Thursday, June 22, 2017


In March I wrote about the song, You've got a Friend. I wrote about the impact that the song had on my life and how I felt about it. Well there were several other songs on Carole King's Tapestry album. I know them all by heart. I wore that record out 3 or 4 times.

Well, just a few months ago, I heard again, the song Beautiful from that album. I have heard it 4,000 times, but a few months ago when I heard it, I heard it for the first time. I actually heard the words....

here is the link to the song

Here are the lyrics:
You've got to get up every morning
With a smile in your face
And show the world all the love in your heart
Then people gonna treat you better
You're gonna find, yes you will
That you're beautiful, as you feel

Waiting at the station with a workday wind a-blowing
I've got nothing to do but watch the passers-by
Mirrored in their faces I see frustration growing
And they don't see it showing, why do I?

You've got to get up every morning
With a smile in your face
And show the world all the love in your heart
Then people gonna treat you better
You're gonna find, yes you will
That you're beautiful as you feel

I have often asked myself the reason for sadness
In a world where tears are just a lullaby
If there's any answer, maybe love can end the madness
Maybe not, oh, but we can only try

You've got to get up every morning
With a smile in your face
And show the world all the love in your heart
Then people gonna treat you better
You're gonna find, yes you will
That you're beautiful, as you feel

I have highlighted the chorus because I think that it says what I have been trying to say in this blog for over ten years.....

You've got to get up every morning
With a smile in your face
And show the world all the love in your heart

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

a theory

I was talking with a friend the other day about God's love.  He said that he had a theory about 1 John 4:8.  That verse says, He that does not love, does not know God.   He said that he had a theory about that verse and then he paused......

I bit.  I asked him what his theory was.  He said this.... my theory on the statement, he that does not love, does not know God is the following - - -  ""HE THAT DOES NOT LOVE, DOES NOT KNOW GOD."

I was expecting something long, complicated and profound.  What I got was something short, simple, and profound.  People that do not love, do not know God.  Plain and simple.

May we pray that all people, come to know God, that they come to know the God of love.  That they come to know that God is not simply a God of love, but indeed, God is love incarnate.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

1973 Renault Gordini

Random story from my past....

So in my unpacking of boxes, I ran across some old pictures.  When I was in seminary, I bought a
really cool sports car from Lacy Weatherholt's dad, it was a 73 Renault Gordini.  Oh I loved that car.  It had fuel injection, and it would fly.

During Advent, our youth group was wrapping presents in the Walmart lobby for extra money.  [I doubt Walmart would allow that today.]  I had to run to the bank to get some change.  It had snowed the night before.  It had been years since I had driven in snow and no one in Tulsa, Oklahoma sees much snow.

On the way back from the bank I was heading up to the stop sign on Memorial Drive.  I hit the brakes.... nothing happened.  I was sliding.  I saw immediately that I was going to end up out in the middle of this main artery of traffic.  I said to myself, nothing will be coming, I will slide right through.

Sometimes our intuitions are right, and sometimes they are wrong.

As I slid into the intersection, a tractor trailer was coming.  The front end of the Renault slid under the trailer and the back wheels of the trailer hit the driver's side door.  The impact spun my car out from under the trailer.  I came to a stop on the side of the road.

The first one to the car was a friend of mine, John, who  was gassing up across the street.  They called an ambulance.

Overnight in the hospital, broken ribs- no worse for the wear.

As a side not, during my recovery, my friends loved to tell me jokes and try to get me to laugh so my ribs would hurt.  Then I would groan and they would laugh all the more.  I have always had great friends.

Maybe I should have, but I never really thought of this incident as "oh, I could have died."  Mostly I have looked back on this incident and thought about how I love cars too much.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, June 19, 2017


Jesus ran with sinners.  The Pharisees and the self-righteous hated him for that.  By running with sinners, Jesus was turning their world upside down.  By running with sinners, he was changing the rules of their game.  It was no longer the pious who got in, but the broken who saw their need for grace.  No wonder they killed him.  No one likes to have the rules of their game changed.

May we always remember as Peter Rollins taught us, Jesus did not just run with sinners, he ran with unrepentant sinners.  Had he ran with those who repented and cleaned themselves up, there would have been no scandal.

How sad that so many churches in America have painted a picture of a Jesus who loves the good people, the cleaned up people, the whole people.  And he does love those people, but he also loves and runs around with those who are still struggling, those who don't get all the commandments right, those who are broken.

What this means for you is that you are loved, in your brokenness.  You are accepted, you are invited to Jesus' table.  That my friends, is good news.  That my friends, is grace.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

God is not a Methodist

a friend wrote in to me..........

"Jeff, for years you talked about the danger of keeping God in a box. Well, I have been thinking more about that and I have arrived at a realization. God is not a card carrying member of my denomination or anyone else's for that matter. God is not a Methodist, a Baptist or a Catholic............."

Let me comment on this nice note.....

In the movie 42, about the baseball career of Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey who recruits him, is explaining to one of his coworkers why it is ok to bring an African American into Major league baseball. Rickey famously says of Robinson, "I'm a Methodist, he's a Methodist, God is a Methodist."

It is a cute statement, but it is not accurate. God is not a Methodist. God is bigger than Methodism, God is bigger than the Catholic Church. In fact, God is bigger than our ideas about Christianity. Do you realize that there are versions of Christianity around the world that are very different than what we practice in America? And God is bigger than all of the versions.

There is a famous story about 5 blind men who are leading an elephant along a road. Later they were asked what the elephant was like. The one who held the trunk said that the elephant was like a boa constrictor. The one who held the ear said that the elephant was like a piece of heavy leather. The one whose hand guided the elephant's leg said that the elephant is some kind of a giant. The one who held the tail said that the elephant was like a wiggly worm.

They might have thought they knew, but they did not really know what an elephant was like. They only had clues of something that was much much bigger than they were able to perceive in their limited state.

