Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Baby Payton Has Arrived!!!

My very first grandchild, Payton Charles Douglas Swanson, made his way into the world at 12:23 this morning! We are rejoicing! Payton and his parents live in Texas and we live in Illinois, so we haven't had the joy of meeting him in person yet. So far, just a cell phone pic, but a very good quality pic, and he is ADORABLE!

I'm so happy. :)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The 50 Most Influential Christians

Not sure how this one slipped by me, but earlier this month The Church Report came out with its annual list of the 50 Most Influential Christians in America.

Number one on the list is Joel Osteen, pastor of Houston's Lakewood Church. Osteen's preaching and methods have been the subject of a good deal of controversy among evangelicals.

There are some interesting choices on the list. President Bush shows up at number 11; the wonderful Joni Eareckson Tada, who I've had the privilege of interviewing (during the controversy surrounding the "Million Dollar Baby" movie) is number 21. Teacher Beth Moore, whose teaching I've heard great things about, is on the list, as is Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer.

Go check out the list and tell me what you think, OK? Are you surprised at some of the names on the list? Surprised at some names that didn't make it?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Supper Swapping!

I interviewed Susan Thacker, author of Supper Swapping

Have you and your husband ever looked at each other and said simultaneously, "We eat out WAY too much!"
Is gathering your family around the dinner table becoming more and more of a rarity?

Well, an enterprising Texas woman came up with a way to make sure her family feasted on home-cooked meals for at least four days a week. I was able to interview Susan Thacker last week for my interview show, Weekend Rockford. Here she explains how she came up with the idea of supper-swapping:

Ten years of taking turns making meals with a friend ended up as a cookbook: Supper Swapping-Cook Four Days a Month with Chefs' & Restaurants' Easy Recipes. Susan even speaks to groups about the benefits of the family dinner.
Susan's website has lots of good info, including recipes, tips for moms, and how to order her cookbook.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Open Mic Friday!

Your chance to shine

This is Open Mic Friday on my blog. I'm inviting you to provide a link to a blog, a post, a site--anything you think is worthy of sharing, and that includes your OWN blogs and posts. Please leave the link and a short description in my comments section. As time allows, I'll try to move the links into this post.

As always, one caveat: please make sure it's clean and family-friendly.

Couple more things to tell you about:

Complete this survey about blogging and be in the running to win an iPod shuffle.

(Hat tip to Rodney Olsen of The Journey.)

Mandisa Revisited

Author Angela Hunt has co-written a book with former American Idol contestant Mandisa Hundley. She was the amazing vocalist who put Simon in his place with grace and style, and she is an outspoken Christian. I'm looking forward to reading this!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

13 Great Things about Illinois

Rockford's beautiful Coronado Theater

Many of my loved ones live in Texas, and that's where my familial roots run deep. But I've lived in Illinois for some 28 years now, and there are some great things about the state. Here we go (in no particular order):

1) Italian food--My town of Rockford has a significant Italian-American heritage, and it's obvious in our wonderful Italian restaurants. And I don't think you can get pizza anywhere in the world that's any better than that in some of our simple mom-and-pop Italian eateries!

2) Da Bears--Love 'em or hate 'em, they're one of the most charismatic, history-filled football teams in the nation. And they're SUPER BOWL BOUND!

3) Chicago--Only one of the coolest, most exciting, most awesome cities in the world, and I live in its backyard.

4) Clean, uncorrupted politics----All right, all right, I'm kidding!

5) Abraham Lincoln--Yup, this is the Land o' Lincoln. And one of these days I'm going to make it down to the Lincoln Museum in Springfield.

6) Amazingly beautiful autumns and springtimes---They almost make it worth putting up with the long winters and hot, humid summers.

And a few things particular to the Illinois town in which I live, Rockford--

7) BeefARoo--The best fast food anywhere. I actually feel sorry for those of you that don't have it.

8) The Coronado Theater--insanely beautiful. Simply a masterpiece. Take a virtual tour here.

9) The Rockford Park District--one of the best park systems anywhere. Gorgeous, well-kept parks and facilities.

10) Rockford public golf courses--OK, I don't play golf, but everyone who does agrees Rockford's public courses are fantastic.

11) The Stockholm Inn--The best Swedish pancakes this side of Sweden!

12) The Rockford Riverhawks--Hometown baseball--what better way to spend a balmy summer evening? (And my husband happens to be their chaplain.)

