Category: History

The Song That Nobody Knows

Even if you’re like me and your New Year’s Eve revelry consisted merely of watching TV as the ball dropped in Times Square and then promptly hitting the sack, chances are you at least heard “the song that nobody knows.” If you rang in the New Year at a party then perhaps you even sang it–or tried to. You see, most people don’t know the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne , or if they do, they typically have no idea what they’re singing. Often people, in the fashion of a mondegreen, sing something like “old lang’s sign,” or else resort to the “nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah,” that we all fall back on when we forget (or never knew) the lyrics to a song.… Read the rest

Happy 50th Anniversary Mom and Dad!

If my father had lived to see tomorrow, he would have celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with my mother. His untimely death in 1980 left my mother a fairly young widow, but tomorrow we will celebrate nonetheless–for love transcends all boundaries of time and space, life and death.

My Mom and Dad attended the same high school and both graduated in 1951, but they were only casual acquaintances at the time. In those days, my father was tagged with the ironic nickname “Bonecrusher,” standing as he did at 4’11” his senior year (he grew 7 inches his first year out of school).… Read the rest

Thoughts on Lessons and Carols

Several of us Church of Christ folks snuck over to the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Huntsville last night for A Festival Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. The Church of the Nativity is one of the oldest churches in Huntsville and has an interesting piece of history attached to it. During the Civil War, the Union Army occupied Huntsville and began commandeering area churches to use as stables for their horses. One Union officer was sent with a detail to Church of the Nativity for that purpose. However, when he saw the words “Reverence My Sanctuary” (still seen today) above the front entrance, he had second thoughts and gave orders to his troops that the church was to remain untouched.… Read the rest

Merry Christmas You Wonderful Old FBI!

Our Sunday School class has been watching Frank Capra’s classic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life recently and discussing it in the context of scriptures such as Philippians 2:3 and Psalm 90:17. Jimmy Stewart’s character George Bailey was indeed a man who “considered others better” than himself and who had the unique opportunity to see what difference the “work of his hands” made in the life and times of the people of the fictional town of Bedford Falls, New York. Like Clarence the Angel, we “like that George Bailey”–how could anyone not, right?

Well, it may surprise you that in 1946 when the movie was first released, the movie was unmercifully panned by critics as “too corny” and promptly flopped at the box office (it was not until PBS began re-broadcasting the movie in the 1970s that it finally got its second wind and became a Christmas classic).… Read the rest

Pearl Harbor Day Reflections

Today is December 7th, the day that FDR so famously said would “live in infamy.” Over the years, I’ve been privileged to meet many who were there that day and been honored by hearing their stories. If you’re interested in getting the point of view of some more Pearl Harbor survivors click here as well as the U.S.S. Arizona site.

I remember my Dad’s Pearl Harbor story too. He was 8-years-old when he heard the news that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. Sunday afternoon after the assault, he and his sister were playing outside when a private plane passed overhead.… Read the rest

Remembering Lewis Well

My friend Bill Gnade at Contratimes has written a moving tribute to C.S. Lewis on this the 42nd anniversary of his passing into “a better country.” As Bill points out, Lewis, President John F. Kennedy and Aldous Huxley all died within a few hours of each other. Author Peter Kreeft took that fact and ran with it, producing the work Between Heaven and Hell in which he imagines the three meeting and debating in the afterlife.

Like Bill, Lewis opened my mind to the possiblity of retaining my Christian faith without giving up on intellect and reason. His works impacted my life in deep ways and also connected me with many other authors who influenced Lewis or were in some way connected to him.… Read the rest

Where Honorable Men Feared to Tread

Last week’s horrific al-Qaeda bombings in Jordan are the most recent in their ongoing strategy of terrifying those who only remotely support US interests, even if it means killing fellow Muslims. The latest attack was especially egregious in it’s cowardice and inhumanity, as a wedding in full swing was rudely interrupted by two uninvited guests wearing explosive-laden vests. The two were, ironically, a husband and wife team. The wife’s bomb failed to detonate, but the husband succeeded, killing 57 members of the wedding party, including the fathers of both the bride and the bridegroom, and injuring over 90 more.… Read the rest

A Veterans Day Special–“My Very Dear Sarah”

When I first heard those words, “Dear Sarah,” I was chasing my young first born son around our Nashville apartment trying to diaper the boy before he could do any further damage. The light from our TV cast an eerie glow in our small, darkened living room as a new PBS series on the American Civil War by a young filmmaker, Ken Burns, played in the backgound.

Suddenly, the scratch of a lone fiddle commenced, and soon the beautiful and haunting strains of Ashokan Farewell filled the room. Paul Roebling, with his resonant voice, began: “Dear Sarah,” and what followed were some of the most beautiful and soaring words that I had ever heard spoken in the English language.… Read the rest

What Happens in Pensacola, Doesn’t Stay in Pensacola

Number One son and I made a mad dash south on I-65 Friday afternoon. Destination: Pensacola, Florida. Reason: a season-ending soccer tournament whose name I don’t care to mention for reasons soon-to-be-apparent.

I’ve always enjoyed our little confabs in the car during soccer trips, although I’m not sure that the feeling has always been mutual. Since I gave each of the boys “The Talk” on a soccer trip, it’s a running joke in our family that time alone in the car with Dad invariably means some new words of wisdom regarding sex and/or girls. This is not quite fair, however, as we have also covered other important topics, such as how to politely address fellow drivers who cut us off in traffic and how to talk on the phone, read a road map and fiddle with the CD player while traveling at 70mph (ok, maybe an occasional 75mph when going down a hill).… Read the rest


Ever since the First Council of Nicaea, Christians have been getting together to hash things out. Now that the blogosphere has taken the Christian world by storm, it was only a matter of time before the first God Blog Convention was convened.

Although I’m enjoying reading all kinds of blogs and especially connecting with other Christians and reading their thoughts, I’m a little skeptical about some of the extravagent claims I’m reading. When it comes to the blogosphere’s potential for ushering in a new era in Chrisitianity, I frankly don’t think ol’ Johann Gutenberg needs to be watching his back.… Read the rest