The Rushmore Report: Remembering Glen Campbell

This week we lost an American icon. Glen Travis Campbell, whose career spanned five decades, stepped into the presence of his God Tuesday morning. He is best known for his 70 albums, 45 million records sold, 12 gold albums, and nine #1 hits, along with his CBS show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour (1969-1972). But this isn’t about Glen Campbell the entertainer. It’s about Glen Campbell the man.

First, let’s get the award stuff out of the way. Campbell’s accolades are nearly unmatched in the music industry: Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Grammy Hall of Fame, Male Vocalist of the Year (country and rock), Entertainer of the Year, actor (True Grit), TV star (Goodtime Hour), and record five Grammys in one year (1967). He was named TV Personality of the Year, Top Male Vocalist, and so much more.

But let’s talk about Glen Campbell the man.

He was my first favorite singer. He released my all-time favorite song, Galveston, on February 24, 1969. Being from Houston, somehow this song made me proud. I was just nine at the time, but I knew the song by heart. I still do. What was once a record in my bedroom nearly 50 years ago is now on my phone, where I can listen to it anytime.

I followed his career through the years. Like most people, I cherish the music I grew up with. That made me a huge fan of Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, and Glen Campbell. I saw all three in person. Beth and I were on the second row of Campbell’s final concert in Texas, in the Dallas area, ten years ago. Already suffering from Alzheimer’s, Campbell forgot the words to some of the songs, and clearly wasn’t sure where he was. But he could still sing. And he could still play the guitar. Man, could he play the guitar! I felt like a teenager all over again, sitting just feet from my childhood idol.

Glen Campbell was not a perfect human being. Maybe that’s why I identified with him. His three failed marriages, occasional jail time, and struggles with drug and alcohol addiction made him seem real. Like the rest of us, he battled his demons.

But unlike many of us, he won those battles. He found strength through his personal faith –  a strength he lacked earlier in his life.

Kim Campbell, his wife since 1983, said in an interview last year, “Faith has always been the central part of our relationship. I’m so pleased that as Glen has entered the later stages of this illness, it’s evident that he has retained his awareness of God.”

Kim continued, “That really comforts me to know that he has that sense of God’s presence in his life, that he’s not alone, even if I’m not right next to him.”

Today – and for all eternity – Glen Campbell is not alone. There is someone right next to him who will never go away.

For 50 years, the Rhinestone Cowboy blessed millions with what Dolly Parton called “one of the greatest voices of all time.” The man Tim McGraw called “special,” of whom Steve Martin said the music world was “in awe,” and who Peter Frampton called “one of the most down to earth people I have ever known” is now at rest with his Savior.

For Glen Travis Campbell, the seventh son of a seventh son, the temptations of drugs, alcohol, money, and fame have passed. But his memory endures.

The words of his most acclaimed song say it best.

“I’ve been walkin’ these streets so long, singin’ the same old song. I know every crack in these dirty sidewalks of Broadway. Where hustle’s the name of the game, and nice guys get washed away like the snow and the rain. There’s been a load of compromisin’ on the road to my horizon. But I’m gonna be where the lights are shinin’ on me. Like a rhinestone cowboy.”

Today, Glen Campbell is walking new streets, where hustle’s not the name of the game, where nice guys don’t get washed away. He has finished the road to his horizon. And at the end of that road, he has discovered lights that will never go out.

For 50 years, it was true. Campbell was “singin’ the same old songs” – Wichita Lineman, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Gentle on My Mind, Dreams of the Everyday Housewife. Today, he is singing new songs.

Glen Campbell blessed millions with his music. But more than that, he taught us to never give up, to value family, and above all, to embrace faith. For now, I’ll keep “singin’ the same old songs.” One day, at the end of my own horizon, I will join Glen Campbell in heaven’s choir.

May we all walk the road to our horizon with the same dignity, grace, and faith as did Glen Travis Campbell.

The music continues . . .