13) 101QFL and Radio my humble opinion, two of the best radio stations around!

(Note: This is my 24th edition of "Thursday Thirteen!")

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Belly Laugh Day...and Wayback Wednesday

"Laughter is an instant vacation and a smile is a little curve that straightens everything out."--Sandra Magsamen

Today is Belly Laugh Day, and my friend Joel Griffith gave me an ENORMOUS belly laugh today. I was laughing so hard, tears were running down my face. Sorry I can't share was an inside joke, and as is usually the case with something that makes me laugh really hard, it just struck a certain quirky chord I have. Thanks, Joel. I needed that!

And now, on "Wayback Wednesday"--my practice of giving you something from the archives of this blog.

Here's what I was blogging about a year ago this week:--originally posted 1/23/06

The beautiful Del Coronado Hotel in Coronado, CA

I've been tagged by Barbara of Tidbits and Treasures, so here goes!

Four Jobs You’ve Had:

--Working as an aide at an ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) School back in the mid-70's (hated it!)
--A bus-girl and tea/coffee server at a Furr's Cafeteria
--A news reporter/announcer at KWFC Radio in Springfield, Missouri
--News director/ morning show co-host at WQFL/WGSL Radio in Rockford, Illinois

Four Places You’ve Lived:

--Beirut, Lebanon
--El Paso, TX
--Springfield, Missouri
--Rockford, IL

Four Vacations You've Taken

--Western Colorado Rockies--when I was a young teenager, a camping trip with my grandparents. Probably the closest I've ever come to actually "roughing it"...we lived in a camper, often parked out in the middle of nowhere. I found out I'm not crazy about camping, but I fell in love with the Rockies!

--Branson, Missouri--I have a soft spot for this place, because it's where my husband and I honeymooned. I love the scenery, the shows, and the down-home flavor.

--The Del Coronado Hotel, Coronado, California--a dear and generous friend took me along with her for a few days. I loved waking up to the sound of the waves on the beach. The legendary hotel, the ocean and the lovely San Diego area captivated me.

Doug and me at "Mamma Mia" in Chicago

--Chicago, IL--yes, I know it's right in my backyard, but this is one of the most exciting and appealing cities in the world! A favorite memory: my husband and I stayed at the Westin, right on the Magnificent Mile, for our 25th anniversary. We saw a musical, shopped at the Water Tower Place, ate steak at Gibson's, had a carriage ride, had dessert at the Cheesecake Factory at the base oif the Hancock Center. I love Chicago!

Four Vehicles You’ve Owned--(I'm sorry, but I never remember the years!)

--A mid-70's silver Chevy Nova--it was actually my husband's car when we got married
--An 82 (I think) Honda Civic--the only brand-new car we've ever had as a couple. Loved that car.
--An 80's Honda Accord--probably one of my favorite vehicles we've owned
--A (2000?) Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo--actually given to my husband as a gift--also one of my favorite vehicles we've owned

Rather than tagging anyone, feel free to do this meme on your own blog!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bored with your blog?

I'm not...yet

"No one lives this particular life but me. No one can describe this exact moment but me. No one inhabits this sphere and orbits this trajectory but me. This life is unique. That alone makes my story worth recording...

"So I write, even when nothing happens of note. I’m leaving footprints, broken twigs along the path, wisps of torn spiderwebs to mark my path."--Mel of Actual Unretouched Photo

I thought of the above quote today when I read BJ Hoff's post about the declining interest in blogging. It seems a lot of bloggers are throwing in the towel, through boredom, lack of time, or a variety of other reasons.

Well, after over three years of blogging, I'm not ready to quit yet. I do take occasional breaks, and I don't feel pressured to update my blog daily--although I do update it regularly.

I agree with Mel's thoughts on blogging--that by doing so, I'm leaving a unique mark however small, on the blogosphere. I also see blogging as a sort of platform. As a newsperson, I'm constantly running across things I think people should know about. Here, I can give my personal spin on news and events. It's also, hopefully, a liaison between me and my 101QFL and Radio 91 listeners.

It's also one way of implementing my life's mission statement: "O Lord, let your light shine on others through me."

Or I can just be light and silly. It's my perogative, because it's my blog.

I'm not saying the day will never come when I'll be ready to silence these notes in the key of life...but unless I'm greatly mistaken, I don't see it happening any time soon.

