Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Top 5 Greatest Games

Slate magazine published an article this week listing their Top 40 greatest family games. That got me thinking about my favorite board games and all of the great memories that these games have brought to me over the years. Playing Stock Market with my Mom and brother on our kitchen table, playing chess with my Dad, playing Careers (who remembers this game?) and many more. So without further ado, here are my top five games:

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

What Evil Is This

Today a middle-aged man got up early and started his drive to his workplace. He got up before the sun had started to share its light and as he drove toward downtown Nashville he might have been thinking about his family, the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, his to do list for his workday and other thoughts common to most of humanity as we start our day.

Yet there are other humans that wake up dwelling on more sinister thoughts. How to steal from others, how to inflict pain, and maybe even plotting how to destroy people they have never met. I can't imagine what has brought a person to this place, to where their obsession is to cultivate destruction but it is evident that this is not an uncommon mindset. Their motivations are the opposite of pure and sometimes our life intersect with these people when we least expect it . . .

Thursday, November 15, 2018

"It is Well with My Soul"

"It Is Well With My Soul" is a hymn penned by hymnist Horatio Spafford and composed by Philip Bliss. 

This hymn was written after traumatic events in Spafford's life. The first two were the death of his four-year-old son and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that was extensively damaged by the great fire). 

His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873, at which time he had planned to travel to England with his family on the SS Ville du Havre, to help with D. L. Moody's upcoming evangelistic campaigns. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone …". 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Life - It Continues Until It Doesn't

I remember asking my parents as they got older why they always read the obituary section of their local paper. "Because it's the best way to keep up with our friends" came the honest but rather sober response. And as I get older I find myself doing the same, scanning the paper to see who has left this world and at what age.

The departing ages are of great importance to me as I get older and I have found I strangely either draw comfort or discouragement from this fact. But the most heartbreaking losses I view are children dying before their parents. The pain that accompanies this reality is too much for me to even imagine . . .

Viewing death as a real possibility brings a laser focus to one's priorities and tasks. But what about days when death seems as far away as Pluto in the night sky? I fear that in my life, especially as I get older, I move thoughts of death around in my mind like I'm arranging papers on my desk. And those thoughts are getting closer to the trash bin,

Tuesday, November 06, 2018


There are very few songs in my opinion that earn the adjective, "haunting". But when Christopher Cross released his song, "Sailing" in June 1980, that song established a special place in my memories. And it has continued to haunt me throughout my life. 

When I first heard this song I was with some friends in San Francisco and we were exploring the city while waiting for news that the highway to Washington was going to reopen. You see, the highway up to Washington had been closed off and on since Mt. Saint Helen explosion in May. The volcano was still erupting, though not anywhere close to the scale of the May eruption, but it was still worrisome enough to temporarily block traffic on some of the highways. All this posturing would finally culminate in a minor eruption in July, 1980. (Quick side note: After hearing about the high mineral deposits contained in the volcanic ash - which was everywhere - we collected several garbage bags of the ash while we were exploring the Pacific coast. Upon returning home my friends and I were able to recoup the entire costs of our trip by selling mason jars of the ash. Turns out you can grow anything in that stuff . . . ) 

While exploring the city of San Francisco, this song seemed to be playing on the radio every hour. One memory that is burnt into my brain is waking up early to go jogging, (friends that have only known me since the 90's will be shocked at this revelation . . . ) and after my run getting back in my car at Fisherman's Wharf, being serenaded by the sights and sounds of the city, watching the fog bank retreat into the Pacific, and hearing this song being played on the radio. Magical times.