Sunday, January 21, 2018

Nancy Hughes: The queen of worry

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Luke 12:25 (NIV)

You know the feeling…it starts small…like a tiny voice somewhere in the far corners of your brain. You try to ignore it, but it demands to be heard and, like a child crying for food, it grows and grows until you can no longer deny that it is there.

Worry. That’s its name. Worry. It creeps up on you, one seemingly insignificant nudging at a time, until it spreads into an enormous stranglehold that threatens to leave you gasping for air.

I am not proud of it but I am the self-appointed Queen of Worry. What do I have to worry about, you ask? Well, let’s see. I worry:

* about my kids when they are small, when they grow up, when they go to college, when they get married (or don’t), when they have children (or don’t); when they apply for a job; when they drive in ice or snow or rain, when they don’t call me back immediately when I call them.

* about my job, my body fat, my crooked teeth.

* about my husband, my marriage, my cooking, my messy house.

* about my neighbors, politics, the economy.

* about what people will think about me, say about me, like or not like about me.

* about what happened yesterday, today and might happen tomorrow.
And yet, Jesus looks at us, His children, and asks this question in Luke 12:25: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

Why is it that, as Christians, we allow worry a sip of our coffee, a chapter in our book, a place of honor at our dinner table? We hold it up like a three dimensional drawing and stare at it from every angle. And we do everything possible to justify why we have the right to worry.

Honestly, if anyone had a right to worry it would have been Jesus. Just think about what He was facing – death on the Cross – and yet He went straight to His Father with everything He was facing. So should we.

I read a devotional from Max Lucado. In it, he states that worry is both “irrelevant and irreverent.” I can’t get that statement out of my mind. When I worry, it does absolutely nothing to direct a problem in my life to its conclusion any more than throwing a pebble in a roaring river will change the course of that river.

What it DOES do is to affect my outlook, my health and my heart because worry causes me to focus on the problem and not on Jesus. It separates me from the peace that can only be found in Him because – hear me, please – worry is a three letter word called sin. How can that be?

First, worry is irrelevant. All the worrying that I entertain in my mind and heart will never ever EVER make a situation better or solve a problem or bring me peace of mind.

Not one time have I told a friend “I have really been worrying about that problem.” and had them respond “Oh, thank you! I feel so much better now. I know that everything will work out because you have been worrying!”

Second, worry is irreverent. Worry is admitting that I do not believe the Lord is able to do what He says He can- and will – do in my life and in the lives of those I love. Worry is a complete lack of trust in a Father who is Creator of all things and the Beginning and End of everything.

Again and again in Scripture, we are told not to worry but rather to “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2 (NIV). Never are we told to “Devote yourselves to worrying…”

Today I intend to give up my crown as the Queen of Worry as I kick it out of my heart and mind and replace it with Truth that can only be found in Him. Care to join me?

Father, I confess that I have kept the sin of worry in my heart. I do not want to give it a place of honor any longer in my life. So I give my worries over to you this very minute. Please replace them with your peace. I trust you to take care of me in every area of my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up . . .


What’s your very first response when a problem hits? Worry or prayer?
Why do you believe you respond in that way?


Keep a journal of problems or situations that have occurred in your life and how you initially responded.

Write a promise from Scripture beside each problem or situation that will help you replace worry and panic with trust and peace.

Power Verses

Luke 12:25 (NIV) “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

Matthew 6:25-27 (NIV) “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes?”

Matthew 6:34 (NIV) “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Philippians 4:6 (NIV) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Psalm 55:22 (NIV) “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”

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

Kim Frencken: Is positive reinforcement positive?

When was the last time your principal gave you a package of gummies for coming to school on time? Did every teacher in your building win a teacher of the year award?

"That's silly," you say. "Why would I be rewarded for doing what is expected of me? Why would every teacher win? If we all won, the award wouldn't mean anything. Winning wouldn't matter."

Yet that is exactly what we do to students when we hand out trophies to all of the teams at the end of the season or give them a Friday treasure for "being good" all week.

Be a good sport. Remember that phrase? When did we stop teaching students how to graciously lose? Learning to share and play well with others is part of life. We learned this in kindergarten. In the real world we're expected to be flexible team members. To work well with others. To listen. To show respect, even when we don't agree. Coming to work on time and prepared is also part of the expectation of a dependable employee. Can you imagine going to school late and unprepared? Me either. Yet we condition our students to expect rewards and praise for being .... students.

Do you know why baby boomers have an admired work ethic? Because they were taught responsibility and how to be a good sport. We didn't expect a reward for doing the right thing. We did the right thing because it was... the right thing to do.

Too much of a good thing is often bad. As with all things. Moderation. Going overboard simply creates an out-of-shape system. Time to push away from the table if we see things getting out of hand.

