Home and Hospitality...

Some wonderful friends, Pastor Gary Piepkorn along with his wonderful wife Judy, will be guests in my home beginning tomorrow afternoon. I've not seen them in almost twelve years, and I am very, very excited.

I first met Gary when he was Chaplain (Major) Gary Piepkorn, United States Air Force. We were stationed together at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea in 1990. We immediately became good friends...and he was a wonderful encouragement to me on many levels.

Almost a year later, Gary and Judy (along with their children) were re-assigned to Oslo, Norway--where I was also assigned. Needless to say, I was beyond thrilled with this development. Gary and Judy became my "family" in so many ways. I can never thank them enough.

So, in the meantime, I am reassigned to Reese AFB, near Lubbock, Texas in November 1992. About 18 months later, the Piepkorns return stateside--to Cannon AFB in Clovis, New Mexic0--about two hours away from me.!

I am completely convinced this is not "coincidence." God knew that I would need the Piepkorns near me during those years of "exile" in West Texas.

Now, the kids are all married and gone. Judy has decided that she wants to be a very, very well educated Nurse, so she has returned to school...Good for her.

After their assignment at Cannon, the Piepkorns did a tour in England, and then in Northern California...before Gary decided to retire...and accept a Pastorate of a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod down in New Mexico!

I can hardly wait for them to arrive!

I hope my heart doesn't stop this season!

September 24th premiers the new season of DANCING WITH THE STARS:

The fifth season of this marvelous show will feature the following celebrities:

Marie Osmond
Floyd Mayweather (Boxer)
Melanie Brown (Scary Spice)
Helio Castroneves (From Venezuela, Racecar Driver)
Jennie Garth ( Beverly Hills, 90210)
Cameron Mathison (All my Children)
Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks owner)
Wayne Newton (singer..a really OLD singer)
Sabrina Bryan (Cheetah Girls on Disney)
Josie Maran ( model)
Albert Reed ( model)
Jane Seymour (Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman)

I can hardly wait.

I must confess...

I miss hearing about Heaven!

There was a time in our lives, and in our society, and especially in our churches when we heard about Heaven, we sang about Heaven, and we anxiously awaited our arrival in Heaven.

Now, sadly enough, we hear so very little about Heaven, and we sing about it even less.


Have we become so comfortable here on this planet...with all the comforts and goods, and "stuff" that we cannot begin to imagine that the City Whose Builder and Maker is God could be any better than what we currently have?

I grew up poor....we literally had nothing, and we knew it. But the one thing that we possessed, and that I still humbly claim: That wonderful promise of Heaven after life on this earth has ended.

My precious Grandmother Hoover taught me songs about heaven. The local church where I came to Christ as a small child, and most of the churches where I attended ever since that time, all sang and preached about heaven.

So what happened? Do we just not care about "heaven" anymore? Are we really that satisfied down here?

One of the great songs I learned as a child goes something like this:

While travelin' thru this world of sorrow
I'm on my way to gloryland!
I'll not turn back, for some tomorrow
My trials here, I'll understand.

I want to know more about my Jesus
I want to know more about my Lord
I want to know more about that mansion
I'm gonna receive as my reward!
I want to know more about that homeland
I mean to go there, some day some how.
And after I reach that heavenly city,
I'll surely know more than I know now!

What a promise! What a thrill! What a future!

What say ye?

When families "disconnect.." A snapshot of my life...

My parents (Bobby and Jodi) divorced shortly after I was born. Of course back then (1962), divorce was the scourge of society--and it was usually the red "A" on the foreheads of those who were caught in its' web.

My parents not only abandoned each other, but they both abandoned me. I was less than one year old, and my precious Grandmother Hoover took me, and raised me--in a time when she should have been able to enjoy her golden years after raising ten children of her own--she took me in, a small infant and raised me.

I remember my Grandfather Hoover coming to find me in some type of shelter, and I was standing on a mattress soaked with urine, crying. I was just a very, very small child, but I do remember this happening...and not sure how old I was.

And sadly enough, my biological parents dropped in and out of my life at their convenience.

Little wonder, that I decided to return the favor when I became an adult.

I've had no contact with Bobby for more than 15 years now. I don't know if he is dead or alive, and at this point in the game, it doesn't really matter to me--in the long scheme of things. The last time I saw him or heard his voice was at my Grandmother Hoover's funeral--his own mother. He showed up drunk as a skunk. He really embarrassed himself...and the rest of us.

Jodi and I talk occasionally--when I call her. Those times are fairly infrequent. She is married to a wonderful man, John Gunter, and they live in north Alabama.

I'll write more later. But I wanted to start sharing a little about me.

Peggy Wynn: Please pray for this precious saint of God!

I first met Bishop Ray C Wynn, and his wonderful wife Peggy almost thirty years ago. He was the General Superintendent of the Bible Training Institute of the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices in Cleveland, TN.

