Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Carthage R-9 survey: Patrons want to build performing arts center, expand tech programs

(From the Carthage R-9 School District)

The Carthage R-9 Board of Education met in regular session on Monday, September 16, 2019, 6:00 pm, at Columbian Elementary. Present were Board members Jeff Jones, Lee Elliff Pound, Niki Cloud, Tony Diggs, Elizabeth Streich, Bill Lasley, and Wayne Jones.

The Board approved the Consent Agenda for the purpose of approving the meeting agenda, minutes of previous meeting, payment of bills, monthly financial reports, contract for Financial and Human Resources Software Program, sale of surplus property, revised policy and regulation, and specifications for sixth grade re-roof project.

Columbian Elementary Fourth Grade Tiger Crew led the Pledge of Allegiance. The Tiger Crew also spoke about themselves and described their future career aspirations.

Dr. Scott Ragsdale, Carthage Intermediate Center Principal, provided a summer school update. Summer school enrollment totaled 1,776 students in grades K-12 and 513 students earned credits at the high school level.

Mrs. Jane Goade, Parents as Teachers Director, provided an evaluative report on Parent Education, Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) Area G-11. A new record was set last year with 3,487 family visits and 1,415 children screened. PAT exceeded Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requirements and received an additional $151,000 in state funding. PAT provides free parental support and developmental screening for children from prenatal to kindergarten.

Mrs. Kim Ensminger, Early Childhood Special Services Director, provided an evaluative report on Preschool Education, Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) Area G-10. The district’s ECSE preschool program is currently serving 161 students.

Of those currently enrolled, 59 students have been identified as needing special education services while 101 are non-IEP peer model students.

Mrs. Kandy Frazier, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, provided an evaluative report on Resource Standards, Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) Area R-1 - R-11. Carthage R-9 met all MSIP 5 resource standards. Teachers are 100 percent certified in their field of education and enrollments are consistent with both class-size standards and total enrollment requirements.

Mrs. Elliff Pound provided a Foundation update. The Tiger Pride Run was a success and the Major Saver Card Campaign will begin in late October.

An update on Carthage 2020 and Beyond was provided by Dr. Mark Baker. Top survey results include constructing a performing arts center, and expanding tech center programs, which can only occur if additional classrooms are constructed.

Funding options utilizing bond issues were discussed.

Dr. Baker updated the Board regarding the following items:

 Homecoming activities are in full swing this week.

 A “Handle with Care” program has been implemented in conjunction with local law enforcement in an effort to support our children in a time of emotional need.

 Protocol for Open Session Board agenda was reviewed.

 An update regarding the student injured at South Tech Center was provided and staff members were recognized for their extraordinary responses.

The Board met in closed session immediately following the regular meeting to discuss legal, personnel, and student matters in compliance with Section 610.021 (1), (3), and (6) of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.

In closed session, the Board approved the following personnel actions:

Employment (effective for the 2019-20 school year)

Support Staff: 

Robert Coen Sr. Bus Aide
Houston Goodman IT Technician District
Adam Holderbaum Custodian Junior High
Sylvia Lindsey Paraprofessional Columbian
Morgan Makeef Paraprofessional Columbian
Collyn Marsh Custodian Intermediate Center
Miki Smith Paraprofessional Fairview
Tina Stanley Bus Aide
Kaylee Willis Custodian Junior High
Aron Yeakey Custodian Steadley

Substitute Teachers: 

Lydia Cash
Makenzie Copeland
Colton Divine
Jessica Gadia
Nathan Scott
Courtney Sill
Debbie Stephens
Merrilyn Terry
Melinda Wilson

Substitute Support Staff: 

Jessica Barrett Substitute Nurse

Kavandi to oversee commercial spacecraft units for top defense contractor

(From Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), the global aerospace and national security contractor owned by Chairwoman and President Eren Ozmen and CEO Fatih Ozmen, announced that former NASA astronaut and Glenn Research Center director, Janet Kavandi, will join SNC as Senior Vice President for the company’s Space Systems business area. 

