Wednesday, December 28, 2011


While most Christians would consider the Bible their Faithbook, some of us use Facebook as a Faithbook.
Indeed, thanks to some caring friends who saw on Facebook that I was faced with a cold winter outside, their warm hearts reached out to me last December and invited me into their lives.
So, Facebook isn't just a happy, happy talk social medium, it's a place where friends intersect with friends in a life-changing environment.
And in January Facebook served as the social intercourse for the Egyptian revolution which eventually deposed Mubarak.
A lady became so disenchanted she wrote on Facebook, "Meet me at Sahrir Square!"
Eventually over 100,000 Egyptians demonstrated their revolutionary zeal to oust the tyrannical Mubarak.
Facebook served as the intermediary meeting place for those who sought a revolution.
As we approach a new year when many resolve to change their lifestyles or lose weight or stop smoking or whatever grabs their fancy, Facebook may be an avenue of change.
But the tumult of 2011 in Egypt and all over the Middle East convoluted at Facebook.
Just because one desires a change doesn't necessarily mean declaring one's intentions in a social posting, actions speak louder than Facebook blather.
Facebook becomes Faithbook when we make resolutions revolutions.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Goodness infectious

"You are the benefactor of great kindness. And you have no idea how much goodness is lavished on the world by invisible hands. Small selfless deeds engender tremendous force against the darker powers.
"Great kindness pervades this world, struggling against pernicious selfishness and vulgar narcissism and the vicious streak that is smeared against each human heart -- great bounding goodness is rampant and none of it is wasted.
"No, these small gifts of goodness -- this is what saves the soul of man from despair, and that is what preserves humanity from the long fall from the precipice into the abyss." -- Old Chinese man in "A Christmas Blizzard" by Garrison Keillor.

"This is a thank you to the force of love which watches over all of us now and at all times, without which we would be lost for all times." -- Ibid

A heretofore unknown benefactor blessed me twofold the Thursday before Christmas.
As I was trekking homeward bound mostly dreading an expected uneventful Christmas, an angel appeared before me, turned her car around and generously offered me a ride.
Unbeknownst to both of us that was an act of reciprocal altruism.
Some call it karma, but psychiatrists term it reciprocal altruism.
Not only did I receive a ride, but she proffered me a large pizza!!
That was one of the most benevolent deeds I received during 2011.
I voraciously and emphatically enjoyed that pizza for three more days.
Lbuckmstr thank you from the bottom of my heart to the bottom of my digestive tract, both physically nourishing me but significantly rewarding me for all of the altruistic deeds I've tried to bestow on my friends.
I hope that altruistic lady received a reciprocal nice Christmas gift from her significant other.
Once when I was down and out and not expecting anything for Christmas while ensconced sleeping in the back seat of a car in Bentonville, reciprocal altruism enamored me with a humongous Christmas gift.
Back in the day when I thrived at Wal-Mart Supercenter in Bentonville I loaned a friend $100. He had just gotten divorced and needed gas money home back to Virginia.
Never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate payback.
I was sitting lonely and so broke I could barely pay attention in a McDonald's, lo and behold in stepped my long, lost friend KC decked out in a lavish suit and tie.
I hurriedly proffered my hand and he said, "David, I've been trying to find you."
He remarked that I came back the next day he would repay me that Benjamin Franklin I'd altruistically loaned him quite a few years ago.
Miraculously I was rewarded the next day.
Likewise, two years ago while in between sleeping in a tent and ushering at Arkansas Razorback basketball games, a friend who I'd covered during his prep career as a Bentonville Tiger greeted me at halftime with a handshake and a benjie.
Another Christmas miracle!!
This year Lbuckmstr's pizza provided me with a Christmas crescendo of goodness.
There is a force of love which watches over us.
So, selfless deeds engender kindness. I'm not perniciously selfish nor vulgarly narcissistic but my heart beats out a kind beat everytime I meet a kindred Christian who bestows altruistic good deeds.
Once this year a photographer who offers $20 to shoot profiles of the needy and feature them on Facebook, desired to altruistically snap my shot. He's a great friend!!
My Facebook photo is really a Faithbook picture from a divine loving spirit who invokes his love on us at very opportunistic moments.
Another benefactor, who prefers anonymity, bestowed on me a pair of snuggly, winterized boots which are both insulated from cold and rain.
So, thrice this year I've witnessed reciprocal altruism.
Here's to you Andrew Kilgore, a world renowned photographer. And here's to you my former P&G compatriot. And here's to you Lbuckmstr!!
God Bless You all!! I luxuriated in a Mary, Joseph and Jesus Christmas!!
If anyone desires to contact me after commenting, please include your e-mail address because when I do receive comments I need further reciprocal information. If I have your e-mail address it automatically is included in the comment. But if we're not befriended with that technical information I can't respond reciprocally.
Thanks and Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 23, 2011


