Saturday, October 22, 2016

Remembering Bob Alton

Remembering Bob Alton

My friends and I lost a good friend this past October 19, 2016, Robert M. Alton, Jr., who just seventeen days earlier entered his 90th year.

Many of us, however, are not aware of his history of achievement and disappointment. He lost his 14-year old son many years ago, a loss most difficult for any parent to accept and endure.

Bob was born in Tallassee, Alabama on October 2, 1927. Tallassee, a small town populated with less than 5,000 in the 2010 census, is geographically located in both Elmore and Tallapoosa counties. Its claim to current-day fame is a major hydroelectric power plant at Thurlow Dam operated by Alabama Power Company. Tallassee’s historical recognition is the central area of the Creek Indians.

As a young man Bob Alton worked as a tinsmith, coppersmith, and sheet metal worker. On August 6, 1946 he enlisted in the Regular Army at Fort McClellan, Alabama. His service at that time was with the Panama Canal Department. At the time of his enlistment Bob had completed one year of college.

Later Bob would complete his undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama. He played trumpet in the Alabama “Million Dollar” Band and was a member of the Phi Kappa Alpha fraternity. In 1951 he graduated from the Alabama Law School and received his Juris Doctor degree (J.D.).

He practiced law in Elmore County, Alabama, became an officer in the Army Reserves and the Alabama National Guard where he served for twenty-six years, and retired as a Lt. Colonel. Bob developed laudable careers in the military and in the practice of law. 

Robert M. Alton, Jr. was an American patriot.

Most of all, Bob was a follower of Jesus Christ. As a member of The Gideons and the Full Gospel Business Men Association, Bob lived his faith hour-by-hour and day-by-day. He was a shining light for many to see, not shining for himself but shining as a reflection of his Lord and Savior.

Bob was a loud (perhaps a hearty) singer of hymns. If you ever sat in church in front of Bob, you knew who was singing. And he could carry a tune. Obviously his college trumpet-playing years continued the development of his musical skills. He and his wife Kay of 46 years exemplified a wonderful duet/couple for the rest of us.

At our church, Saint Peter’s Anglican Church in Mountain Brook, Alabama, Bob was stalwart, a person of deep faith and of high personal integrity. He was a friend to everyone.

God has called our brother-in-Christ to be with Him. It is indeed a sad time, but it is a joyous time, too.

It is Christ in Whom we live, both now and at our time of eternal rest.

Rest in Peace, Bob.

© 2016 Worth Earlwood Norman Jr

Thursday, October 20, 2016

What's Left

What’s Left?

Has it all gone away?
Our conscience, our soul, our will?
What’s left is here to stay.
Though many chill, the left thrill.

What’s left is any progression
To confuse, mislead, or destroy
Our most prized possession
And its unraveling, their method deploy.

What’s left to control,
Oppress, and dominate
Is not some part but the whole
Social strata to subjugate.

What’s left is a “living” Constitution
And not our Forefathers’ foundation.
It lives to prepare for adversarial persecution
Of murmuring winds from an original nation.

What’s left are new winds
Of persistent change incapable of standard.
What’s left rescinds
Rights, politically gerrymandered.

 What’s left is a humanly constructed deity
Of poverty, attachment, and death.
A government of forced homogeneity,
All the left’s lie, its shibboleth.

What’s right is saving our nation.
What’s right is seeing through the storm.
What’s right is saving the next generation
From what’s left to conform.

© October 2016 Worth Earlwood Norman Jr

Friday, October 14, 2016

Challenging Russell Moore

Challenging Russell Moore

The other day several of my Facebook ® “Like”s cited, and recommended as a favorable read, an article by Russell Moore. Therefore, I had to read it.

In The Washington Post opinion article of October 9, 2016, Moore headlined (or The WP editor headlined) his opinion as “If Donald Trump has done anything he has snuffed out the Religious Right.”

I, for one, never want to criticize Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Church’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. But I challenge his initial assertion.

Trump did not and has not “snuffed out the Religious Right.” Moore credited the wrong person. The Religious Right described by Moore as the “old guard,” has for decades been a dying phenomenon.

The likes of Oral Roberts, Jim & Tammy, Robert Tilton, and Jimmy Swaggart were not mentioned by name in his article, therefore one has to assume that Moore is referring to those older TV evangelists as well as to the more politically active evangelists of the past namely Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. (Falwell eventually walked away from his political activism and returned to the Gospel.)

For this current political cycle, again, one must assume that Moore obliquely refers to and lumps in Dallas Baptist minister, Dr. Robert Jeffress as part of the “old guard.” Fair enough. But to headline that it is Donald Trump who has snuffed out the Religious Right is a stretch, a stretch that actually undercuts Moore’s conclusion – the Gospel witness of Millennials.

Russell Moore attributes to the next generation a witness to Christ as counter-cultural. Who can argue with that? For the past decade or more I have read articles by young people who have become fed up not only with TV evangelists but with churches that deftly identify with the culture.

Many of us have seen this emerging Gospel generation close up. Take for example Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. Beeson is an academically top-notch school of theology and trains its students with sound and fundamental Christian teaching. In my own parish we have had a dozen or more seminarians from Beeson taking part in our church life as interns – a requirement of the Beeson curriculum.

These students and most of their non-seminary peers are replacing the “old guard.” Their Christian witness is implicitly counter-cultural, not anti-cultural. It took 40 years for God to transform the Israelites [read the details of the difficult transformational process in The Book of Numbers]– it took the passing of one Israelite generation to the next to understand its mission.

It is the witness of this younger Christian generation who are replacing the “old guard” and not Donald Trump.

© 2016 Worth Earlwood Norman Jr

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Aftermath - The Conundrum

The Aftermath - The Conundrum

Now, we at the end of an octave
Of massive social transformation,
Of tradition turned upside down,
Decadence as norm, mutilation.

We had no Second Coming,
The center did not hold,
The right indulged its false purity,
The left continued toward its progressive fool’s gold.

We endured this decadent octave,
A relentless imposition of elite sophistry into fact.
Now in the advent of change,
Our solace seemingly sacked.

We lost our gut, our constitution,
Right, wrong, and morals relative.
Our once-stable pyramid, its foundation
Now teetering on its summit.

On the cusp of this octave’s aftermath
With no stalwart to elect,
People should vote their wrath,
Reversing this season of disruption and neglect.

(c) 2016 Worth Earlwood Norman Jr

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Fix Was / Is In

The Fix Was / Is In

On our political left
The fix was (always) in.
No integrity in government, bereft.
The chosen candidate was (always) to win.

Obfuscation and misdirection pressed into motion,
Aided by journalist, broadcasting continually on air.
Lying, cheating proffered as truth-promotion,
But to the wide-eyed, they now in despair.

Discomfort and anger rumbled on the right
As their world of normalcy turned upside down
For eight years (seemingly as if over night).
Only one aspirant spoke to their issues while others just frown.

Establishment-right knows not how to win,
For eight years they were passive.
Having endured revenge, must take it on the shin.
Abandonment of their constituents quite massive.

So here we are both left and right
With two political deplorables delivering immoralities, lies, and tricks.
It’s too late for us to kick and smite.

Help us, Lord because we are really in a big fix.