Surrender don't come natural to me, Id rather fight you for something I don't really want,to take what you want that I need.

Rich Mullins from his song Hold me Jesus.

For quote archives click here

A to Z Challenge 2021

#AtoZChallenge 2021 banner

It's In the Past

Three Dave's No Waiting

Friday, April 9, 2021

I is for Ingalls

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter I


Laura Ingalls Wilder

Years lived before 1921: Fifty-four
Years lived after 1921: Thirty-six 

Laura Ingalls Wilder is the  author of the Little House  books a somewhat fictionalized account of her life growing up on the American frontier. Laura was the 2nd of 5 children of Charles and Caroline Ingalls.  The only boy Charles Frederick Ingalls died when he was less than 1 year old.  Laura married Almanzo Wilder and they had 1  daughter, Rose.

                                                Carrie           Mary                   Laura

In 1921 all Laura's sisters, her mother and her daughter were all still living

Caroline Quiner Ingalls lived from 1839-1924 (83 years before 1921 and 3 after)

Laura's older sister Mary  was born in 1865 and died 4 years after her mother in 1928.  She lived 56 years before 1921 and 7 years after.

Laura's baby sister Grace was born in 1877, 44 years prior to 1921.  She passed away20 years later in 1941.

In 1921 Laura's sister Carrie turned 51 years of age.  When she died 25 years later, Laura became the last surviving child of her father and mother.

Almanzo Wilder  like my own grandfather was 10 years older than his wife. Almanzo lived 64 years before 1921 and lived 28 years after passing away in 1949.

Laura and Almanzo's daughter Rose was born in 1886 and died in 1968. She lived 35 years prior to 1921 and 47 years after that. Rose was the last living descendent of Charles and Carolyn, unless you count Laura's books which still enjoy a life of their own

I am posting this letter early which I hardly ever do.  I am taking the weekend off and will be back with the letter J on Monday.  Please go bak and enjoy more of  the challenge

H is for Hepburn

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter H


                                                            Katherine Hepburn

                                                            Years Lived Before 1921: Twelve
                                                            Years Lived After 1921: Eighty Two

Let's switch things up just a little today. Instead of delving into the biography of Katherine Hepburn.  I will list one movie from each decade of her film career.

1930's Little Women (1933) 

1940's Philadelphia Story (1940)

Nominated for Academy Award for Best Actress

1950's African Queen (1951)


Nominated for Academy Award for Best Actress

1960's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) 

Won  Academy Award for Best Actress

1970's Rooster Cogburn (1975)

1980's On Golden Pond (1981) 

Won Academy Award for Best Actress

In all, Hepburn was nominated 12 times for the Academy Award for best actress  and won 4 times which is pretty good for someone once dubbed box office poison.

A TO Z Easter Eggs

A To  Z Extra

 H is for Hundred at Random Acts of Roller. Discover 10 things that happened in 1921.  

After you've looked at the additional content from my other blogs head back to the challenge.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

G is for George

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter G


George Washington Carver

Year lived before 1921: Fifty-seven
Years lived after 1921: Twenty-two

George Washington Carver was born into slavery in Missouri in 1864. He was an educator , a  life long learner, a man of faith and science,   an accomplished artist and musician and a great humanitarian. He did not invent peanut butter as is often attributed to him. However, his work at The Tuskegee institute did not only help the African American students there it helped poor southern farmers, black and white, to be less dependent on farming one crop (generally cotton) and diversifying to crops such as but not limited to sweet potatoes and peanuts.

In 1894 Carver became  the first African American to earn a Bachelor's degree in science. He followed that up prior to the turn of the century  by earning his Masters of Agricultural degree at what was then called Iowa State Agricultural School.

In his almost 50 years at Tuskegee put all that science to practical use.  He would explain to his students and to local farmers that crops like peanuts and sweet potatoes would revitalize the soil ravaged by years of growing cotton.  Another problem with growing only cotton is that is not a food crop, so the farmers would need to borrow money for sustenance.  By switching to food crops, the farmer could sustain themselves with plenty remaining to sell at market.

When I decided on people who lived in 1921 for my theme for this years A to Z Challenge, George Washington Carver was the person I wanted to include most on the list.  When I was homeschooling my children I bought them a number of biographies written by janet & Geoff Benge.  

My kids enjoyed reading them and I enjoyed reading them as well.  Last year I found that the George Washington Carver biography was available at my library as a downloadable audio book.  I listened to it and rediscovered why I appreciated Carver when I learned about him in grade school.  

