This Thanksgiving, I am reminded that gratitude is the key to great joy, but sometimes we must be brought to a very low valley to take hold of it and appreciate all those things we’ve taken for granted.
If we are wise, we will begin to see this valley as a mountaintop turned upside down. The thin air and the incredible trials we find there can be the very place where we decide to do away with our ungrateful, rebellious spirit. Perhaps that is why God is allowing us to descend further into the darkness of our own sinful choices.
It is my sincere hope that we will soon be able to take great joy in having conquered those great places of sorrow and grief, and also recognize that being stripped of arrogance and pride will be our greatest victory as a nation and not a failure.
God knows that the heavy stones of suffering are for our ultimate good because they can bring us to a place where we will stop disregarding our creator and begin to obey what he has said. Thy will be done, Lord, even if the hardships must increase.
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him,” James 1:12.
Everyone has role in shaping nation
Some pundits say President Obama won re-election because the Democrats were better at getting out their vote. There probably is some truth to that.
In the country with the most freedom, one that does not have an established class system, the Democrats continue to successfully use class warfare to play rich against poor, worker against employer, citizen against immigrant and any other group that can be set against another.
The Democrats and establishment Republicans are saying that the Republican Party has to change its ways. I agree. However, turning into another liberal Democratic Party is not the solution.
Except for the elite in our nation’s capital, who exempt themselves from most of the laws they pass while using us as pawns to help maintain their power, we are all in this together.
Wanting the federal government to be based in the Constitution, to be fiscally responsible, and to return to the values upon which this country was founded is not an outrageous list of demands.
Maybe the Republicans (or some other party) just need to nominate that special individual who can express these values and beliefs in such a way that all the people will understand and embrace them.
Johnstown area now at crossroads
The Tribune-Democrat recently reported Congressman Bill Shuster’s potential involvement in bringing much-needed highway construction and improvements to Cambria County.
It is obvious that he is now “our” congressman. Obviously, Cambria County, and specifically the immediate Johnstown area, will be an afterthought with Keith Rothfus as opposed to the degree of representation we have enjoyed since 1937.
I find it disturbing and unfathomable that 37 percent of county voters supported Rothfus in the recent election, which numbered more than 17,000 voters. What could they have been thinking?
Placing their conservative and/or tea party ideology over the obvious interest of our region is shortsighted and is bound to have an adverse effect on our region’s ability to receive funding for everything from infrastructure to defense contracts.
A large percentage of our county’s voters have supported a candidate determined to drive our nation off the “fiscal cliff” and on the way to another serious recession.
While strong beliefs on issues such as gun ownership, abortion, gay marriage and one’s attitude toward people of color may touch emotional buttons and motivate citizens to vote for certain candidates, it is not rational to do so when it undermines the majority of our citizens’ best interests, when consideration of more important issues should dictate public policy.
It has been apparent that voters often support conservative candidates at the ballot box, only to reject those policies when they see the calamity that implementing those policies entails.
Never too late to say thank you
It’s never too late to say thanks. This should have been done a few years ago, but it wasn’t.
In September 2008, I was injured in a motorcycle accident. While sitting at a traffic light at Carlson Boulevard and Route 764 in Duncansville, I was rear-ended. The impact resulted in me suffering a spinal cord injury, leaving me paralyzed from the waist down.
This was a life-changing event for me and my family.
The driver was poorly insured, resulting in much worry as to how we would be able to provide needed modifications, medical and everyday expenses. Several months following the accident, I didn’t even want to live. At times, I would pray that God would just let me die.
We do not have total control over everything that happens to us in life. However, when we allow the nature of our creator to shine through us we can make someone else’s life worth living again.
Thanks to everyone who has rallied around me and my family to make our lives good again. Thank you for allowing the nature of God, which is love and compassion, to shine through you.
Thanks to our spiritual family at the Greater Johnstown Christian Fellowship, to our neighbors and friends, to all the local businesses and organizations as well others we do not even know who have supported us through prayer and financial blessings.
May this be a reminder to all that it’s never too late to say thanks.
If you don’t want candy, give donation
It is that wonderful time of year again. Mountains upon mountains of food, Black Friday shopping for gifts and the most costly of them all: School fundraisers.
Again, a young man came to my doorstep and asked if I would like to purchase candy bars – right before the holiday. I do not understand what is going on with fundraising methods for school teams and activities in today’s world.
Why on earth would I purchase candy bars for an ridiculous price knowing well that the team or extracurricular activity will receive only a small percentage of the sales in the end?
Please hear me out. I do not hate donating to the schools in my area that ask for help in funding their athletics or extracurriculars.
At my high school, a Cambria County high school, I was a member of the drama club for more than seven years, softball and track teams throughout high school and student council.
I have a sister in high school right now who is fundraising for her school’s extracurricular activities, and I will say the same thing to you as I have said to her, “I am not going to buy anything from this pamphlet. Instead, I am going to make a direct donation to the extracurricular activity.”
So, during this season of giving, please remember to donate directly to public and private school teams and extracurriculars.