Children carry the burden of their parents weakness.


“That is so awesome”, he heard his teenaged daughter exclaim under her breath.


“What’s so awesome?” he inquired.


Pulling the earbud from her ear, she asked, “What did you say?”


Smiling at her, he repeated, “What’s so awesome?”


“Mr. Dawson” she said, as she got up from the couch and moved towards him.


Pulling her phone out in front of them, she scrolled through pictures of the Dawson’s anniversary celebration. “Check out what Mr. Dawson did for their anniversary.  Look, that’s the limo; and this is the hotel they stayed at; and look at all the flowers he had in the room.  This is the restaurant they ate at.  It’s like a fairytale.”


Her father nodded his head, and replied, “that is nice”.


Furrowing her brow she added, “You and mom have a way better relationship than the Dawson’s, so why don’t you ever do anything like that for her?”


Taking an extra breath, he pushed past the urge to be offended at the implication that his anniversary traditions lacked an element of lavishness, and he asked, “What makes you think that our marriage is ‘way better’ than the Dawson’s?”


“Well, you treat mom way better than Mr. Dawson treats his wife,” she said.


“Give me some examples?’ he pressed.


“Well, you and mom talk all the time, and Mr. Dawson pretty much ignores Mrs. Dawson; and you never snap at mom or get hateful, but Mr. Dawson does that a lot; and you guys are always hanging out together, and Mr. Dawson almost always seems to be with his friends.”


“So, you’re saying that I do the everyday sorts of the things well, while Mr. Dawson really knows how to do a special occasion?” he queried.


“Yeah, I guess that’s right,” she answered.


“So let me ask you a question. When you get married, which would you rather have?”


Smiling slyly, she said, “I would actually like to have both, but if I could only have one, I would definitely take the everyday stuff.”


Grinning at her, he said, “I hope you get both, but if your husband doesn’t make you feel loved on a daily basis, it’s doubtful that the special occasion will mean much to you.”


She nodded in agreement, and as she turned he added, “I think God feels that way too”.


Turning back, she said, “what?”


“I’m just saying that I think God feels the same way. We can dress up for church and make a big production with our prayers and worship, and feel like we’ve really made a statement about our relationship with Him, but if we then ignore Him for the rest of the week, I doubt it means that much.”


Wincing, she said, “Ouch!”


Again, nodding, he said, “me too”. “But ultimately that’s why He gives us daily bread; so that we’ll come back every day.  If you really think about it, the most extravagant way to love someone, is to love them every day.”

A popularly held idea is that protests draw attention to an issue and create dialogue; but I’ve noticed that depending on the nature of the protest, it more often distracts us from the real issue and creates rhetoric. Dialogue is talking to each other, presumably with the intent of reaching some new level of agreement, while rhetoric is talking at each other, generally used to establish the superiority of our position.  One has the potential to move us forward together, while the other can become the basis for civil war.

All slumber, but few find rest.


When you don’t know who you are, you unwittingly rely on others to show you, which ultimately turns you into a slave to what other people say and think about you.

What would it do for you as a parent if your teen aged kid came by to see you, without really needing anything from you, or if they decided to put down their phone because they really wanted to hear what you had to say, or if they passed up an opportunity to go out with friends because they just wanted to spend some quality time with you? I suspect it would do much the same thing for God, if we were willing to do those things for Him.

OK, so I’m not losing sleep over who gets into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but the latest batch of nominee’s reminded me of how haphazard this process can be.  This year voters get to pick from a wide variety of artists, which includes overlooked bands like The Zombies and MC5, singer/songwriters like Todd Rundgren and John Prine, genre pioneers like Kraftwork, and Rage Against the Machine, 80’s phenoms like The Cure and Devo, dancefloor divas like Chaka Khan, and Janet Jackson, or popular favorites like LLCoolJ, Stevie Nicks and Def Leppard.  It’s not that I have a big issue with any of these artists, it’s that there are so many other deserving candidates who seem to have been forgotten.  USA Today ran an article in recent days naming what they considered to be artists that were “snubbed” (e.g. Blink-182, Bone Thugs N-Harmony, Jane’s Addiction?), and while they did name a few I hadn’t thought of (e.g. Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Snopp Dogg, Kate Bush),  they left off what I considered to be the more obvious choices.  The three groups that jump to my mind are the Doobie Brothers, Boston, and The Guess Who.  Each one of those bands produced at least a half dozen classic songs that are still being played on the radio 40+ years later.  Their credentials are far superior to many of the other artists who are already in the hall.

In many cases, members of popular bands are also enshrined for their individual careers (e.g. Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, John Lennon…).  Along those lines, I believe that a singer like Paul Rodgers should be admitted for his work in bands like Free, Bad Company, The Firm, and Queen.  Similarly, Sammy Hagar (Montrose, Van Halen, solo career), Ronnie James Dio (Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio) and Steve Winwood (Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith) should qualify for their stellar careers.  With bands like Journey and Cheap Trick already recognized, it’s hard to understand the exclusion of bands like Foreigner and Styx.  Similarly, if Deep Purple was worthy, so is Bad Company, and if Bon Jovi belongs, so do The Scorpions.  I don’t mind newer acts like Radiohead being nominated, but I don’t want to see some of these classic acts forgotten.  If you need further proof for the artists I mentioned, listen to the following:

  • The Doobie Brothers: Long Train Running, Black Water, China Grove, Jesus Is Just Alright, Taking it to the Streets, Listen to the Music
  • Boston:  More Than a Feeling, Foreplay/Long Time, Piece of Mind, Don’t Look Back, Rock and Roll Band, Feelin’ Satisfied
  • The Guess Who:  American Woman, These Eyes, Undun, No Time, Share the Land, No Sugar Tonight
  • Paul Rodgers:  Alright Now (Free), Bad Company (BC), Ready for Love (BC), Shooting Star (BC), Feel Like Making Love (BC), Satisfaction Guaranteed (The Firm)
  • Steve Winwood:  Gimme Some Lovin’ (Spencer Davis Group), Can’t Find My Way Home (Blind Faith), Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (Traffic), John Barlycorn Must Die (Traffic), Arc of the Diver
  • Sammy Hagar: Bad Motor Scooter (Montrose), Heavy Metal (solo), I Can’t Drive 55 (solo), Dreams (Van Halen), Right Now (Van Halen)
  • Ronnie James Dio:  Man on the Silver Mountain (Rainbow), Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath), The Mob Rules (Black Sabbath), Holy Diver (Dio)
  • Foreigner:  Cold As Ice, Long Long Way from Home, Feels Like the First Time, Hot Blooded, Urgent, Juke Box Hero, I Want to Know What Love Is
  • Styx:  Lady, Suite Madame Blue, Come Sail Away, Fooling Yourself, Blue Collar Man, Renegade
  • Bad Company:  Bad Company, Ready for Love, Seagull, Shooting Star, Feel Like Making Love, Rock and Roll Fantasy
  • The Scorpions:  Holiday, The Zoo, No One Like You, Rock You Like a Hurricane, Still Loving You, Winds of Change,