Friday, November 30, 2007

Inflatable Blaspheme

Maybe you've seen it. A blow up, giant sized nativity scene with cartoonish Mary, Joseph and Christ Child with all the saccharine flavor of a Saturday morning TV show. It even plays Christmas songs that have nothing to do with Jesus. Ironically, it went up the day of Wayne's sermon on false teachers.

There ought to be a law...

I've considered getting a pellet gun and taking the monstrosity out. But tasteless as it is, it is a nativity scene, so I'm pretty sure that would be wrong.

I expressed my disgust to my youngest daughter, who shrugged and said, "Wal-Mart can only do so much."


Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I don't consider myself unemployed. I'm self-employed, working from home (though lately it's part-time rather than full-time). And I love it. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and it's become necessary to return to corporate America.

I had my third interview at a company only 3 miles from my home, and if I have to go back to work, this is the job I want. There are some truly zany people working in concert to help others. It's a growing company (not small, but not yet large) where innovation is valued. I find out tomorrow if I have the job.

Freelancing will still be necessary, and the cool thing is that some of it can be found through this company, and I can still service the steady gigs I have now.

God is Good and He is one good thing that will never come to an end.

Meanwhile, Mom is declining further, yet still she hangs on. God's goodness is often a tapestry with light and dark threads intermingled.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Give Thanks, With a Grateful Heart

It's been awhile since I've posted (relatively speaking). One of the ways I deal with difficult emotional situations is by withdrawing. I appear distracted and distant. Seems also that I don't feel like posting anything.

Mom is probably a few days from joining our Lord. My dad thought she was gone when he woke up this morning. She hadn't changed position and he couldn't see her breathing. It took him awhile to work up the courage to check, and when he did he discovered she was still breathing, but just barely. He held her hand for awhile, and, I'm sure, contemplated life without her.

My mother is simply the best there is. I have never doubted her love, never sensed a lack of support or faith in me. When she worked outside the home, it was as a nurse, making other's lives better. When she was home, she had almost limitless patience with her kids, and when she didn't, when we had taken her past her limit, we just had to smile and say sorry and the tempest blew past.

She has a quick sense of humor, inserting wry comments into our lives, and laughing at our feeblest jokes.

My heart skips a beat every time the phone rings, knowing that one of those times will be my father or sister in tears.

And yet I know a few things.

I know when she closes her eyes for the final times, she will be opening them to a guardian who has watched over her at the behest of God since she was conceived. That guardian will spirit her away to awaiting family and friends who have already met our Savior face to face. She will be in full health and whole body better than the one she had in her youth. She will delight in her new realm. And as she beams at her mother and father, and holds for the first time the daughter she never knew on Earth, the crowd of familiar people will part and the most familiar person -- the being she came to know at the age of 15, and in whom she has grown for 63 years -- will make His Presence known. And even as He welcomes her into her eternal home, He will also be comforting us who grieve her passing... even those of us who don't yet know Him.

And so this Thanksgiving I will give thanks for that which I dread, for it will be the best of beginning for the woman I hold so dear.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. May you be truly grateful for those whom God has put in your life, as I am thankful for you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


After an exhausting, jet-lagging flight I have returned to Orlando... to a powerless home.

Seems a neutral line had been corroded in the front yard, creating a horrible overload. It's been fixed through the help of a friend and the power company.

Damage? The microwave is fried, the dishwasher may be damaged, the garage door opener is busted. Charli's surge protector saved her computer, but fried itself with smoke and stink. Our clock radio is broken. All the other computers are fine... except mine.

In my office, the surge was so bad that all sockets burned and the surge protector actually melted. BUT the surge protector guarding my computer and other electronics seemed fine. Everything worked except the PC itself. Fortunately it's still under warranty and the CompUSA geeks think it's just the power supply and the hard drive should be fine. Unfortunately it will take a week to fix. Hopefully the power company will reimburse me for the other damages.

Joy to the world...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

CMA Awards

Staying at my parents, I have access to TV and I admit to looking forward to being able to watch the CMA Awards.

