Sunday, April 29, 2007


8:20 pm. Exhausted mentally and physically. Wonderful Merton retreat. As
we were leaving and everyone shared addresses with others someone said,
" Its like going to summer camp."

I will share a beautiful psalm with you tomorrow by one of my students.

Tomorrow to retinalogist again. Thanks for the prayers.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Chapel Entrance

Chapel Entrance
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.

Jesuit Retreart Center

Jesuit Retreart Center
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
I pray in Father Jim Willig's chapel. (In the picture) he died of cancer

in 2001. In front of me is a labyringth and the river. I am concious of

God's presence, perhaps more in tears -- not tears of sadness -- but

tears reflecting God's love for me/us.

A couple of birds whistle in chorus. The sun has warmed the day. All I

want to do is pray.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Some days our energy wanes. I go home and take a nap, sometimes because of emotional exhaustion.

I have been having eye problems. My left eye is cloudy with a large floater dancing around.

Most people have little time for us. They are attached to a clock that
chains them to every minute.

The Merton Retreat is in Milford, Ohio, this weekend. Last call!

I can not watch Atlanta Braves pitcher Mark Redman pitch. It is so agonizing.

Our heroes are often suspect.

We need witnesses for the witness and witnesses for the witnesses.

From Merton's CHANT TO BE USED IN PROCESSIONS AROUND A SITE WITH FURNACES, "Do not think yourself better because you burn up friends and enemies with long-range missiles without ever seeing what you have done."

Sometimes I have difficulty hearing what God is saying.

I miss the 3 am bells ringing at Gethsemani.

Why do we wait to rest until exhaustion takes place.

The wind trembles softly outside. The cat has ventured to his favorite bed: the bathtub. The dog is asleep after a haircut from Miss Anne.

"Our simple rooms are charmed with Sun." (Merton)

I miss Howard Cosell and Dizzy Dean.

It is dark in Paris.

Peace can never begin with war.

It is not easy to take time to pray.

I put noise-cancelling headphones on when I don't like a tv program.

I use a 1984 Larry Biittner baseball card as a book marker.

Melinda Doolittle is magical.

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


The events of the past few days have been sobering. Lost of life unexpectedly and with a BIG WHY attached leaves us in a state of shock. It becomes difficult to focus. There is always the question of new NEWS. Any tidbit of information that brings sense to the unreality of the moment is sought.

I know we can’t always make sense of what happens but a sharing of my own experience might be helpful. When I was in High School my high school was bombed off the face of the earth.

On the morning of the bombing our High School Band returned after midnight. We had been at a band festival in Bristol, Virginia. We put our instruments up and went home. Less than 5 hours later our school blew up. The only places left were the gymnasium, which was south of the campus, and the band room, which told me that the bombers were in the building when the band arrived. I have always felt since that day that we could have been killed that morning. It is a sobering thought.

The years that followed were not easy. We transported 1200 students on busses to a small grammar school 12 miles away. When the band practiced it was on the side of a hill with crape paper marking the 10 yard markers. Everyday was a challenge. I remember particularly two things that happened that made a difference. The next Sunday, after the bombing, Billy Graham came and spoke in the gym. It was not easy for him to speak. His life was possibly in danger also. But it brought a sense of meaning to the experience.

Also, Drew Pearson, a nationally syndicated columnist, began taking up money for bricks for Clinton High School. Our new school was paid for with those dollars for bricks.

It has been many years since then. Most people think that Little Rock High School was the first integrated school in the south but it wasn’t, it was Clinton, Tennessee.

Last year I went to a screening of a film about the “Clinton 12,” the 12 African-American students who were the first to integrate. It was a tough story for all, but especially them. There were many people I knew in the film. The pastor in the film, Paul Turner, was beaten. He later was the pastor who ordained me. His wife is in the film and lives in the Nashville area.

But, the most memorable part of the event was the joint worship service at First Baptist Church in Clinton on Sunday morning. Both races gathered for a worship service that left few dry eyes, many hugs, and visions of possible meaning in spite of the suffering. It was as powerful a worship service as I have ever been a part of.

So, why am I telling you this? Surely it doesn’t compare to Virginia Tech? And yes, in those old days, there were only black and white televisions and the newscast only lasted 15 minutes a night, except for specials. 24 hours a day of news makes a difference, but I still remember thinking, “I am not going to be able to complete High School because someone else will bomb it.” It was a lonely feeling riding that bus.

But I am telling you this because this coming Wednesday, at 7:30 p.m., at the Nashville Film Festival, they will be showing the movie of the “Clinton 12.” The narrator is James Earl Jones. It is a story that needs to be told ! And it is a reminder to me, the school was blown up on my birthday ! One doesn’t forget, but one does go on in hopes that somewhere there is meaning in the suffering.


“On August 27, 1956, twelve Black teenagers in Clinton, Tennessee, walked into history and changed the world. Narrated by James Earl Jones, the film tells the compelling story of the first students to desegregate a public high school in the South. The events of that school year and of the bombing of the high school in 1958 are brought to life in The Clinton 12. This story, which has gone untold for 50 years, shows the horrors of bigotry and racism in the Old South, as well as the courage of a community that fought to uphold the law - most of the white protestors were not from the community, but arrived from other parts to promote their agendas. The film includes interviews with 11 of the original Clinton 12 as well as seldom-seen archival footage and interviews with others involved in the events. Director Keith McDaniel takes us to the heart of one of the greatest moments in the American civil rights movement, covering not only the courage of those who faced violent racial opposition, but the determination of a small, predominately white southern town that stood shoulder to shoulder to confront and defeat bigotry and fear.”

