Sketch of My Blog

Our Journey in Life is more than we allow it to be.
We must all Be Ourselves to really enjoy what's all around us.
Take hold and learn from Life and Others.

I Follow the Way of Jesus.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Year End/Start Poem

The Night is Young
     The Day is Old
The Year is Over
     Or So I'm Told

The Day is Young
     The Night is Old
It's An Age Old Story
     That must be Told

We End One Year
     We Start Another
What is the Difference
     One Day Into Another

Each Day is New
     Each Day is Old
We Grow Each Day
     One More Day Old

Each moment is New
     There and Here
Live Where you Are    
     Live Here

Enjoy Each Moment that This New Year gives
Each Moment that each New Day gives

Happy New Year Everyone!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Being Meaningful

I was just thinking how some people go through life doing nothing but the bare minimum.  Others go out of there way trying to do more than the rest and still others ride somewhere in the middle.

I was a bare minimum person and little by little over the past year or so I have been opening up.  Trying to ride in the middle, where life is what you make of it.  Not trying to do so much that I can't do it.  Not trying to do just the bare minimum (passing grade), but trying to live life and not just survive it to the end.

I think that what I want to do is actually set some goals that I feel I can attain in the next year.  Not a list, not a set of resolutions either.  Just things that I want to do.  I will tell you that one goal is to start my masters degree.  I am not sure when I will be able to work on that since I missed the deadline for application, and am still awaiting a status on financial aid.  Also waiting for the school to open after the holidays to see if I can still attend and just take a course for the spring semester.  If not I will have to apply for the Fall and just wait.

But this is the trick.  I don't want to try and live my life by this list any more than I would normally try to force myself to do something.  I want to do more with my life and see what I can accomplish, while at the same time allowing God to lead me down different roads.  I think that having some goals in front of you is good.  It gives you something to strive for instead of just getting by.

We saw "A Meaningful Life" yesterday.  Yes, I said "A Meaningful Life".  It is a new video by Veggie Tales.  It was very meaningful, if you will pardon the pun, it made me think about trains and life more.  I like to think, it is fun.  I thought how each day is new, yesterday is just a memory, and tomorrow has not happened yet.  But all we have is the day, the moment.  The choices we make, the events that happen to us, the people we talk to, all of that influences us.  It changes us in little ways and it changes others too.  Each one of us affects others and that makes each day special.  Even the little things that we do, teaching, helping, learning, reading, listening, it all matters, it is all important and all of it equally so.

I have a plan.  I am going to set some goals and see how they come out during the year and at the end of the year.  I will share a few, but not all.  This is kind of personal and I just want to be open about setting goals, but not share everything.  So in the mean time I cam going to live my life and try not to just survive it.

I will see what I can come up for a Hammered Dulcimer goal.  I would like to set one for that area of my life too.  Well enjoy your life and see you later.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stories of Life. . . .

Stories are fascinating.  Stories are interesting.  Stories are cool.  Every night we read a part of a story to our son.  Sometimes he reads a part of a story to us.  We take turns reading different books.  When one book is done it is someone elses turn to read a book and around it goes.  I enjoy stories and sometimes I even enjoy making them up.

Now I saw this building for the first time earlier this week on my way home.  I had decided to take a detour and go home a slightly different way, at least for part of the trip.  See how a story can get interesting right away.  Where was I, oh yeah.  This building that I took a picture of.

I wonder how long ago it was now.  It must be over 50 years ago that the tree burned down that was there.  Struck by lightning it was.  It burnt down and the owner had the stump taken out and it left a big hole.  The hole was a good 10 feet around.  The owner missed that tree.  His name was Andrew.  He decided to fill in the hole and build a shed.  The shed has been up ever since.  It has stood there collecting snow and creatures.  Did you know that under the shed, in the hole that the tree once stood in, there lived a mouse, a gopher and a whole slew of crickets.  After the shed got build on the filled in hole they came out and looked around.  The decided to move in to the shed, but that was not going to be happening any time soon.  Andrew had put windows and a door, but not one that animals could open.  And besides the shed had tools and other odds and ends.  Where would animals live in a place filled with tools and odds and ends for keeping land clear?  Not a very likely home.  So they decided to wait and found new homes under and around the shed.

More to come. . . .

Thursday, December 16, 2010

School Days

How can you justify coming to school on a day like this.  It is coming down all day and there was an accident with three cars and a semi about 2 blocks from the school.  We could have at least had a 2 hour delay.  I would so rather be at home right now than at work, but I can't go anywhere till the end of the day.  At least I am warm.

Oh well, could be worse.  I could be out in the weather or have had a car wreck too.  I am safe and sound and warm.  Just waiting till I can go home, later.

UPDATE: It is almost Noon and it is not doing anything outside.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Training class

A light snow far.
I am sitting in a training session that is from 9-3 today.  We are just on break and I ate my lunch and came back early.  It was a short lunch.  It has been snowing here for about 2 hours and here is a little picture outside the window of our room.  I would rather be home.  Monday's are so difficult.  I enjoy the weekend with my family and then have to go back into work on Monday.  No fun.  But at least I get to spend time with my family each night and every weekend.  I feel sad for people that don't have that opportunity.  I value my family and the time I get to spend with them.

Friday, December 10, 2010


It was 9 degrees this morning when I got up and left for work at 6:00 am.

That is cold.  We don't usually have this much snow, we have had about 4 - 6 inches so far, and not this cold either.

I am not looking forward to seeing how cold it gets later, if it is getting this cold now.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

First Real Snow....

From the School I work at with my new camera.
Our first real snow has fallen this week.  Actually it has fallen all week so far.  We are expecting a White Christmas this year.  Usually we have nothing or just a light falling, but since the 27th of November we have been seeing snow on and off and just recently it has been coming.  Here it is not as much as at home, but it looks nice.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Home Free

I decided that the best thing to do was to take the Bril home and set him free.  Instead of trying to keep him in a cage as a pet, I felt compassion on him.  I took him home in the box.  Put him in my front seat so I could keep an eye on him and keep him warm.  He is such a nice mouse, letting me hold him and feed him.  I just figure I better let him go.  When I got home I didn't tell my family, I just opened the box and let him go.  Right by the entrance of the garage.  I figured it was the best thing for him and I didn't want to keep him locked up.  It just didn't seem right.

