Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Misplaced "Buy America Campaign"

Now let me start out by saying that I'm in favor of buying American made products. However, the current campaign will not greatly improve America's employment problem because the plethora of foreign made products on our shelves is not the real issue. While school children are manipulated by government subsidized, unionized teachers in such a way as to obscure the real problem facing American workers, the actual culprit whistles as it continues to merrily walk among us, unaffected and continually expanding its subversive reach.

The real issue which has resulted in American owned and managed companies moving offshore is the strangling government regulations placed on industry here in America. American industry finds itself caught between the proverbial rock and hard place of labor unions and rampant bureaucratic power grabs.

Why do we never see campaigns to get the government out of our industrial lives? The cost of doing business across the fruited plains has escalated to the point that even the most ardent patriot has difficulty justifying the downturn in profit to his board of directors.

I'll use a brief ancedote to explain what I mean. As I grew to adulthood, people in Mississippi and Texas, the states where I spent most of my childhood, raised hogs, cows, and chickens galore. Monday's highways were filled with farmers taking hogs and cows to slaughter. Now one cannot find a slaughter house for hogs within several hundred miles. Why? Government regulations made compliance so difficult that small organizations could not exist.

Recently some in government have come to realize the misguided conclusions which led to untold numbers of horses being abandoned and left to fend for themselves. Government regulations led to the shutting down of horse slaughter houses in the U.S. The price of horses fell dramatically even as feed costs continued to rise resulting in abandonment.

The links listed below are but a small sample of the way oppressive government regulations stifle our economy and subsequently force industry to seek better work environments. So, lets be angry, but let's focus our anger directly. IT IS TIME FOR AMERICANS OF EVERY CREED, SOCIAL CLASS, AND ETHNICITY TO RAISE UP AND SAY, "ENOUGH." "GIVE US BACK OUR COUNTRY!"


© 2011 Mike Rasberry

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Wausau Labor Day Parade

The Wausau, Wisconsin Labor Day Parade has now become the Labor Union Parade. Organizers there equate labor with unions, even though only 11.9% of all workers are unionized. This is manifested in the organizer’s banning of Republican law makers from participating in the parade.

Randy Radtke’s statement, president of the Marathon County Central Labor Council, “Usually they've been in the parade, but it seems like they only want to stand with us one day a year, and the other 364 days they don't really care,” demonstrates the typical union/liberal bias that theirs is the only possible expression of concern for labor.

The fact is the Republicans are just as concerned about labor as are the unions, but their philosophy in meeting those concerns is different. Labor unions believe more money toward social programs, more money for workers, with less responsibility, and more free time is best for the nation. Republicans believe workers should have a comfortable living, but that those employed by the government, who have enormous benefits, should not be allowed to strike in the same way private enterprise groups do.

Each strike in the public sector is simply an additional tax upon the rest of the working class, as government only generates income by confiscating monies from the citizenry via taxation.

The unions are empowered by additional members, and have the backing of liberal Democrats, because they traditionally vote the Democratic ticket. Democrats seem to have little philosophical investment in the process except as they desire the continued participation of union rank and file in their “get out the vote” campaigns, and in the largess union leaders show toward Democratic candidates by showering them with the ever increasing dues charged union members.

I am not opposed to unions. I am opposed to requiring one to be a member of a union in order to work. Such policies are contrary to American initiative, and exceptionalism. I also oppose the practice of unions taking union dues to support policies and politicians with which many workers disagree.

But the concept of unionizing government workers is one of the most ridiculous concepts government has yet enacted. The warnings bellowed from paper, over wire, and through the air were summarily dismissed by the heavy-handed purveyors of this dastardly deed. Today those chickens are coming home to roost, and those responsible are reacting in childish displays of angst, thus the silly ruling against Republican lawmaker’s participation in the Wausau Labor Day Parade.

© 2011 Mike Rasberry

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Don't Like That Law, I Think I'll Just Ignore It

No matter your stance on immigration, if you are not a hard core liberal, you are dismayed by the recent decision by the Obama administration and liberal activist Janet Napalitano, dba, Homeland Security Secretary; to choose to ignore established law simply because they don't agree with it.