"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." -- Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"

The spirit of Christmas resides in our hearts and we should practice that spirit of giving unto others all year round.
I've enjoyed this Christmas profoundly thanks to a sweetheart who ran up to me at Seven Hills Homeless Shelter and proudly handed me a candy cane and said, "Merry Christmas, Santa."
My heart jingle-jangled.
So, spread a little Christmas joy by being nice to people 365 days a year.
Don't be a Scrooge and bah humbug your way through life making every around you as miserable as you might portray yourself.
Smile and the world smiles with you. Frown and you frown alone.
Another very nice female turned around yesterday afternoon and not only offered me a ride, but gave me a large Supreme pizza.
That was the nicest present a bachelor who can't cook could receive for Christmas.
I'm not a panhandler who holds up signs and begs for money. I never was a very good dishwasher and I can't cook, so I'm a lousy pan-handler.
Cynics will never enjoy Christmas, and the spirit of Jesus' love. They're trapped in their solitary lives of drudgery and ill will.
I pity them. They should brighten up and maybe someone might befriend them.
So, dear reader thanks for reading and digesting these ruminations from a sexagenarian who yearns for a more complete life.
Happy a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The end

"And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -- Abraham Lincoln

"Every man's life ends the same way and the details of how he lived and how he died distinguishes one from another." -- Ernest Hemingway

So, what is God's purpose for your life?
Whenever facing adversity one ponders that dilemma. Why, Oh God, am I suffering?
There has to be a reason. I don't deserve this fate.
Maybe it's a wakeup call from God that I wasn't doing the right thing and he wanted me to be aware that there's more important things than my measly little view of reality and I placed way too much importance on that 35-inch Mitsubishi television I used to own when I had a good job and I thought a good lifestyle.
Now I realize God wanted me to be homeless, er, a camper, to understand what it's like to not own anything of real importance. And he wanted me to try and enlighten others as to how it feels to be without a home, with nowhere to roam and no goals in life except to just survive and wake up the next morning and thank God for another day of life.
I experienced the true values of the meaning of my existence last Tuesday.
I gave a confessional experience at Central United Methodist Men's Bible Study.
I related that the first time I attended the bible study I was very meek and sleeping in a tent.
Then, I found a nice job in Rogers, thanks to a charismatic Christian friend who prefers anonymity.
Six months later I was destitute again, jobless, homeless and asking God, why me?
I think the answer should be: WHY NOT ME!
A gentleman at the Bible Study related that he and his wife had resigned their positions after seven years and were trying to ascertain their next significant plan God had in store for them.
He said he enjoyed hearing about my experience and he firmly believed God had a plan for me.
Sometimes I wish it would be easier for me if God would just pop up in a burning bush and relate to me his plans.
Once I pleaded with God for me to have a Saul, Paul conversion experience.
Sometimes we must endure the pain and suffering to appreciate the most meaningful things in life. Oxygen. Breathing. Consumption of food. Clothing and insulated boots and gloves to keep us cozy while walking through the winter's blustery conditions. And just life which is the ability to live and breathe and sustain and maintain.
It's nice to hear grown men say "I love you David."
I've had five gentlemen friends tell me, "David, I love you" this year.
So, I must be doing something right if men love me as a friend.
Hopefully I'll be telling everyone I care about, "I love you," more often.
I remember when I eulogized my sweet, dear mother Ruth Kornmeyer Lanier, and I rued not telling I loved her the last time I saw her in her earthly bodily form.
So, I said, "Mom, I love you with all of my heart and all of my soul!!"
Love can be the unifying force which bonds us with our fellow men and women.
So, I love everyone who reads these ruminations. I would love to hear more comments, though.
To you dear readers, have a Mary, Joseph and Jesus Christmas! Happy Hannekah!! and Hippy New Year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mary Christmas

