Sunday, December 14, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah

A Wonderful and Joyous Hanukkah & Christmas Season to One and All!!  May the warmth of this season fill your body and soul with the renewal and re-birth of those blessings we all so need.  May we be renewed, and a new spirit reborn within each heart this special time of year!
We are getting close to the 2015 Legislative Session and the era of a new governor.  Briefly I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing to prepare for the coming new year and the work that’s been keeping so many of us busy!
The election closed and the very next day a new leadership team was elected.  The new team has been busy organizing new committees, planning new member training, and even laying out a new parking plan!  In the meantime, freshman are getting ready for a new year like they’ve never had before, while senior members have been working quietly on their legislation and agenda.
As for your Representative, I finished Thanksgiving with family only to head into Scottsdale to moderate a panel on water issues hosted by the National Leaders Policy Conference.  While I understood the water issue in California was dire, I didn’t realize how self-inflicted it appeared to be.  That ended on Monday and Tuesday morning I was on a flight to Washington DC for more meetings, conference work, and of course, more discussions on the topic of public lands and water in Arizona.  Returning Saturday evening, Monday found me at the Capitol in Phoenix meeting with both my staff, new House members, and my new committee (Ag, Water & Lands).  By the middle of the week, I was tending to details regarding the other two committees I serve on (Energy, Environment & Natural Resources, and Rural Affairs & Economic Development).  I have kept my schedule closed from December 20 through the end of the year, when I will be representing Arizona at the State Agricultural Rural Leaders Conference come January 2, 2015.  Are you tired yet?
Then on January 12, 2015 the 52nd Regular Session of the Arizona Legislature opens!  But one minor thing I can’t forget, I’m moving and I have to have my new office ready in time!  I’m moving down the hall to office 114.
I’ll say Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah. I’ll see you in the New Year!  but I will leave you with this:

“In this holiday season, we celebrate the birthday of one who, for almost 2,000years, has been a greater influence on humankind than all the rulers, all the scholars, all the armies and all the navies that ever marched or sailed, all put together. He brought to the world the simple message of peace on Earth, good will to all mankind.
Some celebrate the day as marking the birth of a great and good man, a wise teacher and prophet, and they do so sincerely. But for many of us it's also a holy day, the birthday of the Prince of Peace, a day when “God so loved the world” that He sent us His only begotten son to assure forgiveness of our sins.  The Yuletide season is characterized in our country by the giving of gifts, a spirit of charity, and, yes, good will, more so than at any other time of the year. Already traditional programs are underway, drives to collect food and clothing for those who are in need.
This holiday season, as we work our way out of a recession, too many still find themselves without jobs, forced to cut back on things that they once thought of as their normal pattern of living. They aren't statistics; they're people. They're our neighbors, friends, and, yes, family, and they make up that group that right now we call the unemployed. Their number's greater than it has been for some time past. How about those of us who are employed making sure that those who aren't will nevertheless have a Merry Christmas. This is something that needs doing at the community level—neighbor helping neighbor.
The people we're talking about may be members of your church, brothers and sisters in your local union, or that family across the street or down the block in your neighborhood. Surely, we can find a way to make Christmas merry for that one who temporarily can use our help. But remember, time is growing short, and Christmas is almost here.
In Ephesians we read that "Each of us has been given his gift, his portion of Christ's bounty." Well, let us share our bounty this Christmas season. Let us offer not only our hearts and prayers but a generous hand to those who need our help. And as we light this tree, let us brighten the lives of those here at home and around the world whose Christmas may not be as glowing and as cheerful as ours.”
President Ronald Reagan
December 16, 1982

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