Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm No Economist But...

One afternoon several months ago, Nicol and I were sitting on the couch doing some casual reading. I didn't know the title of her book but, as she often does, she was sharing blurbs from it as she whizzed thru it, paragraph after paragraph, page after page. She's one of those annoying people who can sit down with a book, thumb thru it in about an hour or two and know with a great deal of accuracy the author's basic premise, as well as most of the significant details therein. And if you ask her about it, like, 3 years later, she STILL remembers many of the details. Honestly... it bugs me... a lot. No one should be that smart. [ :-) ] 

Anyway, that's not my point. As she was spouting off fact after fact and statement after statement, I asked her what she was reading. "It's called 'The Coming Economic Earthquake,'" she replied. So, naturally, I asked her who wrote it and she told me, "Larry Burkett, in 1991." "1991?! What?!" I asked/blurted out. "Yes." 

The reason 1991 was so surprising is that what she was reading to me was so eerily similar to, if not exactly like, what was happening at that time with our economy. Remember last fall, when The Fed was lowering interest rates, Wall Street was sinking like a lead balloon, banks for falling apart at their financial seams, and the once-booming housing market was plummeting? I could not believe that this writer, Larry Burkett, had so accurately described the economic conditions that we were witnessing at that time, and have continued to experience to this day... and I'm not sure we realize just how significant this "recession" or "downturn" in our economy really is.    

Below are links to a two-part interview conducted in 1992 by James Dobson (founder and chairman of Focus on the Family) with Larry Burkett (deceased; was co-founder and chairman of Crown Financial Ministries). It was re-aired by Focus in October 2008. 

These interviews are well worth the 55 minutes or so that it will take to listen to them in their entirety. I would highly recommend that you check 'em out. Much to my regret, I am finding just how undereducated I am on this issue, and I am convinced that we can't ignore it, nor can we avoid educating ourselves on it because the problem is so significant that it simply will not allow itself to be ignored for much longer. It has crept up on us and it has the potential to destroy our country as we have known it. This is serious and this country's sovereignty may hang in the balance. As extreme as all that may sound, I do not believe that it is extreme at all... I believe that it's an accurate description of what we are facing. To be sure, only history will be able to inform us as to the severity of all this, and I'm definitely not making any predictions here, but we had better wake up, educate ourselves, and get as prepared as possible for what lies ahead.

Why is this such a big deal? I'm no economist, and I'm certainly not a finance guru, but I can do basic math, and it seems to me that we are in a heap of trouble when it comes to our future... both economically and generally speaking. I don't consider myself an alarmist by any stretch of the imagination, and I don't think those who know me do either, but I believe that we are in for some drastically difficult times... and given the fact that I've never wanted for ANYTHING in my life, I don't have the first idea what "drastically difficult times" means... and that concerns me.

Here are a few statistics that Burkett shared during his interviews with Dobson...
  • in 1980, the federal government owed $700-800 billion
  • in 1990, the federal government owed $3 trillion
  • in 1992, the federal government owed $4 trillion
  • today, the federal government owes in excess of $10 trillion, possibly as much as $12 trillion 
The point? The federal deficit has grown exponentially over the past 3 decades. And this year alone it is projected that we will have a federal budget shortfall of $1.75 trillion. 

Let me put that in perspective for you... and I think the figure below is correct... you can play with the numbers at it's very possible that I've got this messed up somehow, so please let me know and I will stand corrected... these kinds of numbers are surely not what I'm accustomed to dealing with... whatever the case, this stuff is mind-boggling.
  • If you amortize $1.75 trillion (the projected federal budget deficit for this year) over 1,000 years (that's right, a thousand years!) at 1% interest (good luck finding that rate; having said that, I have no idea what our government gets for interest rates on its loans) you'll be paying $1,458,399,820.88 per month. Basically, that's $1.5 billion every single month. Told you this is scary stuff. And keep in mind that $1.75 trillion only represents the coming year. We've got another $10-12 trillion on the books. Think about that for a minute.  
But here's where it goes from bad to worse: we can't afford our current payments and yet we continue to borrow more. Check out these stats from Burkett, which reflect the percentage of taxes paid by every taxpayer that went toward paying the interest on the national debt (interest only, not principal). 
  • 1991 = 40%
  • 1995 = 75%
  • 2000 = 100% (as projected by Burkett; he passed in 2003)
The bottom line? As Burkett said in 1992, "we are creeping our way to the point where our government can't borrow enough money to pay our bills." 

