Wednesday, October 14, 2015


By Matthew Jones
The Virginian-Pilot
From the Archive: November 9, 2003

She called home every day.

Sometimes from her home in Arlington, usually from her car on the commute into D.C.

She'd chat with her father about his day. She'd encourage her mother, who was battling a recurring cancer.

But one Monday evening last October, Charles Moore realized he hadn't heard from his daughter all day. As his wife slept, he went to the living room and picked up the phone.

Washington was a white-knuckle town at the time. A gunman was on the loose, shooting at random. People were afraid to get gas or to park at the mall.

Linda Franklin was not among them.

Her father caught her ready to go shopping to outfit her new townhouse.

He asked her not to go. Franklin wouldn't hear of it.

"Dad," she explained, "everybody's got to move."

Small-framed, clear-skinned and bright-eyed, never looking her age, Franklin rolled through 47 years with cheerful resolve, remaking her life over and over.

She was at times a single mother juggling college, an international teacher turned FBI analyst, navigating countries and careers as she dodged violence and disaster, confronted heartache and illness.

Nothing could stop her.

When Linda Gail Franklin was 3 or 4 years old, she walked out the front door of her house in Columbus, Ind., headed down to a busy intersection, stood in the middle of the road and began directing traffic.

As she waved her arms, cars slowed to avoid her, their amused drivers honking and waving.
After that, her parents put padlocks on the gates in the yard, but it didn't help. She escaped whenever she could.

The second of three children born to Charles and MaryAnn Moore, Franklin rushed into the world on a cold March night in 1955, before her father could finish the paperwork in the hospital lobby.
Charles Moore's career in broadcasting and engineering moved the family often, and Franklin spent her early childhood in various Indiana and Ohio cities.

Antsy and rambunctious, she often pushed her parents to their limits.

"There was no fussing or fighting," her father said. "She'd just look at you with that squinty look."
Franklin read voraciously, whenever she could sit still long enough to turn the pages. The rest of the time she was outdoors, chasing bugs, getting stung and running home with an upheld finger, hand, elbow.

Her parents kept her hair short and let her play hard.

The family traveled often while the children were young, touring Midwest lakes and campgrounds in their Ford station wagon, a canoe strapped on top. It was at Sweetwater Lake, just west of Columbus, where a preteen Franklin learned to water ski.

She was tenacious, said her father, refusing to let go of the rope when she fell. Time and again she'd hit the water, skis spinning off behind her as her body cut through the boat's wake.

"I had to stop the boat," Moore said. "I was afraid I'd drown her."

Franklin persisted until she could stay upright. After that, he couldn't wear her out on skis.

The Moores eventually settled in Florida, in time for Franklin to enter 10th grade at Buchholz High School in Gainesville.

There, Franklin and classmate Katherine Kafoglis Lockwood bonded over a love of theater. The girls dived into the school's productions, playing supporting roles, designing sets, doing makeup, sewing costumes, handling publicity, fund-raising with bake sales and car washes.

Lockwood remembers being impressed with Franklin's boldness, both on and off the stage. She would stride through the school halls, approaching the shy kids and the strangers, inviting them to the drama group's parties.

"And they would come," Lockwood said, "because she was so straightforward."

Franklin was like a mother to all her friends, said Lockwood, now a biochemist at the University of New Hampshire.

"Love and friendship just fell out of her. It wasn't an effort, it just came."

That compassion led Franklin to nursing school after graduating from Buchholz in 1973, but soon put her at odds with teachers at Gainesville's Santa Fe Community College.

They criticized her for getting too attached to her patients, for failing to maintain the proper clinical distance.

So she quit school on principle with her father's blessing.

"Right then," he recalled, "I felt like I had a daughter that had grown up."

Franklin left Gainesville with a high-school sweetheart but returned in the early '80s, after her marriage dissolved. She arrived with two small children and a plan.

"I'm going back to school."

