What to Say?
I saw a Facebook post recently re-shared by a friend I admire. You will need to read it all the way through to get the gist of it. Since it was a public post, here’s some of it:
Total Eclipse of the Heart
The Beatles once sang, “Here Comes the Sun.” Coming up Monday, April 8th, many Illinoisans will be saying, “There goes the sun” if we’re allowed clear enough skies to witness another total solar eclipse. An Illinois government website explains that this “total solar eclipse will be visible over 128 miles of Illinois the afternoon of April 8th, 2024.” 
What Makes Easter…Easter?
Churches throughout Illinois are preparing for this upcoming Easter Sunday. Also known in Christendom as Resurrection Day. It is most certainly the most important of Christian celebrations on the calendar. I mean, what could possibly be more significant and impressive than a man crucified in front of witnesses come back to life a few days later?
Wise as Serpents. Harmless as Doves.
Hard to believe is was four years ago when the dreaded COVID-19 virus scare virtually shut down America. You recall those days, right? Limited groups were allowed in stores. Schools were doing remote learning. Restaurants had restricted space or even outdoor-only seating. Family events were cancelled, including big weddings and farewell funeral gatherings. 
Testing For Truth
I often wonder why I torture myself. Each weekday afternoon, I try to stay somewhat literate in what is happening in our world by watching the evening network news. Most every day, I regret it. 
Sweep the Clouds Away
No doubt Elmo had good intentions. The Muppets have filled our homes with plenty of good laughs and good times over the years. The Muppet movies are worth investing the 90 minutes of time to watch the illustrious Kermit the Frog and friends seek a life of fame and fortune. 
Here Come Da Judge!
The seemingly never ending efforts to keep Donald Trump from regaining a return to his temporary residence at the White House got personal in Illiinois this week. The Chicago Tribune alerted us that Cook County Judge Judge Tracie Porter has ruled that the former president should have his name struck from the March 19 Illinois Republican primary ballot.
Leap of Faith
It’s here. Leap Day. A good thing if you need a day to catch up on things. Not as good if it means you have to work an extra day for your paycheck. Why the need for this extra day? So that our calendars can play catch up! For the Earth to orbit the sun, our planet actually takes 365.242190 days. You multiply that excess travel time and it yields up an extra day every four years. Or so we’re told.
Grumpy Old Men
Movie buffs will recognize the title of this article as also being the title of a movie from 1993 starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The two aging retirees were next-door neighbors. Living in Wabasha, Minnesota, the two feuded constantly. While living alone, they seem to find joy in ice fishing, trading insults, and playing practical jokes on each other. 
Worth the Gamble?
It was 1995 and I was hosting an afternoon talk show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A buzz had formed around an announcement that the Pittsburgh mayor had planned to conduct a feasibility study of proposed riverboat gambling on the city's three rivers. This study would generate estimates of how many outsiders would travel to Pittsburgh to gamble.
A Convenient Dodge
Jesus forgave the sinner. He didn’t accommodate the sin. We read about this in John, Chapter 8 — often referred to as the “Woman caught in the act of adultery.” (John 8:2-11) Any of us who have read or heard this story about the adulterous woman should be asking why the Pharisees were not so hot on the idea of dealing with the sin of the adulterous man. And we should clearly see that Jesus is a God of mercy and forgiveness. Does He then excuse adultery? Hardly.
Love Story
February has some interesting distinctives. Back in the olden days (when I was growing up), we celebrated TWO presidential birthdays this month: Abraham Lincoln’s and George Washington’s. Now we celebrate only one—a generic President’s Day for our Monday holiday benefit. 
His Will Be Done
Being the Speaker of the House of Representatives puts you into the credibility circle. This important role, as with any political leader, gives rise to all sorts of questions exceeding the focus of the job at hand. Often, such questions come with an agenda.
Life on the Line
Perhaps you’ve never heard of Allie Phillips. She is one to keep your eye on. Her story may help determine the fate of babies in Tennessee and elsewhere. 
Resolute for Life
The New Year brings the annual tradition of resolutions. In February of last year, the Fisher College of Business reported that “only 9% of Americans that make resolutions complete them"…that 23% of people quit their resolution by the end of the first week, and 43% quit by the end of January. 
Mark Elfstrand, Cultural Affairs Writer
Mark Elfstrand, Cultural Affairs Writer

Mark Elfstrand is a Christian husband, father and grandfather. A 40-year radio veteran, Mark has been a drive time air personality in Sacramento, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Chicago, including WMBI and WYLL. He has also served in various ministry leadership positions. His current endeavors can be found at elfstrandgroup.com.

IFI Featured Video
Stop Doctor-Assisted Suicide in Illinois
Get Our New App!