Friday, September 29, 2006

"A Code of Conduct"

The image you are viewing here was taken during the Ceremoney held recently in Japan where U. S. Navy Sailors stood proudly to recite the Oath of Citizenship in the United States of America. A proud moment indeed, for these dedicated Servicemen who used their Navy Service to help them gain citizenship in America.
Even before they recited this Oath, they were subject to the provisions of Executive Order 10631, which for anyone who has ever served in the U. S. Military is also known at the Code of Conduct.
U.S. Armed Forces Code of Conduct


I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.


I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.


If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.


If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.

When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.


I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.
Now comes the difficult part of this post. You see, at one time I was a member of the Armed Forces of our United States of America. In addition to the Code of Conduct, when I enlisted and each subsequent re-enlistment, I swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Additionally, I, like all others in the U. S. Military, had to pledge and also swear that we would obey the orders of those appointed over us. Each member of the U. S. Military was required to obey the orders of our elected Commander in Chief.
Yet in recent weeks we have heard tell of how our living, yet recent Commander in Chiefs have decryed our current Commander in Chief in public. This is a shame. These former Presidents were our duly elected leaders. Now here they come and it appears to me that they are not even abiding by the "Code of Conduct" of the American Fighting Man.
Of course, it appears to now be fashionable to publicly display distain for law and order. On a local level, here in Middle Georgia we daily see duly elected public governmental officials and even some appointed public officials who appear to be above the law. All you have to do is drive around Macon, Georgia and observe the automobiles parked in inapproriate places, i. e. fire lanes, etc. Yet we hear these same public leaders decry with great grief the idea that citizens think that they can ignore the laws as regards the current problem area facing all of us.
Recently we have experienced the tragic, needless deaths of two of our children here in Middle Georgia as they attempted to gain knowledge as they waited/attempted to gain entry on a school bus. We hear how we need to respect the law. Fine. Respect for the law must be observed even when there is no school bus present.
If new citizens to this great United States choose to serve in our Military as an entrance vehicle then we who are here should display our gratitude for our country be setting an appropriate example. Those who have been elected, those who have led and held esteemed positions of leadership also need to continue to display gratitude and respect for the laws of this land, the USA.
We must all acknowledge that we can be part of the problem, as well as we all can be part of the solution as we engage in our daily activities.
"A Code of Conduct"
This, and all other laws are for the common good of us all. The laws of our land apply to us all and I am filled with a sense of awe as I see peoples from foreign lands struggling to live in the United States of America, The Land of My Birth.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Happy Birthday
Janice Marie
Today, September 27, 2006 marks the fifty-fifth birthday of Janice Marie. Special Guest for the morning breakfast was, you guessed it, Kasey Kahne. When Kasey first broke into NASCAR he drove a red Dodge Intrepid. It is only fitting and proper then, that because Janice Marie still drives a red Dodge Intrepid that Kasey would be a special guest for Breakfast.

Monday, September 25, 2006

2006 Georgia State Fair

"Our State Fair Our state fair is a great state fair,

Don't miss it, don't even be late.

It's dollars to donuts That our state fair

Is the best state fair in our state."

Of course you have to be a Senior Citizen to remember this song from the great musical entitled "State Fair," which was new in 1945. We must remember that 1945 was also the end of the Great War and that people were ready to get back to the fun things in life. That is why this musical was so well received.

The image today is to let you know that "Flower Child" fully endorses the State Fair. We here in Middle Georgia need to focus on a few fun things also.

The image above is Flower Child's entry in the "Autumn Flower Show" - A Tribute to the Georgia State Fair 151st Anniversary. This Standard Flower Show is sponsored by the Federated Garden Clubs of Macon, Inc. My entry is a Still Life in Class 9, Bountiful Pleasures which is supposed to feature Autumn's Glory. I entered this class, just as three other exhibitors did and we had to use the wheel barrow to stage our entry. I selected dryed hydrangeas which I arranged as shown and placed sand in the wheel barrow along with sand dollars from the beach. My interpretive card indicated that my entry was a "Back Door Scene" (thus the stepping stones) with the sand dollars placed on sand in the wheel barrow indicated that this entry focused on "Memories of Summer Past."

