Tuesday, November 04, 2008

God Bless America and "The Bad Breath Bandit" Story

I know you expected the granddaddy of all rants today, but no, I'm not going there.

Instead, I want to express my gratitude for living in a country in which citizens select their leaders. Recently I said to Kristin, "Aren't you glad that we don't live in a country where you might awaken one morning to find that an army killed our President overnight and has selected a new leader for us? What if you looked out the window this morning and saw big tanks rolling down our street with soldiers holding guns at the ready, looking at all of our houses suspiciously?"

And I'm glad to be alive to see both an African American and a female be key figures in the race for the top two offices in our country.

So, I want to say thank you to everyone, such as my father, a decorated WWII veteran, who made sacrifices this generation can't really comprehend so that we can stand in a long, long line to cast a vote today. God bless America.

*EDIT: Arrived at polling site at 5:45 AM, done at 7:00 AM. Go Maverick!

And now on to the latest update by the crack reporting staff here at 2nd Cup, lifted from the Saturday edition of the Muncie newspaper. Do not miss what happened when the Bad Breath Bandit left the store:

Police Search for Bandit with Bad Breath

Muncie police are looking for a bandit with bad breath who held up the Save On Liquor Store, 1920 S. Madison St., late Thursday.

A male wearing a ski mask and hooded sweatshirt walked into the store around 10:45 p.m. and demanded cash from a clerk after displaying a handgun, according to police detective Sgt. Mike Engle.

The clerk indicated the suspect had bad breath.

A surveillance video showed the robber put the gun in a pocket of his sweatshirt as he left the store, and the gun discharged.

Police checked with local hospital emergency rooms and other medical clinics to find a possible gunshot victim, but no suspect was immediately found.


annie's eyes said...

I just got home from putting out signs for a couple of candidates. It's 2 a.m. and I am feeling really proud to be an American. Each person can make a difference in some way, and later today when I stand in line to vote with my book in hand, I won't be able to concentrate because I still am so excited for the opportunity. This is my eighth Presidential election to be able to vote in, and it is a privilege I will never take for granted. No matter what. God bless our country. Especially today.

Smelling Coffee said...

Thanks for sharing this perspective on voting. How true it is.

I was just thinking this morning that after we cast our votes today, all we can do is rest in the Soverignty of God and continue to pray for our nation and leaders. I'm looking forward to being at rest over this election - no matter who wins.

Dorothy Champagne said...

Our preacher had a very moving sermon on Sunday morning. Without declaring loyalty to any one candidate he made it clear that it was time for Christians to come out of the closet! Our country, founded on Christianity, needs to realize that it is for that reason that it is such a great country. Christians need to get back to showing people that what we have is an honor and a privilege, not a disease. anyway...
I have a very good friend who lives in Muncie, Indiana - is that where you are from? And no, it wasn't her with the bad breath. . .

Greg C said...

I have to do the afternoon voting thing. This will be fun, lol. Speeking of bad breath, I just hope I don't get stuck in line next to someone with bad breath. That happened last time I voted. I loved the bad breath story.

Dena @ Green Acres said...

I'm glad you ended up well enough to go vote! I'm still sick, so I'm waiting to go out later in the hopes I'll feel better by then. But I'll get there. My hubbys Grandfather is a WWII vet and while he never talks about what it was like for him, he was gone for 4 years and his wife was pregnant. My mother-in-law was almost 4 before her daddy ever got to see her. Even though I know he hated missing out on that time, I also know he would do it all again because that's how much he loves this country. There's no way I could disrespect what he and others have done for us, by not going out and voting today.

Fran said...

I'm grateful for today as well and a I'm also laughing for the bad breath bandit. Priceless.

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

First of all- WOO HOO. YOU ARE ALL BETTER! Yes, M'am!

Second- Only you can make me feel all gummy bear in my pocket warm in the beginning of a post and then laugh out loud at the end.

Mocha with Linda said...

Glad you felt well enough to go exercise your wonderful privilege to vote this morning. I can't imagine having to endure such a line.

Wow, you live in one exciting place. But a bandit with bad breath? Now there's some evidence that's easily taken care of!

Who's Your Audience said...

I actually did have a second cup of coffee today - right after I voted. It's not often that I indulge but on this election day, I think we all need some inspiration.

Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

so are you in Muncie? I have family some where in Indiana. My maiden name is Bone and I always say I am going to go to cementaries and dig up some bones! lol!!!

skoots1mom said...

Jorge definitely needs to make those crepes for u...

congratulations on your shorter voting time...i was there 3 1/2 hours two weeks ago. God bless us...I've been pondering Solomon's Dedication prayer in the Bible...it's amazing how it speaks to our nation's situation

My daddy was a WWII vet, a staff sargeant in Luzon, Phillippines--and he NEVER got over the jungle rot from being in wet boots and socks...poor thing was constantly dealing with foot fungicide meds...but he was proud of what caused it because he knew he was there for the RIGHT reason. I'm very thankful we have voting and thankful we don't have tanks in our streets.

As to the bad breath, can't you just see the police approaching..."get your hands up; now, open your mouth and blow in my direction!"

have a gr8 day...continue praying our Maverick lands on the Hill!!

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Do you think he brushed his teeth after the report?

Tammy said...

YAY, you got to got to vote!!!!

I'm packing the girls into the car and taking them on a mini field trip to the ballot drop off later this morning. No curtains, no lines (except for traffic)...and then, in between helping with school work, I'm going to be praying and watching the news.

Amen, to be a part of a democracy and amen to all those that fought for that right! Let's pray God continues to keep His hand on this country no matter who the leader is.

Anonymous said...

God Bless America! The breath post is hilarious!

Esthermay said...

I listened to Dennis Miller last night on Bill O'Reilly. He (Miller)spoke with GREAT passion about our military vets. In particular the Vietnam vets -- and what a slap in the face John McCain has rec'd in this election. ...and how his defeat today would be the ULTIMATE slap in the face for ALL Vets. I got goosebumps. (*Oh, my.... I've got 'em now *)
. .. shudder!

I'm just waiting for DH to get out of the shower and we are marching down to little tiny city hall in SmallFarmTownMinnesota to cast our vote for Vietnam VET/Maverick John McCain and TOTALLY QUALIFIED to be VP/P/Governor/Mayor/Whatever the *@^% she wants SARAH PaLIN!!

I just pray my kids don't make a scene and tell everyone in the voting place they're going to hell if they vote for Obamamaniac!
Pray for us!

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

Amen Lid! Our American right makes this day one to be completely grateful for, no matter the outcome.

I voted already today, too...but I didn't get up quite as early as you did. ;)

Sooooo, bad breath, huh? I rilly hope they catch the creep soon b/c that's just gross. :D

Luanne said...

Yes--I am counting my blessings today, too. Not going to dwell on the negative--if there is negative--and going to remember that God is STILL good, in control and loving!

Hope you feel 100%!

Edie said...

I'm glad you're feeling well enough to vote this morning! Selfish of me huh? ;) Scary thing is that those things you are glad we don't have to worry about could become a reality if we choose the wrong candidate. My grandpa was a Flying Tiger in WWII and my dad also served in the military.

Susanne said...

You went to vote at 5:30 a.m? Hoo, boy. You must be feeling better. I don't think our polls in Canada even open until 8.

Say, that cop show is not back in your town is it? Catching a thief by his breath is a new one to me. LOL.

Marina said...

thanks for sharing on voting well said ") marina

Joanna said...

Glad to see you were well enough to make it.

Renna said...

If the guy gets caught, that would be bad enough (for him, I mean!), but to be known as the 'bad breath bandit', how humiliating! ;-Þ

As to the things you said that you are grateful for about living in this country, I agree completely...and yet...if the wrong people are elected to run this country, though I don't feel we'll end up like the scenarios you mentioned, I do think that life as we know it will become very, very different, in not that long a period of time.

I'm glad I live in a state that has early voting, as hubby and I got that out of the way last week, no waiting at all. :-)

Debbie said...

Amen to the first part. You're right, we have no idea of the sacrifices our fathers made. Mine refused to talk about it very much at all.

No comment on the editorial comment...

Only Muncie could have the Bad Breath Bandit who may have accidentally shot himself! No wonder they chose us for the goofy cop show!

Chatty Kelly said...

My husband is a vietnam vet (remember he is older than I). So we are pro-military. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy. Any wonder we support McCain?