(Note: Kavandi is a graduate of Carthage High School and Missouri Southern State University)

After 25 years with NASA, Kavandi retired this month as director at Glenn, having led the center’s Moon to Mars work. She is joining SNC in a period of growth for the company’s space initiatives and two years before the first of six missions for SNC’s Dream Chaser® spacecraft to service the International Space Station under contract with NASA.

“Janet has been recognized as representing the best of America’s astronauts,” said Eren Ozmen, SNC’s owner and President. “She is also a true leader toward the goal of making space more accessible and affordable to all. We are beyond excited to welcome Janet to SNC so that alongside NASA we can ensure continued U.S. leadership in shaping a coordinated strategy, and critical infrastructure, for our new space economy. Our Dream Chaser spacecraft’s first launch in September of 2021 will in itself transform the way the world goes to space.”

Kavandi was tapped for NASA’s astronaut corps in 1994 and went on to fly three space shuttle missions from 1998 to 2001, logging more than 33 days and 13.1 million miles in space. She was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in April 2019. 

Most recently, as director at Glenn, Kavandi oversaw one of the largest increases in workload and budget in the center’s history. She played a pivotal role in the expansion of the Artemis Program, including the management of the power and propulsion element for NASA’s moon-orbiting Gateway as well as the mission-critical testing of the Orion spacecraft. Kavandi earned a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Washington.

“I am very excited to be joining Sierra Nevada Corporation at such an exciting and pivotal time in the company’s history,” said Kavandi. “I look forward to working collaboratively with the SNC team and our partners to achieve revolutionary goals in commercial spaceflight.”

At SNC, Kavandi will oversee three units within its Space Systems business area, including Space Technologies & Spacecraft, Space Exploration Systems and Propulsion & Environmental Systems.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Federal grand jury indicts Joplin man on weapons charge

A grand jury indictment against a Joplin man for illegally possessing a weapon was unsealed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

According to the indictment, Joe Bob Green, 38, Joplin, a convicted felon, possessed a loaded Harrington & Richardson model .929 .22 caliber revolver March 2 in Jasper County.

That was the day the Jasper County Sheriff's Office arrested Green on felony charges of tampering with a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.

Green's next hearing in that case is set for September 23.

Paul Richardson: Where is this road leading?- Part 4

(Paul Richardson's column, The Horse I Rode In On is published weekly in the Neosho Daily News, Seneca News-Dispatch and on the Turner Report.)

It is time to make the doughnuts and to have that early morning discussion about the dreaded “T” word. Yes, my friend, let’s talk about taxes.

Everything that we have access to on a corporate level, such as roads, police protection, fire protection, and all of the other “community” based advantages are funded by……taxes. 

In a republic such as ours there is no other revenue source. In a communist based society, the state would own certain business operations and take all of the funding generated by that business as revenue. 

Our government in this free society does not compete with the business or private sector. Funding for the government and the associated services is delivered by the citizen dependent upon their ability to pay. 

My accountant told me years ago, “Paying taxes is a good sign, that means you are making money.” He is right, that is exactly what it means and my ability to make purchases and pay taxes escalates as my income grows.

I am like everyone else in this matter, however. If a tax is listed on the ballot my first reaction is to respond with a solid no. 

After further examination that response is often challenged and is forced to change on occasion. 

Often that is a result of simply understanding what the tax is and how it affects me. Let’s take a look at the Use Tax that will be placed before the citizens of Neosho during the November election.

The Use Tax is not a new tax. It is and has been collected much like a sales tax by the State of Missouri and dispersed accordingly. However, the process is changing and unless city governments address this through an election process and develop their own Use Tax, those local governments will stop receiving funds that they are due. 

The Use Tax is applied to online purchases, just like a sales tax is paid when you go through the checkout lines at your local market. It is not an additional tax, you will either pay a Use Tax or a Sales Tax, but never both. This tax keeps a level playing field between online purchases and local brick and mortar stores. 

