We Said There’d Be No Room for Doubt

Oct 11, 2018

We may find ourselves questioning long-standing beliefs out of time.  In looking back, it can be that prior certainties appear less crisp and more subject to interpretation.  At least, that’s…
Continue Reading »

I’ve Got Neon in My Veins

Oct 01, 2018

This gray hair don’t mean a thing.  Well, it bugs me is all.  Still a little hard to believe when I look in the mirror. A ninety-four year youngster once told me, “I know I’m old, but I…
Continue Reading »

We are the World

Sep 27, 2018

While we like to think of ourselves as nonpartisan judges, personal leanings cannot be denied.  Issues speak to us in differing measures according to our lights.  This is not wrong.  It’s…
Continue Reading »

Let’s Stay Together

Sep 20, 2018

In the recovery field, we find that victims often become perpetrators.  It is difficult indeed to understand why one who has suffered from abuse (whatever type) would exact same on others.  Painful…
Continue Reading »

What Happened to Me, Part 5

Sep 13, 2018

Let’s see here.  Synopsizing portions of my life in the ministry, I have touched in brief on the choices, changes, cash, conflict and call.  Perhaps, you have found some points of commonality…
Continue Reading »

What Happened to Me, Part 4

Sep 06, 2018

I am one who believes in the divine call to vocational ministry.  In other words, making the ministry your job.  However, I do not believe one need be solely employed in the ministry for this…
Continue Reading »

What Happened to Me, Part 3

Aug 30, 2018

It never occurred to me that ministry would engender conflict.  In my youth, I had seen conflict on church-related issues, but there is a vast difference between observing a thing and being in the…
Continue Reading »

What Happened to Me, Part 2

Aug 23, 2018

I never gave much thought to the money I would earn in the ministry.  Turns out, no one else did either.  At least, not those who employed me.  You see, I was of the firm belief (in my youth)…
Continue Reading »

What Happened to Me, Part 1

Aug 16, 2018

At only a few weeks old, our youngest son had surgery to correct a rather common malfunction of the digestive tract.  The procedure left him with a small scar on his abdomen barely visible after only…
Continue Reading »

You Can Tell Everybody

Aug 09, 2018

In some ways, the wickedness of our time is unprecedented.  At the same time, we may be living in the greatest days of gospel effort and effectiveness the world has ever known.  It’s a strange…
Continue Reading »

Nobody Rides for Free

Aug 02, 2018

It is hard to achieve balance in benevolence.  In our world, the multitude of tragedies is truly breathtaking.  Good-hearted individuals will seek to meet needs of the impoverished.  On…
Continue Reading »

The Game of Life

Jul 26, 2018

Years ago, I watched a television mini-series entitled, The Master of the Game.  Near the end of the drama, the matriarch of a family relayed the words of her father to her clan.  She said he…
Continue Reading »

Conversation Rules the Nation

Jul 19, 2018

I think I know what I think, but I can’t put it into words.  As one who has garnered a significant portion of income through public speaking, I’m a little embarrassed to admit the truth. …
Continue Reading »

As Time Goes By

Jul 12, 2018

Most of life is not great, and it’s not half bad.  The majority is just regular stuff.  It’s irritating, confusing, delightful and comforting.  At least, that’s how it’s been in…
Continue Reading »

Get in Where You Fit In

Jul 05, 2018

The search for significance leads to varying ends.  For some, the road is rather easily traversed with low degree of difficulty.  These travelers are in the minority as most find the incline…
Continue Reading »

Not a Dream Survived

Jun 29, 2018

Our certainties often fail of reality. Around the campfire, we vowed to be friends forever and never to lose touch.  For a few, glory days extend into the future but not for most.  We meant to…
Continue Reading »

Pickups and Splashes from Floor and Pool

Jun 21, 2018

“Karen Faulkner may be hot copy in the fifth grade, but uptown she don’t mean a thing,” said the Barn to enterprising Opie regarding his newspaper’s features.  For the youngster to increase…
Continue Reading »

Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People?

