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This is the season for Americans to stop and give thanks.  As one of the three biggest Americans holidays, Americans gleefully stop there lives for a four-day-weekend, overeat turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and pie.  Their holiday might include a bunch of football (lousy games this year though!) or a few hours of Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade (like watching paint dry for me).

But we all stop to give thanks.

There is so many things to give thanks about.
    For the last few hours you had together with someone you loved.
    For the ability to have food before you, or the opportunity to even eat it.
    For the few minutes you may live without pain,
    For those great words "I love you."
    For the ability to laugh.
    For crepes, pumpkin pie, and banana cream pie. 
    For girls that love to hug me and give their daddy kisses.
    For the simple pleasure of our schnauzer and german shepherd.
    For friends with which I can relax, just being myself.
    For a GREAT wife and wonderful kids.
    For people that sacrifice so much to pray for us.
    For Jesus Christ.

Is it even possible to end writing a list like this?

A Bit of Chill

I grew up loving winter--the snow, the wind, the ice.  I have always loved a great snowstorm, a huge one that dumps road-closing amounts, forcing a stay-at-home vacation.  I love the bitter bite that comes ahead of the winter wind as it swirls through the trees.  So though you may be a sun-worshipper, I am a frost fan. 

Even so, I really am not prepared for winter in Moldova already. 

We aren't like Lithuania and Latvia, already blanketed with the white stuff.  But a dusting arrived, and the temperature has plummeted.  It is still a balmy 30-35 degrees, not even enough to make me zip up a coat. 

But now Moldova turns gray.  And dark.  And icy.

Our beautiful city has lost all the greenery, showing us the ugly concrete that has been hidden from view.  The fallen leaves at first covered the cracked sidewalks and jagged potholes, but even they have been swept up and hauled away.  We are left staring at gray, and more gray, and more gray. 

And it gets dark so early (for us), already dark by 5 pm.  I drive to the office with headlights, then back home again with them on.  I feel like I should head to bed and it is only 9 pm.

And the roads will soon be ice.  Winter does not treat us fairly, but instead prefers to freeze and melt, snow and thaw.  It might sound better than a deep freeze, but what it does it thaw the snow down into one huge ice sheet everywhere.  The sidewalks and parking lots are packed snow, polished smooth by the sun and thousands of feet.  The roads are icy for the first view days (no plows), eventually clearing.

So like it or not, winter has arrived.  And like life, you take what it throws your way, cold and heat, ups and downs, good and bad.  In the summer, enjoy the sun. In the winter, crawl into bed with a good book.  In the good times, rejoice, and it the bad, persevere.  And wait for the sun to shine again.

Staying warm.

Writer's Block

I am struggling with my writing lately.  I am not sure if it is the myriad of details of ministry that continually are bouncing through my head.  Perhaps it is my reading (or lack thereof) that isn't putting thoughts into my head.  It might just be the distractions I face regularly, small things that derail me, pushing me off track.

My personality makes focusing a challenge at times.  I don't do well in long meetings, and can handle only so much talk.  I bounce from one job to the other, but I DO get them all done.  I don't do well sitting for long periods of time, but need to walk.

Yet I want to write, to create.  I enjoy the process and the result.  I enjoy crafting sentences and phrases, driving towards an idea that challenges and stimulates the reader. 

So if you have ideas for assistance, feel free to pass them on!


I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
        -Winston Churchill

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
     - George Bernard Shaw

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man; a debt he proposes to pay off with your money.
    -G Gordon Liddy

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.         -James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
    -Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
    -P.J. O'Rourke,

Civil Libertarian Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it; If it keeps moving, regulate it...and if it stops moving, subsidize it.
     -Ronald Reagan (1986)