God is bigger than your denomination. God is bigger than our version of Christianity.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Some ideas hit us like a ton of bricks.  We hear them and immediately take them in.  They are assessed and internalized immediately.

Red lights in your rear view mirror = an immediate stopping of the car.
Someone in the house calls for help = an immediate coming to their aid
You get a great coupon in the mail = you can't wait to use it.

There are other ideas that come to us, not as a brick, but as a seed.  An idea is planted and it grows over time.  A good example of this is grace.  We hear grace and we like it... we think we like it... but it sounds too easy.  Over time though, a person begins to see that Jesus was all about grace, all about welcoming outsiders.  Grace grows in us over time.  Like yeast in the dough, the bread eventually rises.

Sometimes we hear ideas that we are uncomfortable with.  Ideas that challenge us.  Don't be afraid of allowing them to work their work.
Yes, part of that fracture was my fault after all.....
Yes, I see what I was doing now.....

These ideas grow within us a little bit at a time.

Do you consider new ideas?
Do you consider ideas that challenge you?
What is God growing in you?

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, June 16, 2017


A referendum is a vote on the value of something.

We allow too many things to have power over us in this life.  My child's behavior is not a referendum on my value.  My income is not a referendum on my value.  My pretty face or not, is not a reflection of my value.

My mistakes and sins are not a referendum on my value.  My good mission work in the name of Jesus is not a reflection of, or a referendum on my value.

I am valuable.  You are valuable.  Period.  Nothing to prove.  God made you and you are good.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

On letting go

Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all -- young and old, rich and poor, good and evil -- the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.

Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current was what each had learned from birth.

But one creature said at last, "I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom."

The other creatures laughed and said, "Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed against the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!"

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, "See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the messiah, come to save us all!"

And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure."

But they cried the more, "Savior!" all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a savior.

                                           -- from Illusions by Richard Bach

Are you finding joy, or boredom in life?
Are you clinging, or letting go?
Are you stuck, or flying?

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

a friend sent this to me....

This came in from one of my friends....

I once worked for a man with whom I had a kindred spirit for liking everything neat and in order. His desk was always in order, and sometimes before he began a workday he laid paperwork for all the tasks out in perfect order. Said that to say that there was rarely anything laying on his desk that wasn’t about his workday.

Because he was a department head people frequently came to and from his office. And as you probably know, in any given group of workers, you’ll find a few unhappy campers, who resist change. In the workplace, this was particularly true when computers first came on the scene. One day I walked in my boss’s office and saw a letter sized piece of paper he’d printed at the copier. On the paper, it said “Don’t look back, we’re not going that way.” I loved it.

To be sure, there are events in life that we tend to look back on, sometimes with good feelings, sometimes not so good. But the idea is not to become mired in the past, and refuse to accept what is.

In thinking about that, I learned a lesson from my toes. If God had wanted me to walk backwards, he would have created my heels at the front of my foot and my toes at the back.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

an oversight

In yesterday's post, I announced my change in status with the Missouri Conference to "retired."  I mentioned my appointments in Missouri and thanked everyone.  If I had been thinking, I would have also mentioned that I was thankful for my appointment in Cape Coral Florida and the great people that I met there.  I am sorry for that oversight.

I also served Methodist Churches in Bixby, Cache and Indiahoma Oklahoma, but that was years ago and I doubt any one from those churches even know that I am still alive, much less a blogger.  Anyway, I am grateful for every person, in every church along the way.

I have been blessed.

And remember, even as a retired person, I can still serve a church.  We shall see what the future holds.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, June 12, 2017


As you know I have been on a personal leave from the church. When you are on a personal leave, everyone asks things like:

"when are you coming back?"
"are you ok?"
and "what happened?"

Honestly, it gets a little tiring. Anyway, I will be 60 years old this year. I have decided to turn in my retirement papers. No more explaining what is wrong with me.... everyone understands retirement. The good news about the retired status too, is that if offered one, I can still serve a church.

I was asked to submit a 150 word statement to be read at annual conference. How do you sum up your life's work in 150 words? Here you go....

It has been a privilege to serve these past 27 years. I celebrate every person that I have met along the way. I give thanks for my appointments in Lebanon, Princeton, Mercer and Woods Chapel. Thank you all for partnering with me on this journey in the ministry of Jesus. I honor every clergy colleague, District Superintendent and Bishop that I have had along the way. 

What a joy it is my friends to be used for a purpose larger than one's self. God uses our nothingness to show his love. God calls each of us to be his sign of love to one another. This is a great privilege that we are invited into. Appointments end, paid service to the church ends, but love goes on, always. 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I love you. It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The beach

Happy Birthday to my sister Julie.  Sis if you read this [and I don't know why you would] happy birthday, I love you, and I am happy for you and proud of you.

Now on to the beach.  My daughters hang out with each other from time to time.  When I was a kid, we did not really even know the other people in our home.  I did not hang out with my sisters or even get to know them until I was much older.  I am not sure why it was that way in my home, but I am so glad that my kids love each other.

Here is a beautiful pic of my lovely daughters Alli and Jenny who have taken a Saturday to spend together on the beach in Jupiter, Florida.  Alli is getting married next year and her maid of honor is Jenny.  This is not something that comes to Jenny by a birthright.... these girls really do love each other.

It makes me so happy to see my kids enjoy each other!

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Drug of Approval

Most everyone I know, at one time or another, has been addicted to the drug of approval. We want the approval of our father, we want the approval of a friend, we want the approval of a partner.

A ten year old girl walks into the room wearing a pink dress. We say, "Oh, my you look wonderful!" She beams with joy. The next day she walks into the room wearing a green dress. We look at her, shake our heads and say, "Green? It's not your best color." Her countenance falls and she is crushed. She is addicted to the drug of approval.  This addiction comes to us at a very early age.

All of us would prefer to be liked. We would prefer to be approved of. We would prefer praise to criticism. There are some people that it is pretty important to have their approval. Your boss would come to mind. If he or she doesn't approve, it could mean a job change.

