Jimmy Carter Preaching And Living Life Worthy Of Emulating

Every time I think there is nothing uplifting to read from current headlines there comes a story about Jimmy Carter.  Such as this one. 

For decades I have known the main lesson Carter has allowed us all to learn from is the one that starts the night of his election loss in 1980.  There are few who know the mental and emotional anguish which follow such a national event.  Carter surely had a long stretch of coming to terms with the loss of the presidency.

But Carter then emerged from his defeat to follow his passions with the Carter Center which allowed him to fight for the issues and pursue his goals on an international stage.  In so doing he showed the path to fulfillment and happiness did not take place in corporate board rooms where making money is central to all actions, but rather in human connections where lives are positively changed.

As Carter ages, he has not withdrawn but rather embraces life and uses his more fragile body as a means of demonstrating where his true strength lies.  Truly a most impressive man.  

Two weeks after fracturing his pelvis in a fall, former president Jimmy Carter was back at church on Sunday, teaching from the book of Job.

Carter, 95, has lived longer than any other former president in U.S. history. He was hospitalized Oct. 21 after falling at his home in Plains, Ga. — his second fall that month and third this year.

But during a sermon at Maranatha Baptist Church on Sunday, from a motorized lift chair before a congregation of 400 people, Carter said he has been “at ease with death” for years, CBS News reported.

Carter has been teaching at church since his teens, according to the Associated Press, and he refused to miss another Sunday school lesson because of his health. The Rev. Tony Lowden said Secret Service agents, friends and fellow churchgoers encouraged the ex-president to refrain from teaching after his pelvic fracture, which came two weeks after the former president fell and required stitches on his forehead.

But Carter came anyway.

“He is pouring out that you might see Christ while he is suffering,” Lowden told the crowded church, according to the AP.

During his lesson, Carter cited his history of health issues as the source of his philosophy on death. In August 2015, he announced he had melanoma — which eventually spread to his brain. Carter said he “assumed, naturally, that I was going to die very quickly.”

“I, obviously, prayed about it. I didn’t ask God to let me live, but I just asked God to give me a proper attitude toward death. And I found that I was absolutely and completely at ease with death. It didn’t really matter to me whether I died or lived,” Carter said, according to the church’s Facebook Live video of his sermon. “I have, since that time, been absolutely confident that my Christian faith includes complete confidence in life after death.

Freedom Of The Press And The Death Of Ray Jenkins

An obituary that carries with it a slice of American history that resonates over the decades.

Ray Jenkins, the city editor of The Alabama Journal, was eating a bologna sandwich at his desk on April 5, 1960, and thumbing through a week-old copy of The New York Times when a full-page ad caught his eye.

Prominent liberals, including Eleanor Roosevelt and Jackie Robinson, were appealing for money for a legal-defense fund for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was facing a trial in Alabama on perjury charges — a good local angle for The Journal.

The ad, titled “Heed Their Rising Voices,” castigated Alabama officials for what it called “an unprecedented wave of terror” against leaders of the civil rights movement.

Within minutes, Mr. Jenkins tapped out 13 paragraphs about the ad; his article appeared in the paper that afternoon.

Apparently, no one else had noticed the ad until then — The Times sold 394 papers a day in Alabama in 1960. And so Alabama officials were startled and enraged after reading Mr. Jenkins’s report, which pointed out that the ad contained some factual errors.

They filed a libel suit against The Times, which ended four years later in a landmark ruling by the United States Supreme Court in the paper’s favor. The case, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, made it harder for public officials to sue for defamation and remains a bedrock legal principle upholding freedom of the press.

What Happens When Choas Replaces Responsible Governing?

It seems like a record with a skip as our nation confronts, again and again, the results of chaos and bombast replacing reasonable and logical governing.  Last evening on the news another such example was made known as a result of Donald Trump’s erratic behavior.

As senior security officials tried to get a meeting with Trump to convince him to release the hold on military aid for Ukraine, the administration’s attention was on……hmmm–what could it be….must have been important…weighty…….powerfully vital to the needs of the nation……right?

It was revealed yesterday that the meeting over Ukraine was difficult to arrange partly because the president’s national security advisors and cabinet officials were busy dealing with his desire to buy Greenland.

Bill Taylor was asked about his remark that secretaries of defense and state, the CIA director and the national security advisor sought a joint meeting with President Trump to change his mind on withholding military aid from Ukraine, but such a meeting was “hard to schedule.”

Trump wanted to buy the world’s largest island and it had created an international embarrassment that the White House and diplomatic members had to unwind.  Readers know that the Danish government adamantly rejected the idea while the world was laughing and mocking the United States.  And rightly so.

I fully understand Trump supporters consider this is all fun and games.  Acting without regard to common sense or a lick of education is just how life is lived. But in the world where international relations matter and the actions of the United States are of prime importance, the lack of a timely meeting concerning Ukraine due to bombast about Greenland is a most shocking revelation.