Tuesday, December 7, 2010

“The Show Must Go On”

A long time ago, a brother in Christ and myself prayed about starting a Christian meeting on the west side of Jacksonville. (and No, this is not “Westside Story”). So after sharing our heart with the Elders at the meeting we were in, we started meeting on Sunday nights in a rented hall. Not too long after, we started meeting on Sunday mornings, and conducting church meetings at that rented hall. We had somewhat of a nice crowd to start with, some were from our other meeting that lived on the west side, and some new believers, and others were somewhat regular visitors.

I took on a lot of responsibilities, It was a drinking hall, so each Sunday morning, I opened the building to air out the smoke, cleaned all the bottles and trash, set up all the chairs after sweeping. Then I scooted across town to pick up a lady that loved the believers there, and wanted to be in fellowship with us. I led the singing, and sometimes preached, and I led the bible study at times.

There were some Sundays that the brother I worked with in starting this meeting was out of town preaching. Those days, I was “Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” I know that’s a weird term, but frankly, I did everything, led the singing, taught the bible study, and preached. Then I cleaned up the place before I went out for lunch.

I remember one of those days, I was leading the singing, and giving announcements, that I made a statement, I said “I think the men of this meeting need to measure their commitment to the Lord, and this work for him, to step up, and share the burden of service, to share in the speaking, and singing, in the plan of God, I shouldn’t be a “”One Man Show”””. Basically, I challenged them to “Man Up” for the Lord. Well, I remember well that day, because after the meeting, I was taken aside by a fellow believer, and was frankly told “Mike, the Lord’s work is not a show”. Well, as you might guess, I knew that already, and it was not at all what I meant, but like water on a ducks back, I let it roll.

After many years of walking (stumbling mostly) with the Lord, and serving him in different meetings of God’s people, I have come to realize one thing. Church is just one big show most of the time. I mean it, we have the song leader, and if he is out, we scramble to find a replacement song leader because that is what the people in the pews are expecting to see isn’t it? Then it’s preaching time. What if the preacher is out, we scramble to get someone to preach, because, that’s right, you guessed it, it is what the people in the pews have come to expect. The show MUST go on. And although most churches are not like my earlier experience, and one person seems to do everything, it is very much that. There are a handful of people that do everything, and the “people in the pews” pay their dues, and expect to be entertained. Let the substitute preacher be a little boring, and the pew peeps will wag their tongues like nobody’s business. They all have an opinion, just how does Brother so-in-so measure up to Brother what’s his name? The worship leader didn’t move me this morning, or, wow, I really felt the spirit in the song service today! It’s all about being entertained.

Reading in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, he dictates letters to the church in chapters two and three, seven letters, and the fifth one he address the church this way: “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” We have fancy churches, fancy programs, and fancy clothing for all the Pew peeps, but there is “Death” in the lives of the very people that should make up the church, You and me. What would happen if the preacher and the song leader didn’t show up one Sunday? I begged a fellow believer who shared the preaching, and I the singing with, to do that very thing, to not show up one Sunday. Imagine, who would “Man Up” God’s church is made up of believers, working together to encourage each other, to teach each other, to love each other, to cry with each other, and to rejoice with each other. God has given every one of us an amazing gift, a supernatural gift, so that we would be equipped to do all these things, yet here we sit in the pews, letting someone else do it all. I cringe when I hear someone say “I really felt the Spirit in the meeting today” knowing all they did was sit there and be entertained.

Do you really want to experience the power of the Spirit of God in the meeting you attend? Do you ever wonder what it would be like to see and feel the power that can shake the walls as we pray? Then ask God right now, “What is MY gift”? “How do you want to use me in this church”? Then listen to him, and he will show you. As you commit to his service, you too will began to feel the real power of his Spirit.

Sunday’s coming, will the show go on? Or, will we change the script, and let God use us to change the world?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Place In Heaven

As we read the creation story, we see the most beautiful garden ever created. Then placed in it were all the different animals, birds, and fish of every kind. The trees were fruitful, and the flowers were bright and beautiful, and God himself walked in this garden, being the brightness of it. Then he created man, and placed him in the garden to care for it. He was given the task of naming all the creatures, of all the bird types, animals, and all the different kinds of fish. But with all the creatures in the garden, there still was no like kind for man to have a relationship with. So God used a rib from Adam, and created his wife. I can only imagine her beauty, and the wonder and excitement the first time that Adam saw his bride. All in all the first part of the book of Genesis was a perfect world, a perfect garden, perfect creatures, and a perfect couple. It goes without saying, that at this point there was no Mother-in-law in the picture.

We are told that the lovely couple was naked. Reading the story, it seems that they were unaware that this was an issue in polite society. I can only imagine what it was like traipsing around the garden with no clothes on. Now on the subject of man being naked. These thoughts came to me while watching a football game the other day. And it hit me, that had not sin came into this world, that all 22 players on the field, and all the officials, with all the coaches, and all the other players, and all the fans in the stands would still be naked, and I thought… Oh My. But as human history reveals, sin was introduced into the world, and when the woman and the man ate of the forbidden fruit, from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, their eyes were open, and they realized that it is not nice to be naked in polite company, and immediately procured some K-Mart brand fig leaves to cover their bodies.

Now we know that because of the actions of our father Adam, we all have been banned from the garden, and that means a whole lot more in spiritual terms than just not seeing and enjoying one of the most beautiful places in the whole world. It meant for mankind, that we did not have a place in the home of God. We read in the Bible that there are a lot of created beings that have a place in heaven, but there was not a place for man anymore. It is so wonderful now to understand the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, when he explained this to his disciples. He said that he was going to go away, and he was going to make a place for us. It took his disciples a long time to understand that though his “earthly” father was a carpenter, that our Lord was not going to heaven to build us a house with a hammer and nails. Though the hammer and nails were used in the preparation of our place in heaven, it was not our Lord that swung the hammer… It was you and I. Yes that’s right, it was our sin we inherited from our father Adam that kept us from heaven, and it was our sin that had to be paid for before we could have our place with God restored. So in truth, it was us that swung the hammer that day, and buried the nails deep into the hands and feet of the Lord Jesus. But it was his love for us that kept him there, that bare all that dirty laundry from our past and future in his own body, as God punished him for me. Now, just like Adam and Eve, who watched in horror and pain, God take a little lamb, and kill it, skin it, and then wrap their naked bodies with the skin of that poor little beast. We too see in horror and pain that precious Lamb of God, killed because of our sin, and his righteousness (skin) was wrapped around our spiritual naked bodies, making us right in the sight of God. It was this act of our Lord Jesus Christ that has prepared us a place in heaven… Hallelujah, what a savior!

Now I hope you have already accepted his free gift of salvation, and have the assurance of a home in heaven. If not, why not today? I cannot promise that everything in this world will turn to roses, but I can tell you that God promises you a home in heaven. Yes mother-in-laws will be there too, but I am pretty sure that the football team will have clothes on.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

At The End Of The Day - Emily and Danny Are One

The Big Day has come. My little girl is getting married. All the preparations, all the money, and all the excitement has come to this day. Family and friends from all over have come to witness this day, when two will become one. It is a wonderful feeling to see all the people that are special in Emily’s and Danny’s life, come to share this with them. They are special to us as well. In a sense this is like a family reunion, my family having to travel to be here, and Lisa’s family who lives near, and Danny’s family having traveled so far. My only stress has been, and being highlighted today, has been that we cannot all be together. Some in our home, some in motels, some leaving to drive that long way back home tonight. Even trying to get just my family together for a meal is chaos. There really is no way for all of us to enjoy each other’s company, to spend time with some exclude others. Then, there is the parting, saying goodbye to some we will not see for a very long time. This will always be like this until our Lord returns for us, calling us home, to a place where we will never part from each other. When we are truly home, we will be able to enjoy the love, comfort, and fellowship of each one all the time.

I have always taken the responsibility to love, to protect, to be a friend, and even be my little girl’s Valentine. But at the end of the day, “This Day”, she will have committed these things to someone else. Danny will now love her, protect her, be her best friend, and always be her Valentine forever. It’s kind of sad in a way, but exciting in another, because in this life, we will always have the hindrances to fellowship with friends and family, whether it be the distance, or the crowd being too large to be with everyone, she will always have her best friend at the end of the day. Every night when I go to bed, my best friend in this whole world is right there beside me, to love me no matter how dumb I have acted that day, to remind me that I am the greatest thing in her life, and the give me the assurance that I need for the next day. I am thankful for my wife. Now I know that Emily too will have that assurance, comfort, and love that has sustained me for so long. I am thankful for Danny, not for taking my job away, but for being these things for my little girl.

Congratulations My Little Sunbeam!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bell Road and Blue Lights

I know we all have that one road where we always warn our friends, that “they always have speed traps on this road” And when we stop and think about what we just said, we realize that we really can’t remember the last time we saw a “speed Trap” on this road. The thing is, one day we are driving merrily on our way, to a happy place, when all of a sudden, from a side road, a police car pulls out behind us, with Bright Blue Lights flashing like aliens from another world, Then the siren blaring, as if announcing to the whole world what a horrible person I must be. Isn’t it embarrassing sitting there, police car, triumphant in his kill, lights still flashing, it’s a wonder they don’t leave the siren on as well. You just know, somebody is going to drive by that knows you, so you duck down real low as the officer writes that little piece of paper that will ruin the rest of your life… Happy Place, you can forget about any happy place today, you have been pulled over and are getting a ticket.

