Monthly Archives: July 2010

Couples opting for donations, not gifts

As they’ve planned their July 17 wedding, Chuck Hankins and Suzie Devney have focused on what’s important.

“The most important part is the two of us, the marriage, not all the bells and whistles that go along with it,” Hankins said.

Also important: The family dynamic, as Devney and her 14-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter prepare to move in with Hankins and his 17-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter.

Not important: Getting more stuff.

We each already have a toaster we don’t use,” Devney said. “We’ve got two of everything right now.”

So the Omaha couple decided to forgo the idea of wedding presents.

Instead, they’re asking guests to make a donation to Angels Among Us, a local charity organization that helps families of children with cancer. Though it’s certainly not common, a small handful of other area couples in recent years also have opted out of the wedding present tradition and asked guests to donate instead to a charity.

(Billy’s Thoughts>>>> What a great idea and a wonderful way to put others ahead of you. I know some couples do need gifts but when a couple doesn’t need anymore stuff this might be the way to go. If you like you can read more of the above story Couples opting for donations, not gifts.)

Politico turned priest

Political operative Steve Thomlison walked out of a White House meeting in 2001 and wondered why he was unhappy.

He had achieved considerable early success. In 1994 he helped Republican Jon Christensen beat a sitting congressman in one of Nebraska’s muddiest races. In 1996 he oversaw Jim Ross Lightfoot’s unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate in Iowa.

Now he was managing Elizabeth Dole’s first U.S. Senate bid in North Carolina and talking shop with President George W. Bush’s political team.

Still, the Nebraska native was uneasy — unsettled.

I remember thinking, ‘Jeez, I’m one of the youngest Senate campaign managers in the nation. And they’re (President Bush’s political team) happy, Mrs. Dole is happy … why am I not happy?” Thomlison said.

That thought on the White House steps led to the unlikeliest of career shifts.

Two years later, Thomlison forsook the religion of politics for the Roman Catholic priesthood.

Ultimately, this is the great paradox of faith. The Lord can call anyone,” said the newly ordained Rev. Thomlison, looking the picture of peace as he lounged in the armchair of his new office at Lincoln’s Cathedral of the Risen Christ.

Thomlison’s serene parish office is far removed from the world where he once dwelled — surrounded by boxes of stale doughnuts and young volunteers working the phones for Republican candidates.

In those days, Thomlison’s passion for politics overflowed, and his six-figure income could indulge his love of electronic gadgets. (A quick confession: He covets an iPhone.)

Now Thomlison lives on about $17,000 a year, with housing provided, and he is passionate about serving the families of his capital city parish.

After years of living and breathing politics — albeit with a conservative Christian bent — he has put his God above even winning.

“In some cases I worshipped at the altar of politics. The political game was sort of the be-all and end-all. It was my first priority rather than being properly ordered to put God first,” said Thomlison, 40, a once youthful star in the Nebraska Republican Party who managed Republican Don Stenberg’s race for the U.S. Senate in 1996 and John Breslow’s bid for governor in 1998, both unsuccessful.

(Billy’s Thoughts>>> It is nice to see somebody  come to the conclusion  there are more important things than politics. I believe it is important who we put in office but I also believe each person needs to find their calling in life for some that might be a job in politics for others that might mean becoming a spiritual leader. No matter what one does they should put God first. Please read the entire article from above, Politico turned priest.)