January always brings a special reminder to me now because I always remember it as the month I took the chance of my life to leave a big, national company and try starting my own newspaper.
That was in 2009 when The Slidell Independent began and now we are starting our ninth year, something that was followed by bringing a local newspaper back to the west side of the parish in 2013, now as Tammany West. In March of 2017 we will celebrate our fourth anniversary there.
I want to give a word of thanks to all our faithful readers, and especially our advertisers in both papers. The return of the local papers could never have happened without the faithful support of the business community, who has made it clear they still appreciate and want to keep a local paper around.
I hope you will patronize the businesses that advertise in these two papers since it is the reason you have the Slidell Independent in your hands as you read this. Without the local business community the local paper goes away and from the response for the paper in the past eight years I know many people don’t want to see it disappear, as it did after Hurricane Katrina.
I have said it many times before and I will continue to say it many more times—our local businesses are worth giving your first visit to for services or products since they care more about St. Tammany Parish than many of the bigger, national stores.
When you hire a local business, or spend your money there, you will continue to see the local owner every time you walk in the door. That’s why they MUST give you better service and stand behind what they offer. Please give them the first shot for any dollars you need to spend—you will probably see why it was a good decision.
Once again, thanks to the businesses that have supported this paper. We all appreciate you.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day has passed for 2017, but in the midst of it all my wife received this very interesting commentary from her sister, who hears from a California pastor named Rick Warren, who heads Saddleback Church.
I thought it was worth printing to help people understand why Dr. Martin Luther King deserves the lofty accolades that come his way. Hope you enjoy this, and thanks Patti for sending it.
Leadership Lessons from Martin Luther King
By Pastor Rick Warren
One of the greatest privileges of my life was being invited by Dr. King’s children and family to preach from the same pulpit that he preached from at the great Ebenezer Baptist Church, the congregation that Martin Luther King pastored in Atlanta. I was asked to be the speaker on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of Dr. King’s death. Dr. King’s family told me that I was the first white preacher invited to preach there, and I was deeply humbled by that,
People forget that, first and foremost, Martin Luther King was a PASTOR! He was not a politician. He was a Baptist minister of the Gospel, and a pastor of a local church.
Everything he did to promote freedom, justice, and racial equality flowed out of his deep understanding of God’s Word. I have read hundreds of his sermons and they are rich in biblical content.
Hanging on the wall of my study at Saddleback Church is a hand typed and signed note from Dr. King. It hangs next to a handwritten note from Mother Teresa and a letter of encouragement from Billy Graham. Each of these three Christian leaders left their mark on me as I was a young man.
In honor of Pastor Martin Luther King I give you my 10 favorite quotes from a man who was model to many other pastors:
1. “The purpose of life is not to be happy, nor to achieve pleasure nor avoid pain, but to do the will of God, come what may.”
2. “I just want to do God’s will.”
3. “When I took up the cross I recognized its meaning. The cross is something that you bear, and ultimately, that you die on.”
4. “The early Christians rejoiced when they were deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the Church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.”
5. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
6. “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”
7. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
8. “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
9. “The Gospel at its best deals with the whole man, not only his soul, but his body, not only his spiritual well-being, but his material well-being as well.”
10. “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Kevin Chiri can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.