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Showing posts with label Texas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Texas. Show all posts

23 September 2017

Texas Churches Sue to Gain Access to Federal Disaster Relief Coffers

So according to my Facebook Memories, this blog post ~ Should Churches be Tax-Exempt? ~ was shared September 23, 2016. (It was published April 2016 and the updated and republished April 2017.) Whereas it is an interesting discussion, the tax-exempt status for churches is not really a current topic for debate.

This year (September 2017), we in the USA, were hit by 3 hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, and Maria). After it was over, people did what they always do! Go back home and try to salvage what they can salvage and rebuild what needs to be rebuilt, etc., etc. Usually, many organizations and individuals get involved in charitable efforts, donating their time, money and energy. In other words, nobody waits for the government to knock on the door and say “I'm from the government. We're here to help.”   That's a fact.

That FACT has generated a news report I heard about 1 or 2 days ago on the radio. Evidently, the QUESTION to be debated is not about tax exemption for churches but:

  • "Should churches (and other faith-based organizations) receive government funds from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for their assistance which they provide as relief for hurricane victims?”

The news report said that some churches (in Texas) had already filed a lawsuit wanting FEMA funds for their efforts.

SUING? Seriously?



Here are some Information References for further details:

Bailey, Sheryl. “Health Care : Sens Propose Bill That Would Allow FEMA Help for Churches Newburgh Gazette.” Newburgh Gazette, 21 Sept. 2017, newburghgazette.com/2017/09/21/sens-propose-bill-that-would-allow-fema-help-for-churches/
The churches note, "Ironically, although FEMA partners with churches to provide shelters and distribute aid to disaster areas, the PA Policy Guide prohibits those same churches from applying for or receiving such relief". … houses of worship were deemed ineligible for the grants under the 1988 Stafford Act.”


Green, Lauren, and Patrick Manning. “Texas Churches Suing FEMA for Equal Access to Nonprofit Relief Funds.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 14 Sept. 2017, www.foxnews.com/us/2017/09/14/texas-churches-suing-fema-for-equal-access-to-nonprofit-relief-funds.html
"President Trump seems to agree. He tweeted last week: 'Churches in Texas should be entitled to reimbursement from FEMA relief funds for helping victims of hurricane Harvey (just like others).'"


Kruzel, John. “How the U.S. Funds Disaster Recovery.” PolitiFact, Tampa Bay Times, 14 Sept. 2017, www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/sep/14/how-us-funds-disaster-recovery/.

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My Thoughts?

As a faithful Christian, I don't see the need for this discussion no more than there was a need to debate tax the exemption status. The Bible says: As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10) There is no additional language or verses anywhere in the Bible that says: “And make sure you get funding or reimbursement from the government for carrying out this command of Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior.”  

Of course, one could stretch a scriptural “interpretation” and say that going to court and suing to receive FEMA funds is just the good Lord's way of returning the blessing for the kindness shown by 'our church' to others who were in need.  "The Lord helps those who help themselves."   

I think it's a stretch.  But if they're wrong the Only One they will answer to on Judgement Day is the Lord in the Divine Court where all final decisions are made.  +++ 
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18 September 2017

Texas Cultural Diversity: The Czech Culture of Texas | hubpages.com

Texas is a huge state with a lot of history and color. Many are familiar with the flavor of this great state and often write very interesting articles about the different cities, like this one written by fellow freelance writer Wesman Todd Shaw.

Texas USA is also a place of HUGE ethnic and cultural diversity. ... »


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Texas Round Up 
~ My Blog Posts About Texas















Cmoneyspinner's HomeBiz Projects's board ALL THINGS TEXAS! on Pinterest







Best U S Cities? Austin, Texas on My List

Currently reside in Austin, Texas and living in the state’s capital is marvelous; family-friendly and business-friendly. Plus Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey both have homes here.
“Alright! Alright! Alright!” 


Texas is Fascinating - Daily Two Cents



Image credit: Austin Texas Tower Building

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11 September 2017

Thoughts and Opinions : Global Warming Versus Global Returning? Science?

THOUGHT: Suppose global warming is actually global returning?



Sharing these wacky thoughts of mine. Hoping you don’t run away from me even though I speak my mind which is often … kind of weird, strange and Krazee with a capital “K”!