That does it for today's edition.  I'm just nutty about George Washington Carver. As you can tell by that horrible pun, I am also just nutty. Click here to return to the A to Z challenge.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

F is for Fisher

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter F

Aileen Fisher
Years lived before 1921: Fifteen
Years Lived after 1921: Eighty-one

I never try out my ideas on children, except on the child that I used to know...and that -- was me! Fortunately, I remember pretty well what I used to like to read, think about, and do. I find, even today, that if I write something I like children are apt to like it too.  I guess what it amounts too is I never grew up.  Over the years I  have discovered you really don't have to grow up. - Aileen Fisher

Aileen Fisher is one of my daughter's favorite poets and she quickly became mine.   There are many excellent posts dedicated to Aileen in the blogosphere.  One of the best is from the blog Poetry for Children on the occasion of what would have been her hundredth birthday.

Not only was Miss Fisher a great poet she also wrote non fiction and fiction for children. In 1978, she was the 2nd recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) award for Excellence in Poetry for Children.  

Here are two poems of hers with the illustrations to give an idea of a bit of her style.


A To Z Easter Eggs

 A to Z ArchivesPoems at Alice's Bunny Blog. Alice is my oldest daughter's build-a-bear (full disclosure she's a bunny) Alice was quite the blogger back in the day and she wrote this nifty post about 2 of her favorite poems both about bunnies with one being the best poem I think Aileen Fisher ever did write.  Check it out!

 Inaugural Holiday Poetry Reading at Dave Out Loud. This past Christmas I read several of my own poems and then ended with Aileen Fisher's Do Rabbits Have Christmas. 

After you've looked at the additional content from my other blogs head back to the challenge and  continue exploring.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

E is for Eric

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter E 

                                                     Eric Liddell
                                                    Years lived before 1921: Nineteen
                                                    Years lived after 1921: Twenty-four

 Eric Liddell was an Olympic champion, and  a Christian Missionary who died in a Japanese internment camp. He is one of the two main characters of the 1981 film, Chariots of Fire.

Eric was born in and died in China.  In between he went to boarding school in London and college in Scotland.  He was a gifted athlete a 2 sport star (Rugby and Track) and played on Scotland's national Rugby team.  He made the 1924 Olympic team in track and field and was supposed to run in the 100m 200 m and 400m for the U.K.

It is some times hard to look at the past through the lens of the present and get the full meaning of the time period.  This is certainly the case for Liddell, who refused to run in the heats for the 100m (his strongest event) in Paris as they were on S said of hisunday.  Christians play sports on the Sabbath with regularity 97 years after Liddell's stand.  This in no way demeans his achievement or integrity.  He ended up winning the gold in 00m and the bronze in the 200m neither of which had heats scheduled on Sundays.  

When asked what his success was attributed to Liddell he responded ...

"The secret of my success over the 400m is that I run the first 200m as fast as I can. Then for the second 200m, with God's help I run faster."

This quote is actually very descriptive of how he lived his life.  After the Olympics he returned to China as a missionary, met and married a Canadian missionary and began raising his family and continued doing the work of a missionary.  The work of a missionary became more and more dangerous in China in the 1940's and Eric was sent to a Japanese internment camp.  He was able to send his wife pregnant with their third child and his first 2 daughters to Canada before that occurred.  His youngest daughter never met her father.

Though his life was short it was exemplary. Throughout his life people took notice of his moral excellence.  The headmaster of his boarding school described him as "entirely witout vanity". In the internment camp he was described by one internee  as "the finest Christian gentleman I ever had the pleasure to meet." and another went into long detail of how Liddell poured himself ito the lives of the young people at the camp to make their time less difficult.  Considering that Liddell died in the camp from a brain tumor and  that his life there was even more difficult because of his medical condition underscores his selfless behavior even more.

Liddell has been a role model and hero for me most of my life. I have been a runner and a missionary an educator and a father just like him.  In a pivotal scene in Chariots of Fire, Liddell falls down in a 400m race gets back up and ends up winning the race.  The biggest way I try to emulate Eric Liddell is that when I fall, I get back on my feet and with God's help I get right back in the race. 

A To Z Easter Eggs

 A to Z Archives: My Top 10 Favorite Movies of All Time.  at HSD. Not surprisingly Chariots of Fire is on this list.  

After you've looked at the additional content from my other blogs head back to the challenge and explore continue exploring.

Monday, April 5, 2021

D is for Doctor

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter D

In the original version of  You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, in between production numbers they would run a series of vignettes that were generally taken directly from Peanut's cartoons.  In one such vignette Linus and Charlie Brown are discussing an information form they had to fill out for school.  Linus says to Charlie Brown when they asked for family physician I wasn't sure, so I just wrote down Dr. Seuss.

The bit speaks for multiple generations of children that Theodore  Seuss Geisel delivered the best medicine to through his auspicious career as a children's author and illustrator. 

