The Sunday Sermonette: Prometheus.

 The Sunday Sermonette: Prometheus.

     As an only child in the late 1950s, my two best friends were me and the World Book Encyclopedia. On cold, rainy days, I had to make my own entertainment in those wonderful days before 24/7 children’s television shows and cell phones. When Mom and Dad were busy around the house, and I was […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE – Rude or Kind?

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE – Rude or Kind?

Rudeness is easy, takes no effort, and tells the world you are weak and insecure. Kindness, on the other hand, is not so easy, especially when dealing with rude people. However, showing kindness indicates self-discipline and strong self-esteem. A kind person is someone who has studied Life and has chosen to be kind over being […]

The Sunday Sermonette – The Stained Glass of Life. 

The Sunday Sermonette – The Stained Glass of Life. 

The first four months of the New Year are some of my favorites. Yes, there are those dreary days of rain and darkness. However, the sun always breaks through the dark clouds, spreading its warmth into the marrow of our bones. Each time I watch the sunlight shimmering through my stained glass rose window, I’m […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE – Forgiveness and Reconciliation. (Originally published February 5, 2023)

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE – Forgiveness and Reconciliation. (Originally published February 5, 2023)

Ever been hurt or betrayed by someone you love? A friend or a family member? You might choose to keep a safe distance from that person, fearing that rekindling the relationship would again put you in harm’s way. Regardless, you should forgive and not allow your heart to overflow with bitterness, which, like scalding cancer, […]

The Sunday Sermonette – Lyin’ Eyes! 

The Sunday Sermonette – Lyin’ Eyes! 

In the summer of 1977, Gulfport’s First Baptist Church loaded its infamous Bluebird bus with a gaggle of young people, and off to Mobile they journeyed, excited to hear The Eagles in concert. It was my first rock concert; it was my last as well. The screaming, singing crowds were too much for my twenty-five-year-old […]

Dispatches from Home: Reflections On Turning Sixty-Five! (February 5 2017)

Dispatches from Home: Reflections On Turning Sixty-Five! (February 5 2017)

When I was a child in the late 50s, I often spent summers with my sweet Granny from D’Lo. Many a morning I’d hear moans and groans as she got out of bed. To my young mind, something was wrong. “Granny, are you okay?” To this good day I still remember her answer: “Honey, when […]

The Sunday Sermonette – Tied in Knots.

The Sunday Sermonette – Tied in Knots.

       The gentle, methodic ticking and rich, melodic chimes of antique clocks can provide a sense of comfort and add an air of security to their surroundings. Such was the case in the clock and watch shop of Casper ten Boom, once located in the city of Haarlem, Holland. But his sense of security […]

Sunday Sermonette – The Angry Cardinal.

Sunday Sermonette – The Angry Cardinal.

Many mornings, while washing the breakfast dishes, I’m greeted by feathery friends flying around my back door. They often see themselves in the reflective sun film on the door, and when they do, they think they’ve seen a feathery enemy. And thus, the fight begins. This little cardinal was partially vicious one morning, tapping at […]

The Sunday Sermonette – They Did Their Duty.

The Sunday Sermonette – They Did Their Duty.

The Titanic was known for many things—stunning public rooms, carved oak paneling, stained glass, and delicious cuisine, even for 3rd Class passengers, many of whom had never seen food in such abundance. A swimming bath. A gymnasium. And miles of promenade decks on which to walk and enjoy the brisk, salt-sea air. An army of […]

Dispatches from Home: Is Change Really Necessary?        

Dispatches from Home: Is Change Really Necessary?        

     Greetings! What a glorious, fun time Juliana and I had in New Orleans today! We had lunch at Domenica and what a feast for the palate it was. We began with a delicious appetizer of polenta and pecorino romano meatballs. That segued into our mail courses. She—Tagliatelle, slow-cooked rabbit with mushrooms. Me—Squid Ink Tagliolini […]

 The Sunday Sermonette: It Started At Versailles.  

 The Sunday Sermonette: It Started At Versailles.  