Her parents offered money, but Franklin refused. She'd found a full-time job and would pay for college herself. And so it went for the next few years.

"I kind of resented it," Moore recalled, laughing. "Parents like to be needed."

Whenever they tried to help, Franklin would either refuse or record the debt in a detailed ledger. She paid back every penny.

It took a car accident to soften her will. With her jaw wired shut, she quickly grew tired of thinned-down baby food. So her father bought a blender, chopped up meat, soaked it in broth and fed it to her through a straw.

"I got the biggest hug out of that," he said.

At the University of Florida, Franklin rekindled the love for math she shared with her father. As a child she'd often accompanied him to work, where she'd dug through desk drawers, watching him work his slide rule, asking endless questions.

She considered computer science, Moore said, "but the jargon didn't settle." She chose teaching instead.

She transferred to the education school, made the dean's list and graduated in 1986, with a degree to teach math and science.

Her mother had passed up Smith College to get married, and her father had left Purdue University to be with his children. So seeing their 31-year-old daughter in her cap and gown was something of a dream deferred.

"I've never had a prouder moment in my life," Moore said.

Within the year, Franklin was sitting behind the wheel of a Jeep, idling in the streets of Guatemala City, where she'd gone to teach at the American School. A man approached and demanded the Jeep, the machete in his hand an unmistakable exclamation point. With her sat her young son and daughter.
Franklin's parents had paled when she told them she was going to Central America, right into the remnants of a revolution. Times were still tense, with rampant corruption, political violence, sporadic kidnappings and rumors of coups.

"I bit my tongue," Moore recalled. "I didn't want any part of her going there, but I never told her what to do."

South she flew, children in tow. They often traveled with a Marine escort since they lived outside of base housing. But that particular day they were alone, and the man with the machete was insistent.
Franklin refused to give up the Jeep, but offered to take him anywhere he wanted to go. He persisted. So did she.

Finally, he put down the machete, climbed in and accepted the ride.

"You idiot!" her father roared when she recounted the incident months later. "He could've killed you and the kids!"

"Nah," she replied, "not likely."

Despite her bravado, Franklin left just after the school year ended. Later, she would tell colleagues tales of having to sneak out of the country through the jungle, leaving her possessions behind.
The following fall found Franklin in Germany, pitching an idea to her new friend Lunella Harrill.
The ski club at Stuttgart-Ludwigsburg American High School needed a sponsor, she informed her. What say we step in?

The fact that neither of them had ever snow skied, she said, was entirely irrelevant.

"She was game to try anything," Harrill recalled.

Franklin persuaded Harrill, her husband, Jerry, and another teacher to spend weekends slipping and sliding on nearby mountains until they were passable skiers. The club resumed its trips to slopes in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with membership rapidly swelling to near 50.

In warmer months, Franklin piloted another challenge, organizing a whitewater rafting trip to Garmisch, near the Austrian border. Straight off the mountains, it was the coldest water Harrill had ever felt.

The rafters had to steel themselves first by jumping in. The students stood petrified on the rocks.

"Oh, come on!" Franklin goaded them before diving in, smiling all the way down. She eventually coaxed Harrill into a raft for the first time when Harrill was nearly 50.

"She was like a kid sister," Harrill said. "You don't always meet people you would trust with your life, but I would have trusted Linda with mine."

That enthusiasm colored Franklin's approach to teaching, said Harrill, who now lives in San Diego.

Moore said his daughter's theory was simple: "Don't teach the kids to answer questions, teach the kids to question answers. Don't let a teacher get away with anything."

She taught her own children in innovative ways.

The Harrills witnessed that one Christmas, while looking after Franklin's children as she made a quick visit to the States.

Sitting around the table, Lunella Harrill noticed the children eyeing the brussels sprouts left on her and her husband's plates. They passed them over, and the children devoured them.

Franklin had raised them to eat their meals backward: Dessert came first, followed by the main course. And if they cleaned their plates, they could have their vegetables.