How about you? Are you bored with blogging yet? Do you see yourself continuing to blog indefinitely?

Speaking of stuff to let you know about:

In what grotesque, awful universe is it deemed perfectly OK, and even "art," to depict a 12-year-old girl being raped in a movie? Apparently ours.

Joel Griffith and Kingdom Advancing have been among those blogging about this disturbing Dakota Fanning movie.

--Lisa Samson is offering free copies of her latest book, with a string or two attached. (My advice: jump at it. She's one of my favorite authors.)

--Angela Hunt doesn't claim to be a big football fan, but she sure loves her some Tony Dungy...and I must say, he seems like a remarkable man.

Related Tags:

Monday, January 22, 2007

Is this really "Blue Monday"?

Marking an unhappy anniversary

This is an actual ultrasound photo of my grandson, Payton, expected to be born February 14th. He has been a very loved and very real baby since the earliest news of his inception

Is today really the most depressing day of the year?

Well, definitely not if you're a Chicago Bears fan, still basking in yesterday's win. Time enough to get nervous about the Super Bowl game against the Indianapolis Colts; today is a day to savor.

Yet today can really get blue if you happen to be pro-life. That's because today is the 34th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. The mind boggles when one stops to think about just how many babies have been aborted since that decision.

This from an article by Marybeth T. Hagan: "Based on Guttmacher Institute and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures dating through 2005, the National Right to Life Committee counts 47,282,923 abortions since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade and legalized abortion in 1973. At the current rate of nearly 1.3 million abortions per year, legal abortions in our country soon will reach the 50 million mark. There will be no body count."

Let me point you to some great posts on the issue today:

With her customary courage and succinctness, La Shawn Barber isn't mincing words.

Joe Carter at The Evangelical Outpost says the continuation of abortions means we're living in "a culture of me."

If you're blogging pro-life today, please be sure and leave your link in my comments section.

And if I may re-offer a post of my own I've run for the last few years:

January 22nd: A Day to Mourn
originally posted January 22nd, 2004

When I was a junior in high school, I was delighted to hear that my older sister was pregnant with her third child. I adored my nieces, Shelly and Stephanie, and was looking forward to another little niece or nephew.

My sister gave birth that January to a beautiful little baby girl, and named her Deborah Leigh. But as perfect as Deborah looked, it quickly became obvious that something was wrong. Deborah's little heart was incomplete, and she died within a week of her birth.

I will never forget the car trip from East Texas to West Texas for the funeral of a baby girl. I will never forget seeing that beautiful little girl in the dainty little dress her father had bought for her to wear home from the hospital. I will never forget hearing my brother-in-law cry in the middle of the night for a daughter that would never grow up, or hearing my sister sob for her baby.

Time does heal, and less than a year after Deborah's death, my sister was blessed with another little girl. My niece Cynthia Anne is grown up now, married and has her own babies.

But every year around this time, my sister experiences a season of sadness as she mourns the baby that never grew up.

We were talking about it just the other day. "It's hard to believe it's been 31 years now," Beverly said softly. "She died on January 22nd, 1973."

"January 22, 1973? Beverly...that's the day the Supreme Court Roe versus Wade decision legalized abortion!"

My sister had never connected the two events. We were both struck with the irony. She still grieves the death of a baby on that day...the day that paved the way for millions of mothers to end the lives of their babies voluntarily.

Ironic, indeed.--originally posted January 22nd, 2004

Da Bears.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday Forum

A meaner, crueler AI?...Ethics bill passes without that disturbing clause...and give me a link you love!

UPDATE:Just one person bit on my offer to showcase a link of his/her choice. Carrie of Mommy Brain blogs about her family's search for a church.Thanks, Carrie! :)

UPDATE 1/22/07: A couple more links to let you know about!

--Vicki of Cashmere Kitty has some wise words concerning the ladies' restroom. I agree!

--Dianne at Unfinished Work has 13 Quotes from Philip Yancey's book about prayer.

I'm thinking...maybe if I'm consistent with providing this "forum" on Fridays, I'll get more people to give me their links. Thanks to the few who participated!

I had been thinking that American Idol seems to be meaner this season. They're dwelling way too long on the really horrible auditions. In past years, I've found them pretty humorous; this year, I agree with Robin Lee Hatcher that they're leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Robin's open letter to American Idol expresses my views perfectly.

