Thursday, May 31, 2007

Go me!

I'm now the proud owner of a new 2007 Nissan Versa Sedan, SL model. It has the convenience package, which means it has an intelligent, Blue Tooth, prewiring for satellite radio and probably some other things. It also has a 6 CD changer (which is standard on the SL model). It is very nice. The color is Sonoma Sunset, which is a dark red. I'll be posting actual photos soon, no doubt.

Monday, May 28, 2007

It's sad

Via WaPo - An Ocean City Icon Faces Turn in Economic Tide
For 117 summers, generations of children have frolicked through Trimper's Rides on this beach resort town's signature boardwalk. But this Memorial Day weekend might begin the last summer they circle the antique wooden carousel, fling around the Tilt-a-Whirl and loop through the Tidal Wave roller coaster.

The Trimpers say they are considering closing the amusement park and arcade this year.

As Ocean City has exploded into a megaresort, property taxes have soared for Trimper's, which operates on the last chunk of undeveloped land on the town's three-mile boardwalk. In the past three years, family members said, their assessed property value has tripled, from $21 million to $65 million.

So the Trimpers are facing reality. Revenue from thrill rides and arcade games can't keep pace with the skyrocketing value of their three-block site, they say. In addition to property taxes, insurance and energy costs are up, and the family is split over what to do: Some members want to sell, but others want to find a way -- perhaps through a change to lower the park's assessment or a historic designation -- to keep going.
I have been there. We go to New Jersey every summer, and we have made the drive to Ocean City once or twice. We've been meaning to go again, but the weather wasn't so great the last few times we had planned to go, so we didn't get to go. Trimper's Rides closing wouldn't stop us from going back, but it would certainly make it seem different.

Trimper's is not the only small amusement park affected these days.
Across the nation -- from Coney Island, N.Y., to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to Panama City, Fla. -- beach amusement parks have become victims of the ocean-view development boom.
Growing up not too far from Panama City, Fla., we used to go to Miracle Strip every summer. I actually haven't been back to PC since it closed down in 2004. Not that Miracle Strip closing is the real reason I've stayed away, it is just simple one symptom of the overall problem.

To me, the beach is just no fun anymore. It is overcrowded, the traffic is awful and you can't even see the water from the street anymore. From what I've heard, Panama City wants to turn itself into another Miami. I don't really see that happening, but if it did I don't think I would ever go back. I have no desire to visit Miami, and no desire to visit a Miami North either.

Oh, well, they don't ask me nor do they care about my opinion. So I'll just keep spending my money at mountain retreats in the summertime and leave the beaches to those who like high rises and over crowding.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Congratulations Graduates!

Last night was graduation at my son's high school. Both my eldest son and youngest step-daughter were graduating. My step-daughter was co-Valedictorian (there was actually a tie even when taken out something like 8 decimal places so they gave it to both girls with the same GPA) and my son was in the top 10% of the class. Here are some pictures.

My step-daughter delivering her speech.

My two graduates

The CHHS graduating class of 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Looking on the bright side

Today was my birthday and it was generally a very nice day. I received many birthday wishes from many great friends. My eldest son took me out this afternoon to Village Coffee, his treat. My husband took me out to dinner. After dinner I received several very nice gifts from my family. During dinner I was thinking about the fact that I need to learn to look on the bright side of things more often than I do. I want to be a happy person and I want to enjoy my life without letting all the little things get me down.

That resolve was almost immediately put to the test, however. My oldest cat has been sick for some while. The vet said he had feline leukemia and FIV. We knew that he wouldn't live too much longer, as he did not seem to be eating much, if any, any more. When we got home from dinner we found the cat dead in the front yard in the rain. We were all sad and we buried him before I opened my gifts. I'm trying to stick to my resolve and look on the bright side. He was sick and is better off now. We will miss him, but it is all for the best.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Richardson makes it official

Via WaPo - Richardson's Bid Is Now Official
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson established another landmark in the 2008 campaign Monday, becoming the first Hispanic Democrat to seek the presidency of the United States.