I fell in love with the Wynns from the very beginning. There are no finer people on the planet than Ray and Peggy Wynn.

Sister Peggy is now in the Intensive Care Unit of the local hospital in Cleveland, Tennessee. She is not expected to live very much longer.

My eyes are full of tears as I type this, because I loved them so very deeply.

The last time I saw Sister Wynn was three years ago this weekend. She was using a walker due to some severe pain in her legs and back. And it broke my heart then.

I served on active duty in the United States Air Force for ten years. Without fail, every year for Christmas I would receive a wonderful greeting card from the Wynns. And without fail, every year I would receive a card--and usually a small gift--for my birthday..again from the Wynns. She would always say, "We miss you, we love you, please hurry to see us soon. Love, Ray and Peggy"

How I treasured those precious, precious reminders of people who love so unconditionally.

When I returned to Cleveland TN to go to seminary, it was Ray and Peggy Wynn who came to see me in my new "digs" to make sure that I had everything I needed. When they found out that I didn't have a suitable bed, they loaned me one of their cots--and I'm so grateful.

In 1997, Brother Wynn called and said that he needed to come see me.....what I didn't realize was that Sister Peggy had made me a special birthday cake. She made me a special cake in 1998, 1999, and again in 2000.

My heart is breaking right now, thinking that this precious, wonderful saint of God will go on to glory, and that I'll have to wait to talk with her again.

About three months ago, on a Sunday night, I made a list of people whom I've loved and adored over the years. The Wynns were very near the top of the list. I called these people and told them how much I love them...how much they have graced and blest my life, and what a treasure they are to me. Now, I only wish that I could call Peggy Wynn one more time.

Please pray for Peggy and Ray Wynn.

Seven years ago today: August 27, 2000

I left very familiar surroundings in Cleveland, TN to move to the "Windy City." Chicago was calling me, and specifically friends who were living here, involved in a wonderful ministry in this city.

God has been good to me. I've learned so much about Him, about life in general, about His Church, and about myself.

I remember standing in the Nashville Airport that early Sunday afternoon, and wiping tears from my eyes as I said "goodbye" to one of the dearest friends I've ever had: Kevin Moses. That was a time that I will never forget. Kevin was the face of Jesus to me on so many, many occasions.

He and I are still very close, and I considered him to be one of the finest men on earth.

There have been lots of "bumps" along the way in the last seven years, but God has been good, and I've seen His hand in alot of things in this journey thus far.

BP finally got "smart"---no additional dumping into Lake Michigan....

BP (used to stand for "British Petroleum" and not sure what it stands for now) reversed a terrible decision it made several weeks ago to dump extra "pollution" into our wonderful Lake Michigan.

The original decision was made a few weeks ago, after the Indiana Legislature gave the company their "blessing" to increase their dumping of waste products in the "Grand Canyon" of the upper Midwest.

After the uproar from the surrounding states, and particularly from the cries of outrage here in Northern Illinois, the company has reversed their ill-fated decision. They will now seek other alternatives to polluting our great Lake.

Yes, I can call it "our" great Lake...because I have lived in Chicago for seven years, come August 27th.

The outrage and uproar coming from Chicago and her neighbors is paralleled only by the decision of the Federated Department Store Company to change "Marshall Fields" to Macy's last year.

And anyone who has lived in the Chicagoland area over the last two years remembers what a brouhaha that who spectacle became.

BP, we are glad that you have come to your senses.

It was about time.

Happy Anniversar,. Travis and Kelly Johnson

For my friends Pastor Travis Johnson and his wonderful wife, Kelly:

Happy Anniversary!


Dude, you married WAAAAAY above yourself....

Kelly, you got a pretty good deal yourself.

Some people can't be helped...

I work as an Admissions Officer for a vocational/career college here in Chicago. I deal with people every day, and sometimes all day. I thoroughly enjoy my work--99% of the time.

But I have discovered that some people cannot be helped regardless of how hard I may try.

A case in point: A certain gentleman whom I met at a Veterans Fair over a month ago continues looking for a job in mechanical engineering. I took his resume at the fair and passed it on to the "powers that be" who might be able to help him.

This man calls me, accusing me of just about everything in the book, because he can't find a job, and doesn't want to get more marketable skills. He is a military veterans, and has a masters degree, for Pete's sake!

When I can't answer every question to his exact satisfaction, he blows up. When I insist on him coming to my office so I can sit down and talk with him, he has a hissy-fit, and starts railing at me again.

After all of this drama, I've decided that HE cannot be helped. And the reason:

He doesn't want to be helped. He wants to blame everyone except himself.

Lord, please don't ever let me be like that. And please forgive me for the times that I have been.

When the "little people" die...

The woman who made the phrase "the little people"--billionaire Leona Helmsley died today at age 87.

She was infamous for how badly and poorly she treated those "little people"--the ones whom she regarded as beneath her dignity, financially and otherwise.

Of course, most Americans would have been "financially" beneath her dignity--since she was a billionaire many times over.

