Running down Rumors in Rockwall

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The Rumor Mills Grind Away…

From time to time, this is to say on a daily basis, questions about government actions pop up on Facebook and Nextdoor social media websites. Unfortunately, I see them appear in local news media, albeit infrequently.

I find it humorous how one person posts a rumor on social media and as many as a hundred will chime in an opinion. In the end, how does this serve representative – republican – government?

The Cure

There is an almost magical way to extract truths directly from local governments. It’s called the Public Information Act.

In brief, if you submit a written request to any employee of a local government, that agency has ten working days to promptly answer your request IN WRITING if the information is not classified confidential by law. You have a tremendous authority in this regard.

If you have the authority and don’t know it or don’t know how to properly exercise your authority, it is as though you have no authority at all.

Learn from an online video course provided by the Texas Attorney General. At the conclusion of this one hour course, there is a certificate you can receive so don’t hastily close the window.

Read: THE PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT to learn more.

Learn how to use the law via the Texas Attorney General’s online training video: Public Information Act Training.

This training is free and it’s mandatory for all persons engaged in local government, whether elected, employed, or sitting as a volunteer on a government board.

How to best use it

  • Ask questions. Don’t waste time griping. Agencies are not required to do anything more than answer requests for information.
  • If you have a gripe, state your gripe directly to the appropriate elected officials.
  • Ask ONE question per written request.
  • Don’t ask stupid questions. Doing so wastes taxpayer dollars that pay employees to expend time answering stupid questions. And, asking stupid questions will most often result in your personal embarrassment.
  • Recognize that the elected office holders and employees are generally good people who truly want to lawfully and effectively serve you.
  • Address your requests appropriately. For example, don’t ask the County about school tax rates; ask the school district.

City and County Elected Official Want to Hear from You

Rockwall County Commissioners Court

City of Rockwall

Rockwall ISD (Yes, the school district is government)

  • President and Place 7 Trustee Stephanie Adams
  • Place 4 Trustee Jon Bailey
  • Place 2 Trustee Russ Childers
  • Place 1 Trustee Christopher Cuny
  • Place 3 Trustee Linda Mitchell Duran
  • Place 6 Trustee Leigh Plagens
  • Place 5 Trustee Jim White

In the case of the RISD board of trustees, they actually don’t want to hear from you. Nonetheless, the Public Information Act still works. To request information from Rockwall ISD, send your requests to Chief Communications Officer Renae Murphy via her email address renae.murphy@rockwallisd.org or call 972-771-0605 extension 7002. Renae responds quickly and politely to all requests for information.

The County Commissioners Court and the City of Rockwall City Council invite and welcome public commentary at meetings. While you can speak at school board meetings, don’t expect your comments to affect the outcome of board decisions – my opinion.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

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Diversity – I don’t think this word means what you think it means

E Pluribus Unum – National Motto adopted 1776

e pluribus unum
Latin: Out of many, one

Diversity – Politically-Correct Term

A reasonable translation of diversity is ‘many out of one’.

One synonym for diversity is difference. Compare with an antonym for unity: difference.

Many out of one is the antithesis of out of many, one.

Power Shift

A fundamental principle of democracy is majority rule. The diversity phenomenon deconstructs this vital principle as it shifts power from the majority to one or more minority groups.

Forgotten History – Revisionism at Work

Proponents of diversity reach back into history to say we (implying contemporary white people) murdered millions of Native Americans. These same historical revisionists say that we white people of today who live prosperous lives got to this point on the backs of slaves.

Is it helpful to know it was white Christians who ENDED slavery in America? All the while, why do we conveniently forget that it was Muslim slave traders who sold west Africans to the slave business owners? Yes, Muslims put them into slavery; Christians brought them out.

Is it helpful to know native Americans routinely conquered neighboring native American lands and killed the former owners?

Divine Truth

Of even greater importance are the Biblical truths upon which America became the greatest nation in all history. What Biblical truths?

