Dress Code
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It might be my imagination, but it seems that the high school where my kids attend gets more vocal every year about what constitutes appropriate dress. Boyz in the ‘hood wear their pants halfway down their butts, proudly displaying the designs on their boxers. My sources say that this style comes from prisons, where belts of any kind are thought too dangerous to allow, and so the inmates walk around all day with their drawers drooping. At our high school,... Read More
August 1969
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I can’t think of a better time to reflect on the schizophrenic nature of humanity than the current wave of nostalgia for that famous August forty years ago. People were still glowing with amazement and pride about the moon landing a few weeks earlier. 500,000 people converged on Bethel, New York, to Max Yasgur’s farm for three days of music (and nights! Good grief! The Who went on Saturday night at 4:00 a.m. and played 25 songs). The great music... Read More
Polyamory
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Remember David Crosby? He was the guitar player and singer with the Byrds and Crosby Stills & Nash. He was a legend for his walrus mustache, mounds of frizzy hair, and clouds of marijuana smoke. He wrote a song back in 1967 called “Triad” whose lyrics were so revolutionary that the Byrds refused to put it on their “Notorious Byrd Brothers” album. The Jefferson Airplane members weren’t nearly so shy. They put “Triad” on “Crown of Creation” the next year.... Read More
Rev. Ike
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New York religious life has lost one of its most colorful characters this summer. Rev. Ike (Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II, the son of an African American and a Dutch Indonesian) is dead at 74.   Rev. Ike was born in South Carolina and started his first church there. He moved to Boston and gained some fame as a faith healer and preacher, but it was in Harlem, on 175th & Broadway in Manhattan, that he achieved his greatest fame. He and... Read More
That They May Be One
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It is a given among many Christians that the splintering of the outward form of the church into many pieces is a disaster. Many millions of believers have prayed that the divisions of doctrine and practice would be healed and everyone could be part of the same organization once again. When they read Jesus’ prayer for unity in John 17, they are thinking outward unity, i.e. the end of different denominations.   Maybe I’m just a contrarian at heart, but I’d... Read More
Mr. McNair
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I just can’t get Steve McNair out of my mind. McNair is a legend in Tennessee. He led the Titans all the way to the Super Bowl in 2000 with his great passing and running, falling one yard short of a miracle comeback in the title game as time expired. He is Nashville’s biggest sports hero. Was. He was found with four bullets in him on a couch in the condo he shared with his mistress, a waitress from Nashville’s... Read More
Soulmate
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In the military they call it “friendly fire.” It means that your wounds (or death) were caused by ammo from your own comrades.   This has been a grim season for the GOP. The party has been knocked back not only by the Obama tidal wave, but has suffered damage inflicted by its own leaders. The Republican Party for many years has tried to portray itself as the party of family values, based on Christian principles. Generally Republicans oppose abortion, gay... Read More
What Freedom Gives
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Here in my community and communities throughout America, we’ve just celebrated our nation’s independence – the 4th of July. Communities across the country have joined together with parades, fireworks, patriotic flags and family cookouts to celebrate the freedom we as Americans have.     The word ‘freedom’ has a sweet ring to it, doesn’t it? Those who spend their lives guarding it deserve our gratitude. Being Americans means that we can worship, study, and evangelize in peace. This 4th of July, let’s... Read More
Farrah, Jacko, and Ed
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Three of the most well-known people on television in the 1980s all passed away within days of each other this week. Ed McMahon was Johnny Carson’s sidekick on the tonight show, bellering “Heeeeere’s Johnny!” at the start of each show, chuckling on cue to Johnny’s jokes, and serving as his comic foil. Farrah Fawcett starred in the first season of “Charlie’s Angels.” Her massive pile of layered blonde hair is one of the main reasons why so many brides in... Read More
Fatherhood
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OK, class, pay attention. When did Father’s Day officially become a national day of recognition? Post Civil War? 1890’s? First World War era? Wrong to all of the above. Not until 1972 was the legislation signed officially by President Richard Nixon. I guess I’m not surprised. I don’t think Americans really value enough the critical role that fathering plays in youth development.   Here are a few stats to spoil your day: ·         71% of high-school dropouts have no dad at... Read More