I was dissappointed.

I am impressed by the multiple ironies surrounding Carrie Underwood. Presumably when she was on American Idol, it was stressed how important live presentation is. She nailed each of her performances last night, but many of the veterans did not even come close (nor did many of the new ones). Another irony is that she won the Best whatever in competition with several of the performers she mimicked on American Idol and now she was beating those some artists.

Rascal Flatts is one of my favorite groups, but they didn't acquit themselves well in either performance last night. In fact I thought of the whole group the only outstanding performers were the brand new ones. Carrie Underwood, Sugarland (though I didn't like their song), Brooks and Dunn, and old-timer Kenny Chesney were the only ones I thought could carry a tune. Well, to be fair, Josh Turner did his usual job, though I don't think a bass voice lends well to solo singing.

Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley and the other new guy gave valient efforts but weren't anywhere near Carrie Underwood's level.

Part of it was bad sound quality, but I was dissappointed overall.

Eagles: These guys rock. Even subdued and respectful, they were the highlight (the lowlight was Leanne Rhimes who just looked plain scary. Thumbs down to the makeup designers. Still, she's a good role model in behavior, if not fashion sense).

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Is it Possible?

I had lunch today with a man who is not just a friend but through many points of my life a lifeline; a blessing from God.

He made a comment that would be wonderful if true. He said, "I believe that America has one more revival coming before Jesus comes back."

What do you think? While revival is completely up to the Lord and not man, do you think revival in today's world is part of His plan?

Monday, November 05, 2007

I know I'm a writer, but...

Back in the 80's TV Writers went on strike. As a result we have execrable reality shows.

So, do they learn? No. They're going on strike again.

Understand, I do believe writers are underpaid since they are the beginning of the creative process, but shooting yourself in the foot isn't going to improve anything... for any of us.

I guess for me the bigger question is how much money can I make scabbing?

It's beautiful, but...

The Northwest is gorgeous. Clouds snag on mountaintops visible from almost every viewpoint, evergreen trees make every glance a festival. The sky, when it's not gray, is the most vivid blue you've ever seen.

But until someone invents toilet-seat warmers, I'd rather live in the South.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Go Fred! ????

Hmmm, my Dad asked about my opinion of Fred Thompson and while I said a particular brainy friend of mine is very pro-Go-Fred, I'd have to do a little research to answer his question.

I'm pleasantly surprised. I'm impressed. He's not an actor-turned-politician like Reagan, he's a politician-moonlighting-as-an-actor (though he has quite the filmography).

Dirt-wise, he's divorced and has cancer. That seems to be about it. To his good, he seems to be his own man, standing up to the Republican Party when he thinks they're wrong. He is a lawyer, a former senator, and seems very up on today's innovative tech. He's got a strong sense of humor and an acid bite when he wants one.

I had been thinking Rudy would be the best bet to beat Hillary if she wins the nomination, but I was also thinking if Gore swept in and took the nomination that we'd be in trouble. I don't think so anymore.

Here's what I think is an interesting dilemma. I'm not sure Thompson can win the nomination (Republicans all look alike and Rudy seems to be the only orange in the orchard), but if he does, I bet he could beat any Democrat running against him.

Malissa's right: Go Fred!

Far More Important Than a 401k

I know it's mostly teenagers who read my blog (and teenagers at heart, Malissa!) I'm compelled to point out something more important to retirement than even a 401k.

Common civility and grace. Simple manners with our spouse built up before retirement will serve tremendously in infirmity and age. "Please" "Thank You" Requests instead of Demands (this in particular; when every call is a demand whether it's urgent or not, when a real emergency arises required spouse may not respond quickly, thinking it's same-old-same-old). Consideration goes a long way. I am here with my parents and they are both considerate to me, but not with each other. The resulting tension is thick, and resentment is palpable.

I find myself so convicted by how I treat my wife. What kind of account am I building up for our elderly years (which are approaching rapidly for me, but fortunately not her. Still, her arms represent a problem... who's going to push my wheelchair?)