Some things that I've learned....

H Jackson Brown Jr has compiled a terric little book, Live and Learn and Pass It On.

Here are some things that people from ages 5 to 95 have shared about life, love, and other stuff. I've only chosen a few:

I've learned that old women can get away with just about anything.

I've learned that failures always blame someone else.

I've learned that the important thing is now what others think of me...but what I think of me.

I've learned that my worst decisions were made when I was angry.

I've learned that meeting interesting people depends less on where you go than on who you are.

I've learned that no one is ever so powerful or successful that they don't appreciate a sincere compliment.

I've learned that comfortable shoes are a MUST..always.

I've learned that a woman would rather be complimented about her intelligence than her looks.

I've learned that you can never have too many smart people in your life.

I've learned that I still cannot eat an Oreo without first opening it up and licking off the filling.

I've learned that the best tranquilizer is a clear conscience

When it's all said and done....

2005 has been a remarkable year in so many ways.

As a nation, we have:

Watched the horror of almost 1/4 million people rush into eternity from the death-wielding power of the tsunami in Asia.

Watched several million people become homeless (though temporarily for many) on our own shores here with Hurricane Katrina--who didn't bother discriminating on racial, economic, religious, or educational terms.

Watched the face of the United States Supreme Court change: Welcoming our new Chief Justice John Roberts, bidding a very sad adieu to the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and the soon-to-be retirement of the first lady to ever don the robes of the Nation's highest judiciary, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Watched the indictment of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the Chief of Staff for the Vice President of the United States on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Mourned the death of Peter Jennings--one of the truly great journalists and news anchors of my lifetime.

Mourned the death of Pope John Paul II--one of the truly marvelous religious and political figures of my life time.

Watched the selection and coronation of Pope Benedict XVI-- God's "rottweiler" has now become the German Shepherd. And time will tell...indeed.

Mourned the death of more than 2000 uniformed service personnel who have answered the call of the Commander in Chief--whether rightly or wrongly.

Celebrated the CHICAGO WHITE SOX as the 2005 World Series Champions in Baseball--the first time in 88 years!

It's been quite a year. And when it's all said and done, what will all this mean to us?

Time will tell, I'm sure.

The end of an era: PETRA retires...

Petra Retires

Christian Rock Pioneers Say Goodbye After 33 Strong Years

Nashville, TN - After 33 years of music and ministry, Christian rock pioneer PETRA will come to a close. December 2005 will mark the end to a ministry that has boldly and consistently proclaimed the gospel in the United States and abroad. The decision to retire the band was mutual by all members.

"It has been a privilege and honor to represent our Savior and participate in His Great Commission. We have nothing but thanks to God for all He has done," says PETRA founder, guitarist and primary songwriter Bob Hartman.

"God used PETRA in my life in so many ways, as He did in so many other lives," says lead singer since 1986, John Schlitt. "I am truly thankful for having been part of PETRA. We've had a good long run and have seen so much. We've seen God's hand at work in our music on every continent and in every language," he says.

The band has impacted generations of musicians and fans alike over the years with over seven million CDs sold, four Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards and an induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. PETRA, initially formed in 1972 by Hartman on vocals and guitars, paved the way for the rock genre perhaps more than any other in the Christian music industry. Though a rotating cast of musicians comprised PETRA's lineup over the years, the band is closing 2005 strong with over 20 albums to its credit, the latest being the 2003 Grammy-nominated Jekyll & Hyde.

At present, Schlitt and Hartman have made no immediate plans for the future.

"I'm not sure what the future will bring for me," says Schlitt, "but when God chooses to show us His will, then we just go in faith and walk in faith toward Him. He has never let us down, and He never will."

There are currently talks of a live album or box set to release in the future. Final PETRA tours in the United States and Europe are in the planning stages. There will be no further concerts booked after this year.

"PETRA has always been one of the biggest names in Christian rock," says Inpop Records President Wes Campbell. "PETRA's contributions to our industry are innumerable, and the band was very instrumental in the beginning stages of newsboys career. We are honored to have supported PETRA in its ministry and music," he says.
Taken from their website :

One of their greatest songs, in my opinion became popular when I was a teenager (back in the late 70s). It is taken from Romans Chapter Eight. The title, "Why Should the Father Bother"

Why should the Father Bother to call us His children?
Why should the Spirit Hear it when we pray?
Why should the Father Bother to be concerned with all our needs?
It's all because of what the Son has done.

Once we were lost out on the ocean
With no direction or devotion
Tossed about by every wind and wave
Now we are in the world, not of it,
And we can surely rise above it
Because the Lord has risen from the grave!

And we cry, 'Abba, Father'
'Abba, Father', 'Abba, Father'
'Abba, Father', 'Abba, Father'
'Abba, Father'

Once were strangers from the promise
We were doubters worse than Thomas
'Til the Spirit opened up our eyes
Now He has offered us adoption
And we have taken up the option
To be His family eternally!

Thank you PETRA for ministering to my heart multitudes of times through the last 30+ years. Only Heaven will reveal how the Father used you to speak His truth to me.

An 'Uphill Climb"

My great friend singer/songwriter Janet Paschal has battled breast cancer this year. I've posted updates on her a few times here. And according to her website, it seems like she has "beaten" it. Praise, Praise! (

In one of her latest recordings, she sings a song that she and Joel Lindsey wrote, entitled Uphill Climb. Here are the words:

She's sitting by the window when he walks into the room
Holding twelve red roses in full bloom
He puts them in her arms and says, "I love you so..
Happy Anniversary from sixty years ago..."
She turns to softly ask him for his name..
A tear rolls down his check and then he whispers it again...

Sometimes love is an uphill climb
It's a lonely road to follow
It's a heavy load to bear
Sometimes love is very patient and kind,
But sometimes love is an uphill climb.

He made it look so easy, he made his coaches proud
He played his best and stood out from the crowd.
They gave him every honor
The highest to be had..
And he'd run home excited to show his Dad..
But some things he would learn to live without..
Because love just wasn't something his father talked about.

Sometimes love is an uphill climb
It's a lonely road to follow
It's a heavy load to bear.
Sometimes love is very patient and kind,
But sometimes love is an uphill climb.

Winners and losers,
The used and the users at the edge of the town
Fathers and mothers, sons and brothers
gathering around...
Some were there to mock the Stranger
Some were there to mourn the loss
But everybody watched as He picked up the wooden cross.

Sometimes love is an uphill climb....
(2004 by Maplesong Music/ASCAP).

Janet got it right....because God showed us His great coming to live among us, and showing us what "life" really is like. He then climbed a hill--and gave us the eternal opportunity to really live.

We can do no less.

Blessings this day.