Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Carpenter’s Tools
- A Letter or Two!

Article by Pastor Wallace Phillips
- Ahoskie, NC

It’s amazing how just a letter or two can make a major difference. I shall never forget when two ladies in our congregation were planning to meet for a little fellowship here in Ahoskie. One of them said to the other….”Meet me at Wendy’s at 5:30 PM on Wednesday before church.” The two ladies agreed and at 5:30 PM one of the ladies arrives at Wendy’s, while the other one arrives at Andy’s. Both sat and waited for an extended time.

Finally, one of the ladies comes to the church a little before 7:00 PM and is terribly worried about her friend. She had backtracked to the places that she thought she would find her, to no avail. Momentarily she arrives at the church also, realizing that “Wendy’s and Andy’s” are close, but a letter or two makes a major difference.

The same is true in the biblical sense. John opens his gospel by telling us that “In the beginning was the Word; the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (KJV). Our friends who knock on doors and follow the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Jehovah Witnesses) have included the article “a” in this foundational passage making it read like this --- “…the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” That, my friend is deadly! It kills the very foundation of biblical truth. John goes on to tell us that “the Word became flesh” in the life of Jesus Christ. Christ is the Word! But one little letter inserted in the text destroys the very deity of Christ. He was not “a god”! He was God and IS God!

Be careful! A letter or two can make a major difference. And….it can rob you of your hamburger and your fellowship with a friend.

Oh…by the way….Andy’s does have the better burger! Have a great week and serve the Lord Jesus with gladness.

Please visit us on the web at or

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Christmas Tree Lighting



Windsor, N.C. 27983
4:00PM - 5:00PM

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Windsor Craft & Farmer’s Market

Grand Opening

Windsor Craft & Farmer’s Market

Saturday - December 6th
8:00AM to 2:00PM

102 N. York St
Windsor, N.C. 27983
(Beside the Windsor-Bertie Chamber Offices in the famous Freeman Hotel and next to the Livermon Zoo)

If you have any questions call (252)794-4277

Probe Studies Use Of School Personnel

by Thadd White - November 22, 2008 - Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald

Among the accusations leveled at former Bertie County Schools’ Superintendent John Smith is improper use of school personnel.

This is another good News-Herald article about an important issue.

There is no excuse for using school personnel for personal gain. No public official can seriously maintain they were unaware that such action is a crime. It isn't just that John Smith hooked up his private property to the public sewer but that he had school personnel do it for him during normal working hours. Yet Smith's position, even at this late date, is that he did nothing wrong. He ignores the accusation and talks instead about administrative issues of approvals that are not in the public record and therefore do not exist. See details of his response in a related News-Herald article here. I see this response as the height of arrogance and deceit.

What I still find bizarre is how little attention is paid to the fact that during Smith's period of power over our schools, they deteriorated in the quality of the education they provided our children and were already near the bottom in the state. His job, never done, was to fix this serious deficiency. When does Smith apologize for this egregious failure. Even when Smith is held accountable for accusations of personally profiting from his public power, when and who will hold him accountable for the failure of his public duties? Didn't our children deserve better?

A related News-Herald story indicates the Bertie County Sheriff opens investigation into these matters. Better late than never.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Carpenter’s Tools
- Small Faith?

Article by Pastor Wallace Phillips
- Ahoskie, NC

I recently traveled to the small town of Bethany. Remember the village where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived? It was meaningful to say the least just to be in the same town where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. We went to the tomb where Jesus released those memorable words – “Lazarus come forth!”

It caused me to think of faith no doubt. But on my journey back to the bus I met an elderly Arab farmer with a plastic bag in his hand. He was selling mustard seed pods for a dollar. He had discovered something from his homeland that would appeal to pastors like myself.

He had me to hold out my hand. He rolled his forefinger and thumb together and slowly tiny, tiny specks appeared in my hand. He told me, “that’s the amount of faith that it takes to move a mountain.” I recalled the words of Jesus and thought about faith in a different light for certain.