So there you are doing the “Gonna Get A Ticket” prep talk to yourself. Rehearsing your defense, and response to the officer when he finally walks to your window. I know your thoughts during this time, first it’s the innocent act practiced: “Good Morning Officer, Was I doing something wrong?” Then the Tough Guy act: “With all the criminals in this town, robbing banks and killing people, why are you wasting your time on a simple traffic stop like me?” And then finally, the Oh dear me act: “ If I get a ticket, I will lose my job, my home, my wife and the dog” Then he approaches, and with a firm voice, says, “License and registration, and keep your hands on the wheel”. And for some unknown reason, we all become babbling idiots.

Now back to my point, the whole experience is so traumatic that we will always remember that place in the highway kingdom, as the one place the police are always there. But I have found a place in the “Highway Kingdom” where they really are there all the time. And no, I have never got a ticket there. I remember and warn, because it is true. That place is Bell Road. I know, even when I say the name, Nashvillians all over the globe trembles a little. Yes it is true, they are there all the time, I have even come to recognize the officers that are there all the time, and where they set up shop. So, I had to think on this a bit, and came to two conclusions that the police would make one spot a regular place, when all over this great country, in the Highway Kingdom it is not normal to have one specific place or road that is consistently patrolled. The first of these conclusions is, that Bell Road must have a large amount of accidents, fatalities, and/or people endangered by speeding motorist. But I am confident that none of these things are true, leaving the only consistent thing being the speed trap. So my second theory is the “Fish are biting” theory. What I mean is, the speed limit is way too slow for this stretch of highway, that is the only connector between two places, and used by almost everybody in the world. So I figure, if the speed limit is way too slow, that even the best of us drivers that want to obey the law will speed when trying to drive at a speed that feels right for the road. So, the mentality is, if I am already speeding a little, I might as well go all the way, making just about everybody in the world speed on this street. I know, you can attest that it is not everybody, because of the one hundred cars in front of you, there is always that one car driving five miles under the speed limit. I do have an answer, and this is serious, so if you are someone who knows that mysterious person or department that cares about these things, and has the ability to make change, please share this little bit of wisdom with them. Raise the speed limit fime miles an hour faster, that’s all, I am confident that all the normal people that are only speeding because they are already adding the five mph will be satisfied with the change, and no longer speed. Now, I am not talking about Mr Tailgater, or Mr hand out the window exhibiting his longest finger to the world in front of him, they will always speed, and will always be mad, but for the rest of us, we will no longer be the fish in the Police Departments recreation of giving tickets, and bell road will once again, be a normal place, a safe place, a road to that Happy Place we all long for!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Christmas in December!

I remember when I was a kid, it seemed like Christmas would never come. It seemed like an eternity from the very first sign of Christmas decorations seen in department stores after Thanksgiving’s day to that magical moment Christmas morning, when all these wonderful presents appeared under our Christmas tree. It always was such an exciting time of year for me. I was the saver in my family of six siblings, and when my Dad would finally take me Christmas shopping, I had already made a Christmas list, and had formed my ideas of what I wanted to get for each sister, Brother, and my Mom and Dad. I enjoyed so very much selecting each gift from the wide variety of things at our local Pic-N-Save. Then on Christmas Eve, when all our Families got together to eat, eat, and eat some more, then open presents from aunts and uncles, I watched proudly as each sibling and Mom and Dad opened their gifts from me, I would go to each one after I saw their expression of what I knew was sheer delight, and explain why I thought that was the perfect gift for them. We also were allow to pick and open one gift from our parents on Christmas eve, after everyone else had left, and we had begged until we broke our Mom’s heart. I always had such bad luck choosing too, it was always some sort of clothes in the gift I chose, but I wasn’t allowed to choose again.

As I have grown up, it seems that Christmas seems to come much more quickly than when I was a child. I haven’t actually interview any kids lately about this, but I would think that it must be coming more quickly for them as well. The good news is that the department store owners have realized this as well, and I have seen a trend over the years to start the holiday season a little earlier each year. It started with seeing Christmas decorations out in stores just before Thanksgiving’s day. I can almost hear some of the older folks saying, “it sure seems like they are putting the decorations out extremely early this year”. And so it was, year after year as Christmas seemed to come quicker and quicker, the decorations were displayed earlier and earlier. Then it hit me this year when in the middle of September, walking through a store, I saw Christmas trees and decorations, and I heard myself say ““it sure seems like they are putting the decorations out extremely early this year”. Oh no, I am getting older. But anyway, I started thinking, if the retail world keeps up this pace, it will not be long until we actually have “Christmas in December” I mean really, it makes sense. I think that would be so cool, maybe the kids will get to experience the wonder and joy I did as a child, with a short time between the appearance of the season, and the day Christmas morning finally comes, it will seem like forever again, and the moment will be as magical for them as it was once for me.

Merry Christmas!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Butterflies - 5


We have to ask ourselves at this point in the study, What was the gift that Peter and John gave to this poor lame man?

Acts 3:6 6Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

The man was clearly there to beg for money, food, or any gift of value. Peter said, I don’t have “silver and gold” but what I do have, I give to you. We could certainly say that the gift was his healing. Watching that man jump up and down on those new legs and feet, his leaping around, and praising God, must have been a sight to see. Also, can you imagine being Peter and John, and seeing God do such a miraculous thing as this? But I am sure, that it was not the power God worked through them to heal this man that could thrill their heart.

But as we examine this story, we must realize, that the Apostles were not looking for people to bring physical healing to, though we see them doing that quite often. But their drive and passion was pointing people to the Lord Jesus. So, if the gift that Peter had, that he offered to this man was not healing, what was it? And the answer is Eternal Life. But there was a problem, this man couldn’t see the glory just inside the Beautiful gate because of his awful disease. He was consumed with it, and it had blinded his eyes, though the glory was right in front of him. We too will come in contact with people every day, that though salvation is right in front of their eyes, they cannot see it, because of all the things in their lives, and we have to do what I have heard a very wise evangelist say one time, we have to get people lost, before we can get them saved. We have to remove the thing that blinds them from the Love of God, in this case, it was this man’s desire to survive as a lame man in a whole man’s world. So the gift wasn’t the healing, that only served to help this man see the Lord, and his salvation.

But back to the gift for a moment. Eternal Life. There are people all through history that have given their lives, rather than denounce the name of Jesus, Why? There are people that have sold everything that they own in this world, and moved to a strange land, lived in mud huts, slept on a dirt floor, just for a chance to point someone to the Lord Jesus Christ, Why? It is because this Gift of Eternal Life is of more value than all the gold and silver in the world. Its value will last beyond the existence of this world as we know it, and its joy, runs far deeper, and surer than any happiness all the money in the world can offer.

Read this passage with me, I will add a little comment in parenthesis, but let God’s word move your heart as you read this:

2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes (Because we being in sin, having no hope, and without God in this world, we were poor, and destitute in this world) he became poor (Not only did he die, but he bore in his body your sin, the sins of the whole world, and suffered the eternal judgment we deserved), that ye through his poverty might be rich.

Romans 6:23 23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

You carry in your heart, that precious gift of God, Eternal Life. When all the world is falling apart, when all around you is chaos, there is a deep abiding peace and Joy that floods your soul. When even death knocks on our door, we do not fear, for this life is eternal. Death is an early exit, and a blessed homecoming. Don’t ever think of our mission as a mobile hospital, bringing physical healing, and prosperity to man, but by using miracles like that, and preaching, and living for God, shinning for him in this sin darkened world. For the greatest gift we ever received, was God’s son, the Lord Jesus Christ. And that will be the greatest gift you can ever offer to anyone in this world.

Butterflies! How beautiful God has made a worm like me. When you get to heaven, look for me, I will be fluttering all over, ever consumed with his wonder, love, and grace.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Butterflies - 4

Acts 3:1 1Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

Acts 3:4 4And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.

Acts 3:11 11And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.

What now? Isn’t that a question to all believers? Now that God has saved me, now that I am standing, walking, leaping, and praising God, What Now? The Lord Jesus trained twelve men to serve him after he was gone. Over three years he told them all about the kingdom, all about the father, all about future events, and so much more, that John writes in his Gospel account, that the world would not be big enough to contain all the books that could be written about him. But it seems that, over and over, they were left scratching their heads. Now you can’t say Peter didn’t try, and try as he might, he seemed to always put his foot into his mouth. Peter, and the other disciples leave me hope. Sometimes I feel I just will never get it. Just when I think I got it all figured out, something, or someone comes along and proves me all wrong.