The Judging process will let me know how well I complied with the requirements of this Class. Of course I would encourage everyone to visit the 2006 Georgia State Fair, not only to view what the Flower Child has entered, but to enjoy the plethora of flower entries and artistic arrangements completed by the Wonderful Women of Middle Georgia."

Saturday, September 23, 2006

At Last!!!
It is only fitting and proper that today we focus on the recent progress that we here in West Bibb County have observed with the improvements on the Tucker Road Improvement Project (TRIP). It was only a few days ago when we were able to observe what I called mediocre proformance on the part of the Contractor and/or our duly elected Government Officials. Well, now that the Falcons are going to play in the New Orleans Dome this coming Monday, and we freedom loving peoples everywhere appreciate the great rebuilding that can be accomplished in our United States of America, I suspect that all conserned with the TRIP finally determined that this too should be accomplished. You can be sure that once this fine project is complete, that I will include appropriate pictures here on Alansviews. I just hope that the responsible governmental agencies keep the sidewalks clean and the median between the Road and the Sidewalk neat and orderly. It should be noted that the fine Women of Wesleyan keep their side of new Tucker Road neat and orderly. This Blogger hopes that these fine Women of Wesleyan have set the standard for all who own property alongside Tucker Road!! Well, I can dream, can not I? Maybe we can even have a ribbon cutting ceremony and Pink Lemonade when the project it totally complete and signed off by all concerned.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

"Death Taxes and Young Farm Families"

I must admit that I obtained this photo on the World Wide Web. It shows a young farmer with his family who was recognized as an outstanding farmer in Alabama. Have we here in Georgia already driven our young farmers out of business? I could not find any young farmer pictures on any Georgia related websites. I also realize that the "Death Tax" is a federal issue.

I know that many citizens feel that our Federal Government should keep the so called Death Tax on the books because who has an estate worth more than $2,000,000.00. A recent election campaign ads have pointed out that this is a tax that should be kept because it only impacts the wealthy. Sounds simple enough; however we may be cutting off our nose to safe our face. I know for a fact that there are many young farm families and some not so young that have the potential of owning estates well worth over Two Million Dollars. These farmers are providing our food items and clothing items and have great investments in Rich Soil and Equipment. It is true that most of these food and cotton farmers are in huge debt just to allow us in the USA to enjoy the highest standard of living as regards food expenditures. How much fertile land at $4,000.00 an acre can a farmer obtain for a mere $2,000,000.00? I do not know about the price of Soil in the rest of the World, but I do know for a fact that fertile Soil in our USA Grain Belt is often on the market and even sold for $4,000.00 per acre. The answer to my previous question is 500 acres. Now, add in a few pieces of Farm Equipment and you will quickly have an estate with the potential value in excess of the Two Million. Now, I would hate to see all these young farmers and some not so young work all their lives providing food and cotton for my lifestyle while they are not able to pass on the fruits of their labors to their heirs without incurring a heavy tax burden. I know that I would appreciate it very much if our Government appreciated the labors of our food providers and cared enough to insure the citizens of the future the ability to procure food items in abundance and low prices as we now enjoy. This concept realizes that these young farmers realize enough profits from their years of labor to have actually paid for their investments in Soil and equipment. Did you know that a four year old grain combine, John Deere Model 9650STS with 1631 hours on the engine can be purchased for the sum of $116,000.00 as close by as Cairo, Georgia. This is the machine that you need to harvest a crop. I could list several hundred more thousand dollars in equipment to get the crop into the Soil.

For most of us city dwellers, myself included, the value of our homes is far less than two pieces of used farm equipment. I can not comprehend how anyone would want to continue the Death Tax!!!! I know that I desire to continue to enjoy fine U. S. A. grown food items and I also think that most of us do. Can we continue to enjoy the most economical food stuffs on planet Earth while driving the means of agricultural production out of the reach of the average Farmer. I have heard the talk among my peers in the urban areas about how wealthy Farmers are. It is true that they have plenty of assets, but does the average consumer know, much less even appreciate the overhead that all of our farmers incur to provide us with our foodstuffs. I recall a comment of two years ago, when I complained to my Farmer Sibling in the Midwest, about how high Natural Gas prices had risen. He quickly informed me that his 2004 Natural Gas bill for two weeks of operation to dry the corn was $35,000.00. This sum was twice the amount he had paid in 2003. You can be sure that I have since not complained to any of my Midwest Siblings engaged in agriculture about any high prices we city folks must face.