Here's where we are today folks... borrowing money to pay the interest on our debt... and eventually we won't even be able to borrow enough to pay the people we owe... interest or otherwise. Not a good situation.

All this is precisely why all this talk of "stimulus" and "bailouts" should concern us all. Borrowing more on top of what we already owe is a recipe for disaster. Again, I'm no economist, but if someone owed $8,000 in credit card debt (which, incidentally, is the national average) who in their right mind would encourage that individual to borrow another $1,000 with the hope that it would somehow, in the long run, help them to pay off that debt? No one would do that because it wouldn't work! And yet, fundamentally, that is exactly what our government is doing.

Burkett was onto something 17 years ago. His book was a NY Times Best Seller. Many took note of his warnings, but many others dismissed his work out of hand, calling him an alarmist. It's understandable how people could dismiss and ignore what he had to say back then - 1991 - but now, in 2009, with everything that has taken place in the past 6 months and with the projected indefinite continued downturn in the economy, we had better at least give this serious consideration. Hopefully it's not too late.

The concept driving my concern is both biblical and practical... the borrower is servant to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7) Whereas the U.S. was once the lender, we have become the borrower, and that is dangerous territory. In many ways, we are at the mercy of those to whom we owe this money.  

Let me try to end this on a positive note with a much-needed dose of biblical perspective...

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (Matthew 6:34, The Message)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

On My Mind : 22609

Read this yesterday morning... pretty much knocked me between the eyeballs... one of those needed reminders, yet one that is also painful to receive... sort of makes you analyze things.

The real test of the saint is not preaching the gospel, but washing disciples' feet, that is, doing the things that do not count in the actual estimate of men but count everything in the estimate of God. Paul delighted to spend himself out for God's interests in other people, and he did not care what it cost. We come in with our economical notions - "Suppose God wants me to go there - what about the salary? What about the climate? How shall I be looked after? A man must consider these things." All that is an indication that we are serving God with a reserve. The apostle Paul had no reserve. Paul focuses Jesus Christ's idea of a New Testament saint in his life, not one who proclaims the Gospel merely, but one who becomes broken bread and poured out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for other lives. [ Source: Oswald Chambers ]



Last Sunday morning, while at a hotel in Atlanta, we were getting ready for the day when Summer picked up the phone in our room and struck up a conversation. Nicol heard her but thought she was just playing around, talking to another imaginary friend. "I'd like to order a pizza please." And then, "Do you have any Froot Loops?" And, finally, "Yes, she's right here." and she proceeded to hand the phone to Nicol. Somehow, she had managed to find the front desk call button and was actually talking to one of the ladies there, who understandably asked, "Is your mommy there?" So Nicol had to explain everything to the woman. But that's not all. A few minutes later Summer got back on the phone and called the front desk again, this time saying, "I'd like to talk to Lilly and Lise please." (Lilly and Lise are her cousins in Maine who, of course, were not available in the lobby!)

Later that day, we drove to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport to catch a flight. I dropped off Nicol and Summer at check-in and went to park the car. When they got to the counter, Summer stepped up onto the baggage scale. Nicol noticed the agent suddenly begin to laugh out loud. Assuming Summer had said something, Nicol asked the agent what happened. The woman said she asked Summer how old she was, to which Summer replied, "I'm gonna be 3 in May." Guess the agent wasn't expecting that answer. Yep... she's 3 all right... going on 23!

Until another time, see ya later alligator... or, as Summer said the other day, "AdiĆ³s alligator!" :-)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Follow-Up to "Where's Rock Obama?"

This is a follow-up to the "Where's Rock Obama?" post from February 19...

[ I hope that you'll understand why as you continue to read thru this, but I deleted the original post and inserted it below, in blue, so that any discussion on this subject can be found in one place. ]

So, Summer has given us a lift in the past couple of otherwise heavy days... this one takes the cake, though.

(Summer) "Where's Rock Obama?" (don't you love it, "Rock" Obama)
(Me) "Do you mean, Barack Obama, the President?" (holding back laughter)
(Summer) "Yeah, he's so funny!" (with a chuckle)
(Me) "Do you like him?" (adding my own chuckle)
(Summer) "No, he scares me." (rather emphatically)

Hmmmm..... I think this kid may be on to something.

My primary concern... I don't want anything to detract from the purpose for which this blog exists... that being to let people know that grief and brokenness can and do coexist with joy and hope.

