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Showing posts from September, 2009

God told me it's ok

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Cloudy and dark skies, wonderfully crisp and cool days, windy – now that’s what I call napping weather. Sitting in my office, day dreaming out the window, thinking that it’s a good day to take a break. Funny how we physically and psychologically respond to weather, often in a subconscious manner. I suppose its all part of life’s rhythm. Isn’t it interesting that after God created the earth, all living creatures, and man, that he sat back, “saw all that He had made, and it was very good (Genesis 1:31).” God didn’t say, “Well, I guess it will do”, or, “wow, messed that one up”, or even, “not my best work, but hey, close enough”. No, He stepped back, admired His own great creation, and reflected on its very goodness. And in that creation was man and woman, in His image. A completely self sufficient creation by a completely powerful God. And to this day, nothing avoids His observation. He continues to know us and love us, as we continue to both please and disappoint the Father. And all

Anybody Got Any Change?

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When reflecting on growth, Goethe stated, "Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do." As I reflect on his statement, I realize that change in our lives can take place quickly, miraculously, but more often, change is a long process and can require considerable effort on our part. The reality is that change is a process that very rarely is complete or results in perfection. Many of us have relied on our own inner selves and will power to create change in our lives, to free ourselves from bad habits, from destructive addictions, from being self focused on our own lives and not on those who love us, from behaviors that harm ourselves and can destroy those we love. We somehow feel that in our flawed patterns of behaviors and faulty coping skills, we can "control" our way to change, or more accurately, we can "control" others to our way of change. I have discovered in my life, and in the lives of the wise that have walked befor

Who Has Time To Breathe?

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Have you ever begun a week feeling like Monday should be Friday, or wishing it was still Sunday? Reflecting over the past weekend, full of family, late nights, separation, single parenting, endless driving, chores that never seem accomplished, funky weird dysfunction relationships (and those are the people you love), people to call, people to please, lists to complete the lists of things to do, running out of money, bills, stress, tension, emotional thinning (not to mention my hair), and on and on and on. And in my mind, a line in a Bangles song, “It's just another manic Monday”, begins to echo throughout. It’s not like we ask for these days to bless us with their presence, but they come anyway. And when they come, we can so often automatically fall into negative patterns of coping with life. All the while, as we begin to engage in faulty thinking and bad habits, the little voice that yells, “slow down, you can do something else, you don’t have to feel this way, you don’t have to

You Saw What?

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That old saying about opinions surely applies to perceptions. You and I can visually see the same thing and have different perceptions. And this applies to what we hear, experience, and belief. I perceive the cold and beauty of winter as that of a child, with excitement and joy, whereas my friend might experience this as misery and confinement. And then, the cost of heating and the fear of freezing could be a completely different and drastic impression to others. In my opinion, I only know of one absolute. Most everything else is perception. It seems to me that we quickly, and oh so easily, fall into the belief that our perceptions are fact and in many cases, especially for those of us with higher degrees of control needs and rigidity, fail or refuse to see past what we feel. As I listen to people around me, in my interactions, I am aware of how perceptions interfere with the ability to truly hear and understand others. I heard a person once state, “They’re my feelings and so their

Making a Choice

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I have come to a point in my life that when all things are considered, I tend to be a person who enjoys life. How can you not find joy and peace and meaning in the sights that fill your eyes, the noises of energy, the emotions and sensations of experience, from the Great Creator. What a waste of time to allow minutes, hours, and even days, of our lives fall to wayside in a lost and meaningful manner. Choosing joy over pain, love over misery, opportunity over negativity, optimism over pessimism, ought to be an easy task, for to say not would imply that one seeks pain and misery in life, choosing what is life over what stalls life. And yet, at the same time, external forces creep, or sometimes storm, into life, threatening to shake the most stable temperament and most solid of character. It is not just the catastrophic events; it’s often the minor, miniscule, the meaningless that will soon be forgotten. These events quake our foundation, our need for control, our desire to manage will,

Turn, Turn, Turn

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The winter comes and everything around us changes, or at least in our location. The season of summer moves into fall, and brings her transformations known. The colors from spring to summer now turn to fall, yellows, browns, reds, and then barren trees filling the skies. Bushes, flowers, shrubs, all thin out; some appear to die, hibernating through the upcoming winter, safe and unseen deep in mother earth’s arms. Life mimics the cycles and rhythms of nature. Birth, growth, maturity, death, and the ever continuation of the cycles. Death is so much more than physical, as I’ve witnessed the many forms of death in my journey, including the physical. The death of a sense of hope can lead a person down a lonely and sorrowful road. Those of us humans who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) experience a very real affect from these changes that others struggle to understand. Life is full of changes. How we learn to adapt and flow with these changes can impact our quality of life, a

Are You Serious?

