Something to Think About - keep (347)

          There’s a play on words associated with Christian's celebration of Easter that offers a clear picture of our future if we choose to heed it!

          The words are “It’s Friday…but, Sunday is coming!”

          Let me share again: “It’s Friday…but, Sunday is coming!”

          This of course refers to the events of Good Friday when Jesus was crucified by being hung on a cross. Friday included everything from denials, betrayals, Pilate’s decisions, crying, a crown of thorns, nails, a cross, blood, and the questions as to why this was occurring?

          Of course, the words “Sunday is coming” represent the glorious events of Easter when it is discovered Christ had indeed arisen!

          My reason for recounting these words today is because they represent a hope we can use to build upon.

          This awful, dreadful pandemic caused by Covid 19 represents our world’s current “Friday,” but the good news is - it appears “Sunday” IS coming again!

          It’s coming in the gift of the vaccines that are curbing the effects of Covid 19 on the world. This week on Sixty Minutes on CBS there were two stories that offered real hope for our future.

          The first was about the economic recovery that is underway in America. It featured Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell who was lavish in his praise for how we are recovering in terms of jobs and the strength of the markets. He suggested that fear about inflation and a massive correction in the markets were largely unfounded because of rules and policies in place now that were not there in 2008. He was very convincing.

          The other report was from scientists involved in the creation of vaccines that are proving effective. The best part of their story was the indication that they are confident research into the behavior of these viruses has created the knowledge to combat any and all viruses even the newly developed ones for the foreseeable future.

          How much more good news can we stand? Bulletproof economic recovery and the science to combat these viruses now and forever is a “Sunday” worth celebrating. I hope you agree!

          Oh, before we start the parade there is one LARGE caveat. That being in order for the vaccines to do their job we need about 75% of the world’s people to take them. That is a large task and it becomes even larger when you factor in that there seems to be a significant reluctance by some

Americans to take the shots. Their reasons for not getting the shots are varied, but the bottom line is if we are to put this and future pandemics behind us a lot more folks are going to need to get vaccinated.

          So, let’s reach out to our friends, neighbors, and relatives, listen to their concerns, and then ask them to reconsider. The future of our planet may well be in their hands.

          “It’s Friday…but, Sunday is coming!” Amen and Amen!

          I’m Steve Sauder.

American politics are so polarized it is becoming intolerable. Take for example the efforts in dozens of states to change election laws that in 2020 produced the largest and most successful election in American history simply because they lost the election.

Forget who won and lost each race. The facts are that even in the midst of this awful pandemic more Americans voted than ever before and by a large number. That’s a healthy, working system! Obviously, the system isn’t broken, so why try and fix it? That answer is obvious as well. In state after state, where the party in control lost key races including the presidency, they are adjusting their laws to in most cases make voting more difficult.

Voting should never be made more difficult. Making it easier and more convenient just makes sense unless you are afraid of the results when more citizens vote.

Bobbi and I are a great example. We both have health concerns that would have made voting in person during the Covid scare unwise. When we received the letter from the county clerk offering us the opportunity to vote by mail our concerns were answered. 

Making things worse, of course, was our leader not only suggesting voting by mail was somehow dishonest, but also suggesting the entire election was rigged if he lost.

His claims of a rigged or fraudulent election have been rebuked in every way possible. Election officials in almost every state certified results and court after court including the U.S. Supreme Court found no evidence to support President Trump’s claims. Even his own Attorney General gave the 2020 election a clean bill of health.

But, we still have state legislatures in well over half the states promoting “fixing” their election systems that just produced a record result both in terms of votes cast and exhibiting little if any fraud.

This is partisan politics plain and simple. State legislatures dominated by a single party like Kansas are passing meaningless election laws simply because they can. They are promoting solutions looking for a problem.
One of my colleagues at KVOE said he didn’t think most of these proposed changes did much anyway, so then why change anything? Lord knows we don’t need more laws.