     World War I was a meat grinder! Its vicious teeth devoured over 16 million lives. It gnawed away many of Europe’s empires and saw the abdication of the German Kaiser and the Russian Czar. Due to four vicious years of death and destruction, animosity toward Germany overflowed in 1919 at the Treaty of Versailles. […]

Dispatches from Home: My Dad. A Remembrance.

Dispatches from Home: My Dad. A Remembrance.

Twenty years ago, January 11, 1997, was cold, bitterly cold. The sun was shining, though, its warming rays sprinkling the winter garden of the Brent House Hotel in New Orleans with sparkling rays of sunshine. As I sat quietly reading, “The Nazi Doctors,” I could not wait to tell my Dad about it. I’d inherited […]

Dispatches from Home: Depression, A Hellish Demon!

Dispatches from Home: Depression, A Hellish Demon!

On a sad note, the death of Adam Rich. His last tweet was a retweet of his own post in September, discussing mental health. “Human beings weren’t built to endure mental illness. The mere fact that some people consider those to be weak, or have a lack of will is totally laughable … because it’s […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Keep On Carving.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Keep On Carving.

In life, while carving your way through its stone-hard architecture, there are times when you must struggle to see the fresh light of day. But, in the end, when you do, how delightful it is to peek back through the stones of life and be happy you kept on carving. Ponder this and go forth. […]

The Sunday Sermonette: New Year’s Graduation 2024.

The Sunday Sermonette: New Year’s Graduation 2024.

Going from the Old Year to the New Year is like graduation. And like graduation, it can be a meaningful time to pause and reflect on the past year while looking ahead to a fresh new year and all its possibilities. Taking stock of the past year, with its positives and negatives, is beneficial for […]

Dispatches from Home: New Years Day 2022.

Dispatches from Home: New Years Day 2022.

The picture is fading, the champagne bubbles have melted away, but the sentiment still holds true, HAPPY NEW YEAR to my friends and loved ones. Because I have more years behind me than before me, I don’t want to leave this mortal coil with regrets. I look back over the last year and think to […]

Dispatched from Home – New Year’s Day 2023

Dispatched from Home – New Year’s Day 2023

Good morning on this, the beginning of another New Year! In keeping with last week’s Christmas Day post, I’m posting another one of my journal scribbles from 1984. It’s long, so you might want to get a cup of java or, better yet, a bit of left-over bubbly from last night’s festivities. “Jan. 1, 1984, […]

The Sunday Sermonette New Year’s Eve Dec. 31, 2023.

The Sunday Sermonette New Year’s Eve Dec. 31, 2023.

     As you know, the Olympic Class Liners, especially the Olympic and her ill-fated sister, Titanic, have fascinated me since childhood. In the Olympic’s 1st Class Smoking Room, a painting, “The Approach of the New World,” hung above the fireplace. I’ve often wondered how many people studied that painting and pondered what was in store […]

The Sunday Sermonette: Christmas Eve, December 24, 2023.  

The Sunday Sermonette: Christmas Eve, December 24, 2023.  

     The mere mention of Christmas evokes memories of times, places, loved ones, and friends, perhaps now long gone. Remember twinkling Christmas tree lights reflecting off Shiny Brite ornaments? A gooey-delicious pecan pie? A loved one’s perfume? Crisp, cold air? Crunchy snow? The high-pitched laughter of children opening presents on Christmas morning? Tears when it […]

Dispatches from Home: Christmas Eve 2017.

Dispatches from Home: Christmas Eve 2017.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I […]

DISPATCHES FROM HOME: CHRISTMAS EVE 2019.

DISPATCHES FROM HOME: CHRISTMAS EVE 2019.

Christmas is many things to many people. Giving special gifts. Traveling to unusual places. Fun with special people. But most of all, Christmas is a season of traditions. Each year at this time, families all over the world re-create those traditions. Perhaps it’s inviting family and friends to Christmas Day lunch, the same invites as […]

Dispatches from Home – Not Reality But Magic.