But for the most part, we are way too worried about getting others to like us. What if we spent our energy living and loving, instead of worrying about if everyone liked us? Maybe they act that way because something is wrong with them instead of you? Maybe they will never be pleased.

Live well. Do right. Love all. But spend your days in celebration and joy instead of worry. Don't buy the drug of approval. God approves already and he is the only one that ultimately gets a vote.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, June 9, 2017

setting boundaries

If healthy people free others to live, they also set boundaries in their own lives.  You can love that 41 year old child, but you do not have to let them move in with you.  You can love that cousin and not loan them the money.

When I say free them to live, it does not mean that you become a doormat.

I may or may not loan someone money.  I am not obligated to do that.  Even to my children.
I will allow you to visit, but I am probably not going to allow you to move in.
I may or may not loan you my tools.
I may or may not do a lot of things.

When I free you to be you, it does not mean that I belong to you as well.  I free you to be you, and to take responsibility for your own life.  If I keep saving you from your life, I am not freeing you to live, but I am probably helping you so I can keep you around.... another form of control and manipulation.

I can love you and free you to be you.  But I don't have to meet you for lunch.
You have a right to be happy.  I release you to do that.
I have a right to be happy as well.
Healthy people set boundaries.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, enjoy it.  And be sure to see the good.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

controlling behavior

As a follow up to yesterday's post, I want to write a bit about control and manipulation.  We have all had those people in our lives that tried to control and or manipulate us, and we have also been guilty, each of us I am sure, of trying to control and manipulate others.

For the sake of my typing fingers, I will now refer to control and manipulate by c and m.

My mother was an expert at c and m.  She wanted to be sure that her kids acted just as she thought they should.  When children are young, they do need some direction for sure.  But at some point, we need to stop trying to c and m our adult children, our adult friends and our adult spouses.  The result of c and m is never love.  If you want to be loved, free others to live.  Let them go.  Let them march to the beat of their drummer.  They have a drummer and it is probably not your drummer.

The moment we try to c and m another person, we are announcing that we are broken and needy.  Whole people do not need to make others behave in a certain way.  They have learned to be ok in their skin.  They can welcome others into their life, and they can release others when others move on.  And in this life, people move on.... most notably our children move on.  They become adults and they are no longer ours to parent.  But sometimes friends move on too.  Sometimes spouses.  These can be very difficult because we have developed attachments to them.  I spent a year once, begging a friend to remain my friend.  Do you think that worked?  Not at all.

Take a few moments to examine your life and ask yourself to what extend you may be trying to control and manipulate others.  Free them to live, and you will find a new freedom in your life as well.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

how to love difficult people

So someone asked a different question. Not so much how to deal with difficult people, but how to love them.

This is going to be a bit uncomfortable, and a bit difficult, but lets chase it... 
Let's talk for a bit about what love is and what isn't.

1. love is not attraction. It is not about how gorgeous or handsome you think someone is. Someday, we will get old and bald and fat and will not longer be attractive. Love must be more than attraction.

2. love is not dependence. It is not two broken dominoes holding each other up. Once one domino gets healed enough to stand on it's own, the loving will be over. love is more than dependence.

3. Love is not an attachment. A clinging to someone or something. It is not an insistence that we cannot live without someone.  Whole people live life, standing on their own two feet [with the grace of God.]

So what is love? I would say that love is willing someone their highest good. Wishing and acting in a way that brings them all of the good that you can. You free them to live, to be themselves. Love is to see and appreciate them for the person they are. It is not about finding someone to meet our needs. Love demands nothing. It is unconditional.

Love is larger than marriage, for you can be married to someone and not love them. Love is a deep appreciation, a kindness, an affection that seeks not to take, but to give, to honor and to free another person to live.  You can have a child that you say you love, but if all I ever do is pour guilt on that child, it is not love.  When I love the adult child, I stop insisting that they live as I would prefer that they live and I simply care about them and for them, regardless of their choices.

And so back to difficult people. Once I stop wanting something from them, they seem less difficult to me. Once I stop insisting that they behave the way that I think that they should, I am less bothered by how they behave. If I free them to live, then I am also free to live. I may spend less time with them and more time with others that I have an affinity with, but I am able to learn to love difficult people when I stop insisting that they solve my problems and I free them to live their life as they choose.

These are indeed difficult words, I see that for sure.  They are words that I write for myself as well as others. It is so easy to be needy in this life and to insist that I get this or that from others..... when I release myself from this behavior, then love rises to the top.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

very well, very well

One of my favorite people in the world once told me that this story changed her life.  It is a real thinker though......

Once in a small village a teenage girl became pregnant.  She hid it from her parents for as long as she could, but eventually they confronted her.  Not wanting to take responsibility, and not wanting to implicate her teenage boyfriend, she told her parents that she was with child by the monk who lived just outside of town.

The parents were furious and they called the village leaders together.  The elders determined a course of action.  When the baby was born, the girl, the parents and the village leaders all went out to confront the monk.  "You foolish, terrible man.  You have impregnated this young girl.  You have fathered this child.  Here, you take it and raise it.  You foolish terrible man."

The monk held out his arms, received the child and said, "very well, very well."

After some months, the young girl, like all mothers do, began to pine for he child.  She couldn't take it anymore so she sat down with her parents and told them the truth.  It was not the monk, it was my boyfriend Johnny that had fathered the child.

The parents were mortified, they were beside themselves.  The had believed a lie, drawn others into it, shamed a holy man and given away their only grandchild.   They gathered up the village leaders and returned to the monk.  

The monk saw them coming and stepped outside carrying the six month old child.
They addressed the monk, Dear Sir, we come to apologize to you.  We were wrong.  You did not do this.  We are sorry that we shamed you.  Please sir can we have the baby back.

The monk smiled, held out the child and said, "very well, very well."

Commentary.... Jesus said don't worry...... what is coming your way today?  Avoid a collision if at all possible.  Avoid the terrible things that you can.  But some things are coming your way that you cannot avoid.  How will we accept them?  Will we make ourselves sick with worry or will we open our arms to the gift of this day?

