You Can’t Tame God

Yawning at Tigers_225_350_Book.1212.cover


Drew Dyck departs from editing and writing about ministry, turning instead to writing about God in this thought provoking work.  “Yawning At Tigers,” subtitled “You Can’t Tame God So Stop Trying” takes on thoughts and actions some adopt toward God.  The actions that Dyck wishes to depart from are from those that believe they have the Almighty all figured out.

How can a person predict the actions of one who surpasses all knowledge and understanding?  The author attempts to approach our relationship with the Lord by reminding readers that He is the all powerful creator and judge of mankind.  Many in modern ministry stress how much God loves us, which is true, but seem to fall short of reminding us of his dangerous power too.

Dyck speaks about going to the zoo where the most popular exhibits include dangerous animals like lions, tigers, and bears.  He says they are of the most interest to visitors because they are powerful, and in different circumstances a potential threat to us.  He views God in some similar ways, and explores what that means for us as we navigate our own faith journey.

Some might be offended by the author’s use of a tiger as a metaphor for God, but he makes it work.  The book includes discussion questions for each of the twelve chapters at the end of the book.  This makes it suitable for small groups, but it makes for a good individual read also.

This book gets four stars out of five.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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What Works, Common Sense from Cal Thomas

What Works

Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America

by Cal Thomas

What Works_240_360_Book.1158.cover

Tagline: It’s Groundhog Day in Washington. This is a metaphor Cal Thomas uses at the beginning and end of his book, where he promotes a historical look at what works for making America great.  Thomas compares the continually low respect Congress has as an institution to the movie “Groundhog Day,” which features Bill Murray’s character living the same day over and over again.

With low expectations, (the book has a foreword by Sean Hannity) I began reading what I thought would be a thorough round of bashing Democrats, but was surprised by how the author addressed the problems facing America and the world.  Thomas goes into extensive detail, sharing his personal Christian religious views, and illustrating how they are in congruence with those of traditional Jewish teachings as well.  Readers do well to recognize he is talking about basic values that reinforce respect of others and their property.

While Thomas himself is unapologetically evangelical, he is not seeking to make religious converts through this book, per se.  It is more of an observation that the further American society deviates from traditional values, the lower the standard of living becomes, the more people are placed in jail, and the more single mothers struggle to make ends meet each month.

With most Americans saying the country is moving in the wrong direction, with more Americans out of the labor force than ever before, and the ranks of food stamp recipients at record levels, readers will find new ways of solving problems by looking at common sense solutions that have a historical record of success.

This book gets five stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Will Winter be Yakima County Sheriff?

Brian Winter, Lieutenant at Yakima County Sheriff's Office, speaks about his running for the top law enforcement position in the county.

Brian Winter, Lieutenant at Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, speaks about his running for the top law enforcement position in the county.

This past Friday, Brian Winter came to town as one of four candidates, for various county elected positions.  The gathering was orchestrated by the Sunnyside Republican Club.

Winter has a long career in law enforcement, working initially with Union Gap Police Department, then joining the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office.  In addition to law enforcement experience, he also served in the Marine Corps reserve.  In fact, he said he was deployed for Desert Storm in 1991 when the Sheriff’s Office first called to offer him a position.  Fortunately, they were willing to wait for him to return, and he joined them shortly thereafter.

Working his way up through the ranks in both the Sheriff’s Office, and the Marine Corps, Winter now serves as the only Lieutenant at the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office.  He commands three Patrol Precincts, and says he does not want anyone to be in this position in the future.  If elected, he promises to reorganize the office, having at least two lieutenant positions: one for the upper valley, and one for the lower valley.

Meanwhile, Winter continued serving in the Marines, being deployed to Iraq a second time in 2004, where he supervised service members in the battle for Fallujah.  He retired from the Marine Corps in 2011 as a Lieutenant Colonel with 30 years of service.

While in the Sheriff’s Office, Winter says he applied for grants to get hard armor vests for many police departments in the county.  Many of these grants did not benefit the Sheriff’s Office directly, but he felt obligated to help local police gain valuable assets for safety.  The last such grant he obtained was for the Sunnyside Police Department.

With his varied background and experience, Winter feels confident about his ability to both administer the office and manage budgets as Sheriff.

He and his wife Tammy have been married for 25 years.

