Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I admit it, I am a poor listener. I can bully with words and my listening skill is only endorsed by my ability to interrupt other speakers.
He who answers before listening— that is his folly and his shame.
He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.   Proverbs

I wish this were all easy. After close to 30 years of marriage and 48 years of living, as indicated by the stocking stuffer book pictured above, received this past Christmas, I have a long way to go. 

I once even read a book (Planet Walker) by Dr. John Francis who walked North America and did not utter a word for 17 years as he walked. Our educational systems thought so much of him they gave him a PhD.  The book didn't help.  

Most often people say if you know your problems, then you can address them and while I find this true, I also find it difficult. I had a counselor write the following down for me....while it has been helpful I could use this tattooed on the back of my hand at all times. 
Before you speak-
Is it necessary?
Is it helpful?
Will it edify?
Is it said in loving kindness?

The key being BEFORE YOU SPEAK.   I will continue to work towards thinking before speaking and responding instead of reacting and only speaking when NECESSARY and using my words when they are helpful and only doing so in loving kindness.

Thanks to my lovely wife Margaret, and our children; Sean, Aryn and Taylor for they have listened to me for far to long and thanks for God's amazing grace for it has no limitations.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

...let justice roll down

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream
Amos 5:24

Switchfoot put out a song- The Sound (John M. Perkins Blues)

After hearing them perform the song live, and hearing Jon Foreman talk about how this book - Let Justice Roll Down inspired the song, more to say that John Perkin's life, his love for God, his reaction and non-reactions of being a black man, born a sharecropper; who moved to start his family in California, but then following God's plan by moving to Mendenhall, Mississippi in the 1960's when at the height of establishing equal rights felt the pain and hurt, the destruction and saw 1st hand the wickedness of man, that John Perkins, that is what inspired this song; The Sound.

"John Perkins said it right.....love is the final fight"

"There is no song louder then love"

God will roll the justice down. It is His to call.

and when it rolls down, rolls like waters and His righteousness like an everlasting stream; that is what I want to understand...how it is - - ALL HIS....and not mine....that my battle, is maintaining His love, showing His love. My battle is exposing my other cheek and walking two miles. This love, this uncomprehendable love, it needs to be understood and embraced and embellished by everything we touch.

John Perkins....a man who had more reasons (I pray) then I will ever have to show justice, did not, and let God have the call of justice....may we do the same.

Monday, January 23, 2012

dijon mustard, I love you

I love a good hot dog, honest I do. Simple food, topped with dijon and of course, no ketchup. The breaking of bread and sharing of food. Sacred for all time.

I don't think life gets much better then when you are sharing food and life with others.

For the basics remain - - food, shelter and clothing
To have these things, these basics, are blessings beyond what we can imagine. We need to relish in them, give thanks and praises to Him who provides for He is good and great.

Taking the low road, the road of low recognition, the road to; not about me, but about you....well that is hard. SO hard, so very, very hard. Even when singing at church...."it's all about you Jesus" somehow the "you" get's replaced with me in my mind....forgive me Father.

Let's be salty....salty, salty, salty so salty that when people see and hear you that they know the goodness. They know the Christ! The truth and the light. Let our words and actions permeate the air with the aroma of the goodness of Jesus Christ.
This IS our calling. This IS our duty as believers.

Dinner was good tonight.....albeit spent with a hot dog on the 8:45 PM train out of DC and no one else....no one else that is, but you. Thanks for listening.

"But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God."    God's Word

Saturday, January 21, 2012

note from travel

In 2002 Mar and I won a trip of a lifetime! A trip to Paris, France, all expenses paid. We quickly learned that we could CHANGE the destiny of this trip and travel to anywhere and........we did.

We traveled to Tegucigalpa, Honduras in Central America. We had been there before and had good friends there. We decided to spice it up a bit with a true relaxing vacation at the tail end of the trip, for four days.

The beginning of the trip was spent staying with our good friends Cesar and Maritza and their children in their home. We enjoyed watching the World Cup on their tiny, fuzzy tv (Brazil eventually won) and traveling around the country to visit other friends in villages like Chichicaste where poverty is king. 

Then came Roatan, worlds away from mainland Honduras, but not entirely. Roatan is a small island featuring world class diving 40 miles away from the mainland.

We stayed at the lovely Pearl Island Resort and were enthralled beyond words with the snorkeling. We can tell some serious stories. Our eyes have never been more fascinated with the features and awe-inspiring riches of our world then here.

We relaxed, and it is here I would like to share my passion. Isabella was the maid of the resort. We were the only guests (June; low season), the owners were absent and we got to know Isabella, share breakfast with her and talk. She earned 8.00 per/day wages, worked 7 days a week and it cost her $2 per/day to take the bus to work. Her net was $42 per/week. She was happy for the work.

It was here we also went shopping and I love to negotiate, and negotiate I did. We met up with Sandra, a young Guatemalan living in Roatan. She had weaved a beautiful table covering that we had decided to splurge on. Sandra wanted $65, but I knew I could do better and for 30 minutes or so I proceeded to try to talk her down as low as 20 and finally up to 50. She never budged. This was tiring. She would not give in and it was here, finally, where I recalled Isabella's wages and how Sandra had spent hours upon hours weaving this beautiful table cloth and how poor this nation was and here for 20 dollars or so I wanted to prove my authority and my own personal greed.

Needless to say. We own a beautiful tablecloth, my pride has since recovered, and now reading a journal entry or two from 10 years ago sparks these memories as vivid as yesterday.....now if I could just hear//smell the ocean......ahhhhhhhhhhh

Friday, January 06, 2012

Sometimes Daily

Sometimes Daily

Things are running through my mind this AM....the song Struggle by Ringside is playing in my head.  The sun is rising in the east and all I can think about is how messed up I am as a dad a husband and a human. 

I have made a study of motivation and confidence; where they come from and how we get more of them. Well right now, they are out the window. And as much as His mercies are new every morning, and I relish that they are, I do, I JUST CAN'T SEEM TO SHAKE MY SADNESS TODAY.

I think that that's part of the godly thinking...that we need to know that He is in our corner, always and forever. He will never forsake us. I long for that day, on my knees, giving Him praises, worshiping Him.

Till then I will try to keep my head up even in the shadows for it is the shadows that prove the sunshine.

Going to go read Psalm 73 and then put some Switchfoot on.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

1st Snow 2012

light in snow 1/5/2012

What started as the tiniest of flurries appearing to be dust gently gliding to the earth, became a dusting as the clocks turned past midnight last night. Twas a beautiful sight to behold, the 1st snow of the winter!

The morning came and a covering of snow blanketed our town. A father and his two young boys played in the covering making snow angels as the father captured their images.

It is weather that can make us stop, sometimes without choice.

Stop and laugh, stop and see and hear.

I love to stop. For it is then that I rest and find peace. So let it snow and snow and snow for I appreciate stopping in the moments.