Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 25, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 11


Mountain View News Saturday, May 25, 2019 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 




Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Dr. Tina Paul

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee


One pleasure the Gracious Mistress of 
the Parsonage and myself enjoy is going 
out for a quiet din-ner together. It 
does not happen often, at least not often 
enough. When it does, it is always a de-
lightful time and we try to take advantage 
of it.

The delight on my wife’s side is that she 
does not have to cook the meal and then 
clean up after-wards. I have offered to 
help clean up, but only once and I am 
now forbidden to get anywhere near the 
dishwasher. And, for good reason.

Once in the early days of our marriage, 
I decided to surprise her by cooking 
supper for her. She spent the afternoon 
shopping with some friends and so I 
thought it was the proper time for me to 
do this.

Up until that time, I did not know how 
difficult cooking was. I’ve seen my 
grandmother do it and my mother and 
now my wife, so I thought it was a rather 
easy thing to do.

I must confess I have never studied these 
ladies while they were preparing the 
meal. I enjoyed the meal when it was 
done and that satisfied me.

I spent all afternoon that day preparing a 
very romantic dinner for us to enjoy together. 
The kids were at camp or somewhere 
so we had the house to ourselves. 
I worked very hard doing what I thought 
was cooking a nice meal.

As soon as my wife walked in the door, 
she stopped and said, “What is that awful 
smell? What are you burning?”

I must confess that the kitchen was 
filled with smoke and I am not sure the 
source. What I was cooking that night 
escapes me at this point, but I thought 
I put enough time, thought, and it to do 
it properly.

The whole meal that night was a complete 
and perfect disaster. I know there is 
nothing perfect, but this came as close to 
perfect as I have ever seen.

I must confess there was a nice balance 
to that meal. Some was undercooked 
and some over-cooked. If you balance 
them together, maybe something comes 
out right, I am not sure. Nothing, however, 
met the standard that my wife upholds 
in the culinary department. All the 
appliances in the kitchen were shocked 
by a disaster they had never seen before. 
And, never since, because I am banned 
from cooking in the kitchen.

The only thing I can do in the morning 
his turn the coffee pot on, that is the limit 
to my kitchen ac-tivities.

As we were sitting at our table at the restaurant, 
I was smiling. My wife looked at 
me and said, “Okay, what are you smiling 

I have never brought it up since that 
time and I was very hesitant about doing 
it now. Upon her in-sistence, I told her 
I was thinking about the time I cooked 
her dinner.

She stared at me for a few moments and 
then burst out in hilarious laughter.

“I don’t think,” she said between laughter, 
“you cooked anything that night except 
your goose.”

That is the only expertise I have, I suppose, 
cooking my own goose.

We chuckled about that as we looked at 
the menu to see what we were going to 
order. Everything on the menu sounded 
delicious. Of course, we had worked all 
day and so were quite hungry and I suppose 
anything would look delicious at 
that point.

The waitress brought us our drinks, I 
had coffee and she had lemon tea, and 
we went back to studying the menu.

It was then that I noticed something. It 
had never crossed my mind until this 
point. I’m rather ob-servant in life, particularly 
noticing the little things. But 
this night I was shocked.

Staring at the menu my mouth dropped 
open, my eyes expanded to their limit. 
At that moment, my wife looked at me 
and said, “What’s wrong?”

I finally was able to say something and 
conveyed to her nothing was wrong and 
I was okay. She knew better. My mouth 
was still open and my eyes were still 

Then I heard some laughter across the 
table. I looked up and she was laughing 
one of her laughs that I knew had to do 
with me.

“Have you decided what you going to 
order yet?”

I muttered, stuttered and said nothing at 
that point.

“I know what’s wrong,” she giggled.

“Nothing’s wrong,” I tried to convince 

“You mean to tell me,” she said between 
giggles, “that you have not noticed the 
prices on this menu?”

Finally, putting the menu down I confessed 
I had noticed the prices and could 
not believe how ex-pensive everything 
was. I did not know what to do, we were 
out to enjoy the evening together and I 
was in a predicament.

