Saturday, October 30, 2004

Visiting Relatives

We are going to visit my mother-in-law and father-in-law for a couple of days. They live 120 miles from here. Both have been ill. My mother-in-law had open heart surgery earlier this year and has suffered from depression. My father-in-law has prostate cancer, broke some bones, lost a lot of weight, and is not doing real well. I am thankful we have them to visit. What is everyone else doing this weekend?

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Jerry Falwell Bobblehead Doll

For those persons with everything.

"The Liberty University Flames Club has produced the new Jerry Falwell Bobblehead. The Falwell bobbleheads are available for a cost of only $20.

What's more, DR. Falwell will autograph and personalize dolls for donations of $50. (Dr. Falwell signs the dolls on the back in a gold pen.) The dolls are packaged in bubble wrap and sent out in sturdy boxes to those making orders.

Alumni who purchased the bobbleheads during homecoming weekend found them to be great reminders of their days at Liberty."

(P.S.-I can hardly wait to get mine.)


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Delphi Project


Chris has an interesting picture of Delphi Art and in particular Apollo offering a libation.

The thing that interested me about this picture is I was in that Delphi museum a couple of years ago. It was on a high mountain in Greece and was one of the highlights of my trip to Greece.

A couple of pictures that stand out are remains of the Apollo Temple and the stadium where the Pythian Games were held. Evidently, the games preceeded the Olympics and everything was done in the nude. It was on a high high mountain and I do not see how the chariots and horses got up there.

I need to check out more about this website for Greece. It will no doubt remind me of other things I saw while I was there. These pictures are of things made in 700 B.C.

Photographs of Apollo Temple

The Stadium

Monday, October 25, 2004

Jenell Paris- On Writing

Jenell – Yes, this writing business is stupid. Some days the words STICK ! Other days they don’t. But seriously, in answer to a question of who you are writing to. You are writing to me and for yourself and for strangers dumped into cyberspace. Wow, how is that for an audience?

Like I read your blog and strange people show up, like Rick talking about patience. Where else can I find something like that?

And I admit, you are innovative. When you came back from your last blogging vacation you interviewed yourself, so what did I do? I interviewed myself related to my daughter’s wedding (I copied that from you—FORGIVE ME !)

Another reason I like your writing is that you have a link to my site. Now, that sounds stupid, but not many other people have done that. Only Christy, Nile, Jonathan, Chris, and yourself that I know of. I really appreciate that more than you will ever know!

Isn’t it interesting how Anne Lamont and Kathleen Norris always show up in these scenes. Several months ago an editor wrote me and said she had found my writing on the web and wondered if I had ever written a book.

When I said no, she said she was looking for a writer like Anne Lamont and Kathleen Norris. She wondered if I might send a book proposal that might have hints of “Kathleen.”

Well, I worked on it for weeks, sent it in and she was pleased. It seemed like a book contract was on the way. Then, the editors met, decided I didn’t have a big enough following, and told me, “If you will write the whole book then send it in we might publish it.” Talk about a downer. After working on it for weeks. Did they think I was a fool? Spend months writing the whole book then letting them turn me down again. If you don’t dance with me the first time, why would I ask you again?

Oh well. Writing is for fools I guess. Like I say, some days it sticks, some days it doesn’t.

Keep on pluggin---lots of us like what you say !!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Pleasant Saturday

A restful day for a change. Mowed back yard this morning. The newlyweds came for lunch and opened more of their gifts. We looked at the wedding video and enjoyed that. Watched football game this afternoon between Tennessee and Alabama, then ate some shrimp and Mahi Mahi at the Crab Shack. Finished off the night with the World Series and the Boston Pops. GREAT DAY !!!

Friday, October 22, 2004


"The secret of monastic peace is therefore not to be sought on the
shallow level of psychological tranquillity, but in the infinitely deep
abyss which men call the divine mercy."


What do I see as the secret of peace?

Thanks Wayne

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Abbey of Gethsemani -- More Photographs Added

I have added a few more photographs to Abbey of Gethsemani Photographs.

