The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.







This Thanksgiving,
Touch the Face of God!

by JC Bowman

Have you heard that when baby eagles are ready to fly, the mother eagle actually pushes them out of the nest?  They go tumbling down from their lofty home and by instinct they spread their wings.  The mother then swoops down under them and catches them on her strong back or wing before they make a tragic landing and she carries the baby back up again to the nest.  She repeats this process until they gradually learn to use their wings properly and are able to leave the nest and land safely at will. 

All children come to a place in time when they outgrow their parents' care and begin lives on their own.  In the animal kingdom this happens naturally, but often within the family of man such a transition can bring great fear and trepidation, especially among mothers.  Maybe men are simply naïve, cruel, or especially ignorant in regards to this phase in life?  I do not know, but soon, much sooner than I anticipated we will watch one of our children go to college and our other daughter is not far behind.  We just pray they land safely.  Isn't that the prayer of every parent?       

This Thanksgiving 2005, I will be 42 years old.  Where has the time gone? What is next?  Those are two questions I can ponder until eternity.  But I will not be pondering inside the security of a lofty home, and nobody has to throw me out and wait until I learn to fly.  I may crash and it may not be a majestic flight, but I will spread my wings.  Ronald Reagan, addressing the nation following the tragic loss of the Challenger crew used a poem by John Gillespie Magee, Jr in a well-remembered line:  "We shall never forget them nor the last time we saw them, as they prepared for their mission and waved good-bye and slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God."

No matter how many days I have left on earth, or how few, I want to do something my dad used to say to me: "Leave this world a better place than I found it." We are surrounded by doomsayers, outrageously selfish people and those individuals who search endlessly never finding their purpose in life. When I first got married my wife Bethany gave me a slogan which I keep framed in my room: "Your Life is God's gift to you.  What you do with your Life is your gift to God." I wish every child could hear that repeated everyday.   

If I can give any advice to my readers, it would be never be intimidated by those in power. To begin with power is perception, and people who have it over you do so because you give it to them in most instances.  Bono, of the

J C Bowman

-J. C. Bowman, a native of Cleveland, is a well informed and outspoken conservative educator. Is a freelance public policy analyst who resides in Tallahassee, Florida. Prior to this, he was Director for the Center for Education Innovation at Florida State University.  He served as the Director for the Florida Department of Education Choice Office and as the Chief Policy Analyst of the Education Policy Unit for Florida Governor Jeb Bush.



rock group U2 said in his recent Rolling Stone interview: "I don't fear politicians or presidents.  They should be afraid.  They'll be accountable for what happened on their watch."  The answer to the problem of power is to build political movements that deny the legitimacy of the powerful and seek to pry control from their hands.  That does not mean we should seek anarchy, but look at closely the issue of the legitimacy of power. 

I have worked with many faith and community organizations and it seems to me that many of the problems they seek to address have one root cause: poverty. I plan to take the problems of global poverty much more serious during the next phase of my life, and you may notice a rise in awareness of poverty in both urban and rural America in my writings.

It is the best American tradition of helping others help themselves, now is an opportune time for compassion and justice to help the poorest people of our nation and the world.  I see a passion for compassion diminishing in America.  Government simply cannot meet the needs of all citizens.  Faith and community organizations need help.  They need your time and efforts. They need your money and support. We should embrace government partnership with faith-based organizations and other non-profit organizations to do the work of fighting poverty and other issues.

President Bush recognized the poverty problem when he said: "The growing divide between wealth and poverty, between opportunity and misery, is both a challenge to our compassion and a source of instability. We must confront it."  "We cannot," said the president, "leave behind half of humanity as we seek a better future for ourselves. We cannot accept permanent poverty in a world of progress. There are no second-class citizens in the human race."

Bono added, "It's an amazing thing to think that ours is the first generation in history that really can end extreme poverty, the kind that means a child dies for lack of food in its belly. This should be seen as the most incredible, historic opportunity but instead it's become a millstone around our necks. We let our own pathetic excuses about how it's 'difficult' justify our own inaction. Be honest. We have the science, the technology, and the wealth. What we don't have is the will, and that's not a reason that history will accept."

Poor and starving people are not particularly appealing news stories, but fighting poverty is and should be a moral imperative for citizens in our cities, state and nation.    Theological apathy is not an acceptable excuse. Yes, "the poor will always be with us." However, Jesus, in his first sermon said, "The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor."

As we sit in our comfortable pews on Sunday morning singing about what it is like up there, we should remember that the poverty of spirit as equally lamentable to poverty of physical wealth.  This Thanksgiving we should be thankful for both the small and large blessing in our lives.  If you are a parent and your child is about to enter the world, it would be a great comfort to know that your country will use all of it's resources to meet the most basic needs of all citizens, so they can land safely.

If you want to touch the face of God or His heart, it is not necessary to escape the surly bonds of Earth, take an interest in the things that interest God.  Do not be so eager to grow old or push those baby eagles from the nest.  Eliminate some of those nonessential things that clutter our lives.  Recognize what is really essential: faith, family and friends. Embrace others.  Treat everybody with dignity and respect.  Lose control, let God love through you.  Don't fear the politicians.  Hold them accountable.  God will hold us all accountable.  I am sure I don't want to explain my previous 41 years to God. Maybe I won't have to explain the remaining time. 

Think of those less fortunate this year before your Thanksgiving prayers, those in poverty whose plates are often empty.  We are incapable of breaking the cycle of poverty without all of us working together.  Bread for the World Institute reports that the number of hungry people in the world reached 852 million in 2005, a harsh reminder that the world has yet to get serious about the challenge of ending hunger.  We can make a difference, can't we? 
--J. C. Bowman is a public policy analyst who resides in Tallahassee, Florida.
He can be reached by email at:

Visit his website at: