Tim Tebow Lives Out His Christian Belief With ‘Night to Shine,’ Everyday Deeds

“Night to Shine” now has its own music video with highlights of the proms held worldwide, and lyrics sung by Gary LeVox from Rascal Flats in a celebration of this special night that honors those with special needs. They each become king or queen for the night — they are the stars.

Sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, “Night to Shine” 2017 was held in more than 375 host churches in all 50 states, and in 22 countries, and by 22 religious denominations, an event that continues to grow.

Each guest is given a crown for their prom, entering on a red carpeted as they are cheered by friends and family for their night to shine. They are presented with corsages and boutonnieres and, once inside, each is helped with hair and makeup, with shoe shining stations and karaoke and the dance.

Tim Tebow began “Night to Shine” because he wanted to be sure those with special needs felt important and loved, and to let them know there is a God who loves them. That’s what “Night to Shine” is all about –to share God’s love around the world. This year’s February 10th night has passed but all those volunteers will be preparing for next year’s event.

Keep in mind that Tim Tebow is 29 years old. The son of missionaries who served in the Philippines, he won the Heisman Trophy while at the University of Florida, was an NFL quarterback with the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, and New England Patriots, and plays professional baseball with the New York Mets. He is an on-air TV sports commentator, author, and sports radio commentator.

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Liberal Pundit Alan Colmes Has Passed Away at 66

alan-colmes-1Alan Colmes has passed away at the age of 66.

Anyone else remember “Hannity and Colmes,” the point-counterpoint debate-style talk show that aired in the evenings in the early days of Fox News when they presented pro and con sides of an issue? On the show that was on from 1996-2009, far right conservative Sean Hannity would square off against far left liberal Alan Colmes to discuss any- and everything political.

The show was entertaining and, while I normally did not agree with Colmes’ side of the discussion, he offered the other side of issues. However, it was kind of unsettling to see Hannity talk over Colmes as he responded, drilling into him when he tried to make a point. They finally parted ways, and Colmes went on to host a radio show for the Fox network while Hannity remained as the sole host of the TV show.

A little known fact is that Colmes’ sister-in-law was conservative commentator Monica Crowley who often appeared with Hannity and Colmes. His wife was Crawley’s sister, Dr. Jocelyn Crowley, who is a professor of public policy at Rutgers University.

No cause of death has been shared. RIP, Alan Colmes.


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The Maverick Rides Again

john-mccain-1This is long but an excellent read about Senator John McCain as the elder statesman of the Republican Party (see How Many Chances Do You Get to Be an American Hero?).

I met someone recently who made a comment that we needed to remove people like McCain from the party. I disagreed because the GOP needs those who are willing to speak out, even when it’s uncomfortable — and I have certainly not agreed with McCain about everything throughout the years.

His time as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, mocked during the 2016 presidential campaign by Donald Trump who did not serve in the military, shaped and influenced McCain’s path for the rest of his life.

“I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s,” he said during his nomination acceptance speech at the 2008 Republican convention. “I loved it for its decency, for its faith in the wisdom, justice, and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again; I wasn’t my own man anymore; I was my country’s.”

He is and has been America’s hawk with Russia which, amazingly, puts him sideways with the current administration. And lest anyone think he is picking on Trump, he has been the checks-and-balances, some would say thorn in the side, for each Republican president. He’s not called the Maverick for nothing.

Right now, as McCain stands up to the current situation in D.C., he is mostly alone. Writer Gabriel Sherman said, “I asked McCain why most of his fellow Republicans aren’t speaking up about Russia’s election interference and Trump’s potential Russian ties. ‘I frankly don’t know,’ he said. ‘It’s not a chapter of Profiles in Courage.’ “


McAuliffe Vetoes ‘Tebow Bill’ for Third Time


Really, Governor? Vetoed again?

On Monday Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe again vetoed — for the third year in a row — Delegate Rob Bell’s “Tebow Bill” that would allow homeschooled students accessibility to public high school sports.

The governor has, it would appear, capitulated once again to the high school sports league and teachers’ union even though homeschool parents pay every tax dollar as parents with public school students.

Florida has had its own version of the Tebow Bill for over 20 years … 29 states in all allow access to their sports programs for homeschooled students.

This was the twelfth year Bell carried the bill to the General Assembly, and in 2015, 2016, and 2017, it passed both the House and the Senate only to be shot down by McAuliffe.

