I express my beliefs and opinions quietly.
On my first day as a reporter for the Longview News-Journal a few years ago, another staff member looked at me and said, “You’re not like any preacher I’ve ever known.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because you’re not preaching,” he responded.
I explained that I was not a preacher. I didn’t get to preach. I was pastor of pastoral care. All wife Becky and I got to do was love people who were struggling with critical events of life — marriage problems, financial problems, kid problems, alcohol, meth, prison, grief. The list could go on and on.
During a heated biblical debate in the Longview paper’s newsroom one afternoon, the editor stuck his head out the door of his office and shouted, “Stop talking.”
I was not one of the two arguing reporters. I was sitting quietly, trying to do my work and trying to stay out of the fray.
Jim, you may ask, are you trying to make a point?
I’d rather people not hear my words. I had rather they look at me and “hear” who I am and what I am based on my actions.
The action I’ve taken in recent months is to stay away from businesses that take a stand that conflicts with my beliefs. I don’t make a big deal about it. I just won’t spend my dollar at a business that loudly and clearly supports something that I strongly, but quietly, oppose.
But Wednesday, I responded by supporting a business that was knee deep in a controversy that was created when its owner publicly spoke out about his views on family, expressing his belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman as defined by scripture
I responded to a call from former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, who had dubbed Aug. 1 as Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. I had Chick-fil-A nuggets and waffle fries in Rockwall to support Dan Cathy, the Chick-fil-A chief operating officer, and his right to have an opinion on same-sex marriages and express it.
While sitting at the restaurant eating my food and talking to a friend, I realized that I hadn’t even thought about same-sex marriage. I had, however, thought about the Chick-fil-A owner who had the guts to strongly express himself about something that apparently was important to him.
Was it the popular thing to do? No.
Will other business owners who share his view take his lead and speak out? Probably not.
I’m so afraid that we will continue to tiptoe through the growing field of controversial issues — like same-sex marriages — fearing that speaking out about our beliefs will be met by a storm of opposition.
I won’t tiptoe, but I will continue to quietly express my opinions and beliefs — and to “eat mor chikin.”
I express my beliefs and opinions quietly.
COLUMN: Being a role model more important than winning
My first nine years in the newspaper business were as a sports writer, so I’ve seen my share of crazy sports parents. In fact, I’ve probably seen my share and your share. However, these people never cease to amaze me with ridiculous behavior at youth sporting events.
COLUMN: Life's too short to fret over blunders
If you’re among the jillions of people who can’t make it through the day — or hour, in some cases — without your social media fix, you are well aware that Facebook thrives on our status updates.
To prompt us to update — or spill our guts, so to speak — we are encouraged to “write something.” And then there’s the dangerous Facebook question: “What’s on your mind?”
COLUMN: The difference between ‘spoiled’ and ‘blessed’
Some people have said that we have created a monster.
They’ve said that we spoil our little girl.
And some could say that she’s got us wrapped around her little paw.
COLUMN: County Judge stresses importance of library and its vision
Recently, the Commissioners Court approved the three-year strategic plan for the Rockwall County Library. This plan sets the vision and the goals for the organization for the next three years and was developed by the Librarian and the Library Advisory Board. Most citizens are not aware of the Advisory Board and its function, but it is composed of nine individuals chosen by the Court members with the purpose of advising the Court and the Librarian on the policies and practices they recommend should be followed in the operation of the library.
Trumping negotiations with sarcasm: A proven winner
As a sarcasm connoisseur, I like to use a lot of one-liners that, while the recipient isn’t quite fond of, I’m absolutely in love with. They can be used in almost any setting, any situation and directed at just about any person.
Reporter in his ‘element’ at recent Taste of Rockwall event
Someone mentioned during the recent Taste of Rockwall that I was in my element.
I checked an online definition just to make sure I pretty much understood what they were saying. I thought I knew, but sometimes I apply my own definitions, and I have been wrong.
So I checked it out and, yep, that was me all right. I was definitely “in my element.”
Dispatch issues present number of problems that need to be fixed
In the spring of 2011, about 125 citizens gathered in our library and started the development of a five-year strategic plan for Rockwall County. The plan was divided into several major categories, one of which was law enforcement. In this area, a major recommendation was that the county should develop a county-wide 9-1-1 dispatch center for all of Rockwall County public safety organizations.
Running friends race to encourage, care for others
You spend time with people. You think you know them.
But how do these people you know so very well respond when there’s a serious event of life?
Sense of unity seems hollow following tragedy
It is an all too familiar drill: First the shocking bulletin and the slow leak of awful details.
Then the endless loop of the same footage on news stations. We watch compulsively, as if repeated viewing or the prospect of additional details will somehow satisfy the grief, anger, and confusion we collectively feel.
Community partnership addressing serious community problem
Our nation and our state have a growing obesity problem in adults and in our children. 27 percent of adults in Rockwall County are obese, 29 percent in Texas overall. This compares to the national average of 25 percent, which is a horrendous fact in itself.
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- COLUMN: Being a role model more important than winning