 

The First Billionaire

When Howard Hughes, Sr. died, his son became a millionaire. He inherited the Hughes Tool Company, but decided to go into the movie making business. After marrying a Houston socialite, he threw himself into risky ventures.

In the late 1920s, Howard Hughes, Jr. turned his attention to aviation. He started his own aircraft company in 1932, Hughes Aviation. In 1940 he bought controlling interest in Trans World Airlines. He would buy RKO Pictures, several airlines, television stations, and several hotels and casinos in Las Vegas.

Hughes got married for a second time in 1957, but this marriage failed like the first one. Hughes eventually left the country and lived the life a a hermit. He was phobic about germs and succumbed to drug addiction.

He was the world’s first billionaire, but that did him little good when he died in 1976, while being flown back to the United States for medical treatment. He died alienated and alone. And I’m sure that in his final moments, he would have gladly traded places with anyone wealthy enough to have a phone, just so he could have some to talk to.

Larger Steak

One night at the dinner table, the wife commented, “When we were first married, you took the small piece of steak and gave me the larger piece. Now you take the larger one and leave me the smaller one. You don’t love me anymore.”

Her husband responded, “That’s nonsense, darling. You just cook better now.”

Successful marriages have two qualities: a man who is quick on his feet, and sacrifice. In this story, we see only one of the two.

When God created man and woman, he said they are to be one. That means that as husband and wife, we are to put one another first. We are to give before we receive and listen before we speak. We are to keep the holy triangle in place: God, husband, and wife. We are to put our husband or wife first.

And if, along the way, the wife becomes a better cook, well that’s okay, too.

Are Dogs Better than Women?

I’m just asking the question. I am offering no conclusions. But we need to approach these things with open minds. That is all I’m doing. I have no bias, as I am both happily married and a satisfied dog owner. I have split my time almost evenly: living 35 years with my wife and 38 years with four different dogs.

Today, I have both a wife and a dog. And I take them both for a walk two times a day. Beth is the best wife anyone ever had and Heidi is the best dog. It’s not even close – on either count.

But again, we must ask the question. Which is better – a wife or a dog?

Because wives can speak for themselves, I will present the case that dogs would make if they were able to type or use a computer. This is the evidence dogs everywhere would want us to see.

Why dogs are better than wives . . .

  1. Dogs never criticize.
  2. Dogs don’t expect gifts.
  3. Dogs don’t want to know about every other dog you’ve ever had.
  4. Dogs don’t hate their own bodies.
  5. Dogs don’t let a magazine article guide their lives.
  6. You never have to wait on a dog; they are ready to jump in the car 24 hours a day.
  7. Dogs don’t cry.
  8. Dogs love it when your friends come over.
  9. A dog’s time in the bathroom is confined to a quick drink.
  10. Dogs don’t expect you to call when you’re running late; the later you are, the more excited they are to see you.
  11. Anyone can get a good looking dog.
  12. Dogs don’t mind if you give away their offspring.
  13. Dogs don’t notice if you call them by another dog’s name.

I’ll add one more – on a personal note. At this very moment, as I am working on my computer, my dog is in my lap. My wife? She is over 1,000 miles away, visiting friends.

My dog would never do that to me.

The Remedy

A man went to the doctor, who told him that he had a bad illness and only one year to live. So he decided to talk to his pastor. After the man explained his situation, he asked the pastor if there was anything he could do.

“What you should do is go out and buy a late ’70s Dodge truck. Then go and get married to the ugliest woman you can find, and buy yourselves an old trailer house and put it halfway up a mountain.”

The man asked, “Will this really help me live longer?”

“No,” replied the pastor, “but this will be the longest year of your life. You’ll be begging for it to be over.”

The fact is, for some of us, we do have just one year left to live – maybe less. The Bible says it is appointed to man to die – and then comes the judgment. But that is a date that is found only on God’s calendar. Your job? Stay prepared.