"The vegetables would be the prize," Harrill recalled, laughing.

Franklin left Germany when her contract ended in 1989, along with her children and new husband, a fellow American she'd met there.

The new family was bound for Okinawa.

In Gainesville, Charles Moore snickered as he listened to his daughter on the phone from Japan. It was tennis this time.

Franklin was a new algebra teacher at Kadena High School on Okinawa's Kadena Air Base. The team needed a coach, and Franklin had agreed.

Moore reminded his daughter that she was a terrible tennis player, but she already had a strategy.

"All I have to do is read the books and tell them what to do," she told him. "I don't need to pick up a racket."

Moore didn't hold out much hope for the team. It won the championship.

As she had in Germany, Franklin spent much of her time outdoors while on the North Pacific island. Usin Pisingan, a former neighbor and colleague, recalled her coming to his house once during a typhoon and dragging him down to the ocean to watch the waves bash the shore.

When her parents visited, she took them crawling through off-limits caves and hiking along the island's cliffs. They'd set off on long rides in her Jeep.

"We'd take that Jeep, run through the cane fields down to the beach," her father recalled. "We'd spend a late evening out there and then head for home. It was wonderful."

Franklin stayed on Okinawa until 1994, including another teaching post at neighboring Kubasaki High School. While in Japan, she and her husband split up.

Later, she met a local Marine at one of her holiday parties. He was a computer specialist, a corporal named William "Ted" Franklin.

Just before his discharge, they married in Hawaii.

The Franklins moved to a three-story row house near Mons, Belgium, where Linda Franklin began the 1994-95 school year at SHAPE American High School.

One winter, exposed wiring in the attic set their home ablaze.

No one was hurt, but everything the Franklins owned was either ruined by the firefighters' hoses or permeated with indelible soot.

While losing her possessions didn't bother Franklin, losing most of her cash did. That meant she had to accept help from others.

"Her pride just died," her father said. "It just tore her up to take charity."

Giving it was a different matter, however. While in Belgium, Franklin persuaded local Marines to build a playground for an orphanage and christened it with an American-style cookout. And one Christmas, when her parents were visiting, she brought home an orphan, age 7 or 8, whom they feted and took to Paris.

Yet there were more setbacks: Franklin broke a foot. Her mother, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer just as Franklin moved to Belgium, had a relapse. And her father's prostate looked suspicious.

She had made several trips between Belgium and Florida during holidays, but in talking with her father, she realized that was no longer enough. It was time to leave Europe.

Settling with her family near Washington in 1997 meant a new house, a new town and for Linda Franklin, now in her early 40s, a new career.

She approached the CIA for work but was told she was too old. The FBI welcomed her, offering her a spot in its National Infrastructure Protection Center.

There, Franklin's adaptability was quickly rewarded. One holiday, a supervisor asked her and fellow analyst Shirlyn Baker to oversee the inaugural meeting of a new bureau program. Those in charge had fallen to the flu.

With short notice and scant background, Baker recalled, "we just winged it." When time came for questions, she watched Franklin work her magic.

"She came out of that room and she had smoothed the feathers. The afternoon session went like clockwork."

The two women became project managers for InfraGard, an information-sharing partnership between government and private business.

They spent most of the next two years putting the program together, with Baker as the technical adviser and Franklin working the crowds. They wore out the phones, flew all over the country, coordinated countless training sessions, surrendered evenings, weekends and holidays.

By the time the program rolled out in January 2000, the women were fast friends.

That bond proved vital a year later, when Baker was diagnosed with breast cancer. Franklin leaped in to help.

She told Baker about her mother's cancer battle. And Franklin confided that she'd had a lump removed from her own breast soon after coming to the FBI.

The night before Baker's surgery, Franklin beat her to her home in Baltimore. She stayed all the next day, cooking feverishly, then supported Baker through months of chemotherapy and radiation. Franklin researched treatments, what to eat and drink and, most importantly, buoyed her spirits.

