Parrots Can Not Sing A New Song

Maybe it was the parenting book loaded with cliches written by someone whose oldest child was 6 years old. Or it could have been a concordance word search of strung-together topical verses masquerading as a sermon. Or perhaps it was the blog post that was nothing more than regurgitated words the author parroted from his or her favorite superstar teacher/preacher.The content of each was solid enough, I suppose. But in each instance, the speaker's words came across as an echo of … [Read more...]

Short sale by the numbers

It is finished. Thanks be to God.The contracts have been inked, the checks exchanged. We have been released from ownership our Round Lake, IL townhome. We were underwater on the property, and after lots of anguish and consulting with all sorts of professionals (and a bunch of amateurs, who each had opinions to share with us), we decided to try listing the house as a short sale. Our realtor and lawyer both warned us that there were absolutely no guarantees that our bank would approve a short … [Read more...]


"Exile, diaspora and pilgrimage."The words were not much more than a whisper, but the the Voice doing the whispering commanded my reverent attention. The words have been a recurring theme for me during the last few years, but I hadn't paid them much mind recently. Right before we left for Israel at the beginning of May, they came to the foreground again. When that Voice speaks, I pray I listen.Of course, since the words were little more than a string of nouns, I decided to fill in the blanks … [Read more...]

Falling Upward, Chapter 9

I’m blogging through Father Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward: A Spirituality Through The Two Halves Of Life. Even if you haven’t read the book, please stick around and join the conversation here if you’re facing a mid-life transition. Father Rohr offers us all some meaty food for thought.Here are links to my previous posts in the series:  Intro — Chapter 1 — Chapter 2 — Chapter 3 —Chapter 4 – Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 – Chapter 7 - Chapter 8 * * * * * * * Father Rohr entitles this chapter "Second Sim … [Read more...]

Review: While He Was Away

David and Penna were inseparable, bound together by the intensity of first love. Penna is a quiet 18 year-old outsider and the only child of a mother with whom she has a complex, strained relationship. She connected with David over their shared passion for art, and their all-consuming relationship created a cocoon around the pair, creating a sense of permanence and invincibility as they faced impending adulthood. But adulthood penetrated the cocoon like an IED as infantry member David headed to … [Read more...]

Shalom once again, Israel

Our fifth trip to Israel is nearly done, and it ended with perhaps the most Israeli experience of the journey: when we emerged from the Museum of the Jewish People on the campus of Tel Aviv University, our rental car with all of our luggage in the trunk had disappeared into thin air. There may be nothing more disorienting than standing on the sidewalk and trying to figure out how to say "Dude, where's my car?" in the native tongue.Through the kindness of strangers, none of whom appeared to be … [Read more...]

This isn’t ‘Jeopardy’, it’s Israel

Though I'm not a fan of the genre, the one TV game show I have enjoyed watching on occasion (usually in the company of a senior citizen) is 'Jeopardy'. Contestants whose brains were overstuffed warehouses of trivia about topics ranging from 18th Century European Composers to the Reptiles of South America. Debonair long-time host Alec Trebek's role is to give increasingly difficult answers in a particular category while three contestants vie to ask the right question.Part of our trip to … [Read more...]