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Eyes & Ears of Moreno Valley

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Juanita Barnes
Alan Riley wrote about incarnation: “WHAT INCARNATION MEANS TO YOU AND ME.” Have you ever noticed that we church folk are sometimes infatuated with our own vocabulary. (Sometimes referred to as “Christianese”) is full of humongous words that are used to describe faith.

Words like justification, atonement, and my all time favorite, prosperity. Karl Barth was a complicated German Theologian whose work in Christian dogmatics is widely known as the most important theological treatises of the last 250 years. When lecturing at Princeton University in 1962 a student asked him. “Dr. Barth, What is the most profound thing you have ever heard?”

As he thought for a moment. Sometimes the most simplest thing expressed. The meaning is really quite simple. Have you ever heard the word “Incarnation?” Or that Jesus is “God Incarnation?” Sounds mysterious and obscure, dosen’t it?” The meaning is simple. It means “embodied in flesh.” A pastor of mine put it even simpler than that. Incarnation means, “God with
skin on .”It makes you think of his birth and why this is the reason for the season we celebrate.
Just think about it and study.

Where Dreams Soar

The Eastern Municipal Water District is scheduled to pave Cactus Street between Elsworth Street and Heacock Street January 5, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. The paving work will continue into the late afternoon of January 6, 2009. The contractor will temporarily close one of the eastbound
lanes on Cactus to all through traffic until the paving work is completed.

Construction of the asphalt concrete berm will begin January 7, 2009 and will impede eastbound traffic intermittently. Local traffic will be permitted in the area of work, but drivers may experience delays on a limited basis. For information call Moreno Valley’s Land Development Division at (951) 413 –3120.

The Moreno Valley Black Chamber of Commerce’s Community Foundation, is putting together a “PROGRAM FOCUSING ON ADULT READING SKILLS.”

Classes will be held Tuesdays and Saturdays starting January 6, 2009 though March 31, 2009 at the Chamber office and also the applications are available at 22445 Alessandro Blvd. Suite 116. For more information call Linda Wright at (951) 697 – 7772.

The Moreno Valley Black Chamber is looking for “VOLUNTEERS” to help with its annual Black History Celebration and Parade on January 17, 2009. They are asking that you would meet with them at the next committee meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the offices, please call (951) 697 – 7772 for
information. Go by and see the beautiful new office.

This is the last part of the story I started last week: “Love Is Where The Heart Is.”

The heart even replaces the word “love” in slogans and on T-shirts, bumper stickers and coffee mugs. While the heart shape doesn’t look much like the human heart, it seems to be intrinsically pleasing to the eye, says Linda Smith, director of design at Hallmark. “Americans are especially fond of hearts,” says Smith. “American folk art, as early as the 1600s, is filled with the heart motif.” Artists painted hearts on birth certificates and furniture; tinsmiths pierced
hearts on foot warmers; potters etched hearts on plates; stonecutters carved hearts on tombstones; and girls stitched hearts on samplers and quilts. Smith says the heart is a popular design on Hallmark cards all year long. It has become the symbol for religious and secular love, courage, friendship, warmth, hospitality, loyalty and fidelity.

And for lovers, Smith says the heart will always stand for romance. May you have a very Merry Christmas and a “heart” felt safe & blessed New Year.

Be Blessed

Ten Rules for being a good houseguest over the Holidays

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Richard O. Jones
The holidays are here and with them, friends and family from out of town. While lots of people love to have houseguests there are those who might have had bad experiences. To assure a better chance of a good experience certain rules of order must be put in place – in advance. It is a touchy situation to set rules before friends and family, lest you alienate them.

I know from experience that relationships can be damaged by a lack of basic good manners with
extended visitors. To save friendships from suffering and to avoid family feuds from occurring, the ten etiquette tips are written for the houseguest to observe. If you can’t follow these rules of courtesy consider staying in a hotel this year.

• Let your host know when you
are arriving and when you plan to leave.
Keep them posted if plans change at either

• Be flexible to work around
their schedule. Don’t assume that they will
entertain you 24/7. Don’t have them driving
you around everywhere without putting
gasoline in the tank, more than just passively
offering gas money, insist on it.

• Ask before using various appliances
and gadgets including your host’s
computer. Especially don’t make long distance
or toll calls without their permission
and also pay for this additional expense.
Just because the host told you to make
yourself at home doesn’t mean that it’s
okay to make yourself at home.

• Be sensitive to their daily routines
and habits. If you are an early riser,
think in terms of quiet times when others
are sleeping. Don’t turn on the TV or put on
your exercise video while the host and/or
other household members are in bed.

• Do something nice, such as
bring a small gift or take them out to a
restaurant for a meal or pay for a night out.
Send a thank you card after you return

• Always clean up behind yourself
and/or your children especially in the
bathroom. Keep your sleeping area clean
and offer to help around the house. Pay for
anything you and/or your children damage
or destroy.