"Sometimes the Lord sends angels into your life," Baker said. "She would not let me feel sorry for myself, Lord have mercy. She always found the sunshine."

Among these rays was the tragicomic life of Rocky. Baker remembers being in recovery when Franklin sprang the news.

"She told me, 'Not only are you having chemo, my cat has to have it, too.' "

Franklin had stolen Rocky from former neighbors after learning they let her fend for herself. She joined the menagerie of dogs and cats crowding the couple's townhouse.

Franklin lavished money and attention on Rocky - known as "Chemo Kitty" to her friends. She arranged for biopsies and treatments, ignoring friends' pleas to put her to sleep.

The cat pulled through. It was Franklin's turn next.

That fall, just after Baker returned to work, she was diagnosed.

She went to two doctors to confirm it, consulted with frie nds, then set out to beat it.

Though the cancer was confined to one breast and hadn't reached her lymph nodes, Franklin weighed her options and chose to have a double mastectomy.

She found the ideal hospital and tracked down the best doctor, both in Baltimore. The doctor told her he wasn't accepting new patients.

"By the time she finished with him," Baker said, "he took her."

Franklin had surgery in late 2001. During recuperation, she endured physical therapy as well, her body having rebelled at the sedentary days her illness had forced upon her.

"She wouldn't let it stop her," said Peggy Hulseberg, whose husband, Paul, worked near Franklin at the FBI. "Not everybody would be that strong," Baker agreed.

"You're talking about somebody who never had a blue day," she said. "If she was down, it was for a moment."

Her energy returning, Franklin was back at the bureau part time by spring 2002, full time by late summer.

She resumed a grueling schedule, with therapy in the mornings and work in the evenings. All the while, she continued traveling to Florida to support her mother with her own cancer battle.

With each visit, she'd make sure to include a "date night" with her father. When she wasn't in Gainesville, she'd call him each morning on her way to work. "OK, Dad, what are you doing today?"

"I just got out of bed!"

"Well, go on, get going."

For the past few years, Moore had been writing romance novels to help refocus his mind when he wasn't helping his ailing wife, and Franklin acted as his coach and occasional editor.

"She stopped being a daughter," Moore said. "She became a friend."

In Washington, the federal government was going through post-Sept. 11, 2001, growing pains, and the future of Franklin's division was in question. She might have to relocate, might have to start over again.

The Franklins sold their townhouse to avoid the inevitable buyers' market.

In hosting Linda Franklin's son and niece and their dogs, along with their own pets, plus her parents' periodic visits and with her first grandchild on the way in Norfolk, the two-bedroom, one-bath townhouse was too small anyway.

The couple found a new townhouse in which to bide their time until the feds sorted themselves out. They were in the process of furnishing it on thatmid-October Monday when she and her father spoke.

The movers were due on Friday, she said. There was still so much left to do. She had to go.

"You just can't stay in hiding," she told him. "We're just going out to Home Depot and that's it."

Hours later, long before daylight, the doorbell chime drifted through the dark, one-story house. Then a distinct, brass-knocker rap.

Charles Moore rose from his bed, where MaryAnn lay sleeping, and moved toward the sound. He took his time; panhandlers came by at all hours.

He opened the door. Lit from behind by a pole lamp in the yard, a police sergeant and an FBI agent introduced themselves.

Grief and anger would follow. For the moment, there was only shock.

It might have been the gunman, they told him. They didn't think it had anything to do with her work. Still lots of unanswered questions.

What was certain was that only something unseen and unnegotiable could ever have stopped her.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Eleven Years Ago

It's hard to believe it's been eleven years. As it is this year, September 11, 2001 was a Tuesday that year. It's one of the odd details that I remember. Who knows why. It's a morning that began much like this morning, a crisp, fall morning. The sky was a brilliant, cloudless blue. We were excited to have just moved into our house. There were boxes all over. It would be a several weeks before we finally got settled. It seemed like the world stopped for a while.

