Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas 2007 Dinner Menu

Being a semi-foodie, an annual tradition of my blog is to post our Christmas family dinner menu, once the chef (me!) creates and clears the plan:

Christmas 2007 Dinner Menu at the White Home

Salmon, poached in California chardonnay (vintage 2005)

Angel hair pasta with homemade basil pesto

Roasted corn with sweet red bell peppers

French-cut green beans, topped with seasoned, fried onions

Green tea muffins (homemade)

Vanilla bean cheesecake with dark Morello cherries

White cranberry juice

Caifornia chardonnay (2005)

Starbucks coffee, Christmas blend

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones! And remember... amidst the gifting and feasting, give grateful thanks for the reason for our joyful celebration: the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Our Christmas Arrived Six Days Early

Our Christmas arrived early this year... on December 19th, to be exact.

At 6:51 A.M, when Ian Maxwell Clark entered the world.

Yes, we were richly, deeply blessed with a second grandchild, a grandson, pictured at left with his beaming father, who happens to be my beloved son.

Mother, father and Ian are healthy, happy and at home now. Big sister Gabriela, 2 1/2 years old, is healthy and at home, of course, but not yet happy about this 7 lb. 2 oz. interloper into her universe.

In many ways, we're enjoying perhaps our most joyous Christmas season ever. Or maybe, just maybe, we're focusing on our blessings this year, and consciously noticing and appreciating all that God has gifted to us.

All four of our children, plus their two spouses and two children, will gather at our home this year (first time in three years!) for presents, festivities and a meal to celebrate family, traditions and God's love.

Like I do each year, I'll post our Christmas dinner menu once I finalize it tomorrow. Until then, savor the season...

And if you have the sacred opportunity this holiday season, hold a newborn baby close in your arms.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

From My Reading Shelf in Dec 2007

While I sit here for the next hour (as part of a 250-person conference call with York Times, for which I've freelanced for the last three years), I thought I'd fill these semi-boring minutes by perusing my reading table.

On my reading table as of today:

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, a Pulitzer Prize winning collection of ten short stories, published in 1999. Our book club (at church) is reading this volume for our January meeting. I read the first story today, and found it touching, deep and emotionally intimate. This author is sensationally talented.

I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert. A fairly funny book from the absolutely hysterical Comedy Central comedian. A birthday gift from Andrea. Should be a quick read, once I find a free afternoon.

Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes by Mark J. Penn, a senior campaign advisor to Sen. Hillary Clinton and a top-notch national political pollster. Sent to me by a publisher who wants a book review at my site. At first glance, the book isn't nearly as dry as it sounds. Penn describes 70 trends in American society in the areas of religion, politics, health and wellness, work, family life, food, money and more. Problem is... the underlying premise is to create a path for politicos to pander to special interest groups, rather than taking moral stands.

Interventions by Noam Chomsky. For the radical bent inside my placid, middle-aged exterior. The brilliant (and almost supernaturally insightful) Dr. Chomsky has taught linguistics and philosophy at MIT for more than fifty years. And he has an entirely different, radical take on all things political.

The Voice of Luke: Not Even Sandals by Brian McLaren. Ordered it today from Amazon on a whim while I was shopping for Christmas. Luke is my favorite of the Gospels, and Brian McLaren is a fresh, interesting Christian voice. Should be intriguing food-for-thought.

Any suggestions for other books?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Epiphany about Wealth

I experienced an epiphany last week that came upon me lightly, swiftly, like a butterfly quietly swooping into my thoughts.

The epiphany was a deep realization that more money, more financial security, wouldn't make me happier or more content.

Now don't get me wrong. We don't have a large bank balance or substantial investments. We're not wealthy people by any humanly measure. From 2002 through early 2005, Ron was laid off twice (both jobs outsourced to foreign countries) and unemployed for more than 12 months. And of course, we closed our beloved start-up business within months after 9/11. Between those three unforeseen financial catastrophes, our reserves were used up. Gone. But we were still standing, albeit empty-handed.

Over the last 2 1/2 years, our finances have stabilized, and, in fact, we're again saving. And although Andrea will off to college in another 18 months, she's a smart young woman, and will undoubtedly attract scholarships and grants.

My epiphany was profound because, I guess, I've always connected happiness with money in hand. A legacy from my parents, I suppose, who lived through dramatic cash flow ups and downs as I grew up.

But in recent months, I've witnessed unhappy people with plenty of money. Wealthy people with health problems that money can't heal. Even people for whom money seemed to complicate, not simplify, their lives.