Apparently we're not the only ones with misgivings. Mei Flower thinks they need to lay off the developmentally disabled contestants...and this article delves thoroughly into Idol's "mean streak."

Granted, I don't understand how some of these young people ever get the horribly mistaken idea that they can sing. And they must realize that by being on the show, they're opening themselves up to any ridicule the judges want to dish out. But as I commented on Robin's blog, the judges do know how to be "cruel to be kind," and they've shown they can do that without destroying someone or making fun of their looks. Ease up, that's all I'm saying.

By the way, does anyone know how the early audition process works? Surely Simon, Randy and Paula don't see all 16-thousand wannabe's in a city? What kind of weeding out takes place before the contestants actually get to S,R & P--and if there is a weeding-out process, does that mean the ridiculously horrible people are being sent in just for entertainment purposes? Just curious...


Disturbing provision removed from ethics bill

Some good news from out of Washington for a change. Before passing an ethics bill, the senate voted to remove a provision that was opposed, not only by Christian groups like Focus on the Family Action and the Traditional Values Coalition, but the ACLU as well. (I blogged about this provision last week.)

The provision would have required anyone who sought to influence 500 or more people on an issue to file detailed legal and financial disclosures.

Reportedly, violators could have faced up to ten years in prison and
200-thousand-dollar fines. The AP quotes the ACLU's Marvin Johnson as saying that fear of incurring those penalties would have stifled grassroots activism.

Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition applauds the senate action.

It would be interesting to see how much of an impact was made by the online petitions on the issue.

Henry Blackaby hospitalized

It seems we've been requesting prayer for a lot of high-profile evangelical men lately. This time, it's Experiencing God author and teacher, Rev. Henry Blackaby.

Blackaby is hospitalized in intensive care after reportedly experiencing severe pain with a reduced heart rate from an infection.

Updates are available on his website.

OK, if you've made it this far...give me your links!

Here's where I invite you to provide a link in my comments section to something you'd like to be read. It could be one of your own posts, or just your own blog, or someone else's post or blog. If you like, just provide a link to your blog and tell us a little about it.

All I ask is that you keep it clean and family-friendly.

I will try to update my blog so that your link will be visible in more than just the comments section (as time allows.)

So, here's your chance to shine. Give me your links!

P.S. Thanks for the good wishes concerning my health. I'm on the mend...unfortunately, my husband is still not doing well at all. :(

Related Tags:

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Just checking in...

Yep, I've been sick.

Since Monday, I've been suffering from a particularly nasty bout of what I believe to be the flu. I've missed three days of work and have barely been able to function. I'm feeling somewhat better now, and I think I may actually be able to go to work tomorrow, but I'm still far from 100 per cent and I plan to take it easy as much as possible for the rest of the day.

Now, my poor husband has it. :(

Remind me to get the flu shot next year.

Monday, January 15, 2007

What kind of sports car are you?

I'm a Porsche 911!

You have a classic style, but you're up-to-date with the latest technology. You're ambitious, competitive, and you love to win. Performance, precision, and prestige - you're one of the elite,and you know it.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Note: I'm really nothing like that at all--I don't know how this very scientific quiz determined those things about me.

But I like "being" such a cool car. :)

Friday, January 12, 2007

A free speech issue...Conan has crossed a line...and here comes David Beckham

(OK, this has nothing to do with the pic you see of soccer star David Beckham...more on that in a bit.)

I've received the Madalyn Murray O'Hair hoax e-mail so many times, I'm leery of e-mails that raise the alarm about religious freedoms. But this one is for real, and I believe demands real action.

Focus on the Family Action has launched its first-ever petition drive against a provision in a Senate ethics bill that they believe would drastically limit free-speech rights.

In a nutshell, SB 1--Section 220 would make it extremely difficult for Christian action groups like Focus and the American Family Association to keep Americans abreast of important issues being discussed and voted on in Washington. Such groups would apparently be subjected to miles of red tape, and it would even impact the ability of Focus Action Chairman Dr. James Dobson to speak out on such issues on his daily radio program.

Says AFA chairman Donald Wildmon, "To put it bluntly, members of Congress are tired of getting your e-mails and phone calls, and Senate Bill 1(Section 220) is designed to keep information from you that might inspire you to call or write your senator."

To find out more and to electronically sign a petition--ironically, the very thing some senators want to take away from you--go here.