Richardson, 59, the son of a Mexican mother and half-Mexican father, made his candidacy official at a crowded news conference in the same downtown Los Angeles hotel in which John F. Kennedy accepted the Democratic nomination in 1960. Richardson emphasized his Hispanic heritage, his extensive diplomatic and political experience, and his depth of knowledge on issues, particularly foreign policy.
So I'm a day late. I'm probably a dollar short, too. Good Luck to Bill and his campaign. He will certainly need it against the war chests he faces even if they do all lack his experience.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Pipe dreams

Via the NYT - 2 Candidates to Roll Out Domestic Proposals
Two presidential candidates plan to unveil significant domestic policy proposals today, with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton calling for a $5 billion plan for universal prekindergarten classes and Senator John McCain urging more efficiency and ethics in government.

[. . .]

“Every child — not just children whose parents can afford it — should have the same chance to succeed and to fulfill his or her God-given potential,” Mrs. Clinton said yesterday in a statement. A 2004 study in New York, by Clive R. Belfield of Queens College, found that offering universal prekindergarten to all children in the state would save up to $828 million over the course of their educations from kindergarten through 12th grade. The savings would come as a result of the reduced need for remedial services and reduced repetition of grades.

[. . .]

Mr. McCain, meanwhile, plans to veer away from the government-is-the-problem school of conservatism as he outlines his vision of government in a speech today to the Oklahoma State Legislature. The senator, an Arizona Republican, plans to speak of the need for more ethics and efficiency in government.

“In my administration, public disclosure will be constant, timely and widely available,” Mr. McCain said, in excerpts of the speech obtained from his campaign. “Ethical standards will be subject to frequent review. Every inspector general in every department of government will have direct access to the heads of their departments and cabinet secretaries. And I’ll hold those senior officeholders directly responsible for taking the necessary corrective measures to ensure the integrity of the departments they lead.”
It is hard for me to believe that either plan would produce the results intended. But I guess it only has to sound good, it doesn't really have to work. . .

Richardson is Hispanic (and several other things he wants you to know about his past)

Via WaPo - The Pro-Familia Candidate: Bill Richardson Plays Up His Mexican Roots
"Plus I'm Hispanic," he said. "Did you know that?"

He was teasing, but it's a real strategic issue for a candidate with a vanilla name. He's convinced that even a lot of Hispanics don't know his background -- that he's the son of an American father and a Mexican mother and spent his childhood in Mexico City until coming to America to start the eighth grade.
If you are interested in Richardson, this article has a lot of good information about his history and upbringing. Give it a look-see.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What is it all for?

WaPo reports - Tainted Chinese Imports Common
Dead pets and melamine-tainted food notwithstanding, change will prove difficult, policy experts say, in large part because U.S. companies have become so dependent on the Chinese economy that tighter rules on imports stand to harm the U.S. economy, too.

"So many U.S. companies are directly or indirectly involved in China now, the commercial interest of the United States these days has become to allow imports to come in as quickly and smoothly as possible," said Robert B. Cassidy, a former assistant U.S. trade representative for China and now director of international trade and services for Kelley Drye Collier Shannon, a Washington law firm.

As a result, the United States finds itself "kowtowing to China," Cassidy said, even as that country keeps sending American consumers adulterated and mislabeled foods.

It's not just about cheap imports, added Carol Tucker Foreman, a former assistant secretary of agriculture now at the Consumer Federation of America.

"Our farmers and food processors have drooled for years to be able to sell their food to that massive market," Foreman said. "The Chinese counterfeit. They have a serious piracy problem. But we put up with it because we want to sell to them."
To me, this story brings home the importance of answering the question, "What is the role of government?" Is it to protect its citizens or is it something else entirely? I understand that we need a healthy economy and that the economies of various states are becoming more and more intertwined. However, if we are willing to allow tainted foods into our country, just for the sake of economic growth or stability, are we not cutting off our nose to spite our face, so to speak? Is it worth it? That is always the ultimate question, "Is it worth it?" We allow so many things in the name of economics and short term gains. When are we going to start to look at long term health effects, or does that just fall under the category of acceptable losses?