OK So! It’s the year 2017 and it’s spring time here in Austin, Texas, and I never know what kind of weather to expect each day. When we moved to this city in 1998, people use to describe the weather as “climatically perfect”. The weather was terrific!
See Also:

My kids have grown accustomed to my standard excuse that I use to point the finger of blame at … everything!

If something happens, no matter what … I say:

  • “IDK!  I blame global warming. Whatever!
♦ ♦ ♦

Most of you know I believe/read the Bible a lot and as a result, my rationale and reasoning or explanations may come across to others as somewhat “peculiar”. Like this particular thought.

THOUGHT: Suppose global warming is actually global returning?


Follow my thought process (if you can).

According to the Bible, when the earth was first created, Adam and Eve used to walk around in their birthday suits. Naked! The reason they were given clothes didn’t have anything to do with a change in the weather.  Also, Noah preaching about a coming flood was disregarded by the masses because … Why?  Because it had never rained before! Water had never come down from the sky! It would take faith to believe such a thing could happen.

So IF in the beginning, man and woman were able to walk around au naturel, that must mean that the weather was terrific! All the time! Everywhere on planet earth!!

Today it like 79 degrees in Austin, Texas but the day is over.  Earlier this morning it felt a little chilly. Yesterday the heat from the sun was beating me down!


  • Maybe global warming is not disastrous.
  • Maybe it’s a good thing.
  • Maybe … ? Our weather is just going back to the way it was in the beginning.
  • Maybe … global warming is actually global returning.  (O.o)

JAOOMPT! Just another one of my peculiar thoughts.


glitter-graphics.com

It's a thought.  Previously published May 2017, at Literacy Base.




Science and Politics of Global Warming VS Climate Change

Once upon a time, I used to watch the Discovery Channel but no more. No point crying over spilled milk. Today I made a wonderful discovery. Discovery News which is under the corporate umbrella for the Discovery Communications, LLC , has a Tumblr blog, as do I.


Science and Politics of Global Warming VS Climate Change

Once upon a time, I used to watch the Discovery Channel but no more. No point crying over spilled milk. Today I made a wonderful discovery. Discovery News which is under the corporate umbrella for the Discovery Communications, LLC , has a Tumblr blog, as do I.

23 August 2017

Retirement Planning : Texas Cities : Athens is a Great Place to Live Out Your Golden Years

Dallas, Texas is a great place to work and live, but for retirement, some may prefer Athens, Texas; a small town nearby which offers good fortune and adventure! 



By Danny S. (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


English: Category:Images of Dallas, Texas
English: Category:Images of Dallas, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Looking for a Great Place to Live Out Your Golden Years? Planning Retirement? Athens, Texas is a Certified Retirement Community. Learn More

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July 2011, Forbes magazine published a TOP 10 List of Cities considered to be "economic superstars". Dallas, Texas was chosen as one of those cities because of its relatively low housing prices and its attractive job market. While Dallas may be a terrific place to work and live, some may prefer to retire to one of the surrounding Texan communities or towns such as Athens (population 10,000+ as of 2010).



Good Luck Peas and Texas Caviar
In 1971, Athens held the first-ever Black-Eyed Pea Jamboree. The history behind this event is as follows.


The late J. B. Henry, an Athens businessman, decided to grow the black-eyed pea and market the legumes on a commercial scale as "Good Luck Peas for New Year's Day"; and for the wealthy and well-to-do (or those who like to dream they are), pickled black-eye peas were sold as "Texas Caviar".


Mr. Henry passed away in 1940 but to this day he is still referred to as the "Black-Eyed Pea King of East Texas". Such loyalty to his kingship is deserved. Giving black-eyed peas the aura of "good fortune" and calling them "caviar" for the rich folks. Who would've thunk it? That was genius!!!


Today, all the credit being given to the savvy marketing talents of Mr. Henry, Athens, Texas is referred to as the "Black-Eyed Pea Capital of the World".


First GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Community
In addition to the honor of being designated the "Black-Eyed Pea Capital of the World", Athens holds the honor of being chosen as one of the first "GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Communities" in the state.