Jun 14, 2018

It is quite common for people to express faith in the basic goodness of mankind.  In group settings, I will ask, “Do you believe in the goodness of people?”  Nearly everyone responds in the…
Continue Reading »

Roll With It, Baby

Jun 07, 2018

What do you do when life is too much?  Hard times knocking on your door?  Don’t stop and lose your touch.  Get on through it.  Roll with it, baby.  In difficulty, people will…
Continue Reading »

It Looks as Though You’re Letting Go

May 31, 2018

I’m getting a little better at reserving judgment.  By that, I mean withholding my opinion.  It’s about time. Now, I’m still a person of considered opinions.  Some more so and some…
Continue Reading »

My Wife and Kids

May 24, 2018

Dr. Seuss said life is a great balancing act.  Him and about a billion other folks.  They’re only saying it because it’s true.  However, balance is a vaporous thing not subject to precise…
Continue Reading »

Give Me Just a Little More Time

May 17, 2018

We’re always fretting about time.  There is either too much of it or not enough.  Will we be on time?  Are we running out of time?  It has been said that the most asked question worldwide…
Continue Reading »

Wonderful Now

May 10, 2018

Years of working in the ministry, as well as, the recovery industry have taught me the necessity of understanding perspective in conflict management.  I’m not even saying I’m particularly good…
Continue Reading »

The Last Time Ever I Saw Your Face

May 03, 2018

We are always marking firsts.  The first time a baby rolls over.  The first steps and words of our children.  Seldom, do we remember the lasts.  The primary reason for this is that…
Continue Reading »

Wait Till They Get a Load of Me

Apr 27, 2018

Memory retains the childish song, “I am a promise.  I am a possibility.  I am a promise with a capital P.  I am a great, big bundle of potentiality.”  Just as we never know what…
Continue Reading »

Somewhere Only We Know

Apr 19, 2018

Try as we might, it’s difficult to put ourselves in the places of others.  It has occurred that empathy is something we believe we have which may not be apparent to those in need.  It’s like…
Continue Reading »

Afraid of the Dark

Apr 12, 2018

The world recently mourned the passing of Dr. Stephen Hawking, the eminent scientist and cosmologist.  I actually read one of his books (well, part of it) and was gratified to find that this superb…
Continue Reading »

Daddy, Don’t You Walk So Fast

Apr 06, 2018

In 1972, Wayne Newton released a song about a man preparing to leave his marriage.  As he walked down the highway toward a new life, he heard his daughter crying out as she ran after him, “Daddy,…
Continue Reading »

Something Better Than in the Middle

Mar 29, 2018

I recently heard one remark that the last thing they wanted said at their casket was, “Look, he’s moving!”  It’s hard to know how you’d want to exit this life. Most would not want to exit…
Continue Reading »

It’s Ten O’Clock Somewhere

Mar 22, 2018

Our church’s Sunday morning worship hour is at ten.  The churches I attended in my youth uniformly held Sunday School at ten with worship following at eleven.  Just like it says in the Bible. …
Continue Reading »

I’ve Got a Lot of Crazy Friends

Mar 15, 2018

They forgive me of my sins.  My crazy friends that is.  I’ve known a lot of people over the years.  Some hung on, and some fell off, and I have a few observations on familiar relations.…
Continue Reading »

If I Should Die Before I Wake

Mar 08, 2018

Recently, a friend of mine gave an apt description of the relationship between the body and the spirit.  She said that, each morning, the physical man rises and the spirit man rises along with him. …
Continue Reading »

Where is My Badge?

Mar 01, 2018

Every person yearns for the sense of belonging.  In some, the urge is overwhelming, whereas, others prefer a more solitary life.  The need, however, is present to some degree in every individual.…
Continue Reading »

You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Pastor

Feb 22, 2018

I am fascinated by the different fields of employ.  By that, I mean it intrigues me that people give themselves to life works of which I know little if anything.  There are entire industries…
Continue Reading »

The Class of ‘57

Feb 15, 2018

I love to dream.  It has been easy for me to get caught up in my imaginings and make of them more than I should.  And it is possible to hold onto a dream too long.  Kipling said we should…
Continue Reading »

I’ll Stand by You

Feb 08, 2018

My friends are my friends.  Right or wrong, my friends are my friends.  And I stand by my friends.  It’s not that I always agree with them.  Lockstep does not friendship make, and…
Continue Reading »

I’m Going with Some Hesitation

Feb 01, 2018

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…”  Been there.  Most of the time, however, it’s been more like a maze.  I’ve often felt kinship to Tom Hanks at the end of Castaway standing…
Continue Reading »

Give Me Just a Little More Time

Jan 26, 2018

I’m not a patient person.  While I hate to admit it, an honest confession is good for the soul.  It’s not easy for me to give myself a break, but there may be many reasons this is so with…
Continue Reading »

I’m Gonna Live Forever if I so Desire

Jan 18, 2018

In my youth, each day held endless possibilities.  There was more time then with every sunrise to sunset a plump blueberry in my childish eyes.  Living was joy and not assumed to be more than…
Continue Reading »

The Enemy of the Good

Jan 11, 2018

I’m a serious practitioner.  Some would say I’m a perfectionist.  Now, that application can be good, and it can be bad.  Largely in the eyes of beholders, onlookers will view strivings…
Continue Reading »