If we had substantially more funds, we might take a more exotic yearly vacation. We might drive a newer car. We might even buy a small vacation home in the desert or mountains. And those would certainly be pleasant and fun.

But we don't need them. Our needs are met, and we are blessedly content.

This God-given revelation has brought me a new sense of peace. I feel calmer. And my blood pressure hasn't been better for years.

And that is a clear message from God, and a truly delightful gift for today, my birthday.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

$30 for This ???


For one medium, barbecued chicken pizza with cracker-thin crust, barely-there cheese, maybe a dozen tiny kernels of chicken, and a slash of sweet barbecue sauce. And for one plastic cup topped with a grinning Chuck E. Cheese, plus a handful of tokens for kiddie rides. No drinks.

And for 90 uninterrupted minutes watching our 2 1/2 year old granddaughter experience pure joy with an abandonment only felt by young children.

Yes, $30 is a ridiculous over-charge for services provided by this popular emporium.

And yes, our time shared there with Gabriela was, indeed, priceless beyond words.

But we seriously need to buy some stock in Chuck E. Cheese...

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Biblical Lesson of Al Gore, Jr.

"And we know in all things that God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." --- Romans 8:28

These words by Paul have always been one of my favorite biblical passages. I once told that to a pastor who dismissively commented, "Yes, I suppose it's comforting... "
To me, these words are about faith more than comfort... having faith that things we don't understand, things we abhor, things that are tragic or painful are ultimately part of God's plan for good.

Today. Albert Gore, Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize, perhaps the highest accord that can be awarded to any person. My heart has always broken for him after his victory in the 2000 U.S. presidential election was stolen from him... and our country.

Unlike most poiticians, Mr. Gore is a decent, honorable man. In my political reporting, I've learned of many unsung good deeds of compassion he's done for everyday Americans. He purposely performs humanitarian gestures away from the cameras and press.

God had a another purpose for Mr. Gore than the presidency. And that purpose was extraordinarily vital to our world...

Amidst his agony and jagged disappointment, Gore kept going and kept faith. And ultimately, he didn't lost his astonishing, resilient drive to use his God-given gifts.

Said the Nobel Prize committee, Al Gore "is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.”

To me, Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize has nothing to do with partisan vindication or political victory.

Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize illustrates... and confirms again... my faith "that God works for the good of those who love him." And for the good of the world, as well.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Kidney Stone Surgery

Ron had kidney stone surgery two days ago.

The surgery was planned for a few weeks, and Ron will be deeply relieved to be rid of his kidney stone pain.

But the hospital process is a tiring, anxiety-provoking experience in itself. Mind you... the doctors are brilliant, the nurses kind and superbly capable, and the support staff pleasant and helpful.

But the longer-than-expected surgery, excruciating waits, interrupted sleep, hospital and drug protocols, and of course, the endless tests: blood tests, blood pressure readings, temperature taking, and because he's diabetic, blood sugar monitoring. He's connected to tubes and drips, needles and flashing, beeping monitors.

My heart breaks for him, as I wear a cheerful smile and positive spirit. He's tired and hurts. And I love him.

A one-night stay evolved into two nights due to inflammation between his kidneys and bladder which impeded the flow of liquids. A catheter was inserted last night between the two, and he feels horribly uncomfortable today.

This morning, the doctor promised he's come home today, but we await word when radiology can schedule removal of a shunt. And we quietly fear that, like yesterday, the procedure won't occur until the evening shift.

And we worry that two nights will become three.

And I wonder if this supposedly innocuous surgery has done damage to his kidneys.

And I love him and would do anything to make this better for him...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Lord, Keep Your Arm Around My Shoulder...

On an irresistible shopping whim, I bought two adorable decorative wall placards emblazoned with mottos.

Words of wisdom on Andrea's placard: Dare to be different!

Words of prayer on my placard: Lord, Keep Your Arm Around My Shoulder and Your Hand Over My Mouth.

Finding Daily Peace

Saw my doctor this week for a six-month blood pressure "check & chat," as I call my medical ritual for the past eight (or so) years.

The great news is that I lost almost ten pounds. Smart exercise, good eating habits, a change or two in my diet... finally, I seem to have found a healthy, middle-aged rhythm. And I feel good... am headed in the right direction.

BUT. My blood pressure was up again at way-too-high levels. Truth is, I'm not handling the busyness of life all that well. I'm stressed out with too much to do, too many self-expectations, and an overloaded family calendar.

