Wednesday, November 15, 2006

More Deer Hunting Advice from Li'l Tikes

By L.A. Kohl
October 23, 2006
(published in the 11/15/06 edition of "The Bullseye")
With the coming of fall and cooler weather, some inborn desire emerges within my husband to grab his bow and go sit in a deer stand during the wee hours of the morning. As he often explains, he does it more for the sake of having a story to tell than for anything else.

In previous years, the moment dad begins telling all of the sights and sounds and near misses of the morning, the children – especially the youngest ones – have all kinds of advice and words of wisdom for their dad. This year was no exception, as he returned from a recent bow hunting outing to an expectant little audience at the breakfast table.

“Did you shoot a deer?”

“Well, I shot AT a deer,” came his regretful reply.

“Did you take your gun?”

“No, not yet…I have to use my bow.”

“Well, you should use a gun, it works better.”

“When it’s gun season, then I will – until then, I’ll use my bow.”

“But maybe you could try a spear!” was our boy’s enthusiastic idea.

“Now that’s something I hadn’t thought of,” came dad’s patient reply.

“Just don’t get the baby deers; ‘cuz they like me and I don’t want you to kill them.”

At the mention of “baby deers," dad explained to them about the new law in Missouri, banning the shooting of any buck with less than four points on their antlers. Then he went on to tell them about the first deer of the morning that he kept watching, trying to count the points. Finally, after much time and scrutiny, he figured out the sad truth – only three points.

“And that’s when I was seriously tempted…should I shoot it or not?” he began to say, planning to explain a life lesson about honesty and making right choices. But before he could utter another word, the five year old piped in.

“Yeah – shoot it!” she enthusiastically replied, with no sense of guilt or remorse. (We’ll have to keep an especially close eye on her as she gets older.)

He then went on to tell how he had walked to a different area, trying to find a bigger buck. As he meandered, he couldn’t resist the temptation to try a little target practice on a squirrel up in a tree. That ended with nothing more than an arrow stuck in the trunk of the tree. He told us that it was too high for him to reach, so he was planning to take a ladder out later, to retrieve his arrow. That brought on a rapid series of safety rules:

“Dad, don’t pull too hard on the arrow, or you will fall off the ladder and die.”

“Dad, you should not hold the arrow when you’re on the ladder, or you might fall on it and die.”

“Dad, you should never point the bow towards you, or you might shoot yourself and die.”

After all these imminent threats of death and destruction, our five year old came up with one final safety rule. I have no idea what it has to do with bow hunting…but it was very sensible advice, and I shall close my article with her words of wisdom.
“You should never run when you are carrying a pitchfork.”

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Very American Holiday

By L.A. Kohl
November 15, 2005
(maybe Jodie will have space to publish this one of these years...)
As the years go by, I appreciate Thanksgiving time more and more. For me, it has become the “relaxed” holiday, to reflect and count my blessings.

I believe part of my growing appreciation for Thanksgiving has come through my increased awareness of the truly miraculous founding of our great country. For your Thanksgiving celebration – here are a just a few examples.

France and Spain were exploring and settling parts of the new world long before England finally began colonizing it. Why didn’t they become the ones to form our country’s government, rather than the English? As un-politically correct as it may sound, I firmly believe it was divine influence; God wanted America to be founded on Christian principles.

Queen Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603) desired that a Bible be placed in every church in England, which gave all people access to the scriptures. Our country, with its foundations based on such biblical ideals as equality, justice, freedom and individual responsibility may have looked much different if it had been formed by France or Spain, where people did not have ready access to the Bible.

Even when England did begin trying to colonize the new world, there were many set-backs experienced by those first, adventure-seeking businessmen. Not until a small band of people seeking religious freedom decided to give it a try, did we see a new country taking root.

When the Pilgrims providentially found themselves outside the territory of the London Company and the Virginia colony, they recognized their immediate need for a governing document. Thus, in November of 1620 in the harbor of Cape Cod, before the settlers even went ashore, the Mayflower Compact was drawn up and signed.

History had never seen such a document. A document created and voluntarily endorsed by the people, and for the people. It was a huge milestone in the formation of a new country that would be the first of its kind – a country that would establish the right of the people to rule.