Dispatches from Home – Not Reality But Magic.

     I’ve learned from experience that it takes me a week or so to recuperate from the draining, emotional high that a play–especially a musical–conjures within me. During that time, the haunting words of Blanche DuBois, from Tennessee Williams’ classic play “A Streetcar Named Desire,” echo through my mind like a soothing elixir: “I don’t […]

Sunday Sermonette: Emotion and Reason.

Sunday Sermonette: Emotion and Reason.

Sometimes, our emotions are more powerful than our reason. Sometimes, our emotions bury reason behind words and actions that should have been thoroughly considered before making them a reality. So, today and in the future, take a breath and pause before you react. Ponder this and go forth. (Originally published December 18, 2022.)

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE – In the Darkness, there is Light.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE – In the Darkness, there is Light.

         When I graduated from High School in May 1970, Mom, Dad, and I loaded up our brand-new Plymouth Fury III and journeyed West. Dad took annual leave from Kessler, and because Mom and I were out of school for the summer, we were gone for a month, touring all the sights between […]

Dispatches from Home: The Show Closes.

Dispatches from Home: The Show Closes.

The snap I’ve posted below shows Scrooge’s little world for the past two weeks. Neatly arranged—of course—are the accouterments of his trade, after all. The old boy did his best to entertain the audiences that nightly filled the theater to overflowing. However, he was only a tiny part of the show. Had it not been […]

The Sunday Sermonette: The Magi, the Manger and You.

The Sunday Sermonette: The Magi, the Manger and You.

     “Only one dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time… Three times, Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.” This is how O. Henry opens his famous 1905 short story, “The […]

Dispatches from Home: Lest We Forget.

Dispatches from Home: Lest We Forget.

December 7, 1941, was a bright, sunny Sunday morning. The sunshine glistened atop the peaceful waters of Pearl Harbor. Sailors in the big ships all over the harbor were getting ready for the day. Some saluted, as they raised Old Glory, its red, white, and blue colors flapping in the morning breeze. Some were eating […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Accentuate the Positive.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Accentuate the Positive.

The old WWII song, Accentuate the Positive, comes to mind if you are attempting to make constructive changes in your life. First, banish the negative things or people that prevent you from being the person you want to be or doing the things you want to do. Remove their negativity — cruelty, deceit, hypocrisies, jealousy, […]

The Sunday Sermonette – The First Frost.

The Sunday Sermonette – The First Frost.

     Imagine my delight earlier this week when I peered from under my snuggly-warm, eiderdown quilt and saw Fall’s first frost sparkling atop my neighbor’s roof just as the sun christened the dawn in a lavender-tangerine wash. The frost was thick, forming a blanket of white. It covered car hoods and children’s bikes with feathery […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Sincerity and Truth.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Sincerity and Truth.

Sincerity and truth, like a Vermeer painting, are rare in today’s culture. People smile bright Pepsodent smiles, but their smiles hide everything from lies to flattery and deception. Don’t be deceived. Look for sincerity and truth in those you love and call family and friends. Ponder this and go forth. (Originally published November 27, 2022.)

 The Sunday Sermonette: Grandeur to Ruin and Back Again.

 The Sunday Sermonette: Grandeur to Ruin and Back Again.

When I was a teenager in the 1960s, Mom, Dad, and I often paid weekly visits to the Harrison County Library on Hwy 90 in Gulfport. I enjoyed walking up its modernist spiral staircase, grabbing a book from the many shelves on art and architecture, then planting myself in a comfortable chair to read and […]

The Sunday Sermonette: Are You A Lighthouse?

The Sunday Sermonette: Are You A Lighthouse?

In the early days of sea travel, lighthouses guided ships to a safe harbor. Without them, those ships would have crashed onto the rocky shore. You’re like a lighthouse! The painful events of your life, which you endured and educated you, could be a lighthouse to your family and friends. The wisdom gleaned from your […]

The Sunday Sermonette: Worthless Trash.

The Sunday Sermonette: Worthless Trash.