Winter is one of six Republican candidates for Sheriff. (No Democrats are running for the position.)  He joked that it seemed like someone new was filing for the position everyday, and said one candidate has zero law enforcement experience.

Will Winter be the next Yakima County Sheriff?  He is working hard to do so, but so is the competition.  Winter presents a well rounded choice, and makes no bones about his belief that he is the best choice on the ballot this year.

Two County Clerk Candidates Speak to Republican Club

Janelle Riddle and Jose Trevino are two of the candidates for Yakima County Clerk.  They both made appearances at this week’s meeting of the Sunnyside Republican Club.

Janelle Riddle speaking to the Sunnyside Republican Club about her bid to become Yakima County Clerk.

Janelle Riddle speaking to the Sunnyside Republican Club about her bid to become Yakima County Clerk.

Riddle and her husband have been operating a family excavation business for over 30 years.  She points out that she also has experience in the clerk’s office; working as a clerk to a judge, a legal secretary, and as a supervisor in the clerk’s office.

She says she is the only candidate running that can show employees what they need to be doing; and that some areas of the office need to gain efficiencies through increased training of personnel.

Jose Trevino also takes a turn explaining why he is seeking the County Clerk position.

Jose Trevino also takes a turn explaining why he is seeking the County Clerk position.

Jose Trevino tells the club he is a 40 year resident of the valley, and a graduate of Sunnyside High School.  He now lives in Granger, where he serves as a member of the city council.  In the past, he served 16 years as a police officer and police sergeant.  He now works for the state’s Department of Labor and Industries as a fraud investigator.

Trevino wants to streamline programs and operations.  As an example, he cited problems the county faces with jury selection and attendance; a court function handled by the County Clerk’s office.  He believes his background can help him improve coordination with judges, the court coordinator and administrator, and even the auditor’s office.

When asked about the perception of a backlog of cases in the Yakima County Courthouse, and what can be done about it, both candidates said the responsibility for that rests primarily with the lawyers and judges who schedule cases in court.  However, both clerk candidates said they can help matters by running an efficient supporting operation.


Auditor Candidate Speaks at Sunnyside Club


Micah Cawley, candidate for Yakima County Auditor, speaks to the Sunnyside Republican Club on June 13, 2014.


Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series about candidates for Yakima County elected positions, and their appearances at the Sunnyside Republican Club this week.  Look for additional posts in the next couple of days.

The current Mayor of Yakima, Micah Cawley, was in town to speak at the meeting of the Sunnyside Republican Club Friday morning.  He is seeking the position of Yakima County Auditor.  Longtime auditor Corky Mattingly is not seeking reelection.

Cawley said he became interested in politics at a young age, and that the first campaign he became involved with was for a former Yakima County Auditor.  He noted the county has 106,000 voters, but is near the bottom of counties in the state for voter turnout in elections.  His fiance was not registered to vote at the time of their first date, and Cawley joked that is a prerequisite for dating him.

Cawley wants to bring back printed voters’ pamphlets for primaries and municipal elections; and believes the lack of information being distributed contributes to lower turnout among voters.  He said this is especially true for young voters, with less knowledge of the process and the candidates seeking office.

Pointing out the auditor does more than just run elections, Cawley also wants the office to more efficiently serve the public by recording land transactions electronically (currently only 33% done this way), and also taking credit cards as a form of payment.


The Wisest Fool in the Bible

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The Solomon Seduction,” a new book by Mark Atteberry, is an in depth analysis of who the author declares “the valedictorian of the human race.”  The Bible tells us that King Solomon was blessed with intelligence and riches far beyond his contemporaries.  His wisdom was sought after by rulers of kingdoms from far distances; who sacrificed time and money in order to come and hear just a snippet of what he might tell them.  He built a grand temple, and filled the palace with gold riches.  Despite his blessings however, he engaged in some foolish behavior.  This book is a lesson for us in the modern age, with a prescription for faith that readers will be wise to follow.

Atteberry is preaching minister of Poinciana Christian Church in Kissimmee, Florida.  He is also an author of almost a dozen books, having spent about a year writing this one.  The author states that as a young man, Solomon approached his duties as a good and faithful servant, but allowed himself to be seduced over time.  This seduction was both sexual in nature (he had 1,000 wives and concubines), and also involved materialistic greed.  Like many things, it started off small, and from Solomon’s point of view, seemed manageable.