Yes, I'm antiquated. I was educated with the dinosaurs and we all know what they are. Extinct. But there is something to be said for the education I received and for the work ethic that is instilled in me. I think we really need to take a step back and scrutinize our "everyone-wins-feel-good" programs and evaluate if they really are building the type of character that they claim to be building. Are they preparing our students to become leaders with integrity? Or are they installing entitlement practices in future adults ?

(For more of Kim Frencken's writing and information about her educational products, check out her blog, Chocolate for the Teacher.)

Emery on anti-public school legislation- I'm going to have to come down on the side of the students every time

It wouldn't be a Missouri legislative session if Sen. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, not pushing anti-public school legislation.

Once again this year, Emery is sponsoring a bill that would provide scholarship accounts that parents could use to send their children to private schools or private religious schools.

Emery uses the old argument that parents should have a choice in where they send their children for their education. Parents do have the choice, but Emery says taxpayers should pay for it by taking money from public schools.

In his weekly podcast, Emery notes, "I'm going to have to come down on the side of the students every time," saying it is more important to build strong people than to build strong educational institutions.

Emery's simplistic solution may have worked when it came to cell phone companies, but trying to apply that logic to vital public institutions like schools, police departments and fire departments does not work. All it does is weaken the institutions whose mission is to provide services for the entire public.

Blunt speaks on Senate floor about March for Life

In the accompanying video, Sen. Roy Blunt makes remarks on the Senate floor about the 45th anniversary March for Life.

Report, Greitens has become reclusive

The accompanying report from 41 News in Kansas City says Greitens has become reclusive, even though he has issued a number of news releases over the past few days.

Greitens has kept himself from the public, sticking almost entirely to social media to get his messages out since a KMOV report revealed he had an extramarital affair and alleged that he blackmailed his mistress.

Greitens has acknowledged the affair, but denied the potential criminal activity.

The video addresses the problems that Greitens' situation has caused.

Greitens: I'm staying, I'm staying- the sex was consensual

Eric Greitens made it clear that he plans on staying in the governor's mansion.

In his first interview since St. Louis station KMOV released a report alleging that he had an extramarital affair and blackmailed the woman to keep her revealing their relationship, Greitens again acknowledged the relationship and denied the blackmail.

He also insisted that he was not going anywhere, despite calls for him to resign.

"I'm staying, I'm staying," he said.

"The mistake that I made was that I was engaged in a consensual relationship with a woman who was not my wife."

The video is from KMBC in Kansas City.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Links provided to top Turner Report/Inside Joplin posts for the week

The three biggest stories in Joplin during the past week accounted for nine of the top 10 Turner Report posts and five of the top 10 Inside Joplin posts.

Courtroom developments concerning the accused killer of three-year-old Jayda Kyle have captured the attention of Turner Report readers with both this week's posts and ones dating back to December accounting for six of the top 10 posts, while other posts on the topic including the most visited Turner Report post of all time, concerning Children's Division documents that alleged Jayda Kyle's grandfather interfered with the murder investigation barely missed the top 10. That post has drawn more than 80,000 visitors.

Three of the other four top 10 slots this week concerned City Manager Sam Anselm's order to drop the Joplin Police Department incident spotlights as they were being done and their restoration, albeit in a much blander version toward the end of the week.

Meanwhile, five of the top 10 Inside Joplin posts concerned the snowfall that affected the entire area, with area school closings placing second, third, fourth and sixth and the Joplin Police Department's decision to initiate emergency road conditions coming in seventh.

The top Turner Report story and the only one that was not about the incident spotlights or the Jayda Kyle murder was a post on a Newton County deputy facing felony child abuse charges. That post is now the sixth most visited in the blog's 14-year history.

The Turner Report

1. Newton County deputy held without bond on felony child abuse charge

2. Bond motion filed for accused killer of three-year-old Jayda Kyle

3. Jalen Vaden's lawyer asks for change of judge, cites Dankelson's close relationship with Judd McPherson

4. Jasper County Sheriff: We are still investigating Jayda Kyle's murder

5. Accused killer of three-year-old Jayda Kyle to waive preliminary hearing

6. Message to city leaders- Joplin residents are demanding the truth- and we can handle it

7. Jalen Vaden bond decision delayed, preliminary hearing waived

8. Some thoughts on the Joplin Globe's article about the Jayda Kyle investigation

9. Joplin Police incident spotlights may return, but probably without any personality

10. After important people complain, Turner Report to follow new guidelines

Inside Joplin

1. Jasper Police Department makes meth arrest, preparing to file nuisance charges against home owner

2. Area school closings for Wednesday

3. Area school closings for Tuesday

4. Area school closings for Thursday

5. Sarcoxie Police Department arrests woman on meth charges

6. Area school closings for Monday

7. Joplin Police initiate emergency road conditions

8. Jasper County Sheriff's Office Arrests

9. Joplin Police Department Weekend Arrests

10. Joplin Police Department Arrests January 16-17

Inside Joplin Obituaries

1. Fran Watson

2. Phyllis O'Connell

3. Archie Baker

4. Brent Mailes

5. Chub Gorham

6. Mike England

7. Gary Pieschel

8. Dalton Garner

9. Lesta Blood

10. Jewell Blevins

Guys, I am knocking myself out providing a news service that continually provides investigative reporting, is willing to offend the powers that be when it is necessary, has provided more than 6,000 free obituaries and offers regular records material that, for the most part, cannot be found anywhere else.

