Baseball Bans Spitting!

What? Baseball bans spitting! What is the world of sports coming to?! In the last few days, Major League Baseball has finalized their decision on health and safety protocols that will enable players to take the field by August 1st for baseball's shortened, 60-game, 2020 season. In light of the Coronavirus Pandemic, MLB announced that smokeless tobacco products and sunflower seeds would be prohibited along with spitting! Yes! MLB has instituted "a ban on spitting!"

Of course, this was a wise and necessary decision in light of what we understand about how the virus spreads in community settings. However, think about how radical and revolutionary the ruling! (Sarcasm alert! "I now have my tongue firmly in my cheek!") Our 9 year-old grandson, Danny, has been practicing and perfecting his spitting since he began junior league ball over two years ago! What is he to think now that "America's Pastime" has banned spitting of any kind and in any direction? …

"Bobbing and Weaving!" While Looking Back!

Our comedic, number-two son, surprised me this Father's Day with a humorous and candid remembrance from the family past... "'Heads bobbing and weaving!'... you would yell at Matt and me as a signal to start looking for cars as you backed out of a spot in our three-row, 1986 Caprice Wagon. Kids were a precursor to the backup camera in those days. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I ever actually looked for cars as it was just fun to move my head back and forth! Happy Father's Day, Dad!"

The greeting brought back some fond memories of the old blue station wagon that served as our primary vehicle during the late eighties and nineties. That wagon was our version of the popular people mover of the time, the minivan, and it kept me from ever having to own a real one! 
In that social media greeting, Marc had reminded us that "back in the day" we utilized the eyes and ears of four children to keep us out of some vehicular scrapes with that "big bo…

A Voracious Appetite!

Marc is our family gardener! He lives in a climate that allows for two growing seasons and he takes advantage of both. In just four boxes on top of the ground, he grows tomatoes, green beans, melons, squash, radishes, carrots, hot peppers and of course, okra, a Texan's favorite! (Please check out this previous blog article - Some could say Marc has a "green thumb!" Yet, you would be mistaken to think that his gardening successes are nothing more than plant, grow and harvest. Marc takes great pains to keep at bay all the weeds and critters that come to share in his bounty!

One pesky intruder turned up with several comrades this season and went to work immediately on any and everything that had a leaf or fruit on it! Especially, the tomato plants! Marc thought at first that this was a tomato herbivore, but after some research, he identified this particular species as a "Tobacco Hornworm." (And no, Mar…

"How are you hanging on?'

On numerous occasions during these past months of coping with life-issues in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic, I have been asking this question of friends and acquaintances, "How are you hanging on?" I sense a lot of angst, uncertainty, and agitation in the expressions of many these days. I am learning that empathetic listening is therapeutic for others and for me as well. There are stories that need to be told and we are helped by hearing them and in sharing them.

Monique and I ventured out of town recently on a grocery run and to eat "carry out" at one of our favorite haunts. We usually frequent this eatery on Friday evenings, but this time it was midweek. We have only given ourselves permission to do this once before so we are novices concerning the necessary protocols that are involved. We refreshed our preferences by looking at an online menu while out front and then we called in our order.

Everything fell in place rather quickly. The order was taken and …

The Bible Is Not A Prop!

I was disappointed this week to see our nation's highest elected leader using the Bible as a prop on national television. It came about during the recent protests over the senseless death of another African American male at the hands of law enforcement officers. The setting for what seemed to be nothing more than a photo-op was the historic St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., one block from the White House. This church has been a place of worship for many American Presidents throughout its 200-year history.

The Bible is the Word of God! It is God's written revelation of Himself and His saving plan for the world. But the Bible is not a prop or a political ploy! A "prop" by definition is a "theatrical property, something to be used for a media production or theatrical play." To use the Bible in this manner or way is a misuse of this blessed and life-changing gift of God.

I received a picture and comment from one of our daughters this week. It…

Beware of Finger Pointing!

Dawson, our "sweet and innocent" (usually sweet, but not always innocent! 👱) four-year-old grandson, was recently disciplined by his thirteen-year-old sister, Chloe. She often plays the part of the "mother hen" when charged with childcare duties while her parents are virtually teaching. "Daws" later protested to his mother by explaining, "You won't believe this!  Chloe put me in time out and I really wasn't that naughty!" We love this kid's creative flair for expressing himself! He just may grow up to be a politician... or a preacher!

I've seen some televised images of adults at play during these early days of "unofficial summer" who are attempting to finesse their way around the need for social distancing. It appears that after weeks and months of social shutdown, the tidal wave of pent-up anger could not be held back any longer. Bill McKenzie, a local professional therapist, had an interesting interpretation of what …

Tribute to a Dear Friend

(These reflections were adapted from what was read at a recent celebration of life service for one of my cherished Texas friends. Regrettably, I was unable to participate in the service due to cautions surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic.) 

Monique and I along with our 13-month old son, Matthew, moved to Granbury, Texas in September of 1977. I had already been attending seminary classes in Fort Worth for a month when the opportunity came to serve the First Baptist Church, Granbury as an Associate Pastor of Education/ Outreach. As it would turn out, my office would be adjacent to the work space of the church's secretary, Kitty Best. Our work-day lives would be inextricably connected for the next seven and a half years.
Although Kitty was the church's only secretary, she was so much more! Today, she would have the title Administrative Assistant. She managed our office and did so without computers, WiFi/ Internet service, or any of the other digital amenities we take for granted toda…