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Years back, I was in a conversation with a friend, who happens to be a very talented musician and a very devoted youth pastor, about music and musicians. I was irritated, and I suppose somewhat (if not a whole lot) judgmental, concerning the believe systems of local musicians and their influence on youth. My friend made this comment, loosely quoted due to dying brain cells related to my memory, “In reality, I find that most musicians are spiritual. Their music comes from God but they are misguided in how they hear it”. In my most open and loving manner, I can remember saying something like, “That’s a load of crap - I mean, have you heard song lyrics lately?” A few months later I was driving home, flipped the radio on to a classic rock channel, and the harsh and distinct voice of Janis Joplin filled my ears with the pleasure of her voice. From the very moment I heard this talented, passionate, extreme woman sing, first blessed by her voice in the 70’s, I fell in love with Janis. My d

Oh, That Haunting Feeling

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As an adult, it often surprises me what children are, and are not, scared of. I think what surprises me more is what kids are not afraid of, what we, as adults, know they should be, or according to our elder brains and "vast" experiences, ought to fear. I wonder if many of the fears of children are transformed from their adults. When I was a child, I developed this fear of spiders. Bugs in general, as with most boys, didn’t seem to bother me much, but those spiders, I found no use for them. Could have been that “The Attack of The Killer Tarantula” movie in my youth. I’ll catch most bugs in the house and throw them out, but I have no issues squishing a spider in the house. Guess I wouldn’t make a good Buddhist. And there are those fears we take as children into our teens and adulthood. Not all fears follow us, but the ones that do are often much deeper, more secretive, masking themselves in emotional tentacles that wiggle into the cerebral depths of our beings. It has become

Life without Coffee - No Way

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Life is full of pleasures. I have tasted many of them in my journey. On the top of my list of life pleasures is coffee. Oh, I suppose if I were to be honest, to me, coffee is a true gift from God. To me, coffee is more that just a drink, more than just something that electrifies my day, kicking my brain and body into action. Coffee has evolved for me into a true life pleasure, to share with friends, to selfishly enjoy alone, to sip the hot liquid and enjoy the sweet aroma, sitting on my deck, on my couch, alone and with another one of my life’s pleasures; Solitude. Not all of the pleasures I've tasted in my life have been good for my soul. Many of those past pleasures have turned into haunted memories I do my best to banish into the dark corners of my existence, not forgetting them, just not allowing them much space in by being. The tricks of life’s pleasures are that they don't announce to the taster their potential damages to the body, mind, and spirit. One of my first stud

Rain, a Nap, and a Prayer

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A day such as today was a good day for a nap, to slumber away the storms of outside. When the skies are dark with angry clouds full of moisture ready to be let loose upon the earth, it's a good time for a nap. I don't know what it is about storms and sleep. If you contemplate the importance of rain to the earth, to her vegetation, to the life whose roots depend on her soil, to the mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and so on, the rain of our inconvenience is really extremely important. Without water, life will soon end, as we are witness to in the hot summers as our grass turns brown or our water bills raise. There’s a part of rain that I very much enjoy. I suppose in reality, the only thing I dislike of rain is driving in it, especially in the dark. I have a fond memory of sitting on my parents covered porch, with my Uncle, heavy rain crashing upon the earth, the skies filled with flashing bright white lights and the loud explosive thunder rumbling through my ears. It is a peac

The I in the Way

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Isn't it amazing how the smallest of events, things, and objects, can so easily blur your vision in life? It was one of those nice mornings when I awoke while my home continued to sleep, except for the greyhound. Solitude is so essential for my existence. As the house began to stir and we focused on our morning schedule, began the process of getting ready, putting in my contacts, shedding my glasses. After covering my eye with one contact I put in the second, and realized that my vision was blurry. So, I began to search for the first contact that must have fallen out, only to discover it was nowhere to be found. As some of you probably guessed, yes, I again discovered that I had placed both contacts in the same eye. After I corrected this problem, I could again see very clearly. My wife pointed out, as I and the family were off to Potters Ranch, of what a great illustration my contacts were of how we allow things to blur our life vision. In fact, it demonstrates more accurately h