Bush not so conservative after all

Via the NYT - Carter Criticizes Bush and Blair on War in Iraq
Former President Jimmy Carter criticized George W. Bush’s presidency in interviews released Saturday as “the worst in history” in international relations and faulted Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain for his loyal relationship with Mr. Bush.

[. . .]

“The overt reversal of America’s basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including those of George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me,” Mr. Carter told the newspaper.

[. . .]

In the newspaper interview, Mr. Carter said Mr. Bush has taken a “radical departure from all previous administration policies” with the Iraq war.

“We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered,” he said.

[. . .]

In the newspaper interview, Mr. Carter, who brokered the Camp David accords between Egypt and Israel, also criticized Mr. Bush’s Middle East policies. “For the first time since Israel was founded, we’ve had zero peace talks to try to bring a resolution of differences in the Middle East,” he said. “That’s a radical departure from the past.”
I have long wondered why conservatives have supported Geo. W. Bush in the way that they have. Conservative, in the since of conserving the way of life and the way of doing things that came before us, is just not the way that Dubya works. He is a wild card. He may espouse some of the same beliefs as those who label themselves as conservatives, but Carter is right that Bush is conserving very little in terms of traditional American values and procedures in international relations. At least that is my opinion.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

More from Moore

Via - Healthy praise for Moore's 'Sicko'
"Sicko," Michael Moore's ferocious and funny attack on the U.S. health care system, got a warm welcome at the Cannes Film festival Saturday. At home, it has started a firestorm.

The movie doesn't open until late June, but it has already been criticized by conservative politicians and sparked a U.S. government investigation that could land Moore a fine or jail time.

[. . .]

Moore's previous films were praised and reviled in equal measure. Americans will likely be just as divided by "Sicko" -- especially scenes in which Moore takes the sick 9/11 rescuers to Cuba for treatment.

The trip led the U.S. Treasury Department to investigate Moore for possibly breaking the U.S. trade and travel embargo on Cuba.

[. . .]

Moore says the criticism of the Cuba trip is misplaced. He said he intended to take the workers to Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. naval base on the island where terror suspects are held -- and, the film claims, receive top-notch medical care.

"The point was not to go to Cuba but to go to America, to go to American soil ... being in Cuba was just an accident in a sense," he said.
I've only ever watched one Michael Moore documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, and I found it interesting. However, one must always consider the source when receiving any information. I think that Moore has some good points to make, but I don't think that he always makes them in the best possible ways. And any incendiary material in the film is doubtfully there by chance.

This country does need health care reform. Too often it seems like insurance is nothing more than a racket. People pay and pay believing that they will be covered if they have medical problems, but when a problem actually arises, the insurers want to do as little as they can get away with. It is true of all types of insurance, not just health insurance. I'm not really sure how Michael Moore's film is going to change that any though. The people who already agree with him will watch it and agree with him. Those who do not agree with him will likely not watch it and dismiss it out of hand because of the source from which it originates.

It ultimately boils down to entertainment. For those who agree with Moore, it can serve as a cathartic device or a voice for what they already believe. For those who hate Moore already, it just gives them further justification for the hatred. Ultimately it affects nothing and changes nothing.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

An interesting development

Via WaPo - Bush Taps Skeptic of Buildup as 'War Czar'
President Bush tapped Army Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute yesterday to serve as a new White House "war czar" overseeing the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, choosing a low-key soldier who privately expressed skepticism about sending more troops to Iraq during last winter's strategy review.
I'm a bit surprised by this decision from the administration. It seem somewhat out of character. I wonder what the strategy is, or maybe it's just a case of no one else being willing to take the job. It will be interesting to see if this actually affects the way the administration conducts the war from this point forward. I have my doubts.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

NBC's new fall lineup announced

Via - Fall Preview

I'm a little disappointed with the NBC fall schedule. There were only three shows that I watched on NBC and they are not bringing back two of them, Crossing Jordan and Raines. At least Heroes will be back.