Very well, very well.  It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, June 5, 2017

different drummer

On marching to the beat of a different drummer.....

Someone said, I have been considered a misfit since my childhood. No one seemed to understand me. My own father once said to me, “You are not crazy enough to be put in a madhouse, and not withdrawn enough to be put in a monastery. What shall I do with you?”

The man replied, “A duck’s egg was put under a hen. When the egg hatched the duckling walked with the hen to the edge of a pool and went straight into the water. The poor hen stayed anxiously clucking on the bank. Now, dear father, I have walked into the Ocean and find in it my home. You can hardly blame me if you choose to stay on the shore.”

You can hardly blame me if you choose to say on shore.  So you have a kid that swims in a pond that is not of your liking.  Yet it is their choice.  We may not understand, but we cannot blame them because we choose to stay on shore.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

dining together

We Americans eat a lot.  We eat so much, and so often that we have forgotten the joy and the gift of dining.

When I was in Russia many years ago, I went to the local grocery store.  Now conjure in your mind a grocery store.  Maybe you are thinking of Kroger, of Price Chopper or Publix.  If you did, then the problem is clear.  We have so much.  We see our opulent society as the norm.  It is not.

It might have been a bad time in Russia, it may not have been typical of Russian grocery stores.  Surely I saw much nicer stores on other trips, but this local Russia store was the size of a double garage.  There was a counter running through the middle of it.  Half of the place was where you stood to wait your turn, the other half held the counter, space for the worker to stand, and the back wall.  Needless to say, pickings were slim.  People would go to the store, not to get what they wanted for dinner, but to see what was available for dinner.  One day there was a few fish.  No beef.  The next day there were a few chunks of meat, no fish.  You get the idea.  You ate what was available, not what you wanted.

So it did not surprise me that when I was staying with local Russians, they would call each other up in the morning and discuss what each one had that day in the way of food.  Then they would meet up to share their food and to share time around the table.

To be invited to one's table is a joy!  When you are invited to share a meal, the host is saying, "you are good, you are welcome, you are loved."

Jesus ate with everyone.  The Pharisees scorned him for eating with sinners.  But what Jesus was saying by eating with them is quite amazing.  Imagine Jesus saying to you, "Come and dine!  You are worth it!  You are welcome here!

To share a meal with someone is a gift indeed.  Maybe this is why we say grace and give thanks before we eat.  To dine with another is a precious thing.

Who have you had over for dinner lately?  Who have you met for lunch?

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, June 3, 2017


I was thinking of people that I used to run with, people that I used to live my life with, people that have moved in and out of my life. So many good people come in and out of our lives.

If you have moved in and out of my life, maybe we will see each other again. Maybe you will come to visit, maybe I will visit you. Maybe we will meet up for lunch in West Palm Beach. Maybe in this life, we will reconnect, but if not:

I bid you Godspeed. May your days we oiled with joy. May your dreams come true. I have done all that I can to help you on the way of life. I have celebrated with you every day that I could. If from now on, I only watch from afar, then may my pain and loneliness be covered by the joy of watching you fly.

I wish you Godspeed.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, June 2, 2017

this too shall pass

A friend sent this in.....

I’m sure many of you remember sayings taught to you by your mom.   My mother had many favorite sayings, and a few were not actually Biblical.  I muse at remembering her telling me “the Bible says if you call someone a fool, you will not go to Heaven.”  My mom’s intentions were good, in that she was teaching me to treat people fairly and not call them names.  Her saying was founded on a verse she read in the Bible, that pertained to the times Biblical writers lived in and the use of the word Raca.

But one of my mom’s sayings is real and applicable to my life today.  I never forget it, and when members of our family are going through a life challenge, we frequently say to each other, “remember what mom always said, “this too shall pass.”   I presently find myself in a situation that is hard, but I know “this too shall pass.” 

Conversely, I realize that some people are faced with situations in their lives that do not pass, such as the prolonged illness of a loved one.  But God promises to give us the grace to keep going on.  And yet, there are many challenges or glitches that come along in life, that pass on and we’re off to the next phase of life.

My mom had a very difficult and hard life (an alcoholic husband, a child who had fifteen major operations in 21 years, very small houses with no air conditioning, and several family members living in them at once, and not enough money to get by.)  But because of her philosophy that “this too shall pass,” she and God got through it all.

Whatever  you may be facing today..... this too shall pass.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, June 1, 2017


I was visiting with someone the other day and they used a phrase, now all too familiar, "I am spiritual, just not religious."

I have heard this so many times over the last ten years.  It seems to be growing in popularity.  I truly believe that some of what TV preachers have said over the years has so hurt the reputation of the church.  Church and organized religion seems to be growing more irrelevant, especially to younger folks.  Oh, I wish that churches could get better at being normal and relevant.
So, spiritual but not religious.  While many wish to distance themselves from the brokenness of organized religion, there is still a deep desire for spirituality.  People recognize that there is someone or something, God, out there that is bigger than they are.  People are too often repulsed by religion, but drawn to the spiritual God.

What are we, who are in the church business to do about all of this?

  1. First of all, make church as normal and relevant as possible.  
  2. Open the books.  Anyone that attends your church should be able to know how much the secretary makes.  
  3. Answer people's questions.  Secrecy gets us nowhere.
  4. Drop every form of pretentiousness.
  5. Be kind.
  6. erase judgement, add grace
  7. Love.  Love. Love.

I think many of you that attend church would say as well, I am spiritual, just not religious.  May our churches and our lives become less religious and more spiritual.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

what not to say

A friend wrote in about the comments that people make at a time of death.

Please don't ever say these things.... I have heard them all, and many more.
"I know how you feel"
"It was their time"
"you are young, you should remarry"
"don't cry"

What we should say at a time of death or at a visitation is, "I love you" or "I am sorry."  Probably both, but that is enough.  I am sorry and I love you.