I started this blog in order to share the greatest pain Nicol and I have faced thus far in life... losing our son, Luke, to SIDS. In telling his story I've wanted to encourage others who may have experienced an identical or similar loss. I've wanted to let people know that in the midst of horrific, devastating heartache, we have found God to be more real and present than ever. I've wanted to offer my best explanation as to why I believe it's worth fighting thru the painful circumstances that come our way... after all, who is exempt from dealing with pain... and who, at some point, hasn't find themselves so low, so seemingly hopeless, so full of doubt that it's a struggle to just get out of bed in the morning? Mostly though, I've wanted to offer hope to those who have been wounded in a way that has changed their lives forever.

I have tried to be open, honest, and real about our journey... both of the awfulness of our grief and the indescribable wonder of our hope. I have invited people into our world, into the very life of our family. I have found, overwhelmingly so, that Luke's story has indeed been a source of comfort and encouragement to a lot of people. And more than that, I have found that in sharing God's faithfulness to us, many have embraced their freedom to grieve and process in their own way and according to their own needs... and some have found the strength just to make it thru another day.

My primary concern? I don't want to inhibit or squelch any of the good that God can do as we try to honor Luke's life.

That said, here are four promises... First, I'm going to let my "yes" be yes and my "no" be no. No swearing of oaths. No embellishments or superlatives. No begging or pleading for anyone to believe me. No all-caps, bolded, italicized, double-underscored explanations. Just my word and the hope that you will accept what I have to say as truthful.

Second, I will not make this personal. There will be no verbal assaults or character assassinations. I'm not looking for a fight, argument or debate, but I welcome healthy, productive and respectful discussions with anyone who is interested in the same. While I realize that everyone may not be in agreement, which is totally okay, I think that even in disagreement we can be respectful of one another.

Third, I intended nothing insensitive or inflammatory whatsoever in the "Where's Rock Obama?" post. I did not mean to offend anyone... that was the farthest thing from my mind. I was not trying to be disrespectful toward President Obama. And I was certainly not trying to convey anything in the way of a racist attitude... directly, veiled, or otherwise.

Fourth, I can assure you that the only thing I intended to do was let you in on a story, as I have many times before on this blog, about our 2-1/2 year-old daughter... a story about something she said that my wife and I found to be cute and funny.

I can also assure you of this... to read anything into that post other than that is simply not accurate.

My explanation... I'm not sure exactly which part of the post people object to. Maybe it's the "Rock" Obama part? Surely it's not the "he's so funny!" or the "do you like him?" lines. So I'm guessing it all centers around the "no, he scares me" and the "hmmmm... I think this kid may be on to something."

Let me explain... first, the "no, he scares me" part. Given the fact that on at least two occasions Summer has said, "I love Rock Obama. He's so silly." I doubt that she had any sense of what she was saying with regard to her "he scares me" statement. And, folks, come on, we're talkinig about a kid who isn't even 3-years-old yet. I took it as one of those random things little kids tend to say. Nothing more, nothing less. Sort of like some other things she said last week, e.g., "Barney and BJ and Baby Bop and The Wiggles and Miss Patty Cake are my cousins." Totally random and totally cute and funny... to me at least.

I want to come back to this part, but first let me talk about my comment that "I think this kid may be on to something" because the two are actually related. All I can say on this is what I've already said... there was not a hint of racial overtones or undertones in this statement. Not even close. I did not consciously or, in retrospect, subconciously have our President's skin color in mind when I wrote that. Again, this whole thing was nothing more than an innocent exchange.

Two acknowledgements... First, let me come back to the "he scares me" and "I think this kid may be on to something" comments.

It is entirely possible, if not likely, that Summer has heard me, Nicol, or both of us say "he (President Obama) scares me." Let me explain...

Throughout the entire election process, there were things about each and every candidate that scared us... things we didn't agree with or like. So when it comes to our President, it has absolutely nothing to do with his ethnicity and everything to do with certain aspects of his policy. I don't support everything he supports just like I don't support everything Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid or, for that matter, George W. Bush or John McCain support.

Some of President Obama's policies scare me because I don't think that they are good for our country... plain and simple. Again, it has nothing to do with the fact that he is African-American and everything to do with the fact that I think some of his positions are detrimental to this country. That doesn't mean I'm racist, it means I have chosen a different position. There's really nothing more I can add to that.

As for the "I think this kid may be on to something" comment, well, in my mind, as I just explained, some of Obama's policies are scary to me and so, when my little girl said what she said, I thought it fitting to respond as I did. It was tongue-in-cheek. It was meant to be funny. It was not serious. Perhaps it was in poor taste, and to every reader who found it to be so, I sincerely apologize and ask for your forgiveness. But please know that I meant nothing hurtful or offensive.

