Monthly Archives: July 2012

Heading to My High School Reunion

I’ve decided to attend my 30th high school reunion coming up the second weekend of August, but not because I’m dying to be there. There are things in my life that I don’t want to do but that I also don’t want to not do.  High school reunions are a perfect example.

Mind you, I’m sure I will enjoy it – I mostly enjoyed my 20th, and maybe the memory of that experience settled it for me.  But it wasn’t a fast decision.  A number of factors including the price, $150 for a couple (mostly for the open bar, I’m betting) made me pause.  But I’m going.

That is, we’re going: Diane will accompany me – I wouldn’t have it any other way.  You always want to look good and successful at high school reunions and she is plan A for that.  Of course, it’s tough to be the plus one at a reunion, but she dutifully accompanies me, and I return the favor when her reunions come up the following year.

Glory days…with buddies Ed and Mark…and longer hair

I remember her 25th.  The local Fox sportscaster Tim Van Vooren who was in her class attended.  Always nice to have a celebrity of sorts, but even more memorable – the gal in her class who became a doctor had to attend a woman who was throwing up/passed out drunk.  Kind of embarrassing, huh?  But, then again, I suppose it happens all the time.  Reunions are scary business, and alcohol is liquid courage.  While paying for other classmates to get inebriated makes some folks pause, I suppose others wouldn’t attend without the offer of unlimited intoxicants.

Of course I won’t be getting drunk, but I can appreciate the insecurities of going back to “glory days”.  I’ll never forget walking the gauntlet of the hallway next to the commons my freshman year.  A jock senior kicked the books out of my hands and laughed at me while I picked them up.  Now, things got better, and I enjoyed a very positive high school life all in all, but there was always that feeling in the pit in my stomach on the first day of class each fall.  That feeling in the pit comes back at a reunion, so you might say that attending is a mild form of torture.

The source of our insecurities?  Easy. Walking in to a reunion and seeing all those old faces for the first time in years brings up the same old questions we asked a thousand times back then:  “Will I be accepted?”, “Will I measure up?” and “Will I be loved?”  Junior year, my girlfriend Lisa Starr and I went to see Queen in concert, where sad Freddie Mercury asked this question:

I get down on my knees
And I start to pray
Till the tears run down from my eyes
Lord – somebody – somebody
Can anybody find me – somebody to love?

I don’t know if I “prayed” with Freddie back then, but I do know that in the years since high school, Love found me, and told me that because of Another, I am accepted, I do measure up, and I am deeply loved.  I’ll be thinking about that at 6 p.m. on August 11th, when the Antioch Community High School class of 1982 comes together to celebrate 30 years.

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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Facebook, the Birthday Betterizer

Diane took me to breakfast at Egg Harbor in Lake Geneva and the generous restaurant treated me to this tasty pancake (which I shared with my sweetie).

I always love my birthdays – I had one yesterday – and the reason is largely because I’m married to a wonderful woman who believes in super-celebrating the birthday-ee.  She does it right, and because of this, my kids and I have been trained in it.  You would be lucky to be adopted into the Knowlton family…but don’t get your hopes up.

Anyway, something has made birthdays even better for me in the last 3 or 4 years:  In the midst of being celebrated by my family, I get Happy Birthday messages all day long from friends old and new on my Facebook wall.

I first noticed the phenomenon maybe 3 or 4 years ago when I was still relatively new to Facebook, and one year I started to take great delight when messages accumulating on my wall were texted to me all day long.  It was so nice that I determined then and there that I would always try to return the favor on the other 364 days of the year.  I log into Facebook most days, check the birthdays and send a quick greeting to someone that I sometimes haven’t talked to for years.  Doesn’t matter, I figure they will get the same mini-boost as I do, and in return, that gives me just a little joy.  Someone said it was more blessed to give than receive, and I think He had a good point.

There is the occasional birthday Scrooge who doesn’t appreciate the accumulated texts or crowded Facebook wall.  I only know of the existence of these grumpy curmudgeons because I recall a friend (don’t even remember who it was) who harrumphed about the messages as I spent time with him on his day.  Oh well, to each his own.

As for me, the big day is July 19th, and if you’re not on Facebook, fear not, a card will do just as well.  Happy Birthday to all of us.


Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


Praying for My Book on Prayer

The view from my writing perch

I am at a friend’s cabin today on the Fox Lake in Wisconsin.  He offered it to me for a few days as I am on vacation attempting something that I have never tried before.  I am starting to write a book…on prayer.

It was over a year ago that I felt the Lord leading me in this endeavor, and I hope I heard right.  Unless it’s straight from the Bible, I’m usually not one to say, “God said to me…” but sometimes the sense is stronger than others.  This communication seemed pretty strong.

So I spent a year – maybe too long – musing and trying to decide how to do this.  Tim Challies, a popular blogger and Christian book reviewer said that he gets more new books sent to him on prayer than any other topic, so maybe this is crazy. But, then again, I think I may have a unique way of approaching the topic. I always said that I wouldn’t write a book unless I had something to say, and I guess I began to feel that I had something to say about it, at least in a certain way, so here goes.

This brings me to my request.  It’s obvious to me that a thoughtful book on prayer needs a prayer team behind it, and I’m wondering if you would consider being on that team.  I realize that I may be speaking to an empty internet because I have taken a month and a half off of blogging, but if you are still out there, and interested in praying for this book, then let me fill you in:

I’m hoping to raise up a team of 50 – 100 people who would pray daily for this project. By praying daily, I’m asking you to simply “mention” it to the Lord ala 1 Thessalonians 1:2. My desire is to finish by December, although maybe I’m overly confident.  If you would like to be on the team, then I would ask you to send me an email at Or I suppose you could comment on the blog and leave your email.  I’ll be forming a prayer team email group and will send you a weekly email to remind you to pray and fill you in on how it’s going. 

Even if you are not led to join my team, would you pray at least one time that God would use this book to do something wonderful in His Kingdom. Here’s a prayer of Paul’s that has meant something to me as I have begun this journey:

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NIV)


Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

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