Archive for September, 2011

Who was Anwar al-Awlaki?

Posted by    |    September 30th, 2011 at 6:24 am

Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric linked to al Qaeda's Yemen-based wing, gives a religious lecture in an unknown location in this still image taken from video released by Intelwire.com on September 30, 2011. Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed, Yemen's Defence Ministry said on Friday. A Yemeni security official said Awlaki, who is of Yemeni descent, was hit in a Friday morning air raid in the northern al-Jawf province that borders oil giant Saudi Arabia. REUTERS/Intelwire.comAmericans are safer than we were yesterday.  According to this morning’s New York Times, Anwar al-Awlaki was just killed.  While this news won’t receive the same media attention as the death of Osama bin Laden, it is just as significant for our nation.  Why?

Mr. Awlaki was born on April 22, 1971, in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  His family moved to Yemen when he was seven years old, but he returned to the States in 1991 to attend Colorado State University.  He completed a master’s degree in educational leadership at San Diego State University and did course work for a Ph.D. at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

11 Things You’ll Find at the Morgan House…

Posted by    |    September 30th, 2011 at 5:40 am

Ericka Moore Photography

  1. You’ll find two outside cats that are meow-challenged. Yes, neither cat knows how to meow.  The male cat only makes squeaking sounds like a chipmunk or squirrel when he wants something to eat. The only noise I’ve ever heard our female cat make was screeching sounds when I stepped on her once.
  2. You’ll find a family that’s probably not much different than yours. We love each other, yet we can still get on one another’s nerves at times.
  3. You’ll find that we eat bread with nearly every meal.
  4. You’ll find that everyone carries a tube of ChapStick. I’m not sure if we were just all cursed with dry lips, but we are all addicted to the stuff.
  5. You’ll find a cup of coffee, a glass of milk, water and a pitcher of sweet tea if you’re thirsty. But if it’s a soft-drink you want, you’ll be out of luck.
  6. You’ll find 4 fun boys who are all very unique and different, yet they are still amazingly alike.
  7. You’ll find that Lea and I are amazingly different in every way, but with hard work and patience we’ve learned to be very compatible.
  8. You’ll find that there’s often an extra kid or two hanging out at our house … and we like it that way.
  9. You’ll find that we eat supper together as a family. At those meals, we don’t start until everyone’s at the table, we always pray before we eat and no one is allowed to mess with cell phones during the meal.
  10. You’ll find a VERY old dog named Cocoa who’s breath will kill most living things.
  11. You’ll find a man who is still madly in love with the girl of his dreams. And his goal is the same thing every morning when he wakes … work just as hard to keep her as he did to win her.

I’d love to know …. so tell me a little about your family. What’s it like?

22 Years Ago Today…

Posted by    |    September 29th, 2011 at 5:40 am

22 years ago today, God blessed Lea and I with our first born son. That day we named that good-looking kid … Taylor Ross Morgan.

Happy 22nd Birthday, Taylor! We are very proud of you.

One of the many crazy faces of Taylor.

After a day of work in Honduras (more…)

The Big Man Upstairs

Posted by    |    September 28th, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Photo courtesy of images2.fanpop.com

He has different personalities, different names, and different faces, but he is the same person: God. He is known as the creator, the one who threw the earth into existence, but why do people have strained relationship with him? Why do they think he will smite them whenever they do something bad?

I’ve always thought that God is kind of a grandfather type character; someone elderly with a long beard that cares for you unconditionally. While He is disappointed when one does bad things, He knows that you are not perfect and that is why He loves us. As it says in John 3:16, “for God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believed in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Other books of worship like the Tanakh and the Quran also talk about God’s love for His people.

I believe that people should investigate their relationship with God and try to strengthen it. He created us because He loves us and we should give some of that love back. People also shouldn’t be scared about talking to God. He’s there to listen and help you as best as He can.

Photo courtesy of images2.fanpop.com

Will there be pumpkins for Halloween?

Posted by    |    September 28th, 2011 at 6:45 am

friendly halloween pumpkin (Credit:  Anders Lageras via en.wikipedia.org)Run, don’t walk, to your nearest pumpkin store.  Wet weather on the East Coast has flooded farmland normally used to raise pumpkins.  As a result, we’re seeing a rush on pumpkin crisis warnings this morning.  According to Google, these stories have generated about 427,000 hits.