Second, I want everyone to know that I do not deny or dismiss or take lightly the reality of racial, ethnic, class, socioeconomic, sociocultural, etc. injustices in this country and, for that matter, around the world. In fact, if you'd like, you can read my January 19 post in which I wrote, among other things, this statement: "despite our political differences, I am thankful for Barack Obama." And I remain thankful for him and, yes, most every night before we put Summer in bed, either Nicol or I pray for him... as our President, that God would give him wisdom and protect him and his family and whatever else may be on our mind about him.

Back to my point though... history is rife with examples of injustices and prejudices that exist for no other reason than the ethnic origin of their subjects. No one can deny that and, certainly, no one should dismiss it. To do so is perhaps that greatest injustice of all. Human beings are quite naturally prone to looking at outward appearances rather than the inward substance and inherent worth of the person. Who can say that is not the case? Who can claim to never have done that? I most definitely have been guilty of making value judgments against people based on their appearance. I'm not proud of that, and I hope that I have and will continue to grow in this area, but it's true.

So let me wrap up this section with this... while I did not mean to offend anyone or communicate a disrespectful attitude toward our President or even hint at anything racial, I do understand why some would assume that I was.

Below is a quote by Michael Emerson (Ph.D., Sociology) that may help you understand where I'm coming from. Emerson is part of the faculty at Rice University in Houston and he teaches courses in race and ethnic relations, religion, and urban sociology. He is a respected author and leading expert on the subjects he teaches and writes about.

[Describing a family vacation in Sicily, where they saw Mt. Etna, he said] We were struck by its calm beauty, but we were also reminded by our tour guide that we were standing on the most active volcano in Europe. Just a few months after we left, Mount Etna erupted with such force that it could be seen from outer space. It has erupted several times since. Appearances can often be deceiving.

Race relations in the United States are like this. Often, on the surface, this nation’s mosaic of racial and ethnic diversity can seem beautiful and even awe-inspiring. People of every conceivable background working hard to achieve their goals in this free land.

But this nation is a racial volcano. We know we have had major eruptions in the past, killing and scarring many. But like tourists to Mount Etna, we often assume that such eruptions are only in the past, that below the surface is calmness, not a boiling cauldron that must erupt periodically to release pressure.

The United States has never gone very long between eruptions. Yet, not long after each one, many tend to think that should do it. The last vestiges of hot lava have flowed.

We completely misunderstand race relations when we take this view.

This is a great reminder to me that race relations are an ultra-sensitive subject and that is why I can understand why some were offended by the "Where's Rock Obama?" post. Having said that, however, one has to make some very significant assumptions about me and my intentions in order to draw any conclusions regarding my character, the way that I live my life, the authenticity of my Christianity, and whether or not I am racist and likewise instilling the same mentality into my daughter, all of which were based on an innocent story in a blog post. Please don't throw out the baby with the bath water. 

A request... I would be happy to discuss this further with anyone who so desires, but I don't want to do it in this forum. As I said earlier, that is not the purpose of this blog. But, please, feel free to email me at with your feedback and/or questions or whatever. And remember, I'm not looking for a fight, argument, or debate, but I'll always welcome healthy, productive, respectful discussions.

On a related note, I want to reach out specifically to those who took exception to the "Where's Rock Obama?" post. I think there were 5 of you, but given that there were 5 it's quite possible there were more who didn't appreciate it but chose not to comment. Whatever the case, one of the frustrating things about these comments is that I have no way to respond to them except here, publicly. Since I think it's more appropriate to sort these things out privately and directly, I would appreciate it if you would email me at the address provided above. One of you has done that and I look forward to our dialogue (thanks M.M.).

Grace and peace to all.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Grief... A Troublesome Creature

... we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

I've read this verse many times over the past almost 9 months... thought about it far more... talked about it to a lesser extent... even preached from this passage once.

It was the theme of Luke's committal service.

Its message has in many ways become our life's motif.

Grieving with hope.

Though I am holding on to the hope that is promised, I have not "felt" very hopeful of late.

I guess that's part of what happens with the loss of a child.

This grief thing is a troublesome creature.

It forces me like nothing else ever has to live in the tension of unbelief and belief, uncertainty and certainty, sadness and gladness, brokenness and redemption, bitter and sweet, anger and calm, fear and courage, weakness and strength, despair and hope, darkness and light.    

