Moore Tea Citizens participated in the December 3, 2013, Christmas Parade which began at 6:30 PM in Carthage, NC. Construction of the MTC float and associated preparations began at 3:30 PM. The float and participation were by far the best ever by Moore Tea Citizens. The young adults who played instruments and sang present the most enthusiastic and positive image yet! And the steaming teapot and carpentry work by Miriam Chu were nothing less than inspired!
The Town of Southern Pines, NC, dedicated the flagpole at the new town park adjacent to the old train station at 9:45 AM on Saturday, November 9, 2013. Tom Bennett served as the "emcee" of the event and sang a wonderful rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. Mayor David McNeill, Councilman Mike Fields, Town Manager Reagan Parsons, and Police Chief Robert Temme presided over the event.
The Town of Southern Pines held its 2013 Veterans' Day Parade on Broad Street beginning at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, November 9. Tom Bennett served as the announcer.
Entry by Bill Cochrane
The Moore County Wildlife Conservation Club (MCWCC) held their September meeting in their clubhouse on Camp Easter Road, Southern Pines, beginning at 7:00 P.M. The featured speaker was Bill Barrett, who spoke to the members on emergency preparedness and how to use radio communications to survive emergencies.
Entry by Bill Cochrane
A commemoration of September 11, 2001 and September 11, 2012 was held at the new fire station in the Village of Pinehurst (305 Magnolia Rd.) beginning at 6:15 P.M. on Wednesday, September 11, 2013. The event was organized by Moore Tea Citizens and the Village of Pinehurst.
We will never forget those who died in the original terrorist attack or those who died in the atrocity of Benghazi..
But the events were commemorated in a positive uplifting way that honored our local firefighters, police, sheriff's department, and EMTs. These brave people literally put their lives at risk every day for all of us. And these ceremonies will be worthy of honoring our courageous first responders. The Pinecrest Brass Band Ensemble provided music, and several very special commemorative ceremonies ended with a candlelight flag lowering.
The Village of Pinehurst was so pleased with this event that they proposed to make it an annual event. Moore Tea Citizens was excited and eager to agree. Next year we would like to expand the event to Moore County and the Sheriff's Department. We will also invite southern Moore municipalities to join and participate.
The following video covers the entire 2013 Commemoration. Enjoy!
In the year 2013, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in America and said: "Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me."
"Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans."
He gave Noah the blueprints, saying: "You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights."
Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard -- but no Ark. "Noah!," He roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?"
"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed."
"I needed a Building Permit."
"I've been arguing with the Boat Inspector about the need for a sprinkler system."
"My homeowners association claim that I've violated the Neighborhood by-laws by building the Ark in my back yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the local Planning Committee for a decision."
"Then the City Council and the Electricity Company demanded a shed load of money for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear none of it."
"Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the Greater Spotted Barn Owl."
"I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go!"
"When I started gathering the animals, PETA took me to court. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodations were too restrictive and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space."
"Then the Environmental Protection Agency ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on Your proposed flood."
"I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew."
"The Immigration Dept. is checking the visa status of most of the people who want to work."
"The Labor Dept. say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only union workers with ark-building experience."
"To make matters worse, the IRS seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species."
"So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark."
Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine and a rainbow stretched across the sky.
Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?"
"No," said the Lord. "The Government beat me to it."
Entry by Bill Cochrane
I am compelled to present the following article by Bill O'Reilly here. I find myself in agreement with Mr. O'Reilly less and less as time goes by. He is often focused on sideshow symptoms rather than root causes and cures. He is much too apt to deny truth until it becomes so obviously undeniable that no viable option remains.
But even when focused on more frivolous issues or ranting on some symptom of the decay, he is more often right than outright wrong. In the following piece he has put his finger on an issue that is (and I say this in all earnestness and with full conviction) destroying the nation. If the culture does not change, this nation has but one or two more generations before it is utterly and fundamentally changed forever.
Did you watch "The Bible" series? If you did not, you missed a unique opportunity to have scripture come alive and become more real than any number of Sunday School lessons, Bible School, or even (with few exceptions) sermons could offer. Yes, there were instances of theatrical "license". Yes, there were some "modern interpretations" sprinkled amongst the stories. But it was almost purely a faithful presentation of the Old Testament and New Testament scripture. Very moving, very thought-provoking, and very inspiring.
It was so powerful that both I and my wife, Terri, could not help but actually dream of the narratives for days after each installment and upon completion of the series. I know not everyone will find the series as gripping and moving; however, like Bill O'Reilly, I just don't understand the zombie thing. What I do understand is that it is a clear indicator of the values, principles, and belief system of our younger generation. And I do understand the clear implications this has for the future of this nation.
On Easter Sunday evening, a TV show about good and evil aired on the History Channel -- the final installment of "The Bible" miniseries in which Jesus is executed. AMC ran the season-ending episode of "The Walking Dead" -- the series where zombies try to eat the brains of human beings. One footnote: The world might have been a better place had the zombies preemptively gotten to the guy who thought up this series in the first place.
Anyway, the zombies won. They beat Jesus in the ratings, especially among viewers ages 18 to 49.
What lesson can be derived from Jesus losing to the walking dead? Well, it proves that about 12 million Americans want to see blood and gore. Wait -- there was plenty of that in the Bible's crucifixion scenes. Maybe the zombie viewers simply wanted cheap thrills. Yeah, that's it. Cheap thrills triumphed over a spiritual experience. Cannibalism beat baptism.