You will always have the freedom to choose between purchasing online or at a local storefront, but you while you may save on the cost of the item at one or the other, you will still submit the appropriate tax on the item. 

Under these conditions, state and local governments, but only if the local government has a Use Tax in place, will still receive the necessary funding for the continuation of services.

It boils down to this, if you are willing to pay the sales tax at the counter when you make a local purchase, but will let someone order an item online and not pay any tax that will be returned to the City of Neosho, that is your right and you are free to make that decision. 

The hard truth of the matter is that funding lost from this source will have to be made up from another source. That source may be an increase in property tax or the even the percentage of sales tax received by the local government on every other purchase.

The good wife and I live outside of the city limits but shop here and are happy to pay the necessary sales tax in order to do so. 

That is the way in our free society that we fund our government and the services that they provide. We don’t want the government to take control of businesses in order to raise revenue nor do we want to pay oppressive or unreasonable taxes. 

Some taxes are perfectly reasonable and necessary and in the case of the Use Tax for Neosho, is already being collected. This issue on the ballot is simply asking the citizens of Neosho to support the continuation of the tax that is currently being collected and to set in place the mechanisms to ensure that the State of Missouri will collect and then submit the funding to Neosho.

I will continue to try and decide what I want to be when I grow up, but in the meantime, the citizens of Neosho will have the opportunity to determine what it is that makes a good city manager and how it will best benefit them. They will also have the opportunity to ensure that the taxes charged, and the taxes paid is fair and equitable for every purchase no matter how it is made. 

Why should some businesses get an unfair advantage and some buyers get a free ride because of the way in which a purchase was made?

Burnett: Governor called $60,000 special session to give sales tax break to one Missouri couple

(From Rep. Ingrid Burnett, D-Kansas City)

The House of Representatives on Sept. 11, voted 126-21 to approve legislation allowing businesses and individuals to sell or trade-in multiple vehicles to reduce the amount of sales tax owed on the purchase of another vehicle. On Friday, Sept. 13, the Senate unanimously approved the same bill by a vote of 29 - 0 with no discussion.

HB1 was sponsored by Representative Becky Ruth (R) after a Missouri couple sought to claim credit for selling four vehicles, which would have eliminated the sales tax owed on a new truck they had purchased, and they were denied by the Department of Revenue.

Current law allows the value of only one vehicle to be credited toward sales tax owed on the purchase of a vehicle, and Gov. Mike Parson’s administration defended the law all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court, which ruled in the administration’s favor and said the law is unambiguous that credit can be given for just one vehicle. 

Despite winning the case, Parson, a Republican, inexplicably called a special legislative session for the sole purpose of asking the General Assembly to overturn his administration’s legal victory.

Since special sessions typically are reserved for issues that demand immediate action and can’t wait until the next regular legislative session in January, Parson has been widely criticized for calling a special session on this topic instead of something more pressing such as gun violence. 

A question that Representative Keri Ingle (D) asked during the House debate to the sponsor was, if this is so urgent that it needed its own special legislative session, then why was there no emergency clause requested? 

The answer we got was that there was no need for an emergency clause because if the sale of the vehicles used to offset the price of the new vehicle occurs within 180 days prior to or 180 days after the purchase, it is eligible. 

This bill will go into effect before the 180 days expires, and the couple will get their sales tax refunded to them. At a cost of over $60k to taxpayers, a special session to refund the sales tax to one Missouri couple seems excessive and reckless, does it not?

The special session will end with a procedural session on Sept. 16, and the bill will take effect on Dec. 15, about three weeks before the 2020 regular legislative session begins.

Swift veto session ends with no overrides

As expected, the Republican-controlled General Assembly didn’t override any of the six bills GOP Gov. Mike Parson vetoed from the 2019 regular session when the legislature convened for its annual veto session on Sept. 11. The swift session was over in less than 45 minutes.

While the Senate didn’t attempt any overrides, the House took a vote on a wide-ranging bill containing various provisions related to health care. The override effort failed on a vote of 37-105-1. A successful override requires 109 House votes.