He looked up at me before I let him go.  He then scurried out of the box and disappeared around the corner.  He seemed to know that he was home.  I am glad I got to know Bril for a short time.  He was a nice mouse and I am glad that he lives near by.  Maybe I will see him again sometime.  At least I felt good about letting him go home.  I just could not keep a free mouse in a cage.  He survived a week with me and that was good enough.  He is a nice mouse and I hope he lives a long and happy and prosperous life.    Bye Bril.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What happened?

Last thing I remember was crawling up inside this big thing that was warm.  I found some nice pockets to stay in and nestled down to sleep.  It has been getting cold outside and since I have been living in this structure for awhile I found a nice warm thing to stay in.  It seems like a smaller structure then this other one.  Much warmer at least for the past couple of weeks.  The warmth only lasts until the middle of the night.  Sometimes I move out around that time and find a much warmer location.

Last night I found a really warm spot and didn't wake up until I heard this load roar.  It scared me so bad I couldn't move.  So then I got stuck because this thing started moving and it took me for a long trip.  I couldn't take the cold air that was flowing by me for the first little while.  Then I had plenty of heat after that.  When things finally started to slow down, I found a small hole that was letting some of the air into a different area.  I check it out and found it went to an area that had more light.

Being curious, I climbed through and found carpet.  I can't remember the last time I was on a carpet.  It was warm too.  Then I heard some strange noises and found out what it was when I came further into the light.  There was a human being.  He looked a little surprised as was I.  I scurried away, but he chased me all over the place.  Up one thing that looked like a chair and around and under everything else.  I could not find a way out or away from him.

He finally caught me.  I decided to play it safe and not fight.  The next thing I knew he was petting me.  I think he wanted me to calm down.  I was hoping to be let go, so I calmed down.  Then he talked to me softly and put me in a pocket of his jacket.  I didn't know what was going to happen now.  But I found out soon enough.  He took me into a big building and put me in a box and fed me.  This was some nice human being.  He even gave me a name, Bril.  I never had a name like that before.  My family used to call me stone.  I think it was my color.  Bril is a nice name, too.  So now I am stuck in a box in a very well lit room in a big building.  At least he let me see out of his pocket.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bril is fine.

I don't want to scare my family.  So I have decided to keep Bril at work and do the best I can for now.  I want him to be safe and secure and he is so cute that I don't want to let him go.  Maybe after some more training and some time to take care of him, I will bring him home as a pet.

I found some old parts and junk that are safe, but things he can chew on or play with.  Bril seems so tame.  He even seems like he can understand me, when I talk to him.  It is strange seeing him look at me like he knows what I am saying.  He is such a good looking mouse.  He is mostly black with little gray streaks around his face.  He is almost 8.5 inches from nose to tail.  His tail is mostly gray.  Bril seems in fine condition for a mouse and the lettuce and other odds and ends that I get for him he eats up well.  He almost seems happy at times.  Like he knows he is safe and I am not going to hurt him.

I wonder if the leak on the passenger side floor is how he got into the car.  I have noticed that when it is really wet outside that side of the car seems to get a wet spot on the floor.  He must have been sleeping the engine compartment and then had no place to go when I left for work.  So I ended up driving him all the way to work.  I am glad I drove Bril to work.  He is a cute mouse and I like him.  I will have to check that spot out.  I don't think I want any more mice coming in the car.

Maybe I should buy a cage and see if he likes that.  Then I can take him home and we can keep him as a pet mouse.  Once in awhile I close the door to my office and very carefully, when no one is around, I take him out of the box and play with him.  He does seem tame enough.  I want to teach him some tricks and see what happens with that.  I think he is smart enough, but I don't know for certain.  Just a feeling I have.  We will see.  In the mean time I can't tell the family.  My wife thinks I'm nuts and my son thinks its a great story.  I don't think either one believes me.  That's okay.  I know the truth.  :-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who is Bril?

This is a little start to something that happened recently.  I am hoping that all turns out well and this little friend turns out well.

You see I found a mouse the other day that had stowed away in my car.  I think the mouse was sleeping in the engine compartment, because of the cold.  I am not sure how it found a way into the passenger's seat down on the floor.  There must be a hole there.  I am going to call him, I guess this mouse will be a male, so he will be called Bril.  So, Bril the mouse was running around the inside of my car, any and every place he could get to.  This was after I had driven all the way to work.  It took me a good 5 minutes to catch the little guy.  He ran up the seats and under the seats and all over the place.  When I did catch him I tucked him in a pocket of my jacket.  I didn't want him to get cold staying in my car all day and I was afraid to let him out.  He might get caught by something and eaten, since this was not his home area.

I made sure to calm him down before putting him in a jacket pocket.  I did not want him getting out of control and hurting him self in there.  I took him into my school and found an old box to keep him in.  It worked great, I just had to get some food from the cafeteria.  I didn't know when his last meal was, but I wanted to make sure that Bril was well looked after.  I figured if he survived the day I could take him home and maybe let him go, or maybe he would like to stay as a pet.  I kept him hidden and talked quietly to him all through out my day.  It was nice having someone to talk with that wasn't human.  It was just different since he can't understand me and doesn't understand what goes on with humans.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Quote

The Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect.
  - Esther Dyson

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Sometimes people are layered like that. There's something totally different underneath than what's on the surface. But sometimes, there's a third, even deeper level, and that one is the same as the top surface one. Like with pie.
  - Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jed Whedon

I work in a public school full of teachers and staff.  And I have to say that this quote applies very well to the people in my school.  It actually applies quite well to the general population.  This includes myself on occasion.  Sometimes my pie is only two layers thick and other times it is only one layer thick and then there are maybe three or more layers.  I try for the most part to be only about one or two layers thick.  It takes too much work to be more than that.  I prefer to only be one layer thick as that is just being and living and does not require any work.  My wife is pretty good at living with one layer too.

Now if we can just get most of the world to live in one layer, then we can enjoy living together and getting along better.  At least I hope we can.  So there is my post for the day.  Enjoy your life and live a one layer life.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Just to let anyone know.  I don't support Microsoft and their overpriced Office product.  I use and enjoy it.  It is free and works with XP, Vista and Windows 7.  Although I prefer Ubuntu Linux.  I just can't have everything I want.  So try Open Office today and see what you think.  Also they are coming up with a new version and I am looking forward to using it.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Still around just been busy...

Been busy with Vacation and other things, but I am still around.  I know I don't post much more than quotes lately, but here is one that really got me thinking.

