Posts

M&M's - A Tasty Treat!

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The MJK's are celebrating another wedding anniversary, June 10th!  This celebration is just shy of the big one! Next year it will be "Golden!" I don't think it occurred to me when I met Monique Jeanne during our early college days that should we ever marry, we would have the same initials! Now, I can be pretty sure that Monique was doing all kinds of calculations without my awareness because after our fourth child some years later, she would acknowledge, "I really had planned on five children!" "Uh boy!" I sighed and said, "I didn't know that!" And I meant it! Our firstborn would be another MJK and so were the other three that followed! Six MJK's in total! Therefore, we learned to be clear when signing MJK as to which specific one of us it represented! I have tried to pull rank by referring to myself as "THE MJK!" The other members of our household have not be amused! Every once and a while, I will be surprised by how ot

In the Absence of Justice

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The following is a guest article by my good friend, Bill McGee. Bill is a Christian businessman in Springfield, IL. He is a leader in the community and periodically writes information pieces on race relations in our local paper. His desire is to both challenge our perceptions and promote constructive dialog through knowledge and understanding of racial inequality. Greenwood Massacre of 1921 Bill was the inspiration behind one of my most read blogs concerning the 1921 massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma 100 years ago this month. This tragic and calculated attack destroyed a vibrant business district and residential community. It resulted in the death of over 300 black citizens, and left over 10,000 homeless victims in its destructive wake.  This terrible incident has become the worst instance of racial violence in U.S. history! Having been largely covered up for a century now, the Tulsa massacre is only of late being given greater attention in the media.  Please click on the link at the bottom

Tortoise Repatriation

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  During the course of an average summer, I deal with an assortment of living things. Our yard becomes a sanctuary for squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, and a variety of birds from the beloved Cardinals to the bullying Bluebirds. We also have to control some welcomed pollinators like honeybees and bumblebees, but we're on guard against too many pesky wasps and spiders! We have had geese and ducks from a nearby pond try to lay their eggs under our bushes and “start their families” on our premises as well. Several years back, our dog Freddie gingerly rolled one of those goose eggs out of his mouth and onto the ground right in front of me. His tail was wagging wildly and the expression in his eyes seemed to say, "See what I brought you today, master! Do you still like me?!"😕 However, in the nearly thirty years we've lived in this house, I don’t think I have ever had a sizable tortoise (or turtle) take up residence under our rose-lavender flowering rhododendron plant though

Belts and Suspenders Etiquette

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This past weekend, I wore my mask into the church building even though the CDC and our denominational leadership agreed that those who have been fully vaccinated no longer need to wear a mask. This is something new for those of us you have only recently returned to in-person worship. I certainly welcome getting rid of my mask, but wanted to be considerate of others who may for one reason or another have yet to receive their shots. I’ve had a couple of portly pastor friends who would wear suspenders on occasions when they dressed up in a suit to preach their Sunday sermon. I’ve seen some who liked the idea of dramatically punctuating the points, especially their sermonic zingers, with a snap of the suspenders for emphasis!  I'm told that it's a fashion faux pas to wear both a belt and suspenders! It’s technically not necessary since they have the same purpose... securing trousers to avoid an unexpected wardrobe malfunction! Etiquette says it's one or the other! Yet in these

"I've Been Misunderstood!"

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  Monique read me the riot act recently over another misunderstanding! She had to make a quick trip into the school to retrieve some papers for one of the grandsons. I told her that I would remain in the semi-circular driveway. However, when I saw some parents coming behind me to pick up their children. I decided to pull forward a little so they could easily get the children into their cars. When she came out the door, she didn’t see me in the growing line of cars. She assumed that I had moved to the adjacent parking area and walked to it.  Waiting and fuming with each passing minute, she finally called my cell. I held the phone away from my ear when her voice became louder, “Where are you? I have been waiting here and looking all over for you! You told me you'd be right outside the door!" I tried responding in a playful, but sensitive way, “I’m in the driveway just outside the door in front of the line. It’s the white Buick with our initials on the license plate!" "

The Blessing of Diversity

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Rice University's Kinder Research Institute has reported that "Houston, Texas is the most ethnically diverse city in America." ( https://kinder.rice.edu/urbanedge/2019/05/14/not-only-houston-getting-more-diverse-residents-households-are-too ) That's a pretty bold statement and I could expect that some residents of Los Angeles, Chicago and New York might take exception to this research conclusion. I do know that it was the most diverse city I have ever lived in! From 1984 to 1991, I pastored in southwest Houston and witnessed firsthand how Sharpstown was undergoing demographic and ethnic changes. At that time, the Houston I.S.D. was a reflection of this shift with 125 languages being spoken within its school population. Our children were in the minority attending their neighborhood schools that were approximately 40% Hispanics, 40% Asians and the other 20% divided among the Blacks and Whites. Linking Hands and Hearts! Image Credit: clipart-library.com Our church was si

I Love Hero Stories!

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I love hero stories! I grew up with a lot of guys who inspired and entertained me as a kid living in a small town. Jim Carter lived next door to me and was my dad’s age. He taught me how to use a rifle and 410 shot gun to hunt (and yes, clean!) small game. Jim also played catch with me after school when Dad was busy servicing cars in our backyard auto repair shop. It was perfect for a kid to have so much attention! One of my favorite summer past times was to walk the half mile down the “old shoe factory hill” where we lived to the park next to the town branch. The park had two ball diamonds which drew some large crowds of sport’s enthusiasts during the evenings. I’d hustle down there to watch Jim and a couple of my uncles play softball for their respective teams.  Many evenings, Jim would be pitching in one of the games and my uncles in another. Uncle Charlie and Kenny (Junior) Keppler, drew some considerable attention as they formed a family battery of pitcher and catcher. Both Charli