The remaining five bills Parson vetoed included another health care measure, an omnibus transportation bill, legislation relating to mining royalties and a pair of bills that sought to legalize Viking-style outdoor cremations. 

I am deeply disappointed that the Senate took no action to override the veto of SB282 which contained a provision to restore benefits to state employees who are widows of active military killed in action. It is an issue I will continue to advocate on, and will keep you updated as I do.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Parson headed to California on business outreach trip

(From Gov. Mike Parson)

Monday, September 16 - Tuesday, September 17, 2019, Governor Mike Parson will travel to California to meet with Bay Area technology executives and promote Missouri as an ideal location for business.

Aligning with the administration’s focus on workforce development, the primary goal of the California Outreach Mission is to meet with company officials who have expressed an interest in investing or expanding in Missouri.

Governor Parson will also visit with business executives from West Coast-based companies in the agricultural technology, professional services, and financial services sectors with an existing presence in Missouri to thank them for their partnership and explore additional ways to collaborate and create jobs in the state.

“We’re seeing a lot of activity with companies investing in Missouri that are based in Silicon Valley, and they’re relocating or expanding here because of all Missouri has to offer,” Governor Parson said. “Our state's technology industry continues to grow, and we look forward to exploring ways we can build upon our strengths to bring even more technology companies to the Midwest.”

Governor Parson will also meet with various California-based technology leaders to build relationships that could potentially lead to relocation or expansion to Missouri for their data centers and other sites.

Governor Parson’s trip to California will be the third mission he has completed to engage with leaders in international business, infrastructure, and technology to highlight Missouri's strong business climate and growing economy.

The Hawthorn Foundation, a Missouri nonprofit organization, funded the Outreach Mission.

Former Pineville First Baptist youth minister pleads guilty to sexual exploitation of children

A former Pineville First Baptist Church youth minister pleaded guilty today in U. S. District Court in Springfield to a sexual exploitation of children charge.

Judge Douglas Harpool ordered a pre-sentence investigation for Ryan Daniel Crawford, 32. No date has been scheduled for his sentencing.

Crawford's crime was detailed in a detention motion filed May 7 in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

On December 18, 2017, the Pineville, Missouri, Police Department (PPD) received a report from A.C. that she located nude photographs of nine-year-old Jane Doe on the defendant’s phone.

In a post-Miranda statement with the (Pineville Police Department), the defendant admitted that he had touched Jane Doe’s genitals with his hands and further admitted he had photographed the sexual abuse while she was sleeping with his cellular phone. 

Crawford stated that he would watch pornography on his phone and then enter a room where minor females slept, including Jane Doe, so that he could masturbate. The defendant stated he had also done this in a bedroom where minor male children slept as well.

Homeland Security Investigations Task Force Officer James Smith conducted a forensic examination of the defendant’s phone and he located multiple sexually explicit images of Jane Doe.
Crawford was already facing six felony charges- five counts of child molestation and one count of sexual misconduct- in McDonald County Circuit Court. Court records indicate the crimes took place in December 2017 at Crawford's home at the same time period designated in the federal grand jury indictment.

According to the probable cause statement in the McDonald County case, Crawford admitted having an "addiction to child pornography," and having been involved in sexual misconduct with children for some time.

When he was arrested, he had pornographic photos of a McDonald County child on his phone, according to court documents. Crawford was originally charged with one count of child molestation, but interviews with children at the Children's Center in Joplin revealed four more victims, according to the probable cause statement.

The case was investigated by the McDonald County Sheriff's Office and the Pineville Police Department.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Kay Hively: Catching up with George Washington Carver impersonator Paxton Williams

(Kay Hively is a historian, author and former editor, reporter and columnist for the Neosho Daily News and Neosho Post.)

Paxton Williams stopped to visit a couple of weeks ago. He had performed earlier at the Carver Monument as part of their storytelling day. That day he had given a talk on Paul Laurence Dunbar, the great poet and novelist who died in 1906 at age 34.