Old Soldiers

Jan 04, 2018

Memory fades.  That is, when it’s not faulty to begin with.  In addition, memory can morph into something more akin to fantasy than reality.  The roadways of our minds can be interstate…
Continue Reading »

Where the Love-Light Gleams

Dec 28, 2017

As one who has spent the better portion of lengthening years in the dream-world, I may not be able to speak for all the wistful but can, at least, for me.  My heart has been bound to my dreams so…
Continue Reading »

Section Eight

Dec 22, 2017

I’m going to die in the projects.  No, I don’t live in housing, never have and am not on a waiting list.  But I’ve spent a lot of time in the communities of those living with government…
Continue Reading »

If the Fates Allow

Dec 14, 2017

It is impossible to foresee all eventualities.  While forward thinking is advised, no amount of planning can insure success.  On the other hand, victory has been snatched from the jaws of defeat…
Continue Reading »

I’d Like to Thank All the Little People

Dec 07, 2017

Most of us will not receive awards of significance as counted by air-time.  It is true that there is more than one way to access accolades, but you take my meaning.  And most honors are seldom…
Continue Reading »

Candle in the Wind

Dec 01, 2017

In an interesting twist, some things are strong and fragile at the same time.  This idea finds application in people, things and ideologies.  Like Superman, we all have our kryptonite, and we…
Continue Reading »

Tryin’ to Loosen My Load

Nov 25, 2017

Retired persons will often say they don’t know how (in former days) they had time to work.  In the walk of life, one thing replaces another in progression or digression.  In theory, a time…
Continue Reading »

Where are the Nine?

Nov 17, 2017

Many years ago, I made an ill-fated attempt at selling insurance.  Looks easy.  Right?  Sorta made sense to me as I have spent my life talking to folks, cold-calling and the like. …
Continue Reading »

What I Really, Really Want

Nov 10, 2017

There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them.  There’s the rub.  It takes much of life to figure out what we want in life.  Sometimes, after we…
Continue Reading »

Wishin’ and Hopin’

Nov 02, 2017

Moses was tending sheep in the wilderness when he stumbled onto holy ground.  God spoke to him from a bush that burned but was not consumed.  God told Moses to take his shoes from his feet and…
Continue Reading »

Neither Up Nor Down

Oct 26, 2017

One day, a wise, old king marched ten thousand men up and down a hill.  The soldiers spent part of the day on top of the hill and part at the bottom.  However, while they were climbing and descending,…
Continue Reading »

I Need You Now

Oct 19, 2017

All hail to the self-reliant.  I have great respect for the “never-say-die” set and attempt inclusion in their number.  To tell the truth, I don’t know how life can be lived any other way. …
Continue Reading »

Lately, I’ve Been, I’ve Been Losin’ Sleep

Oct 13, 2017

In the halcyon days of my youth, I was able to sleep.  A lot.  Now, I’m not saying I slept all the time.  Only that I seldom had trouble falling asleep and never wanted to rise at the…
Continue Reading »

Nothing Really Matters

Oct 06, 2017

Gang members are some of the best I know in accepting personal responsibility.  Allow me to qualify this statement by saying not in every way, and I’m referring, mostly, to recovering bangers. …
Continue Reading »

You and Me Against the World

Sep 29, 2017

Having oft heard certain speaking with perceived erudition and thoughtful pauses that we are truly fortunate to find one or two real friends in life, I still think that’s being a little too hard on people. …
Continue Reading »

Doctor, My Eyes

Sep 21, 2017

I lost it gradually.  So gradually, in fact, I scarcely noticed the demise.  That is until one day it was markedly diminished.  My eyesight, that is.  Having read Kipling’s, The Light…
Continue Reading »

A Fool Such As I

Sep 15, 2017

It takes a little while for life to sink in.  By that, I mean we don’t get the meaning right off.  The meanings of things, that is.  When we do, it is often too late to do anything about…
Continue Reading »

You Had One Job!