Please elected officials stop trying to fix a system that isn’t broken – make voting easier, not more difficult, please.

I’m Steve Sauder and there’s “Something to think about.”

There was an interesting post on Facebook Sunday that while sharing it with Bobbi was interrupted by my bulky finger and not to be recovered.

It was about an 87-year-old lady who showed up in a college class and introduced herself explaining she had always wanted a college education and this was her first opportunity. She was a hoot and literally adopted by the class. In a speech at a class banquet later she dropped her 3 X 5 note cards demonstrating how nervous she was. She explained she’d given up beer for Lent, but the whiskey was killing her!

Seriously, the older lady shared how she wasn’t going let a year pass - by just getting older. She was dedicated to reaching new goals each year.

Her story made me think about my life as my age marches on – my 75th birthday is close.

“Retired” has been the answer to questions about my employment status for several years, but that’s not exactly true. When questioned my answer is that radio is my hobby. Hosting three talk shows each week plus writing this commentary does keep me busy, sort of like a hobby.

Sports have always been my passion, but participating has been reduced to golf and even golf is only possible when accompanied by the ability to drive close to my ball.

Attending and/or calling sports on the radio has always been a treat for me, but the pandemic and poor health has all but wiped out those opportunities.

When that 87-year-old lady’s story was read it started me thinking about my goals. How about some new hobbies? My neighbor Duane makes me jealous because he has a bunch, but it seems a little late for me to start woodworking, photography, or biking.

When our plight due to Covid became apparent a year ago we decided to learn to play the piano. We ordered an electronic keyboard and an on-line tutorial. Bobbi tried but found her fingers weren’t very cooperative. Steve didn’t get that far - just not motivated enough to even try. Simply looking at the instructions was confusing, so a swing and a miss!  Guess we might have a deal on a keyboard.

As the pandemic unfolded it was suggested to me that reading is a good hobby, but a problem arose – falling asleep after about 3 pages. My Kindle helps and some books have been read, but as my college instructors found out Cliff Notes are a more likely choice for me.

We are headed to California tomorrow for two weeks. Golf is on our agenda, but there will be lots of free time to fill. With no radio responsibilities, my plan is to attack former president Obama’s book which is over 700 pages in length.

Upon return, you will be informed if it was “Mission Accomplished” or lots of short naps!

Guess you understand now why KVOE is such a godsend for me in many ways!

Happy St. Paddy’s Day, this is Steve Sauder

There’s a cool post on Facebook about sons. It says when as little boys they smile at us we often think “it doesn’t get any better than this.” It goes on to suggest that it does get better when our sons grow up, become good men and good friends and their smiles still light up our lives.

We have three awesome sons. The oldest Brady is General Manager of an auto dealership in Manhattan. He and Christine have 2 sons. Our TJ is a partner in a company providing communications and network security in Kansas City. He and Catina also have 2 sons plus lovely Scarlet the only Sauder girl. Jamie our youngest lives here in Emporia where he’s a real estate broker and developer. He and Jennifer also have 2 sons.

Boasting about all three sons is easy, but today I’m bragging on Jamie for his willingness to be a leader in Emporia’s housing challenges. He was featured in a front-page story in Saturday’s Gazette concerning the growing shortage of houses for sale or rent in Emporia.

Currently, Realtors have just 25 houses listed for sale in Emporia! That represents less than one month’s supply which makes growth for our city virtually impossible!

The story also highlights Dodge City which faced a similar housing crisis a few years ago and explains how they are successfully attacking it. A good comparison is there were 67 new homes built in Dodge last year
compared to about 22 in Emporia. 

A big difference is Dodge City recognized that available housing - or rather the lack of it - was a major impediment to their economic development efforts - a fact our local Regional Development Association seems to have a challenge accepting.

Many Emporia area employers are advertising for help. We have employment opportunities here, but I’m guessing finding a place to live is a problem for workers considering relocating to our community?