I am exhausted. Drove 150 plus miles to funeral home today to be with nurse whose husband had been killed in an accident. I will help with his Memorial Service tomorrow night north of here.

I love baseball. One of the thrills of my life was being in Atlanta Stadium the night Henry Aaron broke Babe Ruth's Home Run Record. I saw him hit #715. But not sure I am man enough to watch BoSox and Yankees in game 7. I think I am to faint of heart hi.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Abbey of Gethsemani Photographs

During my last visit to the Abbey of Gethsemani I made many photographs. I have developed an Abbey of Gethsemani photograph page. Please be sure to visit it.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Wedding Was Wonderful-Congratulations Mike and Melinda McReynolds

The wedding was great! Everyone had a wonderful time. Many old friends and relatives were there, some surprising us--like Cousin Jeff from South Georgia. The bride-our daughter Melinda- was beautiful and the groom--our new son-in-law Mike McReynolds- was excited. It was a memorable event. A few pictures are on Oct.17 hiplog.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

A Daddy's Memory - For Melinda

A DADDY’S MEMORY---for Melinda

I remember the day we brought you home from Montgomery and how important Dexter Avenue became to all of us.

And I remember VeVe and Pa Pa seeing you for the first time and thinking you were the prettiest baby in the world.

I remember the days in Angel Grove when I carried you in your little bicycle seat around the curvy roads.

And the time on Tybee Beach when you saw a big M on a building and thought it was McDonalds.

And you chasing me around the tennis court at Angel Grove or following me up the hill so you could go in the church and play the “PA” you called it. (The Piano)

Or during the sermon I was preaching about Caleb when you said out loud during the worship service to everyone’s surprise, “Give me that mountain!!”

And I can remember the days in Birmingham when I stayed awake with you at night when you had difficulty breathing. And when they said you needed allergy shots, I remember giving you those allergy shots every time I came home from Nashville and how you screamed and I hurt so bad inside. You hated to see me coming. And there finally came the day I said, “I can’t do this anymore.”

And I remember when Pa Pa died and you were 4 and I wanted to tell you myself what had happened. And you said something that helped my own grief and was one of the great theological lessons I ever learned, “Pa Pa is like the wind. We can’t see him but he’s there.”

And when we moved to Tennessee I remember the snowmen we made and us sliding down the hill on the sled.

And the old tire swing in the backyard that everyone seemed to enjoy.

And the times, as a gymnast, you flipped and flipped upside down until it almost drove us mad. And you kept doing that until you grew to tall for the room.

And how you loved the “Barbie’s,” even until you were a teenager.

And I remember how shy you often were. And I remember the band camps, the flute, and the baton, and the flugelhorn, and the mean tricks – like how to growl and chase bad kitties outside—you taught Prissy.

And I remember how important Christmas was when we always read the Christmas Story and a Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas on Christmas Eve and dreamed of fictitious fires in Wales.

And the times at Joan’s when Christmas was a family affair and we listened to Mark play the guitar and we all laughed, even the time Uncle Alan bought his new Mercedes (all the way from Germany) and it snowed and snowed and snowed. And we all spent Christmas Eve at our house and it was so memorable.

And I remember the Christmas when you were working at UT they you drove most of the morning from Knoxville so we could all open presents together at 8 am. We were so afraid of that journey that night.

And I remember you driving to Ridgecrest when you were 16 to go to the Baptist Assembly Ground there and the times when we drove to Glorieta, New Mexico, and especially the drive to Anne of Green Gables territory on Prince Edward Island and how the little red-haired girl came out of the darkness on the moonlight trail and how you went to get some raspberry cordial.

And I remember the little note (shaped like a fish) I put in my Bible on November 3, 1988, which said, "We pray Lord that Melinda may marry a fine Christian gentleman and they may serve you faithfully throughout their lives."

And I remember the first time we met Mike (And Steven) and you were on the scavenger hunt and I never realized that this was the one.

But Mike has been a blessing. And I’m glad that he is going to be a companion on the journey with you. That is going to be a great blessing. And I (we both) are thankful.