We got a good report of how the performance went, and got caught up on Paxton's life in general. After he left his position at the Carver Monument, he went to law school and is now living in Des Moines, Iowa, working for the state's attorney general.

As we talked, we got on the subject of all the interesting things and people who have been associated with Neosho or Newton County. There is first of all, George Washington Carver who Paxton impersonates in a one-man show. In fact, next year will be the 20th anniversary of Paxton doing his Carver reenactments. I don't recall the exact number of performance he has put on, but I am thinking it is 400. He hasportrayed Carver in several states and in England.

To commemorate the 20th year, Paxton is writing a book which will include the many interesting things and people he has come across while doing his show.

Additionally, we talked about other things or people that have a local connection.

Paxton was most interested in Hugh Robinson, the early aviator, and Herman Jaeger, the wine maker. He is also a fan of Aunt Mariah Watkins. Other subjects that we talked about were James Scott, Thomas Hart Benton, Rocketdyne, Camp Crowder, and Newtonia in the Civil War.

It was great having Paxton here but our visits are never long enough. He loves coming back to Southwest Missouri and tries to keep up with old friends and co-workers. Paxton gets around all over the map with his artistic endeavors, which is a big relief from his pressure-pack daily life as a lawyer,

His current schedule includes a trip to Tuskegee, Alabama, for the premiere of a new documentary on George Washington Carver. Paxton was the associate director of this film and will speak at the premiere.

He is also performing at a Carver Dinner at Kansas State University later on this year and is getting a speaking opportunity in Dayton, Ohio, the birthplace of Dunbar, the poet he portrayed at the Carver Monument. Thank goodness, he can use his vacation one day at a time, then take a Friday or Monday off to do a show or engagement on the weekend.

With his legal career, his love for acting and being involved with all the arts, Paxton is living the good life. And he is living well.

How fortunate we are to have Paxton in our lives and in the life of Southwest Missouri. He is a real treasure.

Just between you and me, I expect to see Paxton become a big star one day either in law or politics or in some field of the arts or entertainment. I just hope he doesn't forget to come see us when he reaches stardom,

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Is it absolutely necessary to make every post a battleground for Trump lovers and Trump haters?

One of the most visited posts this week on the Turner Report was about the retirement of Janet Kavandi from NASA.

Janet Kavandi is a wonderful story of perseverance in the odds of adversity. Her parents were killed when she was a child, but she overcame that early emotional trauma and made a mark for herself in a  field that was almost completely relegated to men at the time she made it her life's ambition.

I will never forget sitting in the Carthage Senior High School Auditorium in June 1998, watching the live feed from NASA as Kavandi achieved her dream of going into space, making the first of three space shuttle flights.

Though we had every expectation that everything would go as anticipated, there was a real fear that something could happen and another Challenger tragedy could occur.

When it became evident the launch was successful, a burst of sustained applause swept through the auditorium.

After her days as an astronaut, she was named to one of the top administrative positions at NASA, as director of the Glenn Research Center.

This week, she announced her retirement, but the people who commented on the post immediately turned it into yet another tired political back-and-forth.

What is the matter with you people?

Not every single story should be viewed in a partisan politics prism.

I am so sick of seeing phrases like "libtards," "MAGAtards" "lefties" "cuckservatives". If your only purpose is to pick a fight please just shut the hell up.

There is nothing wrong with expressing political views or arguing points, but that is not what is taking place, whether it be on the posts that are not related to politics or the ones that clearly are.

It appears most of the comments of a political nature do not have the slightest interest in defending or establishing positions and most likely those who write them do not have the knowledge or the ability to do so. They are perfectly willing to parrot whichever insult is favored by those who share their political views, with a desire not to enlighten but to infuriate and belittle anyone whose political opinions differ from theirs.

I am no innocent when it comes to this problem.

While I share political opinions from time to time, I do not feel it necessary to make fun of anyone who disagrees with me. Do I make fun of politicians from time to time? You bet I do and I do not intend to stop. I try not to do so in a mean-spirited way and for the most part I have been successful.