So Rob Bell can fold up shop for another year, and Virginia homeschoolers can only hope he is willing to carry the bill yet a thirteenth time. There’s an election before next year, and McAuliffe will no longer be sitting in the governor’s office.
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A son … ‘daring and loving and strong and kind’

??????????“I have a son, who is my heart. A wonderful young man, daring and loving and strong and kind.” — Maya Angelou

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I have to indulge a bit today since it’s my son’s birthday. In this picture he was four yeas old holding his six-month-old sister … my little buddy who arrived three weeks early on that February day, a cheerful first born of a first born of a first born who was the first grandchild and only grandson. Thoughtful and introspective, and a source of joy since the day he arrived, this tiny six-pound baby became a little blond curly-headed boy who loved baseball and grew into a kind, industrious, hard-working young man who is now six feet tall.

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For Bob McDonnell, Life Is Sweeter After Walking Through Fire


Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA 6th) and former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. February 11, 2017.

bob-mcdonnell-16We gathered for a joyous party at Dan and Trixie Averill’s house with friend to all, Bob McDonnell. Everyone there had some part in his political life over the years. It was the first opportunity we all had been together at the same time since the governor, who never stopped maintaining his innocence, was vindicated when he was cleared of his legal case with the federal government.

trixie-averill-1I’ve got to admit, he had more faith and trust in the justice system than I did but he was, indeed, vindicated. On June 27, 2016, the United States Supreme Court made a rare unanimous decision to vacate Governor McDonnell’s conviction. On September 8, 2016, the U.S. Government announced it was asking the court to dismiss the case.

trixie-averill-3It was a long ordeal and extremely wearing on the entire McDonnell family, and left them $10 million in debt for legal expenses. It is unbelievable that the federal government can come in and cause American citizens to incur that kind of debt, especially for charges that are proven to be false. Bob has walked through fire, but a weight has been lifted from his shoulders and his spirits and pep in his step have returned. He is returning to the Bob McDonnell we all knew throughout the years.

trixie-averill-4So it was a night to rejoice with friends, and relax, and say thank you. He and Trixie have worked together for 30 years as he worked his way from Delegate in the House to Attorney General to Governor, and he led us the entire way. She never lost faith in him. He was our leader to rally around, and many feel that may have something to do with the federal government going after him.

trixie-averill-7We drank Dan’s Hurricanes — a throwback to the New Orleans background for he and Trixie — and enjoyed his chili and other goodies. Congressman Goodlatte had just returned to Roanoke so he and Maryellen joined us as well as Delegate Chris Head. It was a night to celebrate in Roanoke.



Many thanks to Dan and Trixie for the hospitality, and to Bob for all his service to the citizens of Virginia and the nation from his years in the military and as a public servant. When he swept into office in 2009 with Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli — an all-Republican ticket that won — Virginia Republicans were riding high. It was the last time.

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell

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This Conservative Defends Journalists

Over the weekend we had this:

I’m not a journalist.  Journalists go to universities to learn their trade, intern with publications, sometimes spend years working their way up through the ranks, and hone their craft in whatever arm of the media they work. Their study includes ethics along with checks-and-balances and accountability. We may not agree with them all the time, but they have standards to adhere to, and must answer for unethical actions.

My sister is a journalist with a master’s degree. I’ve seen her journey through the years. She is #NotTheEnemy.

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Glenn Davis Takes Lt. Governor Race to Shenandoah Valley

glenn-davis-11On Wednesday night, the sheer number of vehicles parked outside the meet-and-greet location was the first clue for Delegate Glenn Davis, who is vying for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, that a huge crowd was inside.

Smiling as he walked in the front door to a packed venue, Davis found himself wading through a standing-room only crowd of nearly a hundred Valley residents (see video). Reaching out to shake hands, he listened to comments and hugged supporters who eagerly leaned in for a few words. “Thank you,” he said repeatedly, clearly grateful and maybe a little surprised at the overwhelming turnout on a cold winter night in February in this quiet corner of western Virginia.

They had turned out to meet the 42-year-old candidate who had dashed out of Richmond as soon as the day’s General Assembly session ended and boarded “Mello Yellow,” his traveling RV, arriving a few minutes later than anticipated because of a busy session that lasted longer than expected. His smile broadened as an excitement radiated from the crowd that filled the entire downstairs of Anne and Scott Seaton’s home. The living room was full. The sitting room was full. The kitchen, dining, and family rooms were crammed with a sea of faces.

Davis, a self-made businessman who thrives on the techie side of commerce, and who served in his youth as then-Delegate Bob McDonnell’s legislative aide, made his way to the window-lined alcove behind the dining table filled with appetizers. From the framed niche with children’s pictures taped to the panes, he spoke to the hushed room about his background growing up in an Italian family where he learned his strict work ethic, and his reasons for running (see video). It was not, he said, for the title, the glory, or the power. It was for what he felt he could contribute and give back to Virginia.