Ask not what God can do for you. Ask God what you can do for him.
In this spirit of giving unto others, we all should pray to God to ask him for what we can do for others. Not for what others are going to give us for Christmas.
Likewise, we should observe Christmas in the spirit of what God gave us, his Son.
Many of us are oblivious to the significance of the Christmas traditions. And to how Thanksgiving was originally celebrated.
The fir tree tradition began almost 1,000 years ago when St. Boniface, who converted the German people to Christianity, was said to have come across a group of pagans worshipping an oak tree. In anger he cut it down and to his amazement a young fir tree sprang up from the roots. He took this as a sign of the Christian faith. Not until the 16th century were fir trees brought inside.
So, why do some of us put up an artificial tree and decorate it and worship the lights, the bulbs, the trinkets and all of the gifts we bestow to our loved ones?
Maybe that's a pagan ritual, too.
"Jesus didn't celebrate Santa Claus' birthday." -- Willie Nelson
Why don't we put up a manger instead and give out gifts to loved ones in the memory of Jesus, not Santa Claus?
St. Nicholas of Myra, which is now a part of Turkey, gave generously to the poor.
He presented three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so that they wouldn't have to become prostitutes.
Some of us prostitute ourselves to the love of money and forget about the heritage of St. Nicholas of giving to the poor. We'd rather receive an I-Phone and text message or e-mail a thank you message.
Clement Clarke Moore's 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" and the song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" originated the spirit of Santa Claus which is ingrained into our modern Christmas culture.
So, this year ponder these thoughts in your mind.
Have a Mary and Joseph and Jesus Christmas!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Eureka, I found it!

"Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see." -- John Newton, "Olney Hymns." (1779). "Amazing Grace"

What once was lost, i.e., my billfold with all of my identification cards and pertinent parts of my personality, was missing this morning when I awoke.
So, I retraced my steps and rediscovered my identity.
Sometimes we foolishly fall asleep rather than trudge home.
My favorite place to take a respite is still my secret hiding spot.
So, I arose like the phoenix and went from despair to tranquillity this morning.
That's the beauty of life. One moment I was depressed and wondering, "Why, me?"
Then I used logic and traversed to my secret sleeping spot and was transformed from despair to a safe haven of regeneration.
Sometimes we take for granted the important things in life. And then when we lose them we realise how important they really are.
I was worrying about having to replace my library card, Social Security card, photo ID and then I used my little brain cells to relocate my valuables.
As one of my homeless buddies told me after he heard my story, "Everything I own is in my billfold."
Once my father said in church after he'd lost his billfold, "I lost my personality."
I'm just glad I was the first one to find what I'd lost.
Amazing grace can rejuvenate our souls in more was than one.
Thank God for his grace in our lives!


This was my lost weekend!
Not only did the Razorbacks discombobulate against LSU, but I lost my personality in the process.
In other words, I woke up this morning and my billfold was missing.
I feel like a lost soul without an identity.
Yes, I have lost my identity, including my picture ID, Social Security card, library card, credit cards. Ugh!!
As far as the Razorbacks implosion against the No. 1 LSU Tigers, there are no alibis.
You can't blame the officials. They did an excellent job.
You can't blame the death of No. 88. I think the Razorbacks played inspired football and held a 14-0 lead. But that was short lived as LSU responded and kicked our *##*.
Or as former Razorback baseball coach Norm DeBriyn always said after a loss and a sports writer might ask him about possible scenarios which included excuses, he retorted, "Excuses are like dead skunks in the road, they all stink!!"
So, I'm trying to retrace my steps and pratfalls last night and recuperate my identity.
Here's hoping the Razorbacks regroup and respond with a bowl victory.
I predict LSU plays Alabama in the national championship game. I don't like either team but am proud to be in the same SEC division. Here's hoping the SEC wins its sixth straight national championship.
Maybe next year we'll be even better and bolder and tougher.
Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah! Happy New Year! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