We must repeal and eliminate the "Death Tax" for the small business person. We all must realize this fact before we drive the means of food production out of business.

Thank You.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

This word is often defined as indifferent or ordinary. A person who is mediocre can also be called a mediocrist.
I must admit that my recent Blogs have been rather long so today I will focus on being brief and to the point. The image presented here was found by performing a google search and looking for an image when the word "Mediocre" was entered as the search word. I certainly feel this image fits the word.
Several recent events come to mind as I contemplate the word mediocre. The first one is the Tucker Road Improvement Project (TRIP), which now appears to finally be reaching consumation. The contractor was onsite today repairing the improper drainage scheme originally constructed.
My next thoughts were the recent debunkle, which can mean "to expose the false or exaggerated claims; as regards the County of Bibb/City of Macon Assessors crisis which has already consummed far too much media attention. This crisis can be quickly rectified by adopting the 2005 digest, pay the fine and immediately commence work on the 2007 digest. On my way to ascertain what debunk meant, I could not help but also read the definition for the word "debauch" which can mean corrupt. I think you understand what I am trying to say today. Keep it brief "Flower Child."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

"Moral Clarity"
This phrase carries interesting interpretations by anyone who hears it. I realize that I have a somewhat limited viewpoint on this topic. To me clarity remains constant as "Capable of making a distinction between what is right and wrong." Not very difficult at all. Unless you have difficulty viewing any subject as black or white and desire to inject the color gray into the spectrum. The color gray is a combination of Black and White. No clear view of anything. As I understand it, there is a national debate on how we should process those that have been apprehended as suspects desiring to cause trouble or engage in terrorist acts against freedom loving peoples. There are those who feel that these terrorist are entitled to the protections of the Geneva Convention. This causes a plethora of problems in as much as we have a large number of citizens and even lawmakers in this great Nation that do not think that we are indeed at War!!! On the other side of this issue, there are those that feel the need to offering these terrorist the complete set of rights of being a citizen of the United States of America.
I am not confused. They have committed terrible crimes against freedom loving peoples who live in many countries of this World. They know that they are engaged in a War and they have their God on their side.
Without even discussing our God, we can be sure that these terrorist are devoted to destroying our way of life. The Terrorist have openly stated that. So, what is the problem and why do we continue to see things happening in this world through gray tinted glasses.
Moral Clarity will allow us and our Government and our duly elected leaders to exercise the correct options. We have a proud history of defending freedoms and defending freedom loving peoples around the world.
"Million Dollar Concern"

What we are viewing here is the Bibb County, Georgia Law Enforcement Center. When I was younger we called these facilities the "County Jail." Recently I learned that our Sheriff has expended about one million dollars in labor cost for overtime to the Deputies who guard our prisoners. This is now causing concern for the Commissioners of Bibb County, Georgia.
I know it is very easy to be a Monday Morning Quarterback; but maybe if we would have invested a bit more money in education and even demanded higher expectations of our School Students a few years ago, we would not need the number of jail spaces we now have. In fact, I do understand that as I compose this Blog that a major construction company is expanding our current Bibb County Law Enforcement Center. I hope that they are also increasing the size of the Law Library. This will take even more deputy guards at even greater cost.
I see no easy way to resolve this issue. But I do know where there is either $28,000.00 or $38,000.00 of extra money available. True, it is earmarked for the Bibb County Road Improvement Program; but with a little creative accounting I suspect that the funds can be used for other purposes. (If anyone needs assistance on creative accounting I would encourage them to contact the Macon, Georgia City Hall. As I understand it, there are several individuals there who know how to transfer funds from one project to another).
You may wonder how I know that there is extra money available? You may recall way back on July 13, 2006 when I published a Blog on the sad state of affairs as regards the timely completition of the Tucker Road Improvement Program in West Bibb County. I received a letter from the Bibb County Engineer that informed me that the Road Improvement Program had withheld at least $28,000.00 to maybe $38,000.00 from the Contractor who had failed to complete the project in a timely manner. These funds could be transferred to the Bibb County Sheriff so that he could employ at least one more Deputy to serve as a Jail Guard.
I know that this does not resolve the entire problem, but at least it is a start in the correct direction.