I am saved, I love God, I worship, I study the bible, and I give to the Lord’s work. But really, what now? After our Lord died on the cross, and it was told the disciples, that he had risen from the grave, they saw the Lord alive. He let them touch him, and see and feel the nail prints in his hands, and the hole in his side from the soldiers sword. He then told them what he wanted them to do. Then we read in John 21:3 :” Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.” It hadn’t been very long since he showed himself to them, and in the delay between meetings, they didn’t know what to do, so off they go a fishing. The amazing thing in that story, was that these professional fishermen, spent all night, and caught nothing. It was then in the morning hours, that the Lord stood on the shore, and asked them the question, Children, have ye any meat? I mean, what were they doing out there anyway, was it for the fun, or was it to get food? Then the Lord said, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.” And they got a net full of fish. It wasn’t for the fish, or the money that could be made from selling them, that the Lord did this. It was to change their perception of life. To take what he had taught them, and put the truth into action. For three years they heard the teachings from him, saw the miracles, saw the dead raised, and the blind to see. Was there anything that he could not do? Have we realized that he can do anything, that he is able. It is in this passage that Peter is brought into fellowship with the Lord again, and here he is given direction and purpose. He was to feed people spiritually. That could mean, to preach the gospel to the lost, teach the saved, encourage the weak, and yes, to help people change their perspective on life, or, simply to point them to the Lord Jesus Christ.

We see them going to the temple at the hour of prayer. It may be that they were looking forward to a time of corporate prayer. Maybe they had expectations of an opportunity to preach the gospel, maybe it was to just be available for the next person that God loved as much as he loved you and me. Have you ever asked God to lead you to someone that needs Christ? Remember our last study, we concluded that not only is God able to do above all we can even imagine to ask, but will do so, when we ask. It may be that we don’t ask, because we know he will answer.

We see both Peter and John mentioned together in this story three times. One thing I glean from that is though we serve God ourselves, as we allow him to lead us individually, we are never really alone, we have others in his church that will stand with us in the work. This story with both Peter and John reminds me of when a brother and I would go out to the mall, or park, or door to door to share the gospel. He would talk most of the time, but I prayed. I would ask God to hinder Satan and his demons from clouding the mind of the person we were talking to. I would ask God to open his or her mind. I would ask God to give my brother wisdom to speak his word and message. That is what I see in John, he was the one that wanted to know more about the Lord, he didn’t want to miss one word spoken by him, and John wanted to be as close as he could. But Peter, always wanted to be right in the middle of the action. This is the way I see this miracle, They both fastened their eyes on this man, they both knew he needed to be turned toward the Lord. But there was an obstacle, he was lame. They both knew that this was possible with God, and John prayed, and Peter acted. Wow, can you imagine yourself telling someone born lame, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk”? And then yanking him to his feet, right there in public? That’s not only faith, but pure purpose. They knew what God wanted them to do, and he wants us to do the same, To go into all the world and preach the gospel, to turn people to God, help them change their perspective on life, and come to know real life in Christ Jesus. Maybe yanking someone to their feet is not the method God wants to use, but he does want us to be sold out to the gospel. He wants us to have the same perspective that the Apostles had, knowing that God is able to do above all that we think or ask, and knowing that he is able to use us to bring hope into other people’s lives.

One more thing we see in this story, is Peter and John, open to fellowship and discipleship. This man is beside himself with Joy, and the wonder of new life. We see him holding both of them. When someone is brought into the family, we need to care for them, and let them hold on to us until they learn they can hold on to God. All they know is that we know God, and they are desperate to know him now, they become hungry for his word, they have questions, and each new truth, is like a child tasting sugar for the first time. Never be the Christian, to shrug off a new or old believer that clings to you, and wants to know more. Feed them, Feed my sheep, that is what the Lord told Peter.

I go a fishing... Is it for men?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Butterflies - 3

“The Lame Man”

Acts 3:11 And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.

In the passage of God’s word we have been examining, Acts 3:1-11. We have considered our lives like that of the butterfly. This is a miracle of transformation. We were transformed from the ugly, to something beautiful. From being bound to the pointless things of this world, to the mind blowing heights of God’s glory.

We then looked at the “Place” where we find the Lame man. It was just in sight of, but outside the Beautiful Gate. We were reminded of the wonderful place that has already been prepared for us through the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. We try to let this truth mold our perception of life as God wants us to see it. What limit does the Christian have in this world? With the promise found in Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us”, and his promise in John 14:13-14 “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” From these two verses, we are told that God is able to do above anything we can even imagine, and then, all we have to do is ask, and he will do it. So I ask again, why do we, who are such privileged people, why do we still crawl around on the ground as a hairy worm, instead of flying in the heights of God’s love and care, and power?

The verse I used for the header of this study, shows the “Butterfly” aspect of this lame man’s life. Just like in my life, all the bad things I allowed, and chose to do, Those things became who I was to the world of people around me. But when I was saved, it was not long after, that these same ones wondered with amazement that this man is a “Christian”. I was changed, my heart was changed, my desires were changed, and my actions were changed. Over the years of being a Christian, I have had to choose, whether to crawl on the ground like a worm, or fly in the heights of God’s power, love, joy, and his peace.

We can learn a lot from this Lame Man. He was not just a “Bible Person” that just happened to be here for the star characters in this story, Peter and John, to do their miracle on. This lame man was on God’s heart, and God sent his servants to help change the perception this man had on life.

First, we learn, he was lame from birth. What could he do about that? We hear the same thing from people today. I am sick, I ache, I am tired, I am so poor, and, I just am not able to serve God in my condition. So, many people with a perception of life based on the dreary things in their lives, the hopeless state of things financially, and the plain old lack of material things, they find themselves laying at the gate, just like this man, watching the people go by, talking to one another, about life, and business, and things happening in their lives, and things that God is doing in them. Then, as the people come out from that gate, this lame man, along with all those that see life through only their pain and sorrow, see the Joy, and hope, and purpose in the faces of all those that have entered, and experienced the wonderful things inside.

Second, we see that he being a son of Abraham, he was qualified to enter the gate, it was where God wanted him to be. But he went to that gate with another purpose, not to be close to God, and experience his great power and glory, but to beg for money. To get material gain from all those that come and go there. The same is true with many of us, we go to church, and if we were honest, it really is not to be close to God, to experience the joy his presence brings, but it is for some other reason, and the reasons can be many, not just to get material gain from all those that are there, though that too can be a reason, maybe it is to get the sympathy from others for our pain or horrible circumstance. But we leave, just as empty as we were when we came. And again, we have to ask, is this joy and peace only for a chosen few? Is the great victories, and powerful workings of God only for some? And the answer is obvious, No, his power is available for all his children.

Lastly, what we don’t see is an act on this lame man’s part, to enter the gate. It is Peter that drags this man to his feet. (We will look at Peter and John later). But as we read this story, we see this man look on them expecting to receive something from them, and Peter says these words: “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” It was a call to change his perception of life. If we are so wrapped up in the material things of this world, and measure our quality of life, and thus our experience of joy, judging ourselves by the things we do or don’t have, or the physical condition of our bodies, then we will perceive life as hopeless, and then we will be powerless for God in this world. But Peter said, take your eyes off these material things, and get up and walk. It is here, and I have to allude to Peter for a moment, he really amazes me, but Peter grabs a hold on this man, and yanks him up to his feet, ( we will look at this later, but wow, what faith in a powerful God). One point I want to make is this, we too will hear God’s “Peter and John”, through the preacher on Sunday, the bible study on the radio, friends and family, and yes, even this Bible walkabout, and God will yank us to our feet, I know you have been there, hearing the word, inside your heart hearing his message, it is then that God has yanked us to our feet, and right then, you make a choice, to stay on your feet, to leap about, to praise God, and become a spectacle to the lost world around you… Or, you can say to yourself, I am lame man, what in the world are you doing yanking me up like that, and thus falling back to the ground, unaware of the beautiful wings God has given you, and beginning to crawl around like a worm again. But this man chose to “stand”, then to “Walk”, then to “enter”, then to “Leap” (a fool in the worlds eyes) but alive in his eyes, and perceiving Life through God’s eyes, he begins to praise him.

God wants to do great and wonderful things in your life. He wants the world all around you to see his spectacular light bursting from your life, but we have to respond to him when he yanks us up! Will you not come be a fool in this world’s eyes with me today, let us leap together, praising God anew, as he fills our heart with his joy and peace.

Stay tuned, there will be more.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Butterflies - 2

The text for this Bible walkabout is Acts 3:1-11. There we read one of the incredible stories of the Bible. The super natural sometimes goes beyond our human reasoning, and rightfully so, that is what makes it a “Miracle”! Sometimes God allows us to see his ability to do things that science cannot explain, and we see them with our eyes, but cannot reconcile with the science of things as we know them in this world. Faith helps us to realize just how awesome our God really is when we see them.

But, as we reasoned in our last study, in our minds as we read these stories, it is “Bible People” that these things happen to. I suggested that we look for the “Me” in the stories. You see, these Bible stories are like a treasure found. At first glance, they have a certain value. Just like this set of dishes we found at a yard sell. At first glance, they were unique looking dishes, there were a lot of them, and the price was really good. But as we got them home, we began to examine them, and realized, they were fine china, and there was a complete set of all the size dishes, and now they became even more valuable to us. Then, we researched them online, and found them to be a unique line of dishes, very valuable, and now, our find was even more precious. You see, the dishes never changed, but our perception of them did the more we examined them. My desire for me and you, is to take this story, and look deeper than the surface, and began to see the marvelous treasure that has always been there, searching until we see that the real treasure is not just what God has done in and for us, (as great as that is), but to realize something even greater, that “we” are ”his” treasure.