When she was convicted of Tax Evasion many years ago, one of her employees testified under oath that the "Queen" of the hotel industry said, "We don't pay taxes...taxes are for the little people."

Now, the Queen of Mean, Ms Helmsley has found out just how little she really was, and now, eternally is.

Here's a link to the story:

I'm wondering if now that she is facing eternity that she feels that "judgment" is only for the "little people."

Elvira Arellano arrested and deported...What took them so long?

It's about time....and my next question to the "feds" are why it took them so long?

Ms Arellano finally came out of hiding from the United Methodist storefront church on Chicago's west side, and sojourned to Los Angeles, allegedly to speak at an immigrants' gathering.

The federal authorities finally did what should have been done more than one year ago:

They took her into custody, and deposited her back onto Mexican soil....where she belongs.

Now, lest some of my readers accuse me of being heartless and uncaring, let's put some more pieces into the picture:

This lady came here illegally about 13-15 years ago.

She obtained/stole a Social Security Number, and other documents illegally.

She was deported in 1997, and ordered not to return to the United States.

She defied deportation orders last year, and hid out in the Adalberto UMC in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago's west side.

She has used her son (who was born here) as her "anchor."

She speaks little, if any English--even though she has been here for more than ten years.

The church where she took sanctuary broke the laws of the land in hiding her. They should be heavily fined, and their tax exempt status should be immediately revoked.

I am not heartless nor am I uncaring. However, we must enforce the laws of this land. Our laws are not violating anyone...and particularly not those who want to trespass into this nation.

Pray for our congregation

I am a regular parishioner (soon-to-be member) of The Moody Church here in Chicago. This is one of the great, historic congregations in the United States, "celebrating the joy of changed lives since 1864".

We are in a bit of transition right now--reaching people whom we've never reached before. We are also becoming a wonderfully relational congregation, instead of being just an "informational" station. Information is important...but God is a relational God. As His people, we want to be relational people, reflecting the image of His Son.

We have a brand new Christian Life Center (aka CLC), and we are wanting to use this multi-purpose facility to reach people all over this great city.

I'm asking my regular readers to take time out and pray for The Moody Church here in Chicago. We aren't anywhere near a "perfect church", but we deeply and passionately want to do the Lord's bidding.

Our Senior Pastor, Dr Erwin Lutzer, will sincerely and humbly be grateful for your intercession on our behalf.


Back to the blog...MAN Secrets--tips for men!

It's been a crazy week here in my office...

And in my life.

But I'm still blogging--and I still read LOTS of them every day.

Some "friends" of mine have compiled a list of "Man Secrets: Trips and Tricks for men".

I would like to share some of them here:

1. Stay current with your fashion sense. You don't have to track the latest fads, but you should be socially aware of what decade we are now living in.

2. Comb overs don't work. You are only fooling yourself. Everyone else knows you are bald on top. So, let it go. Bald is beautiful. [My comment: AMEN!]

3. Cologne is an accessory, not a main event.

4. On time is five minutes late...Five minutes early is on time.

5. Load the dishwasher..it's not that hard.

6. Don't wear clothes that make noise when you walk. If do, know you are at high risk to spontaneously combust.

7. Go to Cracker Barrel--they are cheap eats, and great coffee.

8. If she calls you "honey" she may not be flirting with you. You just might be so old looking that everyone knows you are now "harmless."

9. Crock Pots are a great thing...learn to use one.

10. Learn to iron your own shirts and slacks...it will save you money, and you can impress the woman (women) in your life.

11. Yes, you can still hold the door open for other people, regardless of what they say. Just shows that your manners are better than theirs.

12. Own at least three different shades of long-sleeved, blue shirts--oxford button downs preferably. Blue shirts will go with just about everything.

13. Do some secret shopping on your own...just so you will know what the current "trends" are...you don't have to buy anything--but be better informed than you currently are.

14. Become friends with someone at the local flower shop...they may be able to "save your hide" on those days when you really need someone with that "ability."

15. If you have a choice between a good night's sleep and something else...CHOOSE THE SLEEP.

16. Clip your nose and ear hair. Look like a man, not a wildabeast.

17. If a splash of cologne makes you smell good, baptism in it doesn't make you smell great!

18. Stop and ask for directions before you need them. It will make you appear far smarter than everyone thinks that you are!

19. Remember that you seldom play better than you practice.

20. Be the person that everyone wants to sit next to.

"Pastor To Power"

The major network ABC has done it again!

The Primetime special "Pastor to Power" highlighting the ministry and relationship of Dr Billy Graham to eleven Presidents of the United States was terrific!

It just wasn't long enough.

That documentary could have been three hours, and would have still left me wanting more!

Dr Graham has been a "pastor" to many Presidents when they have most needed to feel the presence of the Lord, and to hear His Word.

If you didn't get a chance to see this wonderful special, please look up the information on the internet. It was terrific.