Throughout history, many things were thought to be worthless, only to be deemed valuable at a later date. Some seemingly useless things helped change the world for the better, helped shine a new light on ages past, or filled our eyes with beauty. Let’s dig around in history’s trash bin for some worthless things.                […]

Dispatches from Home: The College Campus November 13 2015

Dispatches from Home: The College Campus November 13 2015

Good for President Obama! “It’s not just sometimes folks who are mad that colleges are too liberal that have a problem. Sometimes there are folks on college campuses who are liberal, and maybe even agree with me on a bunch of issues, who sometimes aren’t listening to the other side, and that’s a problem too. […]

Dispatches from Home: An Icy November Day 11-13-2019

Dispatches from Home: An Icy November Day 11-13-2019

Good morning! I present for your perusal my entry in a photo contest sponsored by the Bubba Bohunkus Shutterbug Institute of South Mississippi. The photo is titled: Icicles On Wilson Drive Via Nozzle And Rubber Hose. The 1st place prize is a carefree weekend at the D’Lo Water Park! A tent, sleeping bag, firewood, and […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE : Knowledge November 13 2022.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE : Knowledge November 13 2022.

Knowledge is simply information you glean from the local library. Wisdom is the ability to discern the best knowledge and the strength of character to act upon it. Therefore, wisdom is the application of knowledge learned to make good decisions in life. Wisdom and knowledge are two essential character traits that we should all strive […]

The Sunday Sermonette: Running Away.

The Sunday Sermonette: Running Away.

At the ripe old age of seven, I could no longer take my parent’s tyrannical rules and regulations. Saturday mornings were the worst. I only wanted to eat Mother’s homemade pancakes in peace while watching The Lone Ranger in my Bug’s Bunny footie pajamas. Neither Mom nor Dad seemed to appreciate the importance of those […]

Dispatches from Home: The November 8th 2020 Election

Dispatches from Home: The November 8th 2020 Election

Good afternoon! I am thankful that the elections are over. Perhaps now we as a country can begin to heal. Let us put all rancor, hate, and violence behind us and move forward. Congratulations are in order. MR. BIDEN you’ve been elected by a majority and the Electoral College—a wounded nation looks to you for […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE Don’t Forget To Vote (Originally posted November 6, 2022)

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE Don’t Forget To Vote (Originally posted November 6, 2022)

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: November 8th is just around the corner. Please remember to honestly evaluate those running for office. Make sure their charisma, grand entrances, apparent concern for justice, and friendly embraces are nothing more than a mask – a mask covering their graft, lies, and hunger for money and power. Ponder this and go […]

The Sunday Sermonette Sorrow + Prayer = Friendship

The Sunday Sermonette Sorrow + Prayer = Friendship

I was at the gym last week, running nowhere on the treadmill, lickety split! The telly was on, and as I raced along, I could not help but be saddened by the news reports coming out of Israel. In war, children and the elderly suffer the most. They are helpless in many ways, yet they […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Advice.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Advice.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE – October 30 2022. Advice that goes against your wishes is sometimes hard to swallow. However, your decision must be based on the quality of the advice, not on its attractiveness. It’s best to separate advice from your personal desires. Seek it from those who will tell you the truth, not just […]

The Sunday Sermonette: Blunders and Mistakes.

The Sunday Sermonette: Blunders and Mistakes.

The Sunday Sermonette – Blunders and Mistakes. October 29, 2023.                 As a child, I loved playing with dragonflies! I’d see one buzzing around, wait for it to land, then grab it and hold it in my hand. I was fascinated by its bulging, yellow-green eyes, its tiny mouth viciously chewing my index finger, and […]

DISPATCHES FROM HOME: Ghosts Along the Mississippi.

DISPATCHES FROM HOME: Ghosts Along the Mississippi.

 In the Prologue of GHOSTS ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI, the book’s author, Clarence John Laughlin, writes: “This book will attempt to present the evolution of Louisiana plantation culture, in terms of the contrast, and the adhesion of two subtly related, unlike, elements—that which may roughly be called historico-architectural, and that which pulsates around poetic vision.” Mr. […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Past and Present.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Past and Present.