Many times I have read those words. Many times I have seen the mustard seeds that we know of in this country. But I can tell you that the mustard seed we know is much larger than the ones that are found in Bethany. Some might say…”Oh what’s the difference?” Well, it spoke volumes to me. The tiny, tiny specks that appeared in my hands made me realize that Jesus is simply looking for faith; faith that may seem small to us, but faith.

It’s faith that believes God for the impossible. It’s faith that realizes that He is the God who said “Let it be” and it was. It’s faith and according to Jesus it doesn’t have to be giant faith. It can be as a grain of mustard seed and move mountains in your life.

Thank God for the words of Jesus and thank God for the little man in Bethany who brought the fresh awareness of the mustard seed to my life. You may feel that your faith level is down, but be reminded that it is still FAITH.

Please visit us on the web at or

45th Annual Perrytown Herring Fry

Last night one of the big events here in the Chowan River Region came off, despite bitterly cold early winter. On a day that saw the sun rise with what may be the earliest snow fall in local history, the volunteers of the Perry Town Fire Station worked hard, as usual, to feed everyone in the region. Their annual Herring Dinner is done as well as anybody does it.

When you enter the Perrytown Community Building, first stop is at the cashier.

Next stop is at the rear of the building where you pick up your food from the volunteers who take care of distributing the food to those who "eat in".

Then you find a place at the tables which jam the Community Center in anticipation of the huge annual crowd, somewhat down this year at least early in the evening, due to the bitterly cold weather.

Another choice is to "take out", and there is a group of volunteers at a tent beside the Community Building who are preparing the food for quick pick up so all you have to do is drive up. They bring it to your car if you need it!

Before I left, I had to drop by and say hello to the volunteers you don't see. Out back of the Community Center is the shelter where they prepare the food. This is the Fire Station's annual fund raiser, and everyone knows the proceeds go to help with fire and ambulance services. This event helps save lives in our community.

It is fun to watch them, as everyone seems to be having a good time helping out. Here they are cooking the Herring.

This is the area where they cook the cornbread to go with the Herring.

Within minutes another shift has taken over to share the work. There is plenty of help from dedicated members of the community.

I almost forgot to get a picture of a most important station, where they prepare the food for the cooks. This night they suffer to an extent because they don't have a stove to keep them warm!

It was a great night as usual and you missed one of the best annual homecoming events of our area if you weren't there.

Thanks to all the volunteers for the Herring Fry, and to all the volunteers who make the Perrytown Fire Station a success all year long. Thanks especially for all the people who have worked so hard to get the new fire station building approved. [Check out the article posted below about the ground breaking ceremony that happened recently.] It should be built by next year and it will be a great addition to our area. Proceeds from this event will be used to help pay for the fire station.

Check out the story on last year's 44th Annual Herring Fry Dinner here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Earliest Snow Ever In Colerain

I can't prove this scientifically, but my mother, who is (newly) 87, says she cannot remember it ever snowing before Thanksgiving down here by the glorious Chowan River. That's good enough for me. Here are a few pictures from earlier this morning.

Our Chowan River Home.

No flowers on the Azaleas today.

Looking down river towards Edenton and the bridge. [Can't see the river today!]

Looking across the river towards Rocky Hock [out there somewhere hidden in the heavy snow].

PS - Glad I don't have any customer computers to repair today. Wouldn't want to be on the roads in this kind of weather. Hope the weatherman is right that the high will be 44, as that means little will be left by nightfall.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Yesterday was Nancy Garrett Adams birthday. It was a great time with family. Birthday's are supposed to be. It is probably no secret that Mom is 87. Most everybody around here, from Gatesville to Edenton to Ahoskie to Windsor knows her and her grandfather, Sheriff Garrett.

Former Bertie School Officials
Under Investigation

by Thadd White - November 18th, 2008 - Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald

The Bertie County Board of Education has forwarded a report to a multitude of public officials for possible criminal prosecution against two former high-ranking school officials.

