Connections in 08…Whoa, Mexico…The Most Pathetic Story Ever….more on Dan….and more prayer needed.

Within the week, we should be announcing a whole slew of Connections Band shows for the first half of 2008. Rusty and I have been meeting, our clergy core group has been meeting, we’ve been polling the whole band, and talking with potential venues. I can tell you that the plans include the Chicago/Eagles show several times, along with the JT/Carole King show. The wildcard has been trying to fit in a Fogelberg Tribute show…but it looks like we’ve got that worked too…just may be later into the Spring than those of you reading might hope.

Soon, we should also have a new band website, and lots more info Keep a close eye out…

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Speaking of band websites, did you catch the little changes I’ve made here? Over the Christmas break, I went a little insane with the scanner. And I’ve really found out how to mess around with Photoshop Elements.

That combination leads to new pics on almost every page of ericfolkerth.com. (If you can’t see them, refresh your browser…)

Hope you like it.

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Wow, has it been a rough week for Tony Romo. The first playoff game is tomorrow, but all anyone can talk about this week is his trip to Mexico with Jessica Simpson.

Personally? I think it was a stupidly timed trip. And I wonder if he just doesn’t “get” how much the leering press follows her around. It was probably poor judgment.

But I do have a question: If Jason Witten drops a key pass tomorrow, are we going to blame it on his being along for the trip too? (Doubtful…)

Well, the playoffs make me think of the blog I wrote about a year ago. Might be a good time to revisit it again.

As for the game?

There’s a part of me that thinks that if they can’t win this one, then we’re gonna start calling Romo the Dirk of the Dallas Cowboys. Actually, after the season they’ve had, I’m sure that comparison will be drawn.

But, to me, Romo’s really not the real key. TO is.

If Owens is really as iffy as he looks this week…look out.

If he’s fine –if the Cowboys are just hiding him to hold their cards close (wouldn’t be the first time…)– I’ll go with Dallas; and might even argue they’ll win big.

So, it all hinges on TO, and not only his own play, but how his presence changes the whole strategy of an opposing defense…opening up all sorts of options for his teammates.

If the Giants don’t have to worry about him?

It could get ugly.

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I think this is probably one of the most pathetic stories I’ve ever heard.

The mother later apologized and Club Libby Lu withdrew the prize. But what a pathetic thing!

And what about that poor kid? She’s on TV for the big announcement…she gets a couple of days to believe that she’s going to the greatest show of all-time. (Work with me here…I’m putting myself in her shoes…)

Then, the tickets are gone, and she’s got to live with the fact that her Mom is to blame. (Or….do you think her Mom’s even told her the truth? Maybe not. But when she finally finds out at age twenty? Ouch…)

I know some are criticizing the company for not “fact-checking” the essays. But who would believe that someone would lie about a fictitious war hero to win concert tickets for their kid?

Pitiful.

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Nice message from Jean Fogelberg, Dan’s wife, on the main website a few weeks back:

Dear friends, I’m so grateful to all of you who wrote to Dan through The Living Legacy website with your stories of how his music touched your lives; with your uplifting words of encouragement; with your declarations of admiration and friendship.

Dan was a strong and private man, but even the mountain must tremble, and during the toughest times he gained solace and comfort from reading your letters and learning that his music had been a source of light in your lives.

Greatest of all though, was the feeling you gave him that his time here had served a purpose.

I hope you will find some peace in knowing that the joy and comfort you found in his music winged it’s way back to him through your words, prayers, and good wishes.

Thank you,
Jean Fogelberg

“There is no darkness in this place that we’re bound
Love is the only thing that matters” ~ DF

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Speaking of Dan, the true story of one of his most famous songs, “Same Old Lange Syne,” has recently come to light. The woman in song has come forward to tell her tale. Her name is Jill Greulich, and a Peoria reporter tracked her down and got her to open up.

Some question the timing of this, implying that she’s trying to take advantage of Dan’s death by coming forth now. But from what I can tell, the basic facts were always common knowledge in Dan’s hometown. And, the guy who broke the story is a local reporter who’s written several items on Dan in the past months.

It’s nicely written. Read it here.

To me? It makes the song even more poignant than it was before.

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Man are the P1s having a cow about the departure of Greg Williams from the Ticket. As Unfair Park reports, he has technically “resigned,” although I don’t think anybody’s really buying it. Here’s their blog about it.

My sense is that none of us will ever know what really happened behind the scenes. Nor should we. Drug addiction is a terrible thing, and it is public knowledge that this latest episode was a relapse of some sort.

Drug addiction puts tremendous pressure on co-workers, friends, family. Sometimes, “tough love”is thing to do is to help the person understand just how far they’ve fallen. Maybe Greg needed that. Or, maybe he did get sober, and there was just too much water under the bridge to go back to the way things were. We’ll never really know.

Or, let me put it this way: I hope we never know. It’s really none of my business. Or your’s.

Whatever this situation, I hope and pray he’s on the road to recovery. And I hope and pray all those still on the air can continue forward best they can.

When you’re talking about drug addiction, I have a lot of sympathy for everyone, can’t blame anyone for their feelings, and just hope everybody finds the way to get the personal healing they need.

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One final update on this. Connor’s Army did finally reach their goal of $10,000 raised for cancer research in 2007. Congratulations to my friend, Gene.

I am very proud of him.

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But speaking of cancer…

It’s such an up-and-down fight sometimes…steps backwards and steps forwards….

Kathleen Baskin-Ball has announced that she is back in chemo because her cancer has returned. Her husband Bill, also a very good friend, is posting updates at her MySpace page.

I am terribly sad to hear this, and am in prayer for her constantly. I hope you will be too.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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