Melinda, I’m sure there will be more memories, but just wanted to share these things two days before you marry. These were some of the special moments in my life I remember. And you were a special part of them.



Father of the Bride--Two days left


Q- You seem a little disoriented recently. Is something going on?

A- Well, yeah. Some changes coming!

Q- I mean, what do you mean?

A- Have you ever seen the movie, the Father of the Bride with Steve Martin?

Q—Yeah, I think we rented it from Blockbuster once. Sorta corney if you ask me.

A—Maybe so. But you remember how Steve Martin screamed a lot, and ran up and down the stairs at breakneck speed, and kept looking at his wallet to see if any money was left?

Q- Not exactly. He just seemed crazy to me.

A—Yeah and everybody involved seemed crazy. Photographers with broken lens, caterers running out of food, new dresses and new dresses and new suits and new suits.

Q—You are wacky. You been dreamin about this movie?

A—Well to be truthful YES !!! I think I am Steve Martin re-incarnated.

Q—You know there are some good people at Parthenon Pavillion that can help. Have you been over there?

A—Guess I should go. But anyway, YOU SEE, my ONE AND ONLY DAUGHTER, MELINDA, is getting married in two days.

Q—So you have “The Father of the Bride” syndrome, right?

A—Yes, I’m sure.

Q—Now you know you GIVE HER AWAY, but you get something in return, right!!

A- Yes, Mike!!! And I really like Mike. Man, he even came and got my home computer fixed so I could listen to audio. What more could one ask of a son-in-law to be. He will be a great addition to our family.

Q—Will people be coming from out of town to attend?

A—Yes, my brother-in-law from Michigan, my brother from Mississippi, maybe even Cousin Jeff from Georgia, and on the other side, several people from Ohio. Many people I have never met.

Q—Sounds like a fun time to me. Just relax. Enjoy it!!!

A—I will. Just 2 days left. Maybe you could put us all on your prayer list, that it might be not only a fun time, but that God might be glorified in all that is done. That is important.

Q—Well we will certainly do that. By the way, did it cost more than $500?


For a picture of the lucky couple go to this site.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Micah 6:8

Don Beisswenger's reflections on Micah 6:8 were meaningful to me. He translated the Mich 6:6 passage as saying, "What shall I bring to the Lord?" A good question for each of us. What shall we bring to the Lord? To often we think of money, or whatever, but bringing ourselves is the most difficult thing. "Here I am Lord," said Isaiah.

Another thought Don has was, "Let everything go." He said there comes a time in our lives when we must LET EVERYTHING GO. Of course that hits at our protestant ethic. You mean: (1) Not blog today? (2) Not mow the grass (3) You get the idea. A time to let everything go. Maybe we could practice that in small segments today.

"Dan, have you taken time today to "Let Everything Go?"

3 days left.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Penuel Ridge 20th Anniversary Celebration

Approximately 200 people celebrated the 20th anniversary of Penuel Ridge Retreat Center. The scripture theme for the evening was Micah 6:8. "What does the Lord require of you But to do justice, and to love kindness. And to walk humbly with your God." (That was my Mother's favorite verse)

Penuel Ridge for me has been a place of quite retreat, of silence, and of listening for the voice of God. I have been going there since 1985. I have spent many hours wandering the land and praying, or listening to the likes of Douglas Steere and Glenn Hinson.

The highlight of the evening was the speech by Don Beisswenger, the founder of Penuel Ridge. It was his birthday and his reflection was titled, "Nurturing the journey inward strengthening the journey outward."

His reflection on the joys of life and the importance of silence were meaningful. A few pictures are enclosed in the hiplog.

Don Beisswenger

Tonight I am going to a Celebration Gathering at Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville. The special guess will be Don Beisswenger, who we will be welcoming home from a six month stay in prison. Will Campbell wrote an excellent article about Don Beisswenger that everyone should read. It will be good to welcome him home.

