Some things to "consider"....

More than 20 years, a wonderful colleague gave me a neat little book, Ginger Snaps: Fun Thoughts on Life and I want to share some of these "gems" with you:

Hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything.
To err is human, but it takes a better excuse next time.
You can't shake hands with a clinched fist.
There is no reward for finding fault.
Summer is when kids slam the doors they left open all winter.
Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
Any town is a delightful place if you are a delightful person.
Never confuse motion with action.
Time isn't your enemy unless you try to kill it.
Never cut what you can untie.
Don't put off until tomorrow what you can at overtime rates today.

Here's the "chance of a lifetime"....LOL

The new owner of the TRIBUNE COMPANY, bazillionaire Sam Zell, announced recently that he would entertaining selling not one, but TWO icons of the city of Chicago:
The Chicago Cubs
Wrigley Field

Mr Zell bought the Tribune Company back in December, and immediately started his "renovations" of the newly-acquired, vast empire.

I just cannot imagine WRIGLEY FIELD being called anything else. But Zell has already said that he would gladly sell the "renaming rights" to the Friendly Confines.

Well, Bully for him!
And since the Cubs haven't won a World Series in 100 could he possibly put them on the auction block as well?

If he does sell the Cubs, and that team leaves the Windy City, I would support a public flogging on the Magnificent Mile for Mr. Zell.

Love this music!

The ministry of Cynthia Clawson's music has enriched my life for many, many years. Right now I have one of her CDs (from the early 1980s) playing on my computer in the office--"You're Welcome Here".....

Few people communicate with the brilliance, balance, and grace that Cynthia does. She can sing just about anything.

Check out her website:

All of her music is just beyond fabulous!

One of my favorites...

One of the very first songs that I learned as a child was this precious, precious hymn of the Church:

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
The joys I feel, the bliss I share,
Of those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
Where God my Savior shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
May I thy consolation share,
Till, from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
I view my home and take my flight:
This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise
To seize the everlasting prize;
And shout, while passing through the air,
“Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!”

Dear Senator Obama....

I am one of your constituents here in Illinois. I voted for you in 2004, and was very happy to cast my vote for you. In my opinion, the GOP basically had no "candidate"--because Ambassador Keyes made such a fool of himself, and should have never been on the Illinois ballots in the first place.

But now, we are some 9 months from the General election, and it appears that you have tremendous momentum. That has caused me to think alot, and pray very, very diligently for you and your wife, along with those two beautiful daughters in your care.

Months ago I decided that I could not support your candidacy, and those reasons are already listed. Yet, even without my endorsement (which, along with $1.95 will get you a hot cup of something at Caribou or Starbucks) you have captured the attention, enthusiasm, and imagination of these 50 United States. Congratulations!

But, even so, there is so much that needs to happen in this nation. As you have well documented in your great book, The Audacity to Hope, we are standing on the precipice of some engaging times here in America. We are, hopefully, beginning to see the end of our occupation in Iraq; we have seen what an abysmal failure "No Child Left Behind" has been; we are discovering, much to our dismay and horror, that our military healthcare delivery systems are in severe disrepair, and can't wait any longer for the "bureaucracy" to do something. These brave men and women need HEALTHCARE NOW...and deserve it NOW....

And those are just the domestic issues.

Our foreign policy seems to be "all over the place." We have Iran, North Korea, and Syria to deal with. We have the incredible instability in Lebanon, the fickle Saudis, and the rest of the Middle East where our national interests currently reside.

What about our friends in Asia, Europe, Central and South America, Africa and beyond? I've not heard you say anything about these "vital interests of the United States." Why not?

Senator, while your campaign has made alot of people "feel good" and get the "chills, thrills, and tingles"--there is real work to be done. My question is: Can you surround yourself with the people who are capable of doing it?

Should you become President of the United States, you will have my prayers, encouragement and support. But, make no mistake, there are some SERIOUS issues that will await you on January 21, 2009. And then you will have to "man up" and lead.

Are you ready for that?

It's snowing again...

I really don't want to "complain"--but I've just about had all of the "snow" for this winter season that I can reasonably enjoy.

I've had my "Kodak" "Hallmark" and "Disney" moments already. I've had the "Currier and Ives" sentiment a few times since the first snow fall back in November.

Looking outside my office window right now, I see nothing but large flakes of white falling from the sky. Will it ever stop?

Of course while I am complaining, I must stop and remember that my friends down in Georgia are in desperate need of water. They've had very little precipitation in a very long time.

It would be my dream to just package all of this "white stuff" up and send it down to the Atlanta area...

But that won't happen. Even when I wish it could.

Thank God for the snow!


"Of all the names that we have for the Son of God--Christ, Master, Lord, Redeemer, Messiah, Savior--one that often gets the least attention is TEACHER. Not, perhaps, because it is the most esoteric, abstract, or difficult to understand, but perhaps precisely because it is the easiest to understand. It is the one that is the closest to us and our experience, the one that is the closest to our status here on earth. We know something about teachers and students, and we have been one or the other or even both in our lives. However, do not have much experience being Messiahs.....

Most of us seldom think of ourselves as the students of the Teacher. We are Christians: card-carrying members of institutions that have codified His teaching after all these years. In the name of becoming mature Christians that St Paul envisioned, we too often forsake becoming and remaining the hungry students whom Jesus sought out and called His own...

It has always been easier to talk about how Jesus said what He said and where He said it than it has been to listen to what He said to those who would follow Him. It is easier to talk about the accuracy of the Scriptures than it is about what it will take for us to enter the kingdom. It is always easier to wrestle over manuscripts and origins and time frames and translations that is is to wrestle with how we are supposed to live...

'The trouble with really seeing and really hearing,' wrote Frederick Beuchner, 'is that then we really have to do something about what we have seen and heard.' What God had to say to those who heard Him first--and what He has to say to us today--is a good deal clearer, more simple, and more direct than we would like for it to be....

And when the words of the TEACHER become too clear, it makes us uncomfortable, because then we have to choose between living out the lesson or clouding it over. Anyone who is trying to save his life rather than lose it knows that confusion can be a pretty good defense. At least, in the short term."

taken from THE BODY BROKEN by Robert Benson (Colorado Springs: Water Brook Press) 2003.

Somewhere, It's Snowing...

More than 23 years ago, I heard Candi Alford (daughter of Dr. Delton and Myrna Alford) sing this beautiful ballad:

I once read in a poem~ when snow covers
the earth,
That it hides the world's scars and
gives nature new birth.
And they say when a man turns from
sin to the Lord,
That forgiveness like snow covers him

And it's told that the angels lift their hearts
and rejoice~
When one traveler turns homeward from
his way to the Lord's.
If somewhere someone's turning, he's giving
his all,
Then God's grace like the snow is beginning to fall.

And somewhere it's snowing,
see the soft drifting down,
As the snowflakes surrender
to the hardening ground.
Like the good grace of Jesus, that now
covers our sin.
In the kingdom of Heaven,
It's snowing again.

And I've never forgotten those marvelous words, and the great truths they proclaim.

Right outside my front door here in Chicago, I measured almost ten inches of snow this morning, as I was preparing to leave for work. And these words came flooding through my soul:

"Like the good grace of Jesus, that now covers our sin...."

I'm so gratefully, unspeakably grateful that "good grace of Jesus."

When my heart is hardened and cold with the sins and failures of life--that grace comes and warms, cleanses and restores my life.

And I'm so glad that "somewhere it's snowing." Let it snow, let it snow!