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Family, Faith and Favorite Things
In March 5 Issue
By Linda Stephens, Columnist

A favorite thing… birthdays! My family always made birthdays special when I was growing up.

They didn’t spend a lot of money on them because there wasn’t a lot of money to spend.  The birthday person’s chair at the kitchen table  was decorated with ribbons and balloons. Mother made a cake and  cooked the birthday person’s favorite meal. Siblings  usually bought cards and small gifts using  precious allowance and baby sitting money. And telling you how much they’d spent to lay a little guilt on you!  

My parents tried to give  the birthday child something special that he or she   really wanted. For my 16th birthday I really wanted a scarab watch band. My Dad  and I visited a  couple of jewelry stores so I could show him what they looked like. I was doubtful of receiving one because of their cost. But I did! I was  surprised (shocked)  when I opened the small gift  box and there was a beautiful scarab watch band. I wore it for years and still have it. It reminds me of my 16th birthday, one of my favorite things.

DOMA . Earlier this week, the Department of Justice announced they will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) against the lawsuits that are currently challenging the 1996 law. DOMA currently defines and protects marriage as the union of a man and a woman in federal law, and is under challenge in four federal courts.

Because of the administration's decision to abandon the defense of the law of the land, it may now be up to the new Congress to ensure that marriage is defended from redefinition.

DOMA was passed in 1996 by both houses of Congress. Over 80 percent of the Senators and House of Representatives voted for it. President Bill Clinton,(a very liberal  president who was “marriage challenged”), signed the bill into law.

Now President Obama  has a different opinion, so his administration has decided that the federal government will not longer defend this law. One radio  announcer this week, called Obama, “King” Obama and I concur. Who does this President think he is? This is not how our government operates. The president doesn’t decide which laws to uphold and which to let slide.  As I recall from my 7 th grade government class, we have 3 separate branches of government with specific duties.

The Legislative Branch/Congress makes laws. The Judicial Branch interprets the laws and  decides if they violate the Constitution. The Executive branch enforces the laws of our country. President Obama is totally out of line. Presidents of the United States of America do not decide which laws to enforce.

State Budgets. The Governor of Wisconsin has his hands full with trying to get a budget passed that will reign in spending. Can you believe that twelve Democrat Senators have left the state? Didn’t show up to do the job they were elected to do! Unbelievable! What a bunch of wimps!  Sounds like it’s time to replace them.

To listen to the mainstream media, you would think everyone in Wisconsin is a member of a union. Not so. Eighty-eight(88) percent of Americans are not associated with a union.

It’s a big issue with a minority of workers. In many states, their employees have unions. These state employees are paid with state tax dollars, so when the “bargain” they are bargaining for state money, or tax dollars.

Personally, I believe  unions for  government workers on any level, local, state, or federal should not be allowed. My employer for over 30 years was the University of Kentucky and Extension agents also were in the federal retirement system.  We don’t have unions for government employees in Kentucky and should not have them. The benefits for most government employees are generous. (I know, I was one.)  And often exceed those in the private sector.

I heard, on the radio, some of the salaries of University of Wisconsin employees and they were large, excessive in some cases. If a government employee is not satisfied with the salary of his job, then look elsewhere for a job or don’t take the job in the first place.    

 Government employees should not be allowed to hold their employers over a barrel demanding more money and more benefits. State governments have a right to control their budgets.  And for many, including Kentucky,  it’s  past time for them to do so. It looks like to me, that’s what the Governor of Wisconsin is trying to do.

This is going to sound na´ve, but it’s the truth.  If you’re a Christian and do your job well, like you’re supposed to do,  you don’t have to worry about job security.

The Bible tells us not to worry. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…..”(Matthew 6:25)  I take that to include our jobs. I’m not saying a Christian will never lose his job. He/she might. But the Bible is full of God’s promises that He will take care of us.  In the Old Testament, a man named   Joseph worked in some tough situations, including a jail. He did what God wanted him to do. And God took care of him. Read his story beginning in Genesis 37.

 “ Beyond Clocking In” is the title of an article in this month’s In Touch  magazine published by  In Touch Ministries  of Atlanta Georgia.  

Dr. Charles Stanley is the President  of this ministry. It’s the story of Joseph and how to be God’s ambassador at work, regardless of the environment.

In Colossians 3:23 Paul urged, “Work willingly   at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”  Joseph worked in three different environments, none of which were run by people serving God.

Yet, he survived--- and thrived even while working for a weak viceroy (Potiphar), a lazy prison warden and an anxious Pharoah. Here’s the first four principles that Joseph exemplified, which are still effective in the work place today. 1) Don’t be afraid. 2) Tell the truth. 3) Work for God. 4) Do the right thing.

If you want a copy of this article, give me a call at home…. 343-2210 and I’ll send you one.

Well, it’s time to sign off for this week.

Thanks again for reading my column.

Till next week. 

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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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Russell Springs KY 42642
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Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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