the challenge. I hope to address my response in a series of letters to my new pen pal. I'd love for your to read along with us.

Dear Mr. Kligerman-

You have inspired me...You have challenged Mr. Comstock to "Gimme a f'r instance" regarding the abuses of power perpetrated by our President. Not having had the privilege of reading Mr. Comstock’s letter, to which your response was directed, I have to rely on the many airings of the Glenn Beck Show to imagine his list of grievances. So, if you will indulge me, I will be presumptuous enough to accept your challenge, on behalf of all of the Mr. Comstocks, who are not scared conservatives, as had been said, but concerned citizens who don’t like the direction in which we find our country going.

Let me begin by saying the list of constitutional variances began long before our current President. Democrats and Republicans alike have slowly eroded the freedoms given to us by the founding fathers. I can assume you would agree with me on this point, judging from the “imperialist government” comment in your letter. This brings me to my first point: addressing constitutional wrongs must be done, as Aristotle said, via the law, “which is free from passion.” Constitutionality must not be viewed through the eyes of the politically correct moral relativism by which we currently judge our laws, but by the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, as set forth in the Declaration of Independence. To say that one man is an imperialist, because you disagree with his protection policies abroad, while supporting another man, whose massive imperialistic expansion of government (defined as the extension of power or authority over others in the interests of takeover and domination) here at home confuses the issue with “passion”. One only has to look at the unprecedented number of czars appointed to oversee the “affairs of the people”, who answer to no one, except the President, to consider the possibility that constitutional circumvention that has occurred. The Pay Czar, the Climate Czar, the Cyber Czar, the Green Jobs Czar, the Science Czar, the Guantanamo Closure Czar, the Car Czar, the Border Czar….and the list extends to 32 advisors with the ear of the President, and accountable to no one. Of course, if we know anything about this White House, this deviation will all be wrapped neatly in a marketing package, complete with logo, to disguise this power grab as a benevolent necessity.

You say that one GM does not equate a socialistic government, and if it were only GM, I would say you are correct. But it is a slew of Banks “too big to fail”, insurance companies, brokerage houses, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, state’s governments absconding with stimulus money to cover expenses they don’t have the backbone to eliminate, a mass of political crony paybacks we can ill afford and a stimulus package that does nothing but put the government in control of commerce and industry.

The majority of people voted for “hope” and “change” but is this the change they really wanted: Budgets are passed under cover of darkness, bills are written without valid debate, taxes are enacted under the guise of saving the environment, a Federal Reserve creating money from nothing to cover “debts” and a massive redistribution of assets being sold as fairness for the middle class. The pace at which the changes have occurred defies logic and yet we are too busy with our own lives and its problems to bother with objecting. We are the ones that allowed this to happen by not holding our leaders accountable. Somehow “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” has devolved into “I want what my neighbor has, regardless of the cost.”

No coup has occurred; it is a dissolution of freedoms we have allowed because “We the People” have been asleep. The spending of trillions of dollars we don’t have and the selling of our children’s future to foreign countries to pay for government programs and projects we can do without has now woken the sleeping giant. And you must now listen to the Tea Parties that declare this spending immoral and the Mr. Comstocks of the world that view these one sided changes to our government, via the Obama/Pelosi/Reed machine, as dictatorial and socialistic. This back and forth is the privilege and obligation of the governed: to air our grievances and debate its solutions. And, if necessary, as the Declaration of Independence states, “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another,” to do that as well.

Our forefathers had genuine grievances with their King. He wasn’t listening to the issues they raised; he taxed excessively without consent, restricted trade to penalize their dissention and dissolved any representational body that had the audacity to disagree with his opinion. Thus, living under monarchical rule, a.k.a. tyranny, they found it best to sever their ties with this government. The people of the Tea Party have similar objections, I will grant you that Mr. Obama may not be a dictator, yet, and Socialism has not fully overtaken our current Democratic Republic, but the signs are there, and the freedoms have been relinquished, all in the name of the greater good. If we, who disagree, allow our country to creep toward that which we detest, shame on us. It is our job to keep those who would expand government in check, just as it was yours to voice your disdain for those policies with which you disagree. If we don’t allow this discussion, we don’t deserve this gift we have been given.

As for “Articles and Sections”, I haven’t addressed these, but given the opportunity to discuss via the opinion page, I will. As I have said, you have inspired me.

Your new pen pal,
Jane Wayne
Belgrade, MT

(To read the full transcript of Mr. Kligerman's letter, follow this link: )

Monday, July 6, 2009

What would you give?

I find it amazing the scramble to understand Sarah Palin’s announcement to step down from the Alaska's Governorship. Maybe Washington and its various insiders, even conservative ones, are so used to the maneuvering and strategizing they can’t understand genuine love and sacrifice a mother has for her children. But, then again, the insiders have never really understood Sarah, and that’s the crux of the issue.

What was Sarah Palin’s appeal? She was the “everyman” in an every woman’s body. She wasn’t from the East Coast. She didn’t go to an Ivy League school. She worked her way up on her own, instead of through daddy’s connections. She said what she thought, and meant it. She didn’t cower to the political establishment but stood on belief. As she said on Friday, she did what was right, even if it wasn't not popular. And it wasn't popular...Not with with main stream media, not with the conservative elite and certainly not with the narrow minded liberal democrats. In a land where tabloid press is king and sensational journalism tops actual news, the vultures, so quick to protect their pet causes and candidates, broke their own rules of decent journalism and etiquette-leave the children alone. But they couldn’t….and no one came to rescue Sarah's.

I am tired of the speculation on whether or not this is calculated, if it’s smart, or if it’s political suicide. What Sarah Palin did is what we need more politicians, and people in general to do: she put her ambitions aside for the greater good. It was without calculation or ulterior motive. It was simply the act of a mom and wife doing the right thing for her family-the higher calling.

Have you ever wondered what you would give, or give up, for the greater good? As parents, we do it every day, in small ways, taking the heat for unpopular but right decisions for our children, our marriage, our community. But what if it’s something big, something we dreamed of, worked toward, and had within our grasp. Would you give it up?

I know a pastor who, in climbing the ladder toward his goal of becoming a national leader of inner city race relations through church connections, gave up a prestigious job for his wife and family, because he made a commitment to them first. He came back to his home town, hat in hand, and started over, because he loved them more than he loved his job. And I know a Father who gave up His Son, just to save a poor wretch like me. This is Sarah Palin’s example.

What would you give up? What would they give up? What would this world be like if selflessness trumped selfish ambition?

I admire Sarah Palin, now, more that ever. She is a person of character and conviction that is sorely needed in Washington….but will remain on the sidelines, helping other achieve their goals. This is the higher calling.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Taxing Question

Does anyone really believe that the rich will just "absorb" all these extra taxes and regulatory costs just because they love paying money to the government? With each governemental increase, comes an increase in consumer prices. It's a vicious cycle-Washington spends, Washington taxes, prices go up, the consumer pays... hummmm-who'd have thunk it that the people that know how to make money also know how to keep it?