There are five subjects that I feel will be a profit to examine in this story. We will look at them in this order: 1) The Gate; 2) The Lame Man; 3) Peter and John; 4) The Gift; 5) The People.

The Gate:
Acts 3:2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;

We all have a “Place” in our mind. We remember the place where we first met our wife or husbands. Or, where we had our first kiss. Where we were on 9-1-1. One place that should stand out in every Christian’s memory is the place where you met the Lord Jesus. Places are very important in our memories. Before we examine the Lame Man, let’s look at the place that will forever be in his memory.

The Gate where this story takes place, was called “The Beautiful Gate” that led to Solomon’s Porch. We will not have to dig down in the old testament histories to get meaning from this. Just the name is significant to our perception of this story, It was called the “Beautiful” gate. It stands in grave contrast to this lame man. To the world, he must have been perceived as ugly, and maybe even gross. This being the temple, some tolerance must have been exercised by all those that had to pass by him as they went in the temple. Then passing him, they entered this “Place” of beauty and worship. I am willing to guess, that the gate was so named, because of the splendor and beauty it must have had at one time, when Solomon set it’s porch, and garden. None the less, it was a reminder to our Lame Man, that there was something wonderful within that gate. Something wonderful indeed.

What strikes me when reading this story, is not how long this man was lame, or how he was healed, or what it must have been like to be Peter and John, and to exercise such power in healing him. What really impresses me, is where this lame man was, and where he was not. He was within sight of something beautiful and wonderful, but he was not there. He could only imagine what was inside, but not really see it. So his perception of life was based on the “Place” where he lay, just outside of Beauty, Joy, and Peace.

There Is a place like that to the Christian. Our Lord Jesus told his disciples about it in John 14. It is a place with many mansions. The word “many” being an unidentified number, and mansions indicating that someone was living there. We read of John’s description of this place in the Revelation, that the streets are pure Gold, and so pure, it was clear as glass. Imagine that. The walls made of every sort of jewels, and a radiance proceeding from God’s throne, brighter than our sun. Light and colors, the brilliance that our feeble minds can hardly imagine. The Apostle Paul wrote, after seeing heaven, that he saw things that were unexplainable in human language. That is the place that our Lord talked about to his disciples in John’s gospel, chapter 14:1-3. He then told them this: In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. Now I know it pleases Christians to imagine Jesus, with a nail apron, and hammer and saw, and for the last two thousand years, he has been building each one of us our own mansion. But I suggest that, a view like that leaves us once again, laying at the “Beautiful” gate. It’s beauties and wonders, it’s joy and peace just inside, but we, laying outside lame and incapable of entering in and enjoying it all for ourselves. But if he is not building us a mansion, what did he mean? What he meant, was that we, that is you, and “ME”, that we didn’t have a “Place” inside this glorious gate. But he came to prepare us a Place there, to ever be with him. It was not to build us a luxurious house, that nails were used. It was to pierce his Holy hands and feet. To take the sin in my life, and yours, and pay for the penalty we deserved on the cross of Calvary.

But as many of us fail to understand what Great and Marvelous provision was made for us, What is already ours, we lay as a lame man just outside this Beautiful gate, imagining a big house full of luxurious furniture, and an abundance of great things. So then our perception of what is really ours as his children, has been molded by the things in this world we deem valuable, the silver and gold, the jewels and gadgets, the boats and cars. When what should mold our perception, and what would change our lives in this world and forever, is his Love for us, his Gift to us, and his promise to come for us, that we will ever be where he is! Heaven is ours. We just let the things of this world, and the circumstance of this life keep us from seeing it the way God wants us to see it.

There’s more… Wont you continue with me in the Bible Walkabout?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Butterflies - 1

I enjoyed walking through the greenway last year, and had a lot of time to think and pray. I saw many different butterflies, and it caused me to think about the spiritual application. I later shared these thoughts in email to my family, and some others. I thought I would share them here. There are five of them, i will share every other day...

Acts 3:1-11 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.

What a wonderful story. We see in it: The power of God. The faith of these Christian men, and the healing of this poor man, (and that from an incurable physical ailment), All mixed together to show us that God is able, and that God cares for his creature. Also, the benefits of this miracle, is that the people saw God’s working, and give him praise.

Reading this story is much like watching a butterfly. What a remarkable thing that is. A worm, a hairy worm at that. Builds his coffin all around him, then closes it up finally, and dies. Really, he dies to this world. But then a miraculous thing happens. He is made alive, but bound with his grave clothes, as it were. So he has to beat his way out of the cocoon, strip away the clothes of death, and emerge into the very world he died to, a new creature. I would love to get inside the head of a butterfly. Once limited to the ground, and small bushes, now he has wings, he can fly, and no longer hairy, but he has beautiful wings. Now flying all over the place, he can see from heights never before dreamed of. New horizons, with food of his choice. When I watch one of these miracles, I see a creature that is filled with the wonder of his new life, and spends each day enjoying it.

Then I ask myself the question, why are we Christians more like the hairy Worm, and less like the Butterfly? Why do we crawl on the ground, vulnerable to life’s mishaps, feeling lost, and building our own cocoon?

Many times, I think we Christians do not revel in the wonders of our God, because of “Bad Perception”. What I mean is how we perceive things, people, and events in our lives. We choose to see only the bad, the dreary, and the negative aspect of the “Things we don’t have” “Faults in other people” and “The dark circumstances’ that are our lot today” And we fail to experiance all the colors, and flavor, and harmony of life all around us.

So, when we read this story in the book of Acts, we see the faith of Peter and John, the place he was at, the healing of the man, and the reaction of the people. But, what we don’t see, is “The Me” in the story. We read this like many other things in God’s word, and think, that only happens to “Bible People”. We need to remember, we are his “Bible People”

Paul prayed for us:
Ephesians 1:18 -20 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Spend the next few days with me in Bible study, and let’s look at this story with a different perspective.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Rain is hated by many, who say it will ruin their fun.
A day planned for lying in the Sun.
But others, like Farmers, see rain as a blessing from above.
The early and late showers are what they truly love.

The Sun is worshiped by many,
But some fear its rays, guarding their skin.
Sun worshipers lay out in them all of their days.

But within the rays of the glorious Sun,
Are colors that fill our world with beauty and with fun.
And with the rain, the Sun’s spectrum we see.
All of God’s colors in the rainbow are seen.

So when it is raining, and the Sun shining too,
As you look up toward heaven and see that glorious hue,
Red, the yellow, the blue, the green,
And purple, and the orange he displays to be seen.
It is God saying to the world down below,
I Love You each one...I Love You all So!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fat Guys And Bow Ties

Somebody told me I was fat the other day… And of all things it was my little nephew. You just have to love the honesty of children. While the parent was quickly trying to teach him some manners, he was just telling things like it is.

So how did I get this way? I am pretty sure I woke up one day, and the fat was on me. I feel so young, and believe myself to be so handsome, yet, looking in the mirror of that little kid’s eyes, there I was, fat and old. I like to think of my condition as “Having an over active fork” But the truth is, as we get older, all the natural forces inside of our bodies that fight the onslaught of FAT, get weak, and need our help.

I know I am not alone in this battle, I see fat people all around me. I even joke about them. I just never knew that I had fallen prey to the siege of fat cells. It is great that we live in a country where we can get fat. Some places on this globe don’t have enough food to go around. So the astonishing thing is, while we are all getting fat, and throwing away food as garbage, we have very little cloth to cover our burgeoning physiques. While in some countries, as people scrap for a morsel of food, their bodies being smaller, they have plenty of cloth left over.

This problem is seen very clearly when you see the “Big Sale” at the local department store. Women (and men too) fighting each other to get in the store first, to get first crack at the limited availability of fine clothing especially designed to cover our growing bodies, in a fashionable way. It is hilarious to see how women’s clothing is marketed, so as to mask the fact that the buyer is “FAT”. Instead of say, sizing a pair of slacks as a 34” waist, it is cleverly disguised as a 5-6. Now after growing up, and getting a little wiser, I am determined that the Home Ed class these girls took in high school, taught them the code for women sizes. Now, a fat girl, if she is short enough, can buy from the “petite” sizes. Honestly, I am still a little confused. We men, being the logical creatures that we are, measure our sizes accurately. You see, if the pants have a 34” waist, it will measure 34”. Of course, that don’t mean we too are not controlled by vanity. What we do, is wear our pants way below our waist, so, even though we have a 46” waist, we can easily fit into a 38” pair of slacks. This of course presents another problem, our ties, that’s right, now my ties do not reach all the way to my pants waist line. There are things we can do to correct this, one is buy longer ties. But this has become a problem lately, what with all the fat people in this country, as I said, cloth is sparse, and hard to come by, so finding a long tie anymore is almost impossible. I find myself tying my Windsor knot, with barely an inch of tail, hardly enough to keep the tie tight. Looks good at first, but as the shirt tail begins to slip out of the pants (forced out by all that fat), the tie gets shorter all the time.