• Don’t act as if you’re in a hotel.
Don’t expect maid service, and don’t
parade around undressed.

• Don’t overindulge in alcohol or
anything else that will alter your good
behavior. Don’t smoke in the house if any
member of the household doesn’t smoke
including babies. Don’t even ask if it’s
okay to smoke in the house – for the sake of
their health take your bad habit outside.

• Don’t disturb the peace by
arguing with your spouse or children. If you
must discipline your children, do so as if
police officers were watching.

• Don’t accidentally or on purpose
leave with any of your host’s large or
small, inexpensive or expensive possessions
without permission.

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Email: richardojones1@verizon.net

U.S. Automakers Held to Double-Standard

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George E. Curry
Nothing has been more interesting to watch in recent months than the contrast between the way Congress has treated the Big Three U.S. auto manufacturers seeking a bridge loan to keep their troubled industry afloat and the overly generous handouts used to reward Wall Street greed.

Considering the different constituents, one would have thought the most hostility would have been directed at the fat cats on Wall Street, many of whom profited by betting that some mortgage-backed investments would go belly up. But that hasn’t been the case.

When CEOs of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler flew to Washington on corporate jets to
make a plea for help, windbags in Congress stepped over one another trying to express the most outrage.

Never mind that some of those legislators have themselves flown on corporate jets, never mind that they have traveled free on military jets, never mind that they enjoy health benefits and other perks far beyond the reach of most Americans. It was the equivalent of Jesse James complaining about the crimes of Frank James.

Whether you believe that the U.S. auto industry should receive a loan or feel they should be forced into bankruptcy in order to reorganize, it should be noted that car manufacturers and Wall Street were seeking two markedly different forms of federal assistance. The Big Three were asking for a loan while Wall Street was seeking – and got – a handout.

The Bush administration, after being given a $700 billion pot to pretty much spend as it wants, has evidently adopted the motto: No Bank Left Behind. Take the case of Citigroup, Inc. It recently received a $20 billion infusion of cash from the feds and a guarantee of $306 billion against its high-risk assets. That’s on top of a previous $25 billion the federal government had doled out to Citigroup. In exchange, the federal government will receive preferred stock shares with an 8 percent dividend.

We’re in the middle of providing nearly $1 trillion to Wall Street yet no one has talked about Wall Street executives’ use of corporate jets, or their coming up with an acceptable plan before receiving the money or removing the inept leaders that plunged the industry into this morass,
The heated debate over helping the U.S. auto industry has not been advanced by sloppy news
As Media Matters, the watchdog group, notes: “Several media outlets have used data that combines the average cost of current wages and benefits and future benefits to falsely assert or suggest that autoworkers make $70 or more per hour. But, as analysts and some media outlets have noted, the figure includes not only future retirement benefits for current workers, but also benefits paid to current retirees.”

Dean Baker, co-director of Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, wrote on his blog, ““The New York Times told readers that GM's autoworkers are paid $70 an hour (including health care and pension). This is not true. The base pay is about $28 an hour. If health care cost per worker average $12,000 per year, that adds in another $6 an hour. If the pension payment takes up 25 percent of base pay (an extremely high pension), that gets you
another $7 an hour, bringing the total to $41 an hour. That's decent pay, but still a long way from $70 an hour.”

Most of those opposed to helping the Big Three supported the Wall Street bailout plan. That’s the same group that railed against welfare for the needy but voted to support corporate welfare for the greedy.

Republican lawmakers have strongly objected to granting a loan to U.S. carmakers. Senators Richard Shelby of Alabama and Bob Corker of Tennessee have been helping lead that effor.
While they oppose loans to Detroit, they didn’t object to taxpayers in their respective states subsidizing foreign automakers. According to Good Jobs First, a non-profit group that monitors corporate subsidies, more than $3.5 billion has been used to subsidize foreign manufacturers that built plants in the U.S.

Alabama, for example, used $258 million to subsidize the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance., $252 million to support Hyundai in Montgomery, $248 million help Honda in Lincoln. and $30 million to assist Toyota in Huntsville.

Corker, the former mayor of Chattanooga, Tenn., neglected to point out that Tennessee gave up $577 million in subsidies to encourage Volkswagen to build a plant in his hometown and $233 million to Nissan in Smyrma and another $200 million to them in Decherd, Tenn.

“As elected officials debate aid for the Big 3, taxpayers have the right to know the full extent of government involvement in America’s auto industry,” said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First. “And while proposed federal aid to the Big 3 would take the form of a loan, the vast majority of subsidies to foreign auto plants were taxpayer gifts such as property and sales tax exemptions, income tax credits, infrastructure aid, land discounts, and training grants.”

George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service, is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. He can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com.

Eyes & Ears of Moreno Valley

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Juanita Barnes
John Piper wrote about “Feeling Our Need For A Savior” The first reason: is that the more keenly we feel our need for a Savior, the more precious will be the coming of the Savior. The second reason: for remembering our great need for a Savior is that the word of God Commands us to.

