The power of music

Have you ever wanted to break down and cry when listening to a particular song? Maybe it’s the inspiring message, or the moving performance, or the sheer beauty of the piece.

Well, don’t get me started or I could on on all day naming song after song…but take for example just one song: the classic “Ooh, Child” by the Five Stairsteps. “Things are gonna get easier” yeah, that’s something we’re all praying for.

Try this. Go to youtube and listen to the original song by the Five Stairsteps, and then hear a fantastic cover by Donnie McClurkin & Kirk Franklin.

I am not going to admit to being a crybaby. But I will say this, when I hear those two songs, my vision gets blurry and I have to blink a lot.



Can anyone recommend a reliable cloning service?

I get frustrated because (a) life is so crazy it’s often hard to find time to read, and (b) when I do have time to read, I am a very slow reader. I find myself analyzing phrases and paragraph structure,etc. and so I read at a snail’s pace. But I love to read, and I love discovering new books and new writers.

So, could anyone recommend a reliable cloning service? I will have my clone do all the tasks and chores of daily life, and then I will spend my time reading…

A must-read for Fitzgerald fans

I have been a Fitzgerald fan for several years.I would recommend Professor Bruccoli’s book to anyone who wants an in depth understanding of Fitzgerald. Some might dismiss the book on the basis that Bruccoli is an unabashed fan. But I would say so what if he’s a fan–he’s got some great insight in Fitzgerald’s psyche. And even though he’s a fan, he doesn’t (in my opinion) observe Fitzgerald with rose colored glasses.Fitzgerald was so complex. He could be brutal in his personal relationships, he struggled with demons (mainly alcohol) for most of his life, and yet his writing displays such a high degree of sensitivity. Some passages of his prose have a quality of delicacy and fragility.Here’s one of my favorite descriptive passages from Gatsby:

And so it happened that on a warm windy evening I
drove over to East Egg to see two old friends whom I scarcely
knew at all. Their house was even more elaborate than I
expected, a cheerful red and white Georgian Colonial mansion
overlooking the bay. The lawn started at the beach and
ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping
over sun-dials and brick walks and burning gardens—finally
when it reached the house drifting up the side in bright
vines as though from the momentum of its run.

What a dynamic description of mere lawn!

A Splash of Kindness


A Splash of Kindness
The Ripple Effect of Compassion, Courage, and Character
John Starley Allen

The things we do—even the little things we do, things as little as this pebble—create ripples kind of like the ones you see right now.  Consequences, I suppose, is the grown-up word for it.

Discover how the little things you do make a big difference. Filled with inspiring true stories of positive change, this uplifting book shows how small acts of goodness have a ripple effect and eventually change the world.

Product Details
Title: A Splash of Kindness: The Ripple Effect of Compassion, Courage, and Character
Author: John Starley Allen
Paperback: 304, 6×9 in
ISBN: 978-1-4621-1633-1
Price: $19.99

“A wonderful set of stories that will cause you to examine the ripples you have caused.”
—Richard M. Siddoway, New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Wish and The Cottage Park Puzzle

“It’s reassuring to be reminded of how simple expressions of character can influence lives for generations.”
—Caralyn and Mark Buehner, New York Times bestselling creators of Fanny’s Dream and the Snowmen series

Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices


Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices
A Holiday Novel of Hope and Healing
John Allen

“It was a perfect life. And it was hard for Eric Sanders to imagine how things could be any better.” So begins the novel Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices.

Eric seems to have resolved all of life’s major issues, but in an instant, his world falls apart. While wrapping Christmas gifts for his wife and children, a policeman knocks on the door to tell him that his family was killed in a car accident. Consumed with grief, he knows it will take a Christmas miracle to ever find peace again, let alone enjoy the holidays. His world is in ruins.

Amazingly, Eric finds that peace through the giving of the special presents he so lovingly created for his family, and from that simple gesture learns that giving to others with joy and love has a ripple effect. He discovers the true meaning of Christmas and, in the echo of the Christmas bells, realizes that death is not an ending but a transition. Love can never be extinguished.

Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices is a heartfelt look at love and the fragility of life. This tiny treasure of a book will inspire readers to take pleasure in the wonders of everyday life and cherish each special moment – and it is sure to be this season’s most talked-about holiday novel.

Purchase on Amazon

“Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices has messages of love and wisdom to make your heart sing with the recognition of the miracle of life.”
—Mark Victor Hansen, coauthor, Chicken Soup for the Soul series

“Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices is a beautiful illustration of why it makes a positive difference to choose to do good and reach out, even in the face of heart-numbing challenges. I know; I’ve been there.”
—Hyrum Smith, Founder/CEO, Franklin Covey, and best-selling author, What Matters Most

This song plays a pivotal role in the story of Christmas gifts, Christmas Voices.