Thoughts on JM Ivler

(Los Alamitos, CA, posted 1/21/2017)  Editor’s note:  The following originally appeared as a Guest Post in the News Enterprise, and is reposted here with the gracious permission of the author.  by John Underwood:

When I was very young and just beginning to form my view of the world one prominent media figure captured my imagination, tempted me to imitation, and struck me as heroic rising above all other intellects in clear thinking and execution of style in conversation.

No it was not JFK. It was notorious conservative and talk show host William F. Buckley Jr. On his 1960s and 70s confrontational television program Firing Line Bill Buckley would fearlessly invite some of the most articulate liberal thinkers and talkers of the time. He would first listen carefully with the discipline of a UN delegate, give them the courtesy of laying out their world view perhaps even agreeing on points of common ground, and then proceed to roll them over like bowling pins with his own eviscerating logic, cutting charm, and command of the English language.

As my own world view expanded with age and experience my empathy for the world took me to places and points of view Mr. Buckley would never have accepted. And this was a real source of inner conflict for me for some time, until I realized another lesson I was learning implicitly from this great debater’s example, that is, reasonable and nimble minds can tolerate, often accept, and sometimes even assimilate the opinions of others without necessarily threatening the foundations of one’s own worldview, if you first listen carefully to what they are actually saying. Continue reading

A brief history of Thanksgiving, the uniquely American holiday

The Pilgrims’ big Thanksgiving feast was actually the third Thanksgiving!

(West Orange County, 11/22/2016) by Dave Emerson:  Thanksgiving is a uniquely North American holiday. It is only celebrated in the U.S. (4th Thursday in November), Canada (2nd Monday of October), and, more recently, in Grenada (October 25th).

What a great idea–a day set aside for a celebration of thanks! In many ways, it’s my favorite holiday–less commercialized, more family oriented, with unique American roots and even a relatively healthy main dish.

But there’s way more to this holiday then food and family, as a brief review of Thanksgivings past reveals.  Along with a few surprises. . . like the fact that the first Thanksgiving celebration in North America didn’t take place in Massachusetts, but in Florida! And the celebrants didn’t even speak English!

The real first recorded American Thanksgiving:  Continue reading

2016 Harvest Crusade kicks off tonight at Angel Stadium & online

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They’re back!

(Anaheim, 8/28/2015)  The 26th annual So Cal/OC Harvest Crusade begins at 7 tonight and runs through this weekend.  Pastor Greg Laurie’s focus this year includes Biblical keys to happiness.

As always, there will be a clear presentation of the good news of God’s love for you and me  that’s geared for skeptic and believer alike, alogn with some of the best contemporary Christian music around.

Musical guests this year include Phil Wickham nightly,  plus Third Day and Citizens & Saints tonight (Friday), Lecrae & Lacy Strum on Saturday, and Jeremy Camp & the Harvest Worship Band on Sunday.

Admission is free, parking is $15 (less at nearby private lots). Best but not necessary to arrive early.  Saturday’s usually geared a bit more towards those under 25, Sunday’s a bit more for all ages.  Every night will also be streamed live at socal.harvest.org beginning at 7 each night (click “watch live” banner, beginning at 7 pm each night), and broadcast on KFSH-FM (95.9) and Continue reading

Favorite quotes about fathers

Reader photo of  snow this morning in the Orange County foothills

(Los Alamitos, 6/20/2015)  Our Fathers’ Day gift to you & your father:

It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.

Continue reading

Remembering over one million Americans who gave all

Are big changes coming to our "Mayberry?"

(Los Alamitos, 5/24/2015)  We all knw that Memorial Day isn’t just a holiday.  It’s also a day to remember the 1,344,000 American service men and women who have given their lives so we can live in freedom

That’s right, over one million, three hundred forty thousand.

Freedom isn’t free.

Several years ago Barbara & I were privileged to visit two beautiful memorials in Washington: The World War II Memorial (in the foreground of the photo on the left) and the Air Force Memorial. The quotes, fountains and sculptures at each one can’t help but move anyone who visits.

We are so blessed to live in America, but our freedom has come at great cost. Since 1776, over one million, three hundred thousand 1,343,812 brave American servicemen and women have given their lives for our country.

I hope you find some time this Memorial Day to consider their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of their families,and of the millions of other American servicemen and women who were and are willing to give their all.

I found many inspiring quotes engraved on the two Memorials Barbara & I visited. Here are three you may want to share with your kids or grandkids this weekend:

“Tell them that we gave our todays for their tomorrows.”
Inscription in Allied Forces Cemetery
North Assam, India

“I am going on a raid this afternoon. . . there is a possibility I won’t return. . .
do not
Continue reading

Passover & Easter: Holidays of hope

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Did you know that “The Last Supper” was actually a Passover Seder?

(4/4/2015, Los Alamitos)  by Dave Emerson:   This weekend you may be celebrating the deliverance of  the Hebrew people from Egyptian slavery, the resurection of Jesus,  the arrival of spring, or all of the above.  I’m celeberating all three to some extent, although our  four seasons here in Los Alamitos are very subtle, if they exist at all.

While I didn’t have a Seder last night, I celebrated what might be described as a “Christened mini-Seder” at noon yesterday.  You see, Jesus “Last Supper” with his disciples was actually a Passover Seder (Luke 22:7-53), which he told his followers also represented his coming death “for the forgiveness of sins”  (Matthew 26:26-29).  So what Catholics celebrate as Mass and Protestants celebrate as Communion were originally part of Jesus & his followers last Passover Seder!

Easter and Passover are linked at the hip, if not always on the calendar.  Jesus’ cousin Continue reading