Month: November 2015

Politically Correct?

2004 vacation 095

Apparently, this is what is required to be politically correct…


“If I could work my will every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.”




Happy Thanksgiving!

2004 vacation 095Thanksgiving is one of, if not my favorite of the holidays.  Family and friends share a great meal, good wishes and God’s goodness. We express gratitude and watch football.

I am blessed!

I am grateful!

ISIS and Paris

Because of Grace

We’ve all been horrified by the violence in Paris this past Friday. The death and injury toll has shocked people all over the world. But perhaps it’s the setting that shocks us most — a restaurant, a football game, and a concert hall. These are not war zones.

Eiffel TowerWe have grown almost desensitized to mass graves in Syria and religious violence in Iraq. We have almost forgotten civilian deaths in Ukraine and the brutality in Afghanistan.

In recent years, thousands of men and women, boys and girls — all created in the image of God — have died on battlefields and in conflict zones. But Paris? It shakes our confidence.

People have challenged the efficiency of European security services. “Why did they not stop this?” Others have suddenly been shaken from complacency and reacted in fear. “Bomb them back!”

Those of us who value life, who see it as sacred, who…

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“On Gum Control”


2004 vacation 095I love Seattle! Few cities have the character and unique charm of the Emerald City. Some might even describe our fair city as quirky. Where else can one find a giant cement troll “hiding” under a bridge? I know of no other city in America that displays a 20-foot statue of Lenin; not John Lennon, Vladimir Lenin!

One of the quirkiest features in Seattle has to be the Market Theater Gum Wall known locally as simply the Gum Wall. Located Post Alley just a few steps south of the iconic Pike Place Public Market the Gum Wall is exactly what one would imagine. Standing fifteen feet high it stretches  50 yards and is an artist’s canvas where patrons of the nearby Unexpected Productions Theater began sticking their chewed gum around 1993. The tradition stuck. Public Market officials named the wall a tourist attraction in 1999. In 2009, the Gum Wall earned the distinction of being named one of the world’s “five germiest tourist attractions” second only to Ireland’s Blarney Stone.

Some people consider the Gum Wall disgusting and unhygienic. Others find it quaint and endearing. Then there are those of us who say “all of the above”.

When I initially heard that the Gum Wall was going to be pressure washed on November 3 of this year for it’s first ever cleaning I was mildly disappointed but was then relieved when it was revealed that the cleaning was not the end of the Wall and that once it is clean the tradition will begin again.


People are a lot like the Gum Wall. We are at once unhygienic and disgusting as well as quirky, unique and endearing. Fortunately, God sees us as the latter. Some see us as one or the other and others label us “all of the above”. Every so often, whether physically or spiritually, we can all use a good cleansing affording us a fresh start and return to our life experience anew.

“So, I Guess I’m Purple”

2004-vacation-0951.jpgThe death of “ism” is exceedingly liberating.

Somewhere in American history, Republicans were painted “Red” and the Democrats tinted “Blue”. Republicans aligned with conservatism and Democrats sided with liberalism. (Of course, they have traded positions from time to time.) Based on this palette I have euthanized my “isms” and assumed the color “Purple”.

My blood may be RED but not RED enough for Fox News junkies and my alignment with the RED Party withers daily. My one-time connection with the BLUE Party as an 18-year-old was merely a rebellious reaction toward my very RED parents and didn’t survive a full term.

My individual opinions are unique treasures.

I oppose abortion – RED.

I oppose the death penalty – BLUE.

I support conservation – BLUE.

I support infrastructure progress – RED.

I advocate for the second amendment – RED.

I advocate reasonable gun control – BLUE.

I cheerlead the search for alternative energy sources – BLUE.

I drive a vehicle that is lucky to yield 20 MPG – RED.

I love Jesus Christ – REDDISH PURPLE.

I respect a Muslim’s right to worship openly in America – BLUISH PURPLE.

Politics frequently inspire division so I endeavor to avoid bitter and futile discussions on the subject. However, responsible citizenship requires one to participate in such muddy conversations in order to further the social and cultural common good. To do so one must occasionally dance into the political ballroom in order to be aware of the issues that affect society .

A possible next step would be to invent new words like “Libervative” or “Republicrat”.  But for now…

I am free! Color me PURPLE!