Middle Georgia's First UpScale Sandwich Shop
A recent issue of "The Telegraph" indicated that we would soon have an upscale shopping center called Overlook at Arkwright with an even more upscale sandwich shop.
Some one wrote a letter in the Sunday issue of the same newspaper on September 17th and asked the question "What makes a sandwich shop upscale?"
Today I will attempt to answer this question with my own humble observation on what I would consider an upscale sandwich shop.
First of all it would have a highly trained wait staff dedicated to the commands of the Head Chef, such as you see above. They would be Number One.

The next requirement would be that they would feature only the best quality merchandise in a plethora of choices.

Of course the exterior of the Shop would feature appropriate decor and would have an inviting motif. It is also quite possible that valet parking would be available.

And Again, I stress, well presented selections such as you view here.

For more intimate sandwich shop dining pleasure an English Cottage Garden decor may be appropriate. To make this setting even more pleasing, may I suggest outdoor seating with cafe style tables.
Of course the interior would have to be very special. What I would suggest is that a small Pipe Organ be played for the dining pleasure of all customers. It would feature Baroque Music which is known as being very lively and tuneful. If the Pipe Organ option would prove too costly, an appropriate Surround Sound Music system could be a viable source of the aforementioned Baroque Music if the speaker infrastructure is hidden from view.
I am looking forward to this Sandwich Shop Dining pleasure at Overlook at Arkwright.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Should Bibb County Citizens Take Action?

September 14, 2006 - Is it time for the citizens of Bibb County to gather at the Macon-Bibb County Board of Assessors at 653 Second Street and protest the 2006 Assessments? Maybe we all should take a lesson from Histroy and insure our destiny, just as our Forefathers did some 234 years ago. The files at the Assessors Office currently contain inaccurate data. Should they be destroyed and the appropriate officials be charged to develop a new assessment to be used in 2007?

I was able to check out some interesting aspects of our History. The timely action of the Citizens of Boston did achieve the desired results.

Boston Citizens Finally Take Action

December 16, 1773 - In protest of the British Tax on Tea a group of Boston Citizens disguised as Indians angrily dumped large amounts of Tea off of British Ships right into the water.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Truth in Advertising

Today we are going to focus on what we see and hear as various organizations, commercial and governmental, attempt to influence our purchasing decisions. In addition to how we spend our money, some even attempt to influence our voting. Since this is an election year we have been bombarded with a plethora of print and electronic advertising as various candidates tried to influence our voting. With the primary election cycle behind us, we have enjoyed a new found freedom from phone calls, letters from the candidates spouses, print ads and electronic ads.

However, the November General Elections are fast approaching and soon we will once again be subjected to the no holds barred style of campaigning. Neat ads telling us what so and so is doing wrong. Neat ads with glossy pictures of family and poses of the candidate reflecting what the candidates call "Family Values," etc. All in an attempt to obtain our serious consideration and finally on election day, our sacred vote.

Here in Georgia the all time Candidate Gathering Event features Pork Bar-B-Que. For a suggested donation of a pre-determined amount you and your significant other get to enjoy some Pork and an opportunity to hear the Candidate Speak. I find it very interesting on what the suggested donation amount should be. Just recently I read of a Bar-B-Que where the suggested amount was three significant figures. Not bad, but the Candidate in question was running for a seat in the Georgia General Assembly and wanted broad voter support. Not bad, but when I considered the amount I simply refused the opportunity to participate for all the correct reasons. I did not need to support a plethora of ads on my television, my mail box full of glossy candidate photos or appeals via the telephone when I am participating in the Sacred Dinner hour in the privacy of my own home.

