A Little Bit of Texas History – When Can We Say, Happy Birthday, Texas?

January 23, 2015

Texas became The Republic of Texas on March 2, 1836. We could celebrate March 2 as our sovereign birthday.

The United States of America admitted Texas, the 28th state, as a ‘slave state’ on December 29, 1845. So, we could celebrate December 29 to blow out the candles.

When the war between the states, the Great Civil War, came to be, Texas seceded from the United States of America on February 1, 1861 to join the Confederate States of America (CSA). [As a side note, Governor Sam Houston was fired when he refused to take an oath of allegiance to the CSA.] I know no one who would celebrate February 1 as a birthday for Texas.

As the CSA collapsed, on June 19, 1865 Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger landed in Galveston to reclaim Texas as US territory and awarding long overdue freedom to slaves in Texas. June 19 would be a good choice to celebrate the birth of Texas, because then truly all Texans became free men. And women.

The United States Congress allowed elected representatives from Texas to be seated in Congress on March 30, 1870, another possible ‘birthday’.

In the post Civil War Texas, there was a period of ‘reconstruction’ to reorder governments and to punish rebels that ended March 30, 1870. For Texans, this was a sigh of relief, but not a date to celebrate a birthday.

Whereas Texas became a republic on March 2, 1836 and,
Whereas Texas was admitted to the Union on December 29, 1845 and,
Whereas Texas seceded from the Union on February 1, 1861 and,
Whereas Texas was recaptured by the Union on June 19, 1865, “Juneteenth” and,
Whereas elected representatives from Texas were seated in Congress on March 30, 1870,

BUT, whereas Texas truly became a political entity on January 23, 1691,
I, therefore, nominate this day to be celebrated by all Texans.

199 years after Columbus discovered America, 71 years following the Pilgrims’ landing on Cape Cod and 85 years before the American Revolution, Texas was.

“On this day [January 23] in 1691, the Conde de Gálvez appointed Domingo Terán de los Ríos the first governor of the Spanish province of Coahuila and Texas. Most historians consider the appointment the beginning of Texas as a political entity. Terán’s instructions, prepared by a Junta de Hacienda acting under suggestions by Damián Massanet, were to establish seven missions among the Tejas Indians; to investigate rumors of foreign settlements on the coast; and to keep records of geography, natives, and products. Terán’s army crossed the Rio Grande in May and explored East Texas as far as Caddo settlements on the Red River until December. By March 1692 Terán had returned to Matagorda Bay, where Juan Enríquez Barroto gave him instructions from the viceroy to explore the lower reaches of the Mississippi River. Bad weather caused Terán to abandon the project and return to Veracruz in April. Terán’s mission proved to be a complete failure. He succeeded in founding no new missions, and the expedition added little new information about the region. After his return, Terán compiled a lengthy report, defending his actions and detailing the dismal situation in East Texas.” – TSHA online

Happy 324th Birthday, Texas! (take your pick!)

John White

Why Would I, a Republican, Want Democrats to Vote?

Election Day
November 4, 2014

Imagine newlyweds in the market for something important, say a car. The husband decides on a sports car, while his wife wanted a minivan. Husband wins out, payments start and year by year the family grows, and grows, and grows. Now, they can’t all travel together. So, the wife angrily shouts, “I told you we should have bought a minivan! It’s all your fault!” The woman assumes no responsibility for a bad choice. Elections work like this, too.

I want all eligible voters, Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians, to vote. This season, FORMER Obama supporters are running from him as fast as they can. Americans are angry. Very angry. Why are they angry? They voted for the man. They voted Democrat. They voted for the Affordable Care Act they now discover isn’t affordable at all.

Voters who make bad choices must take personal responsibility for their votes. This is why I want ALL Democrats to vote.

Polls are open all day. Get out the vote!

John White

You Need To Know: Policemen Have NO Legal Duty to Defend You

8 August 2013

Joe Lozito had the experience, wrote a book and the law stands - Police have no legal duty to defend you.
Joe Lozito had the experience, wrote a book and the law stands – Police have no legal duty to defend you.