I'm not normally a bandwagon-type activist, I don't often use my blog to take a political stance, and I tend to be rather cynical about some things. But if you're the type of Christian that picks your battles, I believe this is one that needs to be picked.

Hey Senators, guess what? We elected you to represent us, and hearing our gripes and opinions is all part of the job, whether you like it or not.

And while I'm ranting..
Conan has crossed a line

I've laughed just as hard as anyone at Conan O'Brien, and I generally feel he's a very likable personality. But reports of a skit on his show involving a "homophobic country western singer," whose song is truly outrageously blasphemous, leave me cold. Actually, leave me angry. This is really disgusting. Conan's show has crossed a line.

I agree with those who have already opined that this would NEVER be tolerated if it was joking about Buddha, Muhammad or any other religious figure.

Whew. This is NOT a popular time to be a Christian.

And, totally turning a corner...

(Cue the Neil Diamond music) He's Coming to America...

(Well, come on, it's FRIDAY, and I can't end my blogging week on a sour note, can I?)

Here's the reason for the pic you see above...

It looks like international soccer superstar David Beckham, will be making the leap across the pond. He's expected to sign with the L.A. Galaxy soccer team.

Apparently Beckham believes he needs a challenge and that he can help make soccer a more popular sport here in the US. He thinks football, basketball and baseball have eclipsed soccer here thus far, but he hopes to change that.

It will be interesting to see if he can succeed. Oh, and Beckham is married to former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, who reportedly has acting ambitions, so living in LA will be oh, so convenient.

Now, I hope you'll go out and have a blessed and wonderful weekend...

Related Tags:

Thursday, January 11, 2007

13 pics from my Christmas vacation

I took Christmas week off of work, and with my son Jonathan and his wife Daylyn visiting us from Texas, it was a wonderful time. We even had a baby shower for Daylyn, (who is due Valentine's Day). And Doug's youngest sister Vennie and her family came from California. Above: 13 pics from my Christmas vacation. Note: Click on the slide show to activate the captions, then you'll be able to see the caption on each pic just by directing your mouse on it.
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Way-back Wednesday

What I was blogging about a year ago this week

First of all, this note: I had every intention of blogging yesterday, but apparently dear Blogger was down for quite some time, and I missed my window of opportunity.

Now, I continue my Wednesday habit of offering you something from the archives. This is what I was blogging about on January 12 of 2006 (and it's still pretty applicable today!):

Did you resolve to eat more healthfully in 2006?

A rap and a recipe

If trying shed some unwanted pounds is one of your New Year's goals, I have a poem for you AND what looks like a terrific recipe...thanks to my cousin, Kathy!

Here you go:

I Won't Go Back

I won't go back to the weight I used to be.
This the vow that I make and I I make it for me.
For the sexy, summer dress, sleeveless and sleek
I won't go back to the Krispy Kremes I'd sneak.
Marie Callendar, you can keep your old cheap fruity
'Cause I ain't going back to friction thighs.
For all the broken zippers and busted pants
I won't go back to cheesy burgers, and that's my
I'm no fool, where's the thrill in Almond Joy.
Those clever ads are just a clever ploy.
They want me to stuff my face, then stuff my jeans.
No way, no how, it's a despicable scene.
I've finally decided to face the fact
That those barbeque ribs I love, really don't love me
I'd much rather bask in a bikini than Baskin Robbins.
On the side of that rocky road you would usually find
me sobbing.
For all the sky-high cholesterol counts and tiring
treks up the stair.
I won't go back to buttered buns and artery-clogging
No not me, my health I won't forsake.
This is my temple I destroy with every fatty bite I
So that's it, I'm fed up, this is the last straw.
No more broccoli drizzled in cheese please, I'll
simply take it raw.
So on this day I make this vow,
That I'm going to change my life, here today, right

And here's the recipe:


8 OZ fat free cream cheese
1 20 OZ crushed pineapple in its own juice (use undrained)
1 large box of instant sugar free/fat free vanilla pudding
1 0Z chopped pecans
12 OZ fat free Cool Whip
1 low fat Graham Cracker crust
1/2 cup skim milk

Mix cream cheese, pineapple, milk and pudding. Add pecans. Fold in Cool Whip. Pour into crust and refrigerate.

1/8 of a pie=4 Weight Watchers points

Can't wait to try it!

Just talked with Deborah Bedford

I just had the pleasure of interviewing Christian fiction author Deborah Bedford. I hope to share more about this interview in the coming days!