Hiptop Blogging Again

I am going to use my mobile-hiptop blog more often. It may be a little more frivous, BUT I can put pictures immediately on it. That is the problem with Blogger in that I can not put immediate pictures up from my Sidekick 2. But I can with my mobile hiplog site. Why not try out MOBILE-HIPLOG.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Merton Monday and Steve Brown


Tough morning. Got here early (a little pass 6 a.m) to pray for a friend having surgery. Later, saw a nurse in distress when her child was born having problems. Child was taken to intensive care.

Great American Medicine Show

Went to the Steve Brown Great American Medicine Show last night at Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN. Peculiar People were there and the musical flair of Buddy Greene. A rather entertaining like Garrison Kellor, but with a more religious stanze. It was "a spiritual extravaganza."

Thomas Merton's Journals

Have been studying Thomas Merton's journal called A Vow of Conversation, his journal from 1964-65. I am interested in the range of topics he covers in this, and other, journals of his. So far he has covered: the weather, his feelings, letters he is responding to, book reviews, current events--the Pope has gone to Palestine which causes a terrible uproar--, doubts, his dreams, the election of a new abbot general, historic reading, the death of a friend, his duties, gifts received, thoughts about war, and his reactions to essays. NOW, I am not through the month of January yet.

This quote was interesting:"The retreat (which is going on now) brings up again the problem of my resentments, my frustrations, my sense of being unjustly treated, cheated in fact, to some extend exploited..............What matters is the struggle to make the right adjustment in my own life.....................If I were more a man of love and spirit, more a man of God, I would have no problems.....One of the sources of futile struggle in the spiritual life is the assumption that one has to become a person without problems, which is, of course, impossible. And if a man is struggling to be without problems in his life, he is beating his head against a brick wall." (p.17-18--A Vow of Conversation)

Five more days to go.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Spiritual Formation

Nile Gomez has great thoughts related to SPIRITUAL FORMATION. Very thought provoking!


I went to old time radio convention this morning and saw lots of radio's from the 1920s through 50s. Many were well preserved. Plans for historic Germantown fellthrough.


The Right Number

A woman was at home with her children when the telephone rang. In going to answer it, she tripped on a rug, grabbed for something to hold on to and seized the telephone table. It fell over with a crash, jarring the receiver off the hook.

As it fell, it hit the family dog, which leaped up, howling and barking. The woman's three-year-old son, startled by this noise, broke into loud screams. The woman mumbled some colourful words. She finally managed to pick up the receiver and lift it to her ear, just in time to hear her husband's voice on the other end say, "Nobody's said hello yet, but I'm positive I have the right number."

from Cleans Laughs )

Friday, October 08, 2004

On Stress and Weddings

Poem of the day

I love the poem, The Art of Disappearing, on Tim Keel’s Blog. And a large gathering of people are going to sing to raise funds fixing buildings on Iona.


I love reading what Maggi Dawn says about being stressed out. I can certainly understand the feeling. My daughter Melinda gets married in 8 days to Mike. It will be a wonderful affair, but MY MY the planning that goes into a wedding. How does anyone live through it?

Baptist Monks

I am falling behind on the discussion of Baptist monks.

It is Friday. I am glad. Plan on going to a radio convention in the morning and then to Historic Germantown for Octoberfest.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Wake up - It's Thursday

Time for a little frivolity.


I decided that I needed a few days off and I realized that I ran out of vacation time already. I figured the best way to get the Boss to send me home was to act a little crazy. I figured he'd think I was burning out and give me some time off.

I went into work early the other day and began hanging upside down from the ceiling. Just then one of my coworkers (she's'll be important later)came in and asked me what I was doing. "Shh," I said, "I'm acting crazy to get a few days off. I'm a light bulb."

A second later the Boss walked by and asked me what I was doing. "I'm a light bulb!" I exclaimed. "You're going crazy," he said. "Take a few days off." With that, I jumped down and started walking out.

The blonde started following me and the Boss asked where she was going.