Now having said these things, let me get back to what my friend wrote to me about.  She is a very bright and a very strong person.  She told me that she does not understand why people feel defensive when their friends say some of what I listed above.  She said that any comment from a friend, even if it is one of the above, is a sign of their love, and their attempt to comfort me.

I see what she is saying, and I marvel at her stable view of such situations.  Maybe we can learn from this and do both.... don't say the wrong things, and don't be defensive if others say them to you.

I love you.  I am sorry.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

take in a goat

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

"The only source of unhappiness in this life are the false ideas in your head." Anthony Demello

"You believe thoughts, therefore you become easily confused and so peace is hidden. Behind the screen of mind is the realm of unchanging awareness — silent, vast and perfect. The wise leave aside the incessant murmurings of the mind and merge themselves here in the infinite bliss of being." ~Mooji

I believe that someone should act they way I want them to = false.
I believe that someone should manage their money the way that I want them to = false.
I believe that someone should go to church = not my decision.
I believe that everyone should vote for my candidate = I have a very small worldview.
I believe that everyone should be nice to me = wishful thinking.
I believe that my life would be better if I just .......... = false.

The truth is this. My life is good. Your life is good. None of us think that we have enough money. We all wish this or that were different. But look hard and fast. See the good. It is there. Focus on the good, not the annoying parts of life.

A man once went to his priest with a problem. He said, "I live in a small one room house with my wife and four kids and they are driving me crazy!!! I can't stand it!! Can you help me???" The priest says, I can help you but you must do exactly as I say.
The man agrees.

The priest tells him to go home and take a goat into the house. Come back in a week and report to me.
A week later the man comes back and he is worse than before. He says to the priest, "Now in my small one room house in addition to my wife and four kids, I have a goat that eats everything, poops everywhere, and won't let anyone sleep. I can't take it any more."

The priest says, you agreed to follow my advice, now go home, take out the goat, clean your house and come see me in a week.

A week later the man is back and he is excited!!! Life is great!!! The goat is gone. I now have my lovely family back in my lovely home. All is well.

If you perceive a problem at home, take a goat into your house.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, May 29, 2017

finding God in the storm

Someone wrote in after the post about the snow storm. They said that they were having their own storm in life right now. They asked me how to find God when life gets stormy.

Let me begin with this... just because we might feel God from time to time, does not mean that he is closer than normal. He is always there, always the same distance away. Our feelings about his presence do not make him closer or more distant. He is there, all the time.

When times get tough and you feel alone, trust that he is with you. God's love never fails, God's love never ends.

When I feel down and alone in the stormy times, I like to remind myself that "this too shall pass." I have had many stormy times in this life, and they all came and went. I know that I will have others before my end of days.

Having said all of that, here are some things that I do when the storms come.

1. talk to a friend
2. go listen to the ocean or a fountain
3. read a book
4. watch a movie
5. read and pray the Psalms

Ps. 22 selected verses
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.[b]

3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.[c]
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.

19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

22 I will declare your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help

God does not leave us in the storm.  The storm clouds simply block our view.  He is there.  Take heart my friend.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

dealing with difficult people

I have a friend who struggles with difficult people.  I think we all have people that we find difficult.  What to do???

There are things that my wife has asked me to do over the years.... pick up dirty clothes, clean out the sink better after I shave, etc.  These things I have taken on and made the changes no problem.  You might want to talk with the person about what is bothering you.  Do it in a kind way.  That may be all it takes.

If that doesn't work, the easiest answer that I come up with is to stay away from them.  You are under no obligation to run around with that cousin, stay friends with that person, or stay in the same room at the family reunion.  Stay away from them.  Someone might say, well they need me, or they want me to be with them..... you still have the choice, and if you choose to run with them, then you will have to put up with their difficultness.  Life is too short.  Run with people that are good for you.

Now, the hard part comes when the difficult person is someone that you can't get distance from.  A boss, the coworker in the next cube, [you could still switch jobs], the best example of someone that is hard to get distance from is a member of your immediate family.  We all want to stay up with our kids, our grandkids, etc.  What do we do when they are difficult?  What if it is someone that I am married to?

If you are married to some that is abusing you, get out.  If they are annoying you, then work on it.  Work on you.  I know many people who have thrown away one annoying person, fallen for the next annoying person, and so on.  Is this a good person at heart?   Then lets work on things.

And so, this is where my brain goes..... I have tried to fix this person for years..... I have realized that I cannot do it.  They are beyond my control.  Think about that!  How funny that I thought I could fix them.  Their behavior is their behavior, their choices are their choices.  I simply must choose to not let it bother me.  They are going to keep doing that stuff and I need to find peace with the me that I am.  Anthony Demello says, "if I have a problem with someone, then I have a problem."  The point of that is that the fixing is in me, not them.  It is my responsibility to give my heart and life to God every day.  I can't control what others do.  There will always be someone who I find rude or annoying.  I can graciously encourage them to do otherwise, but I am going on with my life, living as I desire.  I cannot, we cannot allow someone else's smallness to effect us.  For more on this, get a copy of Anthony Demello's book Walking on Water.

Some years ago a person left our church and sent an email out to a number of their church friends about what a bad guy I was and how they should leave the church too.  It hurt, but I decided not to let it get to me.... and it didn't.  The more we focus on how we want to live and who we want to be, the less we are concerned with the behavior of others.

Print out a sheet of paper that says, "it's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good"  stick it up in your kitchen, and try to live by it every day.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, May 27, 2017


I have been reluctant to write about this, but I think I am ready, so here goes.

As you know, I requested a personal leave in January of this year.  When you request a personal leave, in effect you are saying something like this.....
    "I need a break."
   "I am exhausted."
    "I need to heal"
Asking for personal leave is in effect making a statement that you are no longer up to the job.  Yikes.  That is a painful thing to say, and to hear.

So, if you wish to come off of personal leave and be appointed to a church, you must show that you are healed up and back to your old self.  Maybe the reason that I can write about this now is because I feel that I am back to my old self.