“You know,” she said quietly, “there’s a 
pizza shop around the corner. Maybe we 
could go there tonight.”

If anybody can read my mind, it is my 
wife. We paid for the coffee and tea, went 
to the pizza shop around the corner, and 
really, I mean really, enjoyed ourselves.

Driving home that night I thought of 
what the apostle Paul said. “Wherefore 
comfort yourselves together, and edify 
one another, even as also ye do” (1 Thessalonians 

The best part of a night out is not how 
much the meal costs, but who you are 
sharing it with.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
God Fellowship, and lives with the Gracious 
Mis-tress of the Parsonage in Ocala, FL. Call 
him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@ The church web site is www.

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With your 
military service 
complete, you’re 
eager to return 
home and get on 
with life in the 
private sector. 

Surely, in 
a booming 
economy, you’ll 
have your pick 
of jobs? Your training is extensive, 
after all - the U.S. military’s technology 
training and educational advancement 
is among the world’s very best. Maybe 
you were a squad leader in the infantry, 
routinely making more important 
decisions - life-and-death decisions - 
than a large global corporation’s CEO 

Nobody questions your passion 
to succeed. Your record of 
accomplishments is long. Few 
can match your work ethic. But 
transitioning to private employment 
proves to be far more difficult than you 

Your military promotions were based 
on your merits - your smarts and ability 
to make split-second decisions under 
incredible duress. Never once did you 
have to prepare a resume, interview, 
schmooze at networking events or tell 
potential new bosses why you should 
be their choice for a job.

In the military, you were a member 
of a team, living for your brothers 
and sisters and they for you, with 
continuous personal and professional 
support. But upon retirement, only 
disabled vets receive ongoing support 
from the Department of Veterans 
Affairs and other government agencies.

You’re on your own - and you need “soft 
skills” to prepare for job interviews and 
translate your considerable military 
credentials into a winning resume. 

The numbers bear out your challenge: 
In some regions, the unemployment 
rate among veterans is considerably 
higher than among non-veterans - up 
to 2.5 percent higher in Pittsburgh’s 
Allegheny County, for example.

Jack Wagner, a Marine Corps veteran, 
Purple Heart recipient and longtime 
local and state public servant, saw the 
need to address your challenge. 

“Every veteran and spouse of a veteran 
is guaranteed a burial spot, but not a 
job,” he says. “We teach veterans how 
to take off in terms of training them in 
the military, but we don’t teach them 
well how to land when they come back 
to civilian life.”

In 2016, he led an effort with other 
concerned veterans to establish 
Pittsburgh Hires Veterans (PHV), a 
private, nonprofit organization that 
provides free one-on-one counseling 
and support to veterans and their 
spouses, including the National Guard 
and Reserves. 

PHV’s approach is based on each 
individual’s unique needs and 
challenges. PHV’s team of four guided 
a highly credentialed personnel officer 
from months of unemployment into a 
human resources position with a global 

PHV helped one long-unemployed 
young man attain the skills and 
mindset he needed to land a solid, 
livable-wage job - helping him address 
issues resulting from his traumatic 
brain injury.

PHV helped another young man 
move from an indoor job he disliked, 
occupational therapist, to an outdoor 
job he loves, assistant grounds 
superintendent at a large, historic 

PHV currently serves 200 veterans - 
double the number a year ago - and 
each of us can help PHV find them 
gainful work.

If you’re an employer, share your job 
opportunities. PHV is your gateway to 
veteran talent. 

If you’re an individual, financial 
donations are welcome. PHV gets by 
solely on private funds. But you can 

also tell veterans looking for work that 
PHV is eager to help (be sure to “like” 
PHV on Facebook).

If you’re with a government agency 
or nonprofit helping transitioning 
veterans in other states, collaborate 
with PHV to support veterans moving 
between regions or to simply share 

Memorial Day is upon us - the one 
day a year when we honor the men 
and women who made the ultimate 
sacrifice serving our country.