This concept of grieving with hope is rife with paradoxical realities.

I find that speaking and thinking about our loss is both cleansing and caustic. It just depends on the day... the moment really. 

The tears that fall have the same effect... they open and purify the wound but they also prompt the realization that this wound will always weep because there is no getting over an injury like this.

The reminders of shattered dreams and hoped-for-things are all too frequent. They are as certain and unwanted as taxes coming due. They are anticipated and dreaded like a trip to the dentist. They lurk and then surprise like a thief. They taunt and they haunt. 

This grief thing is a troublesome creature.

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled. 
But You, O Lord - how long?
(Psalm 6:2-3)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

God's Love Never Quits

Psalm 136 was part of today's reading in the Book of Common Prayer. (If you'd like, click here to read.) Every verse in this psalm contains this wonderful reality... God's love never quits. 

A fitting thought on Valentine's Day! 

Here are a bunch of other ways of saying it...  

His lovingkindness is everlasting.
His steadfast love endures forever.
His mercy endures forever.
His loyal love endures.
His love is eternal.
His love endures forever.
His faithful love endures forever.
God's love never fails.
His love continues forever.

His love never quits.

What a great thought to meditate on...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

This is Summer...

This is Summer on the night before our weekend road trip... she was "going night-night with my friends."

This is Summer on the first day (Thursday) of our weekend road trip... she had just bought a special gift from Cracker Barrel with her Christmas money from Grammy and Grampy... a new purse, complete with a camera, mp3 player w/headphones, and a flashlight... and check it out, they all actually work!

This is Summer about one hour into the final day (Sunday) of our weekend road trip... a little bored, obviously... or just so into her Miss Patty Cake DVD that she mistook a marker for make-up... or maybe she was just tired of using the coloring book?

This is Summer about one hour and five minutes into the final day of our weekend road trip... and we drove for 7 more hours after this little episode... you should have seen her by the time we got home... the marker was pretty much either washed or worn off by that time, but she was TOTALLY fed up with being in the car for so long.

By the way, our little adventure took us from Nashville to Chattanooga to Atlanta to Augusta (GA) to Winnsboro (SC) to Charlotte to Asheville to Knoxville and back to Nashville... and we stopped in 5 of the 7 places not called Nashville... 1,092 miles according to the odometer... yes, we're a little tired, a good tired though... it was a great weekend... met some amazing folks from Trinity on the Hill UMC of North Augusta, SC and had a chance to catch up with some wonderful friends, Lance and Jenny Lou... was great to be with y'all!!!

Many, many thanks to everyone who was praying for us...  

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Varsity Ain't Five Guys

We are on the road this weekend... Nicol is singing at a women's retreat... and I'll be trying to keep the details together (for our part of the weekend at least).

Our travels today took us thru downtown Atlanta, so we stopped at the famed "The Varsity" for burgers. It was our first visit. In case you have never been and you're in ATL sometime, it's located just off the I-75/85 exit for Georgia Tech (and I think they have several other locations as well). I would recommend going just for the experience alone... it's a pretty cool place... I think a sign there said they've been in business for 80 years... that's very impressive, but more so than that, according to a brochure Nicol read, they use/make 1 ton of onions, 2500 pounds of potatoes, 5000 fried pies, and 300 gallons of chili EVERY DAY! 

We had heard about it from a lot of different people and had passed by it several times but just hadn't ever taken the time to stop. My impression? While it was fun to go there, let me just put it this way... it ain't Five Guys... and I'll leave it at that... but we did enjoy ourselves.

If you think of it, pray that this weekend would go well and also for an event that we have coming up on Monday and Tuesday. Along with Todd and Angie (Smith), the four of us will be sharing our stories of losing Luke and Audrey. We're looking forward to it (in a weird sort of way I guess) but it will be difficult too. Brokenness and Redemption (the story of this journey) will be the themes for the two nights.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On My Mind : 2309

Yesterday's post included a very hurtful comment that was made to me soon after we lost Lukey. I am so very thankful for the kind and encouraging words that have been shared with us today. Those responses have reminded me that, by far, the majority of things that have been shared with us over the past 9+ months fall on the helpful side of things... no doubt about that. But it's so easy to remember the discouraging, hurtful words and to lose sight of the fact that we have in many ways been sustained by the thoughtful, grace-filled, and loving verbal embraces that have been streamed our way... from family and friends and acquaintances and even complete strangers... it's been remarkable. 