I remember. 

It helps to slow down and take the time to reflect. I "grasp an empowering hope for the future."

Also see Closing a Chapter, Remembering TodayRemembering 9-11I RememberEleven Tears and In Remembrance

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Upon hearing the news out of Penn State this week, I was horrified, disgusted and outraged. As I heard news reports about it, I couldn't get over what strong emotions it evoked and then it finally struck me. It puts a spotlight on my own sins. I realized that my sins are just as much of an outrage to God.

So, I pray for forgiveness. I pray that I feel as much outrage toward my own sin that I seem to minimize as I feel at those who wronged so many in the Penn State situation.

“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:3-4 ESV)

Friday, September 09, 2011

Send the Ark

I guess I asked too soon! It wasn't plagues and locusts, it was a flood!

Sadly, there was loss of life and property damage to many.

Monday, August 29, 2011

What next, plagues and locusts?

Two natural phenomenon in one week. If it's okay, I could take a calmer week.

This past Tuesday, August 23, we had a 5.8 earthquake whose epicenter was in Mineral, VA, which is about 90 miles from the Washington, DC area. I was actually walking outside back to the office and didn't feel the tremor. However, people running out of buildings was a big clue. Although no major damage, it was a bit unnerving.

Then, this past weekend, Hurricane Irene decided to swirl up the east coast. She provided lots of rain and a downed tree a block away from our house. It did damage the back of a car, but did not hit a house. Lots of leaves and a few branches, but nothing major at our house.

What you don't see in this picture are their neighbors sitting in lawn chairs watching the clean up. Just a little odd, in my opinion.

Here's the trunk and roots from the remaining portion of the tree.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I am the nail in Your wrist ... But You love me anyway

I subject you to songs every now and then.

You Love Me Anyway

The question was raised
As my conscience fell
A silly, little lie
It didn’t mean much
But it lingers still
In the corners of my mind

Still you call me to walk
On the edge of this world
To spread my dreams and fly
But the future’s so far
My heart is so frail
I think I’d rather stay inside

But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
How You love me

It took more than my strength
To simply be still
To seek but never find
All the reasons we change
The reasons I doubt
And why do loved ones have to die?

But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me

I am the thorn in Your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss
But You love me anyway

See now, I am the man that called out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes then, I turned away with this smile on my face
With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night, I still called out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life

But You love me anyway
Oh, God… how you love me

You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me

You love me, You love me
You love me, You love me
How You love me
How You love me
How You love me

~Sidewalk Prophets

Blog Slacker!

OK, so let's not pretend anyone really follows or cares about my blog. I haven't actually posted since May. Travesty! Honestly, I've shifted a little more toward Facebook and Twitter.

So, why do I keep it? Because, as I periodically look back at some of the posts, I find that they are a little time capsule, the pre-Facebook and pre-Twitter, and I suppose I'm not quite ready to scrap the whole thing.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Closing a Chapter

Yesterday, Osama bin Laden was killed.

My first thought was not to "celebrate." It was not "cheer." I could only think of the 2,977 victims of 9-11. The emotions flooded back. I remembered the fear of the day in DC. When I was finally able to get out of the city, we spent the rest of the day with friends in shock with the rest of the nation.

Last night, I think I felt a little sense of relief. Not in a "there will never be any terrorism again," but that a chapter has been closed. Not the book.

Thank you to the U.S. military. You are true heros.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Christ Is Risen Indeed!

Oh to see the dawn of the darkest day,
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men, torn and beaten then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This the pow'r of the cross.
Christ became sin for us,
Took the blame, bore the wrath.
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh to see my name written in the wounds,
For through your suff'ring, I am free.
Death is crushed to death, life is mine to live,
Won through your selfless love!