“‘What?’ you ask. ‘Doesn’t the child pay for the parent’s sins?’ No! For if the child does what is just and right and keeps my decrees, that child will surely live. The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness.” Ezequiel 18:19-20

Regardless the sins of my parents and grandparents, I am not responsible for their sins. I owe no one an apology for what sins of commission or omission God may lay to their accounts.

Furthermore, Native Americans of today, descendants of their forefathers who may have been mistreated by my own ancestors, have no claim on my property for reparations.

Episode 003: Bishop T.D. Jakes with Bill Hybels and Heather Larson from The Global Leadership Summit Podcast in Podcasts. Open with iTunes. Download iTunes here: itunes download button

Bill Hybels and T. D. Jakes appear to ignore the principle of forgiveness. One who does not forgive the sins of others himself will not be forgiven by God.

Unity of purpose is essential to our survival as a nation. The diversity movement is a tool of leftists who despise all America stands for.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

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Freely You Have Received – Freely Give: Texas family appeals for emergency help

Susan Woodward, her husband Dickson, and their son Jack live in Princeton. Barely. Theirs is a captivating story to which I respond with a contribution to the GoFundMe drive and invite like-minded Texans, especially you who live in Rockwall and Collin Counties, where Rockwall hometown boy Justin Holland represents us in Austin.

“Give to him that asketh thee; and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away.” – Matthew 5:42

Read the full story via this link and prayerfully see what you can contribute. https://www.gofundme.com/9u-emergency-housing-repair

 

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God Click on the above image to go to the GoFundMe page. Then give.

 

God has mercifully given America a second chance; can we not also to the same for fellow Texans. Think of this as a thanksgiving offering.

Thank you,

John White
Rockwall, Texas

Open Letter to Cong. John Ratcliffe: It’s time to restore respect for authority

UPDATE 1/7/2017 – 

GOP Representative Pulls Down Anti-Cop Painting, Returns to Democrat

Honorable John Ratcliffe
Representative, Fourth Congressional Dist. of Texas
6531 Horizon Road
Suite A
Rockwall, TX
75032

Subject: Death of police officers due to loss of respect for authority

One news source reports the deaths of 135 law enforcement officers in 2016, killed while in the line of duty. Sixty-five were fatally shot; twenty-one by ambush.

I learn this morning about a painting hanging on the walls of the tunnel between the U.S. Capitol building and Longworth House Office Building. The painting shown below depicts a policeman as pig shooting a black man with his hands up.

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According to a press release by Congressman William Lacy Clay (D-MO CD1), “Tonight, we are celebrating our sixteenth year of recognizing outstanding young artistic talent. As you can see from the artwork on display here, the level of talent is truly impressive. Your work is inspiring, and I encourage all of you to continue to develop your creative abilities.

The debate about the differences between art and pornography. Allow me this distinction.

Pornography stimulates the baser instincts of individuals; instincts that will not be satisfied by that alone.  Art engenders admiration for … glory and beauty, and thus the glory of [our] Maker. (Source: Ravi Zacharias)

The above painting is pornographic because it engenders rebellion against lawful authority, instead of promoting the divine benefits of obedience to lawful authorities.

I call on you to demand this painting be removed right away.

After January 20, 2017, we will have a new ‘sheriff’ in town and he has his work cut out to #DrainTheSwamp and restore respect for authority.

Sincerely,

John White
Rockwall, Texas

Generosity + Wisdom = Satisfaction

The Kingdom of God is neither a hedge fund nor a slot machine.

generosity

Several decades ago there was a church in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex led by a pastor who preached unconditional prosperity to those who donated generously to the church and his ministry.

On one occasion, my wife and I chanced to dine in a restaurant with a married couple from that church. When the check came, he looked apprehensively at his wife as he pulled a credit card from his wallet to pay the tab. In summary, I sensed the couple could not afford this act of generosity. The man was paying for our dinner together with borrowed money he may not have been able to repay to his creditor.

It became apparent to me the man was following a false notion of the Kingdom of God.

