Half-baked Ideas


(Sort-of-random thoughts on the anniversary of infamy and conspiracy theories and high-powered cold medicine, which doesn’t really go with the previous two subjects but can sure make you see them in a whole new way…)

So many years gone… I was only five at the time.  Still I remember the solemn funeral, the haunting image of the caisson and that black, riderless horse, and Mrs. Kennedy standing behind the veil.  I don’t remember much else of the time, except for the fact that we had a black-and-white TV with three channels available, and when the president was on TV, we could forget watching Captain Kangaroo or Tom and Jerry because he would be on all three channels at the same time.

Wow… how did I ever survive a childhood without Sesame Street, the Cartoon Network, or Nick Jr.?  The “Disney Channel” of course!  Which came on for an hour every Sunday night at 6:00 on NBC.

Okay, so – in case you missed it – I wanted to let you know that there are people who still believe that no single shooter could have ended the days of Camelot.  [click to continue…]


Fischer 6 months

(Sort-of-random thoughts at the end of a very long day in a very crazy week… and I DO mean crazy)

Even though I know all the reasons it’s supposed to be a bad idea, a bowl of cereal at 11:30 at night is probably the closest thing we have today to manna.

It’s been so long since I’ve heard my mother or grandmothers’ voices, yet lately for some reason I’ve found myself hearing them in my heart at random times.  In fact, so random and fleeting it hardly ever becomes a point a conversation.  But is it odd to wonder if their love for me is still somehow living, even though they aren’t?

You never know how you may hear that still, small voice of God.  But if an idea or a person keeps coming and going in your thoughts, pay attention.  That may be a whisper from heaven for you to stand strong in prayer on their behalf, or maybe to sit still and listen to them.

I remember one of the things that swore I’d never do is be a teacher.  Or go back to school after I finished my master’s.  In the words of the GPS system in your car… “Recalculating!”  Be careful what you vow you’ll never do.  That’s why lately I’ve tended to swear off vowing.  Well, except for that one thing… I vow I’ll never make a whole buncha money!  Never, never I say!

We used to play this game with the kids at restaurants, especially at a cafeteria or buffet.  [click to continue…]


Mountain BridgeNehemiah discovered a gap between what was and what should be.

What was – local thugs were keeping the holy city of his fathers in ruins as the people there had tried to rebuild it for 40 years.

What should be – a city with a wall around it.

In that discovery, he made a risky decision.  It wasn’t enough to pray or weep over it.  He needed to take action.  So Nehemiah aimed for The Gap.  And 52 days after his arrival in Jerusalem, the wall was completed.

Moses was hiding from his past on the back side of the desert when he discovered a gap between what was and what should be.

What was – the cries of the oppressed Israelites had reached the ears of their God.

What should be – a nation of slaves set free to inherit the land of God’s promise.

In that discovery, he made a risky decision.  It wasn’t enough to stand there and try to argue with a burning bush and the God who was calling him.  He needed to take action.  So Moses aimed for The Gap.  And weeks later, he and a few million of his family members stood at the edge of the Red Sea.

This is the essence of leadership.  [click to continue…]


Man  and his dog reading newspaperIt was one of the early flashes of her wicked-strong sense of humor.  I was taking the twins to school during their sixth grade year.  We passed by the big-chain hotel on South Loop 289 when all of a sudden I heard Carrie bust out laughing from the back.

What was so funny?

The welcome sign at the hotel read, “Welcome Pest Control.”  Obviously it was some kind of meeting of some organization in that industry.  But I’m not sure that’s what you want to trumpet to the rest of the potential guests.

“I’ve heard of roach motels before,” she said, “but they must be desperate.”


Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago.  [click to continue…]

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Student ProfessorI’ve been wanting to do this for a while now, and this seems like a good time as another semester has drawn to a close.  Ever since I’ve been teaching on a college or graduate level, I’ve had the privilege of reading – and learning – from some pretty profound writers.

In this case, I’m not talking about the great books and journal articles I get to lead students through.  I’m referring to the papers and other written assignments that I have to grade.  At my peak earlier in the year, I was grading bout 25 papers a day.

As you may expect, most of the things I read are rather average, and some are, um, well, below average.  But every once in a while, somebody blows me away with their ability to creatively, powerfully express a truth.  Sometimes it’s just a sentence.  Sometimes it’s a paragraph.

Over the years I have collected my favorite student quotations.  So in the tradition of my “Half-Baked Ideas that I’m still thinking about,” I wanted to share seven with you.

Drink these in slowly.  Let them “bake in your oven” for a while.  You’ll be richer for it. Click here and brace for impact!


A Warm Embrace

by Andy Wood on November 25, 2012

in Half-baked Ideas, Life Currency, Love, Photos

Sort-of-random thoughts from going over the river and through those woods for Thanksgiving…

When the weather report is rain-free and the only wind that is blowing is in your face as you’re roaming through the pasture on a hayless hay ride, that’s a sign you’re having a good week.

I wonder what would happen if there was a new global holiday and the whole world got to swing as high as they could on a swing that is big enough to hold lots of different people.  Maybe people would be less on your case and more at your side.  It works for little kids – why not big ones?

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The other day Laura Kate, age 4, decided (again) what she wants to be when she grows up.  She wants “the person who dumps those big piles of dirt.”

The other day I, age 53, decided (again) what I want to be when I grow up.  I want to be the author of a book on leadership.

She’ll think of other things she wants to be when she grows up, and I’ll think of other things I’ll want to be when I grow up.  I guess when either of us quits thinking of who or what we want to be at a point of maturity, it’ll be time to die.


There is only one person who gets to measure love by obedience – that’s Jesus.  All the rest of us have a different standard.

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(Seven More Half-Baked Ideas I’m Still Working On)

If you sing a song and no one seems to hear it, is it still music? (A variation on the tree-in-the-woods question)


It’s not the silence of God that bothers me so much as the times when I know He’s speaking, but only in a whisper.


What you fear is not the thing you dread, but your inability – or God’s unwillingness – to stop or resist it.

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(Sort-of-random thoughts at 30,000 feet with a lot of free time on my hands…)

It takes minutes to make paper fly; to build something capable of carrying you long distances takes months, and a lot of helpful, smart people.  The same is true with your important dreams – and your character.

You were created with the language of Forever in your heart, and nothing else will satisfy.

“I will” spoken with resolve has power, but your resolve will be tested and the limits of your willpower will be exposed.

You were not born with the wisdom and capacity to wait, but wisdom and reward waits for those who learn to.

God created the world for you, not you for the world – but He does hold you accountable for leaving it better than you found it.

A thousand opportunities dance before those whose eyes are open to see them.  Ten thousand chances pass by those too lost in fear or consuming to notice them.

Summers are God’s way of showing that you don’t have to be in a classroom to learn.

I just saw a man express his gratitude by giving up his first class seat to a woman… who happened to be wearing a United States Army uniform.  I wonder how I can say thank-you to somebody today.

I will always respect the one who can wait (there’s that word again) with discipline, but then decisively act with courage.

I’m not so sure that God has a plan for you so much as God has a plan period and invites you to participate joyfully in it… Or bruise yourself on it. [click to continue…]


Grace is not a loan to be repaid with interest.  It is a gift to be received with gratitude.


The greatest benefit of perseverance is not the prize you attain, but the person you become in the process. [click to continue…]