While I have rejected some comments, for the most part I recently gave up on trying to police comments from people who are so used to having their invective posted on blogs and other media Facebook sites that they just go from one site to another posting the same inflammatory comments and living vicariously through the attention they receive.

This has been weighing on me recently, especially as I have been working on a book that mostly takes place in the 1940s when people had differences, but did not have the loaded weapon of social media to turn them into a fast-spreading poison.

That being said, I did not intend to write about this until I saw the comments on the Janet Kavandi post.

The first comment was from a Trump hater who immediately jumped to the idea that Kavandi quit because Trump had not appointed her NASA deputy director and made a reference, if I recall correctly, to MAGAtards.

A comment after that pointed out correctly that I banned the word "libtard" and took me to task for allowing MAGAtard, while another comment accused me of being a hypocrite.

Apparently, neither of them noticed that I have been lax in my enforcement of my rule and let the offensive term "libtard" slip into a few comments.

The only things they remembered is that they did not like it when I banned one of their pet words and they turned holier-than-thou when they spotted a word that offends them- MAGAtard.

I deserve to be criticized, not for being a hypocrite, but for falling short of the standard I set for comments.

By doing so, I contributed to the social media cesspool. For that, I apologize.

I will do better.

But would it have been that difficult to leave some positive comments about a woman who has done nothing but bring pride to this area?

In Janet Kavandi, we have a graduate of Carthage High School and Missouri Southern State University who reached the stars, while we seem content to wallow in the mud.

How I decide what goes on the Turner Report and Inside Joplin

Over the nearly six years since I launched the Inside Joplin and Inside Joplin Obituaries blogs, I have developed a basic formula for what is posted on Inside Joplin and what is published on the Turner Report.

It basically comes down to this:

Breaking news, information about upcoming events, most news releases, most agendas and records page material like traffic accidents, arrests, marriage licenses, dissolutions, criminal cases filed and bankruptcies are posted on Inside Joplin.

The Turner Report posts information about criminal and civil cases as they wind their way through the judicial system, original and investigative reporting, commentary, columns and government, courts and political coverage on the local, state and national levels. It also includes information about my books, signings, speaking engagements and anything personal I write.

I normally post meeting agendas on Inside Joplin, but the agendas for Joplin City Council, Joplin R-8 Board of Education or the Carthage R-9 Board of Education are published on the Turner Report.

Some weeks, it is the courts, criminal reporting and commentary on the Turner Report that receive considerably more traffic, but some weeks when breaking news dominates coverage traffic goes to Inside Joplin.

That was what happened this week.

A Jasper County deputy was shot, a Carthage student injured in an explosion and the Jasper County Sheriff's Office announces major new child sex charges against a Joplin man.

Those stories dominated the coverage and links to the posts are provided below.


Support the Turner Report, Inside Joplin and Inside Joplin Obituaries, by using the PayPal buttons below or sending a contribution to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. A, Joplin, MO 64801.

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The Turner Report

1, Joplin man charged with eight felony crimes against children caused deaths of man, two children in 2008

2. Two years ago today I was attacked, identified my attacker and no one has ever been arrested

3. Tonight, I lost 15,000+ e-mails, my contacts and the research files for my Truman book

4. Federal judge revokes Neosho man's probation on bank fraud, forgery charges

5. Janet Kavandi retires from NASA

6. Tattoo enables McDonald County authorities to positively identify body left in suitcase near Highway 59 as Jessica McCormick