This the pow'r of the cross.
Christ became sin for us,
Took the blame, bore the wrath.
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Words and Music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

I will glory in my Redeemer
Whose priceless blood has ransomed me
Mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails
And hung Him on that judgment tree

I will glory in my Redeemer
Who crushed the power of sin and death
My only Savior before the Holy Judge
The Lamb Who is my righteousness
The Lamb Who is my righteousness

I will glory in my Redeemer
My life He bought, my love He owns
I have no longings for another
I’m satisfied in Him alone

I will glory in my Redeemer
His faithfulness my standing place
Though foes are mighty and rush upon me
My feet are firm, held by His grace
My feet are firm, held by His grace

I will glory in my Redeemer
Who carries me on eagle's wings
He crowns my life with lovingkindness
His triumph song I'll ever sing

I will glory in my Redeemer
Who waits for me at gates of gold
And when He calls me it will be paradise
His face forever to behold
His face forever to behold
His face forever to behold

"I Will Glory in My Redeemer", by Steve and Vikki Cook.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Our Hearts Are with the Japanese

These are just mind-blogging. All of that devastation in less than six minutes. There just doesn't seem like there's anything you can do against a tsunami.

Charitable organizations responding in Japan:
Mission to the World

Monday, February 07, 2011

Super Bowl XLV Champions

Mom sent some pictures from the grocery store in Wisconsin

My awesome brother sent me the long-sleeve t-shirt and the Green Bay Gazette Extra special edition from the NFC championship win against the Chicago Bears.

Super Bowl XLV Champions
February 6, 2011

Milwaukee Sentinel Journal
Green Bay Press Gazette website

Green Bay Press Gazette special edition

Packers Pro Shop

The Lombardi Trophy is coming home to Lambeau

The Vince Lombardi Trophy is hoisted as the Green Bay Packers celebrate winning Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011. (Gary A. Vasquez/NFL)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


Your Tax Dollars Hard at Work

I interrupt this blog silence with breaking news. The government released new dietary guidelines yesterday, and their advice:

"Government’s Dietary Advice: Eat Less"
Read more

Yep, that's it, folks. How many tax dollars do you think went into that finding?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Monday, October 04, 2010

Grand Canyon

Another trip! Here are a few pictures from our Grand Canyon adventure!

Grand Canyon - day 1
South Rim Entrance - Visitor Center - Hopi Point

Grand Canyon - day 2
South Rim Entrance - Yaki Point - Desert View - Lipan Point - Tusayan Ruin and Museum - Moran Point - Grandview Point - Yavapai Point - Hopi Point

Grand Canyon - day 3
South Rim Entrance - Yavapai Point - Grandview Point - rained out!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering Today

Today is a day to remember the Moms, Dad, Wives, Husbands, Sisters, Brothers, Aunts, Uncles, Nieces, Nephews. The list just seems endless. We remember all that were lost that day nine years ago.

We also remember all that have put themselves in harms way to protect us. Thank you.

Also see I Remember, Eleven Tears and In Remembrance

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Yellowstone - Grand Teton

We'll update throughout our trip!

Yellowstone - day 1
Yellowstone West Entrance - Madison - Old Faithful

Yellowstone - day 2
Yellowstone West Entrance - Madison - Norris - Canyon Village - Tower Roosevelt - (Pebble Creek) - Mammoth Hot Springs

Yellowstone - day 3
Yellowstone West Entrance - Madison - Norris - Canyon Village - Fishing Bridge / Lake Village

Yellowstone / Grand Teton - day 4
Yellowstone West Entrance - Madison - Old Faithful - West Thumb - Grant Village - Yellowstone South Entrance - Grand Teton National Park

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Grace Is a Story and Grace Is a Gift

This is an amazing blog post!

Do you understand the majesty and practicality of the grace you have been given? If you don't, in subtle and not so subtle ways, you are looking to other things to get you through. You don't need to go out searching for hope and help, because they are already yours in the resources of grace that you have been given as God's child.