The Sunday Sermonette March 13, 2022. Oft time we allow past experiences to determine our future actions. If we had one bad experience at a local restaurant, we vow to never return. If we go our socially or to church and no one speaks to us, we tend to think all social events and all […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Beauty Born of Pain

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Beauty Born of Pain

The Sunday Sermonette October 17, 2023. In the mid-sixties, I took art at the Gulfport Recreation Center. The building was located east of City Hall, where the current fire station is. The art classes were taught by a frail-looking dynamo of energy, Mrs. Effie Gridley. She taught hundreds of children and adults the art of […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Famous Last Words.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Famous Last Words.

The Sunday Sermonette October 15, 2023. The last words of people have always fascinated me. Sometimes, in the closing moments of our lives, we find the most clarity and say the things we most want to say. I’m sure “When the Roll is Called up Yonder,” we all wish to be surrounded by those we […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Satisfied?

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Satisfied?

Sometimes, if I can’t sleep late at night, I fire up the old computer and watch Reels and Short Videos on Facebook.The silverback gorillas and their offspring tumbling around with their happy purrs, hums, and sighs bring a smile to my face. Baby elephants dancing a jig during muddy baths, their little trunks blowing water […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: The Old Hymns Say It Best.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: The Old Hymns Say It Best.

The Sunday Sermonette September 17, 2023.In times of spiritual light or darkness, I need thee. In times of wealth or poverty, I need thee. In times of sickness or health, I need thee. In times of war or peace, I need thee. In times of political turmoil or political tranquility, I need thee. In times […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Musings About Prejudice.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Musings About Prejudice.

The Sunday Sermonette September 10, 2023. My dear mother grew up in hard times. Old Man Depression roamed around D’Lo, Mississippi, like a roaring lion, devouring much of what he saw. Life on the farm was a struggle, to say the least. Then came the onslaught of World War II. Times got worse. Those hard […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Broken Pieces and Dusty Dust.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Broken Pieces and Dusty Dust.

For Baby Boomers, Saturday mornings were magical times. The telly was bursting at the seams with cartoons and serials. Sky King. Roy Rodgers. Looney Tunes. And The Lone Ranger. I was especially fond of Bugs Bunny and his outlandish foolishness. One bright Saturday morning, I watched dear old Bugs piece together a “steam engine” from […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Failure and Rejection.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Failure and Rejection.

“Cart this back to the quarry if you want to,” a struggling Renaissance sculptor said, putting down his hammer and chisel in exasperation. “This block of marble’s useless.” And then it sat for 24 years, exposed to the elements in a church’s backyard until another Renaissance sculptor said, “Bring it to my shop. I see […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: A Light In The Fog.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: A Light In The Fog.

The Sunday Sermonette August 27, 2023. The days were black, but the nights were blacker. Depression is a dark force, squeezing the light out of a person with its unrelenting tentacles of fear and doubt. For me, the early 90s were dark times. Through a series of bad choices—my choices, no one else’s—my life, as […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Crosswords and Hurricanes.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Crosswords and Hurricanes.

The Sunday Sermonette July 23 2023 “Andy, what is another word for dictionary that starts with G and has eight letters in it?” Mother asked, sitting calming in her old rocker, seemingly oblivious to the storm raging just outside our living room window. As the green oven of July melts into the fierce eye of […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Personality Test.

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE: Personality Test.