His remarks were vintage Glenn Davis — part businessman, part technology junkie, part entrepreneur … animated and friendly yet direct, with his thoughts pouring out in a rush of words as he described growing the economy and creating jobs, issues that encourage him to continually think outside the box. He is a problem solver, and you get the sense he actually enjoys the challenge of searching for answers to demanding issues.

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What Is Going On In D.C.?


Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) issued a statement in response to being excluded from a meeting in the U.S. Capitol with Acting Director Thomas Homan of ICE.  Rep. Gutiérrez was asked to leave the meeting by staffers for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) at the request of Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Speaker Ryan.  Several other Members were excluded from the meeting with the ICE official, including Reps. Nanette Barragán (D-CA), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Lou Correa (D-CA), Ruben Kihuen (D-NV), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Norma Torres (D-CA), and Juan Vargas (D-CA).

One common denominator for those excluded representatives appears to be that they are all Democrats.

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1939, and 2017

ship-2While in my 20s, I read the book, “Voyage of the Damned,” about the 1939 voyage of the MS St. Louis that carried just under 1,000 German Jews to Cuba in hopes of escaping Hitler’s murderous rampage against European Jews. When Cuba refused to accept them, they tried the U.S. but were also turned away. In the end, 600 of the 937 passengers lost their lives in Nazi concentration camps. America gave in to isolationism until we were attacked on December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor.

I have often wondered in the years since where I would have been in 1939, ideologically. Would I have agreed with banning the Jewish immigrants, or would I have been against the government’s decision? I wanted to believe I would have been more compassionate.

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A Valentine’s Day message to my children

Valentine 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

A Valentine for my children…

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together … there is something you must always remember.

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

“But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart … I’ll always be with you.”

— Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne)

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Republicans Are From Mars, Democrats Are From Venus


“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” – Thomas Jefferson

We are a polarized country. The 2016 presidential campaign saw the popular vote go to the Democratic candidate while the electoral vote went to the Republican. Now, two weeks after Republican Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, the two sides seem further apart than ever with neither listening to the other. They are shouting past each other on a daily basis.

The lack of understanding from both sides reminds of the very popular 1990s novel, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” that explored the differences between men and women.

I was talking with a friend today about the state of current politics, noting that I had never seen the country so divided. And then I stopped, thought a moment, and said, “But when George W. Bush was elected, everyone was polarized, and then it continued into Barack Obama.” And she said, “I wrote a paper in college [for her political science class] on how polarized the country was at that time.”

That was in the 1980s.

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Remembering a Cat Named Palmer

Palmer 1991-2011

[It’s  difficult to believe it was six years in January since we lost our long-time pet, a Maine Coon cat named Palmer. He was part of the family for 20 years and we still catch ourselves sometimes looking for him around the house. This is my post written in memory of him just after his death in January 2011.]

His spirit still lingers in the house.

He came into our lives in 1991, a tiny ball of fluff with attitude, and my three-year-old daughter immediately bonded with him. Even though the kitten hissed whenever anyone went near him, he was hungry, and so she fed him cat food at the end of a stick to avoid his needle-sharp teeth and claws. He was a long-haired Maine Coon with gray and white markings, and he looked to be around six or seven weeks old. He was cute although we were not looking for a pet. But what do you do when your loving and adorable three-year-old latches onto an animal? And so he stayed.

We named him Palmer after the town in Alaska where my sister lived. He was a barn kitty that was born to the old barn cat on the farm where we lived. We began to feed him and he kind of let us adopt him. He was, however, wild at heart and wild in spirit and so he lived outside on the 100 acres in North Carolina, roaming the fields and barn, and showing up to visit us at the house when he felt like it.

The glare on Palmer’s face looking in the window said, “Let me in.”

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Groundhog Day 2017


It’s February 2 … Groundhog Day … and an annual tradition at our home is to watch the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray. It’s comical and fun. But it is also reflective as Murray plays a sullen, arrogant, sarcastic weather forecaster who has to make the annual trek to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, for the obligatory live television on-location weather report of the groundhog’s prediction for six more weeks of winter or spring.

It is fun to watch as the pessimist Murray gradually evolves into an optimist who moves beyond thinking of himself and realizes the good of people when he learns to care for others. It’s a comedy with a moral that we can watch with the family.

By the way, the annual event in Pennsylvania high atop Gobblers Knob this morning brought out Punxsutawney Phil who saw his shadow and, therefore, proclaimed six more weeks of winter. Wonder if Mother Nature was listening.

Goundhog Day, anyone? There’s a marathon beginning at 9:00 a.m. on AMC….

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