To my son on his birthday…

Xander turns 1

Dear Xander,

It was on a breezy and mild East Texas morning a year ago today that you came leaping into the world.

Today is your first birthday.

Continue reading “To my son on his birthday…”

Local musical luminary Dr. Isidor Saslav passes away

Dr. Isidor SaslavLongtime resident of Rusk County and noted symphony concertmaster, concert violinist, musicologist and Haydn scholar, Dr. Isidor Saslav died at East Texas Medical Center Tyler on Jan. 26.

Born in Jerusalem, Palestine, in 1938, Saslav came to the U.S. as a child, where he studied violin under Detroit Symphony concertmaster Mischa Misha koff, and became one of the youngest members of the Detroit Symphony at age 17.

Saslav graduated from Wayne State University and received a doctorate in Music from Indiana University.

During his long and distinguished career, Saslav served as the concertmaster of numerous orchestras including the Buffalo Philharmonic, Minnesota Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, the Dallas Opera, Kennedy Center Opera, the Baltimore Opera and Indiana University Opera orchestras.

In Texas, he retired in 2003 as the longtime concertmaster of the Longview Symphony Orchestra under conductor Tõnu Kalam and also served as concertmaster of the Beaumont Symphony Orchestra.

Continue reading “Local musical luminary Dr. Isidor Saslav passes away”

Area residents favor guns in schools

As area school districts undertake safety procedure revisions and examine new security protocols, many residents say stronger measures are warranted.

“These kind of things occur where it’s never expected,” said Janice Barker, who has three school-aged children. “No one expected it to happen to a small town in Connecticut, and I don’t think anyone expects it to happen around here […] but you never know.”

Henderson Independent School District trustees voted to increase the number of armed officers patrolling the halls of local campuses, and other districts have made similar gestures.

Off duty police were on campus Tuesday at Northside Intermediate School and Wylie Elementary and Primary, doubling the number of armed officers patrolling Henderson Independent School District campuses.

A uniformed, off-duty officer is at Northside full-time where fourth- and fifth-grade students attend class. Another officer is on full-time duty at the Wylie campuses where pre-K through third-graders attend.

Continue reading “Area residents favor guns in schools”

While you’re making other plans…

Get Busy Living

So, yeah, I confess… I’m something of a control freak. To give my attitude the best spin, I could say it’s because I’m “disciplined” and like to map out my time.

But that’s not the reality.

Truth is, I like to be in control because it makes me feel powerful and secure. The heart issue is that I’m looking for security in something other than God. So, it’s idolatry, not discipline.

If you like to be in control of your circumstances, then you know what interruptions are like. They’re frustrating. They get in the way of your plan. They need to be avoided or discarded or dealt with as soon as possible so you can get back to being in control, right?


Continue reading “While you’re making other plans…”

Chickens of “tolerance” come home to roost

Louie Giglio

Up until a few days ago, I (like many Americans) had little idea who Louie Giglio was, other than being one of the ministers invited to participate at the President’s inauguration ceremony.

After a firestorm of controversy, his name is now bouncing across the airwaves and filling editorial columns. It is being bandied about by activists on either side of the ongoing debate about homosexual politics.

Correctly identified as a “conservative evangelical pastor” the invitation of Giglio was seen as an inclusive gesture on the part of the Obama administration. The president said Giglio’s work to fight modern-day slavery and human trafficking reflect “the ideals that the Vice President and I continue to pursue for all Americans – justice, equality and opportunity.”

Well, it seems something has changed.

Continue reading “Chickens of “tolerance” come home to roost”