The Apostle Paul, writing in his second letter to the Christians in Corinth, said, “Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.”

When did you last hear a sermon that incorporated this idea of giving ‘according to what you have, not what you don’t have’?

Jesus employed parables, short stories, to illustrate the Kingdom of God. One such story compared the planting of a mustard seed.

Then Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make nests in its branches.” [Luke 13:18-19 NLT]

The farmer planted a seed that was in his possession. He was not borrowing from the local ‘seed bank’.

So, from what or whom did the farmer get that mustard seed to plant? I leave that ‘rabbit’ for you to chase on your own. Let’s stick to the point for now.

The point is simply this: Give from what you actually have. Abandon any notion of trying to impress God by adding debt to fund your pseudo-generosity.

One more story, this from the Old Testament, 1 Kings 17:7-16.

The prophet Elijah, hungry from his travels, visits a poor widow in an area called Zarephath. He asks food and water of the widow who explains how she had just enough for her son and herself. However, she obeyed Elijah, fed him, he rewarded her, she and her son prospered and you can read for yourself how she lived pretty much happily thereafter from 1 Kings 17:7-16.

Points to consider:
1-the widow was not a Jew.
2-Zaraphath was in the backyard of Elijah’s worst enemy
3-she gave from her meager food supplies, she did not buy food using a credit card that she would be unable repay when the monthly bill came in the mail.

Why did Elijah go to this poor widow for sustenance?

Why would a poor widow give a stranger food so desperately needed by her son and herself?

In both cases, it was the grace of God to which they yielded. What is grace? Let’s look to Philippians 2:13 for a definition:

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Grace is a two part gift from God. Part ‘A’ is a desire to act. Part ‘B’ is the power to fulfill part ‘A’.

Romans 8:14 says, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”

Bottom Line: Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you. Meditate on the aforementioned Bible verses. Think not for a moment you can ‘bribe’ God into blessing you. As the prophet Samuel said to presumptuous King Saul, obedience is better than sacrifice.

When God’s grace acts within you to be generous, go ‘pedal to the metal’. You will truly find obedience to is refreshing.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

Thinking about a selfless woman whom critics vilify – Mother Teresa

BRING ON THE CRITICSmother teresa cnn quote

But Mother Teresa’s impending canonization has prompted a remarkable amount of criticism. One prominent CNN piece was headlined, “‘Troubled individual:’ Mother Teresa no saint to her critics.” It includes an interview with “disillusioned former volunteer Hemley Gonzalez,” who in 2008 spent two months volunteering at Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata [Calcutta]. Teresa had been dead for over a decade, but Gonzalez said he now suffers from the “horrific remnants of [Teresa’s] legacy.”
 
Gonzalez was “appalled” that there was little vetting of clinic volunteers and a shortage of trained doctors and nurses. He was taken aback by the poor hygiene he saw there. “It was a scene out of World War II concentration camp,” he said. What’s more, the sisters there seemed reluctant to change how things were done.”
[source: The Examiner http://ow.ly/Gshx303U2th ]

REALITY CHECK – PERSONAL EXPERIENCES SERVING THE POOR

I’ve personally worked with missionary medical teams who served the poor without the convenience of clean water from faucets, sterile operating rooms or even operating rooms at all.

 
I’ve witnessed hundreds lined up, awaiting a turn for volunteer dentists to extract rotted teeth in an un-air-conditioned ‘clinic’ that was a tent with a dirt floor.
 
My experiences above were in El Salvador and Peru. My wife who has ministered in India tells me of the unimaginable poverty and stench she witnessed in India’s slums. She knows firsthand the dire poverty in which the lowest caste Indians live.
 
There are millions of elderly people, like the ‘ancianos cubanos’, who subsist on one meal a day, “if there is food”.
 
Author Henry Rollins said, “Spending time in Calcutta [India] really did a number on me. henry rollins quote calcuttaThe way life and death are almost the same thing, the way poverty is dealt with, the sheer number of dead bodies you see, it’s all pretty overwhelming.”

