Right now, I’m just hanging around – waiting to go get the oil changed in my car … and wondering what was in the tuna sandwich I ate (well, I ate half of it and threw the rest away because it tasted stale) at the San Francisco airport Saturday night that’s making me still feel yucky.  (And cost me $7.00!!!!!!!!!)  I have a rule never to eat things wrapped in plastic, but I broke the rule and I’m still paying for it.

Otherwise I’m half working and half taking a comp day today.  I answered a bunch of work e-mail and wrote my work blog post.

Then I cleaned the carbage (stuff like crumbs and kids’ toys left in cars) at least in the front of the car and copied some of Ken’s notes for a guy who wants to use them to teach his Bible study, and swept the floor and did the laundry – all the while wishing I hadn’t eaten that tuna sandwich.

Another thing on my TO DO list today is making reservations for the next flight I need to take – but after feeling sick for four hours in the air on Saturday and still feeling sick, I can’t get up my enthusiasm for another flight.  But eventually I’ll get there …

Oh, well … everyone has to have a Monday in their lives once in a while.

So, I’ll be thankful for the day – at least I don’t have anything major on the schedule.

Enough of that.  How’s your day?


I’ve just returned from a super quick trip to California to teach workshops at BASS.

Central California is a beautiful area – San Francisco, Yosemite, the almond farms – but other than landing at San Fran. airport, I didn’t see much of the area this time – though I did take some pictures of flowers and palm trees – just to give everyone in the northern part of the country HOPE. Spring is about to spring – in fact, all the fruit trees were blossoming and I even saw an orange tree with dozens of oranges ready to pick (but it was in someone’s yard and I couldn’t figure out how to get into yard to get a picture – or an orange.)

Thursday night I went straight to the hotel and looked over my workshops. Friday we went to Redwood Chapel where the conference is held.  I hung around the booth, talked to people – and then went off to teach.  Both workshops were well attended and I talked to a lot of people about a lot of different church experiences. I talked to a lady whose husband was planting a new church that’s opening in 10 days, a leader from a church where the ministry is going through some very rough times and a lot of people simply looking for new ideas to take back to their home churches. I don’t know how many people were at the conference total, but there were a lot!  John Ortberg was one of the keynote speakers, but I didn’t get a chance to hear him. A couple people from our group went over to the auditorium, but could not find a seat and could not hear him from where they stood.

Of course, one of the great things about going to that area of the country is I KNOW people. I so enjoy being with Tom, Marti and Cindy. And what fun to have one of the guys I met at Hessel Church when I was out there last year – in one of my workshops.

Then yesterday I made the long trek home again.


I posted this before – about four years ago – but I still feel the same.


I have three chronic pet peeves in my life.

1. People who need to come to a complete stop before making a right turn (although I revise that for corners with ticket-producing photo sensors. Please, please stop at those corners – and as my sister-in-law told me – COUNT TO TEN before you go again.)

2. Card thingys they put in magazines – (I am sure marketing people have a professional word for them  like Advertising Opportunity Inserts – but I prefer to think of them as “card thingys” that you tear, toss and trash.)

3. CNN playing in the background of my life.  This is especially evident in airports and in the breakfast room at Hampton Inns – though NOT limited to those locations.   The TV  chatters in the background when I last got my oil changed and when I get gas .  The noise just drones on and on.  Say you have a three-hour wait at an airport – the same political battlefield is discussed over and over again or the scenes from a plane crash are flashed every fifteen minutes.  (Always a comforting news event when you’re sitting at the gate, waiting to get on a plane.)

What is people’s fascination with this?  Can someone not just sit in the quiet for a few minutes?

Well, now that airlines are trying to get better and better and doing what they can to attract customers, the television once again intrudes into my life.

You settle back in your seat (although you can’t settle back too far because your seat needs to be in an upright position), you get out your book and are ready for a peaceful two-hour stretch of time when you can read.  Suddenly little TV screens appear out of nowhere and even if you decide not to partake in TV entertainment – it’s right in front of you.

Longer flights show movies and sometimes I’ve even seen some OK ones – although watching Chicken Little on the TV  in  the airport shuttle at 4:00 (yes, 4:00) one  morning was a little much to take.  On shorter flights, however, they can’t cram a movie in, so they show you a video which features clips from various TV shows – a little of this and a little of that – so much background noise to one’s life.

