64 to 32 to 16

March -- that time of year when the seasons begin their dance from winter to spring. Great time. Love to watch the changes in nature

But there's another "dance" that catches my attention during this time of year.  It's a madness -- March Madness.

It's the NCAA Basketball Tournament -- and it's my favorite sports event. After the regional tournaments have been completed, the NCAA takes those results and calculates who will attend "the Big Dance".  And then it gets wild.  People pick the teams they think will win at each level of the tournament. In four days, the first two rounds are played and the field of 64 teams is reduced to 32, and then those 32 are reduced to 16 teams.

My niece got me started, then we encouraged my sister to get involved. We each have our favorites. Mine is Villanova. My sister is a great fan of University of North Carolina (UNC). The only thing I know about my niece is that she HATES Duke. Vehemently.

So it's down to "the Sweet Sixteen". Next weekend, the 16 will become "the Final Four". The following weekend two games will determine the two teams to play in the Final Game.

It's simply madness! I love watching it - and I get mad sometimes when the team I may have picked get's beaten by the team I didn't pick. But, man, is it fun!


rebels farewell

RebelsFour years of great animated entertainment. Like saying "goodbye" to a friend, it's hard to accept when so many memories are part of the relationship without any possibility of having any future opportunities.

Following the completion of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Disney produced a second spinoff series focused on and featuring the world of Star Wars. The story featured the adventures of orphan Ezra Bridger who encounters a group of rebels trying to live with and frustrate the efforts of the Galactic Empire in and around his home planet of Lothal.

His acceptance into this "family" brings to him an awareness of the Force, developing powers through the Force (through his Jedi master, Kanan Jarrus) and his growing participation in the rebellion and ultimately the defeat of their presence on and their enslavement of his home.

Like The Clone Wars series, Rebels provides the viewer with a deepening of knowledge into the Star Wars story line through the characters created for the story. Their presence in the world of Star Wars allows the characters to interact with well-known characters of the stories such as Darth Maul, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Asokah Tano, Darth Vader and others. It made them "believable" - and allowed the viewer to recall facets of well-known characters from a different perspective.

Why is this such a big deal?  Well, episodic stories which are rich in characters and events that are woven together adds to the depth of the story.  And people like to feel a part of things by means of knowing; the more one knows the richer the experience.

I hope Disney will bring new animated adventures with new characters and quality stories. Ezra and his world will be missed. One good thing is that I can always slide a DVD into the player and watch the entire series over again.

keep looking


Observation - one of the three important steps in Bible study. It's one that many people neglect, but if one is to understand, one must first see completely before understanding. I have written about my experiences with Dr. Howard Hendricks and his course on Bible Study methods, but I'm finding that observation is a skill that can be constantly improved. I remember a story that Prof. Hendricks once shared with the class about the experience of a student charged with observing a fish to improve his powers of observation. Here's a video version of that story:

the death of a character

It's never easy when a character is killed in the course of a story. (WARNING: Possible spoilers...)

Sherlock Holmes tumbling off Reichenbach Falls. Hedwig falls after a killing curse intended for Harry strikes her. Cooper, the main character's canine companion is struck by a car. Obi Wan falls to his death with the sweep of Darth Vader's light saber in full view of Luke Skywalker.

They are never easy. Authors of fiction explain them as necessary for the development of their story. Non-fiction authors explain them as part of life.

And if they aren't expected, they can be devastating. I remember reading a book as a teenager when I turned the page and a beloved character is struck by a car and killed. I threw the book down, tears ran down my cheeks, and it was several days before I could pick the book back up and complete the story.

One of my favorite TV programs has killed off one of their main characters. I sat there stunned; I couldn't believe what had just happened.

I remember when I was writing Benjamin Sunday and the Warrior's Companion that I toyed with the idea of killing one of my characters. Thankfully, a good friend told me not to do it. Indeed there are deaths in the book, but this character was central to the plot of the book. It was good wisdom, and I'm glad I heeded his encouragement.

