Women of Faith — First lady Althea Chavers, Evangelist Spring Gray, Felicia Harpe and Crystal Bradley (sitting) participate in the Women of Faith conference in DeLand Feb. 11.
PHOTOS COURTESY KEITH CLARKE
More Women of Faith — Ethel Thomas, Tammye Hinson, first lady Faye Brown and Barbara Nelson are among the women who attended the annual Women of Faith conference on Feb. 11 at Greater Union First Baptist Church of DeLand.
Lots of love — Pastor Tanya Greene of Destiny Life Church in Melbourne hugs Evangelist Zenisha Barkley of Calvary Christian Center in Ormond Beach. More than 100 women from different parts of Volusia County and beyond came together for the Women of Faith conference Feb. 11 in DeLand.
The presence of women with diverse backgrounds coming together to uplift and empower one another never gets old. The annual Women of Faith conference on Feb. 11 at Greater Union First Baptist Church of DeLand was no different.
The theme of this year’s conference was “God’s Love Kept Me.”
Women of Faith is an established ministry of Greater Union that was organized April 18, 2012. Its purpose includes meeting the spiritual and physical needs of women ages 18-46.
“I thought it was very electrifying! The spirit was high! Both ministers spoke the Word in a way everyone could understand. They were real. I had an awesome time,” said Donna Fletcher Williams of DeLand, a member of Greater Union First Baptist.
When crowds at his rallies hissed or booed, President Obama responded, “Don’t boo. Vote!”
Obviously, too few of us took his advice. Or at least too few of us in particular places, including Florida and Volusia County. Result? As theater critic George Jean Nathan once wrote, “Bad officials are the ones elected by good citizens who do not vote.”
Fortunately, we’ve been given a second chance, and we’ve been given a good head start. First, we have the numbers: 3,000,000 more Americans voted for the Democratic presidential candidate than for the Republican; and 4,000,000 more voted for Democratic Senate candidates than for Republican.
Honoring a loved one — This 22-foot pontoon boat decorated by the Husted family won first place in its class at the 2016 Christmas Boat Parade Dec. 10. The decorations honored a family patriarch, the late Donnie Husted.
PHOTO BY MARK WALTER
The DeLand St. Johns River Christmas Boat Parade has been a holiday tradition in West Volusia for more than 50 years.
After being canceled in 2012, the parade was rescued by a small group of dedicated volunteers. Since then, the parade has not only survived, but has grown to more than 25 boats in 2016!
DeLand St. Johns River Christmas Boat Parade Inc., which is responsible for organizing the annual parade, is interviewing local social organizations and businesses interested in assuming responsibility for organizing the future boat parades and ensuring this legacy of 52 years continues.
“In the recent past, all of the efforts involved in organizing, promoting, and conducting the parade have fallen on a select few volunteers,” said Frances Rogell, secretary-treasurer of DeLand St. Johns River Christmas Boat Parade Inc. and the parade committee the past two years.
To those who fill our papers, the internet and network news with venom and vitriol because of their crushing political defeat at the end of last year, I’d point out one thing: America is the greatest country God ever created. And God made Donald Trump president.
The fact that that makes many in the audience a bit uncomfortable does not escape me, but I’m not in the mood to worry about the sensitivity of my friends on the left.
I’ve ceased to find the attitude of those on the left amusing. And it only took weeks. I’m starting to believe they’d purposefully destroy our republic. They are against the freedom our Constitution and system of governance provides (we’re not a democracy).
In fact, they seem to have seceded from the Union already. I’m fine with that, if we equitably divide the assets.
“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”
This is how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell justified the muzzling of Sen. Elizabeth Warren during last week’s hearing regarding confirmation of Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general. It was a political gaffe that history may mark as a pivot point in the pendulum swing of American politics.
Warren was in the process of reading a letter excoriating Sessions that was penned by civil-rights icon Coretta Scott King in 1986, when President Ronald Reagan appointed Sessions to a federal judgeship and the confirmation process was going on. It should be noted that Sessions’ appointment in 1986 was not approved, due to racially discriminatory actions he had taken as a federal prosecutor and state attorney general in Alabama.
If you are like so many people, you ask yourself, “What can I do to help these poor, unfortunate developers?” I am assuming here that you are not some greedy tightwad.
On reflection, you may go on, “I mean, beyond building roads and sewers and waterlines, and giving tax breaks, and allowing more sprawl.”
These are the minimum, and you hate to see developers starve when they could pave the water recharge area instead.
Development brings jobs, which are as good as cocaine. Many years ago, one of the local judges explained how cocaine worked. The first bit is really good, because you have years of brain chemicals stored up, and they react well. After that first dose, you want it again, but you do not have the store of brain chemicals. You need more cocaine, and the next time, still more.
A refugee is someone who seeks refuge in another country than their own because of legitimate fear of persecution, capture and imprisonment, torture and/or death based on their religion, gender, race, ethnicity or political beliefs.
We are a country of immigrants, and many of our forebears were refugees escaping religious or political persecution, as well as a new way of life to escape poverty.
Pilgrims came to Massachusetts, Catholics sought haven in Maryland, and many Jews were welcomed to Savannah by Georgia Gov. George Oglethorpe, who welcomed all religions. This is how our country was formed, but at the expense of the indigenous Indians, and with the moral blight of slaves brought into servitude from Africa.
Our history is not perfect, but it is built on welcoming immigrants from all over, which has made our country a beautiful quilt of diverse peoples and cultures.
People say the CIA, NSA and TSA employees cannot find their butts with both hands. This is a gross oversimplification. In fact, the TSA finds butts and other body parts all the time, thanks to the naked body scanners and airport groping queues.
The other spooks would like to claim greater competence. The average NSA agent, given a cheat sheet, can often find his butt. At least he could if not distracted by their massive porn collection at the Bluffdale, Utah, Data Center.
The data center’s code name is “Bumblehive.” It uses more electricity than a small city, and provides many full-time jobs to otherwise unemployables. The NSA needs many spies, screening, classifying, and de-duplicating those cheerleader pictures, to manage storage space.
The CIA also would like to inspire confidence. It helps to forget pretty much their entire cold-war record, and of course their efforts in Cuba, Chile and Argentina.
Week two of the Drumpf regime was no better than week one. It would be impossible in this limited venue to list all the disasters wrought on the American people and our government during the second week, so I will stick to two that are interrelated.
The scarier of the two was the removal of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence from the Principals Committee of the National Security Council and replacing them with presidential strategist Steve Bannon.
Bannon has been quoted as saying: “I’m a Leninist. Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”
Coupled with the bromance between Drumpf and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Russia’s involvement in our election, this is an ominous turn. Neither Frederick Forsyth nor John le Carré could devise such a twisted plot.
I often wonder about the transition from child to adult. Upon entry into the world, we weren’t manic or competitive, but gentle infants with no knowledge of the fearful design of the adult world.
What is it that happens in the in-between that so drastically alters our moral fibers? What happens to the wonder and childlike loveliness? How did we get here?
From being present in our sweet, little worlds to becoming anxious about the future, worrying about taxes, vaccines, divorce, wisdom teeth, 100-percent organic cotton, liposuction, iPhones, yoga, cholesterol, compostable toothbrushes, sex, manicures, cancer, steering-wheel covers, exams, Starbucks.
Somewhere along the way, our wires got crossed and we copy-and-pasted “Fear” where we should have copy-and-pasted “Love.” Born with a natural tendency to focus on Love, we are fed Fear for breakfast, lunch and dinner.