Five Bob Facts

My bloggin' friend Gregg tagged me in a meme a while back. I thank him for recognizing me as a creative blogger.
The first part of the meme is to share five facts about myself. A few thoughts:
  1. I have been blogging for 10+ years.
  2. I greatly enjoy spending time reading and discussing books with our Wednesday night BYOB group.
  3. Nothing beats playing games like UNO, Risk and Concentration with my two grandchildren.
  4. I routinely share devotional thoughts from the bible on the
    An Eye for Redemption blog and prayers at Daily Prayer.
  5. My greatest source of inspiration is my wife Ann. Each day she shows me what grace and courage looks like under fire.

The second part of the meme is to nominate other creative bloggers. Here are my nominations:
  • Pearlie at Pearlie Gates. A long time friend, thoughtful blogger and devoted follower of Christ.
  • Wanda at Got a Minute or Two?  A fellow Daily Prayer blogger and wonderful Christian friend.
  • Mike at Mike Erich - The Mad Theologian. Another Daily Prayer blogger and very thoughtful man of faith.
  • Debby at Just Breath. Love reading her Wednesday Hodgepodge and movie review posts.
  • Fred at One the Journey. Another Daily Prayer blogger. His faith journey resonates with my own.
  • Sue at photowannabe. I have been enjoying her pics for years and appreciate Sue's photographic skills.
  • vanilla at String Too Short to Tie. A new friend with fun and interesting insights.
  • Alice at Whatsoever is Lovely. An honest blogger who communicates such reality about her life's journey.

I could nominate more. Over the years my life has been touched and enriched by so many bloggers.

I invite the folks nominated above to follow suit posting five fun facts about themselves and then nominate others to do the same. Please let me know when you do as I am sometimes a bit slow in my blog reading. ツ

Bruce Lee Wisdom

Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.

A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.

Obey the principles without being bound by them.

If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of.

Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.

I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine.

What would you do if you could not fail?

Saw this question of Facebook. Here are a few answers folks shared:
  • You only fail if you stop trying.
  • Become an artist.
  • Find a cure for cancer.
  • Dance on Broadway.
  • Run a horse farm and train horses.
  • Help others to succeed.
  • Move to Fiji and open up a bakery.
  • Shoot an 18 on 18 holes of golf
I love the diversity represented in these comments! I think that the answers reflect our dreams and wishes.
  • A golfer wants to golf better. 
  • An artist and a dancer want to fulfill creative dreams. 
  • Some want to fulfill entrepreneurial aspirations. 
  • A few do not want to answer preferring to give advise instead. 
  • And some want to help others realize their dreams.
These answers really make me think! Before reading them, I think that I would have said something about healing diseases. In truth I want that because my wife has a disabling neurological disease. Now I am wondering if my answer should be a bit less narcissistic. How would you answer the question? Please let me know.

Ego and Embellishment

I can relate to Brian Williams. Albeit not in such a public way. I have allowed my ego to skew the words that I spoke. In retrospect I am ashamed of such embellishments.

I wonder what it is about the ego that compels us to embellish our experiences? What lies deep within us that is not satisfied with them? Perhaps it is simply pride?

Dad's Stew

To honor the day I am republishing this post from a few years ago.

My wife and I have been busy sorting through our accumulated stuff these days as we plan to downsize from our house in suburbia to a loft in the downtown Kansas City area. And as I sorted through my stuff I recently came across this picture in the basement.. and I grinned a big smile

The photo is one of my dad back in the 1980s making his famous stew - and yes.. that is a boat paddle that he is using to stir the stew that is cooking in a cauldron heated by a propane flame. He made the stew each year for the family reunion.

My mom and dad were divorced in the early 80s after 40+ years of marriage and my dad left his home of 40+ years in the New York/New Jersey area to return to his childhood home in Mississippi. It amazed everyone when he did it.

After Dad moved my wife, children and I would regularly visit dad once or twice a year. We were the geographically closest to him and were able to drive to see him (my brother and sisters had to fly). That went on for a few years - I especially enjoyed going there on Thanksgiving.. my dad was a great cook.. he was a chef for a colonel when he was in the army (before World War II) and seemed as comfortable cooking for fifty as for five.

A few years passed and my dad remarried a wonderful woman and I was honored to be his best man.. it was a strange experience standing beside him when he married again.. a time I will never forget. A year or so past and my dad began working with his niece and nephew to put on a family reunion that the family simply called "The Stew". Upwards of 50 or so of my Mississippi family along with my sisters would attend it on the last weekend in September. The timing was great because it was close to my dad's birthday.

I have great memories of meeting my Mississippi relatives. I had never met any of Dad's siblings and it was a wonderful feeling getting to know them and a bit of my southern heritage. It was a strange feeling seeing Dad's younger brother - they looked so much alike.. I got my middle name from Uncle Fred. The move was a good one for Dad.. I saw a lot of change in him over the years.. he began going to church and one day moved me deeply when he spoke to me about loving the Lord.

When I think about Dad's stew I reflect upon how much his life was like that delicious soup. Like that wonderful red stuff, Dad was a blend of different ingredients - Dad was a blend of the best of the South and of the North. He was the most loving man I have ever known - like the savor of that stew his life had a sweet aroma.. people who knew him loved him.. he was such a friendly man. Dad was a kind man.. a southern gentleman who was not corrupted by the crassness of the world.. he emanated a quiet dignity I appreciated so much.

