Columnists

Thu
15
Mar

Cameron's Chronicles: Praise for 55 years of service

Singing with joy — The congregation joins in the sound and celebration at Thompson Street Tabernacle of Praise’s 55th-anniversary event. Below, members of the TOP Praise Team perform at the Friday-night celebration. They are Janae James, Markesha James, Kimberly Jenkins, Keisha Jenkins and Demetris Pressley II.

PHOTOS COURTESY MARKESHA JAMES

The banner announcing the celebration, shown at top right, was created by Kimberly Jenkins of Kym Creative Studio.

The banner announcing the celebration was created by Kimberly Jenkins of Kym Creative Studio.

Members of Thompson Street Tabernacle of Praise (TSTOP) in DeLand celebrated the church’s 55th anniversary Feb. 23. 

The church at 330 S. Thompson St. in DeLand has been under the leadership of Bishop Henry L. James Jr. and First Lady Lesha James for more than 20 years.

The celebration began with a worship experience featuring Gary Henderson and Brian Pope, both inspirational singers.

“As a church member, it is important to me that I hear the truth with proof. What my pastor teaches/preaches is directly related to our daily lives and, in return, helps us to live as Christ would want us to live,” said Kim Jenkins, praise and worship leader.

Bishop James gave his life to the Lord at age 17 in Callahan, following in his father’s footsteps, and has never looked back. His dad, Henry L. James Sr., has been a pastor for more than 50 years.

Mon
12
Mar

Students share sentiments on school shootings

Students speak out — People young and old rally for gun-law reform in a Feb. 19 protest in Washington, D.C., organized by the student group Teens for Gun Reform. 

Students speak out — People young and old rally for gun-law reform in a Feb. 19 protest in Washington, D.C., organized by the student group Teens for Gun Reform. 

PHOTO BY LAURIE SHAULL VIA FLICKR

This is Linda Bishop. I am an adjunct professor and English teacher at Trinity Christian Academy in Deltona. My junior and senior students were stirred emotionally and politically after the school shootings, so I asked them if they wanted to talk. They did.

They eloquently brought up both sides of the issues, and many tender sentiments brought my tears. 

I asked senior Aaron Yurcisin to pull together the students’ thoughts in one essay, and he brought me this:

 

I was not alive for the tragedy that is Columbine. I was a baby in a crib, not even coherent enough to understand the events that unfolded on Sept. 11, 2001.

By the time the Virginia Tech shooting rolled around, I was in kindergarten. Mass shootings and acts of terror were ingrained in me to be as normal as my ABCs.

Mon
12
Mar

Letters to the Editor: On greed, gun rights, school safety

Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

Vote greed out of office

Editor, The Beacon:

Every newscast I hear, from the so-called right, or left, or in between, reports on what the president is going to say or do about the problem of gun violence in the United States. Help me out here, because I am of the opinion that the president has no power to create or pass laws. It’s the job of the House and the Senate.

Folks are pointing fingers in the wrong direction. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that all the power lies in the hands of elected officials who are neither doing or saying anything about topics that serve the needs of the folks who elected them to those cushy jobs. And, if you can count, then you must know that laws of the land can be decided and passed without a single person called a Democrat casting a vote. The silence of our elected lawmakers is deafening!

Mon
12
Mar

David Rauschenberger: Many in left-wing media are reprehensible

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

I’ve missed submitting a few columns lately. It’s tax season. That means 80-90 hours of intense work for me each week for most of January, all of February and March, and half of April.

But I chose this life. And one of the unintended consequences of working nearly every waking moment is that I’m not subject to the leftist media and the tantrums of Democrats in Congress. I just don’t have time to waste.

Don’t misunderstand. I’m not out of the loop. I’m not missing anything. I’ve just limited my exposure to liberal news sources.

I can watch CNN or MSNBC after April 17. I can resume buying the left’s Sentinel and News-Journal newspapers at Mr. Haider’s corner store every morning, when the dust clears and I’ve earned more than 70 percent of my yearly income.

