Dear Deer

2b9c6e470b1d367600e0caaba33c3df8My Featured Blogger this week is Cindy Knoke, a former psychotherapist who packed everything up and moved to a rural (think “wild”) location she calls “The Holler.”

Cindy now traipses local and foreign settings, taking spectacular photos of better adapted creatures than many of her former clients, as well as images of breathtaking vistas and charming towns. She regularly posts these online, along with her reveries and thoughtful insights. (There is quite a collection of her work at National Geographic’s Your Shot site, as well.)

I’m hardly the first person to recommend Cindy (she has a BIG following), but I gladly add my voice to the list!

I found Bambi grazing on a lawn in Washington state!

He was surrounded by very watchful adults.

The adults were a bit wary of humans,

but Bambi was pure curiosity!

This adult had a massive yet cleanly healed scar that transversed her right side and formed a y flap crossing over her shoulder. This was a major injury that cut through lots of muscle. I wonder if a good samaritan veterinarian stitched her up?

Cheers to you from the peaceful, and very dear-deer~

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Many creatures possess a remarkable ability to blend in. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.

(Click on any picture to enlarge it or to start slide show)

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The Baron of Second Avenue

the-royal-flying-corps-wilf-hardyGrandpa Frank was fearless. Born in 1902, Frank McLaughlin was of rugged Scotch-Irish stock, descended from the founders of New Hampshire. His genteel French Canadian mother tried to tame him, but never succeeded.

He ran away at fifteen, and with a friend rode the rails to Quebec where his kindly Uncle Pierre took them in. Uncle Pierre was a wealthy, deeply devout Catholic who only allowed himself one indulgence: a wine cellar full of priceless vintages.

So naturally, while Uncle Pierre was away, Frank and friend decided to sample the goods—all of them. Upon returning, Uncle Pierre found them sleeping off their bender on a mountain of bottles. They were spared the guillotine, but were instantly sent packing.

Frank grew restless again. He lied about his age, joined the army, and was shipped off to fight The Great War in France. Almost immediately the sky called to him. Compact and fearless, he was built for the cockpit of a biplane, and quickly became a new kind of warrior: a flying ace.

He returned home in 1919, but soon ran off to join the circus–the flying circus! Performing as a barnstormer in death-defying Roaring 20s airshows, he developed an avid female following. But only one won his heart: a pretty filly from Texas named Johnnie Belle Reed. 

Johnnie Belle had her sights set on Hollywood. So, although Frank considered the movie biz unmanly, he agreed to move with his new bride to Los Angeles.

They bought a house on 2nd Avenue. Frank continued barnstorming for a while, cementing his local hero status and acquiring the nickname of The Baron of Second Avenue. But after several near-fatal crashes, and the birth of two daughters (one of whom was my mother), he quit. (Johnnie never became a movie star, by the way, but she performed on radio shows and in local theatre, and had a decided impact on me.)

Frank’s opinion of Hollywood changed when, on a storm-drenched night in the Sierra Nevadas, his Model A veered off into a flooded ditch. Fearing for his family’s life, he finally flagged down two hunters in a lone truck. Working in the darkness and pouring rain, they managed to hook their winch cable to the flivver and tow it out.

It wasn’t until an hour later, while celebrating over beers at a mountain pub, that Frank realized the two hunters were the legendary character actor Wallace Beery and his buddy Clark Gable–widely considered the greatest film star of all time.

Frank never missed another of their movies, and even consented to perform on the radio shows Johnnie Bell wrote, produced and starred in.

Frank McLaughlin remained a showman to the end. I still remember watching a crowd gather as he ripped the shirt off his muscular, grey-haired chest, and performed gravity-defying gymnastics at a local park…

Just weeks before he died.

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Do Not Be Afraid

Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. He was tempted to give in to despair. (Who wouldn’t be?) But he chose instead to trust the God he knew would never abandon him.

Divine irony: Two decades later his brothers came to Egypt in the midst of famine to throw themselves at the mercy of the great Vizier–only to learn he was the brother they had betrayed! Emotionally shattered and fearing for their lives, they begged him for forgiveness. And Joseph replied:


Joseph looked past the duplicity of humans, and placed his trust in God alone. Do we? Do we forgive those who misunderstand us and attempt to harm us, “being fully persuaded that God is able to do what he has promised”? (Romans 4:21)  Do we trust that no matter what others intend, God intends it for good? Do not be afraid.

“He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

~Deuteronomy 31:8

Posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith | Tagged , , , , , , | 23 Comments

It’s a Selfie World

World’s Oldest Known SelfieOldest Known

First Selfie: “I hope I’m doing this right.”
First selfie - Hope I'm doing this right

Selfies with Friends

…Or Not

American Gothic SelfieAmerican Gothic selfie

Weird Roommate SelfieInscrutable selfie


Squirrelfie Squirrelfie


Unhealthy SelfieUnhealfy

Wealthy Selfie Wealfy

Seriously, dude?Seriously dude

World’s Last Selfie (never posted):These will never be posted

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Jesus Go!

Jesus Go thumbA few years back Pokémon GO became the most popular game app of all time. It still is, actually, although it doesn’t get as much publicity now. The premise of the first game to popularize augmented reality (AR), was simple and addictive: Go! Capture! and Train! 

When my daughters explained the rules, I said, “Wait! Jesus came up with that first!” In Matthew 28:19, 20, he tells his followers to “Go into all the world, tell people the good news (capture their hearts), and make disciples of them (train them to pass it on).” Why? Because apart from knowing Him (you gotta know before you can go), it’s the most important thing you’ll ever do!

I liked the idea so much, I wrote a short script* about a teenage girl, her Pokémon-obsessed kid brother, and a man who tells them just what I told my daughters. I also got some friends together and shot a 4 minute movie.** Here it is:

* If you’d like to read or download the script, click here.

** If you’d like to download a copy of the movie, click here.

Posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Movies, Religion/Faith, Videos | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments


I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if I’m wrong I want to come back as a girl named Meagin (me agin).


Posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Mitchellaneous, Quips and Quotes | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments