Saturday, April 1, 2017

I should have been addicted…

I never used drugs or drank. I often think about what kept me from going down that path that so many take to stop their pain. I certainly had all the emotional qualifications to become an addict. I don’t believe that anyone wakes up one day and says, “You know what I think I’ll do with my life? I think I’ll get addicted to drugs, lose all my friends and family, break hearts—including my own—lose my health, break laws, get arrested and possibly one day be found in an ally dying from an overdose.”

Where does it start? Usually, something triggers the need to soothe a hurt. An emotional pain or even physical pain needs to STOP. The problem with dealing with any pain or hurt in that way brings on a deadly probem that soon wraps its tentacles around a person’s life and they end up with a hurt that owns them—helpless to the point of death.

Like me, you might say but I never went that far but I still reached for something to stop the pain.

Sometimes a person is bored and just looking for a ‘fun time’ the night or day, it begins. It’s like going to a carnival that promises a rush beyond normal life, excitement full of lights and cotton candy. Nothing destructive or painful sends them off on this path. They would say that it wasn’t some deep emotional scar they wanted to get free of that brought them down to the place they find themselves. Whether triggered by a curious or sad longing that sends us seeking the quick fix both can take us to a place we wish we'd never gone.

If we live long enough we all have something come into our lives that could open us up to one or the other reason to look for something outside of ourselves for momentary comfort. So many different things drive us.

Is there any other choice? Is there anything that can stop the hurt, help me with things I can’t do and even offer me more contentment than I’m experiencing?


But you probably don’t want to hear what it is. Neither did I. I’m glad, though, that the Lord kept me long enough to listen to what He had to say in the beginning of my walk with Him. If you will allow me a little of your time I have something I think you might find interesting and hopefully, useful.

I knew nothing. All I knew was that there was a GOD. I knew nothing of Jesus or the Holy Spirit. In a way, I was fortunate because I had no religious doctrine that the Lord had to undo. I started with a blank page.

Oh, my, there were so many things I didn’t know back then. I had so much to learn. I started reading a Living Bible that one of my customers gave me as a gift. She had no reason to do this. She just brought it to me one day and said that she thought I would like it seeing that I had just become a Christian. That moment was one of the most valuable pieces of knowing God I’d ever have handed to me. Not just that Bible itself, but how He would begin giving me exactly what’s needed through so many sources that I would never dream possible. She was the first of many the Lord would use in my life.

You want to know what hit me in an even greater way that day? God was talking to someone about ME! He spoke MY name to this woman and impressed on her to buy me that Bible.


I devoured that book! I still have it and it’s tattered and torn. I read it as if my life depended on it and—it did. I read the Word like a starving person. Soon I’d read so much that I was stuffed!

I’d read how the Lord taught in parables and I guess even back then with my creative writing mind I could see, taste and feel in those parables what the people were going through.

Then something happened.

The first time I realized that I had come into the world with something that was all mine and no one had told me about for the first 22 years of being alive was when the Lord told me about my—God Given Square.

This is how I started to learn, by the Lord giving me my very own personal parable. Let me share some of my early walk with you.

My God-Given Square, parable

A man knocks on my door one day and he says that he has the deed to a piece of property that belongs to me. I’ve never known about this property or who would have given it to me. But he’s persistent so I agree to go look at it. We pull up to this property and get out to take a look. While he fumbles in his briefcase for the deed, I’m left staring at this large piece of property—puzzled.

It's covered with piles of black garbage bags, rusting discarded items, littered trash, piles of fallen limbs, and some things I can’t recognize for the flies buzzing around them.

Finding the deed, he smiles, hands it to me, wishes me good luck and disappears. I’m now left alone standing by this property, my mouth hanging open and at a total loss. Who gave me this property and who did all this? Furthermore, what in the world am I going to do with it now?

I spent a few days seeing this plot of land in my mind and wondering why.

Quietly, one day the Lord stood beside me surveying this property with his hands clasped behind his back—smiling.
I thought, “What is he smiling about?”

I certainly didn’t see anything to smile about—so of course, I had to ask.

“Lord, what is all this? I thought I’d been given something good. This is a mess.”

“It's beautiful.”

My second piece of learning was that the Lord always backed up what He said to me with the Word. Unbeknownst to me, while I was devouring the Bible that I’d been given, all that Word was being laid up for me so the Holy Spirit could bring it back to my remembrance as needed. Some I didn’t even remember reading but it had been deposited IN me while I read.

Isaiah 61:3
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

I was dumbstruck. Hearing the Word with so much promise while staring at a mess that somehow represented my life was incomprehensible. There was no way those Words were being spoken about THIS property.

Little did I know right then that it would become true.
Within all those bags were Beauty, Joy, Praise, and
Righteousness prepared for me so that MY life might give God Glory!

To be continued.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Don’t bother me, I'm bouncing my batteries

The internet is an amazing place. The internet can teach you all sorts of things—good or bad. It isn’t the first thing in life that has been created for the well-being of mankind and sooner or later someone figures out a way to use it for a malicious purpose and spoil it for us. So long as we humans have tendencies wired into us to do wrong—guess what—we will do wrong. But thankfully there are people who benefit personally from knowledge gained and pass it on to the rest of us—via the internet.

But let’s get back to battery bouncing. How many times have I hunted for a new battery and if for some reason it wasn’t still in the package it came in, I really had no idea if it was good. This leads me to ask myself the same simple question every time upon finding a lone battery, ”Why would I have kept a dead battery?”

Then my mind thinks, “But maybe it's good and it just rolled out of the package.” That’s always a good one. 

So I go with the former belief that this battery is—good. I pop it into whatever device needs its power and it works either momentarily or nothing. No light comes on indicating that power has been restored. 

It’s a dead battery. It’s hard to imagine that you could reach a ripe old age and continue to do the same nonsensical things. But something in me holds to the idea that somewhere in that battery there just might be a resurrected power. That on a stormy night it will power the flashlight that will keep the darkness from invading my soul. (That last line might be a bit too flowery but I write so—what do you expect.)

Now, I know what some might think—why not just invest in a battery tester? Come on let's be real. Even though we live in a battery driven world just exactly how many times in my life have I thought, “Hmm, I think I’ll buy a battery tester.” 

Hardly ever—never. That is, until what few battery-driven devices I do use—die on me. 

Then some creative, investigative, scientific-minded geek (or not) reaches through the chaos and puts out this simple video.

Mr. Video Man:  Bounce your batteries, he says. 

Me: Sure—right. 

Mr. Video Man: No, really, bounce them.

Me: (already feeling stupid for keeping dead batteries.) Okay, I’ll bite.

Mr. Video Man: Hold the battery upright and drop it on a hard level surface. If it’s good it will land standing up on the first drop. If it is dead or near dead it will bounce several times before falling over.

Me: Gawfffff—okay, let me get this right, you want me to drop my battery and it will land upright if it’s a good one or fall over if it’s one of the ones I kept just for emergencies?”

Mr. Video Man: I’m not sure why this method works but it does every time.

Me: I know why you had to come up with this test. Because of people like me who saved used batteries. 

So the next time I search around in the dark, drop that one battery I salvage out of my “I might need it one day” bin, drop it to see if it stands up or bounces and rolls under the stove I’ll know if Mr. Video Man was telling me the truth.

Too bad we can’t have a simple fix for us, humans. Drop us and if we stand we’re good. Drop us and if we bounce around and fall over we’re not. 

I’m done; I have to go bounce my batteries. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Right Foot

 I’m not sure which of my feet the right foot is. I do know my left from my right in position of feet but as a RIGHT or wrong foot that’s my quandary. Getting off on the right foot is essential to everything we do. It’s the bases for how things proceed from here. So far I’m doing all right seeing that I have only been at 2017 for three days, some hours, a few minutes, and these current seconds.

But in that time I’ve managed to restart this blog for whatever reason hit me this morning. Join another blogger’s site (not to successfully so far) and write something on my own blog to show good faith in blogging again.