Let someone else finance this foolishness. I sincerely believe that for most local elections and even state elections that there should be more voter forums where the candidates must respond to questions from the attendees. I find it most enlightening when a candidate must reply to questions from the public in a public venue without the assistance of slick consultants that tell the candidate how to print up a glossy promotional item for mailing or for that matter how to set up a television commercial. It is true that all of these promotional devices can work, but there is a limit. Again, I say, it is most refreshing and also educational to view and see a candidate responding in a public forum versus having a network of consultants informing the candidate how to run a compaign from some back room.

At this point of this Blog you may be asking why I selected the rear end of a tractor trailer as the lead image for this rant? The answer is simple. I believe in truthful advertising. Just this last Saturday at 8:02 A.M. I was traveling South on our local Interstate Highway and an eighteen wheeler passed me. It does not matter which trucking company, but boldly proclaimed on the right rear door of the trailer was this message:

Call 1 (800) 555-1212

Our Drivers are Home on Weekends

I contemplated this advertisement very briefly and became seriously worried as I removed my foot from the gas pedal to slow up. I wondered who was driving the truck.

Promotions are nice, but they do need to have some element of truth. I guess it depends on just what day of the week you see the advertisement.

Monday, September 11, 2006

"Long May She Yet Wave"
Today, September 11, 2006 we remember the date of September 11, 2001. May our Grand Flag Yet Wave and continue to do so for Years to Come. As we reflect on the Heroes of 9-11 it is also my Prayer that we Reflect and Appreciate the Heroes who serve our Great Nation in the conduct of "The War on Terrorism!!!!"
Thank You, Each and Every one of You and also to the Families of these Heroes who are certainly sharing their Sons and Daughters, their Fathers and Mothers and their Spouses for the benefit of all of us Freedom Loving Peoples. We must also Honor and appreciate the Daughters and the Mothers who also serve in Harms Way in our Navy, our Army, our Marines, our Air Force and our Coast Guard.
Thank You, and May God continue to Bless You All!!!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

"Read Aloud"

When I first retired on September 1999 from my second career as a Factory Worker at Brown and Williamson I knew that I would have an abundance of time on my hands. I believe that I had read about the Rolling Reader Program, which was flourishing within the Bibb County School System at that time so I volunteered to become a Rolling Reader. Well, I enjoyed the opportunity to read to School Children so much that I have continued reading. Although the "Rolling Reader Chapter in Middle Georgia" is no longer in operation, I would encourage everyone who is concerned about education for the next generation of citizens to volunteer in the School of their choice.

In September of 1999 I read an article in Parade Magazine which focused on the book "Seaman - The Dog Who Explored the West With Lewis and Clark." I obtained the book and several weeks ago I started reading it again to some happy fifth graders as I have done for the previous six years. Additionally I also read two other books to other classes by Gail Langer Karwoski who resides in Oconee County, Georgia. She has several other books out, but I am very familiar with the three I feature in this Blog. The thing that impresses me most about her books is that her goal is to write History so that it is also fun to read. She researches archives and then writes the informative, yet fun book. For "Seaman" she traveled to the library in Philadelphia which holds the journals from Lewis and Clark to obtain information to write this accurate, yet fun book. This is her style and she is very good at it.
So much about the Author as you can look her up on the World Wide Web. The most important aspect of this Blog is to simply point out the joy of reading to School Children. I have just happened to acquire the type of literature I can get into and share with students. It is fun and also very rewarding. Besides that the students like it when I come into the classroom. I have a fresh voice and I openly display my joy of reading. They have fun, yet learn history because of the type of books I select. The teacher is a winner because she gets to see her students learn while having fun, The students are winners because they get to have fun while learning, and I as the volunteer "Read Aloud" reader have fun sharing my love of books. I have read the "Seaman" story so often that I can bark very well. When a student indicates that they may be sleepy I simply add to the story - And Seaman Barked. It keeps the students on their toes. I also know that some feign tiredness simply to hear me bark.
In summary, If you are retired and want to keep yourself healthy with a youthful attitude, please consider volunteering at a local school. I have fun reading. Well, you do not even have to be retired to be an effective volunteer!!!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