But now that I'm writing the second Benjamin Sunday adventure, I am once again faced with the death of a character - and this time it must be done -- and I'm finding it hard to write. Even though it's just words on a page, writing them into existence is special, and they become not just a part of the story; they are members of my literary family. Even if they are only part of my imagination, a writer has to know the character to write about the character.


WorshipWorship should be the desire of every believer's heart and the duty of every believer's mind. I've long thought of the importance of worship - how it is not something we switch on and switch off on one day a week, but how it is something that should be as natural and as responsive as breathing or eating.

And it is a response, as this quote says. It is not just an occasion or an event that one attends. It is what we do when the Spirit impresses upon our spirit the beauty, the wonder, and the richness of the person of God and the reminders of what we have and who we are which are the result of God's love and care.

Thoughts of His strength and His might - worship.

Thoughts of His concern and His willingness to guide us - worship.

Thoughts of His majesty in the beauty of a sunrise, or the tapestry of His making as the sun sets - worship.

Every sigh we make, every tear that falls, every song that is sung in response to His presence in our lives - worship.

Oh heavenly Father - may your people love You and live for you in an attitude of worship. An attitude that is a natural response and a desired response with every breath we take, every thought we have, every act we perform. As your Word proclaims: "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)

imagination is the limit

Lego turns 60 today! (The patent for the little plastic brick was granted on January 28, 1958.)  It has become my favorite toy. I think we got Lego bricks as a toy at one time and added to the brick collection from time to time. During the years of school and work, the toy didn't get much attention from me. But with visits to Disney World, and seeing their presence at Downtown Disney, my love for the sets of bricks has grown. Happy Birthday, Lego! Thanks for reminding me that life can - and should - be playful.


no regrets


I remember learning many years ago that every day has a lesson. It's part of the beauty of being a life-long learner; you always find there is something new to learn about myself or the world around me - IF I take the time to consider, to reflect, to ponder. It's not that hard. Keeping a journal helps. Write it down. If it is part of living, it can be part of a journal.

too busy...

I recently read this very interesting and entertaining article by Jason Zook -- about being too busy. He's very convicting, but in a good way.


I’ve never heard of a highly creative or successful person being too busy.

Let me rephrase that: I’ve never heard of a highly creative or successful person that I respect being too busy. The most creative people of our time are doing more things in a day than most people do in a week (or even month). But you know what you rarely hear a highly creative or successful person say? “I’m too busy.”

Continue reading "too busy..." »

TBT - Year in Review

TBTIt was quite a year.

One job ended...another began.

I'm closing in on 5000 posts on Pilgrim Progressional.

My niece married in early June. I was honored to officiate, and blessed to be able to attend.

Some of the year's happenings are chronicled here on my blog, which is now over 10 years old. The rest is written in my private journal which I'm thinking I need to gather into one place.

One of my most memorable moments this year? The publishing of my first novel. I still am so excited and proud about the completion of this goal.

FirstnovelCreatespace - the website which was used to self-publish my novel - shows that there have only been 17 copies of the book sold. I laugh when I see it, knowing I purchased 10 of those copies and then gave them away to family and friends.

But it never changes the fact that I finished it and that it can be purchased through Amazon.

I have three additional titles in the Benjamin Sunday series. I'm hoping that in 2018 I can complete the second novel - tentatively title Benjamin Sunday and the Mayan's Viking - and publish it towards the end of the year.

I learn by doing - and I'm determined to keep learning through the new year.



FbI got posted online!  NOTE: This is a follow-up to my blog post of December 9, 2017.

While scrolling my Facebook timeline, an article link caught my eye from one of the groups I follow. It was an article about single women and how they could enjoy the Christmas holiday. It was a good article with some great suggestions, but the nagging question I had after reading it was, "What about single men?"

Continue reading "posted!" »

single at Christmas

Man2A Facebook group I follow had an article about the stresses and troubles single women face during the holidays. It was a good article, but after reading it, I was thinking, "OK, but what about single men?"

So I wrote an article and submitted it to the group's editor. No idea when it'll appear on their website, but I'll put it on mine...

Continue reading "single at Christmas" »