Monday, May 31, 2010

Believing anyway

"When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn't do but on what God said He would do."  Romans 4:18 MSG

I want to be like Abraham.  I want to trust God even when everything around me looks dismal and when the circumstances within my immediate range of vision tell me that it's not looking good for the plans that I had imagined. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm here . . . you can lock the gate now.

We're hearing a lot about immigration these days here is the U.S.  The state of  Arizona recently passed a law making the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and giving law enforcement officials broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally (translation: anyone who looks like a Mexican).  Emotionally charged stories depicting evidence of  illegal border crossings are jamming our e-mail in-boxes and the writers are demanding that our borders be secured before we are overrun by undesirable immigrants. Immigration is a complex issue and I recognize that I have limited knowledge about many facets of the problems associated with it. I understand the need to control the borders and that legitimate and serious problems can result from failing to secure and regulate immigration. 

All of this got me to thinking.  It's not the Native Americans that are raising such a fuss about immigration these days, it's the lily-white people who look just like me that are.  I was born in this country and therefore am a citizen of the U.S. by birth but I'm not of Native American descent. My ancestors immigrated here several generations back from Europe and, to the best of my knowledge, I have no Native American blood in my heritage.  Why is it that white people like me, all of whom are ancestors of immigrants themselves, are the ones raising such a stink about other immigrants?  Is it a, "I'm here . . . you can lock the gate now" mentality?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We love it when you love our kids!

My son, Zack, told me that his friends, Aaron & Sherry, had taken a picture of me holding their daughter Clara at Zack & Laura's wedding just a few weeks ago.  I e-mailed them asking them to send me a copy and in the message that accompanied the picture, Sherry said, "We love it when people love our baby."  

True, isn't it? We want people to love the people that are most dear to us and we love them when they do.  Babies are easy for me to love.  There's just something almost magnetic about a baby that makes me want to hold them.  That magnetism may fade when they become teenagers but when they're still little ones and have not yet acquired an attitude and a mouth to match, they're almost irresistable to me.

Monday, May 24, 2010

"A good time was had by all."

There was a time when the society page of any self-respecting southern newspaper included the phrase, "A good time was had by all" in virtually every article describing a party. Of course, that was an era long gone in a culture that has faded.  Although the party that we hosted at our home this weekend in honor of our son, Zack and new daughter-in-law, Laura might never have been fodder for the society page, I hope that folks had a good time, none-the-less.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rejected Book Titles

As a former Christian bookstore owner and manager, I loved what we did.  I also loved poking fun at what I did and so did the person(s) who crafted this list of children's books that didn't quite make it to the printing press.  I wish I could claim credit for it but I can’t, nor can I even give credit to the rightful creator since I don’t know who it was.  Enjoy a few laughs on those of us who sell books!

Kid’s books that didn’t make the cut:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Misspoken" vs. "Lying"

"Embattled Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal told a group of veterans in West Hartford today that on a 'few occasions' he had 'misspoken' about his service in Vietnam." USAToday May 18, 2010.  

If you've been following this story, you know that Blumenthal, the current Attorney General in Connecticut, has repeatedly referenced his service in Vietnam during his Senate campaign when, in fact, he never served in Vietnam.  He served honorably with the Marine Corp Reserves after having applied for and receiving 5 deferments from the military draft between 1965 and 1970, during the height of the war in Vietnam.  His unit was never called up for active service but instead worked with the Toys for Tots program. 

I don't take issue with Blumenthal not serving in Vietnam.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Parable of the Prodigal Dog

A gate accidentally left open is a temptation too great for one of my dogs.  It happened today and Rags took off on one of his great adventures.  I was sweating bullets when I realized that he had slipped out because that dog is faster than greased lightning and it's a futile effort to try to catch him.  When this happens, I just have to wait and hope that he doesn't get hit by a car before he decides to come back home.  An hour or so later he was waiting for me on the front porch and all was well but the incident got me to thinking about my favorite prodigal dog story.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Good thing Jesus didn't take this approach

This is a TV ad currently being run by Tim James, a candidate for Governor in my home state of Alabama.

I'm thankful that Jesus didn't take this approach with the Gospel.  He spoke Hebrew and the scriptures were originally written in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic.  I and a lot of others would be in a real pickle if those were the only languages in which the Good News were available.

This isn't intended to be any kind of political statement as I'm sure that Mr. James is a nice guy.  I'm just glad that the God who created us chooses to be inclusive rather than exclusive.  

אני בא כי ייתכן החיים ואת זה יש בשפע

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Meet our new daughter-in-law!

It's been two weeks since their April 24th wedding and Zack & Laura are still married!  I take that as a good sign so I guess it's safe now to introduce you to our new daughter-in-law in person. We're inviting our friends to stop by the house on a Sunday afternoon and visit with Zack & Laura for a few minutes.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Not as easy as it looks

Mother's Day is this weekend.  Finding a thoughtful gift  can be tough and sometimes, even when you have a great idea, executing it can be a little tricky, as you'll see in this classic Mother's Day video.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Eating cereal for supper and watching Wheel of Fortune

When did I turn into an old person? Julia and I ate cereal for supper while watching Wheel of Fortune 3 times last week.  How did this happen?  Wasn't it just yesterday that I was young and cool?  OK, maybe not cool but I was young once.   For my parents generation, it was watching The Lawrence Welk Show that gave you away as being old.  For this generation of old folks, it's watching Wheel of Fortune and eating cereal for supper.