Glad you are feeling better!
(p.s. it's still me, I just updated my photo!)

40winkzzz said...

Arrived at polls at 6 am, done at 9:30 pm. And somewhere around the 243rd voter I processed, thought to myself, "I sure hope I don't have bad breath."

Nel said...

Glad you were well enough to go vote! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Concerning the genealogy, I was lucky, I had some information to work with on the one side. The others will not be so lucky. There is a really good site at familysearch.org. If you have like the name of your grandma and grandpa and birthdate of death date that is something to start on. There is just sooo much out there. I even put my great grandma's name into google.com and information came up, of course I had to weed thru it, but I did find info, plus a picture. It is alot of fun when you get started.

Anonymous said...

the words below are not those of jim cooke, but a wiser individual - i encouage your responses to me or to the aip news website at www.aipnews.com

The 2008 Election: A Winnowing Season
By Alan Keyes
Nov. 3, 2008
Regardless of the outcome of the Presidential election, the 2008 election cycle has been a winnowing season for all Americans who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. Both major parties nominated individuals whose views discard the nation's founding principle of respect for the authority of the Creator God. Faced with this circumstance, those in full possession of the facts had to make a choice for or against telling the truth. Unfortunately, many so-called Christian leaders chose to act deceitfully and pretend that John McCain is pro-life. While his record includes some actions that appear to be pro-life, and others that could not be, these opinion-shapers opted to emphasize the first and ignore the second.

Now if the pro-life position is just a matter of counting votes, these leaders could claim to be justified. But Christian conscience can never be satisfied with a result that accepts as righteous those who appear to do good, but turn their backs on the principle of all goodness, which is the will and Spirit of God. Such were the Scribes and Pharisees whom Christ harshly ridiculed and condemned, even though his uncompromising rejection of them led directly to his unjust arrest, torture and crucifixion. For Christian conscience, the core of the pro-life position is not a matter of numbers, but of wholesome respect for God's authority. McCain's consistent and repeated support for research that destroys embryonic human lives and his position that state governments have the right to disregard the God-given unalienable right to life prove that such respect is not the basis of his actions. As a matter of Christian conscience and American principle, he is not pro-life. Moreover, since McCain professes to accept the fact that humanity exists from the moment of physical conception, his willingness to support embryo-destroying research implies a conscious choice to go against God's will when expediency requires. He knows what is right, but as a matter of deliberate calculation chooses to do otherwise. As a matter of conscience, this is exactly what Obama has done by supporting the murder of viable babies born into the world despite every effort to abort their lives. Obama's position is an outrage, not just as a matter of feeling, but because it self-evidently violates God's stand against the taking of innocent life. When he advocates the view that such murder is part of so-called "abortion rights," he too consciously rejects God's authority.

As a matter of political expediency some leaders in the pro-life cause have been willing harshly to condemn Obama's conscious choice against God, while consciously hiding McCain's similar choice. They have produced deceptive voter guides that label McCain as pro-life. These same leaders quietly contradict themselves, however, by arguments that take the view that Christians have no choice but to support the lesser of two evils, thus tacitly acknowledging that McCain too stands for evil. Though some ignored the thorough arguments that I, and others, have made against the "choice of evils" position, others recognized their truth. But, instead of correcting their course, they merely adjusted their rhetoric and took the position that Christians had to vote effectively to limit evil, else they would be guilty of promoting it. Slyly, this argument implies that those who conscientiously seek to hear the word of God and keep it are in fact the evil ones.

Yet the apostle says, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21) We cannot limit something by extending it. The limit is established where it ends and something else begins. Christ suggested this when he responded to the unforgivable accusation of the Pharisees who said, "It is only by Beelzebub the prince of the demons that this man casts out demons." Christ replied to them saying:
Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand; and if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Matthew 12:25-28)
Clearly, Christ ridicules the notion that evil can be divided against itself, that a line can be drawn that incidentally separates evil from evil when both arise from the same principle. Yet this is precisely what they seek to do who claim that we can limit one evil by supporting another. Christ understood that we must define good in terms of its source, not its circumstances. "Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit." (Matthew 12:33) For Christian conscience, the difference between good and evil is a matter of principle. This is why Christians reject moral relativism and "situational ethics." For Christian conscience, the moral nature of action lies in the relationship between the action and its source, which is to say, the principle that governs it. The will of God is the principle of good action.
And behold, one came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments. .The young man said to him, "All these I have observed: what do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (Matthew 19:16, 20-22)
The line between good and evil (the limit of evil) can only be established by action that focuses on God's will. In his words to the young man, Christ points to God's commandments as the indicators of his will. But he goes on to suggest that until we see as good only those things that correspond to God's will, and wholeheartedly follow the one who embodies them, our observance of his will is not complete.

