Watching You…Always

Regular readers of these humble ramblings remember a daring effort called the iPod devotional series. It was daring because I would hit the random shuffle feature and write about whatever song came up in the sequence. Because of my weird music tastes the concept was fraught with potential peril. My marginal integrity was challenged when a song by Toby Keith appeared on the screen but I gave it a shot. Other events and ADD diverted me from the series. Today is author’s choice and the song is called Watching You by country singer Rodney Atkins. The song is reminiscent of a very poignant song by the late Harry Chapin called Cat’s in the Cradle. That song piled guilt on a lot of Dad’s in the 80’s, myself included. Atkin’s song recalls his shock when his little boy drops a mild expletive after spilling his drink. The horrified Dad demands to know where he heard such language. He said, I’ve been watching you, dad
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A Gentle Balance To The Shack Attack

One of the dangers of Christian blogging is dealing with the spiritual hall monitors who seem to live only to smack your heretical knuckles with their ruler of truth. So I risk their wrath (carefully chosen word) with today’s post. The novel The Shack has begun a wave of debate, hand-wringing, defensiveness and condemnation in Evangelical circles. The book has been called dangerous, subversive and heretical by many critics. I didn’t know any of this when a friend told me that he really enjoyed the book and I should read it. Since I have a book addiction I soon was in possession. I finished The Shack last week. I thought it was a decent and often good read. I was challenged and touched by parts of the story.  And, to be honest, I was bothered by some of it. After finishing the book I did some internet research on what others were saying about the book. Some of the critiques were valuable and thoughtful. These writers pointed out
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Do The “Rat” Thing…

(Please accept this gently read previously posted article. Stay tuned for freshly minted blogs coming soon) WASHINGTON – Gritty rats and mice living in sewers and farms seem to have healthier immune systems than their squeaky clean cousins that frolic in cushy antiseptic labs, two studies indicate. The lesson for humans: Clean living may make us sick. That was the AP story that caught my attention yesterday. And I pondered the odd theory that these disgusting rodents may offer a clue to ineffectual Christian living as well. Let us explore. Associated Press Science writer Seth Borenstein writes about the recent research. The studies give more weight to a 17-year-old theory that the sanitized Western world may be partly to blame for soaring rates of human allergy and asthma cases and some autoimmune diseases, such as Type I diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. The theory, called the hygiene hypothesis, figures that people’s immune systems aren’t being challenged by disease and dirt early in
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Happiest Day Of The Year Off To A Rocky Start

 I was rummaging through various news sites and I found that today is the happiest day of the year. Since my delayed flight arrived at 2 in the morning and they couldn’t find our rent car I nearly missed this joyous day.  According to a scholar in seasonal disorders at a British university you should feel happier than you have all year today. Cliff Arnall has analyzed such factors as outdoor activities, nature, social interaction, childhood memories, temperature and holidays — data gathered over a period of nearly 20 years in interviews with thousands of people around the world. His conclusion is that for 2008 today, June 20th, is the happiest day of the year.  “People across borders experience happiness when they meet with friends and family and establish close social relationships,” the University of Cardiff academic reported. “We need some close emotional ties.” He used what he considers a “simple equation” to reach his conclusion — O + (N x S) + Cpm/T + He. O
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Devotions With Montgomery Gentry

Okay, I admit it. I like country music. I also like rock, Motown, jazz, pop, folk, gospel and classical music. But I once tried to distance from country in an ill-fated attempt to be sophisticated. To quote an old family idiom that effort was like putting earrings on a hog. I am a small town boy and my roots are in the hills of Kentucky. So I no longer deny that I have a few banjos and some fine squirrel recipes in my genetic pool. In addition to the chromosomal predisposition toward Nashville I am developing a deep appreciation for the honesty of country music. It is one of the few safe places to discuss God and country and marriage and old fashioned values without fear of politically correct busybodies getting their undergarments twisted. We all laugh at a few outrageously titled country tunes but there are many that reflect exactly who I am. A proud father, a husband who married way
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There’s Gotta Be Something More…

Monday’s are always an exciting time to walk the world wide dog web for canine friend Hannah. She found dozens of obviously urgent p-mails apparently left over the weekend. And she left more messages than I thought was physiologically possible. I thought I was going to have to hook her up to an IV to ward off dehydration. I have to say that Hannah provided the only amusement for this morning. My thoughts and prayers were wrapped around fellow followers of Jesus that are hurting today. Some are very close to me. Some I know only because they have connected through my books and blogs. This message in the cyber mailbox is typical of many that I receive. I really enjoyed your book, When Bad Christians happen to Good People. The problem is that I’m one of those good people. I have been a pastor for over 8 years and I’m done. I’ve been hurt so many times that I can’t
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Enough From The Horse’s Mouth…Let’s Hear From The Colts

Every dad leaves a legacy. I have learned a few things through trial and many errors about being a dad who is trying to leave a positive legacy. Previous installments detailed two ways to leave a good legacy. Love Your Wife Affirm Your Kids Today we will examine two more ways to establish a positive legacy. And we are adding a very dangerous twist today. I polled my three sons about my strengths and (gasp) shortcomings as their father. Those knee-buckling results were both sobering and encouraging. First, the third way to leave a positive legacy as a dad.    3.  Enjoy every mile of the journey The best description I have heard about being a parent is this bit of wisdom:  “Parenting…the days are long and the years are short.” In his book, Being a Good Dad When You Didn’t Have One, Tim Wesemann gives his readers a two-word piece of advice: “Lighten up!”  He says that adults laugh an average of 15 times a day while
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