Jamie has been working with Project Ignite leader Rob Gilligan and former Assistant City Manager Jim Witt on a plan that would replicate Dodge City’s. He and other Realtors put together a Position Paper for the City Commission to consider.

The idea is for the city to help developers and builders with infrastructures like streets and sewers in a newly expanded manner. Their proposed plan would stimulate new affordable housing. All it needs now is city commission approval which would come much easier if RDA would endorse.

It’s obvious to me the new companies we are chasing aren’t coming to Emporia until our chronic housing shortage is addressed.

Anyway, I’m always proud of my 3 sons and Jamie especially, today for his willingness to offer solutions for Emporia’s growth.

I’m Steve Sauder

Observed by Christians all over the world we currently are in Lent the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. While it is described as being for 40 days it actually is 47 days from February 17th to April third. 

Lent is the time when Christians are called upon to abstain from something they enjoy like chocolate, alcohol, or meat in order to demonstrate repentance for their sins.

Forty-seven days is a long time so a common question among Christians is - are there any cheat days during Lent? One answer found in Google is that Sundays during this period might be free days because they are considered feast days in Christianity, so even during Lent, feel free to cut loose and indulge a little bit on Sundays! 

I concede this explanation of the Lenten season may not sit well with some more devoted followers, but of course, the final answer is between each person and their Maker.

The following was posted recently on Facebook and while it isn’t exactly abstaining from anything it would seem that if we followed these suggestions God would be very pleased with us. Here goes.

When you are alone, Mind your thoughts.

When you are with friends, Mind your Tongue.

When you are angry, Mind your Temper.

When you are with a group, Mind your behavior.

When you are in Trouble, Mind your emotions.

When God starts Blessing you, Mind your ego.

This year Lent likely has a different feel for many as we all are sacrificing in many ways during the Pandemic. My prayer is that the end of Covid 19 is upon us, but that we all continue to follow the rules so that at this time next year we will be free to attend Easter church services in masses.

Have a blessed Lenten season and No! Abbey, giving up corn for Lent doesn’t qualify.

I’m Steve Sauder

Monday morning I caught a conversation between two British gentlemen, Harry and Oliver who were curious about the recent Impeachment Trial in the United States.

Harry says to Oliver, Ollie, did you pay attention to that trial of former American President Trump?

Oliver responded, “Yes, I did and the result has me confused because it seems that while the majority of the Senators found him guilty he was acquitted. How does that work?”

Harry says, “It’s their Constitution which says 2/3 of the jurors have to say “guilty” to convict.”

Oliver responds, “So, Not Guilty doesn’t necessarily mean innocent in America?

Harry agrees saying “Yep. Americans have some interesting rules. Do you remember that when that same President Trump was elected in 2016 he did not receive the most votes? Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but Mr. Trump won what they call the Electoral College vote.”

So what’s that?” asks Oliver.

“It’s another strange rule coming from their constitution, I believe,” opined Harry.

Oliver was curious asking, “so, how old is this “Constitution” and why and how did Americans come up with it?”

Harry says, “I checked with Google for that answer.

It says, “By 1787, the union between the states was unraveling. To save the young nation, delegates from 12 states met in Philadelphia and, with George Washington presiding, created a new form of government.

Nothing like it had ever been done before!”

After learning the U. S. Constitution is almost 400 years old Oliver asks, “so, the American’s are governed by a document that was created in 1787 and it still works?”  

“Absolutely! It was a unique idea then and it’s working. There is a way to amend it and that has happened a few times, but by and large, the U.S. Constitution is the same document agreed to in 1787. Many say that’s why America is America. In the end, Americans turn to the long-standing rules in their Constitution and succeed because they adhere to them.” offered Harry.

Oliver astutely concludes, “Harry, that’s one hell of a story!”

