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We hear discussions about mass shootings in schools and public places and our hearts break. We pray, cringing as we hope that our community will be spared. With thoughts of Easter, our hearts long for hope. What we really need in today’s world is people able to influence whole communities for the better. more
Let’s face it long-range planning is a lot like dieting: it’s something we’ll start tomorrow. I love facilitating other people’s long range planning, but put off my own. Here we are in March and I am still trying to plan the rest of this year’s topics for Fireside Talk Radio. Groan. more
Right after I became a Christian in the early 80s, I attended a conference for college students in Dallas. In the days before cell phones, pay phones adorned a long wall in the lobby of this fancy conference hotel, like a row of slot machines. During a break in the seminars, I grabbed a roll of dimes and called every friend I had in Dallas, inviting them to join me. Josh McDowell was a popular key note speaker and there was buzz about his talk that evening. “This is Cathy Primer. I’m in Dallas for a conference. more
Do you ever wish you’d done it differently? My favorite advice to receive is tender wisdom folks learn the hard way. Today, I share something specific I learned as my mom lay in the hospital for the last time. I didn’t know we were saying goodby. We thought she’d go on to rehab as we had done so often in the past. Six weeks of no driving for her; six weeks of carpooling for me. No problem. more
If you’ve ever wondered what you could do to help put an end to ongoing self-segregation, just ask Stanley Cofer. With a dynamic family to back him up, Stanley isn’t letting man-made lines divide his relationships. “I’m not pro-black, I’m not pro-white. I’m just pro-human,” he laughs. So, what does he say to folks who are uncomfortable with his willingness to talk about race issues in a way that spreads unity and grace? What about when white folks distrust his motives? What about when black folks label him as an Uncle Tom? more
Soon we will celebrate Texas’ Independence Day. Set on the anniversary of the signing of Texas’ Declaration of Independence from Mexico, it is a reminder of our state’s rich history. After the declaration of independence was signed, Texas operated as a stand-alone Republic for 10 years, before joining the United States. While Texans are proud Americans, we hold on to much of the individual spirit from our time as a separate nation. The bravery and courage of our Texas’ founders continues to inspire our state today through their legacy of freedom, self-reliance and ingenuity. more
People who meet Sandy Bristow recognize immediately that she is all about other people. Strong to her core, she has a long history of helping others. A trained minister, she’s made her home a safe-haven for those who seek her out. She called me a few months ago with a story to tell. She’d heard about the work we are doing on Fireside Talk Radio to give folks tools to talk about difficult topics. In Sandy’s case she wanted other women to know the nature of sexual assault. We both want to put a dent in the devil’s aggressive, hostile attacks of violence toward women and men. more
Imagine working in Chicago’s infamous Cook County juvie jail. Now try to imagine the bitterness you encounter every day on both sides of the bars. Could a young white male make a difference? Some folks might even label Ben Sciacca as too idealistic for his own good. Certainly change happened; mostly in him, he says now with a chuckle. more
The worst holiday of the year is closing in on us. Yes, Valentine’s Day. When men everywhere panic. Wives feel pressure to be positive about almost any thoughtful gesture. Single women mourn their lack of love. What’s not to love? more
A professional woman with a solid reputation and strong morals in her forties doesn’t get roofied, right? Especially not at a professional meet-and-greet the night before she is scheduled to address a large conference of her engineering peers. By a colleague she worked with for years? And yet, my friend Mary Ottman is not alone. Other professional women have whispered privately of awaking in terrifying circumstances, amidst confusion and horror, unable to speak or defend themselves. more
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