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.
  - William Hazlitt

I thought this was really interesting.  It is so true that we can be stuck between what we want and what is.  We are both settled with our situation and unsettled.  We can laugh at something and cry at the same issue.  Feel happy about a day and sad at the same time.  Isn't that fascinating!  We are stuck in time can only see the present and barely glimpse the future, we learn from the past and we can have conflicting emotions at the same time.  Life is weird and wonderful!

Friday, September 24, 2010


In the previous post C.S. Lewis wrote that seeking truth you may find comfort in the end, whereas if you seek comfort you just find soft soap, wishful thinking and despair.  He also said that in spite of the fact that humans prefer everything else other than God, He still accepts us.

I want to put those two together and say that seeking truth we find comfort in the end because we are seeking God, and in seeking truth we are showing our preference to God.  It is a winning situation for the human who seeks truth, because you find God and in finding God you will find life.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday - Quote

If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. - C.S. Lewis

[God] is not proud...He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him. - C.S. Lewis    

This is so true.  I can see it so clearly.  Seek truth!

I want to say more, but will leave that for another time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Quotes for Today

Updated ***

Okay so it took me a while to get back.  Oh well.  Here are some interesting quotes that caught my attention today.  Enjoy!  ( I particularly like the middle one about the book.)

No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets.
  - Edward Abbey
A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.
  - Robertson Davies
Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.

I had to add this one.

Ask yourself whether you are happy and you cease to be so.
  - John Stuart Mill
  - Arthur C. Clarke

Monday, August 30, 2010

Here stands a new week.

Right in front of you stands a new week.  It either starts on Monday or Sunday, take your pick.  Either way it is a new week and the questions stands....What are you going to do with it?  We are only guaranteed the moment, not the whole day, not the whole week or the whole month or even the whole year.  We have the moment we are in.  So what do you do with the week?  What do you do with the moment or the day?

Do you let it go by?  Do you plan something interesting?  Do you make new decisions?  Do you pray about your week?  Do you do anything about your week or day or moment?

Some of us live in the moment and a day at a time.  Some of us obsess about the future or the past trying not to repeat past mistakes or trying to make each day better and planning so far into the future they are overwhelmed. Others still move about with not ambition at all.

I want to speak from experience and from a friends point of view.  We both have this strange feeling inside of us.  It calls us to do more.  It calls us to strive to better ourselves.  Sometimes that means living in the moment and making the most out of that time.  Other times is calls for planning a little ahead of ourselves.  Where do fit in?  I want to do more.  I want to grow and change.  So does my friend.  My friend is planning to take some classes and I plan on learning more about what I want to do or what I should be doing.  I am going to take my time, enjoy each day and what it has to bring and I am going to continue to change and grow.

I want to become and I want to be.

What do you want?

Who do you want to become? (I mean your person.  What kind of a person do you want to become.)

Think about it, pray about it.  Let that be a moving factor in your life.  Let God be a part of it and follow your heart.  Be and Become.  Do and Act.  Live and Grow.

This is your day, moment, your week, month and year.  Make of it what you can and what you want.  Take advantage of the moment and Carpe Diem....Seize the day!  Enjoy and Live Life it is he best thing you can do for yourself and for others.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quotes for Today

These quotes I got today and thought I would share them with everyone.  They struck me as funny and very appropriate for me.  Take what you want from them.  I like quotes because sometimes they make me think and sometimes they just make me laugh.  These were in both categories for me.  They made me think and they made me laugh.  So enjoy this.  Maybe I will make this a weekly thing, when I get some quotes that I want to share.

So if this is the first installment, enjoy!

Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug.
  - John Lithgow
Ahhh. A man with a sharp wit. Someone ought to take it away from him before he cuts himself.
  - Peter da Silva
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
  - George Bernard Shaw

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. - Einstein

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Plunge or not...

Have you ever wanted to jump over the side? You know take a plunge?  Just do something that may seem irrational to some, but quite logical to others.  I sometimes have moments where I want to do something like that.  I know someone else who did a plunge, a leap over the side, someone who fell and lived to tell us all about it.  His name?  Well you might already know the name depending on your outlook on life.  Let me tell you a little about this person before I give out their name.

He fell in love.  He fell in regards to that love.  He took a leap off the highest point ever.  He was older than anyone here now, before now and in the future.  Took a lot of flack from others who could not understand the reason for what he did.  You know what that is like don't you?  Doing something because you know its right, but getting put down by others about it.  Others just don't understand.  Well a long time ago that is exactly what happened to this man.  He did what others did not expect and was ridiculed for it.  They wanted one thing and he gave them another.  Just like a politician.  The only difference was he was no politician, at least not in the usual sense.

He understood people better than any else has ever.  I don't mean like con artists or anyone else who is into understanding people to get something from them, like a politician or a lawyer or con artists, and the like.  I mean he really understands what makes people tick, what we are all about, what we want, what we need.  He knows us better than ourselves.  He could have been anyone, he could have made himself into being famous, rich, ruler of all, you name it.  Nothing was withheld from him.  Yet he did not aspire to greatness like we know it.  He had a different view and he shared that with us too.

Do you have a clue yet?  He is famous.  Really, Honest, not kidding!

I mean for him to fall, to take that leap, to plunge in meant to be vulnerable.  Vulnerable to lots of thinks including pain and it hurt for him to fall.  It hurt him all his life in ways we can never understand.  I can not imagine hurting all my life.  I know there are some people that all they can remember of their life is pain, either physical or emotional.  I have had some pain and hurt in my life and I can still remember the good times and the bad with equal difference.  

He is Jesus.  And he fell in love with mankind and with each and everyone of us.  So much so that he fell from heaven and came to earth to feel what we feel and to live out life here like we do.  He experienced it all and yet He still loved us enough to die for us, to sacrifice Himself for us.  With all the choices He could have made He made the one that we would not have made.  Everyone at that time thought that the Messiah should come in strength and fight.  But Jesus came in Love instead.  A much more powerful ally and a much more powerful way to accomplish for all what could not be accomplished any other way.

I praise the name of Jesus, because without Him I would have no future.  Because of Him I have a future and a hope and a life that will never end.  It will end on this earth, but I will be in Heaven forever after.  

Thank you Jesus for taking the plunge, the fall, the dive that none of us could make and for rescuing us in that act of Love.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Every Act Is Significant

I want to share something with you.  The few that read my blog.  And any others that happen by.  I get a newsletter about once a week from My Jewish Learning and sometimes it is very deep and interesting.  This was one of those times.  Here is a link to the actual newsletter.  It is called the weekly Torah and they talk about different things in regards to what Judaism and Christianity are like different and what people should do according to GOD's word.