I’m Steve Sauder

          Here’s my take on Super Bowl 55. First, congratulations to Tampa Bay. They beat our Chief’s in every possible way and didn’t need any help from the Zebra’s even though they got some, but referees did not cost KC the game.

          The Chiefs were poorly prepared to play and seemed distracted throughout the contest. I have two theories to share.

          First is that repeating as a Super Bowl champion is one of the most difficult tasks in sports. The Chiefs won 16 games in getting back to the championship game in Tampa.

          In every game, their opponents gave our Chiefs their very best effort.  In defeating Buffalo 38-24 for the conference championship KC dominated in a game that veterans like Tom Brady and Aaron Rogers claim is “the hardest game of all to win.” My theory is that after whopping the Bills our Chiefs relaxed and celebrated their job well done - fooling themselves a bit in the process.

          Fans and the media didn’t help with discussions about whether or not to have a parade and other topics to celebrating our not yet complete “Run It Back” season.

          Feeling this well earned, but the premature sense of accomplishment the Chiefs did not prepare enough for a Buccaneer squad that had totally transformed itself since playing the Chiefs in November. 31-9 is the proof.

          Andy Reid is a coach known for making adjustments on the fly and always finding a way. Sunday the Chief’s offensive game plan got shredded early and often yet the Chiefs kept sending out receivers while failing to protect their absurdly talented quarterback who scrambled for 498 yards avoiding the Bucs pass rush. Reid seemed completely distracted.

          As you likely know Reid’s son Britt, a Chiefs assistant coach, Thursday hit 2 parked cars with his truck. Afterward, he admitted to having had 2 or 3 beers. He also uses Adderall a prescription drug that doesn’t mix well with alcohol. Britt Reid who has a substance abuse history was reportedly coming from the Chief’s practice facility which raises other questions.

          Two children were injured in the wreck – one a five-year-old girl who as of Sunday was in critical condition.

          Do you suppose these events could have taken Andy Reid’s concentration away from the Super Bowl game? Something certainly did!

          Put a team that had already reached a very difficult goal with a coach revisiting his family’s history of tragedy involving drugs against a supremely motivated team led by a freak of nature quarterback, and Sunday’s results are a lot easier to understand.

          I rest my case and ask for prayers for the five-year-old girl.

          I’m Steve Sauder

          When recognized for accomplishments in my business career my practice has always been to mention my family which gave me leg up which hopefully has never been taken for granted and the fact that much of my success was due to the efforts of the dedicated people who work with me.

          My desire for today was to mention a bunch of these good people, but when my list reached 100 people it became obvious a different tact would need to be chosen.

          So, here are in 25 words or less the stories of six very significant associates in efforts.

          Lea Firestone was in Sales and Sports at KVOE before becoming our General Manager. His vision is what our radio stations are today. Lea added real estate and hotel development to his resume before moving on.

          Fireman Rick Tidwell hired himself at Valu-Line then became a telecommunications legend. ValuNet Fiber was his dream. Unmatched in planning and reliability, his passing leaves a large void in my heart.

          Fortunately, Stormy Supiran answered our calls to join both Valu-Line and ValuNet Fiber. He’s unbelievable at organizing and problem-solving. When health took out our partners Stormy stepped up. He’s our unsung hero.

          Bob Agler was our family’s accountant before he became Valu-Line’s CFO. He was instrumental in building ValuNet Fiber’s business plan. Great friend, Christian, and man of unquestioned integrity.

          Ron Thomas said “yes” to being KVOE’s GM before the question was completely ask! He has taken our radio stations to unimaginable heights. Ron is a community treasure as well.

          Erren Harter is our COO – Chief Operating Officer. He is involved in every aspect of our efforts. His ability to multi-task is incredible. Another unsung hero.

          There you have it. Six incredibly hard-working and honest friends and associates have made me look accomplished. They too are blessed with co-workers that respond daily to the challenges and opportunities presented to them.

          It would be a mistake to not mention my three sons all of whom are key advisors in our efforts.