Working with the Board of Ordained Ministry, you come up with a plan for restoration.  Mine includes the following:

In no particular order:
1.  see a counselor
2.  go on a retreat
3.  get away, relax, travel
4.  read

The point of all of this is to help a person, in this case me, find the joy and see the good.

I have been reading The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning.  I highly recommend it.
The ranch was a wonderful retreat.  I am also going to the redwoods in August.
I am seeing a counselor, I also have an appointment with a spiritual director.
Travel..... oh my!  Napa, California.  The ranch.  The redwoods.  Italy in November.  The Holy Land in March.

I have been working my plan and enjoying life.  Reflecting on the Ranch this last week has filled me with so much joy.  Life is not always easy, but there is so much good.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Ranch pt. 5 leaving the ranch

Leaving the ranch.

young Will finds a truck under the snow.
My friend Derek is a beast. He is only 35 but he is a beast. Truly a man's man. We woke up Thursday morning under a foot of snow, and no electrical power. Since he was not going to have our group freeze to death he announced that we were going to Laramie Wyoming [30 miles] for a generator. So Derek, me, and young Will set out in the snow for Laramie.

The first six miles were scary but we made good progress.  Trees on either side of the road helped you see where the road was.  Derek said it was kind of fun to plow thru the snow.

Then we got out on the county road. 7 miles of dirt road that was covered with blowing snow. You literally could not tell where the road was at. We were off the road and into the ditch at least 15 times as we slowly made our way to Colorado 287. Twice we hit a culvert. Once it was hard enough that we all went flying. Derek knew that we could not stop. We had to keep moving or we would be stuck.

 I'll be honest- I was scared. Finally we made it  to the town of Tie Siding, Wyoming [population 7] and the pavement. One mile down 287 the barricades were down and the highway was closed for anyone wanting to go back the way that we came.
A harrowing experience that I will not soon forget.

We take so much for granted. Fear has a way of making one appreciate the times when life is an easy Sunday drive.

Since we could not get back to the ranch because the roads were closed, we got a hotel room in Laramie.  An additional foot of snow was falling that day.  We ate Mexican food for dinner. 3 guys in a hotel room after Mexican food can be another kind of harrowing experience.

 The next morning I flew from Laramie to Denver. I spent the night in Denver and then Saturday flew home to Vero Beach.

Derek and young Will made their way back into the ranch.  Even though a plow had made a pass on the roads, what should have been a 40 minute drive, took 5 hours.  24" of snow and two days later, the generator was delivered.

We all face adverse conditions in this life. Some know how to take the wheel and overcome the obstacles. I give thanks for people like my friend Derek.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Ranch, Pt. 4 Snow

Snow is in the forecast.  Snow?  Actually they called the forecast "snowmageddon."  Tuesday it was 70 degrees.  Wednesday it was 50 degrees.  Thursday and Friday in snowed 24 inches.  It was the worst snow storm in northern Colorado in May, for 35 years.
before the snow

during the snow

12 inches so far

quite a change, and it happened so fast!
I was looking forward to this trip to the ranch.  I was looking forward to the quiet, to the get away, to the camaraderie.  I knew that memories would be made.  I did not know it would include a snow storm.

Sometimes in life we get storms that are not expected.  We did not expect them, but God knew that they were coming.  Don't despair.  He makes all things beautiful in his time.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Ranch, pt. 3 Work

 Ranch, pt. 3 Work.
original cabin - 1871

no explanation needed.

beautiful.  amazing.

What is wrong with me? I like to work. To some degree, I cannot sit still. I am not very good at resting, but oh, give me a list of things to do, and I will go to town.

At the ranch I did some random work. I laid a tile floor, installed new door knobs, cut off a door, worked on a tractor, attempted to fix a flat tire and ran a backhoe.

I love to do this kind of work and it was a privilege to be of some help to my friend.

I hope that you can find work that you love. Speaking of work that I love, several are concerned that I am not currently in active pastoral ministry. Don't be concerned. I am good. I have always loved odd jobs and handyman work. Even while in the active pastoral ministry, I built decks, built retaining walls, planted trees, did electrical work, painted, and just about anything else.

I love this kind of work. Maybe one day I will return to active pastoral work, but don't worry about me. I am doing great.

"I saw that there is nothing better for a person than for them to enjoy their work." Ecclesiates 3:22

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good. Let's go get to work!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Ranch, Pt. 2 animals


An enormous mtn lion bounded across the road.

I saw lots of deer and antelope.

Several wagons remain from the late 1800's

Notice the sidearm.  After we saw the lion, everyone carried.
The ranch is the original homestead from 1870. The coral, barn and wagons are evidence of a time when cows and horses were a normal part of the scenery.

But today, the Horses and cows are gone. So, let's start with the mountain lion that ran across the road on the drive in. He was as large as me and very powerful. On the ranch, we do many things out side. After I saw the lion, I was constantly looking over my shoulder. Yikes!

Bear and moose are plentiful there but I did not see them.

I did see antelope and lots of deer.

Gods creatures are beautiful. Seeing the animals at the ranch was a blessing. Standing outside in the absolute quiet was amazing. Hearing the wind blow through the mountains was amazing.  We are all surrounded with amazing things if we but stop and listen.

It's a beautiful day in God's world be sure to see the good.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Ranch, Pt. 1

A friend asked me to go to the family ranch with him. It is a very special place. Drive across the state of Kansas, turn north at Denver.   Then drive up 287, into Wyoming, turn off at a wide gap in the road called Tie Siding. Then 13 miles down a dirt road, back into Colorado. 
Highway 287 in Northern Colorado

The ranch is 100 acres in the Roosevelt National Forest. It is a place of unsurpassed beauty, peace and tranquility. When I arrived at this place and I saw how special it was, I realized that I had been invited into one of the holy places of my friend's life.

I felt privileged to be allowed in. Friends allow you in. It is a joy to really get to know someone and trust them.

