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?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cowboy Rules-To my new Blogger Friend Wendie

Dear Wendie-When Rhode Island gets you down, come on out to the country...where we still believe in rules-Jane Wayne
Cowboy rules for:
Texas , Colorado , Oklahoma , New Mexico , Wyoming , Montana ,
Utah , Idaho, Nevada and the rest of the Wild West are as follows:

1. Pull your pants up. You look like an idiot.

2. Turn your cap right, your head ain't crooked.

3. Let's get this straight: it's called a 'gravel road.' I drive a pickup truck because I want to. No matter how slow you drive, you're gonna get dust on your Lexus. Drive it or get out of the way.

4. They are cattle. That's why they smell like cattle. They smell like money to us. Get over it. Don't like it? I-10, I-40, I-70 and I-80 go east and west, I-17, I-15, I-25 and I-35 goes north and south. Pick one and go.

5. So you have a $60,000 car. We're impressed. We have $250,000 Combines that are driven only 3 weeks a year.

6. Every person in the Wild West waves. It's called being friendly. Try to understand the concept......

7. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of geese/pheasants/ducks/doves are comin' in during the hunts, we WILL shoot it outa your hand. You better hope you don't have it up to your ear at the time.

8. Yeah. We eat trout, salmon, deer and elk. You really want sushi and caviar? It's available at the corner bait shop.

9. The 'Opener' refers to the first day of deer season. It's a religious holiday held the closest Saturday to the first of November.

10. We open doors for women. That's applied to all women, regardless of age.

11. No, there's no 'vegetarian special' on the menu. Order steak, or you can order the Chef's Salad and pick off the 2 pounds of ham and turkey.

12. When we fill out a table, there are three main dishes: meats, vegetables, and breads. We use three spices: salt, pepper, and ketchup! Oh, yeah . We don't care what you folks in Cincinnati call that stuff you eat IT AIN'T REAL CHILI!!

13. You bring 'Coke' into my house, it better be brown, wet and served over ice. You bring 'Mary Jane' into my house, she better be cute, know how to shoot, drive a truck, and have long hair.

14. College and High School Football is as important here as the Giants, the Yankees, the Mets, the Lakers and the Knicks, and a dang site more fun to watch.

15. Yeah, we have golf courses. But don't hit the water hazards - it spooks the fish.

16. Turn down that blasted car stereo! That thumpity-thump crap ain't music, anyway. We don't want to hear it anymore than we want to see your boxers! Refer back to #1!

As a true Westerner I post this because we're friendly people so we share in hopes you can begin to understand what a real life is all about!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How the Swine Flu is Transmitted

My daughter's trip to Dallas was canceled this week due to the Swine Flu scare. She finally made it to Nationals for the Business Professionals of America in Human Resource Management(formerly the Future Business Leaders of America for those of us over 40). I told her she could be like the 1980 US Olympians. So much for human resource management...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Specter and the Tsunami of Reform

It’s taken me a few days to digest the Arlen Specter ship jump. Not because it was any big surprise-those who were haven’t been paying attention- and not because it changes the balance of power in the government. Let’s face it, the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Machine has done little to tamp down the socialist agenda they promised to deliver. Week after week, republicans and those like minded have had little to say with respect to any programs that have passed. Through executive orders, and misguided legislation, the idea to shove through every conceivable change in domestic and foreign policy in the name of transparency and fairness has met little democratic opposition as the “team” has done a remarkable job painting conservatives as “the Party of No”, regardless of the numerous attempts to offer alternate plans. This all done while Specter was a Republican.

So what difference is it that Arlen Specter has decided, for personal and political preservation, to switch parties. It doesn’t really. I find amazing that one man can be far enough down in the his state’s primary polls that he feels the need to switch political parties and now finds himself the front runner to retain his Senate seat. He is the same man, with the same principles, yet with one sweep of the party affiliation lever, he is magically transformed from primary loser to 6-term Senator.

What is wrong with us that we allow this? It should nauseate us that a man who is close to 80 and had several bouts with cancer feels his legacy is more important than nurturing the next generation of leaders as his final act of leadership? Is this what the founding fathers wanted when they created a system for public “service”, career politicians that go into the congress as middle class citizens and leave as millionaires? What part of service do we not understand?

The truth is we really can’t blame them; it’s fame, power and fortune wrapped up in one neat package. The problem lies with us: we keep electing them because they are “well connected” and they can bring home the bacon to our district and cut the pork in everyone else’s. Please cut Medicare, just leave my Mom’s alone. Take care of Social Security just don’t raise my payroll taxes. Reform welfare, but make sure my farm subsidy check clears. We are addicted to government, unable to fend for ourselves, and unwilling to change the system because it might hurt “me”. We’re upset that a politician switches his label, but elected him 5 times, knowing his character.

Until we start insisting that the old goats get out of the Congress, to make room for a newer kind of politician, that knows the meaning of “public service”, we have no room to complain. Our agenda should be to bring reform to Washington by bringing reform to our own ballots. It shouldn’t matter what party label we hang on our door. What should is the willingness to make the change, regardless of the cost.

I see that movement in our Tea Parties and our Social Networks. Let the politicians say what they will about what we don’t understand. We will be the one that help them remember who put them there and we expect more out of our representatives than they are delivering. In the words of one comedian: we brought them into this world, and we can take them out.