Thinking about Father's Day always brings me back home to my dad. He passed away over eight years ago and I still think of him a lot. Like my wife Ann's dad, who passed away a few years ago, he was part of what has been called the greatest generation. Men like these two, who were both named Lawrence, are a part of what makes our nation great. They are a major part of this wonderful melting pot.. a stew if you will.. that we call America.

Fear, Paranoia and Charlestion

As with the shooting at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom last year, this crime in Charleston was the act of a man whose defining story is that whites are victims whose lives are being threatened by the “other.” In the case of the Overland Park shootings the “other” was the Jew. In Charleston the “other” was the African American.

A part of the brokenness of our human condition is paranoia and fear. We all wrestle with it. We either feed fear and paranoia, or resist them. The more we feed them the more fearful we become and the more we need to either separate ourselves or protect ourselves from the other, or actively work to destroy the other. Examples are not hard to find. Segregated schools, drinking fountains, and swimming pools found across America 60 years ago were fueled by this fear, as were the covenants and restrictions still on the books in many Kansas City neighborhoods that kept minorities out. Until the last few decades many country clubs refused to allow minorities to join. In 1994 it was the fear and paranoia human beings wrestle with that led to the terrible genocide in Rwanda that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Tutsi. I believe it is this same thing that is behind some of the recent deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement.

The young man who committed this evil act in Charleston was acting upon a defining narrative in his life that saw African Americans, even those gathered on a Wednesday night for prayer and Bible study, as the enemy. What a terrible tragedy. It should force us to stop and ask what paranoia, misperceptions and fears we carry with us about the “other”, whoever the “other” might be for us. This tragedy calls us to recommit ourselves to trusting in that “perfect love that casts out all fear” we read about I John 4:18 and to overcoming evil with good.

Would you please stop and pray for the people of Emanuel AME Church right now as you read these words?

-Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor of the Church of the Resurrection

Quiz: Influential Figures in American History

The Atlantic asked 10 eminent historians who they felt were The 100 Most Influential Figures in American History.

Which one of these 10 Americans do you think did not make their list:

  • Bill Gates
  • Mark Twain
  • Babe Ruth
  • Steve Jobs
  • Brigham Young
  • P.T. Barnum
  • Robert E. Lee
  • Robert Oppenheimer
  • Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Eleanor Roosevelt

So what do you think? Who did not make the list? Take a shot at it and let me know your pick in the comments section.

The Judge | ★★★★★★★★☆☆

I finally caught this beautiful movie on video this weekend with Ann. I knew that I would like it because I am a huge fan of Downey and Duvall. I was not sure what kind of movie it was but suspected that it might be about the relationship between a dad and his son. I was right. It centered around how familial relationships become dysfunctional.

Amidst the anger and disappointments there were so many tender moments. Yet even in the tender moments the harsh reality of past woundings seem to bleed through. I loved the way that these strong actors showed such emotion. The story spoke to me of how hard it is for both parent and child to get passed things that happened so long ago.

Before viewing it I wondered if the almost two and a half hour run time might need a bit of editing. Looking back I am not sure what I would have cut from it. The supporting cast did a good job. I really liked this one and, on a scale of ten, give it ★★★★★★★★.

Catch my other mini-reviews by selecting the Movies link in the menu bar above.

A Moving Hodgepodge

The folks at This Side of the Pond have a meme called Wednesday Hodgepodge. Here is my entry for today ...

1. What's something you're looking forward to in the month of June?
Twenty years ago Ann and I were married. Five years ago we moved to a loft in downtown KC. I am looking forward to celebrating these times of new life.
2. In what way have you come full circle?
I grew up in New York City and was able to walk to stores from my house.
Since moving, I am able to do that again.
3. Lonely Planet lists 10 spots in America [Queens NY, Western South Dakota, New Orleans, Colorado River Region, North Conway NH, Indianapolis, Greenville SC, Oakland, Duluth MN, and the Mount Shasta Region CA] you should see in 2015 and the reasons why. How many on the list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?
Loved New Orleans and have been there twice. Think I visited Queens a few times in my earlier years. Have stayed in Indianapolis on my way to New Jersey. Would not mind going back to New Orleans.
4. A song that describes your mood right now?
Wasted Days and Wasted Nights ツ
5. Strawberry ice cream, strawberry short cake, strawberry pie, or strawberries right off the vine...your favorite?
Like them all but I like Strawberry Shortcake the most.
6. Aesop's birthday is celebrated on June 4th, although there is some disagreement as to whether or not that's accurate, or if he was even a real person. Regardless, the name Aesop is associated to this day with many well known fables. Which of the following best applies to something in your life right now? The Tortoise and the Hare (Slow and Steady wins the race), The Ant and the Grasshopper (Be prepared), The Fox and the Goat (Look before you leap) or The Crow and the Pitcher (Necessity is the mother of invention)?
Like the Tortoise, this slowpoke is just wanting to finish the race.
7. The answer is yes...what's the question?
Reminds me of Jeopardy. So the question is "Do you and Ann watch Alex Trebek?"
8. Insert your own random thought here.
"We don't have to agree on anything to be kind to one another."
Thanks for reading. Join the fun at This Side of the Pond.