I know one thing I do—I always start off hopeful which is amazing in itself. Hope is a wonder to me. That I have it is a miracle. We are born with hope installed in our DNA. But when we begin to walk in this life hope can often be either enhanced or destroyed.

Depending on our beginning years and the people who start influencing us it often sets the tone for how positive or hopeful of a person we are. Depending on humans can be a risky business. When these humans start coloring on our personal page of life things can get muddy.

If that happens there is a solution—the Lord. I know because he scrubbed the not so positive or good coloring of others on my life-page and gave those areas back to me. Hope bloomed again. 

Sometimes we think that there will never be life in a part of our lives that has failed to grow. I’ve never had a green thumb but I have had my share of many brown twiggy looking things in a pot that I know had something green IN it at one time.

My life had some of those brown twiggy things and one of them was hope. So I’m going to begin here on this blog again and hope will thrive. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The word of the day… dismayed

     This morning I’m running on three hours sleep. I’m not sure why sleep didn’t find me late night; it just wasn’t looking very hard. So, it will be a lost day. Do you ever have a lost day? I’ll get sleepy in about an hour, go sit in my comfortable chair, and be out like a light in less than five minutes. Right now, I’m drinking half-a-cup of coffee and pondering the word ‘dismayed’. That was the scripture verse in my e-mail this morning.

 Isaiah 41:10

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

     All of this applies to me today. I’m tired. Being tired brings a sense of the following, distressed, disappointed, in tears, saddened, and troubled.  I could also throw in weary. It’s awful to wake up more tired than when you went to bed.  I think part of it is the sadness I’m feeling watching the world going haywire.
     There are so many tragic events happening right now. A person could get to the place that they wouldn’t want to step out of their door. So, to read this morning exactly what was needed for the day ahead of me, I’m thankful.
     It’s hard not to be dismayed. Even the word is strange to my ear. I don’t remember the last time, if ever, I said to someone, “Don’t be dismayed. Everything is going to be all right.”
     I have said the latter part many times because the thing that comes to dismay us eventually passes; it’s the passing through part that troubles. If I do rally enough today to do some writing, I’ll put this mood to good use. I’ll go to the story that has the character in the midst of their dilemma. They will understand how I’m feeling today. I find that on the days that I write with whatever I’m personally feeling, my characters are more colorful, honest, and relatable.
Here are a few of the books I’m working on.

For insistent, from Brook of the Willows

     Wilber ran his heart out. He ran so far into the forest that stood across the open fields of the small community of Waverly Port that he ran onto the bank of the brook. Wilber couldn’t run any further. He was heaving and gulping for air. As he lay on the bank about to draw his last breath, he heard the soft flutter of the Angel’s wings.
     She gently drew the little rabbit into her arms and cradled him close to her hoping that her life would flow into his limp body. However, it wasn’t to be. The angel knew now why she’d been sent in such a hurry to the dying side of the little rabbit. All she had been told was his name and that he was very special to God.

Or this one, from Fallen, Broken, Mended

    There’s nothing louder than awkward silence; A silence that screams words only heard by the heart. Martha Donnelly heard the screaming and wondered if it was her own. If having to make the decision to put your nineteen-year-old son on life support wasn’t horrendous enough, taking him off was unspeakable.
     Martha’s heart became in tune with every rhythmic hiss that accompanied the ventilator sustaining Chris’ life. Unplugging it would be like unplugging her own heart.
     As she watched the rise and fall of his chest, she couldn’t help but remember all the times he ran breathless into the house to tell her the latest astonishing thing he’d found out or drag her by the hand to come look at another of his contraptions.
     Nothing that housed wires, gears, or tubes, or had wheels was safe from his imagination. Several times Martha was startled by her potted plants walking around the room seemingly on their own. Latter she found out that Chris had rigged an old vacuum cleaner motor under a wooden box on wheels that he controlled by remote from the other side of the room.
     Martha had seen every imaginable object take on a life of its own. Now here she sat wishing that someone would walk through the door with the wherewithal to give Chris his life back.