Following a lengthy investigation by attorney Richard A. Schwartz of Schwartz and Shaw, the board requested the report be forwarded to all appropriate agencies to “take whatever appropriate action is within your authority and within the purview of your agency in light of these findings.”

More than three years ago a contentious Bertie County Commissioner's meeting was held during which it was pointed out that John Smith had spent Bertie tax payer money to reward his friends and family. This was an issue identified in the audit of the school system that was performed for the board. A Smith defender got up and said, angrily, "Mr. Smith has agreed to give that money back, why isn't that good enough?"

When queried about this defense, the County Attorney observed, "If a bank robber is caught, is he not guilty if he offers to give the money back?"

This case is that obvious. Crimes were committed. Years have passed. Yet the justice this case demands has not happened.

Another Smith defender at that same meeting was outraged that the Board of Commissioners would even think it had the right to investigate whether the Board of Education and their Superintendent was committing crimes. Performing the audit itself was attacked as outrageous to that Smith supporter.

The crimes in this article were reported to Les Merritt, outgoing auditor for North Carolina, and the result is that the Democrat Party made this one more issue in their targeting of Merritt to stop any accountability for Democrat Officials who commit crimes. He was successfully defeated ... which ends any credible chance that the State of North Carolina will pursue the crimes committed. Where is our District Attorney. Does she not care?

North Carolina has become the joke that Louisiana used to be. It is now just assumed that Democrat office holders are allowed to commit crimes and other Democrats will look the other way. Eastern North Carolina is dominated by corruption committed by and protected by a corrupt political party due to its overwhelming one party rule. The $29 million that diasappeared in Chowan County is another example of this local corruption. Will no one do anything about it? It is encouraging that the News-Herald has finally taken some small steps to expose the corruption, even if years late.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Carpenter’s Tools
- Live From His Land!

Article by Pastor Wallace Phillips
- Ahoskie, NC

As I write to you today I am sitting in the awesome city of Bethlehem! Not too many weeks from now you and I will gather in our churches and see the kids that we love so dear reenact the birth of Christ the Lord!

Straw will be gathered and placed on the platforms of our churches. A modern-day version of a stall will be knocked together with old lumber and we will watch as children portray the birth of Jesus in what we know as the modern-day farmer setting.

This is a far cry from what you see in Bethlehem. As you enter the Church of the Nativity dedicated to the memory of the birth of the Savior, you enter a place that takes you beneath the ground level – it’s cave like, if you will. It was the place where the animals were taken to be housed from the elements and the weather in the evening hours.

The manger is a literal trough hewn from the rocks of this cave. Scripture bears out that the baby Jesus was wrapped in cloths and laid there. I am amazed at just how we are shown the scriptures as we travel to the land of the Bible each time.

A trip to this awesome place shows us that the story of Jesus is so clear, so vivid, but it was not in the context of what we know as a stable. Pilgrims flock from the world to “come see the place where the Lord…..laid.” I am honored to see this awesome land for the sixth time in my life and ministry. Friends from North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and Colorado traveled with Joy and I to walk where he walked.

Brace yourself for the holidays ahead. Look for the manger to show you where Jesus was laid on that starry night in Bethlehem. I‘m certain that you won’t find a rocky one in these parts of the country….in this era of time. Nevertheless, it really doesn’t matter. What matters most is the “Christ the Savior is born!”

Happy Holidays ahead and check us out on the web at or

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Is Conservatism Dead?

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

When a reporter was sent to investigate whether the late American humorist Mark Twain had died, Twain responded to a friend that reports of his death were greatly exaggerated. So too are the recent media reports that suggests conservatism, and more specifically the Republican Party, is dead and may no longer be politically relevant or viable.

For the last eight years, Republicans outwardly espoused conservative principles, but inwardly succumbed to the allure of power and greed that permeates our corridors of government. When that happens, as the election results of `06 and `08 accurately reflect, Republicans are no longer ideologically distinguishable from their Democratic brethren. With 17 million more registered Democrats than registered Republicans, a minority party bereft of ideas and principles is doomed to defeat.