If you visit the site Retire in Texas, and go to the respective page, you will find a list of all the communities that have been approved for this program. The Texas Department of Agriculture, Trade and Business Development state their intentions plainly as follows:


"The GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Community Program is a certification and promotion program provided by the Texas Department of Agriculture.  The GO TEXAN stamp of approval ensures each certified community has demonstrated through its application that it can meet the living, employment/volunteer, health, entertainment, education and safety needs of its citizens and visitors - all the things that make Texas a great place to retire."


Other Texas cities or towns are welcome to apply for this program.


Final Accolade
Per USA Today, ziplining is a zany form of adventure for thrill seekers that first became popular in Costa Rica but has now become popular in the USA.


Athens, Texas is the first city that I have ever known that puts New York and Texas together and makes it work. Not New York, New York (which is what I thought of when I first saw one of the advertisements for the New York, Texas ZipLine Adventures; but New York, Texas (about 20 miles east of Athens). It's easy to get confused, especially when you discover that there is also an Athens, New York!


But an article by freelance writer, Veronica Terres, entitled "Get Up and Get Out" in the May-June 2011 issue of the East Texas Outdoors Magazine made everything plain when she pointed out the location of the NY TX Zip Line Adventures and aptly described this attraction in two words: "Adrenaline Rush".


But why would this attraction about a ziplining adventure be significant if you're planning to retire to Athens, Texas, instead of say ... assurances about golfing? I don't know! Why did former President George Bush Sr. decide to go parachuting on his 80th and 85th birthdays and plan to do it again when he turns 90? Ziplining may be a key factor in deciding whether or not you want to retire to Athens, Texas.


Recommended Reading:
Practical advice and information from Jeff Brown (aka "The Bawld Guy"), who has extensive knowledge and experience in long term retirement planning.


General Information Links:

References:
  • Terres, Veronica. "Get Up and Get Out." East Texas Outdoors Magazine. Youblisher, May-June 2011. Web. 04 Feb. 2012.











30 June 2017

Small Town USA - Grapevine, Texas (near Dallas)

Forbes recognized Dallas as an “economic superstar”; and Grapevine, Texas is a nearby town.
  • SPOTLIGHT ON: GRAPEVINE, TEXAS (Tarrant County).
  • Travel approximately 20 miles southeast to reach Dallas, TX.
  • Latest Population Figure (2010): Almost 50,000

Interesting Celebrity Tidbits!
-  Willie Nelson, the Judds, Jimmy Dean, LeAnn Rimes have performed at the Grapevine Opry. Source: *Grapevine Opry*
-  "On April 1, 1934, Bonnie and Clyde encountered two young highway patrolmen near Grapevine, Texas. Before the officers could draw their guns, they were shot. ..." (FBI —Bonnie and Clyde)
- In recent years several wineries have opened in Grapevine. Not surprising since there are so many mustang grapes. "They taste simply awful, but their wine is very respectable!" (Quote Source: "Winemaking: Mustang Grape Wine." The Winemaking Home Page. Web.)

Learn more:

Also close to Dallas, Texas but Hurst, Euless, and Coppell, Texas are also nearby cities.
  • Hurst, a Quality of Life City, is located in the heart of the DFW metropolitan area, 10 miles from downtown Fort Worth and 25 miles from downtown Dallas.
  • Euless, known as "Tree City USA", is part of the Mid-Cities between Dallas and Fort Worth.
  • Coppell, close to the D/FW International Airport; considered to be "A Family Community For a Lifetime".




Kitchen Decor Grape Pedestal Fruit Bowl, Salad Bowl





Originally Posted on December 30, 2013 at 1:45 PM - Cinex Notes Services  ~ CNS Blog was discontinued; eff date June 11, 2014.










16 June 2017

Build Your Own Private Renaissance Library. It'll be Great Reading!

"Your library is your paradise."
-- Desiderius Erasmus
(1466 {69?} - 1536) - Scholar, theologian, humanist, author, Renaissance man.

 Private library of Frans and Gertrude Blom in Casa Na Bolom. Français : Bibliothèque personnelle de Frans et Gertrude Blom à Na Bolom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several years back we relocated from Texas to Maryland.  It was a job transfer. For a few months we lived in temporary quarters. Found a classified ad in a Texas newspaper that led me to a women-owned business. They rented out temporary housing. We were set up in a lovely home in Bethesda, Maryland and what was awesome about this house was that it had a private library. My dream home would definitely have to have a library. But what kind of books would be on the shelves? For sure there would definitely be books about the Renaissance.  (FYI.  We're back in Texas now.  Cost of living is much more reasonable and you seldom have to shovel snow!)

