One of the real treats I get to enjoy as I travel is meeting wonderful people and making friends. Several weeks ago I had a chance to worship with, visit with and eat with a wonderful couple in Petersburg, Indiana. Steve & Donna Mikels are two of the most genuine and kind people you'll ever find. A glance at their eyes proves it. You can see their hearts in there.

Steve and Donna own and operate the Log Ends Bed and Breakfast in Petersburg. I had a chance to stay there this past weekend. Besides the gorgeous log house that sits so stately on the hill in the middle of their big farm, they keep a quaint but roomy little log cabin that sits just behind the main house all tidied up and ready for a traveler seeking quiet and comfort.

I've had their food. It's country fantastic. I've enjoyed their company. It's neighborly friendly. I've slept in their guest cabin. It's heaven under the downs. I'm anxious to get back to re-live the farm life as soon as I can.

Hop over to www.log-ends.com when you can and plan to visit Log Ends soon after. Tell Steve and Donna I said hello.



If you're out and about much, or if you have a life outside your TV room you've probably met people who either leave an impression or walk away as unfamiliar as they approached. Of the thousands, maybe more, people I've had the joy to meet, only a comparative few really stick out.

There are those who have been very kind to me. They've shown me love and patience and support and concern. They've prayed, given gifts, baked goodies, offered financial help, bought tickets and music, provided transportation and a variety of other gracious things. They have a place of significance in my heart and mind.

There are others who've been at least somewhat of a disappointment. I expected something more and received something less. Even when I don't want to, I tend to remember them for that reason.

In really rare moments you find, get to know, and come to love someone who becomes an extra special friend. They're special because they offered a shoulder or counsel or just patience. They're infinitely special because you know you can trust their loyalty, their advice and their confidence.

That describes Cherri. She and I met when we were both thrown into a room and tasked with making a major multi-million dollar, four year event complete with a parade, fireworks, flyovers, VIPs and dignitaries, bands, choirs and TV reporters all happen in thirty days. The team was bigger than the two of us, but Cherri and I were toward the top of the responsibility ladder. We bonded quickly and learned that we could trust each other. We watched each other's backs and didn't mind when one of us stepped in to make a quiet adjustment to the other's work.

Cherri is a dedicated, hard worker and a tireless organizer. She's comfortable with big tasks, but knows too when it's time to step back and focus on her family and her friends. Her kids think she's the best. I can see why.

My trusted and very special friend Cherri is celebrating her ** b'day today. (We have an understanding.) Although I'm not able to join her at the piano lounge like we did a couple of years ago, I'd say she's enjoying the day just the same. She knows the value of those 24 hours.

Happy birthday my sweet friend!!


ladies and gentlemen...

What a night! It was a once in a lifetime moment. The crowd was wild! All they knew to do was scream, throw flowers and beg for his autograph. People will be talking about it for years to come. Tomorrow's mothers and grandmothers who are today's little girls will talk about the night they actually witnessed it.

It was a magical moment that will go down in history as one of Prestonsburg, Kentucky's proudest. The regular kid from the mountains of eastern Kentucky who made it to the big stage did it here first. My daddy's grandson, the boy who is mine, my own flesh and blood made his professional stage debut last night. How cool!

Christian is a good singer. He can hit a note, hold a note and let go of a note. He can curl, flip it and slide into it whenever it's necessary. He stands there and sings it flat-footed. And last night he did it like a pro. I can retire now.

Way to go Pal!!!!! Woo hoo!!!



Someone said there was a presidential debate last night. I saw a conversation about the next president going on, but I didn't notice a debate.

This was supposed to be Senator McCain's night. The format was his idea. Although he didn't trip and fall or anything while he wondered all over the platform, he didn't seem to excel either. The good news for him is neither did Senator Obama.

One thing I did notice about the people in the room was the lack of hair. Many of the men in most of the TV shots were shiny on top. Something else that seemed noticeably absent was people of color. There were a few, maybe even only two or three, but their representation seemed nearly non-existent I thought.

There was talk of war and oil and stocks and bonds and bail outs and other stuff, but I got sleepy and turned it off. That's really pretty bad when it's something as important as the next leader of our country. But I've worked in politics and I know the strategy. If you're winning, play it safe. Obama did that well. If you're not winning throw a curve-ball and put the other guy on the defensive. It was obvious that McCain wasn't gonna, so I went to bed.



Certain people you just know in a quiet sort of way. It's probably because that particular person is a quiet sort of person. Let me introduce you to Baron. At the moment I met him he struck me as, well, quiet.

Now that I know him better though, quiet and diminutive little Baron has proven himself to have an opinion and the wherewithal to defend it. I can see where people who don't know him well would get the impression that he could be an easy push-over. I'll give it only one good shove though for them to learn otherwise. In the right situation his small frame has a way of growing taller and broader. I think it's kinda neat to watch. Not like the Incredible Hulk or anything. More like a cat arching its back.

Baron is smart. I like chatting with him and learning from him. He's up on culture and his views are always reasoned and educated. He's also a good cook, fun to hang around, and every time I've seen him he has a pleasant smile.

He's a birthday boy today. I'm not sure how old he is, but if he's 25 he looks young for his age. Happy b'day my friend!!


talking veeps

Well that was a nice piece of political tv I thought. The senator from Delaware and the governor from Alaska looking pressed and neat and prepared to say whatever was necessary to keep the faithful faithful and hopefully lure in a straggler or two - as long as the script allowed it. Here's my take.

Their Style: Both candidates played it as safe as possible with their appearance, except for Joe's suit. That was a mistake. The shiny little stripes made him look sorta like a used car salesman. Even though that's his style, a dark-blue solid would've been great. The tie was perfect though. It worked well with his hair. Sarah was looking nice in her dark suit. Not sure about the red heels though. I understand the importance of height and stature in situations like this. But the back-shots didn't work in her favor. She still came across as much smaller than the senator. All-in-all, I think they both looked very nice and presented themselves really well.