Grace is the most transformational word in the Bible. The entire content of the Bible is a narrative of God's grace, a story of undeserved redemption. By the transformational power of his grace, God unilaterally reaches his hands into the muck of this fallen world, through the presence of his Son, and radically transforms his children from what we are (sinners) into what we are becoming by his power (Christ-like). The famous Newton hymn uses the best word possible, maybe the only word big enough, for that grace—amazing.

So grace is a story and grace is a gift. It is God's character and it is your only hope. Grace is a transforming tool and a state of relationship. Grace is a beautiful theology and a wonderful invitation. Grace is a life-long experience and a life-changing calling. Grace will turn your life upside down while giving you a rest you have never known. Grace will require you to face your unworthiness without ever making you feel unloved.

Grace will make you finally acknowledge that you cannot earn God's favor, and it will once and for all remove your fear of not measuring up to his standards. Grace will humble you with the fact that you are much less than you thought you were, even as it assures you that you can be far more than you had ever imagined. You can be sure that grace will put you in your place without ever putting you down.

Grace will enable you to face shocking truths about yourself that you have hesitated to consider, while freeing you from being self-consciously introspective. Grace will confront you with profound weaknesses, and at the same time bless you with new-found strength. Grace will tell you again and again what you aren't, while welcoming you again and again to what you can now be. Grace will make you as uncomfortable as you have ever been, while offering you a more lasting comfort than you have never before known .

Grace will work to drive you to the end of yourself, while it invites you to fresh starts and new beginnings. Grace will dash your ill-founded hopes, but never walk away and leave you hopeless. Grace will decimate your little kingdom of one as it introduces you to a much, much better King. Grace will expose to you the extent of your blindness as it gives you eyes to see what you so desperately need to see. Grace will make you sadder than you have ever been, while it gives you greater cause for celebration than you have ever known.

Grace enters your life in a moment and will occupy you for eternity. You simply cannot live a productive life in this broken-down world unless you have a practical grasp of the grace you have been given.

Are you living out of this amazing grace? Does it shape the way you respond to your personal struggles, your relationships, and your work? Does your trust in this grace form how you live with your husband or wife? Does it propel the way you parent your children? Does it give you comfort when friends have disappointed you? Does it give you rest when life is unpredictable and hard? Does it make you bold and give you courage in places where you would have once been timid? Does it make the idols that tempt you less attractive and less powerful? Do you wake up and say, "I don't know what I will face today, but this I do know: I have been given amazing grace to face it right here, right now."

May God help you to understand and rest in the grace that you have been given!

Paul David Tripp is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries, a nonprofit organization, whose mission statement is "Connecting the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life." Paul is an international conference speaker, Pastor (Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, PA), seminary professor (Redeemer Seminary, Dallas, TX), Executive Director of the Center for Pastoral Life and Care, and the author of many books.

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Forsaking All Other ... Social Media

Oh blog, do you feel forsaken for Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Farewell Flight of the Concorde

So after more than a year of the Chrysler Concorde needing continuous repair for some cable-munching rodent and other unrelated repairs, it was time. In addition, I'm not even sure how long the heat and the air conditioning haven't been working.

So this is the new used vehicle that has come to live with Brian & Ellie. We hope it will treat us as well as the Chrysler Concorde has that we just donated to 2C8 today!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen Indeed!

Oh to see the dawn of the darkest day,
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men, torn and beaten then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This the pow'r of the cross.
Christ became sin for us,
Took the blame, bore the wrath.
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh to see my name written in the wounds,
For through your suff'ring, I am free.
Death is crushed to death, life is mine to live,
Won through your selfless love!

This the pow'r of the cross.
Christ became sin for us,
Took the blame, bore the wrath.
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Words and Music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Do This in Remembrance of Me

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Luke 22:19-20

This Takes Cow Tipping to a Whole New Level

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Gospel is For Christians

Of course Christians, more than any other, should realize how much we need continually the gospel. Although, I think we are sometimes the first to forget that.

