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Families Again
Monday, 19 January 2009
A Letter to the President
Topic: Politics

Recently I emailed our soon to be outgoing president to thank him for his years of service to our country. As a tribute to him, I would like to share that email with you.

Dear Mr. President,
I realize that with all of the correspondence that you receive, you will probably not read this e-mail, but I had to express my thanks to you for these past eight years.
I watched with tears in my eyes as you gave your farewell address to the nation last Thursday, and have thought much, recently, of your presidency. There has been a lot said of the change that President-elect Obama will bring to our country, but there are three changes that I pray will not come.
1. I pray that the safety of my family will not change. You and the policies that your administration has brought forth have protected us from another terrorist attack. I hope that does not change with the new administration.
2. I pray that the selflessness of the presidency will not change. You have always done what you have felt was best for our country whether it was popular or not. I pray that our new president will be just as selfless.
3. I pray that the spirituality of the White House will not change. I know that you have sought God daily in your decision making for our country. I pray that the president elect will do the same.
Our soon to be 44th president has been treated almost like a Hollywood celebrity, but one of my heroes will always be our 43rd president. Thank you for always caring for our country first and doing what was best for our country even when it wasn't popular. As you have said, it will be left up to historians to judge your two terms in office, but I feel they will judge it favorably. At least it will be favorable in my book.
Thank you again,
Tim Tinkel
829 Hi Tech Dr.
Livingston, TN 38570


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Posted by tink38570 at 3:13 PM CST
Updated: Monday, 19 January 2009 3:52 PM CST
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Abraham Lincoln's Godly Presidency - Followup
Topic: Politics

Yesterday I was very pleased to hear (on Fox News of course!) that the Obama's went to church and are actively seeking a church to regularly attend. That was very encouraging! I continue to pray for the President Elect and his administration and hope, for the sake of our country, that his presidency is a Godly, successful one.

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Posted by tink38570 at 3:06 PM CST
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Saturday, 17 January 2009
Abraham Lincoln's Godly Presidency
Topic: Politics

President Abraham Lincoln has been in the news a lot lately. In an interview recently, President Bush remarked that he has studied our 16th president much during his own presidency. Our soon to be 44th president, Barack Obama, has also spoken of him frequently. It is no secret that president-elect Obama is a great admirer of Lincoln's. He mentioned him several times during his campaign; he and his family quietly visited the Lincoln Memorial late in the evening last week; he is even being sworn in with his hand resting on the exact Bible that President Lincoln was sworn in on. Fox News (who else?) just had a professor who opined at how similar their individual roads to the White House have been.

Although I have enjoyed the study of history and politics since my youth, I must admit that I have not taken a deep look into Abraham Lincoln's faith until recently. I have seen the pictures of Lincoln with his head bowed and heard the commentary by others about his Christianity and knew that he was a believer in God. However, all of the recent talk has prompted me to research how much of a part God actually played in Lincoln's presidency. My research has been brief and certainly not thorough and there are many views, favorable and unfavorable regarding his presidency, but there are three things that most of the researchers agree upon regarding his faith:

1. He regularly attended church.

2. He daily sought God's help, through prayer, in making decisions regarding our country.

3. He constantly referred to God in his speeches and in his writings.

It was interesting to learn that both our soon to be out going president and our soon to be president both admired Abraham Lincoln. It will be left up to the historians to determine how President Bush's presidency compares to Lincoln's and time will tell how similar Lincoln and President-elect Obama are. I sincerely pray, though, that, out of the many good qualities that Lincoln had, our new leader chooses to follow him in the above three areas. Recent reports about Obama's church attendance are not encouraging. Unfortunately, he seems to be more interested in his exercise regime than going to church. But, it has always been my honor to pray for our elected leaders whether I agree with their politics or not and I will continue to do so. This is certainly a historic time for the United States. For the first time in our history, we will be inaugurating an African American as our president. It is a great day for America. I think Abraham Lincoln would be proud. I sincerely hope, though, that President Obama will see fit to not only follow Lincoln politically, but spiritually as well. If he does, despite political affiliations, President Obama's term in office will be prosperous and great. That is something that we can all pray for.

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Posted by tink38570 at 1:09 PM CST
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Thursday, 15 January 2009
Mood:  don't ask

If there were a magical way that you could see my face as I am writing this, you would see a very frustrated face. The emoticon above comes close (although I am not quite to the skeletal stage yet)!

Anyway, I must have spent 30 - 45 minutes the other day trying to find a way for John Allen's shooting pictures to show up. I thought they were finally posted. Well, I am at the library and just checked the website, and the pictures aren't working! If you click on any one of them, you only get the first picture in the album. I am so sorry for those of you who have clicked on the links and gotten nothing. I am going to try and figure it out when I get home tonight, but in the meantime, if you want to see JA's pictures, click on any one of the links that I now have and you will come to the first picture in the album. Click on the album, and the three pictures are numbers 75, 345, and 520.