Ephesians 2:1-10 describes how God saved us by Grace through faith when there was a time bomb of sin ticking in our soul Verse 11 commands, “Therefore remember!” Remember what? Verse 12 tells us : Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from common wealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and
without God in the world. “But the key word practically speaking, is “Remember."

Where Dreams Soar

Moreno Valley, long time resident Mrs. Mamie Ruth Masters was called home November 24, 2008. I always called her Ruth. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and good friend. She loved her family and helping people and will be greatly missed. To the family hold on to
your faith and Billy I’m praying for you a speedy recovery.

We also had a homegoing service and a great celebration for my mentor and teacher of our Mothers Ministry Ms. Victoria Johnson. Ms. Vicky, as I called her, came in thirteen months ago and started teaching a group of seasoned women.

You would have thought that we were in our fifties but we were in the age group of sixties to eighties. This powerful woman of God empowered us and we learned so much from her. But most of all, we knew that she loved us so much and always wanted the best for us. We are staying focused that we may carry on what she has taught us. God took Ms. Vicky through so much to come quickly and teach us what to do in the kingdom. We will miss her but we will see
her in the morning. To Ms. Vicky thank you for your beautiful smile, your love, for feeding us, then burping us, and then giving us our legs so that we may run for the master.

For those of you that have not been out on the 60 freeway we have some new things going on. At Nason Street we have some exciting stores: Super Target, Kohls, OfficeMax, Best Buy, Jack in the Box, Chili’s, PFF Bank & Trust See’s Candies, Visterra Credit Union, Super WalMart and
many more. Go out and shop and save.

While reading The Carolinian, a Black newspaper in North Carolina, in my father in-laws barbershop, I read this: “LOVE IS WHERE THE HEART IS.” The human heart beats more than 100,000 times a day – except on Valentine’s Day, when it skips a beat when hit by Cupid’s arrow. The heart – universal symbol of love – is the most popular icon on Hallmark Valentine’s
cards. Although Americans brought the love of hearts from England and Europe, the roots of the design goes back 20,000 years. A heart was found on a painting of a mammoth in caves of Cro-Magnon man, and nearly every ancient religion and culture has embraced the shape. During the middle ages, people believed the heart was the organ that controlled emotion. Today
people describe feelings in terms of hearts: “broken heart, “heart –throb,” my heart stopped,” “know in my heart,” “heart breaker,” “heart to-heart,” “key to my heart,” “cross my heart,” “gave away my heart.” etc. I Want To Wish You A Merry Christmas From The Bottom Of My Heart.

Be Blessed

Teaching Valuable Lessons During the Holidays

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Richard O. Jones
The holiday season is always a prosperous time for certain businesses regardless of the high unemployment rate and hard times for the nation. The businesses that thrive during the end of every year are the ones that specialize in the aftermath of criminal activity such as funeral homes, bail bondsmen, and criminal defense attorneys.

Even the jails and prisons are assured job security during the holidays because of the fresh parade of convicts marching shackled and single file through their corridors.
The high rate of criminal activity during the holidays is a result of too many people believing that love must be demonstrated through the giving of expensive material things. City and county jails see many first time female arrestees that prostituted themselves for the sake of fulfilling their children’s Christmas list. The courts see a heavier load of first time male robbery suspects
that wanted their family to have a Merry Christmas.

Unfortunately, too many Americans raise their families with no other information about Christmas other than Christmas means toys and exchanging gifts. When tough times strike these people are the most depressed because they feel that their worth is in what they receive.

For this reason mental health professionals also see an increase in their business to help holiday burden carriers overcome loneliness, depression and suicidal tendencies.

Also many people, especially parents, husbands and/or boyfriends, feel that unless they can give a certain amount they are a failure.

Although the economy is going through  rough times with no end in sight that’s no reason not to enjoy a wonderful holiday season. Most of us grew up receiving material gifts as expressions of love. As adults many tend to think that the lack of a gift is the lack of love.

Unfortunately these are the same values many passed on the to generation that followed and that generation did likewise.

Society at large is a victim of mass commercialism, which is at its height during the holidays.

This is the season to begin to give love, charity, and kindness without expecting a material reward in return. Give the gift of your time with someone whether is it a stranger, friend, relative or neighbor. Rake and mow a yard or clean a garage for no charge as a show of holiday spirit.

Take your children to a mission, shelter, or charitable organization to volunteer in some
capacity such as serving food or reading magazines to the illiterate. Make bag lunches and pass them out to seemingly hungry or homeless people in deprived areas. If you a can afford it, put a few dollars in each bag. Sing or entertain at a convalescent home or hospital. There are hundreds of creative activities that you can partake that would take you and/or your children
through the holidays without spending a lot or expecting a lot but still have a wonderful time.

Email: richardojones1@verizon.net

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