I discovered something interesting – every thirty days, the airline gets another set of videos – the North Video, the South Video, the East Video and the West Video.  So, If you’re flying south, you see the South video going and the North video coming – but if you fly south and go around the earth and come back to were you started, you’ll see the South video again – and if you kept doing that, you would never see the East or West video.

All this to say, I think sometimes we need the quiet.  The Lord says “Be still, and know that I am God.”   We need to meditate about the good things He says to us.  We need to talk with the Lord.  We need to focus on Him.  And sometimes that simply means being still.

Sometimes we need our lives framed by silence, not CNN.


I’ve been thinking about kids lately – well, of course, I’m always thinking about kids because that’s my job and because I hang around with them a lot..  But in particular I’ve been thinking about younger kids and the problem they have with distinguishing between fantasy and reality.

That’s always been a development issue with kids – at what point do they know what’s real and what’s make believe, but I think our society plays into that confusion.  For instance, take reality shows.  Take the one reality show I actually like – Amazing Race. Say, one of the teams has made a wrong turn and is out in the middle of an unfamiliar forest in an unfamiliar place in an unfamiliar country. You feel for them, sure, but you know they aren’t truly in danger. After all, you’re watching them, so a camera man or two must be right outside the picture – and the cameramen aren’t lost.

But anyhow, this confusion kids have was confirmed by a news report I read today.

You know that movie that’s been out The Princess and the Frog? I haven’t seen it, but I’ve read fairy tales before about kissing a frog who then turns into your handsome prince.

Guess a few too many kids thought it was all true. Unbelievable!  Reports from 25 different states. You gotta read it.


On a lighter side – my department took me out for a belated $1.00 birthday lunch today.  I chose Benedicts again because I like eating in a vintage 1800 house with a tree growing through it and out the roof.  It’s a breakfast place (open until 2:00) with omelets, fritattas, Quiche, etc. Here are some pictures of the tree inside and outside. By the way, I took these pictures last time we were there – so truly, they don’t still have their Christmas wreath hanging up.

I’ve talked about this before, but I call it the $l.00 dinner because of what we do in our department – which really works. For our birthday lunch, we get to choose where we want to go – and then everyone in the department gives you just $1.00.  So – if you spend more than that, you pay the difference. If you spend less, you make money.

The nice part about it – is you always know you’ll be contributing just a $l.00 to the birthday person. No sitting around dividing the bill.

Anyhow, my brother’s comment: Benedicts is to restaurants as chick flicks are to movies.


Ford’s Theatre is probably the most well-known theater in America – the place where John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln.

The theater is located in Washington D.c. and opened in 1860 … well, actually it opened as the First Baptist Church of Washington in 1833.  When the church moved on, a John T. Ford (sounds like a car) bought the church and opened it as Ford’s Athenaeum. That building burned down in 1862, but it was rebuilt and opened again as Ford’s Theater “a magnificent new thespian temple.”

Five days after General Lee surrendered, Abe and Mary went to the theater to see a performance of Our American Cousin.  John Wilkes Booth entered the Lincoln box and shot the president. The President was immediately carried outside to 10th Street. Already there was massive chaos.  (The theater seated 2,400.)  A man stood on the steps of Peterson’s Boarding House, crying “Bring him in here. Bring him in here.”  And that’s what they did, taking him to a back bedroom and putting him on a too-short bed.  Meanwhile, Mary Lincoln was brought across the street by Clara Harris who had been at the theater with her finance Henry Rathbone.  Henry himself was stabbed by Booth and once he reached the boarding house, he collapsed.

All night they worked on Lincoln, removing blood clots and fluid from his wound.  But the next morning at 7:22, Lincoln died at the age of 56.

We went to Ford’s Theater on my parents’ fiftieth anniversary trip.  The picture of the theater isn’t that great – but the box where the Lincolns sat is marked by the American flag. The theater also includes a museum which includes the coat Lincoln was wearing and a replica of the chair. (The real chair is in Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan – which I’ve also been to – but I won’t do a post about it because the chair looks like this chair since this chair is a replica of that chair.)

We also went across the street to the boarding house which is now part of the National Park Center and has been set up as it was the night Lincoln died.