Next Sunday is Super Bowl XLIII, the most watched football event of the year. And I’m bummed. I’ll be in Australia on business. Due to the time zone differences, I’ll probably miss the Pittsburgh Steelers going head-to-head with the Arizona Cardinals for the NFL World Championship. For a number of reasons I think it’ll be quite the game. Clearly the underdog, Arizona is hungry for the win–this isthe first time the Cardinals have made it to the big game.
Like millions of people around the world, I watched the inauguration of President Barack Obama earlier this week with interest. Whether or not you agree with his positions on the issues and there–are many that concern me deeply–truly the world witnessed history in the making. Scanning the faces of those in the crowd, I saw a joy and happiness that parallel something I witnessed in South Africa when Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, was elected.
I have a friend whose Thanksgiving tradition looks like this. The entire extended family, at least those who live in the area, gather together at the home of one of the relatives. I’m talking upwards of 40 people. The older cousins and uncles rally in the backyard for the annual Turkey Bowl–a rousing game of football, while two turkeys are carved with care inside.
Cakes, pies, and enough pastries to satisfy a king are artfully arranged in the dining room.
I’d like to offer some perspective on the election of Barack Obama. While I happen to have a deep difference of opinion with him regarding the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage, and religious freedoms among other things, I’d like to take a stab at explaining why the election of America’s first black president is important for our nation.
The roots of what I’m about to say can be traced back to my first visit to South Africa back in 1991.
There’s a disturbing news story out of Philly last week regarding the behavior of three or four youth who, just for kicks, burned a pit bull to death. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, the youngsters walked the dog down near the Olney Train Station last Thursday evening placed a blanket on the pit bull and then saturated it with lighter fluid. With the strike of a match, these sadistic juveniles reduced the dog to ashes and then fled the scene.
Those who knew Chandler Grafner described him as a sweet and thoughtful little guy. He was shy, yet tender in spirit. The kind of boy who would pick flowers for his babysitter.
Which is amazing considering how Chandler’s brief life was nothing short of a living hell. By the time he reached age seven, Chandler’s home life was nothing more than a revolving door of unconventional living situations. His mother, Christina, bounced around between a number of men, including a stint with boyfriend Jon Phillips with whom she bore another son, Dominick.
There’s a growing flap over a new Barbie Doll. For reasons that escape me, Mattel has decided to dress Barbie in what looks like a “street walker” outfit. Understandably, parents are enraged. What adult in their right mind would want their eight-year-old playing “make believe” with a doll that looks like a hooker? What message does Barbie’s Black Canary” persona send to youngsters?
However, before jumping on the bash Barbie bandwagon, I did a little research.
Today’s big news, at least in the cell phone industry, is the release of Apple’s much anticipated second generation iPhone. To say that enthusiasm was high for the new gadget would be an understatement. Take the hundreds of folks waiting in a line outside of a store on Fifth Avenue in New York for half the night. The line literally encircled the block.
Stories of iPhone fever abound. Eager to lay hands on Apple’s new and improved phone, buyers from Tokyo to Atlanta camped out overnight to be among the first to snap up the faster and more feature-packed device.
If you’re familiar with my story as told in FINDING HOME, you know my dad did a lot of things wrong. Dad had an ongoing struggle with alcohol, gambling and horse betting. His poor choices damaged my parents’ marriage to the point where he and Mom divorced when I was five. After the divorce, he didn’t provide any child support so Mom had to work three jobs just to keep the lights on and food on the table.
Mary is fourteen. She attends a local public school here in Colorado Springs. Like the other students in her P.E. class, Mary hit the locker room after a grueling 40 minute workout. She had just minutes for a quick shower and change of clothes before heading to her next class. With just a towel wrapped around her, she gathered her shampoo and soap. Without warning, a 15-year-old boy walked into the girl’s locker room, disrobed in front of Mary, and headed for the girl’s showers.