Republicans have been written off before but like the mythical Phoenix, have risen from the ashes. It happened in 1994 when Republicans gained control of Congress with their “Contract with America,” promising renewed fiscal restraint and accountability along with other basic reforms. While not every element of this contract was adopted, enough was to offer a ray of hope to voters frustrated with the old “business as usual” approach to governing. Sadly, after the 2000 elections, Congressional fiscal responsibility again became an oxymoron.

The Republican Party experimented with, but did not fully embrace conservatism in 1964, when Barry Goldwater was nominated. He lost to Lyndon Johnson in a landslide. Republicans then engaged in 16 years of soul-searching which included infighting between conservatives and moderates to see who would wrest control.

Ronald Reagan’s election to the presidency in 1980 gave conservatives an articulate and engaging leader whose conservative message of limited government, a strong national defense, lower taxes and respect for life resonated with voters across the great partisan divide. Conservatives had finally arrived, becoming part of the political dialogue.

While Republicans took a whipping from the Democrats on Election Day, it would be unwise to assume that conservatism was also whipped. Across the country many states and localities with tax referendums on their ballots were defeated. So too were initiatives defining marriage as between one man and one woman in the states that chose to have it on the ballots. These are core conservative issues.

The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson recently wrote an op-ed piece, “GOP has big problems,” which they do, but misses the mark. He contended that America is not center-right, but rather is now swinging center-left. The basis of his opinion is that if America is center-right, voters would have been “kinder” to McCain and because McCain had to initially swerve so far to the right, he could never make his way back to the center.

McCain is a moderate who espouses some conservative positions. Conservatives never were comfortable with McCain; however many embraced him simply because he was more conservative than Barack Obama. Fox News exit polls showed McCain getting 80 percent of the conservative vote. As significant as that percentage is, Republicans need at least 90 percent to have any chance of winning a national election. Eighteen percent of voters, some of them conservatives who supported George Bush in `04, voted for Barack Obama.

Robinson said that to their detriment Republicans “continue to espouse a position on abortion rights that most Americans consider dangerously wrong.” While “most” is technically correct the actual numbers between those who profess to be pro-choice and those who are pro-life are extremely close. In August 2008, a Pew Poll found only a “slim” majority of the public favors abortion under any circumstances.

Fewer than half of those 65 and older support abortion and those under 30 are almost evenly split. Among the two largest minority groups in this country, Blacks are equally divided on abortion while a majority of Hispanic voters support pro-life. Seventy-five percent of the total population opposes partial- birth abortion.

Robinson does accurately point to a potentially ominous sign for Republicans. Barack Obama won the Hispanic vote by 67 percent to 31 percent. President George Bush had 40 percent of that vote in `04 with visions of expanding in `08. Hispanics are a natural constituency for conservatives because of their shared patriotic, family and religious values. Conservative opposition to immigration reform could risk further erosion of support from this growing demographic.

The Republican Party lost on November 4, not because conservatism is no longer relevant, but rather that it is now “Democrat-lite.”

Chuck Muth, the former executive director of the American Conservative Union, points to that group’s conservative rating system for legislators to illustrate what happened to Republicans in selected races across the country:

* McCain had a conservative ranking of just 65 (100 being the most conservative) and lost.

* Senator Gordon Smith (R-Oregon) with a 48 ranking also was defeated.

* Rep Chris Shays (R-Conn) who had only a 20 ranking lost his seat as well.

* Conversely, Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev) whose conservative union rating is 96 and who voted against the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, won, in a state that went for Barack Obama by 13 points.

Tony Blankly, editorial page editor of the Washington Times, said “conservatism always has been and always will be a force to reckon with because it most closely approximates the reality of the human condition, based, as it is, on the cumulative judgment and experience of a people.” Most voters across America did not abandon conservative principles on Election Day, but they abandoned those Republicans who had abandoned them.