Rest in Peace

Via WaPo - Television Evangelist Falwell Dies at 73
The Rev. Jerry Falwell, the television evangelist who founded the Moral Majority and used it to mold the religious right into a political force, died Tuesday shortly after being found unconscious in his office at Liberty University, a school executive said. He was 73.

Ron Godwin, the university's executive vice president, said Falwell, 73, was found unresponsive around 10:45 a.m. and taken to Lynchburg General Hospital. "CPR efforts were unsuccessful," he said.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Two weeks and four days after the initial breakdown, my Odyssey is finally safe at home. I managed to drive it home from Montgomery without incident. Hopefully it is truly fixed this time. I swear, if it overheats again within the next few weeks, Honda can just have it back!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I'm disgusted

I've watched Survivor all season. Dreamz made a deal with Yau Man to give him the immunity at the final four and he went back on that deal. Not only that, he voted Yau Man out, which he had also agreed not to do if he didn't give him the immunity. I'm now totally disgusted with all three that are left in the game and I'm not even gonna finish watching the finale.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Brownback blows it

Via CNN - Brownback drops the ball at Wisconsin GOP convention

If you are gonna talk football, make sure you know who you are talking to and get your team right! People take their football VERY seriously.


Via CNN - For China the stowaway cat, nine lives were enough
China the cat had chewed through one of the boxes before it left Shanghai, China, on April 3 and spent at least 35 days on a ship inside the container filled with motorcycle gear.

[. . .]

"Usually, we say that animals can only survive a few weeks without food and only a few days without water," said Michelle Misavage, a veterinarian in Raleigh, North Carolina. "The theory is that cats have such good kidneys, their bodies adjust to the lack of water, and somehow they received small amounts of moisture from condensation."
That is truly amazing. And I suppose that means that I can stop feeling guilty if I ignore my cats when they meow at me wanting to be fed twenty times a day.

Giuliani takes a stand (in the middle of the road?)

Via the NYT - Giuliani Takes On G.O.P. Orthodoxy on Social Issues
Rudolph W. Giuliani directly challenged Republican orthodoxy on Friday, asserting that his support for abortion rights, gun control and gay rights should not disqualify him from winning the party’s presidential nomination.

He said that Republicans needed to be tolerant of dissenting views on those issues if they wanted to retain the White House.

[. . .]

Mr. Giuliani’s speech appeared to reflect two calculations by his campaign. The first is that Republicans are so alarmed at the prospect of losing the White House, particularly after Democrats took control of Congress last year, that they will be willing to overlook differences on issues like abortion. The second is that voters often reward politicians for candor and independence though disagreeing with them on issues.
I do applaud Giuliani for actually saying what he believes instead of simply saying what he thinks the hard-liners in the party want to hear. I don't know how it will serve him in the primary election, however. If he can win the nomination of his party it may serve him well in the general election, but he has to get there first.

I think this issue illustrates well one of the problems with the two party system that we current operate under. Each party is actually a coalition of many smaller groups whose core issues often have little or nothing to do with the core issues of other groups in the coalition. Therefore, we end up with many groups calling themselves Republicans (or Democrats) for wildly varying reasons. Most often, candidates find themselves playing to one audience in the primary and then having to shift gears when the general election rolls around.

I'm not sure if this is better or worse than the alternative. If we have many small parties that could focus on their own pet issue, we would still require coalitions to form a working government. To get bills passed in Congress, different groups would still need to caucus together to pass legislation. At least in this system, the voters know which group their candidate is going to caucus with and they have some say so at the voting booth, but in the smaller party scenario, these smaller parties might be able to caucus differently on different issues and stay truer to what their constituency truly favors in terms of legislation, but once in office it may be difficult for voters to influence who caucuses with whom. To me, it is a difficult choice to make.