Imploring readers to avoid “sin management,” Atteberry calls for people of faith to live a life without the sin.  He is very direct in dealing with subjects such as addictions, marital infidelity, and overall spiritual health.  The book is an easy read, and will not disappoint.  The book has ten chapters called “Wake-Up Calls,” that list danger signs when bad things start to have influence over a person’s life.  Examples include Solomon’s experiences as well as circumstances Atteberry has seen in his decades long ministerial position.

This book earns five stars.  It can also be adapted for small group discussions, and includes some discussion questions for each chapter, grouped together in the back of the book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Why I Just Bought A Typewriter


One place still selling typewriters is online retailer


How old am I? Old enough to remember using a typewriter. Although computers had been invented by the time I was a child, they were not always as common as they are now, nor were they inexpensive.


This question was recently asked by a character on a TV show my kids were watching.  The answer: “A slow and expensive way to send an E-mail.”  It is a good bet that the majority of today’s teenagers have never received a letter typed on a typewriter.  It is even more likely that they have never typed one themselves.  These machines, once commonplace, are disappearing from the world scene at a fast pace.  They seem destined to be relics that interest collectors of antiques, or perhaps museum curators.


In the past couple of weeks, I asked myself if schools should still teach cursive handwriting.  Our modern world seems better served by keyboarding skills.  One classroom I visited in the past year saw students being taught just enough cursive to write their name.  Students were not being asked to do much more than that.  Some schools don’t even teach this much anymore.  This got me to thinking about lost forms of communicating, as cursive and typewriting are going out of style.


One man I used to know, worked out an arrangement with his bank to pick up two dollar bills on a semi-regular basis.  They are no longer made, and are seldom seen in circulation.  The reason he did this, was so he could leave the bills as a tip when dining out.  He told me that he wanted to make a memorable impression on the server, and get good service the next time he went into an establishment.  This kind of oddity probably did serve to make him stand out among a sea of customers.  Struck by this, I wonder if typing correspondence to select individuals may make the communications more memorable.


Government snoops hacking into every phone and computer they like, recording every keystroke, randomly turning on cameras and/or microphones to eavesdrop on an unsuspecting populace, is enough to make any old school KGB agent jealous.  President Obama made this a reality.  I am not complaining mind you, because it is impossible to disagree with Obama and NOT be racist.


Kremlin (Photo credit: josef.stuefer)

However, the Russians don’t care if they are called racists, homophobes, etc., when they state they don’t like having bugs planted on them by hostile government spy actions.  One way to keep hackers from easily obtaining sensitive communications is to go old school with paper, pen, or possibly typewriters.  Maybe that is why the Kremlin is now stocking up on the obsolete machines: Kremlin returns to typewriters to avoid computer leaks (The Telegraph)


According to Swintec, a company that still manufactures typewriters, the government is the number one buyer of the obsolete machines. (Shocking, I know.) They have cornered a niche market by making typewriters with a clear case for use in prisons.  The machines make it difficult to hide contraband, which corrections officials prefer.  In addition, many states do not allow prisoners access to things like Email or computers, but still need to provide access to typewriters so prisoners can type up statements for court use.

See Typewriters Alive and Well in American Prisons Despite Reports of Their Demise (Prison Legal News)

Another government required use is for death certificates used by funeral homes, and for police officers filling out a form for a warrant.  In both cases, it depends on the jurisdictions involved, and how they handle forms.  However, many local governments still have an old school process that requires typewriters.  The Wall Street Journal reports Death Keeps Typewriters Alive, Clacking


When searching for typewriters on some commercial websites, I was pleasantly surprised to see new models being sold.  Whether they are still being produced, or are just old inventory is unclear.  However, it is possible to obtain a brand new typewriter for under $100.

I found a Brother GX-6750 on Craigslist, and purchased it for a thrifty price.  Its former owner even gave me a box of extra correction tapes, daisy wheels, and ribbon.  The 81 year-old man I purchased it from now uses a computer for everything in his home office, and was happy take a few bucks from me in order to free up some desk space.

Now that I have a functional typewriter, I am wondering where to obtain some nice stationary for a modest price.  Local stores tend to sell plain copy and printer paper, and not much else.  I suppose I can special order some.


By the way, when was the last time you sent or received a letter with a wax seal?  My security needs are minimal; my interest is more nostalgic.  However, teaching some hands-on history to my children should prove fun.  They are already enjoying the click clack of the “new” typewriter.



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