There is only one solution to this whole mess we are in here in the states. First, because we cannot quit eating so much food, and we refuse to exercise, we need to begin to share our food with these other hungry countries. Who in turn, can start sharing their cloth with us. Eventually we will all start to even up, us getting smaller, and dressed really nice, and them, getting bigger, and still dressed really nice. But in the meantime, I am going shopping for some bow ties. You want to join me at the Big Sale?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Life Is A Bore

Early in my life I was extremely bashful and quiet. (I know what “you who know me” are thinking). But at some point, I learned a valuable lesson… People love to talk about themselves! That’s right, I always hated crowds and parties, I was the wallflower, standing in a corner somewhere out of the way. If engaged in conversation, I was always so afraid whatever I would say, would sound ignorant… So sure enough, I blithered when called into a conversation. (It’s always nice to not be disappointed by one’s own expectations). But when I learned this very valuable life lesson, I could enter any conversation with growing confidence. I would simply ask someone, “So, What do you do?” And before you know it two or three of the group, are trying to out talk each other. Before you know it, everyone loved me, “Isn’t he a really cool guy?” they would say, and other such accolades. It really is laughable. I realized that most people only hear themselves, so it really is not a matter of them being rude, when they start talking about themselves while you are still answering their last question, they just don’t have ears for any noise other than their own blithering.

Well, all the accolades over the years have gone to my head. The acceptance has given me such confidence, that I began to monopolize conversations, and I find myself sometimes deaf to “Good Conversation” and attentive to my own blither. I love to tell jokes, and am fueled when those listening respond in laughter. What I really would like, is to be a part of the conversation. To be accepted by my peers. To be appreciated for my qualities, and appreciate the qualities of those I converse with. But it seems that I have been molded by the “Rule of Society” and fallen prey to my own human nature, so that I have become a “Bore”. Giovanni Vincenzo once said, “A bore deprives you of solitude, while denying you of company”.

As a Christian, God’s love dwells in our heart, and is the motive of the “New Man”. It is “Love” that “Seeks Not Her Own” (1 Cor. 13:4-7 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things) So when I am yielded to the leading and power of the Lord, I become a listener in conversations now, I care about the person speaking, and what they feel is important to them. When the entire group has this mindset, then real conversation (Fellowship) takes place.

Life sometime is a bore. I once was dominated by bores. I was a bore. Now, I am whole.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Morning Glory

I awoke to hear the singing of a choir.
The melody was pretty, and the song was on fire.

I looked out my window to see the singer true,
Twas a mixture of feathered friends,
Singing their song so new.

They were welcoming the morning,
It’s brightest rays and sky.
Some were on the branches,
Others flew way up high.

Their song filled my heart with joy,
Their playful spirits made me smile.
What was their secret, it made me think,
That inspired them go the extra mile?

I too could do it, I could sing,
The song I know so well.
To brighten the hearts of all my friends,
I’ll sing and let God’s praises swell.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Passions Of The Heart

I have so many thoughts about life. Being a child of God has opened my eyes to his wonderful creation, and the passions of life. It is what makes us who we are. Some people are confidant and proud of who they are, while others don't really know who they are, and are unsure of their purpose in life. I realize that as a christian, that God has given me a potential that far outreaches what I would have ever been capable of. But sometimes I find it really hard to let him do really great things through me. Then I realized, that it is the passion that I yeild to within me, that determines who I really am. I wrote this poem a long time ago, when thinking about these things. After reading the poem again, I thought I should explain it a little...

Deep within our heart,
There is a fire that burns,

Life’s passions and emotions,
Showing others who we are.

Some will try to hide the sight,
While others show with pride,
But either way this passion churns,
And guides us through our lives.

There is a key that unlocks the door,
That opens up to show us more.
Deep within us the power we see,
Through eyes, we look, and see our need.

What passions are stored within our souls,
Unlocked they rush out, and fill our heart.
Our very being reflects the light,
It brings contentment, and makes us whole.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

How To Plant Your Garden

Sent to me in an email from a friend, I thought to share with any one out there rattling around in the padded walls...

How To Plant Your Garden

First, you Come to the garden alone,
while the dew is still on the roses...

1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul

1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness

1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another

1.. Turnip for meetings
2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another

1. Thyme for each other
2.. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends


Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Mom is Mother

How many people from the country call their Mom, “Mother”? It is such a proper name for a hick from North Carolina to use. Well, this group of six North Carolina hick kids did. That was all I knew my Mom as. I am quite sure, that even as a baby, I never said Momma or Mommy, Just Mother. It is Funny that on Father’s Day, I am thinking about my Mom. It may be because yesterday would have been her natural birthday. I know my Dad instilled a lot of values and moral discernment in our lives, but he was not around during most of my life, so my real hero is my Mom.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have computers, and the internet, and GOOGLE. I know, some of you younger folk are wondering how in the world we got by. But I didn’t need Google, I had my Mom. She knew something about everything.

She knew how to doctor us when we were hurt or sick. I remember one time, I climbed into a big bushy tree to retrieve my baseball, and when I came out, my bare chest was covered with wasp, ( I always wondered how all those wasps knew at what moment I knew they were all there on my chest, because at that very moment, they all stung me at the same time), I just knew I was going to die. But my Mom, never acted all freaked out, or hysterical, she just calmly told one of my sisters to go next door and ask our neighbor for a pack of cigarettes, She unwrapped all of them, and wet the tobacco, and proceeded to paste it on all the stings. Thanks to my Mom’s quick action, (and the fact that most people don’t die from wasp stings) I am alive today.

She knew about finances too. Some of the best advice I have ever received about money was from her, she would tell me, invest your money in real estate, because real estate always increases in value. And until recently, that advice has held to the test as one of the best investments ever.

My Mom knew about the Bible. She answered any questions we had about God, or his Son Jesus Christ, or Salvation, or Heaven, even when we did not ask a question, she had an answer for us.

My mom also was like a walking phonebook. It tickles me to think about her getting upset with all of us, each time we needed to call someone, we would call her, and ask, “What is so-in-so’s phone number”? She would retort,” I am not your phone book, write it down this time”! then she would recite the number to us again, and of course, I would never write it down.

Then there is the cooking… My oh My…. You have never tasted home cooking like my Mom made. I couldn’t even eat over at my friends house, because my taste buds were so spoiled. It didn’t matter what she cooked, fried, or baked, it was always toe tingling awesomely good. I remember during the holidays, my two aunts that lived in town with us would plan a day and come over to our house, and bake pies and cakes for Christmas, and baked all day. What a wonderful day that was in my life. My Mom has made eating to me an experience, not a chore. I loved to watch her taste something new that she liked. She was able to taste all the ingredients, and duplicate the recipe. I cook and eat that way even to this day. I mean… Yum Mom!

Most of all was the love my Mom had for each one of us six kids. I of course was her baby, so there was a lot of jealousy among the other five kids. But she uniquely loved us all, according to our own dispositions. She always made me feel like I was the best at whatever I did. She always aimed me in the right direction. And she always loved me unconditionally when I messed up my life. She wasn’t oblivious to my evil desires, and wicked ways, she did something I didn’t understand until way later in my life. My Mom absorbed my badness into her own soul, then I really believe she offered herself to the Lord to suffer any punishment I deserved. (I know God does not do that) Then she looked at me as though I had never been bad. My Mon only saw what was good in me. What I realized later on in life was this, that God loved me so much he sent his Son to suffer for my badness (Sin), so that he can look at me and only see the goodness of his Son. My Mom had His spirit in her, and loved her children in that same way.

I mentioned my Mom in my first blog, that she prayed for me, and shared God’s love with me, and steered me in God’s direction so many times. She could not bear the thought that one of her children would not be in heaven with her. I know a lot of things happened in my life that led to my getting saved, but I will always believe that it was my Mom’s faithfulness in prayer that moved God to continue to pursue me.

There are so many things I could say about my Mom, but there is not enough “Internet Virtual Paper” to write it all. My Mom is now with the God she loves, she is enjoying the bliss of heaven, her pains and suffering are over, and her tears though in God’s bottle are all wiped away. And she has the wonderful anticipation of the day when all her children will be united with her again.

Mother is the best Mom ever!

See Ya Soon Mom!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Road Is My Racetrack

I hold an old reputation for being a wild driver. I don’t think that the word reckless would describe me, because I have never had an accident. But my first real job was a hot shot delivery for a automotive paint store. I prided myself for getting to and back in record time. The world was my racetrack, and I weaved, ( I know, they tell you in Drivers Ed not to do that, but I always believed that rule was for non hot shot delivery people). I thought of myself as a professional driver, and wondered if there were any more like me.

I kind of went through life lonely in my profession, with all the completely idiotic drivers on the road, I was almost certain that there were no other ones like me. Not until of course, my first trip through Atlanta. I was so excited to see that they have two lanes dedicated to professional drivers, it seems this far up north, all the ones like me drove big trucks. I was ever so proud to drive in those right two lanes. I am sure that those excluded from this privilege were eat up with envy.

Over the years I have learned a lot from driving and drivers. There are a lot of patterns that can be seen if you study on the subject hard enough. I call this my “Sheep Theory”. It is amazing that when you come up on a stop light, and have two lanes, everybody will be in the same lane. I am not sure, but I believe that like when women will call each other to see what they are wearing to some event, drivers get a memo or something, that tells them what lane to be in at any given light. And, to be truthful, that’s alright by me, because, I always feel like they have moved aside for me, so that I can drive up in that vacant lane all by myself.

