Old News is Still Funny

I’m sitting here looking through some old newspaper columns I wrote way back when I worked for the Whitley Republican in Williamsburg, KY.

What a hoot!

Back then I wrote a lot like I write now — blogs anyway. The blog kinda took the place of what was once a column. Maybe they’re still called columns in newspaper lingo. I’m outta that loop now.

This was not too many years after Elvis passed to that great Graceland in the sky. I decided to write a column about the hubbub surrounding opinions that Elvis still walked among us. I know, it’s a little out there.

If you care to read my novice small town reporter ramblings from long ago, here is that column:

Please Let Elvis, and Us, Rest in Peace

Ok, Elvis, come out and let us all in on the big joke.

I’ve figured it out. Elvis is still alive and he’s putting all those commercials about himself on television to drive us crazy.

Any time of the day or evening, flip on the tv and see commercials promoting books about Elvis or phone numbers to call for messages he supposedly made four years after his death. If he has made a call to anyone recently I sincerely hope they didn’t accept the charges!

There are also “one of a kind” Elvis dolls, Elvis Hawaiian hula lamps and black velvet paintings of “the king”. Oh, I almost forgot, a new Elvis credit card is now available to make it oh so easy to afford all of this.

There are also experts on cable talk shows who share their theories on where Elvis is keeping himself these days. Some say he has been seen in Michigan and others are sure he’s on a tropical island. Personally I would choose the tropical island. Not to slight Michigan, but I lived there. And now for my theory. If he’s on a tropical island somewhere, chances are he wants to be left alone.

Perhaps visitors to Graceland should look a little closer. Who’s the maintenance man there now, anyway? Yes, that has never been addressed on one of those Elvis commercials. Or what about the one room that was shut up and has never been opened since his death? Any true Elvis hound (no pun intended) wouldn’t rest until these mysteries are cleared up.

Oh no. What if I’ve started something else now. If I see one commercial about this on cable tv I’m contacting someone about royalty rights. After all, everybody else is making money off him.

So, is Elvis dead or alive? I happen to be in the ever shrinking minority who believes he has been gone since August 16, 1977. If that date isn’t right I’m not to blame. I got it from one of the those commercials.

Not that I sit around thinking about it. I’m just so tired of seeing Elvis this and Elvis that everywhere I go. I’m afraid that it will wash my brain so much that I will start to think about it and plan a pilgrimage to Memphis. And before, all I ever wanted to go there for was to see the Mississippi.

Come on all you Elvis promo pushers. Let us, and Elvis, rest in peace.

Peace and Promise

A few weeks ago my friend, Cynthia, had an idea to put together a devotional. She emailed one day and asked me to collaborate on it with her.

Me? Write a devotional? I’m not a preacher. I’m not even a Sunday School teacher. I’ve written a children’s book,  articles for magazine and newspaper and a blog. Don’t you have to go to Bible college to write a devotional?

I guess not.

Well, I said yes and we started planning. (Note: both of us learned to say “yes” to the press and then figure it out along the way from teacher and writer extraordinaire, Michelle Medlock Adams). We wanted to create a booklet to encourage people during this crazy year that is 2020. If we could make a difference in any way, it would be worth all the work.

Cynthia and I met a few years ago at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference and became fast friends. That’s a story in itself — she’s from New York and I’m from Tennessee. Yee Haw! We missed not being able to hang out in our favorite coffee shop on the Ridgecrest campus this past spring. We’re looking forward to a grand reunion in Spring 2021!

So, after all the writing, editing, fixing — I actually had one devo in there twice under two different names… had to write a whole new one. And then I used the same scripture on two different devos. That’s a little behind-the-scenes info. Writing is fun. It’s the editing and rewriting that can take you out. In the end, though, when you finally have the finished work ready – that’s the coolest. (I’m never taking the words “cool” “coolest” and “cool beans” out of my vocabulary no matter how old it makes me look, so there).

I have to say a big THANK YOU to Cynthia for thinking of me to help with this project. It was and is a labor of love. When I started my writing journey many years ago,  devotionals were never up there on my radar. I didn’t think I had what it took to even attempt it. Just reading scripture and praying about what to write, even if I never wrote a word, strengthened me and gave me an even greater love for God’s Word.

We ended up posting the devotional on Cynthia’s website as a free download. The link will eventually be posted on my site — technical difficulties slowed that down. I’m also posting the link below. I hope you will download it and read it. There are thirty devos — thirty days worth of peace and promise. I also hope that our writings will help you find a place of peace in the war zone that’s going on. Though we need God’s Word, protection and strength every day. We need Him in good times and in bad. We would love to hear your stories of peace and promise. How has God brought you through the tough times?

Download the free devotional Peace and Promise During a Crisis

 

 

 

 

 

Pandemic Life in Hooterville

Is it ok to say this whole “pandemic” thing has had me the least little bit stressed?

I don’t even mean the virus itself. I pray over that whole mess and leave it there. The sudden change to my predictable rut is what’s had me out of sorts. 

The biggest obstacle I’ve had working from home turned out to be unreliable internet. Rainy days ruined any hopes for connecting to the work world. For awhile I felt like I lived in Hooterville –  went outside looking for a telephone pole to climb.

It turns out my former internet supplier had things hooked up inside a plastic box by the side of the road where rain runoff could flood and/or a car could slide into and knock the whole thing to kingdom come. I do live in Hooterville! I even had to set up shop at my neighbor’s house for a few days until we switched over to a new provider.

In the midst of all this, my day job hasn’t slowed down a bit. This is probably the busiest time of year for a medical school, so I have been mucho busy (and stressed!) learning how to lend support via electronic means and making sure the learning environment still happened for our group. 

My technical creativity went up, while my writing creativity took a bit of a nosedive. Writing anything worth reading was just not happening. My brain felt like it had taken one too many rides on the tilt-a-whirl. Jesus take the wheel!

I decided that the tide had to turn or I was going to go get a job at the doughnut factory and forget everything else. That’s my contingency plan, anyway.  Getting up early every morning to go make the doughnuts isn’t the worse thing that could happen.

Until I resign myself to rolling out dough for a living, I will be writing the dough. Maybe I’ll invent blog doughnuts with messages on them. See, I know God has a perfect plan for me. Why else would He give me all these whacky ideas? Some will come to life in this blog, some in books and in other avenues. 

The bottom line is that even though I get stressed, I don’t have to let stress overtake me and have me so turned around that I can’t even find my way out of a paper bag.

I think it’s the same for all of us. Fear will present itself. It tries to look like a big ‘ol bully coming in to steal your lunch, eat your peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and then pop the bag  in your face. Fear don’t care.

The truth is, fear is only as big as you let it be in your life. There is a defense that’s way more reliable than gloves and masks (no, I’m not saying don’t wear your gloves and masks). When you get into God’s Word and find out what He says about you and about standing up to fear, you’ll realize that you don’t have to run off and hide from everything. You can stand strong in faith.

So, make a decision to live! Live in the face of all the bad news. In fact, turn off the news. Let go of stress. Live like you’ve never lived before.

Go forward on purpose.