Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

I hope you have a restful, thankful holiday.
"Did somebody say, 'Thanksgiving?'"

Monday, November 24, 2008


By anyone’s classification, Psalm 103 is a psalm of thanksgiving.

A thanksgiving psalm is written explicitly in the tone of praise, acknowledgment, and celebration. In them, confidence becomes realization, anticipation gives way to fulfillment.

Psalms of thanksgiving were probably used in public worship to praise God and to testify to his goodness.

They were testimonies to the faithfulness of God to his covenant community.

The frequency of these psalms tells us how important they were in Israel’s worship. God is glorified when his people give him public praise and thanksgiving when our laments are answered.

Psalm 103 celebrates David’s experience of the Lord. It is a soaring song of praise that begins with these beautiful words:

Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (vs. 1-5).

As you give thanks this week, forget not all his benefits.

As you give thanks this week, articulate:

- your personal prayers of gratitude to God for his material bounty,
- for the people in your life,
- for his presence in your trials,
- for his continued power in your spiritual life,
- and for the grace he has given you in Jesus.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What To Do When You Notice That Water Is Inundating Your Man Room…

  1. Set down your game controller.
  2. Yell for help.
  3. Move laptops, remotes and other wireless devices off the floor!
  4. Leap to the electronics stand and make sure the X-Box 360 and the 5.1 Surround Sound receiver are off the bottom shelf of the stand.
  5. Yell for help.
  6. Move all soft objects, pillows, comforters, rugs to a safe, dry place.
  7. Wood! Get all wood objects off the floor.
  8. Know where your shop vac is and have it pre-assembled for sucking gallons and gallons of water.
  9. Call the RotoRooter Man!
  10. Prepare for a few weeks of dislocation. Set up temporary “Man Room Headquarters” in the formal living room.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What I am listening to right now….
A few months back I was listening to NPR on a Sunday morning and an Irish group called the High Kings were singing the most exquisite harmonies. I finally sent off for the CD and it is really wonderful with mostly traditional Irish tunes and a couple of modern ballads thrown in. These guys are going to be around for a while. Their rendition of From Galway to Graceland is perfect.
At the same time as I ordered the High Kings I picked up Emmylou’s newest album, All I Intended To Be, and on first listen found it to be as engaging as anything she has ever done. I still rank Cowgirls’ Prayer as my favorite album. But I think after a few more sessions with All I Intended To Be its going to be a close second. She is one of the greatest singer songwriters of our time.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sweet Rivers...

Sweet rivers of redeeming love
Lie just before mine eyes,
Had I the pinions of a dove,
I'd to those rivers fly;
I'd rise superior to my pain,
With joy outstrip the wind,
I'd cross o'er Jordan's stormy waves
And leave this world behind.

The group Big Smith does a lovely rendition of this hymn.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I can almost hear Kenneth Branagh speaking the words...

"This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day. " - William Shakespeare, Henry V

I was overwhelmed last night that America the beautiful elected a black president that is patient and kind and qualified to do the job. I will always remember this day.

I will suggest that our standing in the world changed over night. I have heard from people in Australia already today who are rejoicing in our good news.

The American people did the right thing.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I was first in line at the polling place this morning.

I arrived at 6:10 AM and the polling place opened at 6:30 AM.

Within a few minutes there was a crowd of 60 – 70 people behind me. I went in and showed my ID and got my two page ballot.

I filled it out and then put it through the scanner.

I was out in 15 minutes. It seemed as if the line was only getting longer...

Apparently there was a woman in Grosse Point, Michigan who was denying Trick or Treat candy to people who voted for Obama!

"No doubt, parents of both candidates must have thought that they were being tricked when they read the sign that Nagel posted outside of her home that read “No handouts for Obama supporters, liars, tricksters or kids of supporters”. She actually opened the door with candy in her hands and asked the parents if they were voting for McCain and if they were not she would not give them candy and said that “Obama was scary” and when kids actually started crying because they were turned away, she stated ‘Oh well, everyone has a choice’. "

I think she is officially the dumbest person in the world!