The administration under pressure from Napalitano has agreed to stop deportations of illegals, simply because congress cannot agree on a new law. Duh??? Old law still in effect. Hey, there are several laws, I don't agree with, and with which congress has been unable to come up with something to my satisfaction. Therefore, I'll just ignore the existing law, and do what I want. How far will that get me when I'm trying to board a plane?

However, that is the "M.O" of liberals. They decide a law is bad, they just ignore it. Conservatives say a law is bad, i.e. abortion, we called neanderthals. It is once again the liberal elitist approach to governing.

HELP!!! Let's get rid of that bunch. Even better, Lord I want to be here as long as you want me to stay, but with the Apostle John, I echo, "Even so, Come Lord Jesus."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


In the recent article "Sorry, Guys, There Are No More Kings," by David Harsanyi, the writer clearly outlines the disconnect between the Eastern Elitist Establishment and the masses of citizenry who actually make this country great.

Harsanyi exposes the air of superiority demonstrated by those who would rule the masses as he quotes liberal newspapers, and Ivy League professors.

One unique aspect of the American Experience is the belief that those who sit in offices behind ivy covered brick walls are not the heart and soul of the country. Those theoreticians whose primary purpose is not to rule, but rather to question so that the people can solidify their decisions by examining alternatives have evolved to consider themselves more authoritative than theoretical.

Therein lies the disconnect. Time and again intellectuals have so piqued the American mind as to energize her populace to achieve improbable results. "Go West, Young Man," stirred families, young professionals, and businessmen with the possibilities of westward expansion and gave impetus to the migration.

Rather than such emotional calls today stirring men's hearts to accomplish great tasks; the intellectuals seemingly seek to subvert freedom and enslave men by making them dependent upon a benevolent state ruled by an autocratic upper class.

Perhaps they have earned the title, "Pseudo-Intellectual."

© Mike Rasberry 2011

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Dolly Parton's World View

The recent apology by Dolly Parton to the homosexual community and her subsequent statement that she supports the lesbian and homosexual community causes great concern for me. I've always known that Parton did not have the value system of most conservative Believers, but I believed hers was a family friendly enterprise. One characteristic of a family friendly environment is one where I can take my grandchildren without them being inundated with people promoting the abolishment of the traditional family.

I fully respect the right of individuals to express their opinions, even when they are absolutely and unequivocally wrong as is the case of those who support same sex marriage. However, I wonder what the reaction will be when an individual wears a t-shirt saying, "Same Sex Marriage is Sinful?" When a homosexual activist complains will the person with the traditional view receive the same latitude as the homosexual activist? Will Parton come out and say that she also supports traditional marriage, or is her political correctness one-sided? In fact, how one support two positions which are absolute polar opposites?

I've listened to Parton sing traditional hymns, and heart stirring songs of faith, but it seems her faith is not reflected in her business decisions, or her faith is not a Biblical faith. At any rate, those who have looked at her and her enterprises as supportive of traditional values now have a new paradigm by which to gauge her. Her world view seems little different from other money grubbing moguls of different eras, i.e. there are no values higher than the almighty buck.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Al Jeffery Fike

Al Fike and I go back many years to when I was pastoring at Pine Level Baptist Church in Greene County, Ms. Al is from Leakesville and, while attending William Carey College, led the music for a revival or two I preached during those days of the mid- 1970's.

Since that time Al, who now lives in the DFW Metroplex, has developed a reputation as a Christian Comedian with a message. Recently he published a devotional book on Proverbs entitled The Ultimate Self-Help Book: 31 Days in Proverbs. If you're looking for a gift book for a friend, or enemy, this is an excellent idea.

Al will be at FBC, Brandon, Ms on Thursday, August 26 & Saturday August 28. If you'd like to have your laugh muscles excercised, plan to catch him. Great, clean entertainment.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day Two of Ministry in Ukraine--Sunday

Both of the teams have National church members trained in evangelism who are doing an outstanding job of touching each person who comes onto the grounds. I am able to preach to small groups a couple times per day, and my interpreter and I share with individuals, however, the bulk of the heavy lifting as far as evangelism is accomplished by those national church members.