I hope you know people that let you in. I hope you have a few people that you let into the deep, remote, special places of your life. To really live, we need to be seen and accepted as we are.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Today I am home in Vero Beach for the first time in six weeks.  I spent a month working on rental houses, and I loved that work.  I also spent a week in Napa with Cathy and some friends.  I spent a  week at a ranch in Colorado [more to come on the ranch experience.]  But today, I am home.  I spent the evening last night with Scott and Alli.  They missed me.  I talked to a couple of cats... they missed me too. Alli, Scott and I played the game of life.  It seemed fitting in some strange way.

No matter where you travel, it is always good to come home. 

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Broken Crayons

[This post is from a good friend]

Perhaps the reason lies in my defiance for rules and authority. Staying in the lines just doesn’t appeal to me.

Or maybe it’s a combination of both.

But no matter the reason, the result is still the same: I simply do not like to color.

A few days ago, I was in a store for a specific purpose (a new shower curtain) yet I found myself mindlessly browsing the house d├ęcor section. Until I found this piece of wall art.......

Broken crayons still color. What a profound thought for $9.99.

Unfortunately, we all experience brokenness. It is human nature. But in that brokenness, God is with us. And although we are broken, we still have the opportunity to do what we are called to do—whatever that may be.

When I got home that day, I dumped the contents from the bag. Out came a shower curtain, a coloring book, and some crayons.

Jacob’s Ladder

Friday, May 19, 2017

on hearing from God

I went to Oral Roberts University.  Not something that I brag about.  Oral gave us all a black eye, late in life as he insisted that if he did not raise 6 million dollars, God would call him home.  Even with that, ORU was a great place to go to seminary.  Great professors who saw through some of the shallowness of  hyper-spirituality.

The culture of ORU was fraught with people who were always claiming to have heard from God.  They were always saying, "God told me..."  It did not take me long to get sick of such statements.  I never say "God told me."  I recommend that we all stop saying it.

Really?  God told me?  What if I am wrong?  What if  my selfish nature has snuck into my thoughts?  What if I did hear it from God, but me saying it in that way puts you off?

I do think that God speaks, and we can know that we hear him.  I am simply saying that when we tell others that we have heard from God, we are setting ourselves up for embarrassment, failure, and are very likely to become an annoyance to others.

I prefer to allow you, the hearer to decide if I have heard from God.  You know in your heart if something is good, true and right.  You know, you can sense if my words or someone else's words seem to come from God.  We don't need to advertise it ourselves.

Those who say don't know, those who know, don't have to say.

Don't claim to hear from God.  Hear from God and live accordingly.  Others will see who you are and that is enough.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The afterlife

I want to share a story today of something that happened to me in 1995.  This is the kind of story that sounds unbelievable, so read on, or don’t – that is up to you.  But what I am writing about today actually happened to me.

When I moved to Woods Chapel in 1994, the church was split, fighting over an issue.  It was rough year and I was young.  I didn't have any training in conflict management, but I had a feeling in my heart.  It was a spiritual feeling.... over and over I just kept hearing this little voice inside say, "love the people and preach good sermons."

During the first 9 months of my tenure there, my mother was giving me lots of advice about what I should be doing.  I did not agree with any of it.  I kept telling her, mom, I'm just going to love them and preach good sermons.

Now my mom was an interesting human.... very very religious, but also very manipulative.  She came down with cancer in March of 95 and died in July.  It was very difficult.  Since she believed that she was going to be healed, she refused to talk with any of us about reconciliation.  She left us to resolve our issues with her by ourselves.

After she died I actually wondered if people like her get to go to heaven.  Sure a Christian, but oh, she could be mean.

So here is the story.... one night I was asleep in bed an I woke up in the middle of the night.  I didn't have to go to the bathroom and it was not the pizza.  I just woke up.  I could sense the presence in the room and the hair on the back of my neck stood up.  I looked towards the bedroom door, and there was my mother, dressed in the golden robes of heaven.  [there are no words really to describe how she looked, it was other worldly.]  She moved without walking... gliding to the foot of the bed.  She said, "love them Jeff, just love them.  That is all that matters."  And she was gone.

That was the first time and the only time that I have had such a visitation.  I was 36 years old.

This experience told me several things.
1.  Mom was in heaven.  God's grace is bigger than ours.  If my mom gets to go to heaven, lots of people that I wondered about are getting in.
2.  All of the doctrine and ideas that we insist upon in this life, fall away, fall off as we cross over to the other side.  We are lost in God and his amazing love.
3.  Love them just love them.  Mom was in effect validating the feeling that I had in my heart that I should love the people and preach good sermons.  This was a picture of the primacy of love, that it trumps all.

So, here is the moral of the story.... If you are worried about someone who has passed, just know that God's grace is immense.  And for every day that you are here on this earth..... love them, just love them, that is all that matters.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

behind on emails

So I wanted to let you know that I am, and why I am behind on my emails.  I am staying in a lovely place in KC, but there is no internet.  So to really catch up on emails, I need to go to Starbucks or such.  Someone said, use your phone....  well my thumbs are too big to type much on my phone.  Someone else ....was concerned that I was mad at them......

No.  not mad at you.  Why do we assume that someone is mad at us?  Everything is ok.  There is a topic for a blog.... everything is ok.

I will eventually catch up with emails.   I am not mad.  Just busy with handyman work and disconnected electronically.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Normal and relevant

Sometimes pastors feel the need to be above other people.  They can get ivory towerish.  They can come to enjoy the notoriety, the pomp and circumstance, the being placed on a pedestal.

When I look for a pastor, I am looking for someone who is down to earth.  Someone that normal people can relate to.  I am looking for someone that is approachable, that draws me in.  If they welcome me, maybe God will as well.

I love to think about Jesus walking out for the sermon on the mount.  He did not dress up in fancy clothes that day, he did not put on a big cross.  He did not change his voice to preacher voice.  He stepped out in the midst of the people and said simple things like, "blessed are the poor in spirit."  People loved him [except for the pompous pharisees.]  People loved him.  Children loved him.  He was approachable, normal and relevant.