This weeks' title was "Every Act Is Significant" and when I read it I thought that really is something that people should know about.  You can read the article yourself it is not very long, but I am going to tell you what I got out of it.

The littlest act that we do all the way up to the greatest acts we can do all count.  It does not matter if you are giving someone a hand up that has fallen or giving a million dollars to help the Red Cross.  It does not matter if you keep a bird safe or help someone with a flat tire or stop to help at an accident or grab someone from falling onto the tracks.  It all matters.  It all is important.  For the last year my wife and I have been learning something about that in a different area.  We have been learning that everything that happens from getting hurt physically to getting hurt emotionally, from having a good day to having a stinky day, it all matters and it all has equal importance.

Do you see where we as a culture and as a world are missing the boat.  We think that the person who gave away a million dollars is more important or what they did was more important than those saving sea lions.  We take the person or the act and we label them important more so than the every day people who are driving safe and preparing vitamins or medicine for others.

We need to know that every little thing we do is equally important and everything that happens to us is equally important.  I think we can live better lives if we move in that direction.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Truths and Change

I had some interesting truths splash my way yesterday.  Try these on for size:

GOD wants us to want things!

GOD wants us to be happy!

Now in the case of the first one.  It is not like wanting a new car or a new hair style or a trophy or an apple fritter.  It is in wanting things for ourselves.  Like a career we have been interested in.  Or getting a place of your own.  Wanting the best for your child, your spouse or yourself.  And like eating right, brushing your teeth and taking your vitamins.  You know what I mean.  Not the wants in life that everyone strives for mindlessly because we think that it is what we are supposed to want, like more money, a new computer, or to be famous.  But wanting things for yourself that would bring a sense of accomplishment to your life.  Like wanting a child, a dog, a place of your own, or a job helping others or that dream job.

Many people go through life doing what others want them to do or what they think others expect from them.  Like being perfect and not wanting anything.  We need to encourage others to grab life and their dreams and not let go until all their avenues of trying are used up.  We need to encourage others to want to change and grow and be come their own person.  No one should be living life like others want them to live it, they should be living their own life.  They need to find their "one thing" in life that makes them happy.  If it means flying an airplane, fixing computers, helping others, learning about GOD, being a friend, encouraging others, being a secretary, police person, firefighter, nurse, teacher, driver, etc.  What is it that makes you Happy?

That brings me to the second truth, which has an joint statement:  Not only does GOD want us to be content, but he also wants us to be happy.  You can not stress it enough and some people have stressed it too much.  At least the part about being content.  But that only means to be content in situations that you can not change.  It does not mean being content to be a door mat or to be something or someone that has no aspirations.  I never really got it like I did yesterday.  GOD wants us to be happy, not just content.  We can be content with out meal sometimes, we can be content with the weather or the time of day or sometimes the situations we are in, like waiting in line or following a slow driver down a narrow road.  Look at the Serenity Prayer in its fullness:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr
Look at just a few of the main points, "courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."  Also this section at the end, "That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next."  Change things that we can and the courage that we need to accomplish that task.  Why not change what we can?  Why do we have to accept everything that happens and just let it be?  Why not change the things we can and know the difference between those things that we can change and those things we need to be content with.  So many people think that just because things are the way they are that they need to accept it and just stuff it down and be content with it.  Instead of changing the things that they can change.  I know because I have been there myself.  There were things in my life that I allowed to be just the way they were for too long and some of those things I am changing.

So can you grasp these two truths: GOD wants us to be Happy and to Want things for our lives.

So what are you holding back on because you think you can't have it?  What can you aspire to that would make you happy?  What can you change in life that you just need a little more courage to change?  What do you want to become?  What area of your life have you thought that you needed to leave alone because it would "rock the boat" or be different and others might not have thought you capable of doing?  Remember this "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."  - Dr. Seuss

Friday, July 30, 2010

Seuss-ism - Be Yourself

Theodor Seuss Geisel
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
  - Dr. Seuss

Now that is some sound advice if ever I heard some.  I think we seriously hamper our lives to much when we try to be someone we are not or say things we don't say.  I think more people would be happier following this advice.

I want to live life more abundantly and enjoy it too.

Have A Great Weekend and Be Yourself!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Strolling on the Water

I went strolling on water recently.  Actually I am trying to walk on water every day.  I relate water to the Word of God, the Bible.  Each and every day I am trying to read the Bible.  I feel that doing that is like taking a walk on water.

Have you ever noticed how everyone likes water.  I mean we use it for so many things.  We cook with it.  Everyone of our drinks has water in it.  We swim in it, sail and boat on it.  We drink it and play with it.  We enjoy looking at it.  It waters our gardens and it is the key source of life for just about everything on this planet.  Without water we would be a desert like mars or mercury.  Although we can not completely rule out the lack of water on those two planets or anywhere else.  Which is why we are constantly searching for more water, for more signs of life.

The Word of God is like water.  We need it so survive.  Other people think they don't, but they are dying of thirst and wonder why they don't live a life that they can fully enjoy.  One where they are not feeling like they are missing something.  I know what that feels like sometimes.  Sometimes even when I spend time in God's Word, I feel like I am missing something.  That there is more than what I am doing, but I don't know how to get there.  I don't even know exactly what it is.

And still I try to walk on water when I can.  Read the Bible that is.  Some days I stroll on the water and some days I sit.  Some days I watch the water and some days I just walk away.  I am a work in progress and am never perfect.  I criticize too much and do not give enough humility, grace or mercy.  I can grumble about traffic in a heart beat and about the weather or working situations or you name it.  I am my own worst enemy.  Now if I can Stroll in the Word of God more often and get the 2x4 out of my eye with out criticizing others maybe I can show more humility, grace and mercy and stop grumbling about whatever.  I need to show more compassion to those around me, even those in the vehicle in front of me and work on my lack of patience.

Try walking on water.  It is not as easy as it sounds.  Sometimes you just get stuck in the mud and sometimes you are just floating.  No matter what, it is always a challenge.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Father's Son

Some people have great ideas or revelations in the shower.  Others have them while driving to work.  Still others have them on a walk or even just any old time of the day or at any moment.  I am of the last sort.  I never know when a great thought will hit me.  That is how this one came to be.