What better way to serve veterans 
transitioning to private life than by 
doing our small part to help them find 
meaningful employment?

Visit PHV at www.


[Nyerges is the author 
of numerous books such 
as “Extreme Simplicity,” 
“How to Survive Any-
where,” and “Self-Sufficient 
Home.” He regularly 
Blogs at www.SchoolofSelf-]


If you’re not a TV 
watcher, you might 
not find any value in what I have to say 
to-day. But perhaps you will.

I know that Game of Thrones has a lot 
of followers and people have been deeply 
moved by the twists and turns of the 
plot. This, despite the fact that I have 
never seen a single episode and actually 
have no idea what it’s all about!

But I do enjoy the various talent and 
singing competitions on TV. I’ve enjoyed 
observ-ing amateur contestants 
working their way through the levels of 
elimination until sup-posedly only the 
best remain. So this is not a world-shaking 
issue, and this doesn’t rise to the level 
of bringing civilization to the edge. It’s 
all about entertainment and show-casing 
the up-and-coming singers who we presume 
will be starting a dynamic career.

I watched the remarkable talent on the 
recent series of American Idol and developed 
my favorites, singer-musicians who 
I knew were the best of the crop, who I 
presumed would win. If you watched 
this show, you should realize that although 
there is just one “winner,” each 
of the highly-talented final contestants is 
going to have a great career because the 
show gave them unparalleled publicity.

As the most recent season came to a 
close, I rooted for Pomona’s Alejandro 
Aranda, whose occupation was listed 
as “dishwasher.” As I expected, he rose 
to the top and was one of the final two. 
His music was unique, compelling, and 
he performed mostly his own original 
songs. And then, there was the final vote. 
He lost to an Elvis looka-like, who garnered 
more votes from the adoring public. 
The Elvis lookalike was certain-ly 
good – good-looking, slick, commanding 
the stage, and I’m sure he would do 
well in Las Vegas.

But I still could not figure how he could 
win over the highly original, uniquely 
creative Alejandro, my top choice.

Then I realized, duh, this is a TV show, 
and the “winner” is not determined by 
any sort of objective criteria by which 
one judges the totality of musical greatness. 
The winner is simply determined 
by whoever manages to get the most 
votes. And I didn’t vote. After all, it’s a 
TV show – why would I bother to vote? 
And I noted that people could vote up to 
10 times! So that meant that whatever 
contestant could muster up the popup 
fan club to get out and vote, and vote often, 
would win. Popularity doesn’t nec-
essarily mean the best musician, sadly. 
Nevertheless, I cannot see how Alejandro 
will not have a remarkable career 
now that his talent is plain to see. The 
show will ulti-mately have produced several 

While pondering this state of affairs, I 
recalled Andy Rooney on an old episode 
of “60 Minutes” when he talked about 
how we decide who won the Presidential 
debates, and thus, how we decide who 
will be president. Rooney divulged all 
the superficial ele-ments that determine 
who “won” the debate, such as, good 
looks, color of hair, lack of hair, color 
of tie, height or shortness, sweat on the 
forehead, voice quality, and many other 
highly irrelevant factors for deciding 
something as momentous as who will be 
the leader of our country. 

And then, well, after considering that 
our political elections have because 
more elabo-rate versions of American 
Idol or the Voice, I became a bit forlorn 
to realize that this is – sort of, more or 
less – the mess we’ve gotten ourselves 
into by “electing” the combina-tion class 
clown-class bully to be our President. It 
seemed like a good idea at the time, but 
now we pay the price for an unqualified, 
nepotistic, sybaritic individual in the office 
of President who would likely flunk 
a course in American Government 101. 
But now I’m developing indigestion 
thinking about this – presidential commentary 
will have to wait for another 

My point is to congratulate Pomona’s 
Alejandro Aranda, Mr. Segundo, on a 
job well done, and wishing him the best 
on his new career!


AMERICAN IDOL Number Two is still a “Winner”

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