I must confess....

This has been one "eventful" year for me...in many ways.

I made it through another year of my very engaging (and exhausting) work at Coyne American Institute here in Chicago (www.coyneamerican.edu).

I finally became a member of The Moody Church--where I've been worshipping for quite a while now (www.moodychurch.org).

I lived through a serious bout with the flu, and later bronchitis (February/March) with subzero temperatures being the norm here in the Chicago area.

I survived the "subprime mortgage" debaucle, and took a great loss on my condo--which I no longer own. I am now, very happily, renting again.

I attended several weddings of friends who decided to "tie the knot"--and happily so. My friend Aaron Kuglin (in Decatur, GA) had a short engagement, and asked me to be part of his wedding...I was delighted, humbled, and honored.

I visited my old stomping grounds in Cleveland, TN during the weekend of Lee University's homecoming (www.leeuniversity.edu). God allowed me to see many, many people whom I've not seen in a long time...some more than 20 years. This caused my heart and soul to rejoice.

But not everything has been "so rosy":

I've fallen behind on my tithing and giving to the Lord. I don't like this feeling at all.

I've willfully sinned against God due to my own selfishness, and internal turmoils. Instead of running to Him, I've often run FROM Him. And I do honestly know better. I'm thankful for a Heavenly Father who loves me, draws me to Himself, and restores my soul. (No further details will be discussed here).

I've forsaken the wonderful Wednesday Evening Prayer Meeting at my local church. But no more...I will be there in 2008, regularly.

There is plenty more to confess, but this post can only be so long.

What "tomorrow" brings....

Well, it's New Year's Eve, and in less than 12 hours, we will be starting the calendar year of 2008.

My, oh my, how time flies....

But we have "this moment today." While I look back on all the successes, failures, wishes, dreams, nightmares of 2007--I can't do anything about them. All I can do now is to commit them to the hands of an all-wise God....who sees the end from the beginning anyway.

As Gloria Gaither so wonderfully said,

We have this moment to hold in our hands
And to touch as it slips through our fingers like sand.
Yesterday's gone, and tomorrow may never come.
We have this moment, today.

May I remember those profound, yet simple truths in 2008.

Youth With a Mission--Pakistan

In light of the tragic assassination of Benazir Bhutto--former Prime Minister of Pakistan--I wanted to post the link to a wonderful organization who is preaching the gospel of Christ to the people of this terribly divided nation.


We are commissioned to "preach the gospel" and sometimes this requires us to sacrifice everything.

In this time of unspeakable tragedy, let us pray for the spread of the Gospel in Pakistan.

Let us pray that God will "send forth more laborers." Pakistan needs more laborers.

Is God calling you there? Is God calling me there?

Ron Paul for President: A RESOUNDING "NO!"

I woke up very early on Monday morning (like 3 a.m. central time), and just happen to stumble into the living room, and turned on the television. Much to my delight, Channel 5 (NBC) was re-airing Sunday's MEET THE PRESS with host/moderator Tim Russert.

His guest was Dr Ron Paul--the obstetrician-turned-Congressman from Texas.

I was sorta glad that Congressman Paul was on...so when I would eventually "go back to sleep" I knew that I wouldn't be missing very much.

The man's insanity--for some strange reason--fascinated me. He was "railing" against government--while he's been on the Federal payroll for more than a dozen years.

He was "railing" against foreign policy--yet his GOP has had control of the White House for the last 7+ years.

He was "railing" against federal taxes (which I could partially agree with him about), but he had no plan to pay for "anything"...

This man was very unprepared drama at it's worst.

And how anyone could possibly consider supporting him or giving a dime to his campaign is beyond me.

It is a resounding "NO" to Ron Paul...and particularly not for President of the United States.

We must do more!

National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" program is doing a special report on our military veterans who are suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)--a very serious problem for thousands of men and women who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The link is http://www.npr.org/

Click on the left-side scroll that is labeled "All Things Considered."

My heart breaks to hear of the awful way this nation is allowing our military service personnel to be treated. Any person who is diagnosed with PTSD or TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) should be eligible to receive full medical benefits and treatment. No questions asked.

