Thursday, January 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to the Middles!

How blessed we are to have 4 healthy (we trust), happy (mostly) children! This week two of them celebrate birthdays:

January 21 it was child #3 -- Jemimah Beverly Jackson Sandifer, born on a cold Memphis morning, 1980. Now living in Germany, courtesy of her husband's employer, the US Army. (That's Trooper, not Adam, with Jemimah in the picture.)

Today, January 24, it's child #2 -- Joshua West Jackson, born on a snowy Little Rock morning, 1978. Yep, that makes him the Big 3-0, living the bohemian life in Hot Springs.

Per Josh,'s wishes we'll celebrate these birthdays when Adam and Jemimah come home on leave in March.

Love ya, kids!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Life and Death

Don't stop praying for Dad. He was all ready to go home from the hospital, but his heart doctor spotted some irregularity in a test, so they will do an arteriogram at 2:00 pm tomorrow. If they see something that needs to be addressed with a stent or surgery, they will be ready to act immediately. Is it serious? When you're about to turn 80, everything is serious!

Please pray for my friends, the Booker family. I officiated at the funeral of Ann Booker in Emmet AR today. She was a remarkable Christian lady, and served as our church treasurer and pianist. They found a brain tumor and operated on her 14 months ago. She was never the same. There were subsequent tumors and surgeries and chemo ... tough sledding for the whole family. Ann graduated to Heaven Sunday morning. I wonder if they asked her to play in the morning service Up There?

The clock is ticking for us all. Last week chess legend Bobby Fischer died in an Iceland hospital. Yesterday we remembered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., felled by an assassin's bullet. Today actor Heath Ledger, only 28, was found dead. Cherish the gift of LIFE ... make every day count ... appreciate every minute.

And, oh -- be sure you're ready to go. "He who hath the Son hath life; he who hath not the Son of God, hath not life." I John 5:12

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Power of Prayer

Thanks for your prayers -- Dad is much better! He seemed to bottom out in the wee hours of Monday morning, and then started slowly rebounding. By Wednesday evening the ventilator was removed and Dad was breathing all on his own again.

The nurse said this morning they will be getting him up out of bed and starting to let him eat today. Don't stop praying yet!

God shapes the world by prayer.
The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be,
the mightier the forces against evil....
UPDATE January 19: Dad continues to improve and has moved from the critical care unti to a private room. He still needs lost of rest and healing, but Praise the Lord!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Is My Dad Dying?


Yes, he's lying in the Critical Care Unit at Baptist Hospital in Little Rock, with a ventilator breathing for him as he tries to fight off an infection and problems with his lungs, kidneys, heart, and blood.

Yes, at age almost-80 his body is worn out from serving Jesus and his family pedal-to-the-metal for 65 years. But he is alert and knows he is loved and being prayed for; and when I asked him, "You're not going to leave us, are you?" he immediately shook his head no.

No, my dad is not dying. He is going to live -- a few more years here, or forever Up There. Dad is a great and godly man. He's not just in God's hands now; he always has been.

God bless you, Dad!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

That's Amore'

Today I begin to understand what love must be, if it exists. When we are parted, we each feel the lack of the other half of ourselves. We are incomplete like a book in two volumes of which the first has been lost. That is what I imagine love to be: incompleteness in absence.
Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

I love this quote, even if it does come from brothers famous in the French literary world. They almost got it right. Except true love is not so much a case of being one of two halves, or half of the whole.

Rather, in True Love, one goes "all in." You put all yourself into it, and how blessed you are if your lover does the same. We must not fall for the old bromide, "Marriage is a 50-50 proposition." No, indeed -- love, and marriage, is a 100-100 proposition. Both must put in 100%, all they have, and all they are.

True Love is not like a pie that can be halved. It's more chemistry than geometry -- a delicious potion, both intoxicating and nourishing, made of all I am and all she is, and once we have been poured together into the same life, the same existence, there is a new chemistry that cannot be undone, the parts cannot be unmixed, we two have become one.

How blessed I am to be married to, and live with, my True Love. May you be so blessed, too!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Looking for just the right word ... in einer anderen Sprache suchen?

Here's a really cool website for you -- it translates English to scores of other languages, and vice versa. What a great service!
It's fun to just mess around with, but a really great tool when you need to find the right word or phrase ... in another language.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Waste Not, Want Not

I'm happy to share this thought from Jemimah's blog:

80% of what we have we never use.

Now, I don't know if that statement is backed up by hard research, but it sounds about right to me. For example, how many of those bookmarked websites do you actually visit regularly? How many of those TV channels do you watch all the time? So ...

Here are two great ideas from Jemimah. If you have other ideas on how to help somebody with your unused stuff, post a comment and share it! Meanwhile ...

Give your unused air miles to deployed soldiers at

Or, put a refurbished phone (of any brand)
into the hands of a domestic violence victim at

Go ahead -- be a blessing!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Tag - I'm it!

I've been tagged by oldest daughter Jerusalem. I guess that's like, "Tag -- you're it!" I believe the point of this exercise is to confess/reveal five odd/weird/unusual things about myself.

The problem is, of course, that I'm a very un-self-aware person AND have a very strong ego (I think) that I do not like to admit to myself ... so I may not be able to think of five weird things about myself since I am either unaware of them or don't consider them weird! A conundrum!

But, in honor of Jerusalem, throwing caution to the wind, here goes ...

1. 99% of the time I sneeze in threes. It's a rare event if I sneeze only once or twice. Three sneezes for me -- usually achoo! achoo! achoo! ... but sometimes achoo! achoo! -- achoo!

2. Those in my family know (even if they have forgotten now), but not many others, that (as far as I know) I am the only person ever recognized as "Arkansas' Poet of the Future." When I was a high school senior, I won a competition sponsored by the Poet's Roundtable and the late Poet Laureate of Arkansas, Rosa Zagnoni Maranoni, awarded me the title.

3. I find it almost impossible to turn off a radio or stereo or TV while one of my favorite songs is playing, or to not watch a favorite movie to the end if I stumble across it on TV, or to not watch anything Gene Hackman is starring in.

4. Though I have been an avid Razorback fan for over 40 years now, I don't know any Razorback athletes personally. I met basketball great Marvin Delph once, and said hi to Joe Klein at his Corky's Restaurant once. But, while on staff at a church in Florida in the 1980's, I knew former Texas Longhorn star Jim Krivacs (now a sports agent) and, through a mutual friend, became a casual acquaintance of the late Pistol Pete Maravich, the Hall of Famer from LSU, who once bought me a dreadful lunch in a health food store in Clearwater.

5. Due to the civilizing effects of being married to a proper lady, for years I have peed sitting down about as often as I pee standing up. (Is this what is called getting in touch with my feminine side?) Give it a try, fellows -- it's more accurate and you don't have to remember to put the seat back down!

Careful who you share these shocking revelations with! And if you have read this far -- TAG, YOU'RE IT!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Kwanzaa turns out to be ... koo-koo

Many thanks to Son-in-Law #1, Nathan Greer, who, after reading my "Happy Holidays" post, sent the following eye-opening links about the illegimaticy of the supposedly African-American-affirming celebration, Kwanzaa.

Joseph Farah blows the whistle on Kwanzaa.

Tony Snow blows the whistle on Kwanzaa.

Ann Coulter blows the whistle on Kwanzaa.

Rev. Joseph Lee Patterson blows the whistle on Kwanzaa.

I get the feeling there might be many more whistle-blowers if we look for them!

Kwanzaa's origins and associations appear to exploit, rather than honor, African-Americans. Thanks, Nathan -- I will no longer be an ignorant perpetuator of the Kwanzaa myth.