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“I just realized something,” one off my buddies wrote to me the other day. “My dog sleeps about 20 hours a day. He has his food prepared for him at no cost. He gets regular medical checkups for which he pays nothing. “He lives in a nice neighborhood in a house that is much larger than he needs, and he doesn’t have to do any upkeep. If he makes a mess, someone else cleans it up. He lives like a king, and all the costs are picked up by others who earn a living.” “I was just thinking about this,” my buddy wrote, “and, all of a sudden, it hit me like a ton of bricks: My dog is a congressman.” I tried unsuccessfully to find out who originally wrote that bit of humor so that I could give credit, because whoever came up with something that witty deserves credit. As a dog owner, I found it beyond funny. It also reminded me that we don’t really know all the demands that congressmen face. Having covered government and politics as a reporter for a lot of years, I can tell you that, while the job of congressman may look from the outside like an easy gig, it has more than its share of difficulties. Perhaps that’s why the Bible tells us we should appreciate those who serve in government. “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for … leaders who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life” (1Timothy 2:1-3). I suppose we can pray for political leaders and still poke a bit of good-natured fun at them once in a while. I heard a joke the other day about a political candidate delivering a pre-election speech to a crowd of likely voters. He declared that if elected he would do something about radicalism, liberalism, chauvinism, socialism and communism. An elderly listener, struggling to get comfortable in his chair, grumbled to his friend: “I’d consider voting for him if he would do something about rheumatism.” There’s seemingly an endless supply of words ending in “ism,” many of them used to describe things wrong in the world. The Bible teaches that things are going to “wax worse and worse” (2 Timothy 3:13) as we approach the day when Jesus returns to rapture Christians out of this world. What a scene that will be when Christians are “caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). At that point, believers will no longer be concerned about the politics of this world, because they’ll be in a magnificently beautiful place, living in mansions located along streets that glisten like gold, a place where there is no more sorrow, no death, no pain, no tears. Heaven is a place where believers will live, well, sort of like congressmen. Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at rogeralfor1@gmail.com.

06/22/17