Joe Lozito was brutally assaulted, almost killed in New York while two police officers were in the vicinity. The officers made no attempt to defend Mr. Lozito and only came into the struggle after the bad guy was disarmed.

Joe Lozito updates us with the latest from this case against the NYPD and city of New York. Two years ago Lozito was attacked by a man in the NYC subway who was on a rampage killing people throughout the city. Lozito managed to take the man down but while doing so suffered multiple stabbing wounds, mainly to the head. While this was taking place, there were 2 NYPD officers watching nearby who only stopped in once the man was disarmed, they then later took credit for the apprehension. Lozito filed charges against the city for the officers not taking any action and the city is now claiming that they have no legal duty to protect any members of the public. Lozito explains what has happened since he filed charges and what he plans to do next.

Mr. Lozito was outraged that NYPD officers didn’t defend him. He took it to court and – no surprise to me – the judge threw the case out.

How can this be?

It’s sobering and important you know the law. Law enforcement officers have absolutely no, none, nada, zip legal obligation to come to your defense. Make no mistake about it, there are those who will, but nonetheless, they have no duty whatsoever to defend anyone but themselves. This is tried and true case law upheld every time it goes to court.

So which part of “SELF DEFENSE” is it you don’t understand?

Folks, this is why God gave you the natural right to self-defense. Furthermore, this divine right is expressed by and upheld by the Second Amendment.

We formed CARGO Rockwall Gun Club to educate our fellow citizens on a range of pertinent subjects and pertinent law.

Are you prepared to defend yourself from murderous assault? Do you possess a Concealed Handgun License (CHL)? Which is the best weapon for you, something you can actually carry with you all day long?

Get answers to these questions and more. We meet every second Thursday, 6 to 7 PM at Soulman’s BAR-B-QUE in Rockwall.

Come a little early to go through the serving line and to find a good seat. Visit with law enforcement officers, certified CHL instructors, attorneys, elected officials and licensed firearms dealers.


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RISD School Board Race – Election Day Saturday – Tomorrow

May 10, 2013

Fellow RISD Taxpayers and Voters:

Jim White Rockwall ISD Trustee
Jim White
Rockwall ISD Trustee

I wholeheartedly and without reservation recommend Jim White (Place 5) and Jon Bailey (Place 4) to be trustees of the Rockwall Independent School District. Trustees bear responsibility for several things. As trustees, their principle duty is to oversee district finances. School trustee is a challenging position best suited to bright, intelligent home-grown leaders.

These two fine gentlemen are products of our school district. Jon has children in school and his wife teaches. They share much in common: citizen servants, accountable and capable.

Four of my children today fulfill important roles in society and all four came out of Rockwall

Jon Bailey Rockwall ISD Trustee
Jon Bailey
Rockwall ISD Trustee

High School.


Need more information? This Rockwall County Herald Banner article provides side-by-side comparisons of each candidate for your consideration.

MEET THE CANDIDATES – Friday, May 10, 2013

More information? RockwallTEA@gmail.com

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A Song In The Night – “As Long as Life Endures”

Amazing Grace:

The Story of John Newton

by Al Rogers <mailto:llaer@utxdp.dp.utexas.edu>

(This article is reprinted from the July-August 1996 issue of “Away Here in Texas”.)


John Newton 1725-1807

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…” So begins one of the most beloved hymns of all times, a staple in the hymnals of many denominations, New Britain or “45 on the top” in Sacred Harp. The author of the words was John Newton, the self-proclaimed wretch who once was lost but then was found, saved by amazing grace.

Newton was born in London July 24, 1725, the son of a commander of a merchant ship which sailed the Mediterranean. When John was eleven, he went to sea with his father and made six voyages with him before the elder Newton retired. In 1744 John was impressed into service on a man-of-war, the H. M. S. Harwich. Finding conditions on board intolerable, he deserted but was soon recaptured and publicly flogged and demoted from midshipman to common seaman.