There is something else that has always puzzled me, It is, when a drop of water hits someone’s windshield, the brakes come on, and immediately every drive slows down to a crawl. This same thing happens when you approach a bridge of any sort. Now in Florida, we have rain all the time, and with a river running through town, there are more bridges than pavement. So you can only imagine when it starts to sprinkle… Sheep!

Since moving to Nashville I have seen something else, it has taken me quite a bit of studying to figure out, but I do have the answer. Everybody up here drives in the left lane. Now for someone like me that has paid attention in drivers ed, I know that slower traffic rides in the right lane, and “Passing” traffic in the left. Listen up, and go back and read the book again if you need to, But, the left lane is NOT the FAST lane! (this is a pet peeve with me). Well, I also know that in Jacksonville, people drive in the left lane to be rude, but I quickly was convinced that this was not the case up here. It took me some time of chewing on this “Sheep Action” then I realized that the folk up here did read the book, but the problem is that they don’t know their right from their left. If you don’t believe me, look at the exits around town. If you want to go right on a highway you have to go left, and if you want to go left, you have to go right. (Now as to the reason for this, I am not sure if the road engineers are from here, or if they just made the roads to accommodate the drivers). But I have to admit, Once I have realized that I will never educate enough people to get them to drive in the “Correct” right lane, I decided that I needed to change my driving habits, and I started driving in the left lane too. By golly, all my driving frustrations have disappeared.

One more thing. I love the slower pace up here. People don’t tail gate you all the time here, They love to blow their horns, but it’s not to be rude, they just love the sound it makes. So I have slowed down, rolled my windows down, and smell the roses, as I drive slowly by in the left lane….. Euwwwwwww, what’s that smell…. I feel a song… There’s a Dead Skunk in the middle of the road… Dead Skunk!

Monday, June 14, 2010


I once entered a poetry contest... and low and behold, I was selected to have my poem published. I was also offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase a leather bound limited edition of this collection of prize winning (I never won a prize) poems. Well as you might guess, I let the opportunity pass, and I never saw my poem in print. But I am sure that a limited number of people have been thrilled with my poem, even to this day!

Now, it's your turn to be thrilled... Without any cost, and no leather.


Take a look deep within my soul,
What do you see there to behold?
My heart is pounding, my spirit on fire,
Have you seen it, does it inspire?
Deep within me, there is a passionate love,
Deep as the ocean, and the sky up above.
My body expresses the passion bound in my soul,
My hands, my lips, all of my being whole.
I touch you, and feel my passion exposed,
I kiss you, and feel as though I will explode.
Devoted I give all of myself to you,
My question to you, is, what will you do?


Friday, June 11, 2010

Love Is Blind

Being blind, I still can see,
Your beauty and your fragrance breathe.

The Reddest Rose could not describe,
Your gentle touch and loving soul.
It's peddles soft and silky so,
The perfume filtered through my nose.

But purer still I see your love,
Lifts me to the heavens above.

None tempt my senses... As you my Love!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


My best friend’s Dad got us a summer job at the window manufacturing plant he worked at. Being a teenager, lazy, irresponsible, and self centered, We were at best, a pain to have around.

The day started this way: Being awake before the Sun was, Riding in a car, that frankly, you could hang meat in it was so cold (Donnie’s dad must not have known that the car had a heater too). Arriving at a place that was not the beach, that was hot, and there was …. Work. Being worthless, we were given the menial tasks to do, one little thing after the other. Oh, and don’t forget inventory, I remember being on a shelf nearly four stories high, with nothing but the metal roof above me, cooked by the noon day sun, it was so hot, I could barely breathe. There I was, counting screws. Really? Not just one huge box, but millions of huge boxes.

It became apparent to the owner that we were worthless, but being the son (and friend of said son) of one of his best men (Donnie’s Dad), This owner had to find a way to make us do the honorable thing, and quit! So, This man also had a construction company, and he had a project, and it turned out, me and Donnie were a perfect fit for the job. It was of little comfort that there were a few of his other employees there that he valued as much as us was sent along too.

After being driven off to a remote area of the world, the car stopped, and we were instructed to get out. This boys will be your job for the rest of the summer. We both lifted our eyes to the largest field of dirt I have ever seen. We were told, “Go through this field, and pick up any sticks you see this size or larger” Looking up at this person, I saw him holding a stick about one inch long… Really?

So off we went, bending over, and “Picking up sticks” when low and behold, we saw these vehicles roaming the field. Huge machines, with Huge tires, long bodies, and they were filled with new dirt. Really? I later learned that the huge trucks (Later were used on the first Star Wars Movie) were called pavescrapers. Their job… To spread new dirt, with new sticks over all the areas that we just picked… Really?

Then it happened (As if this story alone isn’t enough to burn an image for the rest of my life) I saw it… Eugene, that’s right, one of the other most valued aluminum window making employee. We were taking one of our few allowed breaks, and I was sucking water like a camel, but here was Eugene, in the middle of this field of dirt, sitting, and shoes off, socks off, picking his feet. Man… if I knew any way to scrub that image. But there is it, Eugene… Really?

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Bottled Tears

Angels from on high, come to wipe the tears from our eyes,
For our Father knows when we cry.
He feels our pain, and knows our heart, to him it is plain,
I’ve seen him cry, and have seen him weep,
His feelings for us run so very deep.
So what has overwhelmed your heart?
Has sorrow took the place of joy?
Distressed are you now, and full of doubts,
He knows your fears, He feels your pain.
All your emotions that flow as tears,
He keeps in his bottle, Throughout all of your years.


Friday, March 19, 2010

As The Water Falls

As I said in the start of my Blog, I have been inspired by the two greatest things in my life, to write some stories, and poems. Some may not make any sense to you, but somewhere in my mind, they were an expression of my love and devotion to my Lord, and also, to my Wife.

This one was, and is to my Sunshine!


As the waterfall that beats the ground
So my heart beats, but not a sound.
Helplessly the stream races on,
To the fall, its endless song.
When I behold the sunshine of your face,
The way you walk, You have such grace.
Still beating harder within my chest,
To hold you close, to taste your breath.
This thought that fills with pure delight,
Even in darkness, You are my light.


Thursday, March 18, 2010


In a dream I saw a path that lay before a small infant, there were angels carrying this precious child along. I could hear them communicate the wonders of God to this tiny human being, showing all of the goodness and love of a faithful creator.

The path was clearly marked “The path of Life”. As I pondered in my heart the meaning of this I realized that God was showing me the way to know real life.

As I considered these things, I noticed in my dream that the infant was now a young adult, in his face could be read the scars of many battles. I was confused, How could God who showed such tenderness and love to this infant, now allow him to have had such a rough life? It was then that I saw him approach a fork in the path, and from the look on his face I could tell that he had been here before, not at this place, but at this choice. Which way to travel? What was best, and what would bring the most satisfaction? Both paths were clearly marked, There was one that was beautiful, the sight glorious to the eyes, it’s pleasures beckoning to his young and foolish heart. But the details of this path clearly stated that the end was darkness, and pain, and separation from the creator of all living things. In my mind there was no real choice, but why then did this man seem so perplexed. Then I noticed the other path, It was marked...”The path of Life”, and the details of this path too was clearly stated. The end of this path promised Life, Love, Joy, Peace, and Beauty beyond human comprehension. There would be no sickness, no death, and no sorrow. And the one who created the path, and all of its beauty would be there. But along this path there would be hard times, trials, and even death, but with all of the trials there is a promise of inner peace, of joy undisturbed, and protection from ever falling...It was then I remembered the angel that carried this little infant at the start of his life.
I now realized, this man had been on the path that leads to destruction, for how many years I do not know, and now again he had to face the choice, which path will he travel, the hard lines on his face showed that he yearned to follow the path of life, but everything within him craved the pleasures that the path of destruction promised, which would be better, to live life now, to enjoy the thrills, but end up bankrupt. Or to deny the pleasures of this present life to enjoy the fruit of everlasting life offered by following the path of life?

I awoke, and sweat flowed from my brow, my hands were shaking, and my heart beating hard... It was my face that I saw on the man in my dreams, those hard lines that covered his face were caused by the choices I have made in my life, those that caused me to turn from the one who cared for me as no other in this world could ever. Where was I now, on what path did I belong, I knew what was the right way, but where was I now?

What about you my friend? Are you at a fork in the path of life, look to the end of the path, not the path, for that which is at the end of the path will last forever...Will it be Life? Or will it be Death?

Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

MFL 2-11-2001

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sky Painting

I am the Sky, So Bright and so Blue,
My canopy covers the Grass, the Trees, and Dew.
I fill my canvas with Clouds by day, and stars by night,
The Shooting star is seen, and the Eagle soaring high.

But you, My Love, Illumine the sky Ever so Bright,
You fill my painting and dazzle my sight.
Your Love is as the Sun, Burning yet not consuming,
Your Rays sink deep into my Soul
And Warms my Heart with Love untold.