More than 150 have already prayed to receive Jesus as Lord. Please pray that they will be become genuine disciples of Christ. We fully understand that many who pray are simply making the first step toward God without fully being converted. Pray that they will understand their lostness and cry out for mercy to the God of Mercy.

Day Two, Sunday, found us at another location setting up for the clinics. Most churches in this area are converted houses. They usually have a small courtyard and several outbuildings, as well as outdoor toilets.

Fruit trees are in abundance in this area. Apricots, grapes, apples, peaches, and pears are readily available. This year the trees are bearing in such abundance that many bushels simply fall to the ground ruin.

Two of our interpreters: The lady assists the medical team, and the man, Sergei, is my interpreter in evangelism.

A Nurse Practitioner and her interpreter are set up to deal with people. Each day the set up is different and unique, because no two buildings are exactly alike. At times the set up is out of doors.

Two Doctors interview and examine patients with the help of an interpreter. They often sit at these tables for hours on end, seeing as many as 130 patients together in a day.

The Pastor receives New Testament tapes and players for those whose disability prevents reading Scripture

The two photos below are of part of the team gathered for Sunday Night Worship. After some choruses and testimonies, I preached from the Book of Joel.

This is an outdoor cafe on the hotel grounds where Kenny Pogue and I sat to drink a cool refreshing bottle of water and coke.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day One of Ministry in Ukraine--Saturday

After breakfast on Saturday, we boarded two buses for our assigned destinations. The first day always requires the loading of the buses which takes a little longer than the rest of the days.

Arrival at our assigned church means unloading several suitcases loaded with glasses and medical equipment. While the team is unloading and setting up, Sergei, my Interpreter, and I gathered those early arrivals and shared a brief message with them. The setup takes about thirty minutes.

A sign announcing the clinics was posted on the street adjacent to the church where we met. This particular church is pretty new and the building is new also. The courtyard is filled with colorful roses and flowers of many varieties. The well manicured gardens obviously require a great deal of time.

Lines formed quickly after registration and soon the medical team was very busy with their assigned duties.

The inside of the clinic became a veritable beehive of activity. Each person has an assigned responsibility and in many instances they have served for several years and know the routine quite well. So what looks like pandemonium is actually only organized chaos. :-)

Dr. Danny Clifton is working with a patient with the help of an assistant and an interpreter.

This lovely young lady has an 18 month old child, but she has been widowed for more than a year now. Her in-laws are active participants in the local church. Pray that God will send a Godly man across her path to help her raise her child in a Christlike environment.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to present two sets of tapes for the blind with players to the Pastor of the church. I pray that God uses them to help seeing impaired individuals hear and understand His Word.

After loading the bus, the entire team met for a group photo before leaving for the day.

The Russian Orthodox Church remains the dominant religious affiliation in Ukraine, even though the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was organized following the dissolution of the Soviet Empire. Evangelicals remain a small minority of the population.

Kenny Pogue from Collinsville, Mississippi led us in a devotional time following our meal Saturday Night.

Friday, July 15, 2011

We've Arrived in Ukraine

We're here in the hotel in a city in Ukraine which is translated "Crooked Horn." It is 12:43 AM Saturday Morning here, and it is 4:43 PM Friday at home.

I'm looking forward to a few hours sleep before we start out in the morning at 8:00. Our bus ride to our city from the airport was over six hours long. The bus was actually too small to accommodate all the luggage we have because of the glasses.

We encountered the typical shakedown at the customs entry and had to pay duty on the used glasses we brought in. That just goes to show that government is really never interested in the welfare of its citizens. People who cannot afford glasses will soon be able to read and see clearly, but the government must have its pound of flesh. We are thankful for the safety so far on the trip. In the thirty-six hours since I left home Thursday Morning, much has happened.

The most frustrating thing was the failure of my phone. However, I ran the battery completely down and recharged it and now it works.
The rural area we're traveling through is heavily dependent upon agriculture. The wheat fields are a variety which is smaller that what we're accustomed to, but there are miles and miles of wheat.

The second most important crop appears to be sunflowers. The sunflower fields rival the wheat for volume of acres planted and harvested.