And I must be honest... my family just doesn't get the blood pressure thing. They love me. Adore me. But Ron and Andrea are energized, even soothed, by rushing around. They both thrive on constant hustle and bustle. I don't. It stresses me out. It exhausts.

Ron and Andrea never, never remember to slow down to meet my needs for serenity. And they never will for very long. It's not in their natural temperaments.

I confess: I play the "You don't love me game." I accommodate their lives endlessly. Why can't I receive a bit of accommodation in return? My truth is that it DOES anger me. (Why, oh why, can't they be more like... well, me???)

As I write this, though, I realize I'm throwing one of those pity parties for myself over this. Clearly, I need to do a better job of meeting my own needs and reaching out to God to meet them. I can't control my family, and I certainly can change no one but myself.

So starting this week, I'm spending 20 to 30 minutes each weekday morning in meditation... deep-breathing, clearing my mind, feeling my tensed body relax, savoring silence. Just me and God.

And I'm starting to feel more Peace.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What Do I Value in Church Attendance?

I haven't been to church in four weeks, which is probably my longest church-drought for over twenty years.

My absence from church wasn't planned. The first two Sundays, we were on vacation out of town. The third Sunday, I had an unbreakble work commitment. Last Sunday, Ron, Kevin and Andrea played a special, celebratory round of golf, and I was home alone. I opted to drink coffee and savor the sacred silence.

We'll be back in the pews this Sunday. That was never in question.

What is in question is how I feel, separated from church for a month. The answer? I feel just fine, thank you. But there is something I miss...

I don't feel guilty, of course, as I know God loves me, and is present with me wherever I may wander. And I know that God doesn't keep a scorecard on my church attendance.

I don't miss the soaring music, as I have many dozens of praise songs here on my handy laptop.

I don't miss the sermons, even though the sermons at our church are heartfelt, meaningful and attention-holding. I've heard sermons for over forty years. In truth, I've likely reached my lifetime mandatory minimum number of sermons, if there is such a quota.

I don't miss sprucing up on Sunday mornings, when I could be home, sans makeup and wearing my comfiest clothes.

I don't miss being asked to donate time and treasure to this or that or something else. I don't mind helping out, and do so with a cheerful heart, happy to do my part. But I don't need to go to church to find opportunities to give. The world is full of need and hurt.

What I miss are the smiles and hugs of friends, and mine for them. I miss catching up with others. I miss being greeted by pastors who know my name. I miss being part of Christian community... worshipping, singing, clapping, laughing, mourning, talking, celebrating, sipping coffee together.

We're not lonely people. We have a few very close friends, and we have plenty of family. We're blessed with friendly neighbors, and have plenty of work compadres.

But there's something special... something spiritually uplifting... about being together with others in Christ. And being bound together with our Christian family in common causes.

Sometimes, it's good to realize once again what we value in church attendance.

Can't wait to get back this Sunday...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Vacation Day Spent Well

We spent most of the day resting our spirits and minds by watching Rocky Mountain clouds float across a blue topaz sky, and dangling our feet in the icy cold river...

(Photo by Deborah White)

Rocky Mountain Moments

Today, Ron and I have the rare gift of an unplanned, unprogrammed, unwired, un-cell phoned, childless, parentless (my 80 year old mom and dad live nearby) day together amid this lovely Rocky Mountain scenery outside our front door.

As I write this early morning missive, I'm soothed by the babble of the Fall River. Ron is asleep in our tiny condo's comfy down bed. The scent of fresh coffee fills the cold air.

We plan a light, leisurely breakfast followed by a stroll along the river. Later, we may venture into the charming shops in town. Tonight, we'll cuddle and enjoy... uninterrupted (!)... a movie in, as we did last night.

I plan to take photos and to press this day forever into my memory. But I think the real enjoyment is in the doing and feeling, not the remembering.

Life is fleeting, and Ron has struggled with hs health these past few years. He still struggles, and more tests lie ahead when we return home next week.

God never promises tomorrow to anyone. But today will be glorious and golden...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Breaking Obsessions and the Scent of Roses

I don't know if other families obsess about particular issues, but the three of us in our home have our pet preoccupations. And we bore each other, and others, with our hyper-interest on the topics.

So we've decided to call a truce. Ron, Andrea and I can and will talk freely about our obsessions in the normal course of conversation... but we each promise to be aware of how we bore others with it. And how we fail to notice the beauty of this wonderful life when we focus too intently on one tiny aspect of our existence.