Who does the Dr. look like?

That's what I thought.

That's more like it.

Years lived before 1921: Seventeen
Years lived after 1921: Seventy

"It's fun to have fun you just have to know how" - The Cat in the Hat. 

Using a combination of poetry, linguistic calisthenics, an out of this world imagination and the artistic talent to match Dr. Seuss knew how to have fun and share it with the world. Geisel  shared this fun with his readers writing over 60  books over 50 years while employing various pseudonyms.  His work lent itself quite nicely to the television as well as the movies. Everyone seems to have a favorite Dr. Seuss story.  For me. it's Green Eggs and Ham.  I loved reading it as a kid and that joy was only surpassed by the joy I had of reading it to my own kids.  

When I think of Dr. Seuss I think of Beginner Books which has the slogan "I can read it all by myself". So I think it is very appropriate to show a video of a child doing just that with the book In a People house. 

A To Z Easter Eggs

 A to Z ArchivesDr, Seuss and More at HSD. Written in March of 2011 for Dr Seuss' birthday, this post is more about people with common ties with Geissel, such as the nickname Ted, the title Dr. being born on March 2nd or in 1904. 

Born on March 2nd and 10 Songs at Random Acts of Roller.  When I wrote Born on March 2nd, I did not realize I had done pretty much the same thing 10 years ago in one of the sections pf Dr. Seuss and more. 10 songs contains a song featuring  Allen Sherman voicing the Cat in the Hat in the original television special. 

 After you've looked at the additional content from my other blogs head back to the challenge and explore continue exploring.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

1921 A Tale of 13 Presidents

 Happy Easter!

Sundays are traditionally days off for the A to Z challenge and while this Sunday is no exception, I have decided to include an A to Z Easter egg today by listing all the presidents of the U.S. who were alive in 1921 either before, during or after their presidency. I have the two presidents who were in office in 1921 in bold.  

1921 President Chart

#. President
(date of birth-date of death)
Time in office Years lived prior to 1921Years lived after 1921
26. William Howard Taft
27. Woodrow Wilson
28. Warren G. Harding
29 Calvin Coolidge
(7/4/1873 - 9/5/1933
30. Herbert Hoover
31. Franklin Roosevelt
(1/30/1882 - 4/12/1945)
32. Harry S Truman
(5/8/1884 -12/6/1972)
33. Dwight D. Eisenhower
 (10/14/1890 -3/28/1969)
34. John F. Kennedy
(5/29/1917 -11/22/1963)
35. Lyndon B Johnson
(8/27/1908 -1/22/1973)
36. Richard M. Nixon
(1/9/1913 -4/22/1994)
37. Gerald R. Ford
(7/14/1913 -12/26/2006)
39. Ronald Reagan
(2/6/1911 - 6/5/2004)

The A to Z challenge will resume on Monday with the letter D.  Before I go, speaking of Monday, Easter Eggs and the U.S. Presidency, traditionally the Monday after Easter is the Egg Roll on the lawn of the Whitehouse.  It has been cancelled this year but the White House Historic Association is hosting virtual online egg roll activities including this Easter Egg Roll Bingo sheet.

Enjoy your Easter Sunday. Remember that it was a stone not an Easter Egg that was rolled away That Jesus was risen, He was risen in deed,

Saturday, April 3, 2021

C is for C.S.

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter C 

                                            C.S. Lewis
                                            Years lived before 1921: Twenty-three
                                            Years lived after 1921: Forty-Two

Clive Staples(C.S.) Lewis was a professor, author, apologist and theologian.  Lewis was born in 1898 in Ireland, but he is best known as being from Oxford, England where he essentially lived from 1917 to his death in 1963.

The two most influential women in Lewis's life was his mother who died when he was 9 and his wife Joy Davidman Gresham who came to faith in Christ through reading Lewis's books. Both women died of cancer.

Lewis, who is certainly my favorite author, who may be best known for his children book series , The Chronicles of Narnia was a gifted author of many genre's running the gamut from poetry and science fiction to literary criticism and Christian apologetics.  

Lewis passed away on November 22, 1963.  If that day seems somewhat familiar to you it is because that is the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Also dying on the same day along with  Kennedy and Lewis was Brave New World author Aldous Huxley.  

This coincidence prompted author and professor  Peter Kreeft to write the book Between Heaven and Hell which is a fictionalized conversation between Lewis, Kennedy and Huxley that took place immediately after their death. Kreeft uses the conversation as an opportunity to examine both the claims of Christ and the theistic, humanistic and pantheistic world views that the 3 people represented.  It is a quick and thought provoking read.