Nearly every home seems to have a garden and the people rely on those gardens for feeding the families during the long winter months. Many homes also have a cow and some pigs. Beef is said not to be as accessible to the typical family, and pork is an important staple of their diet.

Modernization has been slow to come to the Ukraine, but now automobile travel is greatly enhanced by the new gas stations and service centers popping up along the major highways.

After finally arriving at our city, we enjoyed a meal prepared by one of the local churches. Here part of the team is digging in.

Please continue to pray for us as we seek to honor Christ by being useful instruments in His hands to be used by His glory this week.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Second Leg of the Journey to the Ukraine

Diane and I were up late Wednesday Night packing my stuff for the Ukraine Trip. We were up before 4:00 AM & I left out at 4:30 to meet with the team at Park Place Baptist Church in Pearl, Ms.

7:30 AM check in at Jackson International, then extended wait until liftoff at 9:30.

Enjoyed the trip had a great seat companion who, as a Nurse Practitioner, has been on several mission trips but this is her first to the Ukraine.

Upon arrival in Houston, I received a call from a young man who had lived with us in Korea. He now lives in New York and seems in the process of allowing God to turn his life around. He always had great potential, but we just were never able to help him fully recognize that potential. It was very encouraging to have him contact me after all these years. I pray God will bring about the opportunity for us to renew our relationship.

I met two young women from Brazil in the airport at Houston, sisters traveling to Mexico. I pray God keeps them safe as they seem unconcerned about the dangers of young women traveling unescorted in that lawless area.

I met a woman from Bosnia who now lives in Utah with her two sons. I pray God sends someone across her path to show her just how much God loves her.

My iphone is on the blink. The light barely comes on, and I can barely read the numbers or the applications. This has happened before, but it cleared up right away. Pray that I'll be able to get it straightened out.

Tomorrow is the forty-fifth anniversary of our wedding. Pray for Diane and for me as we're apart during this time. We once were on a mission trip together to Brazil on our anniversary, but this is a real challenge.

Pray for the team that we'll appropriate every opportunity to share Christ in effective ways to receptive hearts.

We're about to board.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Peparing to Prepare

We leave Thursday Morning from Jackson, Ms for the mission trip to The Ukraine and I'm trying to get ready. My passport has been recovered from the deep and mysterious recesses of oblivion where it has been hiding during these many months of inactivity.

Diane has purchased a new suitcase for me. We have absolutely no idea what happened to the last one purchased for me. After all, we have slept several times since its last use. It is certainly exactly what I shall need with sturdy wheels to bounce along steps and across grated passageways. Pockets galore to allow inquisitive minds ample opportunity to investigate the contents during various stages of transport, and a convenient carrying handle, I think is perfect for tying my camera case to.

But Alas!! The clothes fairy has yet to fill the empty case with that for which it was intended. I'm sure there is a better way to do all this. For fireworks, I simply keep a tote bag full of stuff to put on, and I usually keep it in my truck. But this is different. I certainly don't want to go through Homeland Security's anxious gatekeepers smelling of gunpowder. No, I must neatly arrange clothing suitable for a culture with which I'm totally unfamiliar, for about ten days. Thankfully, God's perfect plan can be carried out by imperfect packers, and He will make the best of my bungled attempts.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Archusa Water Park near Quitman, Mississippi is a beautiful setting for Saturday Evening Fireworks. The exotically named Archusa Creek which feeds the reservoir conjures images of past civilizations gathered around campfires as it winds its way through the rural East Central Mississippi landscape.

On this, the second day of July, the deceptively serene landscape is but prelude to the roiling boisterous Independence Day Celebration observed annually at the park. Looking Northwest one could hardly believe the restful quiet will soon be shattered by three inch titanium salutes wound tight enough to startle the most hardy of those early occupants of this land as they explode in thousands of tiny stars three hundred plus feet in the sky.

As the Sun sets in the West excitement builds in the gathering crowd. Children and adults, men and women share in the anticipation of the upcoming show. They have little understanding of the time and energy expended to plan, organize, and shoot this eleven to twelve minute show. They only know that the brightly colored stars and loud explosions bring energy and pleasure even during the dreary economic times they face.