Are you a Renaissance enthusiast?

Build Your Renaissance Library | Wizzley.com







03 October 2016

Texas Real Estate: Corsicana, Texas

Corsicana is an oil town in Texas. 

It survived both the Great Depression and the World Wars, as the oil business was the foundation of the town's economy. Corsicana is home to Collin Street Bakery and Wolf Brand Chili.

Moving forward, 1956 to today, Corsicana has experienced steady growth. In 1985, Corsicana was designated as an official Texas Main Street City. The Texas Main Street Program is part of the Texas Historical Commission's Community Heritage Development Division.

Current Mayor Chuck McClanahan, born and raised in Corsicana, is quoted as saying: "It's a New Day in Corsicana." He believes Corsicana offers Corsicana offers the best of both worlds “ city-ease and country-style.


[Never been to Corsicana myself. But I know some good folks from there! ]




2014 Photo The Old Jail, now (in 2014) a private residence in Corsicana, Texas Location: Corsicana, Texas

Corsicana Daily Sun:
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For Your Information: If You Like Fruit Cake!






24 May 2016

Elizabeth Taylor (1932 – 2011): Favorite Movies

So many of the glamorous stars from back in my day are no longer with us. If I'm being honest, I would have to say that I like many of these people only when they are performing in front of the camera. In their personal lives, these “ordinary people” are far from being bright stars. They “act like” they couldn't be truly happy to save their lives.

Elizabeth Taylor was one of those people. Watched a documentary of her life and film career. Would have given this program an A Plus (A+) if the narrator had not mentioned his 2 favorite Taylor movies. Beep! Wrong! Neither one of those films made my faves list. Had to give the program an A Minus (A-). (Apologies. Can't remember the name of the documentary program.)



The three (not two) motion pictures (along with Liz Taylor quotes), that made an impression on me were:

National Velvet (1944)
“ … by knowing the Pi can win and telling him so!”
“Oh mother! Were we the best that we could be?”

 
Giant (1956)
"Well, we Texans like a little bit of vinegar in our greens. It gives them flavor." {NOTE: This is what Jordan Benedict (played by Rock Hudson) said to his wife, Leslie Benedict (Elizabeth Taylor's character). But it's the line etched in my memory.}

 
Cleopatra (1963)
“How DARE you and the rest of your barbarians set fire to my library? Play conqueror all you want, Mighty Caesar! Rape, murder, pillage thousands, even millions of human beings! But neither you nor any other barbarian has the right to destroy one human thought!”

 
I was much more forgiving in my rating of top ten (10) lists published by The Hollywood Reporter (“Elizabeth Taylor's 10 Most Iconic Roles”) and Fandango (“Liz Taylor: 10 Memorable Movie Roles”).  Since both sites mentioned my 3 picks, they get an A Plus Plus (A++).  :)



Slide 5. + Fashion Icons of the Era ~ Noted icons of the 1950’s were: ~ Audrey Hepburn ~ Grace Kelly ~ Marilyn Monroe ~ Elizabeth Taylor




13 May 2016

The Story of Qu Yuan and the Duan Wu (Dragon Boat) Festival

My interest in this Chinese poet was sparked by a discussion initiated at myLot.com about the Dragon Boat Festival.

May is Asian-American Heritage Month in America.  

Even though Qu Yuan is not a notable Asian-American, it is a time to honor Asian culture along with the history and roots of this country's Asia-American citizens.  This event is celebrated around the United States.  Specifically, this 2,000-year-old Chinese festival has been celebrated for 18 years in Austin, Texas.

"Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month. But that's not May 5th. This holiday is calculated according to the lunar calendar. ... The Chinese name of this holiday is Duan Wu Jie 端午节 or 'Double Five Holiday.' ..."  Read more.

Dragon Boat Festival






02 March 2016

Honoring a Uniquely Texan Holiday

“I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat.”

Who said that?  This guy!

