MONDAY MORNING REFLECTIONS-WHITNEY HOUSTON, THE NATIONAL ANTHEM, JEREMY LIN, SABBATICAL, DIANNE

Whitney Houston died this past under circumstances still being investigated. A Christian, she was unfortunately not immune to the temptations and pressures that accompany superstar status in our pressurized, celebrity-driven world. There are allegations of prescription drug addiction. A well documented, yet still somewhat understood spiritual journey to Israel, shared center stage with memories of some great movie roles (The Bodyguard was my personal favorite). For the time I choose to remember her for one of the most stirring performances of The National Anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl. I repost it here.

Speaking of The National Anthem – one theory for the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss is Steven Tyler’s abominable and irreverent rendition of the anthem at the AFC Championship Game two weeks earlier in Foxboro. Singing The National Anthem is an honor and a trust. I wish more people DID NOT sing it like they were auditioning for American Idol.

23-year-old Jeremy Lin appears to the necessary spark to elevate the New York Knicls to a championship contender in the NBA. I, among many, believe Lin has redeemed the NBA for a hideous season that was damaging them as severely as any lockout. By the way, all you Tebow-despisers, Jeremy Lin is another straightforward and open follower of Jesus Christ (USA Today reports the wristband in this photo says “In Jesus Name I Play.”) See more

As I post this I am in the fourth week of a five week sabbatical from my ministry role at the Church of God of Landisville PA. It is the longest period of time I have taken off from a church in over twenty years. Sabbaticals come in several forms–mine if for rest, renewal, and restoring passion to what I do as pastor. Still have people that think blogging is work. No, I blog for enjoyment, as much as anything, having a venue for my love of creative writing.

Dianne, second from the left with three girls from our church (Kelsey, Lauren, Michaela) on mission trip
The person, however, who makes this sabbatical the most possible, is a loving and caring wife and partner in Christ–now for almost 40 years, Dianne. She has remained at her work as a substitute school teacher specializing in special needs and autistic children. I love her.

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