Archives for posts with tag: People

Over three decades ago a friend expressed his opinion and regret that, “The day of civil discourse is past.” I wonder how he feels today more than 30 years later.

I have opinions (on just about everything) and I am willing to share them- if you will listen. I am open to discussions, conversations, civil discourse- but not arguments. I know that I am not always right…nor am I always wrong. Sometimes I am neither. Sometimes I am both. And I am willing to give you that same consideration.

When I am “for” something it does not mean that I am “against” everything or anyone else. If you disagree with me, I will respect your opinion. I may be firm but I never want to be harsh. I will not demonize you. I believe it is important to separate issues from people. People are more important.

There are people who jump on every bandwagon. Ready to rally to any cause. I am not one of them and might rightly be accused of not responding to situations that are critical to the well-being of others. I understand that every good and just effort requires a champion if results are to be achieved, if change is to occur.

Elie Wiesel said, “Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” I agree. There certainly are things that require a response. Demand a word. But not everything.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” He is right but everything does not need an immediate response and certainly not an angry and vindictive one. The ancient Greek, Euripides, reminds us that sometimes “silence is true wisdom’s best reply.”

Please do not misunderstand me. I believe that we need to be change agents and confront injustice and evil. That means that there are times when we stand up and speak up but we need to be careful to address issues and not attack persons. Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize recipient, suggests “The best way to solve problems and to fight against war is through dialogue.” That is true for any behavior or attitude that damages people.

Leah Ward Sears, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, offers this counsel: “We need to begin again to raise civil discourse to another level. I mean, we shout and scream and yell and get very little accomplished, but you can disagree very much with the next guy and still be friends and acquaintances.”

I am thankful if you agree with me. At the same time it is OK if you disagree. I simply ask that we treat each other with respect and dignity. It just might be that we can accomplish more together than either of us can alone.

Jamie Jenkins

Kenny Rogers - 337 x 450

Kenny Rogers is best known as a singer-songwriter who had more than 120 hit singles and was top of the country and pop charts for more than 200 weeks in the United States alone. Two of the 79 year-old retiree’s albums have been voted as one of “The 200 Most Influential Country Albums Ever”. He was voted the “Favorite Singer of All-Time” in a 1986 joint poll by readers of both USA Today and People.

In 1983 Rogers purchased the Smithsonia Farm near Athens, Georgia and developed the 1,000 acres into a lavish estate he named Beaver Dam Farms. The property includes a 12,000-square-foot mansion, five guesthouses, two clubhouses, an equestrian arena with 44 stalls, two swimming pools, and an 18-hole golf course where Rogers and pals used to play charity tournaments.

The singer sold it in 2003 to a Las Vegas real estate investor who died in 2011. The property was for sale by the investor’s for five years. It listed in 2011 for $20 million and decreased in price several times over the years. It was purchased in July 2016 for $3.5 million just prior to public auction and six months later was put up for auction with a starting bid of $3.9 million.

The Gambler

In 1979 Roger’s best-selling album was released including the title song, The Gambler (You gotta know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em).” The second single from that album “She Believes in Me” was a song written and first recorded by someone else.

“She Believes in Me” is the tale of a songwriter who has a beloved who supports him, although he sometimes wonders why. In one line of the song he expresses his belief that “I could change the world with my little songs.” Then he acknowledges “I was wrong.” Nevertheless, “… she has faith in me, and so I go on trying faithfully. And who knows maybe on some special night, if my song is right I will find a way.”

The singer-songwriter expresses clearly the naivete of an individual thinking that he/she could change the world and then the self-doubt that shows up. However, it is not left there. The realization that someone believes in you can provide the spark needed to continue trying to make a difference. Knowing that someone has confidence in you can be the inspiration to counter any thought of giving up.

Three days after Jesus was crucified and buried his followers were scared for their lives and had gathered behind locked doors. Later that day the resurrected Jesus came to them and assured them that he still had confidence in them. They had deserted Him at His most critical hour and one of them had even denied knowing Him. Nevertheless, Jesus had so much faith in them that He said, “In the same way my Father sent me, I am sending you to be my representatives in the world” (John 20:21).

At their point of greatest failure, Jesus left the future of His cause of world redemption in the hands of those who had let him down. He believed in them. And He empowered them by the Holy Spirit for the task (John 20:22).

There is much said about the need to believe in God but I think it is also important to know that God believes in us. The task to live as God intended is not easy. When we face the cruel realities and temptations of the world it is easy to think that it is impossible. That we are so flawed as evidenced by our many mistakes and failures to be of value to the Cause of Christ.

But He believes in you (and me) and so we go on faithfully doing what we can with what we have in the Name of Jesus.

Jamie Jenkins