"I can't work in the dark," she said.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Had A Happy Birthday

Thanks to everyone for the kind notes. It was a wonderful day. At work some of the people made a special breakfast for me that was exceptional. Then, for supper, my wife,daughter, and future son-in-law took me to Kobe Steak House in Nashville. The scallops and shrimp were excellent. And for birthday presents, my new sidekick2, a new audio board for my computer, and a 1842 quarter which a friend sent to me. All in all a beautiful day.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Happy Birthday Dan--October 5

The birthdays come quicker and quicker. A review of the last year is in order. What did I learn? Last year on this date Janet and Melinda surprised me with a trip to San Antonio. It was great! I need to return the favor. And the year has been full of surprises:

Prostate Cancer and surgery December 31, 2003
Mother-in-law had emergency heart surgery and is lucky to be alive,
Sister-in-law had hip replacement surgery.
Marriage announcement. Melinda and Mike get married on October 16.

I learned that life is full of surprises: many good and some bad. Another more important lesson is to be thankful for each day of life! And make the most of everyday. Smile. Give a hug, a handshake, and be attentive to those you meet. That is what life is all about.

Enclosed is my birthday photograph. How about sending me a note and wish me a Happy Birthday. I would appreciate it. Thanks.

Saint Francis

Saint Francis died on October 4th. He was a man of immense spiritual energy and with a joyous spirit helped those in need. His most famous prayer follows:

"Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that
I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console,
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

St. Francis of Assisi


Sunday, October 03, 2004

Birthday A Coming

It is 2 more days until my birthday. As I have gotten older, I get a little more depressed each year when this time rolls around. Last year my wife and daughter took me on a surprise airline trip to San Antonio.It was fun. This year it will be more subdued.

Sunday Morning-Follow Me!

It is 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning. 40 degrees outside. Overcast. Reading Luke 5. Title is Follow Me, our Sunday School lesson for today. In verse 4 Peter did what Jesus said. The result was a catch of hundreds of fish. He fell on his knees, then left everything and followed Jesus. This is the way we should begin each day.

Last night, Joy Willard, a missionary nurse on Mercy Ships spoke to our Saturday night group. It was veey inspirational.

Good News

Got new Sidekick2 yesterday. I like it, especially with speakerphone and built in camera. The new kickboard is smaller which makes it more difficult, but it is also thinner? Any other sidekick bloggers out there?

Merton Quote

"Consequently: first of all our meditation should begin with the realization of our nothingness and helplessness in the presence of God. This need not be a mournful or discouraging experience. On the contrary, it can be deeply tranquil and joyful since it brings us in direct contact with the source of all joy and all life. But one reason why our meditation never gets started is perhaps that we never make thisreal, serious return to the center of our nothingness before God. Hence we
never enter into the deepest reality of our relationship with him."


How does my meditation time begin?

Thanks Wayne Burns

Friday, October 01, 2004


On my last post, Gary Manders commented on my keeping track of the 7 hours of prayers. His website is called The Giraffe and is excellent. It is certainly worth reading. I did re-do the previous blog and tried to explain that I fall very short of praying the 7 different times a day.

Monkery and Weddings

A book that has been helpful to me is "A Monk in the World" by Wayne Teasdale. Using his background as a former monk, he lives in Chicago-- and seemingly alone. The world is his monastery. The liturgy of the hours he follows as if he were in a monastery, though it is in the world totally. This is a model for the "monkless monastery" of the future. The book is worth reading and studying.

The Method

As for my method of using the Liturgy of the Hours I use the format by the Genesee Abbey in Genesee, New York. I make a copy, reduce it in size, and put copies in all of my Bibles. At a moments notice I can know what place to read in the psalms. It is very helpful.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I did not mean to give the impression that I get up at 2:15 every morning and follow this procedure. It is a lot less formal for me. On a normal day I will follow the scripture readings for LAUDS and possibly COMPLINE. Other days I might think of the liturgy at 8 am and use TERCE. I am "lucky" if I do 2 prayer periods/readings a day. Wish I could do 7 times but I have a long way to go. Do others of you have recommendations?


My daughter, Melinda, is marrying, Mike, in two weeks. Getting excited. Things change in our lives. I feel God is in this. LATER