We would all do better to just relax and be ourselves.  Spirituality is not so much putting something on, as it is taking off the pretense that so easily besets us all.

No one needs to pretend.  Be you.  You are OK.  You are good.  Good enough.  God made you and he loves you.  This world needs normal and relevant people.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, May 15, 2017

California Trip

I recently returned from a week in Napa and Santa Rosa, California with my wife and friends.  It was a beautiful trip.....

Things that I don't like about California:
-it is too expensive to live there
-too many people there
-it's a long way to go for a visit
-I like going there too much

Things that I do like about California:
-the redwood forest
-the ocean, the waves, the beach
-the weather is fantastic
-the foothills and mountains
-my sister lives there
-I lived there, age 12-19 and it still beckons to me

Here are some pictures from the trip.  I hope you enjoy them.

TArmstrong Woods State Reserve- Guerneville, Calif.

DeLormier Winery- Alexander Valley

Coastal Scene - Jenner, California

Ferrari- Carano Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

Happy Mothers Day to all of you wonderful ladies and friends. God bless you for all that you have done for your biological children and for all of your other children.

My Mom went to be with Jesus on July 17th 1995. Some years ago I found this quote in her Bible:

"In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God." - Aeschylus

I had never heard this quote before. My mom knew it, but never shared it with me. I find it to be very profound. You may not need my explanation of the quote, but here goes:

At night, my true thoughts and feelings flood my heart.  Sometimes the thoughts drip beautifully, but all too often there is worry, concern, even despair.  I sometimes wish that things had turned out differently.... Then an amazing thing happens.... the grace of God reaches me and I am healed.  Healed from a broken heart and healed from dashed hopes.  My heart turns again to the joy of life.

Thank God for the wisdom and grace that can make life beautiful, still.

May all of the mothers in the world find the joy and the grace and the beauty of being a mom today.   God bless you. Happy Mothers Day.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, May 13, 2017


When I was a kid we were poor.  My dad had trouble holding a job and we moved a lot.  My parents had cars that did not run all the time.  There was no such thing as a vacation.  There was food on the table, but it was pretty basic and we ate what mom cooked for days, until it was gone.  Nothing was wasted.  Nothing thrown away.  When I was a kid, I thought we were poor.

When  my mom was a kid, they were poor.  They lived in a small house in Kirkwood, MO.  Her parents raised 6 kids on the intermittent income from work as a mechanic.  Mom's parents spoke German.  If a rabbit came into the yard, it was dinner.  Mom was routinely sent into the yard to dig dandelion greens for their vegetable.  I heard stories of my mother's upbringing and I thought they were poor.

Then I went to Nicaragua.  My mother was never poor.  I was never poor.  We have so much.  We always had clean water.  We always had a flush toilet.  We always had warm showers.  There was always food on the table.

I should never allow myself to feel that in some way, I had it rough.  I know nothing about being impoverished.

May we all feel grateful for what we have, and do all that we can to help those who do not have the same blessings. But for the grace of God go I.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, May 12, 2017


chicken wire keeps dogs off new grass

Life does have it's embarrassing moments.  So I was looking a someone's deck that needed repair.  They have a dog, and part of the yard is cordoned off with chicken wire because they are trying to keep the dog off of new grass.  It has rained a lot lately and the ground is wet, muddy and mushy.
It didn't look that tall

So the lady of the house is up on the deck and we are talking.  She is in fact, asking if I am a Christian.  As we are having this warm hearted conversation, I step over the chicken wire, or should I say I tried to step over the chicken wire.

Stepping mostly over chicken wire does not really count as stepping over it.  The heel of my trailing foot caught the top of the wire and I was stuck. Frozen.  In an odd moment of everything coming together in the worst way, I could feel myself going down.  As if in slow motion, my old carcass was falling towards the ground.  Gravity was going to win again.

body shaped indention
There was a loud thump.  Cars stopped to see what was happening.  A news helicopter flew over.  Was that an earth quake?  The lady of the house gasped, "OH MY!, are you alright?"  Yes I was alright, except for a deep bruise to my pride.

Wet and muddy, I slowly pulled myself back up into a standing position.  Sometimes we have to laugh at the things that happen to us.  I think when I was younger, chicken wire fencing was shorter.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Help Wanted

I am looking for help with this blog.

As you know, my dear friend Dan Horn passed away suddenly.  He was my back up.  He posted for me for ten years when I needed a break.

I need to find someone who would like to submit some things for my blog so I can have a break from time to time.  Here are some of my rules.

1.  No guilt, only grace
2.  honest, sincere, and raw if need be.  I am looking for someone who thinks hard about life.
3.  you must learn to read, and like Richard Rohr
4.  you can't be offended if I don't use all of your posts.

Let me know if you think that you can help me with some posts.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Our Narrative

816 people survived the sinking of the Titanic.  They all had the same story, but they also had 816 different stories or versions of the event.  

When we have a life experience, we each have a tale to tell.  I have mine, each person has their own, and each person is entitled to their own story.

We need to be open to understand that our version isn’t always, or probably isn’t ever without our perspective, our spin.  Some need to tell the story in a negative way; others will find a positive way to tell the very same story.

I encourage everyone, no matter what is going on in their lives, to find a way to tell the story in a way that emphasizes the positive and sees the good.  Life is too short to carry a narrative that hurts others.  Part of forgiving someone is agreeing that we will no longer tell the story of “what they did to us.”

Sure the Titanic sunk, but we are alive and we have a chance to live on.  There is always a positive way to look at a story.

It’s a beautiful day in God’s world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

True North

I have a long time friend who likes to use the phrase "true north."   Jon says that people need to identify what their driving life principles are and stick with them.

What is your true north?  Have you identified it?  What have you been taught that is good?  Is right?  These are your true norths.  In a world where so many things pull on us, wouldn't it be nice if everyone worked diligently to stay on track in life?

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.