John Fitzgerald Kennedy                                                        Aldous Huxley

35th Presdient of the U.S.                                            

Years Lived before 1921: Four                                                Years lived before 1921: Twenty-eight

Years lived after 1921: Forty-two                                            Years lived after 1921: Forty-two

A To Z Easter Eggs

 A to Z Archives: The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis at Random Acts of Roller. A review of the aforementioned last book in the Chronicles of Narnia. 

Voyage of the Dawn Treader and An Open Letter to My Narnia Classes at HSD.  The first post is a review I wrote of the film adaptation of Dawn Treader.  The 2nd are reflections on some Narnia books from a class I taught at a home school co-op 10 years ago.

After you've looked at the additional content from my other blogs head back to the challenge and explore continue exploring. 

Friday, April 2, 2021

B is for Billy (Graham and Sunday)

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter B

One thing I discovered quickly in my preparation for this years A to Z challenge is that there were more than 26 people I wanted to write about it.  Of course quite a few of them I had to discard, but where I could I have tried to put a few in the same post if I feel they are some what connected.

For the letter B I found 2 men with not only the same first name but also the same occupation.

                                                    William Ashley (Billy) Sunday
                                                    Years Lived Before 1921: Fifty-nine
                                                    Years Lived After 1921: Fourteen

Billy Sunday  was a famous evangelist and prior to that he was a baseball player.  He was born in Iowa in 1862.  His father died in the Civil War a few weeks after his birth.  He was raised in an Orphan's homeHall o. He loved baseball and was discovered by future hall of famer Cap Anson and signed with the Chicago White Stockings (Cubs).  He played for  Chicago from 1883 to 1887 and played

After you've looked at the additional content from my other blogs head back to the challenge and explore continue exploring. He played for the Pittsburgh Allegheny's (The Allegheny's changed their name to Pirates at the end of the 180 campaign.)  from 1888 to 1890 before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies midseason.

While Playing for Chicago Sunday was converted to Christianity after attending meetings at the Pacific garden Mission.  In 1886 He met Helen "Nell" Thompson who he married in 1888.  In 1891 he quit baseball and began work at the YMCA.  After the YMCA he began  preaching at revival meetings first with J. Wilbur Chapman in 1893 and then on his own in 1896.  

Sunday would often incorporate baseball into his crusades.  Sometimes forming teams to play and playing for both sides.  He believed in the authority and inerrancy of scripture and unlike some 
preachers of his day addressed social issues.  He denounced child labor, supported the vote for women and did not segregate his revivals even in the deep south.  He was a strong proponent of World War I and and even stronger advocate of prohibition.

"Nowadays we think we are too smart to believe in the Virgin birth of Jesus and too well educated to believe in the Resurrection. That's why people are going to the devil in multitudes." - Billy Sunday

Before Sunday's death in 1935 it is estimated that 100.000.000 people attended his revivals and 1,000,000 professed Christ as a result of his preaching.   

                                                            William Franklin (Billy) Graham Jr.

                                                            Years Lived Before 1921: Three

                                                            Years Lived after 1921: Ninety-seven


Billy Graham grew up in North Carolina where his childhood dream was to be a baseball player. He addressed this in a book  he wrote in his 90's:

Since there were few things in life that I loved more than baseball, as a young man I dedicated myself to the sport and hoped that my passion for the game would lead me straight to the major leagues.

My goal was simple: stand at home plate, with bat in hand, immersed in an important game. I often pictured myself hitting a big-league grand slam into the stadium seats and hearing the crowd roar with thunder as I ran the bases—nearing home.

He then followed it up with this ...

I never would have guessed what lay in store. After giving my heart to the Lord Jesus Christ—repenting of my sin and putting my entire life into His hands—I laid down my dreams, along with my bat, and fully embraced God’s plan by faith, trusting that He would lead me all the way. He did, He is, and He will.

As I look back, I see how God’s hand guided me. I sense His Spirit with me today, and most comforting is the knowledge that He will not forsake me during this last stretch as I am nearing home. If that doesn’t give me a sense of hope, nothing else will.

Billy Graham came to faith in Christ through a revival  meeting that came to his town.  This was the beginning of the end of his baseball dreams but also the beginning of his own career as an evangelist.  Unlike Sunday Graham was well educated getting degrees in 1940 from Florida Bible Institutes and in 1943 from Wheaton College.  It was at Wheaton where he met and married Ruth Bell. Like Sunday some of his first forays into ministry were with young people.  While Sunday worked for the YMCA Graham worked for an organization called Youth For Christ.  I first heard the Gospel through Youth for Christ and volunteered as a youth leader my first 3 years after high school so I feel like I can relate to Billy Graham on that level.

From 1947 to 2005 Graham conducted 417 crusades in over 180 countries and territories on 6 continents.  

