Posts

Building Resilience

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There have been several high visibility layoffs in the job market recently. I just saw a list of some sixteen companies that have cut back on their work force since the new year (source: mondo.com). Some of these have been large tech companies, but other layoffs have impacted the media, financial, sales, home décor, and hospitality sectors of the economy. The percentages of layoffs range from the lows of 1 to 1.5% all the way up to a staggering 20% of the company work force. This is an unsettling time for global economies. There are growing concerns over inflation and the possibility of recession in 2023. Groot says, "I'm dog-tired!" Families and individuals are facing many struggles these days. Some are unemployed while others are underemployed which forces them to take multiple part-time jobs just to pay the bills. Not only are these people feeling stressed about financial matters and time management, but they yearn for respect, significance, and a renewed purpose for t

A Rocking Horse Connection!

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Recently, we had a surprise visit from our son, Marc and our soon to be eighteen-year-old grandson, Ben. It was their second visit in just over a month. Since they live in Texas, it was a rare treat to have them with us at both Thanksgiving, and then again, a shorter two-day visit just after the new year to accompany me to the St. Louis Auto Show. "Giddy Up, Cowboy!" When Ben was here before Christmas, we caught him having a “rocking horse connection” and we laughed at the time. The old horse has complemented our family room, Texas décor, most of Ben’s childhood. I’m sure he can’t recall a time when it was not in its place in front of the French doors. During a second and recent time of connection, we were able to get a photo of him in a state of contemplation while looking at his cell phone. As you would imagine, his long legs were dangling down to the floor for support. In truth, he outgrew the old horse a long time ago!😃 We didn’t know nor did we ask what was on Ben’s min

Innovation! Acceleration! Exhilaration!

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For more than twenty years now, the guys of our family have had a tradition of attending the Saint Louis Auto Show. Grandsons have been added as they have come along and on occasion, we have even had a couple of granddaughters join us. Until our favorite near city eatery closed, the day used to begin with a delicious Cajun meal of gumbo, jambalaya, and stuffed crabmeat at the Gumbo Shop (Rock Hill). These days, we have opted for a great sandwich, chips and an Excel bottled beverage (Breese, IL - I have to get my Red Cream soda fix!) at Snarf’s Downtown MX just across from the America’s Center. The Dome plays host to the Show around mid to late January each year. It’s the Keppler way of welcoming in the New Year! Hey! It charges on this side!  The rave of this year’s show was all about the EV – electric vehicle! It was a bit “other worldly” seeing a charging station near each vehicle. And it was great fun looking under the hoods and trunk lids for an actual engine! There were none! Batt

Order in the House!

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For several days this week, gridlock has prevented the United States House of Representatives from electing a Speaker for this august body of legislators. Fourteen ballots had been cast in the effort to move forward, but to no avail. It would be on the fifteenth round that a breakthrough would occur. All week long, strong differences of opinion dominated the discussions. Every effort had failed to get a majority consensus. Finally, in the very early morning hours of Saturday morning,   a Speaker of the House was elected . This level of disagreement is unusual, but not without historic precedence. The longest vote for a Speaker occurred in 1856 when it took two months and 133 rounds of balloting to elect Rep. Nathaniel Banks of Massachusetts as Speaker of the House. The Gavel: Symbol of Authority During this present and epic Speaker election of the modern era, many have tuned in to their televisions to watch the actions on C-SPAN live stream. Each round of voting has been proceeded by t

You Are Special!

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The outside of our refrigerator is lined with photos, magnets, and works of art! Who would have thought that this kitchen appliance would become an album of memories and a celebration of connection? Every time our family gathers, adults and children scope out the latest contributions to the fridge! They look, they point, they question, they smile and sometimes the adults frown because they think that last year’s pic did not do them justice! 😊 "That's my brother, Karter!" Klaire exclaimed! It is funny how this tradition of our family is not exclusive to just us. As most of you have heard me say, Monique loves to spend her post retirement days substituting at the same local elementary school where she reported for duty during twenty-two years of active teaching. And on nearly every occasion, she will exit the front door at day’s end with one or more special pictures tucked into her bag that a student has drawn just for her to bring home to display on our refrigerator. How

Re-Entry and Splashdown!

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It has been an exciting month for space enthusiasts! (Moi included!). The Artemis 1 unmanned moon mission concluded on Sunday, December 11 with re-entry of the Orion space capsule and its splashdown and recovery after more than three-weeks. The mission, to and from, including a wide-swooping loop around the moon after 1.4 million miles, was epic. The images taken by the spacecraft cameras have been breathtaking and vivid! Borrowing an exclamation from the Star Trek television series, this mission into deep space (like the fictional Starship Enterprise) promises to take us in the future to distances beyond the moon “where no man has gone before!” "When I consider Your heavens...the moon and the stars... What is man that You are mindful  of him... that You visit him?" (Ps. 8:3-4). (Photo Credit: NASA) The 25,000-mph re-entry into earth’s atmosphere exposed Orion’s newly advanced heatshield to temperatures of more than 5000 degrees Fahrenheit. This shield had never been tested

The Songs of the Season

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I have been the recipient of a very special Christmas ornament for several years now. As December comes around each year, I watch and wait for it to arrive. I have two dear Texas friends who make this gifting possible - Wanda and Deborah Crossland. Back in the days of my seminary education, Wanda served on the search committee that called me to FBC Granbury as an associate pastor. Her daughter, Debbie, became one of Monique’s closest friends. Now, forty-five years later, Wanda and Debbie continue to be two cherished friends and encouragers! "Welcome to Songfest!" The ornament arrived the other day and took its place on my little Christmas tree that sits prominently in the family room on top of a media shelf. These uniquely crafted ornaments (on sale at the Capitol Gift Shop) promote the Texas Preservation Board that “ensures the preservation and use of the State Capitol Old General Land Office Building in Austin.”  Each year these collectibles have a special theme. The 2022 T