Sep 07, 2017

Gomer looked down dejectedly as the Barn castigated him for failing in yet another seeming simple task.  He had one job, yet failed at that singular thing.  I know the feeling.  One thing…
Continue Reading »

When the Night Closes In

Sep 01, 2017

If you are sick, you’re sicker at night.  This well-known and much-experienced truth is emblematic of the fact that everything is worse at night.  If you are worried, you dread the night. …
Continue Reading »

I Don’t Care Too Much for Money

Aug 24, 2017

I made a vow to God (and the moon and stars) that I would not make money my aim in life.  Being determined to make the work of the ministry my goal and not look at the paycheck, I dove into the ministry. …
Continue Reading »

There’s Been a Load of Compromisin’

Aug 17, 2017

Growing up, in my mind, the idea of compromise had a negative connotation.  To be seen as a compromiser meant that you weren’t true to yourself or your beliefs.  It carried the idea of instability. …
Continue Reading »

If

Aug 10, 2017

The Spartans pioneered the laconic phrase.  Lakonia was the general region around Sparta in southern Greece.  As Philip II of Macedon was conquering Greek city-states left and right, Sparta was…
Continue Reading »

The Man With No Name

Aug 03, 2017

Prominent in the “Spaghetti Westerns” (so called because they were filmed in Italy rather than their purported locations) was the protagonist who no one seemed to know anything about.  Being a…
Continue Reading »

I Bet You’re Wonderin’ How I Knew

Jul 27, 2017

How do things get out?  We’re always asking ourselves that question, and we always already know.  Secrecy is a burden few are willing to bear.  At the same time, it can be nearly impossible…
Continue Reading »

All Hat

Jul 20, 2017

Texans who own no land have cattle.  Strange as this may sound, for many, it is a part of the culture of the area and indispensable in their minds.  Maybe it’s a link to the old west, but some…
Continue Reading »

Look Up

Jul 13, 2017

I once heard that a difference between humans and the animal kingdom (referencing land-dwellers) is that animals spend most of their time looking around and down while humans more often look up. …
Continue Reading »

Mill Run

Jul 06, 2017

There are advantages and disadvantages to small town living.  Having lived in large and small locales, I’ve seen some of them up close and exhausted none of them.  In addition, there are perspectives…
Continue Reading »

Me and Thee

Jun 29, 2017

I would venture that the majority of conflict I’ve seen has been over not much.  A friend of mine spent over twenty years in prison for murder.  One day, in talking about the incident, I asked…
Continue Reading »

Behind Closed Doors

Jun 22, 2017

In April 1973, Charlie Rich momentarily scandalized the music world with the release of “Behind Closed Doors.”  The song was briefly banned from radio play by some stations though it went on to…
Continue Reading »

Tomorrow, I’ll Miss You

Jun 16, 2017

A cohort of Popeye’s would say he’d gladly pay tomorrow for a hamburger today.  I suppose it’s a very human thing to seek gratification without delay and a payment plan though such should be…
Continue Reading »

One of Us

Jun 09, 2017

If God had a face, what would it look like and would you want to see it if seeing it meant that you would have to believe in Jesus and the saints and all the prophets?  Such is the speculation in…
Continue Reading »

It’s Your Thang

Jun 02, 2017

A free society places emphasis on the rights of individuals.  This is much to be preferred over social constructs which tolerate no divergence of thought or action.  However, for a free society…
Continue Reading »

The Last Song

May 26, 2017

Hindsight is always clear.  The things behind us are certainties while the future offers figments and the present doings of undetermined import.  We are always counting firsts but seldom remember…
Continue Reading »

I Done a Lot of Foolish Things

May 18, 2017

I’m thankful there are a few things of which I can be proud for there are many which I would disclaim if I could.  Those foolish things I really didn’t mean.  I’d take them back if I could,…
Continue Reading »

Momma Told Me Not to Come

May 12, 2017

In various areas, and to varying degrees, women have been the guardians of morality in our society and world over.  There may be many reasons for this with certain being related to genetics. …
Continue Reading »

The Lonely Street of Dreams

May 04, 2017

You know, I’ve always been a dreamer.  I like to think of things the way they could be rather than the way they are.  In saying this, I’m not disrespecting the status quo though I’m not…
Continue Reading »

Store Brand

Apr 28, 2017

A grocery will have several varieties of much of its stock.  While this is not true of each sundry, it is a common thing.  In fact, the same might be said of other businesses to the same or lesser…
Continue Reading »

In a Perfect World

Apr 22, 2017

Once, there was a perfect world, but it did not endure.  It’s hard to imagine exactly what the unblemished would be as we are far from that ideal.  Still, we envision our hopes when thinking…
Continue Reading »

The Backstabbers

Apr 15, 2017

They smile in your face.  All the time they want to take your place.  The backstabbers.  Backstabbers.  Those whose fair presentation masks foul intent.  People who engage in covert…
Continue Reading »

More Than Words

Apr 06, 2017

Great stress should be laid on things we say.  Words are powerful and precious.  Powerful in that they encourage or entomb intentions, and precious in that they enrich and endear individuals. …
Continue Reading »

Can Faith Save Me?