God worked in “mysterious” ways; despite all of the Pilgrim’s initial hardships and struggles (50% of them did not survive the first year, but in comparison, 90% of Jamestown’s population perished.)
The place they found to settle was ideal: fertile soil, four spring-fed creeks, and a large section of ground already cleared and ready for planting. Later, an English speaking Indian named Samoset informed them that a vicious tribe, the Patuxets, had inhabited that area. The Patuxets murdered every white man who had ever landed there – but just a few years prior the entire tribe had died of a mysterious plague. Neighboring tribes were so fearful of the misfortune that they continued to avoid the area.

Because of Samoset and another English speaking native named Tisquantum (“Squanto” for short,) the Pilgrims were able to make a peace treaty with Massasoit, chief of the large Wampanoag tribe.
In March of 1623 Massasoit was gravely ill and given up for dead by his people. God intervened through Pilgrim Edward Winslow’s attentive care and medicine. As a result, a grateful Massasoit informed the Pilgrims about eight neighboring tribes that were plotting to kill all the English; and he gave them valuable advice on how to deal with the threat.

Later that same year, a severe drought threatened to ruin all their crops, meaning certain starvation in the coming winter. William Bradford asked everyone to participate in a day of fasting and prayer to ask the Lord for rain.
Edward Winslow described what happened: “But, O the mercy of our God, who was as ready to hear, as we were to ask! For though in the morning, when we assembled together, the heavens were as clear and the drought as like to continue as it ever was, yet…before our departure [from the day of prayer and fasting], the weather was overcast, the clouds gathered on all sides. On the next morning distilled such soft, sweet and moderate showers of rain, continuing some fourteen days…such was the bounty and goodness of our God!”

Now, over 300 years later, Americans can still celebrate Thanksgiving because of the intense faith of this small band of English men and women. As you begin your Thanksgiving holiday, ponder on what William Bradford wrote those many years ago: “We have noted these things so that you might see their worth and not negligently lose what your fathers have obtained with so much hardship.”

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A View of amendment #2

(published in the Nov 1, 2006 edition of the "Bullseye")
I prefer not to get involved in politics anymore than I have to. I do try to become informed about election issues, and I exercise my right to vote, but that’s about as far as it goes for me. It’s not that I don’t care or that I’m indifferent – debating political issues is just not something I’m passionate about. Thus, I’m treading rather new and awkward territory, but here goes.

Some very valid points have already been pointed out by the editor of this paper in recent weeks, which have helped clarify some important facts about the upcoming Amendment Two decision. I agree with him, and won’t labor to repeat what he’s already said.

I have recently learned an interesting fact that, though…a fact I had not heard mentioned amongst all of the “stem cell initiative” hype and publicity.

Did you know that the very opening paragraph of Amendment Two lists 45 sections of the constitution of Missouri that it will either repeal or change. Forty-five!

This is the exact wording of the beginning of the proposed amendment, taken from the Missouri Secretary of State’s government web site:
Constitutional Amendment 2
Stem Cell Initiative
Submitted October 11, 2005
NOTICE: You are advised that the proposed constitutional amendment may change, repeal, or modify by implication or may be construed by some persons to change, repeal or modify by implication, the following provisions of the Constitution of Missouri – Sections 2, 10, 14, and 32 of Article I; Section 1 of Article II; Sections 1, 21, 22, 23, 28, 36, 39, 40, 41, and 42 of Article III; Sections 1, 14, 36(a), 37, 37(a), 39, and 52 of Article IV; Sections 5, 14, 17, 18, and 23, and subsection 17 of Section 27 of Article V; Sections 18(b), 18(c), 18(d), 18(k), 18(m), 19(a), 20, 31, 32(a), and 32(b) of Article VI; Section 9(a) of Article IX; Sections 1, 6, 11(a), 11(d), and 11(f) of Article X; and Section 3 or Article XI.

I know it’s all technical sounding; and please don’t ask me anything about all of those specific articles and sections of the constitution…but I counted and re-counted, and that’s 45 sections, folks. Is there not something wrong with this picture?

Even if I didn’t know anything at all about Amendment Two, I wouldn’t vote for it simply because it seems there must be something fundamentally wrong with any amendment that would have to change THAT much of our current constitution in order to be legal.

It appears that no matter how you slice it, Amendment Two is much more, and affects much more, than what its proponents are telling us.