My Dad is still a teacher, even though his oracle days are nearing an end, but he was a master at the spoken word. When he spoke, you listened.

I don’t care who you were, you listened at our house. Daddy didn’t have to say things but once, not that I “minded him” all the time, but his word was the authority of my world.

I guess, looking back on my dad and our time together, I spent more time with him than my sisters. I enjoyed my time with him…sometimes. Whether or not I liked what we were doing, Dad was always my hero.

He was different than other Dads. His first calling was to the Lord and he explained that to us with kindness and fatherly love. This calling was more of a choosing which way in life my Dad was going to live. He choose servitude, and the Lord saw fit for Dad to preach the Spoken Word.

Dad isn’t a sing songy preacher. He’s a straight talker using life’s examples and the word “we” instead of you. As I grew older and began 2 really listen 2 his sermons, he could keep u on point and drive his message across; a message that always nearly included grace, cause we all fall short…even him.

I am most fortunate 2 have had the good fortune of seeing an intelligent man stand up for good as his #1 goal. Dad fought injustice wherever he saw it. Dad was especially active in the Civil Rights Movement. His efforts brought about change in Milan, TN as he integrated the church, to much displeasure of half the congregation.

Death threats, letters with words cut from a magazine glued together 2 call him “nigger lover” and leave town. But Dad never let them see him sweat, but we did. And we felt the heat 2, but it was always from Momma and Dad’s love, not the issues of the day.

Dad survived the onslaught of racism in Milan. And today, he is well respected there for that stance and the way he handled the early hatred. As time passed in Milan, I watched my Dad do some incredible things, including purchasing the old Jones Pond land for the present, ideal location of the CP Church there. Dad kept Bethel College alive with a benefit concert given by Bob Hope, yes Bob Hope, that raised over a million dollars for the school, and he saved Camp Clark Williamson from sale and expanded it’s services to Jackson as a day camp with a new lodge.

Everywhere Dad went, he used the spoken word along with the written word to make positive change in this world.

One of the things he said that always guides me is this one question he would ask, “What is your basis of authority?” Anytime he would discuss something and you were disagreeing with him he would ask that question.

So today, I ask you, “what is your basis of authority?” or who are you quoting or copying?

I was taught by Dad some absolute truths. Not situational truths, but truth that is true in all situations. This has always guided me and basically been the rock that I stand on.

Our basis of authority is Jesus’ words, those in red in the Bible, and he liked Paul’s words… I’m not as hip to Paul’s words but I see why they were needed for some.

My Dad’s a Democrat in politics, mainly because of his Dad’s strong convictions that way and the philosophy of helping the less fortunate. Ralph Barker helped a lot of folks in his area as he dealt with the farmers and the loggers at his implement company, where he sold all manner of tractors and farm equipment and parts. He told of having “only once” voted for a Republican, his son-in-law Granville Hinton, and he would continue by saying “and I still regret it to this day.”

I am affiliated with the Green Party so I am no factor in the Big Divide between the Republicans and Democrats, except I don’t think either has a clue of what to do or how to act.

What would a Christian nation do if it were indeed Christian? Well, let’s see – 1st We’d be good neighbors and that would fix 98% of America’s problems at home and abroad.

And Jesus said, “I was hungry and you did not feed me, imprisoned and you did not visit me, I was cold and you did not….. “ and you know the rest but do you consider the lest of them Him? He does and we should understand being good to others is not religious; it is the way, the Tao, the Truth and the Hope of the World.

Today I hope our nation will consider it’s actions and words. As long as we kill and plan to kill, and as long as we don’t want to part with our money to help others, and as long as we jail folks for a difference of opinion, or the way one looks,are we not the oppressors and not the liberators we claim to be.

What happened to “bring us your weary, tired and downtrodden” and what happened to the land of the FREE? Our forefathers were smart and wanted this country to stay out of religious preference and get into acceptance of each person and their right to believe how they wish. This was and still is very important.

So I hold dear to my Dad, who fights for right with all his might to this day. And I hold dear the example he set for me by his still productive life. I will try to be like him and continue my fight for right. But it ain’t right to call us a Christian nation as long as we hate anything but injustice. And if you happen to be seeking justice, in America, I hope you can afford it or you will get none.

Does money now rules this nation, and should we  get used to it and quit calling ourselves a Christian nation. Most of us can’t even pass the standard of being a Christian person. My Dad is a Christian person, nearly crucified by the church like his hero, Jesus. And I bet if you asked him today, “Jack, is this a Christian nation?” He would have a good answer because he is a good man and a Christian.

I say do what you wanna do, but the peace that passes understanding comes from trusting and obeying… not just sayin… Just sayin… be good to others all the days of your life, even as they try to persecute you for that good deed.

Ya’ll, I don’t have the whole bucket of truth and I sure ain’t perfect, but I have seen perfect love, and our nation ain’t got it right now. I believe in my Dad’s life and his fight for right. He is a beacon for me and my family. It can be done, we can be one nation under God.….Dad knows the way….. The Way …….and we all will know that someday if my Daddy is right…and believe you me…. He usually is!

As he visited me and others in the Hardin County Jail, Dad saw wrongs and did something about it. He started a jail ministry that continues 2 this day. This one man effected change in the form of a new court mandated jail and justice complex that was long over due. Daddy proves that good men doing good things makes this place a better place 2 b.

The only thing necessary for evil 2 triumph is for good men 2 do nothing… Edmund Burke

The only thing necessary for good 2 triumph is for good men 2 do something…. Jay Barker

My Dad is a good man, doing something good for the good of others, all his days of his fatherly life. I love you Dad… you are my hero…..and one of my basis of Authority.