Speaking of Christian fiction, Robin Lee Hatcher (guest-blogging for one of my very favorite bloggers, Katy Raymond) hops up on her soapbox to give some great encouragement to aspiring writers. Don't miss it.

And that was what I was blogging about on January 12th, 2006. Join me tomorrow as we return to our regularly scheduled blogging. :)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Monday Melange

A vicarious visit to Paris...promising news in stem cell research...and reflections on redeeming the time

"Main Entry: mé·lange
Pronunciation: mA-'länzh, -'länj
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Middle French, from mesler, meler to mix -- more at MEDDLE
: a mixture often of incongruous elements"

Today's post is going to be kind of a hodge-podge.

First, I've been poring enviously over my friend Joy's pictures of France. Joy is living in Bordeaux, teaching English as a second language, and her photographs are so lovely and evocative, they make me want to hop a plane and go there right now.

You must understand that I've been drawn to French things since I was a little girl living in Beirut, Lebanon. Lebanon was once under direct control of France, and the French influence was still strongly obvious when I lived there in the mid-60's. My desire to visit France is almost right up there with my ever-present desire to visit the UK.

Anyway, do check out Joy's snapshots of her New Year's weekend in Paris, especially if you've ever yearned to visit the City of Light.

Keep these men in your prayers

Coral Ridge Ministries founder D. James Kennedy and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Al Mohler continue to improve after suffering serious health setbacks in recent weeks. For an update on Dr. Kennedy, go here; for more on Dr. Mohler, here.

Dr. Kennedy's radio program, Truths that Transform, airs one one of the stations where I work, Radio 91.

New possibilities with stem cell research

A way to harvest stem cells without harming mother or preborn baby? Looks promising.

Makes you wonder, though, if anti-lifers will find a way to try to cling to the destructive way. (Boy, I'm getting cynical.)

Redeeming the time?

Having a brother who is a Gulf War marine veteran and police officer now training Iraqi cops in Iraq, I can so identify with this post by Phil Johnson of Pyromaniacs.

Phil's son, cyberly-known as Pecadillo, is an L.A. cop. Reflecting on the recent shooting of Pecadillo's partner, Phil writes: "Had it not been Pecadillo's day off, he would no doubt have been there when this perp—with no warning whatsoever—opened fire on officers serving him a warrant.

"It's unsettling, of course, to watch the lead story on the evening news and have it hit so close to home. It's a somber reminder of the truth of James 4:13-16—a passage which itself is both sobering and comforting. God is sovereign in the outworking of His providence. Our times are in His hand (Psalm 31:15). But life itself is a vapor (James 4:14), and we cannot take the future for granted. We therefore need to be redeeming the time."


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

13 banished words and/or phrases for 2007

Lake Superior State University has come out with its annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness.

From the site: "This year's list is culled from more than 4,500 nominations received mostly through the university's website, Word-watchers target pet peeves from everyday speech, as well as from the news, fields of education, technology, advertising, politics and more. A committee makes a final cut in late December. The list is released on New Year's Day."

Here for your Thursday Thirteen perusal are most of the words on the list. For the complete list, and more funny comments about them, go here.

1)GITMO -- The US military's shorthand for a base in Guantanomo, Cuba

2)COMBINED CELEBRITY NAMES --"Brangelina," "TomKat," etc. Yup...I find that nauseating.

3)AWESOME --I disagree somewhat with this one; "awesome" is a good word when used correctly--but I admit I used it too freely

4)GONE MISSING OR WENT MISSING -- Are they going to come back from missing?

5) PWN or PWNED -- Don't understand this one; I guess because I'm not a "gamer"

6) NOW PLAYING IN THEATERS --Where else is it going to be playing?

7)WE'RE PREGNANT -- These quotes say it all: "Were men feeling left out of the whole morning sickness/huge belly/labor experience? You may both be expecting, but only one of you is pregnant." -- Sharla Hulsey, Sac City, Iowa.
"I'm sure any woman who has given birth will tell you that 'WE' did not deliver the baby." -- Marlena Linne, Greenfield, Indiana.

8)UNDOCUMENTED ALIEN -- From the site:"If they haven't followed the law to get here, they are by definition 'illegal.' It's like saying a drug dealer is an 'undocumented pharmacist.'" -- John Varga, Westfield, New Jersey.

