Tuesday, October 28, 2014


From the pages of USA Today Opinion come some political observations that I resonate with these days.  Another reason why this is my favorite newspaper--digital or in print. - STEVE

Saturday, October 25, 2014



Ebola is in the news everywhere.  Several months ago when this horrible disease was confined to places like Liberia, it hardly got a mention.  Now that it has crossed the Atlantic and touched a more mobile society like ours, people scrambling for information about ebola and clamoring to be protected against it.  Sadly, it was contracted by the first Americans who cared enough to be involved and their heroic action exposed them the this life-altering reality,  Initially, they were pretty much on their own. Now we all have a reason to be concerned.

This past week my denomination shared this post on its weekly blog.

Last April it was my privilege to meet Clinton and his wife Yassa at Exponential 2014 held in Orlando.  He is in the process of connecting his church to our denomination.  I am glad to see his leadership in this concern.  I just wish more of us who are not of African-American descent would care about these matters; but in my denominational stream I am thankful we have this brother and his wife.

Yassa was interviewed by local station in Oakland.  Learn more,

I just sent a check his way. If you do not already have an avenue, I would encourage you to give him a phone call.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Sharing this thoughtful post by JIM DENISON of the Denison Forum - STEVE

 Ebola and the antidote to fear

Louise Troh does not have Ebola.  The fiancĂ©e of Thomas Eric Duncan was quarantined for 21 days after he became sick, but that period has now passed.  Nonetheless, she is struggling to find housing.  The apartment where she had paid a deposit has now been denied to her.  Employees at Texas Health Presbyterian, where Duncan was treated, have been refused access to restaurants in our area.  Parents have kept children home from school lest they come in contact with children of those who have dealt with Duncan's family.

Dallas-Ft. Worth is my home and the nation's fourth-largest metropolitan area with 6.5 million residents.  We have seen three Ebola cases so far.  And yet the nation views us as "Ground Zero" for Ebola in America.  Some players on the New York Giants were concerned about coming to Dallas for last Sunday's game with the Cowboys.  One said, "I think guys might think twice if they were planning to bring their wives or their families."  Their owner was more pragmatic: "the Cowboys are going to get it first, so it's to our advantage."

William Harvey claimed, "All we know is still infinitely less than all that remains unknown."  The British physician made his statement in the 17th century, but he would still be right today.  The less we know, the more we fear.  And the more we fear, the less we trust.

Consider this observation by Robert Kaiser, retired managing editor of The Washington Post: "The Internet promotes fragmentation by encouraging the development of like-minded communities, from you and your Facebook friends to avid Tea Party supporters . . . Surveys by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press show that increasing numbers of Americans get their 'news' from ideologically congenial sources.  The news media are fragmenting just as American society is fragmenting—by class, by region, by religious inclination, by generation, by ethnic identity, by politics and more."

The great need of our day is a moral and spiritual movement that unites us across our differences and empowers us to solve our problems together.  Is such a movement possible?  A businessman named Jeremiah Lamphier thought so.  On September 23, 1857, he invited the city of New York to a prayer meeting at Old North Dutch Church in Manhattan.  Six people responded.  The next week there were 14, then 23.  Within weeks the movement grew to 50,000 praying daily and spread to Boston, Philadelphia, and Cleveland.  Within two years there were one million conversions in a nation of 30 million.  The resulting Evangelical Social Awakening impacted millions more.

Is such a movement happening in New York City again?  Since 1988 more than 2,000 churches and 250,000 people have participated in concerts of prayer for the city.  "Movement Day" has been one answer to their prayers.  Led by Mac Pier and Tim Keller, 8,000 leaders from 360 cities and five continents have gathered to worship, pray, and advance collaborative partnerships that serve the needs of their cities in Jesus' name.  Tomorrow is the fifth Movement Day.  I will be there, and ask you to pray for God's Spirit to do a transforming work in my heart and in the lives of all who join me.

Ebola fears are making headlines where I live.  Other fears are making headlines where you live.  What is our best response?  John Newton: "If the Lord be with us, we have no cause of fear.  His eye is upon us, his arm over us, his ear open to our prayer, his grace sufficient, his promise unchangeable."  David testified, "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you" (Psalm 56:3).

Can you say the same?

Monday, October 6, 2014



I just finished watching the Baltimore Orioles sweep my beloved Detroit Tigers and eliminate their World Series dreams.  I really still cannot get my mind wrapped around a team with Cy Young pitchers and the powerful bats of that of venerable law firm of Cabrera, Martinez and Martinez succumbing to anyone.  Yet it has happened.  In recent weeks the general diagnosis is that the Tigers suffered a fatal infection of "bullpen meltdown syndrome."  I know I was frustrated along with 40,000+ fans in Tiger Stadium each time those guys could not get anyone out as lead after lead slipped away.  I am probably not as frustrated as the likes of Max Sherzer, David Price and Brad Ausmus; but the exasperation borders on the homicidal.