Oh, To Be So Lucky

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I was attending a workshop a few years back when I heard an old joke, or at least an old joke to me. Now, anyone who knows me knows that telling Jokes is not one of my strengths, and it is quite possible that you've heard this joke told in a different manner, but here goes. There was a notice posted in public areas around town: LOST: Family Pet, Male Dog, Missing Right Eye, Chewed Up Left Ear, Missing Patches of Fur from Recent Dog Fight, Has only three legs, Missing half of his tail, Goes by Name of "Lucky". From the description above, this dog doesn't appear to be very "Lucky". It sounds as if this little animal has been beaten up pretty thoroughly by life, quite the opposite from being lucky. This poor dog has seen better days and appears to have quite the list of problems. I wonder how many of us have felt "Lucky", or should I say, have felt like Lucky. I know that there have been many times in my life that I could relate to Lucky. In

Oh Yeah, I Forgot

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Isn't it amazing how often and simply how easily we tend to forget. Now, I'd like to assume that the underlying reasons we frequently forget have something to do with the aging of our brain cells, the busyness of our demanding lives, and mass intrusion of media and social networking (like blogs).  I have to wonder just how much of what we forget is a choice, subconcious or not, due a lack of interest or involvement.  It also seems completely logical to me that we forget because we just do.  There is that old saying that if men where to have children, we'd only do it once, if at all.  Women will always amaze me that in those long months of hormonal inconsistence, a little parasite growing within, and then that whole labor thing, that after a passage of time, they're all revved up to do it all over again.  Just one reason, or many, why women are completely amazing. The love God must have sewn into the hearts of women that allows them to "forget" the pain of ch

Making Her Dream Your Reality

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Ever wonder what your purpose is in life. Through the help of Stephen Covey, I’ve been able to discover my purpose, which has greatly guided me in all I’ve done, and in all I’m yet to do, by channeling my life through it’s purpose.  Will my purpose help me to "go down in history", probably not, but then again, that might not be my purpose.  It is my impression that most people who have made a mark in history never comprehended the magnitude of their action, or even intended the mark to happen.  The name of Rosa Parks rests in the minds of most of us as Americans, no matter the color of your skin.  And I suppose there are those who even in this time despise the action she took to make a statement that she was tired of sitting in the back of the bus, giving up her seat to someone of a more acceptable skin color.  In her life she expressed having a dream she shared, "To this day I believe we are here on earth to live, grow, and do what we can to make this world a better p

"Be still and know that I am God"

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I am reminded of one of my favorite Neil Diamond songs, “Beautiful Noise”. In the song, Neil is describing the beauty in the noises of the city. You can hear the multitude of rich and distinct noises in the background of his song. I like the noises of the city and there was a time that I would walk down the streets of Cincinnati and absorb the shops and food and drink. I have discovered a new noise and to me, it is the loudest and most beautiful sound, it is the sound of silence. Today is the anniversary of a day 14 years ago that I began unknowingly to walk down a road that would lead to silence and solitude, where I have learned to be alone, still in His presence, realizing my completeness rests solely, totally, in who He is. Thomas Merton, in days long gone, wrote, “Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it.” The very act of reading his words brings my soul in

Ok, But How About Tomorrow

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Isn't avoidance a great thing? I mean what a concept. Life gets hard, just avoid it. Family gets out of control, just avoid them. Marriage turns sour, just avoid responsibility. Reggie, the wonder greyhound, lies at my feet, looking up at me from time to time, wanting me to take him out for his walk, and here I sit, in complete avoidance, my behind comfortable embedded in my red leather couch. W.C. Fields was quoted, loosely by my memory, as once saying, "Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow". When I was a young man, sharing a room at my parents’ house with my brother, I remember him swearing to the wisdom of Mr. Fields. We were just kids and our understanding of the reality of such a statement was unknown to our pre-adolescent brains. When I became a young adult, these words continued to be etched into my mind, and having gained an adult understanding of the meaning, I became quite good at practicing what Mr. Fields preached. (Oh, and if you don't know W