9)ARMED ROBBERY/DRUG DEAL GONE BAD -- From the site: "What degree of "bad" don't we understand? Larry Lillehammer of Bonney Lake, Washington, asks, "After it stopped going well and good?"

10) TRUTHINESS – Apparently popularized by Stephen Colbert of TV's "Colbert Report"

11) ASK YOUR DOCTOR -- A popular TV ad catch phrase. "I don't think my doctor would appreciate my calling him after seeing a TV ad." -- Peter B. Liveright, Lutherville, Maryland.

12) CHIPOTLE – Where did this flavoring come from, anyway?

13) i-ANYTHING -- 'e-Anything' made the list in 2000. Geoff Steinhart of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, says tech companies everywhere have picked this apple to the core.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

2007: Predictions, anyone?

I suppose it's par for the course. Everyone seems to be hailing the start of a new year by coming out with their predictions and prophecies for 2007.

How "doom-and-gloom" is Pat Robertson's prophecy? The televangelist claims the Lord has told him that a terrorist attack will cause a mass killing in the US in late 2007. Now, if I recall correctly, Pat doesn't have an outstanding track record with his prophecies. I'm pretty sure he predicted a US tsunami for 2006, and that didn't happen. (No Pat, heavy rains don't count.)

Not only that, I don't believe I'm obligated to believe any prophecy that is above and beyond what I find in the Bible. How do I know if a modern-day "prophet" just didn't have too much pizza before going to bed? Of course, a terrorist attack could happen...that's the day and age we live in. But I don't plan to lose any sleep over Pat's predictions.

How about some predictions that we can be pretty sure WILL come true? My 101QFL co-host, Darren Marlar, has come out with this list of predictions I think we can safely say will happen, including these:

"--Donald Trump will fire someone.
--OJ Simpson will not find the killer.
--Nothing real will be seen on reality TV.
--A rap song will come out that sounds just like a lot of other rap songs, but it will be a big hit anyway... just like the others."

I thought I would add a couple of my own:

--The Academy Awards will give its gushing favor to any movie that is depressing/politically correct/ultra-gay-friendly/anti-American...take your pick.

--Liberals and the mainstream media will continue to trumpet anything negative about President Bush.

--Pop princesses with little or no talent will continue to be seen all over TV and the printed page getting drunk and acting like idiots, or just being vapid.

Speaking of my last prediction, stay tuned at the end of this post for Quote o' The Day, this one from my friend Joel Griffith.

But now, a challenge: do you have any predictions for 2007? Real, tongue-in-cheek or whatever, please add them to my comments section. Or blog about them and I'll link you here.

And now...

Quote o' the Day

"I really don't want to see blurred photos of a pantie-less Britney Spears getting out of a car. I don't care if she passes out at a nightclub. Insert the name of said celebrity in said misbehavior. Any one or two will do. I don't watch the news for that purpose. If I want to know what these fudgeheads are doing, I can buy a National Enquirer or Globe at the supermarket (which I won't). That's where it belongs. Not on a national newscast." Joel Griffith of The Seventh Sola

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

An awesome New Year

Apparently I need to weed one of my favorite words out of my vocabulary.

I will admit I often fall back on "awesome" to describe anything I think is...well, awesome. But Lake Superior State University is out with its annual list of words and phrases it wants banned from the English language, and "awesome" is one of them.

Actually, in one context, I can see their point. Unfortunately, said in a certain tone of voice, the word conjures up memories of Bill and Ted's eighties adventures. "Awesome, dude!"

However, "awesome" shouldn't be banned on that account! It really is a great word. What about: "Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the works thy hands have made..." from "How Great Thou Art."

And I really don't think Rich Mullins was channeling Keanu Reeves when he penned: "Our God is an awesome God...." I have a pretty good hunch that he meant it in the Merriam-Webster definition of "awe": "an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime "

So maybe I throw around "awesome" a little too freely.

But I do have to agree with some of the other things on the the practice of combining celebrity names like "TomKat" and "Brangelina." Eeeuw. I can't stand that.

As for my totally awesome Christmas holidays...well, if not inspiring of great awe, they were truly wonderful. I so enjoyed having my son Jonathan and his wife Daylyn here for Christmas. It was a rare time for our entire family to be together, and I truly thank God for it.

In the picture above, from left to right: Justin, Doug, Elizabeth, me, Jonathan and Daylyn--baby Payton unseen, but present!
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