May God have mercy on our service personnel. May we learn to do the same.

Some wonderful music from yesteryear...

I first heard of Cynthia Clawson more than 25 years ago, when I was just a sophomore in college.

A friend loaned me an LP album entitled "You're Welcome Here."

I fell in love with this woman's minstry from that point on.

She has recently re-released some of the wonderful, vintage music of her earlier ministry years.

Check it out here:


My very favorites of Cynthia's music:

It Won't Rain Always
I Heard about a Man
You're Always Welcome Here
The Best if Yet to Come

You will be blest and encouraged by this magnificent voice and the message she sings.

Just in! My "evaluation"...

I received a holiday greeting from a long-time friend a few minutes ago, via this wonder called the "world wide web." I want to share it with all of you:

After serious and cautious consideration…your contract of friendship has been renewed for the New Year 2008 !

It was a very hard decision to make. So try not to screw it up !!! (smile)

My wish for you in 2008:

May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts.

May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet for $100 bills.

May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips !

May you clothes smell of success and may happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy.

May the problems you had forget your home address!

In simple words……………….

May 2008 be the best year of your life !!!

Thanks Al, I really, really needed that one today...and it has already encouraged me.

And I wish that for everyone who pays me a visit here in my "corner of the world."

Integrity and Accountability...in Ministry...

Noted author and evangelist, Carl Richardson speaks clearly, yet boldly to the current "crises" facing "Christian ministries" here in the United States.

Read this article:


Here's a good one...

Someone shared this on another forum. I think it's great:

'Twas The (Politically Correct) Night Before Christmas:

'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to "Elves".
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.

And labor conditions at the north pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.

And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.
And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops.

Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called "Unenlightened."

And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose
And had gone on OPRAH, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.

So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,
Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.

And as for the gifts, why, he'd ne'er had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.

Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.

Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacifistic.

No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.
And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.

For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football...someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.

So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.
He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
you've got to be careful with that word today.

His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.
Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;
Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere...even you.

So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...
"May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth."

This marvelous piece of poetry says so much about our culture and how far we have either progressed or drifted. I'll let you make the decision on the direction.

My Spiritual Home...The Moody Church

For the first time since 1973, I have become a member of a non-Pentecostal/non-Charismatic church...a true-blue, card-carrying member.

I remember hearing the worship services of the historical Moody Church in Chicago for many, many years before I ever actually moved to the Windy City. Thanks to the Moody Broadcasting Network (and WMBW-FM, Chattanooga in particular), I was able to join in the wonderful music, and the tremendous preaching from the sanctuary of The Moody Church on many occasions.

My very first visit to The Moody Church was in September 2000, less than one month after I arrived in Chicago. I fell in love with the place immediately. I made the decision (after much prayer and contemplation) to call "Moody Church" my home for the time being.

In October 2002, I felt the Lord pulling me elsewhere, and so I followed. For three years, I was a "card-carrying" member of another congregation in the city of Chicago. But I never forgot the wonderful "family" down @ 1609 N LaSalle Street.

As providence and circumstances would have it, I returned to The Moody Church in November 2005. It was an easy decision for me, once I decided to leave the former congregation.

Some two years later--November 2007--I became an official member of this wonderful historic congregation.

I am delighted...thrilled, honored, and humbled.

Check out the website: www.moodychurch.org

One More Day...

Famed author Mitch Albiom's book "For One More Day" is a profound gift to our nation and to humanity at large. It's such a profound work that OPRAH has made it into a primetime movie--to be seen this Sunday evening on ABC. And I hate this phrase, but it's apropos here: "Check your local listings."

But now I want to ask YOU a question.

If you knew, 1000% certain, that you had only one more day left, what would you do?

Who would you spend it with?

I'm absolutely certain there are some things I would NOT do:

Check my bank account balance
Mow the lawn (not that I do that anyway...my landlord does!)
Worry about what is in the kitchen cupboard
Check all the sports scores
Argue theology with those who don't see things the way I do exactly
Worry about who will occupy the Oval Office in January 2009
Worry about email or voice messages
Complain about the weather, traffic, or rude people.

What would you do if you only had "one more day"?