Or this book of mine that is in progress, Casualty of Love

     Brenda Marshal made it barely ten feet from the front porch before she fell to her knees and heaved her guts out. It certainly wasn’t a very well mannered way of putting it, for sure. Nevertheless, it would be the only way she would ever be able to describe what she did the day that her whole world crumbled down around her.
     Her mind couldn’t focus on the chain of events that had unfolded in her household that morning and her body had finally protested. All she remembered screaming was how could someone keep living a lie all those years? Her mother’s answer was as matter as fact and controlled as all her other answers.
     “Brenda, because the wealthy can hold to lies as truth to save face at all cost. It’s just the way it is. They believe the lie until it becomes the truth.”
     “Grandmother knew the truth all these years and she never told anyone?”
     It was in that moment that Brenda realized the worst possible truth about her own mother. Her Grandmother had told someone and that some one had become party to the family lie.
     “Brenda, dear, you have to try and understand. What were the chances of this ever happening?” stated Caroline Marshall.
     Brenda remembered whirling around at the nursery window at the hospital and grabbing her mother by the shoulders. She was sure she’d left bruises on her pale upper arms. She remembered slowly enunciating each syllable of her words in her mother’s face as she jerked her toward the window forcing her to look at the newborn baby in the adjacent basinet.
     “There is the chance, mother.”
     She still couldn’t comprehend the detached look on her mother’s face as she glanced at the infant through the glass. The child was the casualty. There might have been a slight trace of pity, but it only lasted a second. This event was like everything else in the Marshal household. If it didn’t fit his or her schedule, taste, or lifestyle it was ignored, overlooked, or simply dealt with by someone else who was paid to take care of it.

Or perhaps this last one, The Love Experiment

     All Roger Burns could think of at the moment of impact was that when two objects collide the immovable one stands the best chance of surviving. Seeing that he was the moveable object it was no surprise when he flew ten feet into the air and landed on the hood of a parked car. The second thing that went through his mind was, “I wonder what make of automobile I just landed on?” It allowed him to hit and roll to the ground unharmed without leaving a dent in its hood. He’d have to be sure to write the company a letter telling them how body/crushproof their design is. It also wasn’t that strange for his next thought to be that he’d just wasted four bucks on a cup of coffee that was now all over the sidewalk and the front of his expensive suit. His day was off to one frustrating start.
     Once he assured the driver and bystanders that he was all right, he retrieved his scattered belongs, dusted himself off, and headed toward his office. The woman who hit him seemed far more upset than he was. She’d insisted on him taking her insurance information, which delayed him even more.
     Roger Burns was a self-motivated hard-hitting young executive who seldom let anything or anyone get in his way. He was driven.  He’d not always been that way, but life has away of changing a person when they lest expect it. He was the middle child of three siblings in a family of high achievers. He was referred to as the ‘adopted child’ by his sisters. Being the only boy, was supposed to have propelled him to the top of the pile, but once he started showing his true personality, it demoted him.

You see, there are many characters that are in need of the feelings that being dismayed this morning has produced from my lack of sleep.
     If I manage to wake up enough to advance any of these books forward, perhaps in another post I’ll let you know how they are doing. Right now, I’m headed to my chair, turning off the light, hoping sleep will come quickly. 
     Drat… Dragging out these books has wet my writing appetite. My books become like family and friends to me. I can’t leave them hanging for too long of a time. They need me to return and get their lives going again.