Graham successfully utilized radio, newspapers, magazines and television in his ministry.  He was able to be a very public Christian figure and avoid any major scandals in his ministry.  While he certainly had critics, his style of clearly communicating the gospel on a global scale for more than a half a century is definitely the greatest evangelical achievement of the 20th century.

A TO Z Easter Eggs

A to Z Archives 

Meaningful (and civilized) dialogue between adherents of different worldviews at Dave Out Loud. In 1969 Woody Allen and Billy Graham appeared together on a T.V. special.  I uploaded the video from you tube onto my vlog last year to show how civil disagreements can be.

The Politics of Christianity at Random Acts of Roller. I use the legacy of Billy Graham as a counter example to how politically one sided I thought American evangelicalism was growing.

A To  Z Extra

 Sunday Mond ay  atCrazy Uncle Dave's Sports Blog. How 2 Chicago Cubs outfielders named after days of the week are better known for their stands rather than their stats.

That's all I have as Day 2 of the challenge comes to an end.   After you've looked at the additional content on my other blogs head back to The A to Z challenge and  continue exploring. .  


Thursday, April 1, 2021

A is for Allen and Al

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter Ar

April 1 2021 A to Z Challenge commences.

Hello to anyone visiting from the challenge.
 This year my theme is Alive in 1921.

Each day I will write about one or more person who was alive 100 years ago in 1921.My criteria for selection was to write about only people who I knew about before compiling the list.  I will give some biographical information, but I will also try to focus on my connection with the person.  

We are starting with Steve Allen, who was the first host of The Tonight Show in 1954.Allen was born the day after Christmas in 1921 so he was born in the last week of eligibility for t
his list.  

                                                        Years Lived Before 1921: Zero
                                                        Years Lived After 1921:   Seventy Nine

I know it is April 1st but when it came to hosting a late night show, Allen was no fool.  Many of the innovations he pioneered for his ground breaking progam are still in use today. Like this duet with himself

Steve Allen made a lot of appearances on talk shows and game shows in my youth.  What I remember him for most was his dead pan sense of humor.  In the 1980's a show by the name of Solid Gold ran on television. It did not run on broadcast or cable network it was syndicated and I watched a few episodes in it's first season.  On one of those episode Mr. Allen gave a "dramatic" reading.  I put dramatic in quotes as the reading was the lyrics of Donna Summer's Hot Stuff which topped billboard hot 100 chart in 1979. 40 years later the mere thought of the chorus lyrics below being read by Mr. Allen send me into a fit of hysteria.  I was unable to find a clip of this otherwise I would be posting it on my vlog.  

Steve is not the only Allen we are celebrating today. The other one spells it Allan and goes by Al.  His name is Al Jaffee.  Al Jaffee was an artist for Mad magazine.  Like Steve Allen, Jaffee was born in 1921 but unlike Allen who died in 2000, Jaffee is still alive, just celebrating his 100th birthday last month.  

                                             Years lived before 1921: Zero     
                                             Years lived after 1921:One Hundred (so far)

This is a good time to mention how I am incorporating my other blogs into the a to z challenge this year.  I have links to additional content on some of the people I will be featuring this month.  I am calling these A to Z Easter Eggs and there are 2 kinds.  A to Z extra are content I created specifically for the challenge and that I publish simultaneously with that day's letter. A to Z archives are previous posts which have previously appeared in the blog-o-sphere.  Today, I have none of the former, and 2 of the latter.  

A TO Z Easter Eggs

A to Z Archives 

Happy Birthday to Chris and Al at Random Acts of Roller. Mr. Jaffee's birthday coincides with my younger brother's, so I wrote them a fitting tribute which contains a little more biographical information as well as how I connect with the Mad artist.  

The Tonight Show: A History of Hosts at Dave Out Loud.    Steve Allen was the first of 6 hosts of the Tonight Show. I have some footage of each host. 

This should end my first installment of the A to Z challenge.  After you've looked at the additional content on my other blogs head back to the challenge and explore continue exploring. .         

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

How to Get Through 2021: Press On.

 When I wrote my first How to get through 2021 post, I did not expect to write another one the next month and certainly not to write another one the month after that.  But this seems to be exactly what I'm doing.

In my first installment, I talked about how Day by Day interaction with God will help us get through difficult times,  In the second I mentioned about how true Shoulder to Shoulder fellowship will aid us in that journey.  That should be it, I thought.  If God is not all encompassing enough relying on  and serving others who are also relying on and serving God should fill in the gaps. 

Well there seems to be a third ingredient in progressing through difficult times and I was reminded it of last night when listening to Spotify. I was listening to a song by Billy Sprague , a musician, song writer and performer who years ago lost his fiance in a car accident.  She was driving to one of his concerts when the accident occurred. He took a 3 year hiatus from recording and touring and his 2nd release after his return led off with the song, Press On.