Yet I am not giving up on baseball and for the next few weeks will shift my loyalty to the Orioles as they seek to win a World Series that has long eluded them.  The 2014 season was incredibly entertaining and the expanded Wild Card kept that excitement alive until game 162 for many teams. With the Tigers and Royals still alive in the AL (I am pretty sure that the latter will ultimately put the Angels away); I will watch it through until last World Series out.

For a true baseball lover, it is the game--not just a player or a team.  It is the tradition, the strategy, the skill and the surprise that occupy that diamond each day from April through October that compels us most.  It's called "the love of the game.:

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Reading: "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." - Romans 12:8

Many years ago Dianne and I had the great privilege of attending the Billy Graham School of Evangelism in Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. The School itself was housed at the Chateau Lake Louise, a magnificent five-star hotel next to pristine Moraine Lake, fed by a glacier.

One afternoon, the two of us and our friend George Reser decided to hike out to the glacier.  This was November. The path, which was quite narrow and snow-covered was not easy-going.  On one side of the path was a fairly steep drop into the icy waters of the lake.  The other side, a mountain side with more ice, a little brush, snow, and nothing to invite anything but a veteran climber to tackle it.  I was the epitome of the word novice.

That region was inhabited by some magnificent creatures, the Rocky Mountain Goat.  Bigger than a man, strong, somewhat gruff-looking, agile and sure-footed.  They really are an awesome part of God's animal kingdom.

As I reached midpoint on the trail, now as narrow as two feet placed sided-by-side and even more perilously close the the frigid lake waters, I saw one of these creatures heading straight down the path towards me.  I quickly began to assess my situation and had no desire to meet the goat head-on.  Between us perched next to the path was a large boulder.  I moved to it, stepped off the path (on the upward slope) and hid behind it.  I figured I'd let him pass before I continued on.

I waited, and waited, and waited.  No animal passed by. Finally I crept towards the front of the boulder and stuck my head out to see what had happened.  And my face greeted the goat's face on the other side of the rock looking at me, engaged in the same investigation.  Sizing m up, the goat perked up, then turned and went straight up the steep hillside to higher ground.

The goat saw no reason to challenge me on the path, or maybe just took pitty on this two-legged mountain novice.

In a world of confrontation, demanding of our rights, asserting ourselves, and just plain belligerance; we are reminded that such attitudes and the actions that result are often in conflict with God's purposes and inflict unnecessary pain on the persons we cross paths with crossly.

Maybe it's time for us to re-embrace Paul's counsel and find God-honoring ways to live at peace with people.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014



Dianne and I were married 42 years on August 26th.  We were traveling on that day and I did no blogging, but this song is for her.  It was a favorite early in our life together.

Monday, August 4, 2014



I make no secret of it it.  I love baseball!  My rental home has MLB.TV on its Direct TV connection and I WATCH it daily.  On good days I watch baseball on ESPN and Fox Sports, as well.  I play fantasy baseball--six teams, three of which hold down first place in their respective leagues.  That means I watch the DL reports daily, and check the seven day and 30 day trends when setting rosters or picking up players.

I had a FIELD day last Thursday watching the final five hours of coverage for the non-waiver trade deadline.  It was one of the most exciting days in years.  Teams were re-loading for the final two month  of the season.  Other teams were unloading, looking ahead to the 2015 season.

Speculation was big about the Phillies trading Cole Hamels away to one of the 12 or so teams that still have a shot at postseason.  The Phillies' faithful breathed a sigh of relief when 4:00 pm arrived on July 31 and he was still on their roster.  The Cardinals, stuck in the middle of the NL Central, traded to get veteran John Lackey from the Red Sox and past star Justin Masterson from the Indians.

The Oakland Athletics, whose last three trips towards the pennant have been halted by the Detroit Tigers traded away powerful hitter Yolando Cespedes to beef up their rotation with another Bosox vet Jon Lester.  Clearly power pitching is perceived as the way to win in the post-season.  So just at the deadline, my favorite GM Dave Dombroski fired back by trading another power hitter Austin Jackson to get the 2012 Cy Young winner David Price for the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Tigers now have the last three Cy Young winners - Verlander, Scherzer, and Price in their starting rotation.  Plus one of baseball's winningest pitchers this season--Rick Porcello and Anibel Sanchez.
Plus Raj Davis, Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Torii Hunter, and JD Martinez occupying the first six spots in the batting order--three batting .280 and higher, and three above .300.

Forgive me if I say "Blockbuster!!!!!!:

Forgive me if I dare to dream.  Detroit Tigers - 2012 World Champions !!!!!!