A good action is one that arises from this single-minded and wholehearted focus on God. The aim and objective of the action is God, so that no preoccupation with evil plays any part in it whatsoever. This is entirely incompatible with action that aims at "limiting evil" which, by focusing upon evil, loses sight of the root and source of all good. Good action may in effect limit evil, but it does so by making way for good, as John the Baptist made way for Jesus Christ.

Now those who say that we are morally obliged to support evil in order to limit it suggest that people who fail to do so are somehow responsible for the evil that results. They contend that people who single-mindedly seek out and support a candidate for President whose views and actions consistently align with the commandments are morally culpable. Anyone therefore who does not vote for the evil they prefer (in this case John McCain) is casting a vote for the evil they oppose (in this case Barack Obama). This comes close to the unforgivable stance of the Pharisees, who ascribed evil to one whose only crime was to follow the will of his Father God. Yet, though Jesus could know with certainty and from within the exact substance of his Father's will, we rely upon faculties of perception and reasoning that leave us with no source of certainty except by faith. We want to do what is right, but we cannot know that what we do will in fact produce results more good than evil. Therefore our choices are almost always approximations, best guesses about a future whose contents, as Shakespeare said, "must be acted 'ere they may be scanned." As beings finite and limited, we can only have a finite and limited impact upon the future. If we take stands that seem to correspond to God's will, but produce results that move the situation farther away from his will, do we not promote evil in fact for the sake of an unreal and unattainable perfection?

If we walked only by sight, this argument might be decisive. But on numerous occasions Christ demanded that his disciples trust in him, rather than in the results of their own rational calculations. They did so when he twice fed the multitudes with a few loaves and fishes, though their rational calculations told them so little food could not possibly feed so many. Peter did so when he stepped out of the boat with nothing but his trust in Christ to keep him from being swallowed by the sea. This reliance upon the Lord was in and of itself enough to secure salvation for people as disparate as the woman healed by a touch of his garment, and a crucified thief saved by his simple recognition that what seemed the culmination of Christ's failure and defeat was in truth the seal and emblem of his triumphant victory. Such as these trusted before what Christ called "the sign of Jonah" had been revealed. As Christians for whom that sign is like the rock of ages, what faith are we called to by our certainty of its truth?

The key flaw in all the arguments that call us in this election to embrace evil in order to fight or limit evil is that to do so we must surrender our single-minded reliance upon God. But once we let go of that reliance, what good is left to us? Once we take up the sword of evil to fend off or defend ourselves against it, what becomes of the faith whereby Christ fed the multitudes and which alone opens the way to life, and hope, and a future? These questions reveal the true import of this flawed moral reasoning. It seems to offer us a better hope for victory as the world understands the term, but only if we surrender the faith that alone leads to the victory that lies beyond the world's understanding. That faith is proved especially in those circumstances when we trust in God as the standard of truth though the whole light and reason of the world decries our trust as folly.

Who is responsible for evil? Is it those who persevere in faith despite the world's reproof, or those who say we must surrender perfect trust in God in order to limit evil? I believe that the latter claim lures us into a place that is beyond redemption precisely because to reach it we must surrender our hold upon the key that opens the floodgates of God's saving grace. And so, on the day when evil seems to triumph over us, let us hold fast and say, though it be with our last breath, as Jesus did, "Father into thy hands I commit my spirit," and there leave will and choice, conscience and vote and all.

if you or anyone you know want to join a conference call on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays with people of the same like faith of yours and Dr. Alan Keyes, please e-mail me @ cookebulldogs@aol.com

please keep the hope that we have in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, sincerely, and God Bless, Jim Cooke

PJ said...

Hmmm. Maybe advertise for a halitosis cure and lure him in. I think this is when one can say "truth is stranger than fiction"