There is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot ever be accepted at all. This is not true of us only when we believe. It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be trust as long as we live. Our need of Christ does not cease with our believing; nor does the nature of our relation to Him or to God through Him ever alter, no matter what our attainments in Christian graces or our achievements in behavior may be. It is always on His “blood and righteousness” alone that we can rest. ~B.B. Warfield
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Friday, February 12, 2010

We Aren't in the Mid-Atlantic Anymore, Toto!

How I would love to report that this equipment was clearing out our street, and along the curb and driveway. Alas, I had to come to the upper Midwest to see scenes likes this. I believe it's just taunting us now.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

If You're Reading This Post, Please Send a Plow!

This truck has been stuck in the snow on the street up from our house for at least an hour. Why? BECAUSE WE STILL HAVEN'T SEEN A PLOW ON OUR STREET! Yes, six days from the first storm, and counting.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blizzard Encore

With today's white-out, comes a a century old record!


It's great to have a husband who likes to drive in the snow!

Flag at the Navy Memorial
View from my office
View down Pennsylvania Ave toward the Capitol Constitution Avenue
Pennsylvania Avenue
Dump trucks waiting to haul snow on Pennsylvania Ave

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Lovin' the Snow!

The official snow totals reported at Reagan National Airport: the top 10 snowstorms:

1. 28.0", Jan 27-28, 1922
2. 20.5", Feb 11-13, 1899
3. 18.7", Feb 18-19, 1979
4. 17.8" Feb 5-6, 2010 (Snowmageddon)
5. 17.1", Jan 6-8, 1996
6. 16.7", Feb 15-18, 2003
7. 16.6", Feb 11-12, 1983
8. 16.4", Dec 19-20, 2009 (Snowpocalypse)
9. 14.4", Feb 15-16, 1958
10. 14.4", Feb 7, 1936

Here are the snow totals at the airports for the storm, with their seasonal snowfall totals:

DCA: 17.8"/45.1"
BWI: 24.8"/60.4"
IAD: 32.4"/63.5"

Two storms in one season in the top ten, that's pretty impressive. Also, National Airport is almost always on the low-end for snow reports in our area. In both of this year's storms, the totals were closer to 24 inches where we live.

Digging out the fire truck that got stuck right in front of our house.
Minimal melting so far.Walk in the neighborhood.
Sunny with more snow on Tuesday.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Snow has ended: 23 inches (View out the front door)
Front of the House: 22.5 inches Shoveling #4: 22.5 inches Shoveling #4: 22.5 inches
Backyard at 22.5 inches:

Backyard at 22 inches:Backyard at 19.5 inches: 19 inches: Backyard at 7 inches:


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Point Of Know Return

I love this commercial

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Season of Transformation

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. However, every year, I let the busyness of the season overtake my time to reflect. This year, I'm determined to take more time to reflect on Advent.

Our church has provided some great resources for reflecting during this time. There is a printed guide and also a daily interactive guide that will provide a unique vantage point on weekly themes. As we meditate on the transformations that Christ’s birth brought to our world as well as the transformations that are promised upon Christ’s return, I hope you will have the opportunity to reflect on the season too.

By Rev. Scott Seaton on Emmanuel's blog:
Today marks the first Sunday of Advent, a time of preparation for Christ's coming (the Latin word adventus means "to come"). On one level, the Church prepares for Jesus' "Second Coming." His sudden and dramatic return will be a time of sweeping transformation, ushering in the new heavens and the new earth. So it's altogether appropriate that Emmanuel's Advent devotions will center on the theme of transformation. This week, we consider the change from light into darkness. Step into a darkened room, turn on the light switch, and the place is suddenly transformed. How you walk in it, what you see, even how you feel--everything is suddenly and dramatically different.
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!

Serve the LORD with gladness!

Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100