"Expecting Greatness"
The Telegraph in Macon, Georgia on Sunday, September 3rd had an excellent story with the above title. The story was written by Julie Hubbard and informed us that "Hard work, innovations helping set Bleckley County schools apart."
Then on Monday, September 4th The Telegraph once again captured my attention with an associated press story with the headline on page 4A, "Augusta magnet school has state's highest SAT average."
I get the impression that education systems all around Bibb County, Georgia are making progress. Yes, I am aware that the Gates Foundation is currently working with the leadership of Southwest High School Magnet School and that the implementation of the new program is sometime in the future.
This is great news and I appreciate any good news regarding education in Georgia. What I need and I am confident that many of my Bibb County Peers need is more good news regarding education in Bibb County.
I look forward to the day when all of us, each citizen in Bibb County can communicate with the elected members of the Bibb County Board of Education with every innovative communications system available to the majority of us citizens. We all know about letters and telephones and for the past few years a good many citizens also use E-Mail. What an efficient and cost effective means of communications. I long for the day when we use every means available to communicate.
I also appreciate the need to educate our future Bibb County Citizens with the most effective means available. I do not anticipate that our Board of Education will jump on each and every fad that comes down the pike, but I do know for a fact that any school which has a focus on the whole student such as the Augusta Magnet School has demonstrated with clear cut results should be emulated throughout the entire State of Georgia.
The most dynamic sentence in the Associated Press article concerning the Magnet School in Augusta, Georgia is from a student: "Everyone is working to better themselves." This was a statement from a sixteen year old student.
When any student can buy into why they need an education we will have eliminated half of the problem which our educators face on a daily basis.
We all know that when we realize a need in our daily lives that the majority of our citizens will work to achieve that need - even students!!!
The sixteen year old in Augusta, Georgia said it so well that there is no need for additional words in this Blog. I am appreciative and grateful for this comment:
"Everyone is working to better themselves"

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Who Cares? Actually We All Are to Care!!
Today I would like to share with everyone, my letter to each of my Wonderful Siblings in the great Upper Midwest of the United States.

Greetings my Dear Siblings in the Holy Land,

For some time now I have often shared my thoughts and concerns with a few of my peers throughout the United States of America. Some have even thought that I was writing to you and that you resided in Israel.

I have had to carefully explain that my Siblings all reside in the Great Upper Midwest of the United States of America. We are all aware that we will fact some tragic events in our lives. As I write this today I am thinking about the families of those who have given their lives in Defense of Our Country. Not just the current War on Terrorism in the Middle East, but in the global War on Terrorism. We in the United States have even been victims. As a Career Navy Veteran, I often recall the events of a few years ago when the USS Cole suffered major damage and the most important aspect of that tragic event was that seventeen Sailors gave their lives for us.

The aspect of Life on this Earth and Death on this Earth was brought home to me in December of 1999 when our Dad died. Then we all lived through the difficult days of March and early April 2000 as we witnessed the suffering of our Mom followed by her death in Mid April. More recently we gathered to celebrate the life of our own Dear Brother. During each of these events we all had to face the fact that while we still survive, that one day, some day, our own death will happen. Does our Faith in God make this day any easier? I do not know the answer to that profound question; but I do know that once someone, anyone has died that there are those who try to comfort the remaining mortals with words of comfort and how good the deceased was. These words of comfort sound nice and are even nice to hear, but as I stated soon after the death of our Brother, the most profound words and also the most appreciated words I heard were "I am Sorry!!!!" I also know that everyone has a different style of mourning, so I will not tell anyone how to mourn.

What I can share with you today, as but one more Sinner on this Earth, is that from what I know of our Parents and also our Brother is that from all visible evidence that we mortals have access to that we can be comforted by the fact that each of these departed Sinners trusted in the Lord. We have a plethora of evidence because they were in God's Holy Word during their participation in Worship Services, participating in the Means of Grace and their attendance in Bible Studies. There are some who will say that I am being judgemental when I make the above statements, that I am disrespecting our fellow Earth Mates here in this life who choose not to participate in Worship Services, those who refuse to participate in the Means of Grace and appear unwilling to share their time in the Study of God's Holy Word in Bible Study at God's House.