Although Sprague certainly did not write this song for Covid the emotions expressed are similar to the results of living in lock-down. 

Consider these lyrics

... the passion for life drained like blood from my chest

And it took more than  my will just to take a step when the compass of hope was gone. 


Every desperate prayer seemed like heaven refused and some days I found faith meant just tying my shoes and it was all I could do to press on.

In shampoo bottle parlance, if Day by Day is wash and Shoulder to Shoulder is rinse then Press On is repeat.  Pressing on is a continuation of trusting God  and walking along side each other through our trials and our joys.  

Look at the Shoulder to Shoulder living happening in the 2nd verse...

On the oceans so lonesome I  was not left alone

had some heavenly friends when my heart was a stone

and they carried my heart ache and made it their own

when the current of sorrow was strong.

(and one said)

"I pray your memories will not drag you down

not be anchors but treasures of the love that you found"

and his kind words turned hurt into comfort somehow

and the wind in my sails to press on.

I think at least those of us  in western society consider pressing on a solitary activity.  I think it is actually quite communal.  There are heartaches every in life that could be greatly  benefit from  a group of people making it their own.  Even as I was writing this, a friend called to invite me to a church service on Easter which reminded me how his own father said kind words to me on an Easter Sunday some 30 years ago that put the  wind back  in my sails.  I'll save that story for another time. 

In Philippians Chapter 3 the Apostle Paul discusses the concept of pressing on.  In verse 9 he talks about attaining a righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith in Christ.  In verses 10 and 11 he talks about knowing Christ through his  suffering , death and resurrection. In verses 12 and 14 he describes how he is progressing to this point but having not yet reached it and how  he is pressing on towards that goal.  In the 2nd part of the 13th verse he writes something that describes a successful strategy for combating grief, co-vid or anything that life throws at us ...

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. Philippians 3:13B (NIV)

Paul as he often does is using his words to assign priorities.  The past can be very instructional to us but we should never let it define us.  Grief doesn't define us. Lock-down shouldn't define us. A Christians goal should be to become more like Christ.  We can do that by pressing on and we weren't meant to that alone. 


 I think this may be it, but who knows, there is still a lot of 2021 to get through and I know a lot of songs.  

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Last 5 Next 10

 I enjoy reading and I enjoy writing.  It is sometimes difficult for me to write about either writing or reading.  Each Summer I try to read books and then post short reviews on one blog or the other.  Each summer I fail miserably in the review department.  I started strong but I can't keep up with the individual posts.  This year I'm going to try something different.  let's see how I do.  After finishing 5 books, I will mention them here and then list off ten books that I am either in some process of reading (I read several books at a time) or am planning to read soon.  

Before I begin, lets define what I mean by reading. I mean by reading either reading the printed page, reading an on line version of a book,  or listening to a book on tape, c.d., play-a-way or on line or being read to by someone live or reading to someone live.   I am less reticent about this practice than I was when I wrote Is listening the new reading? a couple years back.


I am using the following  scale. to quickly rate these books:

hate dislike okay like love


Dick Allen: The Life and Times of a Baseball Immortal by William C Kashatus

Why I chose this book: I have been a White Sox fan since 1972 and Dick Allen was a big reason why I became a fan and was my first White Sox hero. Mr. Allen passed away in the latter part of 2020 and I have been finding out more about him since then.

Type: Book (Read it to myself)

How Obtained: Inter-library loan through my local library.

Rating: Closer to Like than Love

The Quick and the Dead by Louis L'Amour

Why I chose this book: Allen Levi, one of my favorite musicians reccommended the works of Louis L'AMour by singing about him.  In "The Reason I Read Louis L'Amour" Levis distills a basic L'amour plot and in the chorus describes the basic recipe for a L'Amour book ...

A little bit of gunfire, a little bit of romance, a little bit of mystery and a little bit of gore. No matter what fix he's in, you know the good guy's gonna win. That's the reason I read Louis Lamour.

This and other Allen Levi songs and albums are available at band camp.

Type: Book (read it to myself)

How Obtained: Borrowed from collection at my local library.

Rating: Much closer to like than okay.

Rider of Lost Creek By Louis L'Amour

Why I chose this book: For the same exact reason I read The Quick and the Dead. In fact, I borrowed them at the same time from my local library.  

Rating: I liked this a little better than Quick and the Dead, a solid Like.

I am a Church Member - Thom S Rainer 

Why I chose this book: It is part of the curriculum for church membership in our church. 

Type: Book (alternated reading it to my wife and having her read it to me)

How obtained: Our church gave it to us as part of the membership class.  

