Pain & Glory

“What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

Those memorable lyrics from The Grateful Dead (1), were running through my mind as friends described their challenging, decades long odyssey in the Church of Jesus Christ. I had new respect and appreciation for their courage and really a kind of foolhardiness in following after faithfulness in the midst of a merry-go-round of strangeness in one Church setting after another.

Thinking of my own family’s journey through the vicissitudes of life and Church the word brutal came to mind: brutal… brutally hard, brutal relationships and ordeals, brutal losses and brutal disappointments; brutal.

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Old Friends

I love coffee and most things having to do with coffee.

  • I love the smell of coffee beans.
  • I love my coffee grinder and the options on the coarseness of it’s grind and the amount to be ground. Am I making a latté? (fine grind and 2 cup setting.) Or, a pot? (coarser grind and 10-12 cup setting.)
  • I love a good drip coffee maker, and equally the look and engineering of an espresso machine.

But in all things coffee, second only to coffee itself, I love coffee cups most (we have over a hundred coffee cups and mugs.) I’ve been collecting coffee cups and mugs for about twenty five years. Coffee cups have become


My newest friends, from the YMCA Camp, Estes Park, CO

old friends and they remind me year after year of where I was and what I was doing when I collected each.

I have cups from across the nation and to a very limited degree, from around the world.

When I used to frequent Starbucks I collected their cups from each city or region that had one. I have Starbucks cups from near, Colorado Continue reading

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True Patriots

My wife Cathie is a true patriot; I don’t know anyone who loves this country more than she does. Nor do I know anyone with more zeal for this country’s return to goodness and greatness than she has.


imgp1050WWI era songster and Yankee Doodle Dandy, George M. Cohan, was auspiciously born on the 4th of July. Cathie, perhaps his modern day counterpart, was born on Veterans Day. Once, when at a convocation at our local university, the veterans in the crowd were asked to stand and be recognized. Cathie, never in the military, stood with them as her family chortled to each other at her mistake. But she had risen to give the standing veterans a standing ovation, her birthday relatives and comrades. We still laugh about that today, but
she is no less a patriot than the veterans she loved to honor.

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Pass It On, 2.

Mom was a a party girl.  Not a loose, bamboozling trollop but a really fun-loving person. She was weighed down much of her adult life with the labors attendant on raising a brood of eleven children but for all the challenges those demands placed on her her love of life remained.



Mom was an English major in college and loved literature, and while her tastes slid towards the romance novels in my teen years (escaping the demands of little children?) her books of poetry and Reader’s Digest condensed novels filled wall to wall shelves in our second floor closet. Mom left some of those volumes around the house, readings for spare moments she carved out in her day.

When I was still quite small I remember Mom taking her brood, in my mind resembling the ducks in Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklingsto the public library.  I loved the library and everything about it; I still do.  I loved playing in the donut shaped seats but more, looking and reading through the children’s picture books.  And from those early beginnings, like Mom, I became a life long lover of books and the worlds they opened to me.

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Means & Ends

November-8-2016-300x234In 128 days we’ll have a new President of the United States of America. Unless events conspire to derail one or both of the current presumptive nominees, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will occupy that office.

Even as I write that I cringe.  While both these candidates have their enthusiastic supporters, God bless them all, many can’t imagine life under either of these options.

  • How will those who wouldn’t/couldn’t choose either of these candidates for this highest office view them once installed?
  • How will those on the losing side of this election think of and interact with those in the politically opposing camp?
  • For those in the Church of Jesus Christ, my own backyard, how do we make sense of either of these politicians as our new, national leader, and as important, how do we think of and relate to our brothers and sisters in faith who supported a candidate we may be personally revulsed by?

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Can We Still be Friends?

If I vote for Donald Trump, can we still be friends?

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, if I vote for Trump, will you still love me, claim me, your-vote-countsown me as one of your own in the family of faith?

Or, if I sit out this election for lack of a candidate I can support with a clear conscience, or if I vote for a non-winnable third party candidate, will you think less of me?

Some good Christians (see Russell Moore’s blog) infer that a Christian can’t, or shouldn’t vote for the Donald.  Some infer that to do so is sin, or at least, shows an utter lack of intellectual acumen, or spiritual depth or simple perception.

Others equally well intentioned opine that not to vote for Trump is irresponsible because the net effect is to hand the presidency to the liberal Democratic candidate.  And still others say, vote for the best of the bad candidates to fulfill your God-given responsibility,
trusting that God will sovereignly use our means for His ends.

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Review— The Jungle Book

Cathie and I saw Disney’s, The Jungle Book, in 3D at the matinee last Friday.  We see few new films, and don’t often spend up for 3D, but based on a review in World Magazine and the previews we’d viewed online I was glad to both see it and do so with the extra dimension.

JungleBookI can enjoy even a mediocre movie if the visuals are entrancing, if they pull you in. And visually I don’t know of anything to compare to this film.  The integration of live action and computer graphics is so seamless that there’s no sense of being able to lift the curtain and see the man behind the screen pulling the strings.  On top of that, the movie is just flat out amazing in both characters and settings.  Hard to imagine a more fitting Mogli than young master Neel Sethi, or a better voice for King Louie than Christopher Walken.  Shere Khan is truly menacing as evil on four feet and Indris Elba’s voice for the tortured, twisted face and persona is spot on.

I found Bill Murray’s voice for Baloo too Bill Murrayish personally, though I know many others thought it a genius combination.  (His voice is so connected to his own droll,
downplayed persona that I couldn’t get past Bill to Baloo.)

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