The Day Dad Took Me Fishing

I was about eight or nine years old. Dad took my brother and me on an overnight camp out. We were fishing late at night. My brother had fallen asleep as my Dad and I kept fishing. I did what boys do. I kept checking my bait to see if the fish had taken my worm. Because it was dark, I had to swing my pole over toward my Dad, who had the flashlight. Each time, Dad looked at my line and said, “Looks like they got your bait again.” Then he put on another worm.

After a couple hours of this, Dad excused himself for a few minutes. While he was away, I reeled in my line and checked the hook myself. No more worm. So I reached over for the carton of worms to put another one on my hook while Dad was away. To my surprise, there were no more worms left in the carton.

I didn’t want Dad to know we had just run out of bait, because I was enjoying the moment so much. So when he returned and encouraged me to check my line, I said, “I think it’s fine, Dad.”

Dad insisted he check my line, so I reeled it in one last time. When I swung the pole toward my Dad, he checked the hook and said, “Yep, the fish took your bait again. I’ll put on another worm.” And then he messed with my hook, and said to cast it out again.

Then the light came on. I had been out of bait of hours. Dad was acting like we still had worms for one reason – he wanted to extend the moment.

Dad wasn’t really there to fish. What he really wanted was time with his two sons – even if one of them was fast asleep.

Last week, my son asked me to name my favorite time with my Dad. And this is the story I told him. Unfortunately, I lost my Dad at a young age. I was 19 when he died at the age of 55. That was 38 years ago. I’ve lived twice as long without Dad as I lived with him.

But I shall never forget that night on a central Texas lake, a half century ago. I had an amazing Dad. And that was an amazing night – one I will take with me for the rest of my life.

The Rushmore Report: Nancy Pelosi Says Pro-Life Stance ‘Dishonors God’

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, the House Minority Leader has said something outrageous about Christians who are crazy enough to defend the lives of the unborn. Such a position, taken by political leaders, “dishonors the God who made us,” said Pelosi. The California Democrat is a strong supporter of abortion rights and Planned Parenthood.

Recently, in comments about the proposed GOP healthcare bill which aims to repeal the Affordable Care Act and defund the biggest abortion provider in America, Planned Parenthood, Pelosi seemed to equate caring for God’s creation with support for the organization.

“I know my colleagues are people of faith,” she said. “They tell us that all the time. So, this is God’s creation, we have a real responsibility to it . . . to minister to the needs of God’s creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.”

She also called on Republican legislators to “examine their consciences and look into their hearts” before they vote so they can “make a decision in favor of what is right.”

Guy Benson, of Townhall, offered a response to Pelosi’s comments. “This condemnation on behalf of ‘God’s creation’ comes from a woman who, as a professed Catholic, has amassed a 100 percent pro-abortion rating from both NARAL and Planned Parenthood,” writes Benson. “She has opposed virtually every conceivable limitation on abortion, over her political career, including measures to ban the barbaric procedure known as partial-birth abortion. Read up on the grisly details of what that entails, then circle back to this lecture from Nancy Pelosi about faith, conscience examination, moral responsibility, and honoring God.”

It really is remarkable that the highest elected Democrat in America can call out those who support birth over barbarism as “dishonoring God.” And still, many left-leaning Christians question why it is so hard for Bible-believing believers, supporters of the rights of the unborn, to support Democrats.

Jackie Robinson’s Big Day

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in a Major League baseball game. Over the next ten years, he would win numerous awards: Rookie of the Year, National League Most Valuable Player, World Series champion, National League batting champion, two-time stolen base leader, and six-time All-Star.

But it was this day in history that his family will forever cherish. On July 2, 1962, Jackie Robinson was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, on the first ballot.

Robinson died at the young age of 53. He is buried near his son and mother-in-law. But it is what is written on his tomb that I find most interesting. One of his personal quotes immortalizes his life, even in death. Written on this tombstone are these words: “Life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

I think men go through three stages in life – at least they should. In phase one, they are consumed with success. In phase two, beginning around age 40, they focus on significance. Their final stage is a focus on legacy.