This is a painting of William Barret Travis, w...
This is a painting of William Barret Travis, who died at the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

-William Barret Travis at the Alamo, 1836

Every year on March 2, Texans celebrate a holiday that is entirely and uniquely Texan”Texas Independence Day. The day marks the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos.The 59 delegates to the historic convention were a diverse group. Two delegates, José Francisco Ruiz and José Antonio Navarro, were native Mexicans. The rest were immigrants from other parts of Mexico, the United States, and Europe. Two-thirds of the delegates were less than forty years old.

The delegates “ and the people they represented “ had a clear goal. They sought to preserve the freedoms guaranteed to them under the Mexican Constitution, which had been lost under the dictatorship of President Antonio López de Santa Anna. They modeled their Declaration on the one signed in Philadelphia 60 years earlier, expressing their just grievances, determination to protect their freedoms, and vision for a new nation: the Republic of Texas.

Unlike the deliberations today in the U.S. Congress, the Texas Declaration of Independence was non-controversial and approved swiftly. The Unanimous Declaration of Independence by the Delegates of the People of Texas was signed on March 2, 1836. Five copies were sent to the towns of Bexar, Goliad, Nacogdoches, Brazoria, and San Felipe. Because there was no printing press in Washington-on-the-Brazos, the printer at San Felipe was ordered to print 1,000 copies in handbill form. The original copy was sent to the U.S. Department of State in Washington “ where it would stay for six decades before being returned to the land where it was written.

Even as the delegates signed this historic document, they knew their love of liberty might command the ultimate sacrifice. At that moment, less than 200 miles to the West, Santa Anna's army was laying siege to the Alamo. Just days earlier, its young commander, William Barret Travis, sent a letter addressed to the people of the Republic of Texas and all Americans. He wrote:
 
Fellow citizens and compatriots “ I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna “ I have sustained a continual Bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours and have not lost a man “ The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken.


I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls “ I shall never surrender or retreat. 


Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism and everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch “ The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days.


If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that of his country “ Victory or Death!


The Travis Letter became a rallying cry for freedom across the young Republic, and though death came to the defenders of the Alamo, victory eventually came for the people of Texas. Not long after the fall of the Alamo, General Sam Houston and about 900 Texas soldiers defeated the larger Mexican army at the Battle of San Jacinto. The surprise attack was so successful that the battle lasted only 18 minutes, and the next day Santa Anna himself was captured. By this victory, Texans won the independence they had declared less than two months earlier.
 


Map of the Republic of Texas, 1836“1845

Map of the Republic of Texas, 1836“1845 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]

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29 February 2016

Global Warming or Global Returning?

Happy last day of February!!  Yes.  It is still Monday.

The winter months here in Austin, Texas, have not been winter-like at all.  Started the new year this way.  Some days it was like 70+ degrees in January! 
 
My kids have grown accustomed to my standard excuse that I use to point the finger of blame at … everything! 
 
If something happens, no matter what … I say:
  • “IDK! I blame global warming. Whatever!

So here is my Krazee with a capital "K" thought for today. (FYI.  This content was previously shared at PersonaPaper, Jan 25, 2016).

Have to write it down now because it might be forgotten by tomorrow. Have these momentary bursts on inspiration and … sometimes they don't stick. Brain neurons don't spark like they used to and I forget! 
 
Most of you know I believe/read the Bible a lot and as a result, my rationale and reasoning or explanations may come across to others as somewhat “peculiar”. Like this particular thought. 
 
THOUGHT: Suppose global warming is actually global returning?


Ah hah! Think about it. 


 
When the earth was first created, Adam and Eve used to walk around in their birthday suits. Naked! The reason they were given clothes didn't have anything to do with a change in the weather. Also, Noah preaching about a coming flood was disregarded by the masses because it had never rained before! Water had never come down from the sky! It would take faith to believe such a thing could happen. 
 
So if, in the beginning, man and woman were able to walk around au naturel , that must mean that the weather was terrific! All the time! Everywhere on planet earth !!

So today it like 72 degrees in Austin, Texas and it really should be a little chilly. After all, it's January!

  • Maybe global warming is not disastrous.
  • Maybe it's a good thing.
  • Maybe … ? Our weather is just going back to the way it was in the beginning.
  • Maybe … global warming is actually global returning. (O.o)
JAOOMPT! Just another one of my peculiar thoughts.

Monday Graphic #20
Good Day , Monday | Forward this Image

He's Got the Whole World in His Hands