Rating: It was a pretty good book, but Amy and I noticed several typo's.  We enjoyed the experience of reading to each other a little more than the content so I'll give it a solid Like.  If I had just read it to myself, i'd probably rank it just below the L'Amour books. 

Utah Blaine by Louis L'amour

Why I chose this book: I enjoyed the first two L'Amout books so I picked up 2 more the next time I was at my local library 

Type: Book (read to myself)

Rating: Between Like and Love, but I'm pretty sure that one of the draws of L'Amour's fiction is that whichever of his books you happen to be reading it becomes your new favorite. ( I am currently reading my 4th L'Amour and I think I like it just a little better than this one.)  

2021 Book Stats as of 3/13/21

5 books read in 72 days that's an average of 1 book read for every 14.4 days.  Those numbers are a little skewed as I didn't finish my first book of the year until February.  Even so, at that rate I should finish 25 books this year.  I do expect that projection to go up in future installments but we shall see,

10 Books I'm Reading or Planning to Read Soon

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

Hank Aaron: Groundbreaking Baseball Slugger - Doug Williams
How To Win The Culture War - Peter Kreeft

Hondo - Louis L'Amour

Farmer Boy - Laura Ingalls Wilder

Humor and the Presidency - Gerald Ford

For the Love of Mike - Mike Royko

Schulz and Peanuts - David Michaelis 

Jimmy Stweart, Bomber Pilot - Starr Smith

Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder 

I would not be surprised if at my next installment I have read books that are not on this list, nor would I be surprised of some of the books on the next 10 list drop off for a while or permanently.  I am very eclectic and  this certainly shows in my reading choices.  

You'll notice that there is been no attempt made my be at all to review any of these books.  I do leave the door open to that possibility in the future. I think that will work better in my goal of chronicling my reading foot print for the year 2021.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

A to Z Challenge 2021 Theme Reveal

#AtoZChallenge 2021 Theme Reveal

It is almost time once again for the A to Z Challenge to come out of it's den and cast it's shadow to the
blogging community.  It is now time for participants to reveal their 2021 theme to the world.

I had several ideas for this years a to z challenge, some more ambitious and some less ambitious.  I think this one is just right and hopefully, like Goldilocks you'll eat it all up.

My A to Z challenge is to write about people who were living 100 years ago in 1921.  For example 13 men who had been , were , or would become U.S. presidents were alive in 1921. These presidents lived between 1856 and 2006.  All 4 of my grandparents were living in 1921.  They ranged in ages from 9 to 19 at that time.  The 9 year old eventually married the 19 year old but that was some years later.  

In the past I have participated in the challenge from multiple  blogs.  This year I come back to HSD after doing the last challenges from Random Acts of Roller.  I currently have 4 active blogs and have found  a way to involve each blog into the extravaganza.  The way is by A to Z Easter Eggs

What are A to Z Easter eggs you ask.  It is my way of adding additional related content my from my  other blogs to my a to z posts.  I will do this in 2 different ways one if I create additional content on one of my blogs and then post it concurrently with the a to z post, I will call that an to A to Z extra.  If I have already created that content and posted it previous to this years challenge I will call it A to Z archive. 

 For today's post I only have one kind of Easter eggs but I have plenty of that kind.. Last week at my vlog, Dave Out Loud on my feature called Quick Random Takes the topic I picked out of my hat just happened to be A to Z challenge.  I put that topic idea last May, so it's interesting it would pop up a week before the topic reveal.   In addition,  all 4 of my blogs including this one have A to Z archives which are links to my previous A to Z Challenges.  

A TO Z Easter Eggs

A to Z Archives: 

The challenge starts on Thursday April 1st and continues  every day but Sundays for the rest of the month. Click here to be redirected to the A to Z challenge.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Roller Time

 This week I finished a 6 week subbing assignment relieving a 1:1 aide who was on maternity leaveem.  I worked with the same student for 6 weeks which was new and very rewarding for me. Each morning I would pick the student up at the bus and bring them to the class room.  Each afternoon I would take the student back to the bus.  Usually by the end of the day, my student would start to get very excited about going home and would start repeating momma time over and over again.  Sometimes if the student was having a particularly difficult day they might start saying momma time before it was near to the time school ended.  I Kind of  saw it as a suggestion/protest. One day Momma Time was being chanted at about 8:30 a.m.  

One morning  3 or 4 weeks into the assignment as I was picking my student up from the bus, the bus driver asked me what my name was.  I said it was Mr. Roller. She said that explains it, your student has been repeating Roller time, Roller time for the last 15 minutes.  I hope that means that I made as much of an impression on my student as  they did to me.  