The winds of change currently swirling around Washington are not simply in anticipation of the impending arrival of the victors, but with the vanquished who would have won had they not forsaken their conservative values eight years ago.

Unfortunately Bob, the trend continues to be that Americans vote for more and more liberal government, mostly because conservatives are such arrogant, sanctimonious and intransigent purists they cannot bother to vote for a compromise. If you dare wander even an iota away from their demand that you agree with them 100%, they stay home and let Barack Obama and his socialist minions run the country, probably for 8 years. A bunch of them even VOTED FOR OBAMA to punish the party for its lack of purity! It is our country that is being punished. Intolerance is the number one criticism of liberals and moderates who hate conservatives, and it is a well known axiom that perception is reality. Conservatives are intolerant.

I am a libertarian-conservative. As you can tell from my campaign web site there is little of the conservative message that I do not endorse. Yet for two minor transgressions I am ridiculed as a RINO and told that I should leave the Republican Party. I am not welcome as a Republican because I am not conservative enough. One comfort I take from that is knowing that Ronald Reagan would not be welcome in today's Republican Party. He totally disapproved of some things, like the position on capital gains taxes, that are now claimed to be Ronald Reagan gospel. It is a lie. He also proclaimed himself a libertarian-conservative, something that his so-called "supporters" now deny.

If expelling anyone who fails a purist litmus test is how you plan to build the party, good luck. What I see is a Party sulking while our nation is turned into a socialist Republic that may soon be as tyrannical as Putin's Russia. Are you sure that it is not too late even if Republicans get their act together?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Colerain's Seagull Cafe
- Final Night This Year

Don't forget to come to the Seagull Cafe, TONIGHT for their final fall season Dinner. The food is great!

Perrytown Fire Station
Ground Breaking Ceremony

Perrytown Fire Station Leaders were delighted yesterday when they held the ground breaking ceremony for their new fire station. Currently they use space in the local gas station to keep their fire trucks and equipment. Even the original fire truck, a modified pick up that is still sitting idle as junk behind the gas station, reminds people of the history of how hard this area has worked to provide protection for local citizen's homes.

The sign put up by the builder, Benchmark (above), is on the edge of the Perrytown Fire Department land.

As you pull in the parking lot, the sign indicating the location of the new building (above) is prominent, indicating the key support of the United States Department of Agriculture and a second sign beside it from Southern Bank (above - bottom right) who was also key to making this happen.

I got this picture (shown above) of early arrivals inside the community building (out of the rain) waiting for everyone to get ready for the ceremony.

As we walked outside to start the groundbreaking ceremony it was raining hard. However nothing was going to discourage the launch of this great new community facility.

The dignataries present for the event included (from left); Bud Lee, Hunter Brown (in back), Tom Perry, Susan Christensen, Austin Lawrence, Keith Hughson, Kenny Davidson, George Hughes, David Baker, Jimmy Pierce, Alvin Basnight and Teresa Jenkins.

Don't forget the great annual homecoming event in Perrytown, which is also the main fund raiser for the Perrytown Fire Department. The 45th Annual Perrytown Herring Fry Dinner is coming up next week, Friday November 21st at 4:00 PM. See you there.

Check out the story on last year's Herring Fry Dinner here.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Will Obama Govern From The Center?

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

After 21 months, the longest presidential campaign in this nation’s history has mercifully drawn to a close. On January 20, President- elect Barack Obama will be sworn in as our 44th president. Obama’s nearly flawless campaign managed to even overcome swirls of controversy surrounding many of his past associations with a cast of characters right from the pages of a modern day conspiracy novel. How did a candidate this far to the left ever get elected to the presidency in a nation that most would agree is center-right?

A friend shared a story about an experience he witnessed while working at the polls last Tuesday. A black woman entered a polling precinct appearing to be in severe pain. She was pregnant and obviously near term. When my friend inquired if there was anything wrong, she told him her doctor instructed her to remain in bed for the final days leading up to her delivery. Her husband, she said, insisted that she vote. She did.