The Turner Report, Inside Joplin, Inside Joplin Obituaries and Inside Springfield now average close to 35,000 readers a day.

If even half of those people were to send as little as $5, it would help me keep this operation going without having to struggle as much to do it. It would also enable me to make some improvements that would add even more to what I have been doing with this news operation.

Only a small number of people, deeply appreciated I assure you, have subscribed or contributed.

This is not a hobby for me, though I am doing something I have always loved doing. This is the way i make my living.

Please consider taking a subscription or making a voluntary contribution of any amount big or small.

You can use the PayPal buttons below, or if you would prefer send a check with your subscription or contribution to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. G, Joplin MO 64801.

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Hartzler: Senate Democrats willing to shut government down, deny our troops unless they get their way

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) issued the following statement minutes after the Senate failed to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government open.

“On Thursday, January 19, I supported a continuing resolution to fund the government through February 19. This measure funds the government, reauthorizes the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and funds our troops. Minutes ago, Senate Democrats proved that they are willing to shut the government down and deny our troops funding unless they get their way, and they refused to pass the bill.

“Senate rules require sixty votes in the Senate to pass this funding bill and re-open the government. I call on Senate Democrats to join us in a bi-partisan manner to fund the government and fulfill our obligations to the American people - they deserve better.”

Lankford to present plan to pay off R-8 loans, put district's finances in solid position

The Joplin R-8 Board of Education has launched a search for an assistant superintendent who will handle the chief financial officer duties that were handled by Paul Barr, who retired last year.

Currently, the position is being handled by former Webb City R-7 Superintendent Ron Lankford, but retired administrators are limited in the number of hours they can work a year and still collection their pensions and Lankford will not be able to work past the end of March.

The time Lankford has spent with the district has been productive.

At Tuesday's 7 p.m. board meeting in the Memorial Administration building, Lankford is scheduled to present a plan that he says will enable the district to pay off its outstanding loans and come out ahead.

Even after the hiring of the new assistant superintendent, board members hope to work out a plan that will enable the district to continue to be able to take advantage of Lankford's knowledge and expertise.

The following ad was posted on the district website earlier this week:

Assistant Superintendent for Business Services
Job Description

Jalen Vaden's lawyer asks for change of judge, cites Dankelson's close relationship with Judd McPherson

Citing Judge Dean Dankelson's close relationship with the victim's grandfather, the attorney for Jalen Vaden, 22, Carl Junction, the accused killer of three-year-old Jayda Kyle, filed a motion today in Jasper County Circuit Court asking that Dankelson (pictured) recuse himself from the case.

In attorney Tracey Martin's motion, she cites connections between Dankelson and attorney Judd McPherson, Jayda Kyle's maternal grandfather.

"The honorable Dean Dankelson lives in Carl Junction in the same neighborhood as the victim's family.

"The defendant understands that the judge, as a neighbor, has a personal relationship with the victim's grandfather and said grandfather was a supporter of the judge's judicial campaign."

The motion also cites Dankelson's close relationship with Carl Junction Police Chief Delmar Haase, who investigated Jayda Kyle's death.

Dankelson will rule on the motion prior to a scheduled arraignment 8:50 a.m. Monday. In Missouri, attorneys are automatically granted one change of judge, but if a judge recuses himself for cause, an attorney retains the option to ask for another change of judge.

Dankelson's relationship with McPherson is problematic because of allegations made in Jasper County Children's Division documents that McPherson interfered with the investigation into his granddaughter's death.

Though it is not mentioned in the change of judge motion, the Children's Division documents allege that McPherson already attempted to influence a judge shortly after Jayda Kyle's death in a situation concerning the custody of Jayda's brother.

When McPherson found out another relative of the boy would get custody instead of him and his wife, he did not take it well, according to the report:

When informing Judd of the current situation, he first asked who the judge was who signed the order, then he stated he would be getting that changed and ended the call.

Jayda Kyle died at Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, December 1, three days after being found unresponsive in her bedroom at 405 Meadow Lake, Carl Junction.

The autopsy confirmed she had abusive head trauma.

Jalen Vaden, who remains in the Jasper County Jail without bond, was the live-in boyfriend of Devyn Kyle, Jayda's mother. He is charged with second degree murder and felony child abuse.