So I am reminded of the need to keep things in perspective, to try and remain balanced in my thinking, and to not allow myself to be tangled up in the enemy's web of lies... because, the fact is, the harmful words have been greatly outweighed by the tender ones. 

A Theory
I've had a theory for some time that came back to me late this afternoon while out for a run... which, by the way, took place in temperatures that were hovering around 20 degrees... made me run faster. 

Anyway, I've noticed throughout my adult life that when I put on weight, it seems to settle right around my mid-section... you know, STS, the Spare Tire Syndrome. (I'm guessing that I'm not alone here.) The reality is, it wasn't an issue for me until I transitioned from competitive athletics to recreational/leisure activities... which occurred when I was about 20 years of age... and it included a lot of golf which, doesn't exactly induce much in the way of sustained elevated heart rate or the development of any kind of significant cardiovascular fitness. 

The problem at that point was that I continued to eat as though I was still burning massive amounts of calories every day. So, obviously, I packed on the pounds. Then, at around age 25 or 26, I got into running and by the time I was about 28 I was pretty much addicted to it... to the tune of 25-30 miles a week. So, obviously, I trimmed down and was perhaps as fit as I ever have been... and I once again enjoyed the unbelievable luxury of eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. 

Then I got married... and I suppose you know what that means. I was a full-time grad student and on the weekends I traveled with Nicol when she was out singing... all of which translated into no time for exercise and the re-development of some extremely poor eating habits. 

All that to say this... between the ages of 25 and 35 my weight fluctuated between 205 and 260. The point? Like I said at the outset, I've noticed that my "trouble spot" is my waist-line... when I put on weight it tends to start there and keep on expanding from there.

The theory? My sin "trouble-spots" are much the same as the weight trouble spot I just described in that I struggle both continually and in different seasons of life with certain sin issues. In other words, just as my belly is a trouble spot with regard to carrying extra weight, so are certain specific areas of sin a problem which, when fed or ignored, can get out of control in a hurry. In the same way that I have to be intentional about reaching and maintaining a healthy weight thru diet and exercise, I have to be consciously aware of my specific struggles with sin and I have to be intentional about the daily fight that I face.

Does this make any sense?

The good news, of course, is this...

In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. -Hebrews 12:4

Jesus took care of that part. We struggle with sin, but He struggled to the point of death so that our struggle is not in vain.




Monday, February 2, 2009

On My Mind : 2209

Super Bowl
Great game... I could leave it at that, but I'm not going to.

How in the WORLD did Arizona NOT catch #92 James Harrison and tackle him before he ran back that interception 99 or 100 yards or whatever it was just before halftime? Seriously. Do anything... trip him, jump on his back and make him carry you down the field... whatever... just don't let him get to into the end zone. Must be easier said than done.

And PLEASE... Curt Warner was passing the football on that last play... it was NOT a fumble... at least not according to these 20/200 eyes (and no, that's not very good vision, but still, even I could see that)... I can't believe they didn't review that play. What an anticlimactic ending... except if you're a Steelers fan.

Oh well... it WAS still a great game to watch.

Physical/Emotional Correlation
Is there a correlation between the physical and the emotional? 

More specifically, in what ways are physical and emotional healing similar? Different? How do we tend to approach these journeys/processes? What are the expectations we place on ourselves and others when it comes to healing? 

Just thinking and wondering... b/c two weeks after we lost Luke I had someone tell me that we "need to move on"... and I have to be honest here, it still makes me furious, and it still really hurts.

Would we ever tell anyone to just move on... who is recovering from surgery, or had just been seriously injured in a car wreck, or was suffering with a chronic illness, or simply had a bad case of the flu... obviously no, we wouldn't and we don't tell people who are suffering physically that they "need to move on"... we tell them to take there time b/c there's no rush... just get better.

So why do some people think it necessary to sweep emotional carnage under the carpet and move on and pretend it's not there? As if we can do that... come on.

Sorry if I sound bitter about this... I guess I am.  

Mid-Life Crisis?
Nicol and I have been looking for a second car lately... and I'm wondering if my inclination to get something fun to drive and sporty and sleek is in any way indicative that I'm peeking thru the door of a mid-life crisis. I'm kidding... kinda... the thought did cross my mind. 

Believe me, I don't know how this stuff works (and please, correct me if I'm wrong) but at least women get hot flashes and stuff (right?)... so they know something is up. Maybe the desire for a cool set of wheels is the male equivalent of the hot flashes women experience? 

Who knows?!

No offense... I'm just thinking here.