Tidbit Tuesdays

I keep coming across interesting little tidbits—bumper stickers, sentences in articles that I’m reading, comments on Facebook, and the like—that are like little peepholes into our culture. While they’re not substantial enough to base an entire post on, I think they’re worth sharing. Many times, like the proverbial frog in hot water, we don’t notice that things have changed until it’s suddenly obvious, and often too late.

I thought it would be fun to post these little items on Tuesdays. I don’t promise to be consistent. It’s just now I’ll have a place for these thought-provoking insights into the way we now think. I promise I am not making these up!

With all that said, here’s my first tidbit, seen on a bumper sticker in our local Walmart parking lot. As I drove home after seeing this, I wondered how an elementary school child could own  a car, and presumably drive it to Walmart. Or maybe this refers to the teacher?

“I displayed positive habits of mind at [name of] elementary school.”

I guess the search for new but dubious ways to bolster self-esteem continues unabated.

Curing Foot-in-Mouth Disease

One of our granddaughters is recovering from hand, foot, and mouth disease. Yes, that’s a real disease, usually affecting very young children. It’s not serious—the virus just causes a low fever, a rash, and little blisters on the hands, feet, and in the mouth and throat. While there is no vaccine or treatment, it runs its course in a few days.

Lately, I’ve been suffering from a much more dreaded malady: foot in mouth disease. A number of times in the past few weeks, I’ve said something I’ve instantly regretted. Then, to try and cover up my slip, I say something more, compounding the problem. Now I have both feet in my mouth.

Continue reading


I have a big birthday coming up later this year. You know, the kind that ends in a zero. As a result, I’ve been feeling more mortal than usual—aware that my life is passing by, and I won’t be here forever. Milestone birthdays make me introspective.

An elderly family member passed away a few weeks ago. Between the memorial service and the burial, the obituary and the discussion among relatives and friends, we’ve all had plenty of chances to reflect on and discuss the life and character of the deceased person. A few of his acquaintances had some nice things to say—mostly about how intelligent and articulate he was, and how remarkable his life story was.

Continue reading

Why I Doesn’t Uses Grammar Checker

I do a lot of writing, mostly in Microsoft Word—the software I love to hate. The built-in spell check can be helpful, catching typos for me as I write.  (It can’t catch a “word-o,” however, which means that any remaining mistakes can be potentially pretty funny—or embarrassing.)

Then there’s the grammar checker. Who invented this thing? What were they thinking? I know English is a difficult language, but the checker doesn’t just stumble over exceptions to the rules. It mutilates perfectly acceptable prose. Continue reading

The View from the “Only” Side

It just so happened that both of my parents died in the month of September. My mother passed away in 1998 (over Labor Day weekend) and my father followed her this past year. Now, as September rolls around again, I start to think about the family I grew up in. I’m the only one who can. You see, I have no siblings. Not only that, but my mother was also an only child, and my father had just one sister. I haven’t seen my two cousins since we were all in high school; we were never all that close.

It bothers me that no one else knows what my childhood was like. No one else knows the family stories, the special memories, or the little peculiarities that were uniquely ours. Sure, I’ve told my husband and daughters some tales of my growing up years, but I’m sure I haven’t told them everything. Now no one is going to remind me of the ones I’ve missed.

Continue reading

How to Pray for Terrorists

Last Friday I listed four ways we can do something to help the Christians in Iraq—stand in solidarity, write letters, give generously, and, most importantly, pray.  When I mentioned prayer, I gave some guidelines, including the need to pray for the ISIS Muslims who are deceived captives of the enemy.

In spite of my suggestion, I wasn’t sure exactly how to pray for them. Sure, we want them to stop what they’re doing and turn to Jesus. But what does that look like? Is it all right to pray that God clobbers them?I’ll admit, this is one time when I want my big, powerful, angry God to do some serious smiting!

Then I came across this blog post that neatly summarizes just what we should be asking God for, when we pray for our enemies. It’s even specifically aimed at praying for Al-Qaeda and ISIS.  I know I’ve stopped my Tuesday posts for the time being, but this was just too timely and appropriate to pass up. Please read:

3 Ways to Pray for Our Enemies

We Have to Do Something!

Since January, six thousand people—Christians, Kurds, Yazidis, have been brutally murdered by ISIS, the radical Sunni Muslim terrorist group that is carving an Islamic state out of northern Iraq and Syria. It’s incredibly painful to read the reports of the atrocities being committed. If you’ve ever wondered if Satan is real, read a few of these news items:

Continue reading