Finally at his own request he was exchanged into service on a slave ship, which took him to the coast of Sierra Leone. He then became the servant of a slave trader and was brutally abused. Early in 1748 he was rescued by a sea captain who had known John’s father. John Newton ultimately became captain of his own ship, one which plied the slave trade.

Although he had had some early religious instruction from his mother, who had died when he was a child, he had long since given up any religious convictions. However, on a homeward voyage, while he was attempting to steer the ship through a violent storm, he experienced what he was to refer to later as his “great deliverance.” He recorded in his journal that when all seemed lost and the ship would surely sink, he exclaimed, “Lord, have mercy upon us.” Later in his cabin he reflected on what he had said and began to believe that God had addressed him through the storm and that grace had begun to work for him.

For the rest of his life he observed the anniversary of May 10, 1748 as the day of his conversion, a day of humiliation in which he subjected his will to a higher power. “Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’tis grace has bro’t me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.” He continued in the slave trade for a time after his conversion; however, he saw to it that the slaves under his care were treated humanely.

In 1750 he married Mary Catlett, with whom he had been in love for many years. By 1755, after a serious illness, he had given up seafaring forever. During his days as a sailor he had begun to educate himself, teaching himself Latin, among other subjects. From 1755 to 1760 Newton was surveyor of tides at Liverpool, where he came to know George Whitefield, deacon in the Church of England, evangelistic preacher, and leader of the Calvinistic Methodist Church. Newton became Whitefield’s enthusiastic disciple. During this period Newton also met and came to admire John Wesley, founder of Methodism. Newton’s self-education continued, and he learned Greek and Hebrew.

He decided to become a minister and applied to the Archbishop of York for ordination. The Archbishop refused his request, but Newton persisted in his goal, and he was subsequently ordained by the Bishop of Lincoln and accepted the curacy of Olney, Buckinghamshire. Newton’s church became so crowded during services that it had to be enlarged. He preached not only in Olney but in other parts of the country. In 1767 the poet William Cowper settled at Olney, and he and Newton became friends.

Cowper helped Newton with his religious services and on his tours to other places. They held not only a regular weekly church service but also began a series of weekly prayer meetings, for which their goal was to write a new hymn for each one. They collaborated on several editions of Olney Hymns, which achieved lasting popularity. The first edition, published in 1779, contained 68 pieces by Cowper and 280 by Newton.

Among Newton’s contributions which are still loved and sung today are “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” and ”Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken,” as well as “Amazing Grace.” Composed probably between 1760 and 1770 in Olney, ”Amazing Grace” was possibly one of the hymns written for a weekly service. Through the years other writers have composed additional verses to the hymn which came to be known as “Amazing Grace” (it was not thus entitled in Olney Hymns), and possibly verses from other Newton hymns have been added. However, these are the six stanzas that appeared, with minor spelling variations, in both the first edition in 1779 and the 1808 edition, the one nearest the date of Newton’s death. It appeared under the heading Faith’s Review and Expectation, along with a reference to First Chronicles, chapter 17, verses 16 and 17

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)

That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ’d!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promis’d good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.

The origin of the melody is unknown. Most hymnals attribute it to an early American folk melody. The Bill Moyers special on “Amazing Grace” speculated that it may have originated as the tune of a song the slaves sang.

Newton was not only a prolific hymn writer but also kept extensive journals and wrote many letters. Historians accredit his journals and letters for much of what is known today about the eighteenth century slave trade. In Cardiphonia, or the Utterance of the Heart, a series of devotional letters, he aligned himself with the Evangelical revival, reflecting the sentiments of his friend John Wesley and Methodism.

In 1780 Newton left Olney to become rector of St. Mary Woolnoth, St. Mary Woolchurch, in London. There he drew large congregations and influenced many, among them William Wilberforce, who would one day become a leader in the campaign for the abolition of slavery. Newton continued to preach until the last year of life, although he was blind by that time. He died in London December 21, 1807. Infidel and libertine turned minister in the Church of England, he was secure in his faith that amazing grace would lead him home.

