Wally's comments on life, on music, on pianos, on church, on the Bible, on Palm Beach County, politics, and whatever else pops into his head.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

NEW IMMIGRATION POLICY - An open letter to the U.S. Congress

Dear Senators and Representatives,

I am writing to suggest an idea concerning immigration policy. Although I have been thinking about it for several weeks, only now am sitting down to put it into words in an organized fashion. It will obviously need to have all the details worked out. Nevertheless, here is the general idea:

As you know there are many thousands, some say millions, of people who are in this country illegally. I am not Hispanic or a son of Hispanics, but I know many of them through my association with a Hispanic church. Even though I love these people I cannot condone their breaking the law, because Christians are instructed in Romans chapter 17 to obey the governing authorities.

But here they are. They have found a way to sneak in to our country, and they have found jobs that support them and their families back home.
Here in South Florida, many men from Mexico and Central America work in lawn maintenance and other such jobs. Many women from these same countries work as house cleaners, etc. I'm not sure what they do in other parts of the country, but I think that they are contributing to the betterment of our society; yet it is against the law for them to be here.

Suppose there were a way for employers who want certain foreign workers to request that these people, listed by name, be given visas. Or maybe employers could simply request that a certain number of persons who want to do a certain job be given temporary visas in order to fill their employment needs.

Over a certain period of time illegals from various parts of our country, and I am referring mainly to those from “south of the border”, would return to the border, apply for a visa, and if their name and ID# appears on the list, one would be granted. If their name does not appear, but their occupation does, and it is requested by an employer in a geographical area that they prefer to work in, they could also be granted the visa.

Preference would be given to those who had already been here illegally and who had close ties to a certain area, such as through a job, or family, etc. In a sense this could be considered a form of amnesty, because those who were here illegally could be granted legal status without penalty. But it is not exactly the same as amnesty, because they would still have to leave the country and come in legally. Quotas would have to be waived to allow for this program.

After a certain period of time, say two or three years, this program would be over and the very strictest immigration laws which are now being discussed would be implemented. In the mean time, everything possible would be done to strengthen our borders and enforce our other policies.

Please consider this or something similar. It is a win-win for all.


Wallace T. Scherer

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Have you ever thought about what makes for an interesting sermon, or for a boring sermon? I have sat through hundreds of sermons in my 60 years of life. Some were quite interesting, challenging, and even entertaining. Others, while evident that the preacher had done some preparation, didn't seem to do anything for me, or for anyone else in the congregation either, even though they might have seemed to be interested and acted polite by not sleeping, or by trying to take notes.

When my first wife taught public speaking at a bible institute, one of the things she tried to teach her students was the importance of using a pertinent illustration to make the point interesting and memorable. I'll deal with this point later.

Of course there are many other factors which affect the quality of a sermon. One is the clarity of the speaker's voice - can he be heard and understood? I attended a church for several years where the pastor had interesting content in his sermons. They always seemed timely and definitely biblically based. I usually left feeling edified spiritually. He would get emotional sometimes and raised his voice volume when he made a point. He would also use interesting illustrations. However, he had sort of a slurred, mushy speech. I'm sure he sounded fine to people from his section of his country, but to others it must have been somewhat bothersome. At least it was to me.

Another pastor I know evidently spends much time preparing his sermons to have good content. What he does is prepare a lesson so long and detailed that, even though it would be great as a chapter in a book, it's not very good as a sermon. There are too many things to remember and not any real point to try to put into practice the following week. The sermon, since it so long and complicated, is mostly read and seldom has any interesting illustrations to make it come alive.

Another pastor I hear occasionally at a very large church has very interesting and memorable sermons. He flashes outline points on the screen and encourages us to jot down key points on our sermon notes page. Some other preachers I have seen use similar formats, but sometimes have the sermon so simplified that it is almost an insult to the listener's intelligence. He, of course, has to know his intended audience and prepare accordingly. I was just a visitor.

Well, back to my original point. A few years ago I came up with a chart which I called THE HIERARCHY OF ILLUSTRATIONS. It can be a helpful tool in preparing a sermon or talk of any kind. There is a link to it on the right side under the LINKS heading.