The Sunday Sermonette August 13, 2023. “Andy, ever take a personality test?” As we rode home from a long, delightful weekend, a dear friend asked me this question. When I said I hadn’t, my friend sent a link to an online test I took once I got home. I had to answer a series of […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE HARDSHIPS

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE HARDSHIPS

The Sunday Sermonette July 9, 2023. What are the hardships in your life? Work? Family? Friends? Relationships? Your health? Unfortunately, hardships are an inescapable part of the process we call living. How we endure them though, ah, therein lies the rub, as the Bard once wrote. One way to endure them is to moan, to […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE TUMBLEWEEDS

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE TUMBLEWEEDS

The Sunday Sermonette June 4, 2023. Growing up in the late 50s and early 60s, I watched many TV Westerns like Gunsmoke and Wagon Train. I was always fascinated when the camera panned the desert and tumbleweeds came rolling by. Like Cowboys, Indians, and buffalos, those dried-up tangles are icons of the Old West, and […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE FOREVER AMBER

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE FOREVER AMBER

The Sunday Sermonette June 11, 2023. One day, millions of years ago, our little friend in the snap was attracted by the smell of resin oozing from a tree, perhaps a prehistoric pine. Deciding to rest his weary wings, he came to rest in the resin and found himself trapped. As the resin fossilized, forming […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE SOUR ON THE VINE

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE SOUR ON THE VINE

The Sunday Sermonette May 21, 2023. Hurt? Angry? Bitter? Rejected? Maligned? Like grapes on a vine, relationships with family or friends can sour, their sweet love and affection turning bitter. The first step toward reconciliation, however, comes when you pray to Father God for healing—YOUR HEALING. Gather all your bitterness and resentment and bury it […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE THE END OF TIME

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE THE END OF TIME

The Sunday Sermonette – May 28, 2023. These Bible verses from II Timothy 3 were written over two thousand years ago. Whether you believe in the Bible or not, you might agree that these predictions are spot on for the present-day world in which we live. When will Christ return and call his children home? […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE HONESTY AND DISHONESTY

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE HONESTY AND DISHONESTY

The Sunday Sermonette May 7, 2023. How honest are you about being dishonest? Have you ever looked back on your life and seen where dishonesty worked against you, causing you great mental anguish and others to distrust you. The Good Book reminds us that honesty is wiser because “the wicked are trapped by their own […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE TENTACLES

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE TENTACLES

The Sunday Sermonette April 2, 2023. In today’s world, trouble wraps itself around us with vicious tentacles. Earthquakes. Horrific tornadoes. Wars. Fatal illnesses. Personal trials and tribulations. The senseless murder of children and adults. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were hounded by trouble as well. They often turned to God to help solve their […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE LINGERING SCARS

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE LINGERING SCARS

The Sunday Sermonette April 23, 2023. “Sorry, Mr. Kalberg. Once I got to digging, I had to cut much deeper than I thought I would.” “Doc, this hole in my head! Will it heal properly? Will it leave a scar?” “Yes, it will heal just fine.” Then with a wry smile, the doctor said, “Sorry […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE WATCHMEN

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE WATCHMEN

The Sunday Sermonette March 5, 2023. In the Old Testament, watchmen stood on Jerusalem’s ancient walls, searching the horizon for those who might attack the city. Because of their crucial tasks, these men had to be reliable, honest, and trustworthy. Reliable and honest in what they saw and reported to their commanders. Trustworthy that what […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE THE WHITE PEACOCK

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE THE WHITE PEACOCK

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE February 19, 2023. When I was a child in the late 50s, I often spent languid summers with my sweet Granny from D’Lo, who, at that time, lived in Jackson, Mississippi. Early mornings crackled with the smell of frying eggs and bacon, but the afternoons were awash in the sickly-sweet smell of […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE WORDS!

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE WORDS!

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE January 22, 2023. “Words, words, words!” sings Eliza Doolittle in the classic musical, My Fair Lady. Saying the right words at the wrong time can be just as devastating as saying the wrong words. Timing is everything. As you waltz or stumble along life’s pathway, be careful what you say, when you […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE BITTERNESS

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE BITTERNESS

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE October 9, 2022. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger,” says the Good Book. Bitterness and anger are a lethal concoction of human emotions. Like an out-of-control vine, they can wrap around your heart, squeezing the love out of it and plunging you into the depths of depression. They can also […]