As the crowd, of several thousand, continues to gather; even the threat of rain is no deterrent to their enjoyment. The band two hundred yards away fills the air with music to stir the patriotic fervor and add a distinctive Clarke County flavor to the festivities. The enticing aroma of hamburgers grilling in the shelter manned by the local volunteer fire department permeates the area as it wafts on gentle breezes throughout the park. The set up complete, all simply await full darkness AND...


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Those Inconsiderate People

Tuesday I returned home from having conducted a Bible Study to find several luscious tomatoes on the mat at our back door. I had been given a bag full of tomatoes by the lady who hosted the Bible Study, and I thanked her profusely because my wife, Diane, and I love tomato sandwiches. We also love tomatoes in salads, and tomatoes in our goulash. In short we really do like tomatoes. However, those tomatoes left at my door pose quite a problem for me.

Now, I must be nice to EVERYBODY, because I don't know the culprit who perpetrated this dastardly deed. Selective niceness just won't work, because the folks I suspected of doing it were out of town. Now, they could have arranged with someone else to do the deed, thus throwing me off track. However, I dare not trust to that lest I be wrong, and neglect to befriend the actual culprit and lose his/her good will thereby preventing me from obtaining additional tomatoes.

To add to this dilemma, someone has twice left corn on that very same mat. I suspect that it is the same person intent on reforming me so that I act with kind regard to everyone. Whatever will happen to my reputation if word gets around that I'm acting with warmth and kind regard toward everyone in the community? I shudder to think that such gossip would get out, but with the very nature of gossip, I'm becoming reconciled to the probability.

If it weren't for these inconsiderate and devious people I could continue developing my contentious and querulous demeanor thus alienating people so that I might sit at home and indulge myself in that form of self-pity appreciated only by those of us adept at cutlivating it.

However, I do like tomatoes, and corn, and ... Maybe folks aren't so bad after all. Maybe ...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Angels of Summer

Each year Bay Springs Baptist Church has a pretty full Vacation Bible School. This year was a little less intensive than previous years because we only did the full day school for two of the five days. On full days, 9 AM - 3PM, we ride horses for half the day. The ladies prepare food and the children and workers enjoy a meal at the church.

God has blessed us over the years with plenty of workers, and this year was no different. Some of these "Angels of Summer" use vacation time to assist, while others put other matters on hold for that week. Mrs Gwen Cherry has the overall organizational responsibility for the VBS and she puts in many hours planning and decorating before the week even arrives. This year Mrs Louise Newell enticed her newly retired husband, Coach Jack Newell to help her with the nursery part of the time. Mrs. Wanda Gordon, recovering from an asthma attack which required hospitalization was able to help out part of the time.

Mrs. Ashley Boren, Mrs Terri Branning, & Mrs. Holly Wiggins worked throughout the week, teaching, feeding, and leading. Once again this year, Crystal Hayes who came from Illinois five years ago to spend a Summer and wound up staying in Louisiana, came to lend her assistance. She brought two Youth, Chey'Anne Parker and Cyara Brooks. The three of them have been busy every day, all day. They helped look after some of the children who could not have attended without daycare, and Cyara, along with Crystal, Ashley, & Holly were indespensible while working with the horses.

On Thursday, Kevin Rasberry, Matthew Wiggins, and Jonathan Wiggins also helped with the horses. All of the horse helpers walked a lot with the children on horseback.

Thursday Morning during the early riding session, the children were treated to an exhibition of horse training when Cyara Brooks attempted to ride my three year-old Palomino Quarter Horse, Belle. She stayed on for about 4-5 bucks before tumbling to the ground. However, her second attempt was much easier. Belle jumped a little but did not buck and Cyara had a successful mount and dismount.

Appreciation is also warranted to my wife, Diane who was off work due to sick leave. Her presence enabled me to keep three young ladies in my house during the week, and she prepared many meals for us. Then my Mom, Mildred Rasberry, came up Thursday Morning to stay with us when Diane had to return to work.

Finally, let me say, "Thank You," to Casey Clifton who trims the horses for us and makes sure they are ready for the kids to have successful rides. Bobby McDade's allowing us to utilize the field behind our house was essential this year to the success of our camp.