My family.  My teddy bears!
Left to Right:
Mom (Nancy), Wife (Rebecca), Son (Josiah), Dad (Marco).
I recently had to remind myself that I am my fathers child.  Dementia has taken who he was away some what.  Sometimes I see the old him, but most of the time he is somewhat different then he was.  So recently I have been reminded of the times in my life where my father really stood out for me.  He would play catch even though I would throw so hard it hurt his hand.  Good thing he had a glove on.  He would take walks with me to the local McD's or to a 7-11 or to the Fire station.  He would build things out of wood and help show me how to do that too.  And the day I chopped the tip of my finger with an ax he rushed me to the house and mom drove us to the ER.  He has done so much for me and sometimes I get so frustrated with how he is.  Then I look at my life and what I do with my son.  And I say, "You know what, you turned out to be a lot like Dad.  A little bit different in my own way, but a lot like Dad."  I am proud to say that I treat my family just like my Dad treated his family.  Now I have to accept Dad where he is at.  Remember the good times we had.  Cherish the moments we have now.  And try to do for my son, what my dad did for me.  Live a life worth living and enjoy my family.  Because that is what my dad did.

So I am going to live my life, enjoy my family and make the most of it.  That is all I can be expected to do.  I will be a living example for my son so he will grow up like me, who grow up like my dad.

John 10:10 (ASV) 
10 The thief cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Time With God

How I feel on a Day
 without the Word of God.
I have learned that the more time I spend with God the more I want it when I don't spend time with Him.  I have also found out that when I spend time with God two things happen.  One is life seems so much more peaceful and smooth and comfortable to work through.  The other thing is that Satan tries to wreck life more and get things to be more a chore than they could be, adds stress and worry and tries to generally be a real pain in life.

So I know things are going well when he rears his evil head and tries to mess things up and add stress and worry.  I also know that I enjoy reading the Bible on a daily basis and listening to what God has to say through His Word.  I try to read the Bible each day and if it speaks to me, great.  When I just read it I am blessed not matter what the Word says.  Time with God is the most important thing to living life.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Strong Foundations

Foundations are very important.  They are important in relationships and in buildings and in everything we do.  In life and in work, in learning and in growing, in striving and in changing, in loving and in teaching, if we do not have a firm foundation to work with then we have an unsure place to put our feet.  It makes for a very unstable place to work from.  The bible speaks on this very topic.  Think about what Jesus had to say on the theme.  He talked about just following His teachings and being set on a firm foundation.

Matthew 7:24-27 (NLT)
24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.
25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.
26 But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.
27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

How easy it is for many people in this world to tout that the thing to do is this, or the thing to do is that, or something else entirely.  We are constantly bombarded by all the things we should or should not do according to one person or another.  Why do people have to come up with the newest and greatest way to live and act?  Why not just follow and live by what Jesus taught, by what the Bible teaches all through out its writings.  Think about what it means to be built or to build on a solid foundation.  It means that we, in the Christian sense, are hearers, doers and followers of the Word.  The inspired creation of God.  All we are asked to to is hear, do and follow or act.  Be obedient to the Word and be a practicing follower of the Word.  The Bible sums up everything we need to know, everything we need to live and yet we try so hard to dissect it and rehash it into something else and to make up our own ideas about what we should be doing.

1 Corinthians 3:10-11 (NLT)
10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful.
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.
Our business is not to build quickly, but to build upon a right foundation, and in a right spirit. Life is more than a mere competition as between man and man; it is not who can be done first, but who can work best; it is not who can rise highest in the shortest time, but who is working most patiently and lovingly in accordance with the designs of God.
Joseph Parker

Not only do I not want to build on sinking sand, but I want a strong foundation to grow from.  I am starting to study the Bible more and to implant its words in my heart and mind.  So I can carry them with me.  I am going to try and listen to what the Bible has to say and apply it to my life.  We are put on this earth for a short time.  Maximum life span around 120 years, if you are blessed to live so long.  We are put here to learn how to live with each other and to grow in such a way as to be an example to those around us and our children.  I want to grow slowly and deliberately.  I want to build my foundation slowly and carefully.  I have started with Psalm 119 and have memorized the first stanza (8 verses).  I am taking a stand in my life and striving to grow and change and be what God wants me to be.  And that means listening, learning, following and doing.  So each day is a new start for me.  Each day is a new step for me.  Each day brings me one day closer to God and one day closer to being what God wants me to be.

All I am doing is living and learning and doing.  I am doing the best I can with what I have.  I am learning each day how to be and live and do.  I am living each day as it comes.  Just doing what I can with what I have.  Not anything more than that.  Taking the Bible with me and doing what I can to make the most of what it has to offer.  I am far from perfect, but I am just doing what I can with what I have and being who I am and allowing God to work in me.  That is all we are expected to do, follow God and allow Him to work in our lives.  So that is what I am doing.  That is all I need to do.  Stay uncomplicated and build on the strongest foundation in the world - Jesus Christ.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Living Life by God's Word and Climbing God's Word Mountain

Psalms 119:1-8 (NLT)     Aleph
1 Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.
2 Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.
3 They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths.
4 You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully.
5 Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees!
6 Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands.
7 As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should!
8 I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me!

Psalms 119 is very unique in that it is the longest chapter in the bible and the longest psalm.  Each section of the psalm is 8 verses long and is representative of the 22 letters of the Hebrew aleph-bet or alphabet.  God's word is mentioned through out the psalm.  So listening to God the other night I was told to start here.  Psalm 119 the longest chapter and psalm in the bible.  I said but that it the longest chapter and psalm in the bible.  God's response was "You want to learn? Then start here and listen and learn."

So here I start and I want to capture what it says to me.  It could say something completely different to you and that is okay, I agree to disagree and you may comment if you like.  We can discuss too.  But I am looking at it from my point of view, my life experience and my own views on life.  That is all I have and I believe that is all anyone has.  Sometimes that coincides with others and sometimes it does not.

I like the first two verses.  Why?  Because they make sense and I understand them so well.  Joyful you will be if you listen to God and follow Him.  I am sometimes not joyful, but I could be more joy-filled if I did what was right.  Not only in my own eyes, but also in God's eyes.  The next two verses tells us to walk righteously and keep God's commands.  Saying the same thing as the first two verses only using different words.  Then stating it again with the rest of the verses.  It is a repetitive stanza of 8 verses, but re-emphasizing it differently.

This first part of Psalm 119 is saying that we need to follow God's commands.  Do His will and walk upright and within His teachings.  Do that and we will be a better person.  That is pretty simple to me.  Listen to God, Do what is Right and you will be a better person.