Base entertainment almost always beats highbrow stuff. But watching flesh-eating zombies on Easter does put a different spin on things, does it not? I mean, how soon can we digest dismemberment on television after eating our baked ham dinner? One hour? Two?
At least Jesus was in context. The New Testament says the son of God rose from the dead on Easter. The zombies rise from the dead whenever their makeup is finished.
Honestly, I have no idea what this zombie phenomenon is all about. Way back in the 1960s, I saw the first modern zombie movie: "Night of the Living Dead." Things were creeping along OK until a little girl turned into a zombie and tried to eat her mom. At that point, my entire group decided enough was enough, and we bolted out of the theater.
But today that scene would be tame. Now zombie kids will eat their entire families if given the opportunity. Depravity doesn't even begin to cover it. Apparently, we Americans have an unending appetite for gross behavior. Pun intended.
What must Jesus think? Here he is, being nailed to the cross by smirking Romans and getting trounced by TV zombies at the same time. The prince of peace preached that we all should love our neighbors as ourselves. I do not believe that Jesus would condone eating your neighbor even if you are dead.
Many folks who like this zombie business freely admit it's a low form of entertainment. "But so what?" they say. It's fun to envision yourself outsmarting zombies, blasting them to hell with shotguns and then escaping to some tattoo parlor. I guess that's fun in some precincts.
But not for me. I threw in with Jesus even though the guy who played him looked a bit like Spicoli in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Sure, I knew how the miniseries was going to end, but there are worse things you could do on Easter Sunday -- like watching man-eating zombies.
All I know is this: When Jesus appeared to the apostles after he died, thank God they did not have access to AMC.
Entry by Oliver Meckes
Is this an alien? Probably not, but of all the animals on Earth, the tardigrade might be the best candidate. That's because tardigrades are known to be able to go for decades without food or water, to survive temperatures from near absolute zero to well above the boiling point of water, to survive pressures from near zero to well above that on ocean floors, and to survive direct exposure to dangerous radiations. The far-ranging survivability of these extremophiles was tested in 2011 outside an orbiting space shuttle. Tardigrades are so durable partly because they can repair their own DNA and reduce their body water content to a few percent. Some of these miniature water-bears almost became extraterrestrials recently when they were launched toward to the Martian moon Phobos on board the Russian mission Fobos-Grunt, but stayed terrestrial when a rocket failed and the capsule remained in Earth orbit. Tardigrades are more common than humans across most of the Earth. Pictured above in a color-enhanced electron micrograph, a millimeter-long tardigrade crawls on moss.
Dr. Ben Carson
Entry by Bill Cochrane
First, a note to loyal readers here.... Once again fortune has not been altogether kind. I have been absent for the past week, and my ability to contribute to this website will be reduced for the coming couple of weeks, at least. My father-in-law was discovered to have an aggressive malignant cancerous tumor on his left kidney. He quickly underwent surgery to remove the kidney and all surrounding tissues. He experienced severe complications during recovery, and Terri and I have been spending our time in Wilmington and Sunset Beach helping. He is now making a good recovery, and his prognosis is now excellent. But he and Terri's mother will require a great deal of our support over the coming days. Please bear with us.
Now, in case you missed the fantastic speech by Dr. Ben Carson to those gathered in Washington D.C. for the February 7 National Prayer Breakfast, here is your chance to experience it. Dr. Carson delivered a wonderful analysis of what is wrong in this nation today with humor, parables, and insightful wit. Another Breakfast attendee, making a rare appearance at any such event connected with the Judeo-Christian and Founding traditions, Barry Soetoro, was seated to the good Doctor's right with the opprobrious FLOTUS. You will note Barry's reaction and behavior when confronted with a truthful and common sense assessment.
Naturally, the left has reacted badly to Dr. Carson's truth telling while the right has hailed him as a hero. Many have called for him to run for the Presidency, a development I certainly could applaud and fully support. And the second video below is a Fox News interview pertaining to reactions to Dr. Carson's National Prayer Breakfast speech.
The old media outlets have largely ignored the entire affair, but the "blogosphere" is afire with the event and reactions. The speech has gone "viral". We will document it here, because it is simply too precious to let pass. Enjoy!
Entry by Bill Cochrane
Alright, I know I've posted entries featuring this timeless song before. For those who know the actual history of this hymn, you know why it is even more compelling, more joyful and uplifting than even it's beautiful melody and wondrously marvelous lyrics seemingly could achieve.
I suppose the reason I cannot get enough of this hymn is that I know how flawed I am. I know how much I need the amazing grace for my own salvation. How can a man in this world expect to survive Judgement Day without the amazing grace?
And, I know, you like me have heard this hymn performed by many wonderfully talented vocalists and musicians. We most often hear it in emotionally rueful, tearfully grateful refrains. Or with mournful bagpipes and orchestral overtures. Almost always it is delivered with a deliberately slow and graceful pace and sound, with an humbled, but joyous sound of praise.
All befitting. All beautiful. All promising of redemption and reunion.
You have, I feel certain, never heard this hymn sung like this before. Never with such exuberantly joyous power. Never with such celebration. Never with such enthusiasm. And yet, not losing any of its meaning or weight. In fact, it increases in its effect and meaning. You just gotta see and hear this!
Amazing Grace is sung by a 10-year-old Brazilian lad who cannot speak English. You will note his unfamiliar pronunciation of certain words. Although he does not speak English, he obviously knows -- and feels -- the meaning and import of the hymn he sings. It brought tears to my eyes -- and I think you'll react in much the same way.