My mania is politics. Since I write about it professionally, I must stay plugged in. And on many an evening, I rattle on and on ad naseum at the dinner table about Obama this and Hillary that. Or George Bush this and Dick Cheney that.

I care passionately about our great country, and this is my way if contributing to its welfare. But after a rant exceeds 10 minutes, their eyes glaze over. While I'm getting worked up, they're tuning out.

Ron's focus as a diabetic is his health. He takes five prescriptions daily, including a twice daily injection. And he must measure his blood sugar several times daily. Of course he focuses on his health. Disciplined focus is the key to his very survival.

But it's easy to succumb to a constant victim/patient mentality, and become over-absorbed by a chronic illness. It's easy for an illness to become an identity. And life is about more than keeping one's body alive and healthy.

Andrea is an exceptional high school student, and is being heavily recruited by many dozens of excellent universities. Unchecked, it's all she talks about. Not in an arrogant way... but in an exuberant way.

She's glimpsed the green, green pastures of college life, and she can already taste the heady freedom of dorm life without mom and dad. The vision is pure nirvana for any sixteen year old. But she talks about college choices constantly.
At dusk yesterday, she joined me outside as I was watering my roses and herb plants. And she started in on Cal Tech this and Yale that.

Running hose in hand, I turned and asked if we could talk about something else. That lately, college is the only subject we ever talk about, and I'd love to know about books, movies, music , friends she cares about. Anything but college all the time...

Puzzled, she shrugged and went inside.

I continued to water roses. Yellow, peach, whisper pink and crimson roses. And I stopped, for once, and smelled the roses...

And the scent was lovelier than I remembered.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Magic Kingdom

My earliest memory dates to the summer of 1955, when I was a few months shy of four years old. I remember my feelings and the sights as if it was yesterday, not five decades ago.

A vast, empty parking lot, with few people and almost no other cars.

Red and white striped tents gleaming under the perfect California sun. Curious carnival rides poking into the skyline. Booths selling books of entrance tickets. Planters and planters of manicured red and yellow rose bushes. And Mickey and Minnie Mouse, greeting me, my baby brother, and mom and dad.

I vividly recall staring... really staring... at the tents from the parking lot. My childish imagination sparked with the unexpected promise of a bigger, more interesting world than I knew on our suburban street lined with one-story tract homes.

Sleeping Beauty's castle. A terrifying boat ride through the African jungle. Dumbos soaring children aloft in the afternoon sky. A circus train, with monkey cages for parents.

To children today, the terms "magical kingdom" and "the happiest place on earth" are stupid marketing hype. Every major American city has multiple amusement parks. And Disneyland of 1955 pales when compared to the common technological miracles of the 21st century.

But my deep sense of wonder that sublime, youthful moment was the seed of my creative life.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Meaning and Loneliness

I'm struck by how lonely so many older folks are, particularly those who are single.

My father-in-law, who became a widower last year after 55 years of marriage, still lives in their three-bedroom, two-bathroom gated-community home with living room, formal dining room and family room and with full backyard and garden. He lives 400 miles from us.

He does well compared to most seniors. He swims at the Y weekly, plays golf several times monthly, and attends church most Sundays. He cooks for himself, and is regularly invited to family barbecues and special occasions.

But Dad watches TV for many hours each day. He waits desperately for people to call or visit him, yet he's wholly uncomfortable reaching to others. He refuses to learn the internet.

He's alone. He's lonely. And no real idea of how to be happy, or even what happiness might be, without his wife.

We have a sixty-something neighbor who spent the last ten years taking care of her recently deceased mother.

Our neighbor, a avid quilter, is not employed, and was divorced decades ago. Her son and his family live nearby. She sees them at church weekly, and they stop by at least once a week. She has a brother in the area, too.

She, too is lonely and usually alone. And she, too, seems to have little grasp of how to lead a more involved, people-friendly life, or to move beyond her small world.

I feel genuine empathy for them. But I also wonder... are they fulfilled? Do they believe they live meaningful lives?

And I think... what if I was single again? Kids grown and gone. No full-time employment responsibilities. Would I, too, spend my day watching TV, exercising and dabbling at my hobbies?

Or would I reach out to find more meaning beyond myself?

It's odd... I fear leading a meaningless life, focused on ME, more than I do being lonely or alone.

Does a person feel lonely when their life has meaning?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I haven't posted lately for any particular reason... other than I just don't feel like writing or working. I feel like loafing.

The sky is baby blue. The sunshine is luxuriously warming.