AMERICANS DO NOT KNOW POVERTY

In May of this year, 43,478,196 Americans were recorded on food stamps. WIC (Women-Infants-Children), SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), School Lunch programs, regional food pantries and MEDICARE assure no American goes to bed hungry or without basic medical attention – for free. Public housing programs provide decent, air-conditioned homes with hot water and lockable doors. This I testify authoritatively as former chairman of a housing authority.

ANSWERING THE CALL

Learn how Mother Teresa responded to a “call within a call” from her biography http://ow.ly/OsUv303U4r0
 
Mother Teresa sacrificed nothing to answer her calling. Acting on that divine calling wasn’t a sacrifice, it was obedience. It was the grace of God to which she responded.
 
What is grace? The simplest definition is ‘gift’, ‘charis’ in the Greek, the root of charismatic. Grace is a two-part gift of the power to will and the power to do. God’s grace implants God’s will in the form of desire and with the desire is given the ability, the power to accomplish that which God calls one to do.
 
Philippians 2:13 (NLT) says, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”
 
From Titus 2:11-14 (NLT), “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.”
 
Mother Teresa simply obeyed God by acting on the grace given to her. In God’s economy, obedience is better than sacrifice.

What about you?

God’s grace is on you, calling you to obey him. God’s grace is neither voodoo nor magic; it’s simply God supernaturally leading you by his Holy Spirit to obey him.
John White
Rockwall, Texas

Black voters have much to lose by voting for Trump – I agree

A Dallas Morning News political opinion piece suggests black Americans have much to lose by voting for the Republican presidential candidate. Perhaps it’s appropriate to ask how much black Americans have gained under this sitting Democrat president.

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Link to DallasNews.com story http://ow.ly/oGwj303Sqtn

Let’s do some fact-checking.

  • In 2009, when Obama took office, the black poverty rate was 25.8 percent. As of 2014, according to Pew Research Center, the black poverty rate was 27.2 percent.
  • Minority households’ median income fell 9 percent between 2010 and 2013, compared to a drop of only 1 percent for whites.
  • The median non-white family today has a net worth of just $18,100 — almost a fifth lower than it was when Mr. Obama took office. White median wealth, on the other hand, has inched up by 1 percent to $142,000. In 2009, white households were seven times richer than their black counterparts. That gap is now eightfold.
  • American society has moved from years of successful racial integration to racial re-segregation since Obama took office. Evidence of this societal re-segregation includes massacres of uniformed law enforcement officers, riots and mayhem in the inner cities of Ferguson MO, Baltimore MD, Oakland CA, Los Angeles CA, New York NY, Milwaukee WI and other places.

On January 20, 2009, when Barack Obama, the first black-skinned president took office, each black American citizen bore $35,000 share of the national debt that was just over $10 trillion. Today, September 4, 2016, each black American citizen now bears a burden of over $60,000 of the national debt which is now $19.5 trillion and likely to be over $20,000 before the end of the year.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton share a love of socialism with Bernie Sanders. Before 1959, Cuba had the fourth largest economy in the western hemisphere; 57 years of socialism leave Cubans scrambling to  escape deep poverty. Venezuela, a once prosperous nation with the number one oil reserve in the world has been reduced to extraordinary inflation, hunger, unemployment and government oppression. Brazil is undergoing abysmal economic chaos due to socialism. Why are these nations failing economically? No socialist nation in history has enriched its people because socialism shall forever be an economic theory.

To be sure, the Clintons and Obamas have fared quite well, mysteriously gaining millions of dollars in personal wealth during their respective times in office.

In conclusion, I must agree with Gromer Jeffers Jr. in this respect: Black Americans have a lot to lose under a Trump presidency.

They would lose Democrat pandering. They would lose unemployment benefits because more would be working.

On the other hand, they would gain self-respect, respect for the rule of law, economic opportunity and so much more.

In November, I’ll be voting for Donald Trump because I want to restore personal and religious freedom and preserve America for my grandchildren.

John White
Rockwall, Texas