I watch You all of the day, and smile as you move on,
But grow sad, as I see you slip away, Then you are gone.
I wonder, Oh where are you my Love, my Dove, My light,
My canvas now filled with night.

Then I see it, the twinkle of the stars,
as though they are winking at me from afar.
The moon I see illumined by your Rays,
Reminds me I was lost in Days.
The night Sky too has beauty up above.
I see it now, as I am filled with Your Love.


Thursday, March 11, 2010


My Heart doth break, when I see hate,
This world is torn apart.
Such beauty is seen in creation wide,
But man knows not where to start.

Upon the highest mountain,
And on the plains below.
The search is made for peace,
Something some men may never know.

Why with such expanse in space,
The ocean deep and wide.
Can not the creature with his kind,
In peace therewith abide?

I have looked on high,
I have searched down low.
The truth of this, a mystery be,
Until I did the answer know.

That peace is not within a man,
It is a gift from above,
Not space, or sky, or nature,
But is found in God’s love.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Roses Are Red

I guess you all know by now, i love my wife dearly.

Roses are red, and all the violets are blue,
what do the color of flowers have to do with you?

The grass is green, and the sky is blue
I think the violets and sky have something going on too!

The birds in the air, the fish in the sea,
tell nothing of the love between you and me!

So what else can I say, what else can I do?
To say that I Love You with nature is like gobbledygoo

But my heart is a pounding, and my soul is on fire,
My blood pressure rising higher and higher

To think of your beauty, and muse on your song,
keeps a smile on my face all the day long.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Red Headed Little Girl - Part 2

The little red headed girl climbed to the top edge of the giant boy’s pocket, and was able to look at where he was going. He was as happy as he had ever been, and was giggling with such excitement. Just over the next hill, she saw the most enormous house she had ever seen. The front door was so tall, she could barely see the top. There were two doors, but it seemed that only one opened. In he raced, and to his room. He then saw her hanging to the top of his pocket, looking out, and gently flicked her back down. But she quickly scurried back up to the top to watch what he was doing.

He was searching his room, in the closet, and under the bed, he was looking for something. Then he grabbed something and grinned real big. He had a glass jar, and he took the little red headed girl, and sit her on the top of his dresser, and then placed the glass jar over her. This was his new toy. Boy, was she relieved, she was sure now that he wasn’t going to eat her.

Back home in the village, there was quite a stir among the people. Her Mommy was crying her eyes out for the thought that her little girl may just be ate by a giant, this was everyone greatest fear. Her Daddy was determined to go rescue her from the giants, but the others were telling him that it was a fools errand. But he would have it no other way. There were others that volunteered, and soon, a group of men let Bobby lead them through the woods to the clearing and the mountain when she was taken.

They then sent Bobby back, and scolded him to not be silly and try to follow. So off they went, nearly running as they moved through the tall green grass. Then over the mountain, and over several hills, and then they all saw it… There was a house, if you call it that, none of these men had ever seen a giant, only their fathers before them, but they were all warned early as children, so much so, that not even the bravest had ever ventured this close to the mountain.

As they hid behind a rock, they discussed what they would do. They brought rope for climbing, and determined to climb up and into the open window on the east side of the house, the sun already setting, and there were shadows growing here, and gave a good cover from the plain sight of anyone in the house. One by one, they climbed a little way up, and attached another rope to reach even higher each time, until they were at the window sill. Peering in, they couldn’t believe their good fortune, for right across the room from the window, on top of this very tall dresser, her Daddy saw the glass jar, and his sweet little girl. He could see that there were toys of sorts inside the jar with her, as though the giant was keeping her as a pet. But there was no sign of the giant. So they hurried in, and climbed down from the window, and snuck around the room, staying close to the baseboards. Then finally, they reached the Dresser, and one by one they all began to climb up, using the lip of open drawers to climb up on., then The little red headed girl’s Daddy reached the top, and ran toward her, he began to shove and push on that glas jar, it was so heavy, it wouldn’t budge. Then one by one the others reached the jar, and they all began to push, and lift on the bottom, and then all of a sudden, the jar tipped over, and before anyone could react, it rolled across the dresser top, and then went tumbling down to the floor. It smashed into a million pieces, and made the loudest noise, everybody’s heart stopped with fear. They heard thumping, and the floor began to shake, and the sound and rumbling was growing closer. All the men headed to the edge and started climbing down, and her Daddy grabbed her, and ran to the edge, just as the giant boy entered the room, he screamed in horror, he thought that people were trying to hurt his little friend, and was ready to stop them at all cost. Just as he neared them, the little girl cried out to the giant boy, and screamed… WAIT!!! This is my Daddy, and these are my friends. They have worried about me, and have come to take me home, so my Mommy would not be so sad.

The giant boy stopped, and had a big tear running down his cheek, and he started sobbing, and said, I didn’t mean no harm, I just wanted a friend. So the little redheaded girl, said, I will always be your friend, and we can play every day at the sunflower patch.

And so the story goes, that they became friends with the giants, and lived happily together playing and running, and climbing trees, well the giant broke all the trees he tried to climb, but they all just laughed, and had fun.
The End.

Goodnight my little Sunbeam.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Little Red Headed Girl

Told to my little girl as a bedtime story, the fabled “Redheaded” people of the colorful forest. Made up in my weird mind, a story that both frightened, and excited my young audience.

The Adventures of the “Little Red Headed Girl”

Once upon a time there lived in a bright colored forest a peculiar people. They all had the brightest red hair, and wore the biggest smiles. They were happy little people living in the depths of this beautiful forest.

But within this very forest live a very tall and ugly giant. Every day the Giant would thump his big club feet all over that forest looking for food. He was a big mean, and ugly giant too, with no front teeth, except for the two fang teeth on either side of his mouth. He did not even know that the little red headed people existed, for he never saw them. The mommies and daddies told their young children over and over, to never, never, never play near the big mountain, because if the giant ever saw them, he would eat them up for his supper.

Well, as you might guess, one day, this little red headed girl, and her friend Bobby, went exploring through the woods. They pretended to be a knight, and a princess, and played their hearts out. Running and jumping, and climbing the tallest of trees. But while up on one of the highest limbs the little red headed girl saw the most magnificent mountain, it was covered with the brightest yellow sunflowers, and they looked large enough to climb onto, and take a nap on the soft looking pad inside the flower.

So down the tree she climbed, giggling all the way down. Bobby who was chasing a butterfly at the time asked what she was all excited about. When she told him about the mountain and the huge sunflowers, he was terrified. He warned her, No!... we can’t go near that mountain, the giant lives there, and he will eat us up if he sees us! But the little red headed girl just didn’t care, the mountain was so beautiful, and the sunflowers so tempting to climb, so off she skipped thru the woods to the clearing. The bright green grass was tall, and tickled her feet and legs as the skipped along toward the mountain. When she reached the base, she began to climb up the hill, looking back, she saw that Bobby was hiding in the tall grass, too afraid to go any further. She playfully called out to him, and said “Bobby is a scardy cat… Bobby is a scardy cat” she really didn’t know what a scardy cat was, but has always heard that when playing with other children.

It was near Lunch time, the hottest part of the day, and yet it seemed so cool in the midst of these huge flowers, the stem was as big around as her whole body, and the flower was larger than her house. The stem was rough, and kind of sticky, which made it really easy to climb up it to the flower. She had to do some pretty fancy climbing to get to the inside of the flower, but at last she did, and it was not a disappointment. The pad of the inside was just as soft as it looked. She lay against it, and felt like it just wrapped its soft arms around her. She was just about to call to Bobby when she heard it….

THUMP… THUMP… It seemed that the ground was shaking all of a sudden, and all at once, the little red headed girl felt a tinge of fear run down her spine, as all the warnings of the giant flooded her mind. THUMP… THUMP… the sound, and shaking kept getting closer. Then all of a sudden, her flower began to shake, back and forth, till she heard a snap, and the flower she was on began to float higher and higher into the air. Then she saw him, he was so big. His eyes were bright green, and he had this big dumb look on his face. But over all, he wasn’t the monster she had always been warned about. He was really just a kid, like her, but bigger.
He was just about to rip the flower apart to get its precious seed, when she caught his eye. He smiled really big, and squelched with a sigh of delight at what he had found. She was so scared, she just knew any moment, he was going to eat her. But instead he just picked her up gently, and put her in his top pocket, and took her home. He ran with such excitement.

Bobby just watched in horror. He just kept reminding himself, there was nothing he could have done. He watched until they were over the top of the mountain, and out of sight, then he ran as fast as he could back to the village to tell his folks.

There is more, maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Best Friend Donnie

When I was five years old, my family moved across town to the south side of Jacksonville. So my first day of school, was a terrifying one for me. When my Mom took me she saw a kid from the neighborhood named Donnie. She pointed him out to me in an effort to make the whole experience less frightening. I am not sure, but I do not think that we became friends at that time, but early on, we did.

Donnie and I did everything together. Climbing tall skinny pine trees to the very top, and then rocking them till they cracked and fell, us screaming with joy as we rode them down. We built forts in the woods, hunted squirrel with our BB guns, and even terrified a grounds keeper one day when he ventured out in the woods to see what we were doing, (He found himself staring down the barrel of two BB Guns as we defended ourselves).