Yesterday I almost went to a movie.  That's right I almost went to the movie theatre with my wife and watched a movie.  It's been almost a year since I've even thought of doing that.  The reason we didn't go was not because of any co-vid concerns, we e looked the movie up in my favorite ratings website, Plugged In, and realized that it might not be for us.  Our daughters went to the Disney dragon movie and both enjoyed it. 


Speaking of Disney, my younger daughter and I have been watching Wandavision on the Disney App.  We have been watching it the Friday it drops and watched the 9th and final installment yesterday.  If I were reviewing the show, my review would be uneven.  I'm not reviewing, it though.  I will say this, it's been super fun having a little vestige of appointment television and the experience was well worth the effort.


My Other Blogs

Besides this blog, I have 3 other active blogs.  Here are links to my most recent posts in each of them.

Crazy Uncle Dave's Sports Blog

Hall of Fame Voting Results 2021 - 2/13/21

Dave Out Loud

Quick Random Takes: A to Z Challenge 3/6/21 (currently now quickly becoming then)

Random Acts of Roller

Born on March 2nd 3/2/21

Sunday, February 14, 2021

How to Get Through 2021: Shoulder to Shoulder

Last month I wrote about how to get through 2021 by advocating adherence to the lyrics of  Day by Day from the musical Godspell. I've been in a bit of a musical renaissance lately.  I've been listening to music for 2 to 3 hours each day and much of it has had an encouraging effect on my outlook on life.  

On the way to work, I listen to the same playlist each morning which features a lot of music from Allen Levi.  In a live concert Allen, who lives and has his recording studio on a Georgia farm describes how he saw two purple finches at the bird feeder outside of his studio.  The first was blind in his right eye and the second blind in the left eye.  

Levi wrote a fictional conversation from one bird to the other about teaming up "to make it through this obstacle course called life. "

Levi's finch also tells his prospective traveling partner that 

"If we travel all alone the danger's plenty but side by side were perfect 20/20."

This got me thinking about the obstacle course that was the year 2020 and how that 2020 was far from perfect in seemingly every aspect. 

2021seems to be shaping up like a movie called 2020: The year that wouldn't leave.  Political turmoil, Covid, Tom Brady winning another Super Bowl.  

If the answer to getting through this year is shoulder to shoulder, a new question that emerges is how do we do that 6 feet apart? 


I might suggest 3 ways.

1) Stay positive with each other.

Discontentment is a more infectious virus than even Covid. When one person complains a line soon forms so everyone can get in on the act. 

To stay positive with each other, you first need to stay positive yourself so you can pass it on to others.  In the same way, walking in step with positive people will help you combat negative thoughts and behavior patterns.

Consider the ripple effects of Phillippians 4:4- 9 ...

First have a pattern of rejoicing always (vs.4). add to that gentleness (vs. 5) remove anxiety by presenting your needs to God (vs 6 )and God's peace will guard your heart (vs. 7).  Then to cap it all off think and act only in ways that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent,  and 
praiseworthy (verses 8&9)

2. Encourage each other.

The English Standard (ESV) New International (NIV) and New American Standard (NASB) version of the Bible (3 of my favorite versions) all translated the 1st word of Isaiah 35:3 as strengthen.

ESV: Strengthen the weak hands,
         and make firm the feeble knees. 

NIV: Strengthen the feeble hands,
        steady the knees that give way;

NASB: Strengthen the exhausted, and make the feeble strong. 

In 1995 the NASB went through a revision and the verse is now translated ...

Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.

When you think about it, encouragement is a kind of strengthening. And you have to admit that 2021 life is enough to make the strongest among us exhausted and feeble.  Words and acts of encouragement can provide an oasis in a barren wasteland. 

3. Find Common Ground

Acts chapter 17:16-34  is generally considered a passage that gives a blueprint on evangelism.  Paul in Athens is able to study the culture and then use the culture as a way of sharing the message of Jesus.  One ministry I know took this pattern and developed a method called ask, admire and admit as a way of presenting the gospel to others.

I believe that Paul's model can also be used beyond the scope of evangelism to promote unity.  As you may have noticed we live in an increasingly divisive society even among Christ-followers.  I sometimes think I can only use 24 letters on Facebook as I always seem to be minding my p's and q's. The thing about Facebook is that ideally our circle is composed of friends, relatives, and acquaintances with whom we once shared common bonds.  Sometimes it helps me to remember those bonds and post those memories as a way of strengthening those bonds rather than focussing on differences. 

In January I wrote that depending on God is a good way to get through 2021.  Depending on each other seems to be the next logical step as God created us to be in relationship with one another.  Working in concert through this obstacle course called life is much better than being each other's obstacles. 

Blogsgone but not forgotten. (sad emoji, nostalgic emoji)