Fortunately for pumpkin pie devotees (myself among them), it turns out all the hubbub was just that.  Other states have picked up the slack and Halloween can continue as normal (if our strangest holiday can be called that).

Continuing this day’s appearances-can-be-deceiving theme, I had a strange encounter with Abraham Lincoln yesterday.  I’m in Kentucky this morning, where I’m speaking at Campbellsville University.  This is a gloriously beautiful part of a beautiful state, and the school’s red-brick campus looks like a Norman Rockwell painting.  The faculty and staff have been as gracious as their setting is picturesque.  For a guy who grew up in Houston, where our only hills are freeway overpasses, this scenery is amazing.

To Forgive

Posted by    |    September 26th, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Photo courtesy of elev8.com

It’s something we’re taught when we’re little. It’s a response to someone who has intentionally or unintentionally hurt you and asked to be forgiven. It usually is a response to a sibling who has done something like steal a toy or punch you.

“Anna, J.L. just said he was sorry. What do you say?”

“I forgive you.”

“Now give him a hug.”

We also learn it in church because forgiving someone is the Christian thing to do. The Bible is full of times when Jesus and God forgave people, and the bad things that happened to people who didn’t forgive others. “Forgive Thy Enemy” and “Lord forgive them, they know now what they do,” also come to mind when I think of church and forgiveness. (more…)

How to climb a wall of fear

Posted by    |    September 26th, 2011 at 6:15 am

child climbing green rock wall (Credit: Joanna Zielinska via Fotolia)We’re all watching the markets this morning after a tumultuous weekend of economic news.  Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that finance officials in Europe have tried to finalize another bailout, but public opposition from Germany and other strong economies threatens their plan.

According to this morning’s Financial Post, the global economic slowdown threatens Canada’s export-driven economyCritics in Great Britain are escalating their pressure on government leaders to make strategic changes.  A growing number of economists are worried about a default in GreeceSome hoped China would buy debt from troubled economies in Greece and Italy, but Chinese officials made it clear over the weekend that they would not risk their growth rate, currently at 9% a year.

Where to find hope when markets tumble

Posted by    |    September 25th, 2011 at 5:40 am

stock market bar line chart against world map (Credit: Jut via Fotolia.com)“Markets rely on confidence and certainty.  Right now there is neither.”  So commented one economist on yesterday’s market slide.  As you know, the Dow Jones closed down 391 points Thursday.  According to this morning’s Wall Street Journal, all blue-chip stocks finished in the red.

The market decline followed news that young adults are suffering from the highest unemployment rate since World War II.  Forty-five percent are without jobs; nearly one in five live in poverty.  Among teenagers, unemployment is more than 70 percent.  As a result, young adults are 25% more likely to live with their parents than before the recession.  Only 44.2 percent of adults ages 25-34 are getting married, another record low.

Is there hope in all of this?  Absolutely. (more…)

How Well Do You Know Your Spouse’s Needs?

Posted by    |    September 25th, 2011 at 5:40 am

There are 2 things that Lea and I repeat over and over in the Strong Marriage workshops that we do …

  • Be proactive in growing your marriage. (Don’t put your marriage on cruise control.)
  • Strive to meet your spouse’s needs.

I think every couple will agree that we need to meet our spouses needs, but when is the last time you actually asked your spouse, “What are your top needs?”

If you don’t have a clue what your spouse’s needs are, then you’re already behind the 8-ball. You’ve got to ask, instead of trying to guess.  And then when you find out, be proactive in trying to meet those needs. When you do, in return, they will want to meet your needs. Lea and I ask one another on a regular basis, “What are your needs,” because they sometimes change, then we simply try to out do one another at meeting the other person’s needs. (more…)

10 Years Ago Today …

Posted by    |    September 23rd, 2011 at 5:40 am

10 years ago today, God blessed Lea and I with a sweet, kind, tender-hearted little boy. That day I got the honor of giving him his name … Cooper James Morgan.

Happy 10th Birthday, Cooper!

Carving a Pumpkin

Fishing in the mountains. (more…)