As we got older, we also got into trouble together. There are so many things to tell, but can only be expressed with the phrase, “A lifetime friendship”. There were good times, and bad, but through it all, we were best friends. I have never doubted that Donnie would give the very shirt off his back to help me, and I the same ( I hope he has gone through life knowing this).

Our lives have taken different paths over the years, And it is unfortunate that we have spoken very little in these later years, but I have no doubt that we are still the best of friends.

There are two stories that always come to mind when I think about Donnie:

1)When we were very young, we rode our bikes to a construction site of a very tall building that was nearing completion in height. At the very top of this building was a crane that extended in height by at least thirty to forty feet. The arm of that crane extended out over the edge of the building. We had a routine of climbing through an obstacle of different means to get to the top of that building, and that is where we would play. But one day we climbed to the top of that crane, and wow what a view. But Donnie, fearless and brave, and to tell the truth a bit crazy, he went out on the arm and was suspended out over nothing, at least thirty floors. He then began to do jumping jacks on that fragile crane arm… Hahahahaha, when I think about that sight, I just crack up. There was a police officer almost ten miles away, which we were able to see turn on his lights, and rush to the site. What fear he must have had, thinking he was going to find that crazy kid splattered on the ground. Those were the days.

2)The next thing that stands out in my mind, when I think about Donnie, is the time we spent, as adults, going around to all of our old partying friends, and telling them about Jesus. The nights we spent at the Drug Rehab Building, sharing our faith with so many others that had no hope, and thought drugs were the only way to fill that void in their lives. Getting saved was such a wonderful thing in my life, but I had eventually lost all my friends, but to my great joy, Donnie trusted the Lord, and once more we spent our time together, now instead of getting into trouble, we were serving the Lord.

I wrote this poem about the friend I found in my Lord Jesus Christ, but even now, when I read it again, I think about Donnie.

I have searched over mountains, and valleys so low,
this lifelong search has burdened me where-ever I go.
A hole in my heart that I have tried to fill,
but all the things that I have gathered, add up to nil.
Neither gold, nor silver, nor jewels that glow,
none of the money, it's happiness I know.
I tried drinking, and drugs, and philosophy too,
plenty of women, but nothing would do.
But there is a treasure that thrills the heart,
I know it, I know it, but where will I start?
What if I stopped here, with no answer to share,
are you wondering with me or do you even care?
I think you are, it is everyone’s desire,
the things of this world are like a big liar.
So what did I find that for you and for me,
would thrill our hearts just even to see?
It is You, My Friend, Your love and your care,
It is something deep inside I can take everywhere.
Gold, Silver, Jewels and Cash,
You can have it all, it just does not last.
But what you give, and I to you,
fills that empty place in our hearts so true.
Thank you My Friend, for laughing,
for crying, for loving, ...For being You.
MFL 2001

To my Best Friend and Brother… I Love You Man!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Daddy Tree

My Dad and Mom divorced when I was six years old. So I didn’t see my Dad a lot while growing up. But after he went home to be with the Lord, it made me reflect on the things that he did during those six years, things that made an impression on my life. I soon realized I was very much like my Dad in many ways. Honesty, Devotion, Dependability, and most of all, a love for the Lord Jesus Christ. He had spent all of those years, teaching us verbally and by his actions these and many other moral qualities. My older siblings had more time with him in our home, and I am sure they benefitted from his living example.

So after his death, and my reflection on these things, I wrote a letter to my siblings, advising them of his estate, and their perspective share, but reminded them that he left us something of far greater value than money, he left us a Godly heritage. As anyone looks on my family, and their families, they all have one thing in common, and it is this heritage, a Godly one, and a love for God, and respect for others.

I wrote this poem to honor my Dad, I really hope he likes it. I included it in the letter I sent to my brother and sisters. I wanted them, to remember with me, that he did right by us.

As a tree in the forest, His branches bright with leaves,
Young children in the boughs, sitting in the breeze.
Forts and carvings, late night tales and such,
Memories are found there, I miss it so much.
That tree now cut down, its branches all gone,
How will others know him, his strength, and his song?
Then I saw in that forest, six trees with his mark,
His seed took root, and has grown with his bark.
New memories now are making, children awed by the sight,
Six trees just like him, their leaves just as bright.
Comfort they bring to others, fun and the like,
Standing in his strength both day and through the night!

Thank You Daddy… See you soon!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Midnight BBQ

It all started one night when I was about to go to bed. It was a cool spring evening so I opened my window, as many of the neighbors did, to enjoy the cool breeze refreshing the room, and the sweet melody of the whippoorwill that lived in our Sweet-gum tree. I was sleeping like a baby full of milk and a dry diaper, when around midnight I was awakened by a shrill sound that filled the neighborhood, dogs began to bark, and some even howled as though they were in pain. When I was awake enough to determine what the noise was, I realized that it was the neighbors two toy poodles, left outside for the night, probably because they did not want to endure the nauseating sound inside their home. It was a shrill, YIPPPP, YIPPPPP, YIPPPPP.... I had finally had enough, I could take it no more...

In the midst of the nerve rending sound of these miniature monsters that had deprived me of my sleep, and I am sure the sleep of all the neighborhood as well, The owners of these noise makers were probably asleep with their own earplugs in. Suddenly there was the sound of two loud blast that filled the air with a resounding echo, and two last Yelps, then silence....

The moon was full, and the neighborhood well lit by its glorious light, and one by one neighbors began to turn on their porch lights, and came outside to see what had just happened. It was then that the owners of the yipping poodles came out of their back doors to see a man balanced on the top of the privacy fence wielding a large rifle across his chest, with a satisfying look of accomplishment on his face.... The two little monsters lay limp in the back yard, not making a sound...

Then one man down the street climbed up on a ladder to see what was going on, and began to clap... Then one by one they all joined in, the applause was deafening. They all began to walk down to my yard, and shake my hand, some even hugged me as though we were long lost friends reunited. One lady brought a big picture of lemonade, while others brought some chips and cokes, I started my grill, and put on whatever I could find in the fridge, Wow what a good time we all had introducing ourselves and laughing, some even crying with such joy that made us forget the awful reason that we were even there.

Hey, don’t wait until there is a yipping dog disturbing your sleep, get to know your neighbors now while you still have charcoal in the Bar-bie...

MFL 2/28/00

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Big Day

It was the big day!

Since I have known her, from the very day that I saw her, and my heart beat differently, I have known that she would thrill my soul for the entire of my life. It was her smile, her laugh, and the way she spoke. I could tell that she was everything that my heart had longed for in a mate for life.

When she fell in love with me, I was overwhelmed with joy. She was all I could think about. Living in another city, I wrote every day, and called every night. When there was a letter in the mail from her my day was complete.

We decided to get married, and it seemed that the day would never come. All I wanted to do was to have her as my own, all of her, to consume her very being into my own. I wanted to know her as I knew my own soul. But it just seemed that that day would never come.

Every time I saw her I thought that she could not ever be more beautiful than she was that very moment I was watching her. But soon, as I learned more about her, I realized that that her sparkling beauty only deepened in my eyes. She truly was my sunshine. She brightened my day, my life, and my future.

Then it came… The day finally came, and those last twenty-four hours seemed as though they just stopped. Slowly the seconds crept by. Then I found myself dressing in my tuxedo looking rather handsome, I thought to myself. My best man, and usher meeting me at the church, with the pastor taking me through the details of the service. I wanted to see her so much it had been all day, without one glimpse.

There, standing with my best man, an usher, and the little guy holding the pillow with those golden rings, and looking rather bored; I waited. Then the organ started to play that familiar tune, and one by one the brides maids came down the aisle followed by this precious little girl tossing white rose pedals to either side in preparation of the Bride.

The organ started the wedding march, the congregation rose to its feet and turned to meet the Bride as she and her Father entered the room, He to give her away, she to become my wife. As I looked with the others I saw her, as if seeing her for the first time. She was so beautiful. The sight of her took my breath. My heart beat so hard I thought I would faint. My knees became weak and I thought they would fail me. And the thought that she was to be mine overwhelmed me. I did not think she could appear any more beautiful to me that at this very moment.

One day I was greeted with the news that we were to have a baby. That was such great news. It was what we both wanted more than anything. As the baby grew inside of her, she radiated a beauty that I have never seen. I was wrong I thought to myself, she was even more beautiful now than the day I watched her coming down the wedding aisle.

The years have past, and our love has grown. Our daughter has grown as well. One day I was watching my wife of fifteen years, and again, I thought how wrong I have been. There she was, my bride. My wife. The Mother of our daughter. My lover, and my best friend. I saw again in her a beauty that I have never seen. I thought back to that wonderful day when she accepted my vows, and became my wife, how beautiful she was, and now it seems that she has become even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

And now, after twenty six years of being married to my best friend, our Daughter has accepted the offer of her best friend to be his wife. There will be plans, and dreams, and happy thoughts. I soon will walk my daughter down the aisle to give her away to start a new life with her new husband. And my Sunshine and I will start a new chapter in our life together.

Our lives lay before us. We will walk it hand in hand. And I am sure that until that day that the Lord takes one of us home, she will continue to surprise me with her increasing beauty.

I look forward to my surprises.

I Love You My Sunshine