“You see, I drinks a bit . . .”

A week or so ago, while driving in my truck, I was listening to a National Public Radio interview with the distinguished actor, Morgan Freeman–he with the elegant voice. Indeed, a sound which seems to wrap the listener into where or whatever one may find most comforting and reassuring. A ubiquitous voice heard, seemingly, as often in commercials and film voice-overs as in Freeman’s highly acclaimed acting roles.
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Relative, Not Absolute

Again, this week, I am grading a set of papers for the “Family Systems Theory” course I teach in the local Webster University graduate program in clinical counseling/marriage and family therapy. And I’m also doing a psychological assessment for another agency where I do some consulting.

So, time management being what it is–when I say “Yes” anywhere, I’m saying “No” somewhere else–I’m publishing, in this week’s blog, the introduction to the “signature chapter” of my book, Balanced Living: Don’t Let Your Strength Become Your Weakness (Wipf and Stock, 2009).
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There, but for the grace . . .

Last week, President Obama was in Colorado Springs trying to comfort those whose lives have been devastated by the atrocious fires which have imperiled that area, as well as other parts of Colorado. And in expressing his, and the concern of countless other Americans for those suffering from this natural disaster, he offered this cliche:

“There, but for the grace of God go I.”
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Morning Joe

When my wife, Jackie, and I are getting ready for work in the mornings, we watch–actually, we’re overhearing more than viewing–“Morning Joe” on MSNBC television. It’s ostensibly a news, politics, popular culture and current affairs program, from 6 to 9 AM weekdays, EDT, on NBC’s politically left-leaning cable channel.

The format is something of a round-table discussion–dominated, as it usually is, by host, Joe Scarborough, a former Republican Congressman from the Florida panhandle’s “Redneck Riviera.” Having turned television personality and political pundit, there’s not much about which the verbose Scarborough doesn’t have an opinion, however sufficiently informed or otherwise he may be.

As in, for instance, a 2008 “Morning Joe” appearance by co-host Mika Brzezinski’s father, Zbigniew, former National Security Advisor in President Jimmy Carter’s administration. Perhaps because of the filial connection, Dr. Brzezinski is a frequent guest on the program and no less revealing of his irritation toward Mr. Scarborough on his daughter’s behalf. For if Ms. Brzezinski can hardly “get a word in edgewise” with the overbearing Scarborough, that he was originally–before she protested to NBC management–being paid 14 times more than his co-host: this was exposed in Mika’s 2011 book, Knowing Your Value. Her confessing how she has too often, like too many women, under-sold her worth in the marketplace of talent selling and buying.

In that 2008 so-called “discussion” of the 2000 Camp David Summit regarding Middle East peace negotiations, as Joe Scarborough was typically holding forth on the matter, the elder Brzezinski, in his charmingly sarcastic way, characterized Scarborough’s assessment of the situation as “stunningly superficial.” Just as I’m sure there are those who would likely caricature “Morning Joe” similarly.

I say “ostensibly,” in referring to the program as a collage of news, politics, popular culture and current affairs, because, more often than not, I realize I’m watching “Morning Joe” from a marriage and family counselor’s perspective.

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Was Jesus a Socialist?

My life-long friend, who lives in St. Louis–a guy I hold in high regard, a fellow-pilgrim and an important encourager in my life–in response to last week’s blog posting, he wrote: “I’ve heard others say that Jesus was a socialist. Please share an explanation.”

I had planned a different subject to write about this week, but am instead responding to my friend’s question for two reasons: 1) the subject is always timely, if not urgent; and 2) what are friends for?
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