Showing posts from 2021

Stars and Stripes: Reflecting on 9/11

Today marks 20 years since September 11th, 2001, or "9/11," that unforgettable day in our nation's history when four ruthless, coordinated terrorist attacks took place on U.S. soil. The days that followed 9/11 found me camped in front of the television set, watching in disbelief and horror as the aftermath of those attacks unfolded. There, I observed and began to grasp everything our nation had lost on that fateful day: thousands of precious lives... our sense of security... our peace of mind... our ability to trust... our innocence. Twenty years later, memories of that time remain seared into my mind - vivid, heart-wrenching picture memories that I can access as easily as I'm able to retrieve a scrapbook from a bookshelf. One of the most indelible of these is an image of three New York City firefighters standing at Ground Zero of the World Trade Center bombings, raising our country's flag above the debris and inspiring within my heart the hope that the people of

Remember No More...

When my brother and I were preteens, our family attended an Easter service at Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. The pastor's sermon on that special Sunday in the life of the church was entitled, "Remember No More," and spoke of the promise God makes to His children - that He will "forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." During his message, the pastor shared with the congregation a number, then challenged us to do our best to forget the number he'd shared, just as God forgets our sins. In the weeks and months following that sermon, someone in our family would ask, "What was the number we were supposed to forget?" and, in unison, we'd immediately shout out the same number. Years later, the topic of this sermon would inevitably be raised and still, we all remembered that number. The implications were clear and two-fold: 1) forgetting can be a difficult undertaking, and 2) our family is not adept at following ins

Be Golden, Girl!

My mom was a lover of sitcoms. Throughout the years, we spent many happy times together in front of the television, entertained by shows designed to help viewers find humor in the everyday stuff of life. One of Mom's favorite programs was Golden Girls, which centered around the lives of Rose, Blanche, Dorothy, and Sophia - four widowed "seniors" living together in Miami. These golden girls were aging gracefully, and discovering along the way that joy and laughter can be experienced even in the midst of life's difficult moments. Each week, the show's creators and authors wove tales of these four characters wrestling with some sort of life predicament, their distinctive personalities on display as they grappled: Rose, innocent and optimistic; Blanche, bodacious and flirtatious; Dorothy, skeptical and sarcastic; Sophia, wise and witty. By show's end, these golden girls had endured and emerged from their hardship no worse for the wear; on the contrary, the challen

Make Mine a Double!

My mind is regularly occupied with thoughts of my amazing 28-year old son, Jeff. Yesterday, that mind transported me back in time to Jeff's twelfth year, when he and one of his best buddies, Nathan, attended a youth retreat as part of our church's confirmation process. Because we did not communicate with the boys during the weekend, we were excited for their return home, when we would hear all about their retreat adventures. When Jeff arrived home on Sunday evening, he shared a story with us that reduces me to tears of joy and laughter, even today. He spoke enthusiastically about a weekend filled with lessons on God and Jesus, games, music and copious amounts of candy. He said that he and Nathan had been especially moved by their first-night praise and worship experience and so, high on Jesus (and on sugar), they came forward during the altar call to publicly profess their belief in God and in His Son. The next evening of praise and worship brought more of that same euphoria an


On the weekend before Election Day 2020, I decided to take a walk along the beach. After strolling for a while, I happened upon a message carefully etched in the sand. It simply read: So struck was I by this creation that I snapped a photo, and I’ve been ruminating on the word one and some of its many meanings ever since. The definition of one on which I first reflected was, “ a single person or thing, ” which implies individual or solitary or alone . Having always been a bit of a loner by nature, this definition resonates with me. Given the choice, I would much prefer being by myself rather than in the company of others. Maybe that’s because the activities I enjoy the most are best experienced alone. Or perhaps my life circumstances during the last 20 years have simply caused me to grow accustomed to a more solitary existence. I won’t bore you with the details, but those life circumstances have often isolated me from the goings-on in the world around me; they’ve frequently limited m