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE MUSIC TO THE SOUL

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE MUSIC TO THE SOUL

THE SUNDAY SERMONETTE – OCT. 16, 2022. Have you ever heard a song that sticks in your mind, and you go singing it throughout the day? Hopefully, it puts a smile on your face and a skip in your step. But there’s an inner song, deep within your soul, that God composed just for you. […]

The Sunday Sermonette Maturity

The Sunday Sermonette Maturity

The Sunday Sermonette March 26, 2022. Do we ever stop maturing? Maturity is a delicate dance between what you know and what you still need to learn. It is not measure by age but by experience. One of maturities’ milestones is when you stop complaining, stop making excuses, and start making changes. Change is not […]

Dispatches from Home: Look Homeward, Angel October 20 2021

Dispatches from Home: Look Homeward, Angel October 20 2021

“A destiny that leads the English to the Dutch is strange enough; but one that leads from Epsom into Pennsylvania, and thence into the hills that shut Altamont over the proud coral cry of the cock, and the soft stone smile of an angel, is touched by that dark miracle of chance which makes new […]

Dispatches from Home: A Gracious Lady October 19 2023

Dispatches from Home: A Gracious Lady October 19 2023

Good morning! As a child back in the 50s, oftentimes after church, Mom, Dad, and I would eat lunch in the dining room of the Edgewater Gulf Hotel. After lunch, they would sit in comfy lawn chairs while I romped and played under the cathedral of oaks that graced the manicured lawn. In the fall, […]

Dispatches from Home: Luxury, Steam, and a Pleasant Crossing. October 14 2023

Dispatches from Home: Luxury, Steam, and a Pleasant Crossing. October 14 2023

     “It’s hard to believe they are gone. The piers are still there. The bon voyage baskets, piled high with impractical fruits and jellies, still line the shelves of the gourmet shops. In midtown Manhattan, there’s even a postcard still for sale, showing the Queen Elizabeth, Mauretania, a Sylvania-class Cunarder, the America and the Independence […]

The Sunday Sermonette – Old Lady Ramsey and the Dog Sled.

The Sunday Sermonette – Old Lady Ramsey and the Dog Sled.

In the 1970s, Wednesday Night suppers at dear ol’ First Baptist Church Gulfport were hot ticket items. The Fellowship Hall was a bustling beehive of clattering restaurant china and well-worn stainless steel cutlery. The tempting aroma of fried chicken, cornbread, and turnip greens beckoned from the kitchen. The room echoed with high-pitched laughter and bubbling […]

The Sunday Sermonette – Rescued From An Inferno. October 1, 2023.

The Sunday Sermonette – Rescued From An Inferno. October 1, 2023.

                The North Atlantic has always been a treacherous body of water. It can be viciously stormy, icebergs can lurk in its darkness, fog can cut visibility to zero, and submarines can creep beneath its waves. It’s been home to floating palaces like the Titanic, the Lusitania, and the Andrea Doria. It’s also been home […]

Dispatches from Home: TITANIC! Grandeur and Coal Dust 

Dispatches from Home: TITANIC! Grandeur and Coal Dust 

     TITANIC! The mere mention of the name conjures sepia-toned images of elegant ladies and sophisticated gentlemen gliding up and down the Grand Staircase as they stroll to the Jacobean-style dining room or the cozy warmth of their walnut-paneled staterooms. Even the steerage passengers were exposed to luxuries heretofore unknown by them. Electric lights. Fresh […]

Dispatches from Home: First Baptist Gulfport 125 th Anniversary September 19 2022

Dispatches from Home: First Baptist Gulfport 125 th Anniversary September 19 2022

On a Sunday evening in the hot summer of 1966, my dear parents and I joined Gulfport’s First Baptist Church. As we walked down the aisle, and the pastor, Dr. William Tanner, greeted us, I was fascinated by the greenish-amber stained-glass dome soaring over our heads. I was fourteen. That walk and that decision is […]