In this instance, Giuliani seems willing to abandon the hardcore social conservatives in the Republican party, banking on the fact that they have no where else to go, party-wise. My guess is that he assumes they are actually a small enough percentage (although very vocal part) of the party that he can gain the nomination without them, and not alienate himself from the moderate voters out there without a party affiliation. We will have to see if that gamble pays off.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

What would you do?

We own two vehicles: a 1994 Ford Escort (with 144000 miles and totally paid off) and a 2004 Honda Odyssey minivan (with 51000 miles, and $9500 still owed on it). The Escort has reached the point where it is starting to use oil and requires more and more repairs more and more frequently, so we were thinking that we would replace it this fall with another car in its same size class. We had been thinking about either a Toyota Corolla or a Honda Civic.

Now we are not so sure what we want to do, or what we ought to do. On April 26 (a Thursday) I was headed into town on the van to take something to my husband at work and then go do my grocery shopping. When I was only about 2 or 3 miles from my house I began to notice a squeaking or squealing noise so I turned the radio off to listen better. When I took my foot off the gas, the noise stopped. It wasn't very loud and I just thought I'd ask my husband about it when I got over to his office. As I got closer to his office (which is about 6 miles from my house) I noticed that the noise was no longer stopping when I took my foot off the gas. When I got to the parking lot at my husband's office (which is gated and requires a key card to enter) I rolled down my window down and noticed that the van smelled hot. I looked at the temperature gauge and noticed that it was all the way over to hot. I pulled into a parking space and told my husband, who had come to the parking lot to meet me, that something was wrong with the van. He opened the hood and saw that there was water/coolant all over the engine. He assumed that a hose had probably burst.

When we bought the van, we had purchased the extended warranty and the roadside assistance so we went up my husband's office and called Honda roadside assistance. After a few minutes of automated phone system button pushing, we got someone who said they would send out a tow truck which would tow the van to the nearest Honda dealership. There is not a Honda dealership in my hometown, so it was going to be towed all the way to Enterprise (about 35 miles away). Our roadside assistance only covers the cost of towing up to $100 and it was going to cost $145 so we had to pay the $45 overage cost. That was irritating, but okay. We needed it fixed and we assumed it would be covered under the warranty so we wanted it to go to a Honda dealership.

The van was towed to Sam Boswell Honda in Enterprise on Thursday afternoon. They looked at it and said that there was coolant and some oil on the engine, but they couldn't determine what had caused it to overheat. They said they would keep it overnight and do some more checks in the morning. Ultimately they said that they did a pressure test of the cooling system and that there were no leaks. They said that they even steam cleaned the engine, but could not find any leaks anywhere. They even drove it around and experienced no problems. They assumed that the radiator cap had been loosed (by whom I have no idea, as we told them that no one had been under the hood since it was last service months ago) and that was the cause of the water leakage and the over heating. They assured me that nothing was wrong with the van and we could come pick it up Friday afternoon.

My husband, my youngest son and I were planning to attend a wedding on Saturday in Georgia, just outside Atlanta, so we were planning to leave Friday afternoon. When the guy from the dealership called to say that van ready I told him again that we were planning to take a trip on the van and he assured me that the van had been checked out thoroughly that I should not worry about taking it on the trip, it was fine. So Friday afternoon my husband I went down to Enterprise and picked up the van.

When we got to the dealership my husband went in to pick up the keys, etc. They wanted to be paid. They said that because there really was no problem, the diagnostics were not covered under the warranty. They charged us $66. I was really not happy, because I knew that something was wrong with the van, but there was really nothing that I could do about it, so we paid them.