Brother Dan

Monday, April 16, 2007


Watched movie Elizabethtown because it was made in the town I live in
but there were no credits for our city. It was also a very lousy movie.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Reservations have been completed for May. Are there any readers of this
blog in Great Britain?

Snatchit, Tennessee

Snatchit, Tennessee
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
We went driving around today and ended up in Snatchit, Tennessee, now

Peytonsville, TN. As a present resident of Mudsink, TN it is interesting

how names change through the years.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Company Is Coming !!!

Our Saturday night group is coming to our house tonight for Bible
study.. The following are my chores:

Janet sick. Pick up laundry. Get bacon, cheese. And ham sandwich at


Vacuum entire house.

Clean catty kitter box. Go upstairs get him food. Another trip for
proper bag for liter.

Light gas pilot light on hot water heater so we have hot water. Take
flashlight and knife with me. Don't forget to put knife back in
appropriate tool box.

Throw away all newspapers.

Move all my books to study. Give impression of neatness. Remove
everything from counters and hide them in places you will never
remember. Toothpaste, razor, hairdryers etc. You get the idea.

Take mail to mailbox. Get mail.

Put ham in oven.

Straighten patio furniture.

Bring portable table from basement and 4 chairs.

Did I say company was coming? What do you do when company comes?

Tips On Journaling

I received the following email.

"I was wondering if maybe you could give me a few tips on how to get
started. I have been journaling for many years but just a daily log type
of thing."

1. Write fast
2. Everything that comes to mind.
3. Record feelings.
4. Be in touch with your surroudings.
5. Don't feel you have to write everyday.
6. Date your entries.

It is especially important to write, especially at and during critical
times in ones life. Losses, death, changes, hurts, are especially

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Journal Page Hopefully Larger

Journal Page
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.

Journal Page from Ken Helser

Journal Page from Ken Helser
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.

Words of Encouragement

One of the things I do that is important to me is to try to find one thing each week that only God could have done in my life. This week I received the following E-MAIL which was a great encouragement to me.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Helser

In a few days I will be teaching on journaling. Probably for my 200th time in the past 8 years. Travel all over the world teaching in Youth With a Mission Schools, and my subject is loosely, "what it means to live from the heart." I include journaling as a key to living from the heart.

In 1980, while ministering in Jamie Buckingham's church (author/pastor, who wrote, Run Baby Run for Nicky Cruz, Tramp for the Lord, Corrie Ten Boom, and "The Last Word," for Charisma magazine), Jamie suggested we visit Dunklin Memorial Camp, in Okeechobee, Florida. Our response was anything but exciting, but we went with a small worship band anyway. It was life changing...

Mickey Evans runs in this ranch/rehab center, one of the most successful addiction ministries in the world. Will be going back in a few weeks, but the point is this: "The key to overcoming any addiction," said Mickey, " lies in teaching men how to hear the voice of the Lord." Included, as a daily requirement, every man journals DAILY, the voice of the Lord.

Mickey asked me if I journaled? I said "yes" for about the next 14 years, butthen, one day Mickey asked to see my journal. He read a few pages, skipped a few pages, and finally threw it across the room. "Boy, meet me up in Hendersonville, NC, in a few weeks and let me teach you how to journal."

I did. And after a year of journaling, I began to pass onto others what I had learned. The greatest difference I see in what Mickey taught, and now I pass along, is that he picked up journaling from the way the prophet, Habakkuk, wrote. It's first writing one's most honest prayer, and then writing the voice of God as it is personal to you in response to your prayer.

Long and short, since I have been journaling, almost daily, for the past 8 or so years, the prophetic gifts in my life have increased 1,000 fold. I speak of prophetic in terms of I Corinthians 14, verse one and three..."Follow the way of love, desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy... for everyone who prophesies speaks unto men for their strengthening, encouragement, and comfort."

Don't really have much more to say, but thank you for the encouraging work you did... I especially love the way you put in thoughts as QUOTES... I do the same. I still keep a small notebook that travels everywhere with me in my Bible case, but I do most of my journaling on my laptop. I distinguish between my prayers, quotes, scripture, and God's voice with different signs. The Lord told me to journal in my laptop because it is so easy to use word search for some things I want to go back to and find.

Many blessings and keep up the good work, Ken Helser

Our small ministry has a web site that my son keeps up plus has some of his music as well as my own. If interested:


Monday, April 02, 2007

Monday Morning

I travelled over 1100 miles this weekend to Hahnville, La. and back. What a great time! My Louisana relatives know how to make a memorable experience.I celebrated the 200th anniversary of Saint Charles Parish, visited the farmers market, viewed the Ormand and Destrehan Plantations, ate at Spahr's Seafood Restaurant and had a tire fixed at the Tire Kingdom while watching I Love Lucy reruns.

On the return trip I ate at the Golden Rule BBQ, a previous hangout when I lived in Birmingham. What a great trip and the Ray family always provides wonderous entertainment.

Little Red Church Today

Little Red Church Today
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
A beautiful church in Destrehan, LA.

Little Red Church

Little Red Church
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
Originallu built in 1740.

Destrehan Tree

Destrehan Tree
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
What a beautiful tree.

Destrehan Plantation

Destrehan Plantation
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.

Destrehan House

Destrehan House
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
Mary was dressed as they were in 1800.

Destrehan Plantation

Destrehan Plantation
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
I had never realized the importance of the plantation houses on the

River Road during the 1800s. Travel was mostly by boat.

Spahrs Restaurant

Spahrs Restaurant
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
I don't know where I was but Spahrs Restaurant was one of the finest

seafood platters I have ever had in my life.

St. Charles Parish 200th Anniversary

St. Charles Parish celebrated its 200th anniversary. Many were dressed

appropriately. Blue Bell Ice Cream was handed out, little children sang,

a fun time was had by all.