My roses and geraniums are blooming in brilliant pink, orange, yellow and fuschia. Fragrances from my new herb garden of rosemary, lavender and sweet basil fill the air. The green, soft grass is comfortably shaggy.

All I feel like doing is sipping iced tea and dreaming over a well-written novel...

So that's what I did today instead of work. AndI feel fine about that... :)
(Photo is of the most beautiful rose garden I've ever seen: the famed Portland, Oregon public rose gardens.)

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Meaning of Luke 18: 17

While enjoying our precious two-year-old granddaughter on Easter, I was strongly reminded of the meaning of Luke 18: 17:

"I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

Her wholehearted joy at hunting plastic Easter eggs and eating chocolate bunnies...

Her absolute, unquestioning trust in her parents and grandparents...

And... bestill my heart... her sweetness when, for the first time, she folded her little hands and joined her family in prayer before Easter dinner.

At the end of Ron's prayer, she smiled impishly and shouted at the top of her lungs, "AMEN!!!"

Yes, God, I hear you... the faith of a little child!

Saturday, April 07, 2007


By the grace of God, He is risen.

By the grace of God, mankind has hope for salvation.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Of Losing and Saving

No particular reason to post this biblical passage, other than I picked up my Bible, and it fell open to this page. And the passage leapt out at me...

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said:
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?"
--- Mark 8: 34-36

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sweet Words: "No Hyperplasia or Carcinoma"

Good news: my uterine biopsy came back 100% negative, with "no hyperplasia or carcinoma identified."

Great news, actually. Some minor nuisance matters to attend to, but nothing serious. More about comfort than health.

Ron and I are grateful to God, and grateful for top-notch doctors. And we both feel tired tonight... very tired.

Thank you to all who prayed for this test result. We love you.

His sun is shining today!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Keeping Quiet about My Uterine Biopsy

I underwent a uterine biopsy yesterday. It was unexpected... I started showing telltale symptoms only last week. My longtime doctor promptly sent me to an experienced specialist.

My research, and the specialist's preliminary comments, point to good results, with no or pre-cancerous cells for endometrial cancer. I will receive test results next week. Early-stage endometrial cancer has a cure rate of more than 90%.

To my surprise, I don't feel afraid. At least not yet.

Maybe it doesn't seem real. Or maybe I feel in good medical hands. Or maybe I feel God's presence. I don't know.

What's most disconcerting right now is the reaction of the few people who know: Pity. Sadness. Mild fear (of what, I'm not sure).

My mother's lifelong best friend... a strong Christian woman... battled cancer for over 25 years. She dealt gracefully with various indignities, and she led a wonderful and active life by anyone's measure. She passed away last summer in a car accident, in her late 70s.

I don't want to tell anyone else, because I don't want their sorrow or pity. I am fine, and I am blessed.

One thing, though. Nothing like the "C-word" to cause one to rethink priorities.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Making Room for Joy

I like this photo of Andrea and me.

It was taken on Saturday, March 10, 2007 at a wine-filled dinner hosted by York Times Co. in a delightfully noisy and busy San Diego restaurant. Ron and Andrea had never before met my co-workers, who are all writers and editors.

The three of us had fun in Old Town San Diego the night before, and on Saturday, Ron and Andrea toured the campus of UC San Diego.

Today, I had a doctor's appointment, and I have health issues to work on. At my age of 55, I'm starting to grasp that earthly time is limited. We lost a friend to cancer in 2005, and Ron's mother in 2006.

Driving home from the doctor's office this morning, I spied a church marquee that read, "Seize Joy Today."

Times with loved ones, like last weekend in San Diego when this photo was taken, are precious. I need to make more room for joyful, memorable times.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I don't know if my heart is breaking or soaring...

I don't know if my heart is breaking or soaring...

Our beloved youngest, a sophomore in high school, is an extraordinary student (and a lovely, generous person, if I may say so). God wired her brain differently than anyone else I've ever known well. She actually doesn't study all that much.

She took the PSATs as a test run last fall, without one minutes' prep. And scored in the top 1/2 of 1% of all test-takers nationwide. The scores were published in early January, and our lives haven't been the same.

In the last six weeks, we've been contacted by more than 40 colleges and universities from around the country. Columbia, Brown, Caltech, Northwestern, U of Chicago, Duke, Tulane, Emory, Rice, Washington & Lee.

The "Little Ivies": Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore. The "Womens' Ivies": Smith, Bryn Mawr, Barnard, Wellesley. And public universities: Universities of Washington, Illinois, Florida, Delaware.

