October 29, 2007

It was highway trash pick up day. Those so inclined to participate met at the Krum United Methodist Church building at 8:00 a.m. this past Saturday. Here, we were presented with bright orange vests and large plastic bags. Several people who had not participated before joined us, and were quickly given instructions: leave cigarette butts and dead animal carcasses in place. Everything else needs to be picked up. Stick an extra bag in your belt—when the first one gets full,… Read more

October 22, 2007

Two people want to pray. People can certainly pray anywhere, but these two decided to go to a place where prayers are routinely said. There is definitely something that enhances prayers by going to a place that really is set aside for such activity. The atmosphere may quiet the spirit, the whispers of other prayers, long since said, may still inhabit the space, pulling us toward a transcendent experience. A really fascinating book, just released, called The Year of Living… Read more

October 19, 2007

Every generation and every culture has its own triumphs and makes it own mistakes. We can often see both the triumphs and the mistakes in our child-rearing practices. In the early parts of the 20th century, prevailing wisdom insisted that a child be picked up as rarely as possible and little physical affection given. From that, a generation of structured, emotionally detached parents emerged. Then we had Dr. Spock and the invasion of what was called “permissive child rearing.” Here,… Read more

October 16, 2007

Sometimes just reading religious news brings up enough bile to act as a weight loss tonic. First, let’s start with this one: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and its homemaking degree. In case you’ve missed it, check out this link. In truth, I’m somewhat in sympathy with the idea—homemaking does indeed need to be recognized for its value. There have been numerous estimates made of how what it would cost to replace the services of a full-time mother and home-maker, especially… Read more

October 11, 2007

I just read the phrase, “Information Cascade” and I find myself intrigued. An “information cascade” happens when one person answers a question wrongly but with a lot of confidence, the second person to answer it isn’t sure enough to disagree so goes along with the first person, and then the third person, who may indeed have the correct answer, decides to agree with the first two because he/she assumes that both can’t be wrong. Things just expand from there, with… Read more

October 9, 2007

We’ve got a brouhaha brewing in Krum, TX. Sounds like trouble in River City, folks. What on earth are we going to do about those people who live here but don’t speak English? Isn’t that just terribly rude and lazy? After all, we are educating their children at taxpayer expense. And yes, the above statement is a bit tongue-in-cheek. I’ve just re-read the letters to the editor in the Krum Star the last couple of weeks. In doing so, I… Read more

October 8, 2007

“Joshua, can you say, ‘Thank you?'” I wonder how many times I said this to my 16 month old grandson on my recent visit to Montreal. His parents and I are all seeking to instill in him good manners and what we hope will be a deeply ingrained and almost automatic response when someone does something for him. Please and thank you. Por favor y gracias. S’il vous plaît et merci. Bitte und danke. Prego e grazie. In any language,… Read more

October 6, 2007

Paperwork, procrastination and panic—they touch each other, each pushing the other to greater heights—or depths, depending on one’s perspective. And I, along with countless others, polished the art of procrastination to a mirror finish by putting off collecting my tax information until this past week. It all seemed so easy last spring. A simple filing procedure meant six more months until this moment. Six months! A lifetime, surely? Or perhaps just a fleeting moment. Certainly, my conscience was twinging in… Read more

September 22, 2007

“If only I had faith . . .” When there is an “if only” statement, it is generally followed by a “then” statement. So what is the “then” that follows the “if only I had faith” statement? Here are some possibilities: “Then” my prayers would be answered. “Then” I would ace my exams. “Then” I would get well. “Then” I would win the lottery or get a raise. “Then” my children would be OK. “Then” I would find the love… Read more

September 22, 2007

An article in Time Magazine speaks of a well known writer’s crusade against anything religious. Here’s how it starts: Christopher Hitchens once devoted an entire book to portraying Mother Teresa as a phony, so perhaps Billy Graham got off easy when Hitchens described him, in a recent C-Span appearance, as “a self-conscious fraud,” who didn’t believe a word of what he preached, but was just in business for the money. The celebrated atheist, whose latest polemic, God Is Not Great:… Read more

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