Did you notice the ending?  "Please don’t give up on me"  Very interesting way to end a section.  A cry, a plea, a request.  Don't Give Up On Me, Please!  I want to scream it sometimes, just by the way I act and think and be.  God, I know I have screwed up, I know I am a sinner, I know I am a repeat offender, but (here it comes) Please Don't give up on me!  What more can you say to the ruler of All.  I am nothing in comparison to you God.  I know you love me and I know you care about me, but I also know that I wrong you daily and sometimes hourly.  I hurt you and do things that are not becoming a child of the King.  So Please, don't give up on me!  This section ends in an act of contrition.  We bow before our God and say have mercy, even forgive me.

This first section labeled Aleph says to me what to do to live by God's rules.  Tells me to listen to God and follow His will and His commands.  It also says to be contrite, humble and submissive.  I want that for my life.

So that is that, what do you think?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Salvation . . . The Eyes of Jesus

Salvation in the Christian Faith is based upon the trust in the truth of the Cross and the Resurrection. I trust that what the Bible says about the Cross and the Resurrection, coupled with my faith is the truth about my salvation. Jesus sacrificed Himself for me and for everyone in an act that is once for all time.

We have that truth. I trust that truth. Jesus is my cornerstone, my rock, my firm foundation. Upon which I will build my house. My house being my life, my journey through life, my understanding of things around me and of things visible and invisible.

I want to share that first.  So that you may understand where I am coming from a little better.  Jesus ate with sinners and talked with everyone.

We as Christians have been developing an attitude toward others. We figure that if you call yourself a Christian and you swear, drink, smoke, than you are not really a Christian. But Jesus taught us that Christians come in all shapes, sizes and attitudes. We are really using our gift/curse of judging others, based on what we see and not on what God sees.

I am guilty of that and am trying to change that attitude in me. I am trying to be less judgmental and more understanding. I want there to be less of me and more of Jesus.

I want the Eyes and Mind of Jesus, so that I can see what GOD sees, not what I see.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

46ers....want to be one? We are considering it.

We found out that in the Adirondack Park there are 46 high peaks.  Peaks that are over 4000 ft above sea level.
We officially peaked Mt. Cascade/ Mt. Porter on May 31, 2010.  These are two of the 46ers.  So if we continue we only have 44 left to go.

My wife, son and I are planning on attempting to complete the 46ers list.

Here is a recent list

I am looking forward to getting 10 under our belt and then more....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

View from the Top

There is something to be said about the view from the top.  The picture at right is the view of the next summit to the absolute top of the mountain my wife, 8 yr old son (soon to be 9) and myself climbed on Memorial Day.  It took us 3 hours to reach the top and we still had at least another 15 - 20 minutes to reach the tip top.  We stopped where we were.

It is interesting to note that as we kept climbing higher and still were not seeing an end in sight we would ask climbers that were coming down a question.  Can you guess what that question was?  "How much further to the top?"  Yup you guessed it we were just over two hours into the hike/climb and we were getting discouraged.
Here is a view from the top of the false summit.  It was awesome and we were glad we completed the climb.Even though we were very exhausted.  This was not the top yet.  Here is what we kept hearing from everyone on the way up.  "Keep going", "Only a 40 minutes more", "The view is worth the trip", "You only have about another 15 - 20 minutes to go", "You will love the view".  All of that can be considered one of two ways: Peer pressure, or Encouragement.  I took it as encouragement at the time.  So did my family.  We figured we could go an hour more and then we would probably start down.  Did I mention we were exhausted at this point.  And we still had to come down.  So we got to the false summit that people warned us about and enjoyed the view.

Then we started up further to see the top and its wonderful view.  There is something to be said about climbing out of the trees and seeing the top of the mountain and turning around to see the view that it affords.  It was breathtaking as my wife put it.  It was awe inspiring.  Once my son got to see the top he wanted to see more.  Did I mention that we were exhausted and that this was a 3 mile hike, one way!  This view to the right is from the summit, before you go to the tip top.  I did mention that we never made it to the tip top.

All in all we were glad to complete the hike and see the awesome view.  Even if it took us 2 hours to come back down.  Even if we forgot to bring water and snacks.  Even if every muscle in our bodies hurt when we were done.  It was a wonderful view, an awesome view and we had a great time all in all.  Next time I would plan better.  But I would still want to reach the top.  I enjoy completing things I set out to do.  It is a part of life and I want to keep doing that as much as humanly possible.

So GOD does the same thing for us.  He keeps saying, "Keeping going it is worth the trip.", "Don't give up, just a little bit further.", "You can do it.  The view is worth it."  GOD may give us some difficult things to do, which someone said is not nice, but he always gives us what we can handle and he gives us the tools to handle it.  We are never given more than we can handle from GOD.  It is always what we can do and sometimes we make choices that we think we can not do.  Sometimes that is true, we can not handle it, not alone that is.  Sometimes we need someone to come along side and say "The water is just ahead, or the top is just a little further up.  Don't give up.  You can do it."

So remember the view from the top is worth it.  You can do it.  And when you think you can not, remember that GOD will help you.  A.S.A.P. - Always Say A Prayer.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Honesty and Truth - Give and Take

Well today is National Honesty Day.  It was put in place to end the month after beginning the month with April Fool's Day.  Sort of a balance between the beginning of the month and the end.  I think that all people should strive for Honesty in all things.

Did you know that honesty is a two way street.  The one way is the person that speaks the truth, speaks in honesty.  The other way is the person who is receiving the truth and the spoken honesty.

The giver needs to give in love, compassion and be understanding to the other person and their feelings.

The receiver needs to be open to what they are receiving.  Whether it is criticism (given with tack), or just the response to a question.

So we not only need to be open to honesty and truth, but we need to give it in understanding and love.

Next time you are asked a question give in love your honest and truthful response.  And next time you ask a question keep open and receive with the best intent.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Attitude is everything

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”  ~ Charles R. Swindoll

I have to agree with the above quote.  I too am in charge of my attitude.  Of course sometimes I need someone to get my attitude turned around.  Thanks Sweetheart.  I Love You.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wonderful Weekend...

What a wonderful weekend I just had.  I had a very nice date with my wife on Saturday.  Even though the place we ate a light breakfast at put so much cream cheese on our bagels that we were not sure if there was a bagel holding everything together.  I got through half my bagel and thought I was going to throw-up.  So we left there and went and got McDonald's hash browns to settle our stomachs.  After that we had a nice time shopping around and eating Chinese in the mall.  We ate a little too much of that and came home so full we could not eat supper.  But we had a very nice time.  Even went to the library and checked out a movie, "Mansfield Park".  It is a period piece by Jane Austen.  The newer movie was good and I really enjoyed it.  On Sunday we had a nice time and between both days we had a lot of fun with our son who is going to be 9 very shortly.

