Kudos to Concert Band
As a retired band director and composer/arranger, I relish visiting community band performances when I travel. I have been in the audience of many community bands from New England to the Rocky Mountain corridor and have conducted several of them.
My favorite community band, by far, is the Hot Springs Concert Band. I have attended at least one of their concerts a year for several years, so I can attest that they consistently perform above the level of many community bands whose members are all professional musicians. They certainly exceed the level of any community band who is a true community band, that is, whose members are from all walks of life instead of all being professional musicians. They are a true community band with a majority of them being fine amateur musicians.
The fact that they are intergenerational with members ranging from superior high school musicians to octogenarians makes them rare indeed. I have never visited another community band that includes so many high school and college musicians among their ranks.
In addition to the quality of music, one of the things that makes HSCB unique is that they raise money for other organizations. I have learned that two of their four indoor concerts raise money for area children through donating to Kiwanis programs. I am told that they raise over $5,000 each year. I personally know of no other community band who does this; all the money other community bands raise is for the use of their band's needs.
Hot Springs Concert Band, a community band in the truest sense, deserves full support from the community and its leadership. This band is a great treasure to the community in every sense of the word.
AP didn't do homework
The AP article that appeared in the January 8 edition of The Sentinel-Record, "Australian crews race to contain blazes ad damage bill soars" would lead one to believe that the current Australian wildfires set global historical records by posting a graph comparing the 12 million acres burned to 2018 California wildfires, 2019 Amazon wildfires, and 2019 Siberian wildfires. The article's Associated Press authors, Nick Perry and Kristen Gelineau, apparently didn't do their homework, or just wanted to make a point or obfuscate the narrative and ignored the fact that wildfires in the U.S.contiguous 48 states consumed 52.3 and 51.6 million acres in 1930 and 1931, respectively (source: U.S. National Interagency Fire Center). This was at the height of the Dust Bowl drought and obviously wasn't caused by global warming, as all the pundits are blaming for the recent and ongoing Australian fires.
A terrible accusation
I really hate to cross swords with someone who so obviously has the ear of God and is so able to interpret His actions in politics that we can now understand why there is a man in the White House who is doing so much damage to our environment that I fear for the well-being of my descendants. Just today he is shown with a roomful of people who seek to make more money at the expense of our natural world, and he is quoted as saying that we should do away with even more safeguards against its destruction. Heaven knows that he has done enough already to endanger our future. But he is not finished.
And neither is Mary. She keeps saying that "God put Donald Trump in the White House!" What a terrible accusation.
Mary, let me ask you something. Isn't it a little confusing that 65,853,514 Americans voted for Clinton and only 62,984,828 voted for Trump? Doesn't it bother you at all that God must be playing games with us? If He did indeed put Trump in office, perhaps votes were manipulated. Why did He let the apparent loser go into the Oval Office? Perhaps the idea of every person having the right to have his or her vote counted is being overruled by Providence, and the antiquated Electoral College, although considered a work of Satan by some, now carries God's stamp of approval.
If God loves this good earth as we have been led to believe, and if He has thrown up His hands in dismay as He looks at what this administration has done/is doing/will do to make it unlivable, then maybe this four-year stint will be considered to be only a test run, and we can look forward to a new heavenly action. If He put him into the White House, He can certainly remove him.
How God chose Trump
Larry Bauer, in his letter on Thursday, Jan. 9, said "I have no idea if he (Donald Trump) was picked by God. I try to talk about things I know and I cannot know that for sure."
Actually, you can know the truth about how God did, indeed, choose Donald Trump to be our president. That depends upon your belief that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.
If you're not altogether sure that the Bible is God's word, then the Bible itself can help you with that. The Bible is the best interpreter of itself.
In my letter published on Sunday, Dec. 15, entitled "God Is In Control," I quoted Romans 13:1 which states that " ... there is no authority except that which God has established."
Is that not perfectly clear? Another verse I quoted was Daniel 4:17, which says " ... the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone He wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people."
And listen to Psalm 75:7, "But it is God who judges; He brings one down, He exalts another." "The Living Bible" expresses it like this: "For promotion and power come from nowhere on earth, but only from God. He promotes one and deposes another." Again -- is that not perfectly clear?
Now, Mr. Bauer, you probably are thinking that all of that is certainly easy to understand, but you might still be uncertain because you may be wondering if the Bible really is God's Word. If you should still have some doubts, listen to this: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness ... " (2 Timothy 3:16)
Also, listen to 2 Peter 1:21, " ... for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." Psalm 19:7 states, "The law of the Lord is perfect ... The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy." And Hebrews 6:18 assures us that " ... it is impossible for God to lie."
Since God and His Word can be absolutely trusted, Proverbs 3:5 instructs us to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."
Larry, we can know God's truths by also listening to His genuine spiritual leaders, such as the Rev. Franklin Graham, for example. Rev. Graham stated publicly, after the 2016 presidential election, "I have no doubt that God chose Donald Trump to be our President." (Decision magazine).
I sincerely hope all of this can be helpful to you, Mr. Bauer.
Last of all, Casey Alexander said (Friday, Jan. 3) that "anyone can take a Biblical Scripture and twist it to fit whatever narrative they choose." There is no way that anyone can twist Romans 13:1 that tells how that God has chosen all those who are in positions of authority. That would have to include Donald Trump!
Hot SpringsEditorial on 01/12/2020