Who do your follow | Eastern North Carolina Now

    This is a more important question than you can imagine. All around us voices are competing for attention. Turn on the TV commercials are competing for attention. They are even previewing the Super Bowl ones. I can't decide between the cute Clydesdales of Budweiser or the sexy lady of Hardee's. Some are being put out to see how we react.

    •  Is it cute?

    •  Does it touch your heart?

    •  Is it too sexy and will turn people off?

    •  Will it sell the product?

    •  What is the cost and is it too much for us to pay?

    Above, you find 2 pictures of spokespersons. Richard Hook painted the one of Christ / Horsey did the one of Rush Limbaugh (BCN could not get the clearance for Limbaugh cartoon). Each artist is trying to get a message across. I think each one did an outstanding job.

    The picture of Christ speaks to me for its humanity. The smile is one of love and compassion. It is a bit white. Most men of the Middle East are darker skinned. Hook is a white American artist and may never have been to the Middle East. Remember, it is a picture rather than a photo based on a real human. I have seen pictures of black Jesus in homes of black friends. At first I was shocked, but then I realized the picture they displayed reflected their view of Christ for their home. The humanity of any of us has skin tone / facial features / a soul making a smile or snarl.

    The most fascinating thing about the picture of Christ is the eyes. My print is hanging now in the Fellowship Hall of Hickory Baptist Church just north of Rocky Mount. It was given to me by one of my dearest friends, Charles Walker, of Macon. We met at Emory when I was a junior and both of us were involved in the Baptist Student Union. We became prayer partners. In that setting you learn the heart and soul of another person. I was President of the BSU my senior year and he followed after I graduated. We put the same portrait in the dining area of our little BSU house on the corner of the Emory Campus. It still hangs there as a symbol of how Jesus' eyes penetrate your heart no matter where you stand. They even look at you if your stoop and bow before it! Jesus, indeed, looks into every heart as does God. You cannot escape that penetrating gaze asking, "Who are you really and what is in your heart---me or something else?

    The other picture is outspoken as is the subject.

    You may like to listen daily to a Conservative spokesman. His name could be Rush, Shaun, O'Reilly, or several others. I have a brother who lives in Birmingham, ALA. His greatest thrill is to drive from Atlanta to home listening to several different Conservative Commentators. He hates the President and is too tight to give money to the commentators of Fox Network. He is religious enough to give faithfully to his local Baptist church. He attends regularly and even plays a character in their Easter Drama --- for which he must grow a full beard. He is dedicated and a Deacon. He has 3 children and suffered the loss of his beloved wife with cancer when the youngest was born and the tumor discovered.

    My brother is named Charles just like my best friend. We are all blessed to still be living. The 2 Charles's are vastly different in outlook. Charles Walker is analytical and not impressed with hate. Charles Scarborough has always been somewhat hateful and jealous of his older brother. We were born almost a year apart. I was born on March 23, 1946. He was born March 3, 1947. For 20 days we are technically the same age! Those are 20 days when he is most happy because he has always wanted to be the eldest son rather than the second.

    Our father always made sure to treat us equally. When we were small and Santa was bringing us a rocking horse each, he got the store bought one and I got a rough simile. You see, our father did not make much as a Baptist preacher in Tryon, NC, and took the nice one to a friend's shop where he cobbled a rougher one for me. Honestly, I was somewhat envious of how nice my younger brother's horse was on Christmas morning. The more I looked and rode that little hobby horse, the more I saw about it.

    Since it was made of 2" depth wood, it was heavier and could take far more punishment from an older and bigger son at the time. My brother could only trot his and I could ride mine with gusto. It would not turn over with a wild rocking of a Lone Ranger chasing his brother. As I rode mine to the max it slid some across the wood floor. Even that allowed me to beat my brother and he would scowl whenever I did. His problem throughout his life was jealousy that he was not the eldest.

    I could not help being born first. Our mother confessed to my wife when we were expecting our first child that the old wives' tale of "you can't get pregnant when nursing a baby" was a total lie! She told my new young wife to keep taking her pill or she could get the same trauma of 2 sets of diapers to wash and hang in the cold of March.

    In a psychological analysis of birth order, there is a distinct difference between a set of children which has to do with when they are born into the family. Firstborns tend to be responsible and had the total attention of both parents until more come along. Lastborns tend to be spoiled and seeking attention with being cute. The middle ones get lost in the process and sometimes feel somewhat lost in the crowd.

    As we both grew up, my brother and I were about the same size. Until he hit his growth spurt as a teen I was equal. Then he grew another 4 inches and towered over me. That didn't matter because I was more agile and coordinated against a lanky younger brother. Playing basketball was fun because I could dribble around him and avoid his towering blocks and score every time! You could tell that really galled him. He would get mad and spit and foam at the mouth over being outdone by his older brother.

    With the control of parents being equal and fair we got along until we reached college age. At that point we were building a new house and decided --- to save money that he and I would paint it. Our project progressed nicely until the interior painting time. We had off-white ceilings and darker walls that needed to be painted against it. Our father had joined us for that adventure and it was a disaster over cutting straight lines to the ceiling.

    I was disgusted at the way Charles and my father were slopping the paint to the ceiling and nothing was straight and clean. I had learned how to use the brush sideways and cut a good line. We had gone down to the basement to take a break and I was pontificating about how I needed to do all the cutting or we were going to have a mess. My brother took exception to the criticism and suddenly grabbed a 2X4 like a baseball bat. His snarl and look told me I was about to get my brains bashed out. I was looking hard at his nuts and decided if it came to that, he was about to get a drop kick to his balls.

    Suddenly, our father slumped to the floor against the steel post and cried the most plaintiff tears I had ever witnessed. He said, "You boys are about to kill each other in anger. I can't stand it. I have always treated you both the same and this is my reward? Stop!!!" Other than that he could utter nothing but sobs of sorrow.

    Once he got to where he could talk, he spoke of how much he loved us both and how it was so foolish to hate one another in this way. We stopped the battle and went on to complete the painting. They did allow me to be the cut man. My brother never could get over giving in to this older brother.

    I made up my mind at that point that no winning and no perfect paint job was worth a killing. My decision was to do my thing in the future and, if it came to a big dispute, just walk away and let it be. From that point forward we have been able to cope with our differences coming from outside each of us. We are just different and needed to admit it.

    Now here are the questions:

    •  Do you see the spiritual battle depicted in the pictures?

    •  Which spirit guides you more than the other?

    •  Do you recognize the deceit involved in the battle between God and the Evil One?

    •  What is your heart and soul today --- motivated by love or by hate?

    •  Can you admit none of us is so pure and perfect at to not be tempted?
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( January 31st, 2015 @ 5:23 am )
Those who would like to view the Limbaugh cartoon may go here:

( January 30th, 2015 @ 3:00 pm )
The comparison picture was a cartoon from the L.A. Times of Rush Limbaugh smoking a cigar and dressed in high heels selling his conservative hate on the streets of America. His kind of rhetoric compared to that of Christ is vastly different . . .

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