It is so nice to be in Church every week and spend time with God and other believers.  I also really enjoy spending my weekends with my family.  We have such a great time together.  Playing soccer and watching a "Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones" movie with my family.  And just overall having a really nice time spending time with my family.

My wife and I were able to cut sugar out for three days.  Then we had some cookies.  It was not a bad thing, but everything in moderation.  You can't have sugar so much that your body goes nuts, but you can have a little once in a while.  So we are still working on cutting back on our sugar, we are just not cutting it out entirely, otherwise you end up wanting it more.  So once or twice a week is going to be my limit.  That way I can enjoy it and not over do it to the point of not wanting it anymore or wanting it all the time.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sugar and You

I have decided, with the help, support and joint cooperation of my wife, am trying to cut my sugar intake for the next 30 days.  I started yesterday and was able to avoid any cookies, cakes, candies, doughnuts, candy bars, etc.

I am attempting to curb my sugar and in the process attempt to lose some weight.  I am also attempting to eat better and in so doing be nicer to my body.

This is something I tried a while back, but this time I am not going to quit if I miss one day, I just keep going.  I am just going to try and make it through as many days as I can without having sugar.  I think this is a better goal than trying to cut out my sugar entirely.  I just don't want to have a lot of sugary sweets.  They do nothing for my body and only add to my waist line.  And I don't want to waste time on my waist line unless I am removing some of it.

I know there are lots of diets out there about eating sugar and not eating sugar.  I am just working on trying to limit sugar in my life.  Try to place it last on my list of things I want to eat instead of at the top of my list.  I want to eat better so my body will feel better and I can enjoy life more, instead of feeling tired, overweight and uncomfortable about myself.  I like my self, but I want to love myself.  I want to really enjoy who I am fully and who GOD wants me to be.

My mom needed to quite smoking to better be a person that GOD wanted her to me.  I think I need to cut down on my sugar so I can be who GOD wants me to be.  With doing this I need to watch my portion sizes on other foods too.  I know this.  I sometimes eat way too much and sometimes just not the right foods either.  So I am going to try and dedicate my fueling up to GOD and let Him lead me in what I should be eating and the amounts.

Just like today I am trying to listen to GOD and be more gentle, kind and understanding of people that I deal with.  More patient and slow to respond so that I can be more of what GOD wants me to be.  I want to give each day to GOD and let him lead me.  I have struggled with lots of things in my life and I want to struggle less.  I want to allow GOD to be and to work within me.

So starting today, I am going to try and listen more to GOD and try to do what is right by my body and by my family.  I am definitely going to try and just live my life and allow GOD to be and to do what needs to be done in my life.  That is what I want and that is what I am going to do.  I really want this.  I want to be more of what GOD wants me to be and I want to allow Him to be in my life what I need.

BTW this ad strikes me as funny.  Please take a look. ->  Funny Ad.
Using sugar to eat less.  That is just too funny.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Love My Wife. . .

Okay, for those who know me well the title of this post is a no brainer.  I have know my wife for over 10 years now.  We met in March and married in November.  We have been through some good time and we have been through some bad times.  All in all that does not change that I Love My Wife and am Deeply In Love with Her each and every day.

We have grown closer this past year than any other year.  I think that it is because we have been going through some changes for the good and it has put us closer and closer together.

You know how some people do things for others because they feel obligated to.  I do everything for my family and my wife out of my intense Love for them.  I drive my family places because I Love them.  I do things because I Love them.  I go to work because I Love them.  Everything I do I do because I Love them.

Love is what you make of it.  Make the most of it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

ZOOM H2 Portable Recorder

I just bought this about a week ago.  It is an excellent recorder for the price.  It has great bang for the buck.  I got it for about $140 at  It came with a 1GB card and that can record up to 6 hours of MP3's.  I have since used it to record my lesson that I have once a week for Hammered Dulcimer and I recorded the worship service at my Church last weekend.  It worked great, I just need to find a better place for it to be.  The accessories that come with made it perfect for me to start recording and transfer straight to my computer.  I think the ZOOM H2 Handy Recorder is an excellent out of the box recorder for going professional right away.  It even does 2 channel and 4 channel stereo, also front and back 90 to 120 degrees.  It does an excellent job and is well worth the money.  The benefits are awesome.

If you want an inexpensive hand held recorder with lots of accessories this is the one for you.  I can't say enough about it.

School assemblies are cool. . .

I am taking Hammered Dulcimer lessons from a student at a college near me.  I travel there once a week and we meet for an hour and practice rudiments, skills and some songs.  I recently played for an assembly yesterday at a school that I work for.  The grade school kids just loved it.  They were grades K-5 and it was in two different settings.  I did not play anything special.  I played My Country 'Tis of Thee, Twinkle, Twinkle and a few odds and ends from a Breton song and some of my own doodling or tinkering.  I had a good time and it went well. 

The really cool thing was that I knew I made some mistakes.  I know that some of what I was playing was nothing special.  I know that to me it was not the best I could have done.  But the important thing to me and to the kids and parents and teachers, was that I played.  I played well to them.  I played peacefully, according to them.  I did a wonderful job.  I have been asked to come back to play for the school's 85th birthday.  So I may not be the best player, but to them I did a wonderful job.

And the most important part is I had a good time and the assembly enjoyed the performance.  That is what I can take away from it and that is what I will take away from it.  I will strive to just play better and have a good time, instead of trying to be perfect in my playing.  I will endeavor to play my Dulcimer and enjoy it.

Because School Assemblies are cool !

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Snow this Morning....

I have an official sighting of snow.  It was about 6:30 this morning and right up to around 7 that I saw snow on my drive into work.  Now I live in central / upstate New York.  Which means I live far from NYC and about half way between Albany and Buffalo.  We have had a nice warming trend up until this past weekend and to top it all off they not only predicted snow for today, but I saw it.  The weather people were right this time.  It would have been more interesting if it was a full blown snow, but the few flakes I did see was very interesting.  I wonder if we will have a good snow fall this April or May.  We will just have to wait and see.

The more you focus on progress the less you progress.

The less you focus on progress the more you progress.