Soon, soon… (yawn) I’ll be back. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mortar shells and rockets…

     At seven-fifteen a.m. in my small portion of the world, I was experiencing an unseasonable cool crisp morning. An ever-slight breeze stirred the surface of the pond that lay a few feet from my small patio. There wasn’t even the chirping of a bird to break my quiet mental wanderings this morning. As I sipped my coffee and watched the slight stirring along the edge of the pond where some of the smaller inhabitants were undoubtedly enjoying breakfast, I had a thought.
    The news right now is so full of unrest, sirens going off, and normal everyday life constantly being disrupted with men throwing rocks, screaming and setting fires to the very neighborhoods they live in.  While sitting on my patio enjoying solitude and peace, it made me wonder where my next thoughts were coming from. What I was thinking of writing to post today certainly wasn’t about rockets and mortar shells.
    Recent news reports from Israel have spoken about having a device that has been intercepting incoming rockets long before they find their target. Thus avoiding damage and possibly loss of lives. As I sat barely able to conceive the thought of outward missiles coming toward me, I thought of other destructive rockets that have been launched in my direction when I’ve least expected them, i.e.  A word, thought, attitude, or even one unsuspecting remark when you least expect it can alter your whole day.
    Because I try not to ever be preachy, I only talk about my personal walk with the Lord if someone initiates the conversation and then I still only share out of what I’ve been given throughout my 42 years as a Christian. That is really all I have to give.
    With the thoughts this morning of how grateful I was that I wasn’t running for shelter due to a siren going off warning me of possible danger I realized that I do have an actual internal warning system. One that has gone off many times in my life and when it does it sends me running into that safe place that has been constructed inside of me.

The righteous run into the Lord and are safe. He is my high tower, my buckler and my strength.

When someone opens the door by asking me how the changes in me over the years have come about and I tell them the ways the Lord has taught me personally, they seem amazed. To me it just became a way of life. I saw very quickly that my internal structure was highly susceptible to incoming attacks.  I learned early on that the Holy Spirit was my warning device. Sometimes I only had a few seconds to heed His warning and run into that safe place in me. The place that I’ve come to recognize is under the shelter of the Lord’s wings. No, I’m not saying that I believe that God has actual wings, but I’ve experienced genuine comfort that those words have painted for me over the years. I’ve run into as real a place that I knew held for me a sense of emotional safety; A place where something actually happens within me. That word or thought being sent to me in that moment is real. It’s coming with a purpose to hurt or depress or cause me to stumble but before it hits its target, which is my heart or mind, the Holy Spirit intercepts it. I see it exploded by the spiritual device in me that brings the Word of God up to meet that thought with what is really the Truth. That weapon is defused, caught in midair and doesn’t prosper toward my life.
Have I always heeded these warnings and avoided being hit? No, sadly I’ve heard the Holy Spirit’s gentle warning and didn’t yield.
    Maybe, like my outward world this morning, someone reading this isn’t experiencing screaming sirens alerting him or her to incoming rockets, but another kind of war is being launched toward them. That’s the thing about this busy world we live in now. You can be in the same room, office, home or even sitting on the same pew and sometimes be too self-absorbed to recognize that another person is under attack.These daily sneaky attacks hurt if they find their mark. They can often alter our whole day. The one thing that I guess was put in my mind this morning to share was how grateful and thankful I am to know where to run in times of danger.
    I know where my safe place is. I know that if I heed the warning, I will be safe. Those assailing thoughts or actions that come by unsuspecting means won’t find their way into my heart. Ah, the heart, that’s another whole blog subject. Maybe for tomorrow. Isn’t it amazing that all the heart is, is a muscle? A pump that keeps our blood flowing and yet it seems also to have a hidden mind that I never was told about in any anatomy class I took.
    When I started back with this blog, I wanted to be faithful to write as I’m led. I hope this encourages someone today that if they are being bombarded and don’t think that there is anywhere to find safety I’m here to tell you, there is. Abiding under the Shadow of the Almighty. But I hope this causes you to see that he’s so much more than the Biblical Deity he can sometimes be presented as being.
   My earthly father never once bent down with open arms, encouraging me to run to him when I was afraid, sad or in need of comforting. It took me years to find a Father who would do that very thing and still does to this day. I might be 65 years in age, but I still need to feel the comfort of a Father’s arms encircling me while reassuring me that any rocket sent in my direction this day will not find its mark.
    If you’re hearing the screaming of personal sirens in your life today, I pray that reading this might encourage you where to run. It really works.