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Change We Need

By Barack Obama from today's Wall Street Journal

This is a defining moment in our history. We face the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression -- 760,000 workers have lost their jobs this year. Businesses and families can't get credit. Home values are falling, and pensions are disappearing. Wages are lower than they've been in a decade, at a time when the costs of health care and college have never been higher.

At a moment like this, we can't afford four more years of spending increases, poorly designed tax cuts, or the complete lack of regulatory oversight that even former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan now believes was a mistake. America needs a new direction. That's why I'm running for president of the United States.

Tomorrow, you can give this country the change we need.

My opponent, Senator McCain, has served his country honorably. He can even point to a few moments in the past where he has broken from his party. But over the past eight years, he's voted with President Bush 90% of the time. And when it comes to the economy, he still can't tell the American people one major thing he'd do differently from George Bush.

It's not change to come up with a tax plan that doesn't give a penny of relief to more than 100 million middle-class Americans -- a plan that even the National Review and other conservative organizations complain does far too little to benefit the middle class. It's not change to add more than $5 trillion to the deficits we've run up in recent years. It's not change to come up with a plan to address our housing crisis that puts another $300 billion of taxpayer money at risk -- a plan that the editorial board of this newspaper said "raises more questions than it answers."

If there's one thing we've learned from this economic crisis, it's that we are all in this together. From CEOs to shareholders, from financiers to factory workers, we all have a stake in each other's success because the more Americans prosper, the more America prospers.

That's why we've had titans of industry who've made it their mission to pay well enough that their employees could afford the products they made -- businessmen like Warren Buffett, whose support I'm proud to have. That's why our economy hasn't just been the world's greatest wealth creator -- it's been the world's greatest job generator. It's been the tide that has lifted the boats of the largest middle class in history.

To rebuild that middle class, I'll give a tax break to 95% of workers and their families. If you work, pay taxes, and make less than $200,000, you'll get a tax cut. If you make more than $250,000, you'll still pay taxes at a lower rate than in the 1990s -- and capital gains and dividend taxes one-third lower than they were under President Reagan.

We'll create two million new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and laying broadband lines that reach every corner of the country. I'll invest $15 billion a year over the next decade in renewable energy, creating five million new, green jobs that pay well, can't be outsourced, and can help end our dependence on Middle East oil.

When it comes to health care, we don't have to choose between a government-run system and the unaffordable one we have now. My opponent's plan would make you pay taxes on your health-care benefits for the first time in history. My plan will make health care affordable and accessible for every American. If you already have health insurance, the only change you'll see under my plan is lower premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of plan that members of Congress get for themselves.

To give every child a world-class education so they can compete in this global economy for the jobs of the 21st century, I'll invest in early childhood education and recruit an army of new teachers. But I'll also demand higher standards and more accountability. And we'll make a deal with every young American: If you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford your tuition.

And when it comes to keeping this country safe, I'll end the Iraq war responsibly so we stop spending $10 billion a month in Iraq while it sits on a huge surplus. For the sake of our economy, our military and the long-term stability of Iraq, it's time for the Iraqis to step up. I'll finally finish the fight against bin Laden and the al Qaeda terrorists who attacked us on 9/11, build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century, and restore our moral standing so that America remains the last, best hope of Earth.

None of this will be easy. It won't happen overnight. But I believe we can do this because I believe in America. This is the country that allowed our parents and grandparents to believe that even if they couldn't go to college, they could save a little bit each week so their child could; that even if they couldn't have their own business, they could work hard enough so their child could open one of their own. And at every moment in our history, we've risen to meet our challenges because we've never forgotten the fundamental truth that in America, our destiny is not written for us, but by us.

So tomorrow, I ask you to write our nation's next great chapter. I ask you to believe -- not just in my ability to bring about change, but in yours. Tomorrow, you can choose policies that invest in our middle class, create new jobs, and grow this economy so that everyone has a chance to succeed. You can choose hope over fear, unity over division, the promise of change over the power of the status quo. If you give me your vote, we won't just win this election -- together, we will change this country and change the world.