The Tsunami begins with an underwater movement, barely detected by the eye. Its momentum builds with each passing mile, until its final effect is devastating. Moreover, it has the ability to destroy strongholds and cleanse the landscape, leaving room for newer, more efficient structures. Let Obama and his ilk be dismissive, even derisive, about our Tea Parties. When our grass roots movement becomes a Tsunami of accountability and reform, we will be hard to ignore.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Miracle of Cheetos

I have a confession-I am an optimist. I don't mean the ordinary glass half full kind of person. I mean the kind of person that believes someday Cheetos will cure even the most hideous of diseases; that every person will find the kind of love they desire-the kind of epics and internet romances; that everyone can be the weight that suits them best-plus size, skinny or in between. I believe in a world where people care for one another enough to let others succeed, without petty jealousies and back stabbing.

It's hard to be an optimist while listening to the news. Corruption after diasaster after bailout, the country I love seems to be going to Hell in a handbasket. What's worse it the overwhelming sense of powerlessness I feel, as one little Jane in Montana. Who am I? What can I do? Did I really make a difference just because I went to a Tea Party?

It's funny how life gets in the way of our dreams of youth. I always thought I would be famous, important, noteworthy and I guess in a way I am: famous to the chickens and horses that come chase me down for food every morning like a hoard of autograph seekers after a movie premiere; important to my kids, who notice when the laundry didn't get done or when the cookies come out of the oven; noteworthy to my husband, who sees me the way I was when we met at 23. It's all a matter of perspective, of optimism.

I love my simple life. I live on a farm. I have no neighbors. My solitude is my sanctuary. But lately, I can't help but feel it isn't about me anymore. Times have changed, life has changed, values have changed and so I must change too. I must take this Pollyanna attitude and the fire in my belly to make the little Jane voice heard. I must proclaim to the establishment in Washington their arrogance is not a value we hold dear, their contempt is not welcomed and their disdain for the principles of our fore-fathers must be purged. This Jane believes in America, believes in the values on which this nation was founded and believes we, as a movement, can make a difference. We will take this spark, nurse the flame and feed the fire until, one by one, we have created a bonfire of patriotic revival for the America we love.

That's what I intend for my blog...even if no one reads ignite the spark and fan the flame of those of us who want to take back this country from those who would sell it to the highest bidder. We must and I believe we can.

I have to believe. I am an optimist.

The First 100 Days of Marketing

I have always been enamored with marketing, the idea of creating an image that could eventually sell ice to an Alaskan. The brilliance of jingles that stick in the mind and logos that convey million dollar messages have the magical qualities that transform our lives. Does it really take more than three licks to get to the center of a "Toostie Pop” or will the world really never know? Are we really “In good hands with Allstate"? And who can forget how many all beef patties go with the special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions and the sesame seed bun? Bill O'Reilly may call it spin but I see it nothing short of brilliant!

It is also the genius behind the first 100 days of Barack Obama's Reign. The Obama team are masters of wrapping the message in a package. Look at just a few of the accomplishments-There are so many, how can we narrow them down:

• War on Terror is a term no longer used. Overseas contingency operation is so much more palatable. (Just what these operations contingent upon- Terrorist activity?)

• The more tolerant image of America around the world-given via the “We’ve been arrogant” speeches around the world and the selling of America by calling it “Cooperation” and “Oversite”. We are, as you know, citizens of this global economy….

• The environmentally friendly Cap and Trade package that penalizes the "95% "of Americans who will allegedly get tax cuts with higher prices and more taxes, al the while giving the well connected the ability to opt out of the program through the purchase of “Carbon Credits”. (This worked out well for Al, why not for Barack?)

• The “transparency” of the Obama Administration – Oh, sure, they put the legislation on their site for all to see. They just had the night crew post it. If you chose to sleep, rather than read it, that is not their fault.

• 8000 earmarks sold under the guise of “shovel ready stimulus projects” rather than those dastardly things we promised to eliminate on their first “real” budget..

• The Trillion Dollar Multi Phase Stimulus Package-I did use the “T” word here because, let’s face $787 billion plus interest….you get it-It’s a pill we must take in order to cure the sickness of the economy

• Releasing our “diabolical Republican” methods of getting informationcaterpillars and all-to purge the past 8 years of Bush/Cheney tyranny from the collective consciousness (As if any of us have really forgotten about the calls for heads to roll because we didn’t have the intelligence to thwart 9/11)

• And…my personal favorite…using a scalpel to cut 100 million dollars from the budget…Please children, don’t do this at home. Leave this to the professionals.

The magical part of all of this is the “Right Track/Wrong Track” numbers that are going up…yes, up. The fact that a majority of We The People feel the country is on the right track after we’ve given away our sovereignty, mortgaged our futures, sold our energy souls to the neoliths and sacrificed our national security, all under the guise of “Change-Hope-The New American Image” is an amazing feat of marketing genius.

So, for Obama’s first 100 days of Marketing, I give the team a “AAA”…How could I give them anything less? The Obama charm offensive puts even the most talented Hollywood Public Relations Gurus to shame. This slide of hand has distracted us from understanding the policies that will bode ill for generations. We have instead be given images of Bo, the playful, shoe chewing the First Dog, the everyday thriftiness of the White House Recession Garden and the blinding hope that this man who speaks so well has sold us the ice we “really” needed.

Marketing, spin, illusion-call it what you will. In a land where image is reality, Obama has sold us a very neat package.

I wonder how long before buyer’s remorse sets in?