Jackie Robinson was a great baseball player. But more than that, he was a great man. The world is a better place because of Jackie Robinson.

What will be your legacy? How is the world made different because of you?

The Rushmore Report: Top Ten Reasons People Divorce

Marriage is not easy. Unfortunately, even couples with the best intentions can end up in divorce court. While divorce is not inevitable, it is becoming all too common. Couples getting married must be aware of the factors that lead to break-ups. Then they must remain on guard; divorce can hit anybody. There are a number of reasons people get divorced; the following are ten of the most common.

1. Extramarital affairs

According to a report published by AARP, infidelity still plays a significant role in why people file for divorce. However, usually there is an underlying reason that causes a spouse to cheat, including anger, resentment, and growing apart.

2. Weight gain

Surprisingly enough, “forever after” often comes with the caveat “as long as you maintain your figure.” According to a survey reported by Men’s Health, one spouse gaining substantial weight can be a damper on marital bliss, right or wrong.

3. Money

The American Journal of Sociology recently published a study that found a husband’s unemployment can be a key factor behind divorce. A couple facing financial difficulties is often under a lot of stress, which in turn harms communication.

4. Lack of communication

A commonly heard phrase to successful marriage is “communication is the key.” Relationship coach Deb Dutilh has found that communication can quickly mar feelings of love and romance. Once parties stop communicating effectively, marital troubles that lead to divorce are not too far behind.

5. Abuse

According to Simple Divorce Advice, physical, mental, and emotional abuse all are common reasons couples get divorced. Most people in such a marriage reach a breaking point. Without serious counseling the marriage will end.

6. Incompatibility

Nothing stays the same. Over time people grow, develop, and change. Changing interests or dreams often lead to incompatibility. Divorce Magazine reports that incompatibility is a growing reason that marriages end.

7. Unhappiness

This is at the root of a high number of divorces. Sometimes individuals don’t realize that love in and of itself is not enough to keep you happy. A study published by Penn State University concluded that “severe unhappiness” by one or both partners almost always brings an end to the marriage.

8. Addiction

People can become addicted to substances, behaviors, and even other people. This can wreck a person’s life. An addict often finds himself out of control as his addiction affects every area of his life. Henry Gornbein, a family law specialist, sees this as the fastest growing cause of divorce.

9. Age

According to a study published by the Wharton School at Penn, the age at which a couple marries plays a huge role in the success or failure of their marriage. The younger the couple that marries, the more likely they are to see their marriage end in divorce.

10. Parenting styles

Parenting is an even larger undertaking than getting married. Attorney Jeff Biddle says he has seen dozens of marriages end in divorce simply because the parents cannot agree on the way they should discipline their children.

About the Author

Shannon Johnson is an attorney who walked away from her practice to pursue her dream of writing. She is a frequent blogger on her site, Love to Know.

The Rushmore Report: The World’s Oldest Person – ‘The Secret to Longevity’

Her name is Violet Mosse-Brown. She lies in Jamaica. And at 117 years of age, she is the world’s oldest person. Born on March 10, 1900, Violet has revealed the key to longevity. Also known as “Aunt V,” Mosse-Brown has shared the one key to a long life. And what she says has nothing to do with diet or exercise. But still active, living with her 97-year-old son, Violet is sure of one thing.

The secret to a long and happy life, says Violet, is a strong Christian faith and serving God. Christian Broadcasting News reports her story. Violet is amazed to think back over the changes she has seen in the world throughout her lifetime. But she gives God the credit for everything good in the world and in her own life.

“Thank God for what he has given to me,” she says. “This is what God has given me, so I have to take it – long life.” “I’ve done nearly everything at the church. I spent all my time in the church.”

Mosse-Brown was raised in a Christian home and was baptized at the age of 13 – 104 years ago – at Trittonville Baptist Church in the Duanvale district of Trelawny Parish, Jamaica.

About the Author

Vernonic Neffinger is editor for Christian Headlines.