Mar 30, 2017

Christians confuse me.  Well, people who say they are Christians confuse me.  The reason is that what I see of them (sometimes) does not seem to fit the picture painted in Scripture of what a…
Continue Reading »

Do You Know What I Mean?

Mar 23, 2017

It’s hard to solve a problem without knowing what the problem is.  And the nature of an issue is, sometimes, in the eye of the beholder.  Couple these with there being more than one way to…
Continue Reading »

I Won’t Back Down

Mar 17, 2017

Rock-ribbed stances for right are in short supply.  So is wise compromise.  These seeming contradictions are not actually so, and both play parts in the lives of effective people.  See,…
Continue Reading »

I Can’t Stop This Feelin’

Mar 09, 2017

The counselor’s refrain, “How does that make you feel?” serves its purpose in particular settings but should not be used as a mantra for all of life.  Yet, many people insist on living as if…
Continue Reading »

Isn’t She Lovely?

Mar 03, 2017

Many people will say they have high regard for faith and spirituality but lesser use for the church.  Such statements, if not made with an air of superiority, are made in full confidence of propriety. …
Continue Reading »

I’m Not Big on Social Graces

Feb 24, 2017

Like everyone else, I like to be liked.  Frequently, people will say (especially men), “I don’t care if people like me as long as they respect me.”  As a matter of fact, that’s a major…
Continue Reading »

You Don’t Know Me

Feb 17, 2017

When I was at Welch College, the President (who always spoke in chapel) would often reflect on his own marriage in his homilies.  I remember him saying that, when he got married, he didn’t really…
Continue Reading »

Welcome to the Jungle, Part 5

Feb 10, 2017

Christ’s followers will spend their lifetimes attempting to overcome the curse.  It is appropriate that we do so for in such strivings we are confronting the effects of sin.  Our efforts are…
Continue Reading »

Welcome to the Jungle, Part 4

Feb 03, 2017

It is well-established that the physical world is fallen and not as created.  Weeds grow.  Animals are aggressive.  The weather is inhospitable.  Work is toilsome though it bring certain…
Continue Reading »

Welcome to the Jungle, Part 3

Jan 26, 2017

In dealing with the natural world, we attempt to tame and care for it within our abilities.  The many beautiful and beneficial aspects of the earth we affirm and preserve.  If we need change…
Continue Reading »

Welcome to the Jungle, Part 2

Jan 20, 2017

Mankind’s fall from grace has affected every aspect of existence.  It is somewhat easy to understand the physical aspects of the fall, but these are not the only considerations.  Physical reality…
Continue Reading »

Welcome to the Jungle, Part 1

Jan 13, 2017

A story is told of Cain and Abel racing through desert sands to their father, Adam, and breathlessly describing a beautiful place discovered in their ramblings.  They wanted to know if their family…
Continue Reading »

Meeting on Edges

Jan 06, 2017

The people I know are composites.  They are mixtures of cold and hard positions, as well as, the downright warm and fuzzy.  The way we view others depends on our interactions with them. …
Continue Reading »

You’re Only a Day Away

Dec 27, 2016

In one sense, it is hard to live in the present because every act or thought immediately becomes the past.  Now is an immeasurably small unit of time.  To discuss it on these terms is nonsensical…
Continue Reading »

Do You Know What I Know?

Dec 22, 2016

Each generation comes into knowledge they believe to be undiscovered save by them alone.  At some point, there is the realization that these truths were not unknown at all, only unfamiliar. …
Continue Reading »

I’m Younger Than That Now

Dec 16, 2016

Benjamin Disraeli characterized life from youth to middle to old age as a mistake, a struggle and a regret.  While this may seem to be a dismal view of God’s gift, it is true that young people make…
Continue Reading »

I Won’t Back Down

Dec 09, 2016

I’ve lived a lifetime defending turf.  And, believe me, there is turf to be defended.  The stances of churches with which I was familiar and the general leanings of much of society in my youth…
Continue Reading »

Brief, Shining Moments

Dec 01, 2016

The exquisite moment is not the norm.  Now, we would like to think that times of inspiration and ecstasy would be more regular than they are, but, the truth is, they are fairly scarce.  Most…
Continue Reading »

Walk-Ons

Nov 26, 2016

I’m not quite the sports fan I was, but I still maintain a healthy interest in the goings on of gridiron, court and field.  I suppose one reason my interest has waned is the continuous news cycle…
Continue Reading »

Born to Run

Nov 18, 2016

Ages ago, a friend used an expression unknown to me that registered and has become one of my personal bylines.  As we were discussing a long-forgotten issue, he said, “You can’t make a racehorse…
Continue Reading »