"The story upon which our Thanksgiving holiday is based is a story of Pilgrims and American Indians celebrating a feast together. Displaced Europeans migrated to a hostile new land, and with the assistance of the native people, learned to plant, harvest and hunt to survive.
"Thanksgiving was an occasion to give thanks to God, but it was every bit as much a celebration of the thanks of the newcomers to their mentors, who had served as instruments of God's grace.
"Sadly the history of American Indians in the U.S. mirrors the movement of the blessed from thankfulness to complacency. As former Europeans became more adept at developing our own networks in what soon became our nation, we became complacent about our relationship with our former friends.
"We forgot how thankful we had been that their contributions made our survival possible when we no longer worried about survival." -- The Rev. Leslie Belden, Parish associate of First United Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville.

Sadly those early settler were supplanted by greedy land grabbers.
They traded trinkets for land in New York.
They usurped land and forced the Native Americans into combative roles.
They eventually turned their hunting grounds into parking lots for their BMWs (business moguls wagons).
So, Thanks for Giving us guidance in how to survive.
Now the progenitors of those Native Americans must survive on reservations.
I have reservations about this dichotomy of diversity.
Do you have reservations for Thanksgiving dinner?
Are you sharing your provisions with any Native Americans?
Or do you go gamble at one of their casinos and give thanks to them for their teaching our ancestors to survive?
Maybe that's payback when you lose at one of their Cherokee casinos.
So, when you say your Thanksgiving prayer, say thanks to the first Native Americans for teaching the Pilgrims how to hunt, plant and harvest.
Remember your forefathers' heritage!!

What do you have to be thankful for?
A two-car garage?
A bountiful feast?
All those Occupy Northwest Arkansas may have an important message to deliver.
The 99 percent of us who struggle for survival aren't relying on Native Americans to help us in our struggle to pay our bills and purchase the necessities of life.
We're incumbent on the greed in Washington to finance trillions of war debts in Iraq and Afghanistan and the billions we owe China.
Let's just be thankful that those early Native Americans helped our forefathers and let's echo the thanksgiving that God gave us here in the USA.

Friday, November 4, 2011

SOB story

Doris Buffett, Warren E. Buffet's older sister, calls "S.O.B. gifts" -- donations that support symphonies, opera and ballet, for the wealthiest charitable givers, or checkbook philanthropy.
On the flip side, homeless, er tent campers, also are contemplating S.O.B. stories. That acronym stands for sleeping bags or blankets to stay warm and cuddly during the frigid winter upcoming.
That's in stark contrast.
The number of Americans living below the poverty line has ballooned to 46.2 million which is the highest ever since the Census Bureau began collecting such data.
Median incomes are declining and college graduates can't find jobs. The gap between the richniks and the poverty-stricken is widening at a stark dichotomous gap.
According to the New York Times, state and local governments have slashed budgets which address homelessness, school nutrition, substance abuse and a range of social services.
While many Americans always give generously to help the underprivileged, many of the wealthies have their priorities askew. They prefer to donate to building museums to house their art collections; underwrite new wings in hospitals or halls named for them at their alma maters; use their money and influence to sway public policy and influence political campaigns; or seek to solve problems in Africa rather than in their own backyards.
"At a time when America is having a debate about the social contract, philanthropy is silent," said Emmett D. Carson, chief executive of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which has assets of $2 billion. "We are silent about the depths of the problems of homelessness, joblessness, foreclosure, hunger, and people are starting to believe that philanthropy is irrelevant to the core needs of their communities."
In a more practicable scenario, William E. Conley, Jr., the billionaire co-founder of the Carlyle Group, recently told the Washington Post that he was disenchanted with giving tens of millions of dollars to nonprofits that provide food, shelter and health care to the needy.
"So much of what I do now is stopgap," Conley opined. "Somebody's hungry, we give money to the food bank. It would be far better if we had a more permanent solution."
As the tradition-rich holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, approach, everyone's heart goes out to helping the unfortunates.
There will be lavish Turkey Day dinners at churches and homeless shelters.
But still the campers must trudge through the ice and snow and snuggle up in their S.O.B.s (sleeping bagos or blankets) and endure the wintry frigidity because their is no homeless shelter available on a 24-7 basis.
Even Mary and Joseph had to go to a manger to birth the Christ child because their was no homeless shelter available.
So, while deliberating how to help the homeless this holiday season, consider the options: donate to a food bank, volunteer to help serve a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, donate clothes, sleeping bags or blankets (SOB), or maybe collaborate on a plan for a homeless shelter.
All of those benefit the less than well-to-do. But what's needed most?
A shelter!!!!!
In other words, hopefully all those woebegones will be gone if a united way is ascertained to aid and abet houselessness.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Memory lane