My husband drove the van home and watched the temperature gauge closely all the way home. There appeared to be no problem. We got home and loaded up the van for our trip. We left our house at about 4:30 PM and headed toward Montgomery. Of course my husband was keeping a close watch on the temp. gauge, because we were very nervous about the van at that point. When we had gone about 20 miles or so, the van began to overheat again. (We were right at Sikes and Kohn's Country Mall for those familiar with the area.) At that point, not only was the temp. gauge going all the way past hot, the engine light was blinking on and off. Needless to say, I was livid!

The first thing I did was call my mother and tell her to look up the number for Sam Boswell Honda and tell them we were broken down and that they needed to do something about it. It was then 5:00 on Friday afternoon and the service dept. was closed. At that point we had to call Honda Roadside assistance AGAIN and have them tow the van again. This is the second tow in as many days. This time we were closer to the dealership in Montgomery and so they were going to have it towed there. The problem was that the service dept. there was already closed also and would not reopen until Monday. That meant that the van was going to have to be stored by the towing company for the entire weekend!

My eldest son came and picked me and my youngest son up while my husband waited for the tow truck. By the time we came back with the car the tow truck was just loading the van up. We finally made it to the hotel in Fairburn at about 11:30 PM local time.

The dealership in Montgomery (McConnell Honda) was able to find the problem. (We are to Monday, April 30th at this point) Apparently, the van had a blown head gasket, but they had no idea what had caused it to blow. Why Sam Boswell Honda couldn't find that, I have no idea. We called them and told them we wanted our money back and they did send us our money back right away. I am, however, still livid over the fact that they assured me the van was fine and safe for the trip and we broke down before even getting to Montgomery on it.

Anyway, the blown head gasket is covered under the warranty. They said that the only thing that would not be covered was the price of new oil and a new oil filter. Okay, I can deal with that. However, it is going to take them a week to two weeks to fix it. The kicker is, that even though we qualify for a replacement vehicle while it is being fixed, we only qualify to get a replacement vehicle for 2 DAYS! Yes, that's right, they will have the van possibly two weeks, but we only get a replacement vehicle for two days. (We didn't bother.)

It is now Sunday, May 6, and we still do not have our van back and the dealership says they do not know when we will be getting it back. They have to send the heads off to have something done to them before they can be reinstalled. Needless to say, we have crossed the Honda Civic off our list of possible future vehicle purchases.

So here are our concerns:
1. Since they don't know what caused the head gasket to blow in the first place, how can we be sure that everything is actually going to be right when we finally get it back.
2. Since the van will now have rebuilt parts, can we trust it be problem free for very long?
3. Since warranty work has to be done at a dealership, do we really want to buy another vehicle that doesn't have a dealership locally?

What would you do?
Would you go ahead and trade the old car like we had originally intended before all this happen and just hope that the van doesn't give any more trouble?
Would you trade the van as soon as it comes out of its warranty? (We really can't afford to have the van die when we still owe so much money on it.)
We had thought we might trade the van for a mid-sized car in a fews years once both Middle son and Eldest son were away at college, so should we trade the Escort for a mid-size car now instead of trading it for another small sedan so we won't be so dependent on the van?
Would you buy from an out-of-town dealership again if there was no local dealership for emergencies or just stick with local dealerships?
Any other suggestions that I haven't thought of?

So, if anyone is still reading at this point, please tell me what you think.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Happy No Pants Day!

For a visit to the lighter side of life, click here.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Statement from Carolyn Vance, wife of "missing" Gary Vance

I received this statement in an e-mail just moments ago from my Aunt Carolyn and was asked to share it with everyone. I am posting the e-mail in its entirety.
To Whom it may concern:

Whatever has happened to cause the events that have transpired in Gary Vance's life, whether physical, emotional or medical, it is our belief, hope and faith that he will return. So, we are collectively praying for his safety, well being and soon return.