Now all these "Angels of Summer" would really not be effective if not for the parents who transported children to and from all week. The kids were a joy, Thank you parents for entrusting your children to us for a week of fun and Bible Study.

Thank you Angels for your willingness to serve Christ selflessly during this physically trying week.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Devious Attack Upon Gun Owners

Time and again, we hear that registration of firearms is simply an administrative tool. It is not an attempt to limit ones ability to legally purchase or own a firearm. Then a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveals the true nature of such registration.

The State Attorney General of Illinois has ordered the State Police to release the names of all registered gun owners in Illinois with the date of expiration of the Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card to the Associated Press. In the past numerous such requests have been processed with each being denied, but now there is a new mood in the Statehouse and as such the privacy, and safety, of Illinois citizens is being placed at risk by their desire to obey the laws and register their firearms.

At present a court order has enjoined the State Police from releasing the information, but one can only imagine that in a state which has a city, Chicago, with some of the most restrictive gun ownership laws in the country; it is only a matter of time until the courts permit such release.

GOP Rep. Aaron Schock sent a letter to State Attorney General last week signed by 12 representatives from Illinois asking her to revoke her order. Madigan's office sees it simply as a matter of information which can be released. The Representatives see it differently.

In the letter the Representatives point out that it could become a criminal's shopping list of people who have guns which might be stolen, and it also reveals those without guns which might be easier targets. Schock compares it to releasing a list of people with burglar alarms.

The letter also adds this delicious tidbit, "Publicly releasing the personal information of gun owners seems more like an intimidation tactic to discourage the lawful ownership of firearms than a way to serve the public interest."

Folks, that is the point exactly. The elitists in our country seem intent upon disarming the general populace. Registration and the possible release of such information can serve no useful purpose other than to coerce law abiding citizens and give the governing entity a tool to suppress those citizens should dogmatically aggressive zealots be elected to high office.

Recent history has shown just such a possibility. Let us not grow weary in the defense of our constitutionally guaranteed rights to own and bear arms. Remember, the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance.

Monday, March 07, 2011

The Work We Do

Time and time again I hear people speak about having no time. They lament the busyness of their days which seem filled with the mundane and boring tasks of providing for themselves a standard of living to which they have become accustomed.

Solomon was just such a man. He complained in Ecclesiastes Chapter 2 that all his working and all his accomplishments were like the early morning fog. He had lain awake at night struggling with new ideas and seeking ways to advance himself, but now he had come to realize that all his efforts were really nothing. He would soon die and leave his accomplishments to another who would probably just squander it.

So, he mused, why should one overly concern himself with acquiring position and possessions which would soon be forgotten. Since the eye and ear are never full, one can never satisfy the desires of those senses, for attainment and accomplishment breed the desire for ever more when one is pre-occupied with the fulfillment of such. He went so far as to suggest that perhaps this was God's purpose after all, that man simply find his pleasure in what he accomplished while indulging his sensual desires.

However, Solomon could not gain the fulfillment and joy for living he sought in the excesses of sensual pleasure which his prominence and prosperity afforded him. He cried out, "It is all vanity, it is all useless, it is all purposeless." Surely there must be more than this dreary existence he was experiencing.

In Chapter 12, Solomon affirmed that although he had tried everything, he had found only one way to live victoriously. "Remember God early in your life." Oh, how we need to focus on God early in our lives in this age also. All our doings, and all our exertions in pursuit of position and possessions will never give us genuine fulfillment and happiness. Should one purchase a new boat, he'll soon see another that he longs for. Should he become Mayor, he will desire to be Governor.

Scripture teaches that God provides for those who follow Him. The primary concern for the Genuine Believer in Jesus Christ ought be to follow His will for one's life. The work in which one is engaged is primarily His provision of opportunity for that one to communicate the light and love of God to a world floundering in loveless darkness. So, one dedicates himself to the tasks his work involves with a sense of calling and ministry which enables him to be the best he can be without disillusionment when all around seems purposeless.

Solomon came to realize that work was honorable and meaningful when not engaged for the purpose of fulfilling one's sensual desires.

Why do you do what you do?