"Sometimes you simply have to walk through a door in your mind and lose 30 or 40 years in order to remember who you are.
"Maybe it's a self-deception...
"We are the sum total of what we have done and where we have been, and I sincerely believe that in many ways the world in which I grew up in was better than the one we live in today." -- "Black Cherry Blues" -- James Lee Burke

"Was I better off when I worked for the Wal-Mart Shoe Department from 1969-75, when Sam Walton's philosophy of 'Buy USA' included purchasing televisions from an Arkansas factory?
"Or are we better off purchasing Christmas paraphernalia made in China?
"Was I better off when the first television our family ever owned was a 20-inch black-and-white with an antenna on top of the roof which only received three channels from Little Rock, NBC, CBS and ABC?
"Or was I better off when I owned a 35-inch Mitsubishi and had Dish satellite network with 400 channels, of which I only watched maybe 25-30?
"Was I better off when I used to watch MTV videos like "Thriller"?
"Or are we better off watching reality shows on MTV, which are inane and filled with false impressions of how great our soap operish lives become once we are addicted to the idiot box and all its panache of pop garbage?
"Was Elvis Presley better off when he crooned "Jailhouse Rock" and before Col. Tom Parker entered with his grubby charlatan money-grabbing shenanigans?
"Or when Elvis finally collapsed on a toilet seat with his body and mind polluted by prescription drugs?"
So, take a trip down memory lane and prioritize what's really important.
Don't get sidetracked by all the neat stuff you own.
Look for some intrinsic valuables like peace, love and rock-'n-roll.

"Jesus pointed his finger at the people he wanted. I ain't seen noboby point at me." -- James Lee Burke, ibid.
God calls us on missions and gives us meaningful purpose in life.
Are you ready to fulfill his goals for you? Are you ready to live a purposeful life?
Just pray for guidance and he will answer.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Radio Daze

My love affair fondly began in 1964.
The dream-like fantasies flowed through my brain waves vis a vis the airwaves from KMOX, the flagship station of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Hearken I can hear it now:
"The Cardinals win the pennant! The Cardinals win the pennant!"
I was secretively listening to the final game of the 1964 baseball season while ostensibly watching a movie in the Mountain Home theater.
I sneaked my transistor radio in with my ear plugs intently transfixed on the Cardinals-Mets game.
The Cardinals overcame an 8 1/2 game deficit to the Philadelphia Phillies and stormed into the World Series where they dispatched the vaunted New York Yankees, 4-3.
My hero "Bullet" Bob Gibson spun three victories and the Cardinals were the World Champions.
Thanks to the word pictures painted by Harry Caray and Jack Buck I saw it on the radio.
Likewise, last night while dream watching the Cardinals and the Texas Rangers, I fondly listened (and watched) as the Cardinals overcame five deficits, including two almost indefinable, 7-4, and 9-7 behind-the-proverbial-eight-ball tallies.
Somehow, someway, some miracle the Cards parlayed rallies and deadlocked the Rangers, 7-7 and 9-7.
Finally, in so dramatic fashion it's almost surreal David Freese freeze-framed a titanic 11th inning walkoff home run to cap a comeback for the ages.
I watched it on the radio!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Here's two interesting items I found on Facebook.

"The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine." -- Abraham Lincoln

I guess it's hard to distinguish between the truth and someone just pranstering.

