A lot of blogs do Wordless Wednesdays where they post a random photo.

Since I’ve been spending a lot of time on my other blog lately I thought this would be a good opportunity to do Wordless Week – just random pictures randomly pulled from my photos.

I will, however, add a few words so you know what the picture is all about.

#1 – Our first Christmas after we were married.

This was our apartment  in Xenia, Ohio where we lived while at Cedarville. (The “garden” apartment that looked out on various car tires supporting parked cars.)  Notice the beautiful living chairs we were sitting on. You didn’t buy much furniture on $5.00. By the way, Ken’s hair did NOT flip in the back – I think that’s the tree. I know it’s not his hair because he was a Cedarville student and Cedarville students did not have hair long enough to flip. Cedarville students also did not have hair on their face – unless they were over the age of 30 (i.e. professors).

I have no idea what I’m opening since we literally lived on $5.00 a week so we could pay school bills which did not leave a surplus for lavish gifts.

That’s my dad’s hands in the picture. My parents had driven down from Illinois for the holidays and to see our glorious apartment.



I thought about listing the stuff I did this week, but that’s not very exciting, so I’ll sum it up like this.

I spent 12 hours in meetings.

I spent 3 hours in the church library.

I spent 2 hours at PinStripes, 2 hours at Giordanos and 1 hour at Red Lobster.

I spent 2 hours in the yard.

I spent 5 hours at Ryan and Melinda’s wedding.

I spent 1 hour going through files they found in the church basement. (I’m 1/6 of the way through.)

I spent 0 hours writing on this blog (though I’m doing better at keeping up on the corporate blog: http://www.apparentlyblogging.awana.org

Sometimes we hear that being busy is a bad thing and it can be, but I also think being busy can be a good thing.

I think it’s perspective. If being busy takes the time we should be spending with the Lord, our family or friends, then it is a bad thing. But if being busy keeps us focused and keeps us from being introspective and dwelling on all the tough things of life, then it is a good thing. ( I don’t mean we shouldn’t think about the tough things and talk to the Lord about them, but sometimes if we have too much time, we dwell on the negative and that’s not good.)

I don’t think the Lord is concerned so much about how busy we are, but rather how we use that time and what our attitude is about what we’re doing. Busy can be good if we’re accomplishing something good.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)



My dad was fairly well known in the Christian world: he pastored a large church, he wrote more than 40 books, he had a radio program, etc.

But here are some things you might not know about my dad – even though you might have known my dad.

1. When he told people he was quitting his job at the lumberyard and entering Bible school – they laughed and said he would never make it as a pastor.

2. He was athletic, but because of bad eyesight, was not able to compete.

3. When he was a little kid he won a reading contest. He attended a special award ceremony at Princeton University.  He also won a little money which he spent on Bit-O-Honey. In fact, he ate so much candy, he got sick and never ate Bit-O-Honey again.

4. He did not like math and like all the rest of our family (three generations and counting) he especially did not like algebra.

5. His father (who was an alcoholic and put the dysfunctional in their family) trained horses.

6. His mother (who put the functional in their family) worked at Essex County Airport – the same airport where John Kennedy Jr. departed on the day of his crash.  (But of course, she didn’t work there then.)

7. He was honored with the Pastor of the Year Award from GCSA.

8. He was Moody’s Alumnus of the year in 1979.

9. He won awards for his homing pigeons including the New Jersey Homing Pigeon Concourse Association Winner for a 150 mile route.

10. He went “through” hobbies. I especially remember the African violet era and the tropical fish era.

Oh, and he doesn’t really have fuzzy hair – the whiteness from the picture’s background kind of makes it look that way.


Yesterday was fun.

Last fall when I was in Montana for the Awana conference (the conference where I lost both my voice and my jacket),  a lady approached me and introduced herself. Immediately I recognized her name. She writes for one of the publications I write for (and she recognized my name). As we chatted, she mentioned that she was coming to the Chicago area to tour said publication and she would also like to tour Awana. She would have her two youngest children with her. Coincidentally, her llyo has the same name as the 11yo munchkin so I thought it would be fun to have the suburban munchkin come and meet the mountain munchkin.

So that’s what we planned.

Meanwhile Awana needed a T&T clubber yesterday to do a product video which will be on the online store. So I signed the suburban munchkin up for that. She made history because this was also Zac’s first video he has taken for A. She is holding a mini-fan that has words on it.

So, then we were waiting around for the visitors to arrive and one of the members of the Awana leadership team noticed the llyo wearing her T&T jersey, complete with a year’s worth of patches – so he asked her if she would go in and show the shirt to the board members (who just happened to be meeting). Which she did.

The visitors then arrived and we took a tour and the two kids with the same name got to know each other. They are only two months apart in age and every time we called one of them, both would answer.

After the tour (which was cool because Art Rorheim happened to be in the building for the board meeting, so they got to meet him) – we went to Pinstripes. However, we did not bowl or play bocce ball.

Fun day with new friends.