Thank You,

Vance Family

Re: Missing Person - Gary Vance Family Statement

The family of Gary Vance is very thankful for all the help we received thus far from the Kimberly Police Dept. and other law enforcement personnel in the search for Gary. We also appreciate all the prayers and help from friends and all others concerned for our loved one. Although Gary is no longer officially listed as a missing person, Gary is still missing and the family is still concerned about his physical and mental health. We believe that Gary is functioning in an impaired mental condition due to his health concerns and brain damage from a prior head injury. We are not giving up hope. We plan to continue our search to locate him. Any information or help will be appreciated.

We are submitting this prayer to go out to everyone because we know God hears and answers our prayers and we want to be in one accord in our united effort according to Acts 1:14.


Father, we thank You that in Your Word You say if someone had a hundred sheep and one of them wanders off, wouldn't he leave the ninety-nine and go after the one? You said You don't want to lose even one of Your believers. (Matthew 18 MSG) You said You are the shepherd and You're going after Your sheep! You said You would rescue them from all the places they've been scattered to by the storms of life. You said You will go after the lost. You'll collect the strays. You'll doctor the injured. You'll build up the weak ones. (Ezekiel 34 MSG)

God, at this very moment You know where Gary Vance is. We ask You, as it says in Your Word, that at this very moment Bro. Gary will say "I will return...for it was better for me then than now" (Hosea 2:7b). Like the prodigal son, we ask that Bro. Gary would come to himself (Luke 15:17) and listen to Your call and remember how precious he is to You and his family and so many others. In the name of Jesus, we come against every stronghold and cast down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing his every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) We decree that our brother has the mind of Christ. You said Your sheep know Your voice and the voice of another they will not follow. (John 10) Bro. Gary is Your sheep so we thank You, Father, for silencing every voice but Yours.

God, You said You would perfect that which concerns us. (Psalm 138). You will not forsake the work of Your hands. We thank You, Father, that what the enemy intended to use to bring harm, You can turn around and bring glory to Your name. (Genesis 50:20)

Father, we pray for peace for Sis. Carolyn and the entire family. God, You are our Jehovah Shalom, God our peace. You give us peace that passes all understanding. Even in the midst of this situation, Father, You can give this family peace as You intervene on their behalf. We pray that they rest securely in the knowledge that You hold each of them safely under the shadow of Your wings.

God, nothing is impossible to You! We ask You this day for supernatural intervention in this situation. We ask for resolution that will bring glory to You and complete wholeness to Bro. Gary and restoration to the entire family. In Jesus' name, Amen!

UPDATE: Gary is no longer missing and has been in touch with his family. Thank you for all your concern.

Update on missing man: Gary Vance

Via MyFox Birmingham - Police Say Missing Minister Could be in Vegas
Kimberly Police announced that evangelist Gary Vance apparently bought a bus ticket and left for Las Vegas.

[. . .]

He apparently took the taxi to the Greyhound Bus Station where he bought a ticket to Las Vegas under an assumed name.
Police say no foul play was involved.
No charges are pending at this time.
Kimberly Police have notified Las Vegas Police that Vance may be in the area.
Early this morning I was given similar information by my mother, but told not a distribute the info until it was announced at a news conference. The interesting thing is that this information does not completely comport with the information as it was given to me. First of all, the destination of the bus he was said to have boarded was different that that listed in the news article. Also, the story as it was told to me indicated that he was very disoriented at the bus station and that the police believe him to be in an impaired mental state. The FOX article makes it sound like he just skipped town and I still do not believe that to be the case. That he left of his own free will, maybe, but if so I believe he was confused and/or disoriented.

Also, I am not willing to take what this news source says at total face value simply because they have not gotten their facts straight prior to this point either. In earlier reports they listed him as living in Fayette County when he actually lives in Jefferson County and they said he was the former pastor at Mount Olive Assembly of God and I am told by my mother that that is not accurate either.

UPDATE: The video associated with the story is actually a little more accurate and more telling then the article. I couldn't watch the video at first and had to view it on a different computer.