"Me behave? Seriously?
"As a child I saw Tarzan almost naked.
"Cinderella arrived home after midnight.
"Pinocchio told lies.
"Aladdin was a thief.
"Batman drove over 200 miles an hour.
"Snow White lived in a house with seven men.
"Popeye smoked a pipe and had tattoos.
"Pac Man ran around to digital music while eating pills that enhanced his performance.
"And Shaggy and Scooby were mystery solving hippies who always had the munchies."
The fault is not mine.
It was a wonderful childhood.

Yes, we all used to believe that fairy tales could come true.
Or, at least that some of our fantasies would bring fruition into our lives.
Then reality intervened and if we don't have faith, hope, love and great friends we might become skeptics.
I'm not a Grumpy Old Man.
I still believe in the power of positive thinking.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


"If you don't go to somebody's funeral, they won't go to yours." -- Yogi Berra

"There is a world of difference between being friendly to someone because they're useful to you and being someone's friend." -- Anonymous

I've been victimized by so called friends who used me for their benefit.
I won't go into details to protect the guilty.
I don't hold grudges.
But it still pains me when I have people take advantage of my kindness.
I eulogized a friend who had sometimes used my friendship to aid him in his survival.
But I had a God moment and eloquently saluted him for his good deeds and great personality.
The audience applauded.
So, with trepidation sometimes we're hesitant to embrace friends.
We selectively help others.
It's painful to be taken advantage of.
Once bitten, twice shy.
I've had a world of friends help me in my vicissitudes of struggling with houselessness.
Without them I don't know where I'd be today.
Here's to friendship!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Faith, hope, charity

"Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
"We know in part, and we prophesy in part.
"But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
"And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." -- I Corinthians 13:9-13.

Love never fails.
Within the context of faith and hope, love is the most permanent. Love is operative within the other members of the triad, faith, hope and love.
These three interrelated features of Christian life. If the perspective is temporal, love will remain even when faith has yielded to sight and hope to possession.
Faith keeps us hoping for a better day.
Hope provides us with a spirit to persevere.
We must keep the faith. We must hope for a better future. But love will conquer all and provide us with an answer to our faith and hopes.
I've had moments of doubt when I was sleeping in the back seat of a car in Bentonville.
I've had queries of why me when I was sleeping in a tent in the midst of a rain storm.
But I always kept faith in God that he would help me overcome my worries.
I always had hope that someday I would find a better way of living.
The love of my fellow man pulled me through these adversities.
Friends transformed my life.
Now we must all help each other out through travails.
That human spirit of loving and providing assistance keeps our faith and hope in the betterment of mankind alive.
When we were little children, we always relied on the love of our parents to help us overcome our fears and our worries.
But when we became adults we put aside those childish things and relied on faith, hope and love. The three Christian intangibles which separate man from the animal kingdom is faith in God, hope for a better world to live in and love provides the rock of salvation.

Friday, October 14, 2011


"It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice." -- John Cassis
How many times have you felt a sense of importance?
Did your ego swell up the size of the state of Texas?
Like the credo says, though, it's more important to be nice.
I've made more friends in a myriad of locales because I was just being myself, a nice guy.
Or as I eulogized at my father's funeral, "Nice Guys Finish With Class."
Leo Durocher, the cantankerous major league baseball manager, wrote a book "Nice Guys Finish Last."
I disdain to agree with that smart aleck philosophy.
If you're a nice guy you will end up with a plethora of friends and accomplices and you'll feel much more compassionate and you'll have a lot fewer enemies.
When I was incarcerated in the Washington County Detention Center for 107 days after being falsely accused of stealing a woman's purse at a tailgating event at The Gardens at the UofA, I made numerous friends in my pod.
I didn't change my persona.
While our pod was being repainted we had to temporarily move to another pod.
In the rush to relocate I found myself forlornly having to trudge upstairs with my mattress and blanket.
A very friendly black man grabbed my sleeping gear and rushed downstairs and told another fellow podmate that I was going to sleep downstairs on the bottom bunk.
That night while we were intensely reading the Bible I found a passage which fit that preceding scenario.
I can't remember the exact quotation, but it mentioned how we should pick up someone else's load and carry it for them.
I walked over and hugged the man and said, "I love you, brother."
That infectious beatitude and good will embrace took him by surprise. But he reciprocated and passed it on to another friend. I saw him go up and hug someone and say, "I love you brother."
Instead of holding grudges and chastising someone who's treated you with ill will, it's better to forgive and forget.
I've made friends, or at least, gained respect by apologizing when I let my emotions overcome me and say something I later regretted.
Once this year after standing in the hot sun awaiting entry to the community meal, a Katrina refugee who was transplanted up to Northwest Arkansas, hurriedly stampeded to the front of the line to get a meal ticket.
I frustratedly remarked, "Hey, dude, some of us have been standing outside in the hot sun and now you're barging in here and cutting in line."
He retorted: "I guess you've just been waiting to say that. Why don't you mind your own business?"
I felt guilty and apologized to him later.
He said, "Apology accepted."
Ever since then he's respected me.
I practice what I preach.
Nice Guys Finish With Class.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why did the Jews reject Jesus