When my kids were growing up I would often hear them say that they did something “on accident.”

“Why do they say that?” I’d ask Ken or he’d ask me. “Neither of us say ‘on accident.’  We say “by accident.”

But then I’d hear their friends say it, too.

On the way to work lately, I’ve been listening to a CD on grammar. The lady writing the book said that someone had done a research paper on the “on accident” or “by accident” confusion.

Funny. After doing mountains of digging into word usage archives, the writer of the paper couldn’t figure it out either.

This is how it is.

Almost all kids under 10 use “on accident.”

People from age 11 – t0 about 35 are a mix. Some say “on” and some say “by.”

Almost 100% of people over the age of 35 say “by accident.”

Grammatarians (not sure that’s a word, but you know what I mean) are perplexed. Where did this come from?

Barney is too recent. Sesame Street is too old. The consensus is that in a generation or two all people will be saying “on accident.”

And it’s not by accident I’m writing this.


So while the 9yo and I were on her BD trip to Jelly Belly we decided to go up the road a little farther for some kringle.

That stuff you get in grocery stores, wrapped in plastic, is NOT kringle and especially NOT Racine kringle even though it says Racine kringle right on the label. I mean, maybe it’s from Racine and maybe it’s a faux kringle, but it’s not the real thing.

Of course, once we got to town, I was in home territory; the place where we moved when the kids were in 2nd and 3rd grade and where we moved from when they were in their 2nd and 3rd years of college.

Other than the kringle and actually much more importantly than the kringle, the thing I liked about living in Racine was the close proximity to Lake Michigan. Our house was less than a mile away and often at night when all was still and quiet, we could hear the fog horn from one of the signal towers (and the peacocks screeching at the lakeside zoo).

I would sit at my desk writing for a few hours and then, for a break, get on my bike and head down to the beach. Immediately, I was removed from the drudgery of the day and away to somewhere vacation-like. Whenever we had visitors in town, we took them there. So I have a multitude of pictures of Wind Point with a multitude of various friends posing in front of the lighthouse.

We drove through town, passing the house and the school where the 9yo’s mom attended. The 9yo had been to Racine before, but the last time she was there, she was only 4 and didn’t quite understand. This time she did, especially when I said her mom lived there when she was 9.

She grew thoughtful and then said, “I wish I had a built-in time machine so I could see my mom here when she was my age.”  Pause, and then (knowing how to charm me) added, “I’m glad I’m getting to see it all with her mom.” Sigh.

We then headed out to Wind Point. I can’t remember the last time I was there, but the grounds (always well kept) are different.  They’ve made a little garden area with flowers and benches and have also turned one of the out buildings into a tiny museum and gift shop.

If you like lighthouses, Wind Point is a great visit.



Almost halfway through the year and I’m on schedule for reading 100 books.

Here are some new recommendations.

44. Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin – True, there is nothing new under the sun, but this book was indeed different from most I’ve read. Actually, I listened to this on CD and I’m glad I did – listening to it, rather than actually reading it gave me a good sense of the cadence in the writing which I think was due to the the book being translated from Korean.

This is a look at a family – a father and mother and three grown children – an older married daughter, a son and a younger, career-successful daughter. The father and mother have taken the train into Seoul, but somehow at the station, the father loses the mother. The book is the story of the family, told from each of their perspectives, as they look for the mom. As you move through the book, you peel back layers of the family history and what brought them to this point.

The other plus to this book is the glimpse into Korean culture. If you want something unusual – here is your book.

46. The Privilege of Persecution by Dr. Carl A. Moeller and David W. Hegg. This is another freebie I found on my chair at the EPA conference and another thought-provoking book.

This is not a “feel-guilty-because-you-have-so-much” book but rather a look at the people of the persecuted church and their view of Christianity.  The authors take us through several areas of the church: prayer, worship, etc., and how those aspects are different for the persecuted than they are for us.

Again, this is another thought-provoking book. Fairly new and published by Moody, it is easy to find.

47. Heart of Memory by Alison Strobel. Alison is the daughter of Lee Strobel (author of the “Case for …” books.)

This is a fiction book about a couple who has started  a Christian ministry of speaking and writing. But then everything falls apart. Someone has embezzled money (I won’t tell you who) and someone else has a serious health need. (I won’t tell you who.)  Meanwhile the daughter, Jessie, feels neglected as her parents dedicate all their time to helping others.

Again – a different subject.

49. American Lightning by Howard Blum. Usually I like books like this – but I think listening to this on CD sort of spoiled it. The reader was slow and my mind would wander between his words.

Still, if you’re into history – you might enjoy this.

In 1911 the Los Angeles Times building was bombed, killing 21 people. Many more were wounded. This was actually part of a plan to bomb 100 American Cities by the Iron Workers Union leaders – the McNamaras. Called by many – the crime of the century.

Most of the book centered on Billy Burns, detective who figured out who “done it.”  Clarence Darrow was the defense attorney and was accused of bribing the jury.

So if you like history, read it – but don’t listen to it.