I mostly gave up on making predictions back in 1996. In the early 90s I was living in Arkansas when our Governor announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. His name was Bill Clinton. My confident prediction was, "He'll never get the nomination." . . .
A few months later, Clinton had gotten the nomination, the 1992 race was heating up, and I had another prediction: "He'll never be elected." I can still remember the night I drove home after a day of graduate classes in Memphis, listening to the radio news, and realizing that Clinton had won.
Several months later, about the time Clinton was being sworn into office I, unhindered by previous failure, had yet another prediction to make: "He'll never be re-elected."
So that's three. I'm out. Someone else wanna take a swing? Who's got the best chance of being elected President this year?
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It rained in Amarillo, Texas yesterday morning and, I believe, overnight last night. Word has it that one old guy hadn't seen rain in so long, when it finally came he was completely overwhelmed and passed out. They had to throw a bucket of dirt in his face to wake him up.
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Over the last few days, I've been reading History of the Churches of Christ in Texas 1824-1950, by Stephen Daniel Eckstein Jr. (Austin, TX: Firm Foundation Publishing House, 1963). Like a lot of early historical works written about Churches of Christ, Eckstein's book, for better and for worse, provides a lot of names and dates, facts and figures. I've been especially impressed by the conviction and determination of so many of those early Texas preachers, their wives, and the disciples they taught. My sense is that their efforts put ours to shame.
It's no secret that nowadays the favorite pastime of Church of Christ baby boomers is to look down on our poor, graceless, sectarian forebears. How pitiful they were. But it seems to me that some of them did more good by accident than most of us get done on purpose, not to mention that it's hard to imagine who or where we'd be if it weren't for them. Dishonoring one's parents is foreign to the Spirit of Christ. And, if the current generation of folks in the Churches of Christ want to be better than the previous generation, we'll have to do more than talk a better game than they did.