Is it Tired or Am I Just Getting Old

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Ever fell back in life and the brain yells to you, wow, am I tired. And I'm not talking about being tired because of life, yard work, and post-activities of the day; just plain tired. There are days that "running away", like we use to threaten as small angry children with red faces and clinched fists, is just appealing. The thought of bundling it all up on the end of a stick and hitting the big open road tugs at the wondering heart, feeling there's got to be something better than this. Times like that when I wish I knew how to ride a motorcycle, wind in my hair, a thousand miles an hour down a road of who really cares where it ends, just as long as I'm riding (you motorcycle freaks know what I'm talking about, even if I don't). Or maybe it is the realization that age is catching up and the colorful vivid memories of our past sail us down that old and familiar river of d'Nile, convincing ourselves that we can somehow magically recapture our youth. So w

I Want It Yesterday

Has it ever amazed you just how long you’re willing to endure pain and severe discomfort before you’re willing to make major changes in your life? I’ve walked that road; more than once. We think, over analyze, debate, plan and re-plan, and maybe even pray some, before we make that move from contemplation to action. When we finally make that step forward (or backward) into a new direction of change, we can become so eager for the change that we forget all about the process. We fall into that “I wanted it yesterday” mindset. Truth is, change is hard and can be down right uncomfortable. In fact, one of the biggest reasons we fear to begin the process of change is that we are more afraid of the pain of change, of the unknown; than we are of the pain we are enduring in the here and now. We are peculiar creations, aren’t we? When we want change, we want it now, and we can become so frustrated when change is not immediate. It is very possible that we become inpatient and frustrated becaus

Do I have to Remember?

I've always wondered when telling the story results in getting struck in the story. When I use to go home more often and see old friends, I became more and more amazed that the stories shared were all of the old days. It seemed that as we got older, be came stuck in the story, and stuck in the past, not really moving forward. As I grew and became more of who my Creator made me to be (and man do I have a long way to go), I also grew past the story. My life became more than the story and I began to separate myself more from the teller. What I mean here is that these particular stories were keeping me in the past, in a time that was no longer, to a person who was no longer and who I quite frankly no longer wanted or recognized. The story became unhealthy and if I remained in it, I would become equally unhealthy. I suppose some stories, and maybe even most stories, that are descriptive of our lives, are stories that no longer really serve a purpose, becoming meaningless. I wonder tha

Right Between the Eyes

Have you walked through life pretty much unaware of the sufferings, trials, and tribulations of your fellow man? Now, I'm not talking about being one those of us who are completely detached from mankind (and we know who we are...or do we?), but rather a pretty sympathetic person who enjoys life who can see the pain of others but just kind of walks along their merry cobbled path lined with red roses of colored glasses, surrounding themselves with supportive people, doing their own thing in life. An image of a strong work horse comes to mind, plowing the fields, with blinders on, knowing that snakes, coyotes, wolves, and the such exist, but paying no mental mind to them, only seeing what is their frontal sights, their chosen view. And then they turn there head, in their happy little existence of viewing only the path of self, and oh man, didn't see that danger, or reality, coming. Getting caught off guard thinking, "won't happen to me", just happened to them. I wa

Why Be Consumed With Why

In a conversation with a friend this morning, the focus point became on "why", being brought up due to a certain persons need to know why. It got me thinking about our need to know why. I have often wondered why we as a seemingly intelligent people get so bogged down in the why, as if to know the why will really do anything at all. I understand the need to know how this affects that or how this works and the such. And I can understand wanting to know why this person did this, or why I feel this way, or why it seems that the world is getting colder and more distant. But again, does knowing the why really give us what we want and/or are looking for? Much has happened to me through out my life and I've come to a point of understanding that to me, the why only mucks things up in my head, and often keeps me focused on the negative, the fantasy, the would of, could of, should of of life. When hurt or not understanding the actions or thoughts of another, we get consumed with kn

So to Start

Have been inspired by many, in ways most will never know, and by those who I will never meet, I begin a journey that is new and fresh to me, as well as foreign. The journey of growth in life is not new to me, but the act of blogging and sharing is very new. So why now? Good question, that either has no real answer or that has a multitude of answers. But then again, isn't that life, no real answer and yet a multitude of real answers. To me, there is only one answer when it comes to life, her purpose, and ultimate mission. I once heard that to share without sharing is the ultimate way to lead one to truth, as actions, attitudes, behaviors, and consistency all demonstrate true integrity and humility (still working on those). So, if you couldn't tell, expect ramblings of a man who in journeying through life, jumping from rock to rock, trying to keep dry, and embracing moments of joy, pain, love, and rejection, growing along the way, trying to stay dry. A man I most admi