Yet, I, Alan know and openly state that "I am a Sinner." Accomplishment of the above stated tasks does not give me a lock on Eternal Life in Heaven. On the contrary, it may just hasten my sinking to the depths of Hell if I view any of my accomplishments as work that I must do to gain Salvation. Then, I will quickly state here that I realize that all of the Blessings in my life are from my Creator, my Savior and I thank the Holy Spirit for working these concepts into my life. I have been given many gifts by my God. Now, Dear Brother and Sisters, you may be wondering why all of these known facts, which we all know because of our background are included in this letter. We were all given the Gift of God's Great Love when were Baptized.

Now as I reflect on the above paragraphs I quickly recall the verse that the Pastor used as the text for the funeral of our Brother in June 2006:

"But the one who endures to the end will be saved." Matthew 24:13

As we all know, this was also our Brother's Confirmation Verse on the event of his Confirmation when he personally accepted God's plan for his salvation, the gift that was given to him at his Baptism in late April or early May of 1942. I can state that he was baptized as a very young child because I know that was the practice in our Family. What a legacy our Parents gave us. What a great gift from their God, that they also transferred to us Children when we were but mere infants.

Now, in the twilight of my own life I observe peoples in all walks of life, peoples of all economic levels, peoples of all educational levels who appear to not know of God's Gift for them. After all, there is but only one Gift and that is Eternal Life in Heaven. We are all God's people to be sure, but unfortunately, as I view my fellow people kind, far too many have rejected God's Gift which was and still is intended for all of us. It is an intense shame that people will continue to make poor or bad choices, but then our own Dear God recognized that fact when we learn of how things happened many years ago. I am referring to the following passage in God's Holy Word:

Luke 16 versus 19 through 31

This is the account where Jesus speaks and tells us of the "Rich Man" and "Lazarus." Lazarus had a difficult time on Earth. The Rich Man scorned God's Gift and when he got to Hell he made a supplication to Father Abraham. After his supplication was rejected by Abraham, he stated one time, "No, father Abraham, he said, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent. He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead'"

I am confident in my Faith. I am glad that God has given me his Greatest Gift and also blesses me with things to enjoy this temporary, even short life span here on Earth. I am also confident that when I pray "The Lord's Prayer," that I am calling down God's plan to be put in play right now, also admitting that it is God's Will, not mine.

I take this opportunity today to share with you these well known facts and values that our God has given us. I also recognize that our Parents realized the importance of God's Gift for us and presented us with the resources to learn of God's Great Gift for each of us.

I may also share this rather long message with many of my peers throughout the United States of America. Some will simply say that Alan has lost it. But I would much rather be Lazarus than the "Rich Man," who appeared to have it all during his short time on this Earth.

Yes, thinking of death is unpleasant. Yes, thinking of my own death is very unpleasant. But I can say with all confidence that I appreciate my Brother's Confirmation verse more each day while I participate in this life.

The background for this long letter today is, "I Alan, observe all too often the efforts my fellow Earth Mates expend in enjoying this short, but also temporary life. They appear to not understand death. My Earthly death is but a GateWay to Eternal Life in Heaven. To quickly sum this statement up, I also desire to appreciate the Spiritual Side of my life as well as the Physical being that I currently enjoy on this Earth. To say the obvious again, and even one more time:

But the one who endures to the end will be Saved

And yes, I know that one of my fun part time jobs is to assist in the development of fine young Doctors who can also make your life and also my life here on this earth more pleasant, but I can also say that I will always endeavor to appreciate God's Greatest Gift to me by being in God's Word, participating in the Means of Grace and striving to keep a balance in my life. By keeping a balance in my life I mean maintaining my physical health, yet daily struggling to keep on track in God's Plan for my Eternal Life in Heaven. God's basic and also original plan for all of us Earth Persons is that we might enjoy Eternal Life in Heaven. Sure, the plan was changed after the Apple consumption episode we read of in the first book of the Bible; but the new plan is to trust in the Lord and endure to the end. This is the only plan whereby we can be Saved to God's eternal and forever grace in Paradise. The Paradise that Apple Eaters rejected so many years ago. But how were they to know, you may ask.

Now, you have just answered the question on why I sent you this message.