Stanford and UCLA invited her to attend classes this summer on their campuses. She was asked to participate in the national Junior Statesman program at Yale, Princeton and Georgetown.

We're proud. We're happy. And we're overwhelmed and unprepared, and confused at every turn. We had NO idea to expect such a rush; we thought that was reserved for athletes.
And truthfully, it feels alien that all this fuss is about a very normal someone we live with everyday.
I suppose I've always secretly hoped she'd attend my alma mater, UCLA (pictured above.) And she still might, I suppose. But the process seems to have a Life of its own.

I have no idea if my heart is breaking or soaring. Our daughter is growing... almost grown up, and will leave our cozy nest soon for a future unimaginably bright and promising.
And possibly far from home.

This I do know: we are grateful to God for her, as well as the opportunities he is offering her to make a difference in His name.

And I need to trust His leading.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Talented Legend

We watched most of the Grammy Awards last night.

I'm a longtime fan of the joyfully soaring artistry of the Dixie Chicks. And it was delightful to see my lifelong heroine, Joan Baez, introduce these three talented women who fought and worked to be seriously regarded.

I rejoice in their rebellious "Not Ready to Make Nice," because, as a woman, I've often also not been ready to make nice on someone else's cue. I GET it.

Mary J. Blige was a musical vision. If only she and Bono had sung "One"...

But my favorite of the night was by a musician I'd never previously heard of: R & B singer/composer John Legend. His soul-deep, gospel-tinged music touched my heart.

Today, I downloaded his new CD, "Once Again," and I can't get his haunting "Coming Home" out of my mind. The lyrics tell of the desperate desire of a young soldier to someday come home again. Legend's voice poignantly tells of the solider's pain and weariness.

I cried when I first heard it today. The Iraq War, and all its immorality, tragedy and anguish, hangs heavy on my heart, as it does for our country.

I urge... listen, really listen, to John Legend's "Coming Home."

Here are the lyrics:

A father waits upon a son
A mother prays for his return
I just called to see
If you still have a place for me
We know that like took us apart
But you're still within my heart
I go to sleep and feel your spirit next to me
I'll make it home again
I pray you'll fall in love again
Just say you'll entertain the possibility
I learned enough from my mistakes
Learned from all I didn't say
Won't you wait for me

It may be long to get me there
It feels like I've been everywhere
But someday I'll be coming home
Round and round the world will spin
Oh, the circle never ends
So you know that I'll be coming home

We fight to stay alive
But somebody's got to die
It's so strange to me
A new year, a new enemy
Another soldier gone to war
Another story told before
Now it's told again
It seems the wars will never end
But we'll make it home again
Back where we belong again
We're holding on to when
We used to dare to dream
We pray we live to see
Another day in history
Yes we still believe

It may be long to get me there
It feels like I've been everywhere
But someday I'll be coming home
Round and round the world will spin
Oh, the circle never ends
So you know that I'll be coming home

I'm coming, I'm coming, I'm coming?
You know that I'll be coming home
It may be long to get me there
It feels like I've been everywhere
But someday I'll be coming home
Round and round the world will spin
Oh, the circle never ends
So you know that I'll be coming home

John Legend Lyrics

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

My Reading Table and Email Bible Study

Our church has begun sending a delightful series of email Bible studies ( , in which I can opt for a 10-minute pastoral talking head (I don't mean that disrespectfully. It's just a good description.) or the text version of the pastor's prayers and teachings.

I'm enjoying this new form of Bible study, and grateful for this refreshing break in my work day to focus on God's Word.

Truth is... my plate is so full these busy days, that I'm not reading my Bible daily.

And my reading list only seems to grow longer... which brings me to my periodic reading table confession.

On My Reading Table
At January 24, 2007
In Process:
"The Audacity of Hope" by Sen. Barack Obama - A surprisingly centrist leader, empathetic person and stunningly good writer
"The Martha Rules " by Martha Stewart - This woman can do (almost) no wrong in my book. I admire her emphasis on craftmanship and quality.
"Joie De Vivre - Simple French Style for Everyday Living" by Robert Arbor - Reading a few pages of this beautiful book is like taking a soothing armchair vacation. I plan to take months to savor it, and then start over again.
To Be Read:
"The Left Hand of God " by Rabbi Michael Lerner
"The Myths of Free Trade" by Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio
"Take This Job and Ship It - How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics Are Selling Out America" by Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota
"War on the Middle Class" by Lou Dobbs of CNN