Sorry again. I will try to get it corrected as soon as possible.

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:00 AM CST
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Saturday, 10 January 2009
The Family that Shoots Together...
Topic: The Kids

You've heard the saying "The family that prays together stays together". Well, what about "The family that shoots together..." - boots together?, hoots together?, roots together? Oh well, nothing seems to fit but, yes, someone other than John Allen is now shooting. Joshua has taken up the sport as well.

With everything going on with Joshua, I haven't talked much about John Allen so here goes. When John Allen was 15 months old, he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare childhood eye cancer. Thanks be to God all was taken care of by enucleating (removing) his left eye. I say thanks, because as of 40 years ago, many of these children died. I also say thanks, because John Allen didn't have to endure chemotherapy, radiation, or anything like that. He has had to go through many, many Drs. visits, MRI's, and he is now on his third artificial eye. God worked many miracles during this time that I will someday post in another entry, but, because he is blind in his left eye, he has had problems playing many sports. Basketball and baseball were a mess. He has done better with soccer and flag football but his big sport has been shooting.

When John Allen was 9 years old, we started going to the "Bend of the River" shooting facility so he could shoot competitive BB guns. Now, mind you, these BB gun teams aren't just backyard Daisy BB gun groups. The guns they use cost over $100 and the competitions are serious business. The next step after BB guns is air rifles. Air rifle shooting is an Olympic sport and you can earn college scholarships for shooting.

Every Saturday morning we go to this quaint, wooden (almost log cabinish) building (pictured above) with big porches outside and a fireplace with rocking chairs inside. But, although it may be quaint looking, shooting practice is all business. You walk in and are immediately greeted by Mary Jane. Mary Jane is a retired school librarian and the official test prep person. Part of all BB gun competitions is the test. The kids take a true or false test on gun safety, competition rules, and parts of the gun. Out of the 500 points that a competitor can get during a competition, this is an easy 100 points, and our kids are expected to get a 100. Mary Jane is a no nonsense person but has a big heart. She is good at drilling those kids in many different ways so that they know (or at least should know) the rules forwards and backwards.  

When your relay (shooting group) is called, you get ready to shoot. Getting up to the shooting line is an experience in itself. You have to make sure you have your targets ready, your goggles on, and your gun and sling in hand. When you finally get to the line, you have your own shooting coach. The shooting coaches are experienced parents or volunteers who know how to shoot, and help the child with his shooting position, breath control, aim, and follow through, and then spot, with binoculars, where the BB hit. You alternate between Mary Jane and shooting until you have shot all four positions - prone (on your belly), sitting, kneeling and standing. Everything is under the watchful eye of Megan, the official coach, and Charlie, the "Bend of the River" owner.

This year there are about 25 kids on the team. All kids go to the pre-state and state match but only the top 7 (five regular and two alternates) are chosen to go to the international match in Bowling Green, KY at Western Kentucky University. Last year, John Allen was chosen for the international team as an alternate. It was a real experience. Even if you are an alternate, you get to shoot. John Allen got to see some fantastic shooting, and he met his pre-match goal to have a combined score of over 400 out of a 500 possible score. The official photographer of the match has all of his pictures posted on shutterfly. John Allen is shown in the team picture (third from left), taking the test (he's in the front row - second from right), and shooting the kneeling position. The international team was really young last year, most of them had never been to the international competition, and the team didn't place. The 2007 group was great - they placed 10th but, unfortunately, you have to skip a year before you can go back if you are not an alternate. John Allen is eligible this year, again, since he was only an alternate last year, but there is some stiff competition again this year, so we will have to see.

One person who is after one of the coveted international team spots is John Allen's own brother, Joshua. Joshua has been tagging along to practices since John Allen began but was never able to shoot because of his age. Well, this year he turned eight so he begged to shoot. I talked to Megan last year about his problems and she said to bring him in and she would work with him. So, last Saturday, the three of us loaded into the car and went to the first practice of the season. The first practice is always an all day practice where, most of the time, you are sitting and learning gun safety. Joshua was pretty attentive for the fist hour and a half, but after that it was a challenge to keep his interest. He was a trooper and kept up the best he could until, FINALLY, it was time to shoot. The first practice you only shoot prone, and Megan personally worked with him. He did great! She said that he had a natural talent but had to be refocused a time or two. Today he did equally as well, but I needed to help him with all of his test practice. Last week, they said that we could wait to see if Joshua would work out before we paid his $50 fee. Well, this week we paid so he is committed to trying it for at least this season. I don't think that he will give John Allen a scare yet, but it's a start!

Shooting has been an excellent experience for John Allen, and so far it seems to be good for Joshua.  It has turned out to be a family sport. Last year, we bought John Allen his own competition gun, so we practice regularly at home. If you are interested in shooting, contact either Daisy Outdoor Products or The NRA (National Rifle Association) Happy shooting!

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Posted by tink38570 at 4:49 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, 11 January 2009 2:22 PM CST
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