Mon
12
Mar

Russ White: President continues to collude with Russia

Russ White

Russ White

The response from the White House to every new revelation from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office is “no collusion, no collusion.” Well, that is nonsense.

It is true, as of today, no smoking gun, no beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt proof of collusion necessary to gain a criminal conviction has been publicly released.

But, the preponderance of evidence freely available through a simple Google search is certainly adequate to satisfy the requirements of a civil judgment upholding collusion.

To quote a recent social-media meme, “Drumpf didn’t just collude with Russia during the election. He’s colluding with Russia right now. He’s colluding with Russia by not defending America, he’s colluding with Russia by letting them attack us.”

Mon
12
Mar

Al Everson: Death of a prophet

Al Everson

Al Everson

There’s a void in America now. The passing of Dr. Billy Graham has left an empty space that will be quite difficult to fill.

Graham died last month at his home in western North Carolina at age 99. In his nearly eight decades of ministry, he preached a simple Gospel — simple, but not easy. The message of salvation through Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One, was not hard to understand, but following it and living it demanded total commitment to the One greater than ourselves. If anyone thinks of the Gospel as cheap grace, consider Jesus’ disciples who now suffer unto blood in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Communist China and North Korea.

Graham proclaimed the love of God, the certainty of judgment and the hope of eternal life in campaigns around the world. Not only did he preach a message of hope in the hereafter, he took stands on moral issues of the here and now. He decried the slide in sexual mores in the U.S. and the breakdown of the family.

Mon
05
Mar

Tanner Andrews: Government can drive you crazy

Tanner Andrews

Tanner Andrews

It was most unusual. I have never before heard of someone claiming that a resignation letter is covered by HIPAA.

Initially, I should point out that HIPAA is not related to a hippopotamus. It is the federal health care privacy act, mostly honored in the breach because the docs and insurance companies require you to waive all patient privacy when you walk in the door.

So, I was sure surprised when I saw that the resignation letter from Deltona community-center director Chris O’Donnell had been declared an official city secret. I would hate to be the lawyer who had to keep a straight face while defending that position. It does not pass the giggle test.

Mon
05
Mar

Beacon editorial: Making kids into criminals doesn’t help

Did leadership in the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office or Volusia County Schools stop to question why we seemed to spawn school-shooter wannabes in the week following the horrific massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School?

Or did officers just rush, guns holstered, into the classrooms and up the microphones to reassure us of their ability to wield power over 12- and 14-year-old boys?

At this writing, over a period of seven school days, 10 Volusia County public-
school students have been arrested and criminally charged in incidents ranging from confiding to a school resource deputy about thinking of bringing a gun to school after being bullied (13-year-old in Pierson), to blurting out in the middle of third period a threat about blowing up the school (14-year-old in Deltona).

Wed
28
Feb

Mike Fincher: A change of heart: We need serious gun reform

Letters to the Editor

By Mike Fincher

I used to be a card-carrying Republican and have voted for most, but not all, Republican presidential candidates since I started voting back when the Earth was cooling.

I’ve finally come to the conclusion that we need serious gun reform. We can no longer hide behind “guns don’t kill people, people do!” 

For whatever reason, our world is not the same as it was when I was growing up. I blame a lot of it on our lack of responsibility as parents in how we raised our kids; with the decline of nuclear families, lack of spiritual upbringing, lack of discipline, unrealistic preparation for dealing with failure and so on and so on. 

I pray that we can revisit all of these things. As a believer, I want to see parents put God back in a prominent place in our families.

Wed
28
Feb

Al Everson: Guns in school? Not always troublesome

Al Everson

Al Everson

The shooting rampage that left 17 people dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida, is but the latest in a series of such massacres perpetrated by losers — or must we say alleged losers? — over the past several years.

In all the coverage about the Parkland school shooting and others, even as far back as Columbine High School in 1999, some of us who came of age in a different time recall when friends freely brought guns to school — and no one was alarmed or frightened, killed or wounded. 

True, it was eastern Tennessee in the mid-1960s, but I hear similar stories from others in the rural South, including Volusia County.

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