          My hope is that my appreciation and respect for all our associates is visible. They are the best! And I thank them.

          I’m  Steve Sauder

Like most of you, I like good news and locally we have quite a bit of positive activity to report.

          This is Lyon County Basketball Tournament week in Emporia and the games are underway for the 100th time and with Gridley native (like me) Ted Vanocker, still at the helm. Awesome!

          Saturday our Hornets, both women and men thumped Washburn in round ball! Always good news!

          Sunday our Chiefs took the next step to “Run it back” as they beat Buffalo to advance to Super Bowl 55! Two weeks celebrate before we get nervous.

          As we take positive steps locally to flatten the Covid curve school kids from kindergarten to ESU and Flint Hills Tech are back in school with many in person. Hallelujah!

          While Covid 19 testing has become standardized the process to vaccinate Lyon County residents has entered Phase II with excellent organization by our Lyon County Public Health Department! Last Friday 600 doses were given with 400 more this week scheduled with the only hold back being enough vaccine coming from the manufacturers, but when Lyon County gets an allotment the process is amazing.

          To know when your opportunity to be vaccinated is coming go to the Health Department’s website and listen to KVOE. When we know, you will know!

          If you are not computer savvy find a friend that is and set up a plan for them to register you when your name comes up.

          Countywide vaccination is going to take a while, but when we reach 75% life should normalize. In the meantime – mask up, stay distant and keep washing your hands. We aren’t there yet, but there is reason to hope!

          Lastly, Representative Mark Schreiber shared his Newsletter last week with lots of good information and some timely challenges. He starts with a quote from Martin Luther King that Mark suggested challenges him.        

           The time is always right to do the right thing.

          A prolific thought indeed, followed by Schreiber’s questions.

          Can we show respect for others’ views instead of scorning them with name-calling and finger-pointing?

          Can we be more interested in helping one another and our communities and less interested in the latest conspiracy theory?

          Can we sincerely call for bipartisanship without, in almost the same breath, complaining about the actions of “the other side?”

          And last: Can we work to restore trust between people and institutions, or will we allow that trust to further erode?

          These thoughts from a “politician” are definitely some good things to think about.

          I’m Steve Sauder

          Big alert! I’m traveling way above my pay grade today talking about the Bible. My thoughts come from Pastor Adam Hamilton, on-line, this past Sunday.

          Hamilton agrees there are parts of the Bible that are just flat impossible, improbable, or morally wrong. His message was designed to help Christians who believe in the Word of God workaround, explain, or tolerate those questionable parts.

          Point number one is that the Bible was written entirely by humans who were trying to explain their understanding of events they had observed and unfortunately in some instances, they simply got it wrong. Hamilton pointed out of the over 31,000 verses in the Bible less than 300 are considered controversial with some because they are taken out of context.

          So, as Christians, how do we deal with these verses that call for killing people, wives being subservient to their husband, making slavery acceptable, or are simply not possible using scientific logic?

          For starters, as was suggested earlier, we need to understand sometimes the author’s renditions are simply wrong, but an even better theory is that one of the reasons God put his Son, Jesus on this earth was to help straighten things out. Remember the words Jesus spoke came from God and in some cases do conflict with earlier versus.

          Consequently, the teachings from Jesus serve as a lens or filter through which Christians are called on to evaluate every situation.

          Hamilton shared a story from the Old Testament where a man discovered his daughter-in-law was a prostitute and was instructed to burn her to death. If we run that situation through the lens of  “what would Jesus do?” we get an entirely different answer. Jesus actually befriended prostitutes.

          I hope this simple attempt at explaining some of the controversial things found in the Bible helps you. It was enlightening for me so I decided the share.

          I’ll conclude with scripture from my daily Guideposts devotions from Martin Luther King Day. It’s Matthew, 5:44.

          “But, I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

          That verse inspired Dr. King to say “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

          Truly, some things to think about! I’m Steve Sauder

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