John Newton's autobiographical epitaph
John Newton’s autobiographical epitaph (click on image for larger view)

Rockwall Mayor David Sweet Announces – National Day of Prayer

Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast Set For May 2nd 

Rockwall Mayor David Sweet
Rockwall Mayor
David Sweet

The City of Rockwall will host the Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, May 2nd at The Center in Downtown Rockwall at 7:30am, 108 E. Washington in conjunction with the annual National Day of Prayer. Mayors from cities in Rockwall County will be in attendance. The Speaker this year will be Missionary Dub Lewis, and the theme of this year’s event is “Pray for America.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our hometown to come together in prayer for our nation,” said Rockwall Mayor David Sweet. “I think it is particularly important considering the tragic events in West, Texas, Kaufman County, and Boston. No matter what your religious affiliation or beliefs, please join us and pray for America.”   There will be two other opportunities for the community to come together in prayer on May 2:

  • Community Noontime Prayer: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the grounds of Rockwall City Hall, 385 S. Goliad St. Prayers will be offered by pastors and community leaders.
  • Evening Prayer and Worship: 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Harry Myers Park Amphitheatre, 815 E. Washington (East Entrance). Worship and prayer geared to families and youth.

The first Continental Congress called for a National Day of Prayer in 1775 as did Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Congress established National Day of Prayer as an annual event by joint resolution signed by President Truman in 1952. The law was amended and signed by President Reagan to officially designate the first Thursday in May as the official date.

All that want to pray for our nation are encouraged to do so. The events are not political, but rather meant to encourage people county-wide to join their neighbors in a call to pray for our nation as our national leaders will do in Washington D.C.

There is no charge for the Rockwall Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast but donations will be accepted.

Featured Speaker Dub Lewis

Missionary Dub Lewis
Missionary Dub Lewis

Dub Lewis is an ordained minister of the Gospel and has been preaching and teaching the Bible for 30 years. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Dub has seen over 40,000 people accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Hundreds of miraculous healings and deliverances have taken place and many churches have been planted in remote areas of the world.

Stacking The Deck – Obama’s Plan to Corrupt Midterm Elections

Stacking the deck

That’s how I characterize Obama’s newest assault on liberty. He is forming “a nine-seat Presidential Commission on Election Administration tasked with recommending changes to states’ election laws by the end of September.”

ACORNs grow into mighty oaks
ACORNs grow into mighty oaks

The evidence of his anti-Constitutional actions forewarns us he is working to ‘stack the deck’ in favor of his fellow community organizers – the Democrats – ahead of midterm elections next fall.

In case you haven’t noticed, this president has been systematically dismantling our republic, transforming it into a democracy. To enlighten readers unfamiliar with our Constitution and our form of government, we are a republic. Casual reading of the Constitution discloses no use of the words ‘democrat’, ‘democratic’ or ‘democracy’.

Obama actively recruits illegal aliens from south of the border by publicly advertising food stamp benefits available to them immediately upon entering this country. Furthermore, by

From The Daily Caller
USDA partnering with Mexico to boost food stamp participation

opposing voter ID laws, and federalizing your precinct elections, he invites fraudulent voters grateful for the ‘freebies’ he offers them.

We must dissuade our duly elected Congressional representatives from accepting his ‘recommendations’.

Here is the Constitutoinal proviso for elections, Article 1, Section 4:

“The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators.”

What’s the worst that could happen, you ask. Think “Chicago” where corruption is the rule, not the exception.


Contact all three members of your federal Congressional delegation.

Contact your state Senator and your state legislator.

Suggested text:

President Obama seeks to change election regulations in order to favor his party in midterm elections. I want you to oppose any and all changes to state-run elections.

His attorney general refused to uphold election laws and by various means prevented our uniformed military personnel deployed overseas from voting in 2012.

Mr. Obama cannot be trusted.