DISPATCHES FROM HOME: Daisy, Jay, Nick, Jordan, and Me. September 2023

DISPATCHES FROM HOME: Daisy, Jay, Nick, Jordan, and Me. September 2023

“The Great Gatsby” is one of my favorite novels and movies. I’ve reread the novel twice, just within the last year or so, and watched the 1974 movie (my favorite version) about three weeks ago. Every time I read or watch “The Great Gatsby,” I discover a heretofore unknown treasure. Fitzgerald’s masterpiece weaves a rich […]

DISPATCHES FROM HOME: Titanic Strikes Iceberg April 14 1912. Fast forward to April 16th 1912

DISPATCHES FROM HOME: Titanic Strikes Iceberg April 14 1912. Fast forward to April 16th 1912

When we read about the Titanic, its 1st Class passengers, with their gilded wealth and posh lifestyles, are always front and center. 2nd Class passengers are mentioned too, a myriad of preachers, missionaries, businessmen, teachers, and middle-class families. When 3rd Class passengers are mentioned, most have one thing in common—the better life awaiting them in […]

DISPATCHES FROM HOME: Father’s Day June 21 2020

DISPATCHES FROM HOME: Father’s Day June 21 2020

In the summer of 1958, the Kalberg’s took a vacation to Silver Springs, Florida. While there, Mom packed us a huge lunch and off we went for a picnic. There’s Pop sporting some cool sunglasses while eating a delicious homemade bacon and tomato sandwich. And there’s me hugging a cold, coke-a-cola in a small bottle. […]

Dispatches from Home: Mother’s Day May 9 2021

Dispatches from Home: Mother’s Day May 9 2021

Micah 6:8 – “Do Justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God.” – was one of my dear mother’s favorite Bible verses. She was so inspired by this verse that she cross-stitched it as a New Year’s resolution in 1989. In her old red Bible, she wrote: “DOING justly means righting wrongs, championing the oppressed, being […]

Dispatches from Home: New Years’ Eve 2019

Dispatches from Home: New Years’ Eve 2019

As Father Time shuffles off this mortal coil and awaits the arrival of the New Year baby, I’ve come to the end of the year and the decade amazed at how quickly 3,650 days disappeared. I’ve also pondered the grains of sand that have sifted through the hourglass of my life. I can, however, remember […]

DISPATCHES FROM HOME: Were your Proud Dad? Father’s Day 2021

DISPATCHES FROM HOME: Were your Proud Dad? Father’s Day 2021

“I love you.” To my knowledge, my dear father never said these words to me. But did he love me? He was, after all, a man who grew up in hard times and lived with the limitations of a heart seared by childhood scarlet fever. During the Great Depression, when Dad was in his teens, […]

DISPATCHES FROM HOME: TEA AND SYMPATHY THREE TIMES THE CHARM August 13 2020

DISPATCHES FROM HOME: TEA AND SYMPATHY THREE TIMES THE CHARM August 13 2020

As I enter my “golden” years, I often sit in the still quiet of the morning, a hot cup of coffee in my hand, pondering what the future holds and the past reveals.Thoughts of the future usually find me traveling down a bumpy road, ending in a dead-end. It’s best to leave those thoughts at […]

Dispatches from Home: Julia, Charles, Sebastian, and Brideshead Revisited August 22 2022

Dispatches from Home: Julia, Charles, Sebastian, and Brideshead Revisited August 22 2022

Ever had a TV series change your life? I have. The 1981 Masterpiece Theater series, Brideshead Revisited, based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh, was that life changer. While watching it, I was whisked back to Oxford, England, in the 1920s. The ancient buildings, the men’s clothes, and their posh manners, coupled with the intrigue […]

Dispatches from Home: Mother’s Day May 14 2023

Dispatches from Home: Mother’s Day May 14 2023

In the 1960s, the Mississippi Gulf Coast was suspended in time. Unlike today, there were no high-rise apartment buildings, garish casinos, ballparks, or aquariums. There were, however, magnificent houses, grand old hotels, mom-and-pop motels, full-service gas stations, sophisticated nightclubs, and a few not-so-sophisticated ones. Time wasn’t necessarily standing still, but it certainly wasn’t winning any […]