The following was submitted to President Bill Clinton and President Barrack Obama. It is doubtful that it will reach either man, so I offer it hear as an open letter to the president and to all elected government leaders.
Dear Mr. President,
When Barrack Obama was elected as our nation’s president, I
signed up for the White House electronic newsletter. I did not vote for Mr. Obama, but he was
elected and therefore he became my president and received my prayers and
I was surprised that because I signed up for this newsletter
from the president I was also put on every electronic mailing list for the
Democratic Party. This in itself was not
something that I would expect from the office of the president, but worse than
the deluge of emails from various democratic sources was the vitriolic tone of
them all. I would not have been privy to
such acrimonious attacks on fellow public servants if not for the presumption
that all people who signed up for the president’s newsletter were Republican-hating-Democrats.
This mindset has killed the attitude that our elected
officials are public servants. The
Republican Party and the Tea Party are equally as acrimonious in their
communications, but when I sign up for a candidate’s newsletter, I know that I
will receive a dose of partisan horsehockey.
The same should not be true when I sign up for something from my
At any time I could have opted to be deleted from the
mailing list that I was unilaterally placed upon, but I followed the discourse
promulgated to see if it might finally put the American people and their needs
ahead of selfish political interests. My
optimism was quickly dismissed as the vitriolic diatribe increased its venomous
I send this to you as perhaps the only living President or
national leader from the Democratic Party that might be able to speak to today’s
leaders that are addicted to extreme rancor and disdain for any thinking other
than their own. Senator Dole has issued
some similar remarks to the Republican Party.
It is time to move beyond divisiveness and into true
statesmanship. I request that you take
an active part in this effort on a national scale.
From 4 May to 16 May 2013, Tom Spence and Rick Ellis deployed to Kenya from Burns Flat, Oklahoma to lead a conference of pastors and church leaders in the areas of evangelism, discipleship, and leadership. The two also visited a refugee camp, two schools for orphans, and some homes.
These are pictures from Eldoret, Kenya and the surrounding areas.
It has been a crazy week as I am down to single digits on my
calendar before I head to Eldoret, Kenya to speak at a conference of about 300 pastors. I am very excited about doing this.
I am also working on preparing materials for my
presentations and preparing worship bulletins and children’s bulletins for use on
the home front while I am away. For the past several days I have been greeted repeatedly
with the same words by my printer and my copier.
At some point, I started to feel a little burdened about continually
having to reload the paper tray. Then
late on Friday night following a somewhat exhausting but very productive fund
raiser for this mission trip, I loaded a congregational survey that the Board
of Missions asked us to complete. It was
9 pages long and would take a while. It
could do its work overnight.
Just as I was ready to exit the church building, I noticed
that the copier noise that I had grown to know so well over the past few days
I investigated, knowing full well that I had loaded the
paper, but wondering if I had repeated that drill so many times that I just
thought I had loaded it. There was only one
way to find out. I reentered the copy
room and was greeted with the message:
It couldn't be, but it was.
I have cleared a few jams before and they always involved placing big
hands through small openings to remove even smaller bits of paper that somehow
register on the machine’s sensor network and tell the device to cease all
It wasn't he worst of jams, but when you have been poured
out like a drink offering and can hardly wait for God and a good night’s rest
to fill you back up; it was surely the last thing I wanted to do.
The following day, I resumed my copying frenzy and sure
enough, the machine demanded more paper several times that day.
With each LOAD PAPER command that the machine issued to me,
I responded with Hallelujah!
Load paper meant that everything was working fine. Nothing was broken or malfunctioning. All was proceeding along the course set for
It is hard to see how I could have ever seen such a simple
task as a burden when it was really a blessing.