7. Pierce City man held without bond for 1988 cold case murder, arraignment set for Tuesday

8. Forty years have passed since the murder of Barbara McNeely

9. Go Fund Me account established to cover funeral expenses for Joplin High School football player

10. Kay Hively: Growing up in a different era

Inside Joplin

1. Joplin man charged with eight counts of statutory rape, statutory sodomy, two counts of sexual trafficking of a child

2. Explosion reported at Carthage Technical School, student life-flighted for emergency treatment

3. Suspect in shooting of Jasper County deputy located, situation under control

4. Suspect in shooting of Jasper County deputy dead from gunshot wound

5. Jasper County deputy who was shot, deceased suspect identified, more details provided

6. Jasper County deputy shot north of Missouri Southern in Travis Acres area, suspect still at large

7. Webb City pedestrian stuck by semi, seriously injured

Jasper County Sheriff's Office Arrests

9. Joplin Police Department weekend stats include 140 arrests, 16 crashes

10. Joplin Police Department Weekend Arrests

Inside Joplin Obituaries

1, Kadin Roberts-Day

2. Heath Little

3. Laitham Cotten

4. Windy Cox

5. Shannon Burleson

6. Jeff Howard

7. Todd Whitehead

8. Sharon Belk

9. Bob Groff

10. Beverly Comer

Nancy Hughes: Designed with love

“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but
a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
Proverbs 15:4 (NIV)

His dinner partner’s back was toward me in the booth next to mine but I could see his face. It wasn’t his facial features that first caught my attention. Nor was it the loudness of the man’s voice that forced me to keep looking his way.

It was the one-sided conversation he was having with the woman sitting across from him that held me captive and unable to turn away.

“You do know that you need a lot of work on that face of yours, don’t you?” he asked her. It was not a question that he wanted answered; to him it was a statement of fact. “Honestly, I am doing you a favor just by taking you out. Don’t you have a girlfriend or somebody to teach you how to put on makeup?”

I saw her shake her bowed head “no” slightly. He rolled his eyes and continued. “What do you have – brothers? No woman would wear that flannel shirt in public unless she only had brothers and didn’t know how a lady should dress.”

My heart was sobbing for this woman. How could anyone speak to another in such a way! All I could see was the back of her head – shiny thick dark brown hair, shoulder length, with just a hint of a wave – but I longed to get up, deck the man making the comments and then tell her that no matter what this guy said, she was beautiful inside and out to God.

Just a few minutes later, I heard him say “You need to pay the bill for supper. I gave you a lot of good advice. That should be worth quite a bit to you.” I could not keep my eyes from watching her as she moved out of the seat, stood up and turned around.

After listening to her dinner partner’s “advice” on her appearance, I was not prepared for what I saw. She was gorgeous! She had lovely skin that didn’t need any makeup at all and hazel eyes with just a hint of green that glanced my way and then looked down as she walked over to pay the bill.

It seemed obvious that the man’s intention was to bully this beautiful young woman into believing that she was ugly and unlovable. I have no idea why. Perhaps so he could be in control of her life. Perhaps just because he wanted to intimidate. I do not know the reason but I DO know that his “deceitful tongue” mentioned in Proverbs 15:4 had truly crushed her spirit.

I know this is a sensitive issue for many, but if you are someone who is on the receiving end of this same type of conversation, can I just share something with you?
You are a child of the Creator of the Universe, Jehovah God, and the King of Kings. Inside and out, you are beautiful; you are stunning, you are of such great value that God Himself says He would do whatever He needed to have you as His daughter. (Isaiah 43:1-4)

Does that sound like you need “a lot of work on that face of yours” or that anyone should do you a “favor just by taking you out”? Absolutely not!

Please do not allow anyone to try to convince you that you are less than a beautiful creation designed with love by God Himself.

Father, I thank you for creating me beautifully inside and out and for loving me as your daughter. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up . . .


Have you ever been the recipient of someone speaking untruths to you to keep you from seeing how much you are prized and loved?

If so, what was your response to their comments? Why did you answer as you did?


Memorize today’s power verses. Write them on note cards and put them in your purse.

If someone attempts to use their “deceitful tongue” against you, speak those verses to them or pull the cards from your purse and share.


Proverbs 15:4 (NIV) “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”

Psalm 45:11 (NIV) “The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.”

Psalm 19:14 (NIV) “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing, check out her blog, Encouragement from the War Room.)