I learned that yesterday and today I am just living, not worrying about tomorrow or this summer or anything.  Just going to live in today and enjoy what comes my way and what happens.

Enjoy the day that God has given you.  It is all we have.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Coals of Shame

 Romans 12:9-21 Read it, it is good. It tells us to not return evil for evil. Bless those who hate you. Don't be like them. I like the last verses from here Romans 12:19-21 (NLT)

19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.
20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

I like it because it gets me out of trouble. I can try to just be a blessing to those that hurt me. Not be mean back or hold a grudge. Not holding a grudge is harder than walking away and not saying anything to anyone. I don't want to forgive everyone that hurts me or someone I care about. But I can try to be more understanding and be more Christ like.

That does not mean I can not confront someone and let them know that they hurt me or someone I care about. It does not mean that I let them walk all over me and get away with every hurtful word or action. I means that I can tell them they are wrong and what they did hurt. Whether or not they apologize. I can stand up for myself and others. There is nothing wrong with that. If it is within your power to stand up when something is happening and you can help, then it is the right thing to do, to help and be of assistance. It is wrong to just sit back and watch.

The verses also say that we should take care of our enemies, feed them, give them drink, do what you can for them in spite of the their actions toward you or others. In this you shame them. You make it so they will feel ashamed for what they did to you or others. In the end God knows the count, God will take care of those people in His own way. It is up to us to just respond with compassion and understanding.

Do what is right by your enemy and God will do what is right in His eyes for you and your enemy. He will take care of the situation. All you can do it bless them and take care of them.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dulcimers and Family

I have the best family in the world.  I am practicing My Country Tis of Thee for a school assembly for music month.  I am also practicing Lamb of God for an Easter service.  My wife made me practice for half and hour with out talking to me or allowing me to talk to her.  That was so nice.  I am using my new Warbler with the extended bass bridge it makes thing more interesting and more challenging.  The sound is so full and it is such a beautiful instrument.  I thank my wife and my God.  My wife for the instrument and my God for the skill to learn to play it.  Now if I can only learn faster.  :-)

To top it all off.  My wife helps with my playing by telling me I am playing too hard or too fast.  She lets me know what sounds good and when I am sounding better.  She is wonderful to me.  I can say that I could not do what I do without her support.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Prodigal Brother

Luke 15:11-32 Was my Lenten devotional today.  I thought it was very interesting how the prodigal's brother reacted to the scene.  Let me see if I can set it up for you....I will at least try.

Working all his life on his dad's farm.  Tending to the cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, etc.  Tending to the land.  taking care of the wheat fields, and many other crops.  Day in, day out, year in, year out, making sure that everything got done.  Directing the servants, being the second in command right under dear old dad.  If dad said to do this, he did that, if dad said do that, he did that.  Each year bringing the harvest, selling the excess, slaughtering the animals as needed and selling others off.

You know, what he is doing, right?  He is being the obedient son.  Doing everything that his father asks.   He is taking care of the farm and doing all the stuff that needs to be done.  Can you picture it?  He is a hard working son.  I mean that this man has muscles all over.  He has respect from the hired servants too.  He does what needs to be done.  He gets dirty and does the work.  He does not just manage, he does and keeps doing.

Now his brother, we know nothing about, other than that he wants his inheritance and to take off.  So we can postulate that he is a bit lazy, cares only about himself and just wants to go out and have a good time.  He is also impatient, since he does not want to wait for his father to die.  Also had no respect for his father to ask that he receive his portion now.

So we have the younger son and the older son.  One who wants to take off and have a good time and the other who wants to keep working, knowing full well he will be rewarded later on.  Or at least he is planning on it.  Now enters the Prodigal son.  He has been away squandering the money and just doing whatever he wants to.  The money is gone and famine enters the picture.  Now he is heading home, knowing full well what is waiting for him if he can grovel to his father and say take me back as a servant.  The whole time he was gone the other "good" son was still working.  Still tending the farm.

So what  would you do?  Would you be forgiving and welcome your brother or sister back?  Wouldn't you act the same way?  I am sure that I would.  I would be upset and a bit outraged maybe, or at least a bit put out.  How would you handle it?  I would say the same things.  I would say "Hey, what about me Dad?", "What about all the work I have done for you?  What about all the time I spent here not complaining, just doing my job.  Why does he get special treatment, when he did wrong and wasted your money?  Here I am not asking for anything, just doing my job.  And what do I get out of it?  A pat on the back, No!  A dinner in my honor, No!  Nothing that says thanks son for all the hard work."

Does that sound familiar?  I know it does to me.  I am an only child, but that does not mean that I do not have the same thoughts in regards to other people that I see getting away with things and being rewarded for doing wrong.  That is where forgiveness comes in.  The father forgave the prodigal son and then tried to reconcile with the older brother to see what was the matter.  The father had compassion and mercy all around.  And did the brother say, what I did?  Of course he did.  He was so bent out of shape you could have used him as a pretzel.  He even refused to have a good time with the family and enter the house.

The father had to track him down and find out what was bothering him.  He showed compassion, mercy and forgiveness to both sons.  He welcomed back the prodigal son and tried to reconcile with the brother.  The father did everything right.  Everything he should have done.  He forgave both sons one for his actions and the other for his attitude.  Would we have done the same?  Do we ever forgive those who come back to the flock?  Without suspicion?  Do we treat them like a possible wolf in sheep's clothing?  I think we do.  I think we don't trust people that fall away and come back.  I think we have a hard time when someone we know had been doing wrong most of their life and then turn around.  We are more forgiving of gradual changes then we are of sudden changes.  We are also less suspicious.  It is part of human nature.  Why?  Because we are not GOD.  We don't know the thoughts and intents of the heart.  We are a suspicious breed, because we have been deceived and trust is something you earn now, instead of freely given.

We ask people to prove to us we are not going to do wrong.  If we could see like GOD sees then we could easily trust people and forgive them more quickly.  We would not be so suspicious.  I believe we can strive toward that goal.  We can be a little more trusting and definitely more forgiving.  It may not be an easy step, but we need to continually give people the benefit of the doubt.  It is up the GOD if they deserve forgiveness.  We can only offer our forgiveness and move on, without a grudge.  Knowing that they might do wrong again.  But so do we.  Each and everyday we do something we shouldn't.

So do we react like the brother and hold a grudge, pout and have a pity party, or do we react like the father and say "Welcome home, we missed you."  How you react is up to you.  How I react is up to me.  Let us strive to make the right decision.  Let us react with compassion, mercy and forgiveness.