Showing posts from September, 2008


I did not watch the presidential debates because 1. I've already made up my mind, 2. I think there have already been plenty of opportunities to find out about these two men, and 3. I had other projects to work on. However, my understanding is that the debates are for the undecided, although the two men's positions, backgrounds, and temperaments are so distinct that I can't imagine why someone would be undecided at this point. Some come to the game late, I suppose, whereas others of us were following it over a year ago. And how it has changed. A student announced to me twelve months ago that Hillary would be the next president, as if it were inevitable. Ha! to quote McCain, nothing is inevitable; that is my new mantra (although everything in the Christian faith is opposed to the concept of a mantra, so I suppose I need a better term.) It has been fun to watch this election, but enough is enough already.

Having been a collegiate debate coach in my pre-motherhood li…

The Church and the World

Great article by the world's best Christian writer (essayist and journalist, that is), Philip Yancey:


Three points here.

Dr. Richard Land has been the interim pastor at our church. How that happened I will never understand. He's going to be a tough act to follow when our new pastor gets here (target date, November 2.) Dr. Land has been preaching on Revelation. I have never considered myself a premillenialist, for a trio of reasons. Why did no one discover it until the mid-1800s? Why is it so ever-loving complicated (can't we follow the Occam's razor rule for the second coming?) And Premillenialism seemed so American, a thought I should really expand upon in a later post. However, while I'm not ready to stand up and say "Premillenialism is the only way to interpret eschatology," I can at least say I understand it now, at least, I understand how it is found in the book of Revelation (and Daniel, Isaiah, Matthew, and Ezekiel).

Secondly, my book went from 2,500,000 on the Amazon list to 116,000. How did that happen? Are people actually buying it? Why won…


It is the seventh anniversary of 9/11/2001, and thus inevitable that I should post something. I begin with my memory of that morning.

We were working on the self-study for SACS accreditation at the technical college where I was teaching at the time; I was the chair of the steering committee and for some reason had earned the right to come in a little late. At around 9:00 I was getting in the car and heard Andy Napier, the radio host on WMBW, say that a report had just come in that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. Two thoughts came to me, as probably to everyone; I am not that clever. Either a big plane had gotten off course because of drug use or wild incompetence of the pilots, or he actually meant one of those little planes. Either way, the idea of what was about to happen that morning never occurred to me. Fifteen minutes later I was at work, where there were TV monitors in the hallways, of course surrounded by students and faculty. Before long, a second plane…

Good site for the confused

A good source for some truth-- It is sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation. It's independent. Barak Obama is not a Muslim; Sarah Palin is not for teaching only evolution in the public schools.

The partisan lies in this election have been insidious, but part of the problem is that the election has gone on a ridiculously long time and the media wants fresh meat. Palin is fresh meat, mooseburger probably in their eyes.

Because I make it such a priority to know the truth, I am impatient with those who lie, knowingly or unknowingly. It will probably get me in trouble.


One of the best, and worst, tools ever invented for a public speaker (I'm returning to the point of this blog) is PowerPoint. I've seen it all--"Death by PowerPoint" videos; the article by Edward Tufte, "PowerPoint is evil," etc. It's easy to mock PowerPoint; it has become a cliche.

Yet I require PowerPoint from my students and want them to know how to best use it. So I offer my top ten list of PowerPoint points of power: (is that cornball or what?)

1. If you are going to use PowerPoint, plan on making it a good one and plan on taking some time with it. It's a wonderful time killer. Plan first, deciding on the layout of each slide beforehand, remembering the 7 x 7 rule in terms of text (no more than 7 lines horizontally, including the heading, and the longest line no longer than 7 words). Look at all the available backgrounds first and make a decision on the one you will use and stick with it, because changing after typing the text in will a…


I got an email today, one of those pass-along ones, attributed to Jay Leno, about the basic whininess of Americans, 69% of whom allegedly are unhappy. It was actually written by Craig Smith of WorldNetDaily. It's a good piece, and here's a link to it.
I had been incredulous about the lack of perspective Americans have about their blessings, so the piece sounded a bell for me.

On the other hand, who says 69% of Americans are unhappy? Is that really a legitimate statistic? Where is the source? It's probably based on the people who listen to network news because if that were someone's sole source of information, he or she would think things are much worse than they are.

Anyway, thanks be to God that the hurricane abated and did not hit the coast with the full force of a Cat 5 storm. I've seen the aftermath of Katrina, and I don't know if those folks could have sustained a Cat 5 again so soon.