Their rhetoric: My favorite line of the night was the first thing we heard from either of the candidates, although I don't think we were supposed to hear it. Governor Palin's mic was on as they walked onto the stage. "Hey, can I call you Joe?" How cool! Lots of words from both candidates. Lots of accusations. Lots of down talk. Lots of bragging. Lots and lots of words. He said, he said, she said, he said. But what he meant was... Neither candidate really messed up, even though Sarah did mix up a couple of names and facts. Joe got tongue-tied a time or two and looked a little trepiditious about swinging at a woman. It's never nice to hit a woman, even when she dares you to.

The issues: No surprises. Governor Palin is a Republican and a conservative. She said what conservative Republicans should say when they're running for office. Low corporate taxes, strong national defense, personal responsibility and drill baby drill (for American oil). Where she went off the GOP reservation; leave the gays alone and reign in the Wall Street big boys. Senator Biden did a great job being a Democrat. Helping the little guy, public health care, talking before shooting and taking on big business. Where he kicked the donkey; giving the oil companies permission to drill on their own property and supporting clean coal technology. I'm not sure if he ran that by his boss' peeps.

The candidates: Biden came armed with facts and experience and know-how. Palin was prepared to be charming and firm and knowledgeable about McCain's history as a maverick within his own political party. Leading up to the event, the fears of some and the hopes of others were that she would talk a lot and say nothing and that he would get angry and wonder off on a tangent. Although he did squint and sneer a bit, the senator held his own well. He knew his stuff, and John McCain's. He didn't strike me though as someone who is as deeply in love with Barack Obama as the rest of his party is. The governor performed very well. She talked soccer and winked and came prepared to play against the other team and the referee - darn it. She was winning the personal connection contest until he referred to the pain of losing his wife and his daughter and almost losing his sons in a tragic traffic accident in 1972. His emotion seemed very honest.

Gwen Ifill: There was lots of speculation about her ability fairly moderate the debate. She's writing a book about Senator Obama that is supposed to be very pro Barack. The talkers on the radio and television were going on and on about it. The loud conservative ones were convinced she'd be one sided and unfair to the governor. I think she proved them wrong.

Who won? If you were a Palinite before the show you're probably even more of one now. I Biden was your man when you turned on the TV I doubt if he isn't now. FOX said Sarah cleaned Joe's clock. CNN didn't think so. Personally, as entertaining as it was, I don't know much more now than I did at 9:00 last night. I think both of them are prepared to be number two.


the iphone speaks

This is something new for me. Technology is not about to pass me by. It's my first post from my phone. Wish me luck.

-- Post From My iPhone

*curious sin

I always loved it when the kids in the Gang would peek through the knot hole in the old plank fence. They just had to know what was on the other side. Actually, I’m not sure it was the hole that got their attention as much as it was the overly loud sign. “DON’T LOOK HERE!!!” it said. Those Little Rascals, they were always good for a few chuckles and a subtle life lesson.

I’da done the same thing. If the sign says not to look that’s as good as an invitation to me. I may wait a bit for the crowd to pass, but I’ll linger, loiter, check text messages or make busy somehow until the coast is clear. Then I’ll wince at the big red “DO NOT…” warning and put my eye to the hole. The risk is usually not worth the payoff, and you’re almost always guaranteed to be disappointed. But fortunately this curious cat has lived – although sometimes with regret.

The carnival barker knows how it works. So does a good marketer. I saw a web link the other day that said “Do not click.” So I clicked. Somebody somewhere knows me and my kind too well. I ended up being intrigued about something I’d never have taken the time to find on purpose. I didn’t buy anything, but now I know there’s such a thing as a toilet water converter kit.

Back to the carnie barker, these guys are good. You don’t see a three headed human-alligator-llama-spider every day, and they know it. They also know we’ll trade our popcorn money for the chance to stare at something that’s one of a kind, even though its face looks remarkably like the human-monkey-whale-goat we saw last year. I think most of those spectacles are doctored up myself, but I don’t go to argue. It was curiosity that got me in there, not prudence. We’re not proud enough to brag about it of course. The whole transaction goes down like a back-alley drug deal. When we’re sure no one will notice we slip him the cash then dash inside to witness one of nature’s crazy mistakes.

So, knowing our nature, what would make God think that the earth’s whole population of two wouldn’t be tempted to climb the only tree in the world with a “Do not climb!” sign on it? Seems to me He was just inviting rebellion. Why, it was akin to entrapment. Surely God knew how wishy-washy His new peeps were.

Maybe if He’d just told them there was a killer tree out there somewhere but didn’t say which, Adam and Eve might never have found it. The odds would’ve been better that way. But God pointed it out. He put a poison label on it and then left them to fight their curiosity and temptations. A whole forest full of trees and we want the one we can’t have.

But maybe the tree wasn’t the problem - or the man or the woman for that matter. It certainly wasn’t God. Maybe it was the snake. He knew where to hang out. He’s smart that way. If you have a weakness, that’s where he lingers. Self control issues? Count on him egging you on. If you’re struggling with something that affects your relationship with God, it’s a pretty safe bet the serpent is involved.

It wasn’t the thought of eating that did the first couple in. Surely curiosity is not a sin. I don’t see it listed anywhere in the Bible. Maybe that’s why God didn’t build a fence around the world’s most dangerous tree. Maybe He doesn’t want the church to either.

To be continued…

*I enjoy sharing a few of my thoughts as a contributing writer at sgmradio.com. As older posts are removed from that site I'll be reposting them here. This writing was seen far and wide over there during the month of September.