The above story illustrates just how committed African-Americans were to elect Obama. Traditionally, 90 percent of blacks vote Democrat. This year’s after election survey analysis indicates it was at least 95 percent. Of the 14 million registered black voters, 13.3 million voted for Obama. That represents a whopping 20 percent of the 64 million votes he garnered.

Increased turnout among black voters made the difference in traditional Republican strongholds in the South, including Florida, Virginia and North Carolina; and in the Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana and Missouri. Obama has been declared the winner in five of them. Missouri has McCain holding a slim lead and that state has yet to be called. In North Carolina, Obama won by only 14,000 votes. These six states have a total of 97 electoral votes. Even if McCain had won them all he’d still have been 11 votes shy of the presidency.

The burgeoning Hispanic population within the traditionally red states of Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado voted for Obama by more than two to one, cementing Obama’s victories there and in the Electoral College.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said after the election that he viewed the results as more of a referendum for change than a mandate. And Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) echoed that sentiment when she said there would be no hard push toward any leftist agenda. While some may question the sincerity of those words, Pelosi and Reid know there must be bi-partisan legislative progress soon. With the approval ratings in Congress barely above single digits, there will be little tolerance from the folks for more of the same.

In 1994, after the second year of Bill Clinton’s presidency, Democrats also controlled both the House and Senate. After the “Hillary Healthcare” debacle and their reckless spending habits, Democrats in Congress became victims of Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America which gave Republicans control of both houses. With the 2010 mid-term elections just around the corner it would be prudent for Democrats to keep history in mind.

Obama and his Democratic majority obviously will be scrutinized carefully – not only by the minority party, but by a frustrated electorate seeking and demanding results. Clinton’s greatest successes came after the Republicans took over Congress and nudged him toward the center.

In the House, Democrats may pick up 20 seats, far less than anticipated. They also have made gains in the Senate but short of the filibuster-proof majority they sought. The Republicans will unlikely be obstructionists to every legislative initiative of the majority. What they will do is help insure that our nation remains militarily strong while encouraging, proposing and supporting legislation that is socially sound and fiscally responsible.

Republicans will not be alone in attempting to keep any leftist agenda from being enacted. Many Democrats in Congress are conservatives; they are referred to as Blue Dog Democrats. While the Democrats will continue to hold their majority, their numbers belie the ideological divide that often stymies their party’s legislative initiatives. With the Blue Dogs generally voting like moderate Republicans, it is hard to envision any sudden tilt to the left.

Exit polls revealed 22 percent of voters were “terrified” of an Obama presidency. Terrified may be a bit extreme. Much of this fear is being expressed by conservative Republicans, Democrats and Independents. They see Obama as typifying a liberal extremist who would be an advocate for a leftist liberal agenda. But last Tuesday three states had ballot initiatives that sought to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Even in ultra liberal California, a state Obama won handily, it passed. It also was approved in Florida and Arizona. This is apparently not the kind of change most Americans are seeking. The Democrats would be wise to learn from that.

Conservatives hope that Obama understands that to govern effectively he will need to govern from the center. Yet his first two appointees indicate that might not happen. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-ILL) has been chosen as Obama’s new chief of staff. John Podesta, a member of the Clinton team will serve as his transition chief. Both men are well known for being brass-knuckled politicians who are tough partisan infighters-hardly the type of individuals prone to compromise.

We’ve been told how intelligent this first term relatively inexperienced senator from Illinois is. And Obama and his surrogates also told us that he can be trusted and we have nothing to fear. Most folks want to believe that. But deeds, not rhetoric will be the measure of the man. America and indeed the world will be watching.

I do not think for a minute that Obama will Govern from the center. He campaigned on the idea that being the most liberal Senator made him a uniter. Uniter? The only thing he wants to unite with is America’s money. We are in an economic crisis caused by profligate spending and waste. The solution Obama proposes? Even more profligate spending and waste.