According to David Klinghoffer the Jews denied that Jesus was the Messiah.
This was due to the prophecies in the Old Testament which proclaimed that the promised Messiah had been advertised as being destined from Daniel back through Ezekiel and Isaiah, "Let him rule as a monarch, his kingship extending over all peoples, nations and languages."
"Let him return the exiles and rebuild the Temple and defeat the oppressor and establish universal peace as the prophets also said.
Zechariah 14:9: "the Lord will become King over all the earth; on that day the Lord will be one and his name one"
This is the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; of Jesus and Paul; of Christians and Jews.
A British journalist William Norman Ewer wrote: "How odd of God/To Choose the Jews."
Leo Rosen responded:
 "But not so odd
As those who choose
A Jewish God
Yet spurn the Jews."
Ogden Nash retorted:
"Not so odd/the Jews chose God."
An anonymous pundit said:
"How strange of man
To change the plan."
Jim Sleeper quipped:
"Moses, Jesus, Marx, Einstein and Freud;
No wonder the goyim are annoyed."
I set out a few months ago to try and grasp why the Jews didn't accept Jesus as the Messiah.
First I read "The Source" by James Michener which gave me a wealth of historic background about the Jews.
Then, I read "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance" by Herman Wouk which details the rise and fall of Adolph Hitler and the background of the Jewish experience preceding and following the Holocaust.
Then I read "The Hope" by Herman Wouk which documents the partitioning of Israel and proceeds to sweep through the Six Day War when Israel wiped out the Egyptian air force in one fell assault and help off the Arabian aggressors.
Finally I'm reading "Why The Jews Rejected Jesus" by David Klinghoffer.
Jews have long been blamed for Jesus's death and stigmatized for rejecting him.
But Jesus lived and died a relatively obscure figure at the margins of Jewish society.
It's difficult to argue that the Jews of his day rejected Jesus, since most Jews had never heard of him.
The person they really rejected, often violently, was Paul, who convinced the Jerusalem church led by Jesus's borther James to jettison the observance of Jewish law.
Paul thus founded a new religion.
If not for him, Christianity would likely have remained a Jewish movement, and the course of history would have been changed.
Had the Jews accepted Jesus, Klinghoffer speculates, Christianity would not have conquered Europe, and there would be no Western civilization as we know it.
So, I'm still baffled about the original premise, "Why don't Jews accept Jesus as the Messiah?"
I guess I'd have to be a Jew brought up reading the Torah and the Talmud to really understand that enigmatic philosophy.
All we can do is read the Old Testament and New Testament and try and fulfill God's commandments and Jesus' new covenant.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The inner game

"If you live to be 100, you've got it made. Very few people die past that age." -- George Burns, who lived to be 100 and then died.

Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthians while he was incarcerated.
He wrote, "We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."
Your skin may be wrinkling. Your hair may be graying up. Your face may be weary. Your body may be aging. Your reputation may be besmirched. Your persona may be changing, just depending on who you're talking to.
But there is also an inner you: Your character. Your spirit. Your soul.
The outer you shouldn't be a judge of character.
You have an invisible aura within you which allows you to choose with free will, which God benevolently granted us.
In 1 Samuel 16:7, God said, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
Indeed, never underestimate the human heart.
That's the inner you which embues you with compassion.
While writing about my parents on Mother's Day and Father's Day, I expressed my gratitude for the life wisdom they endowed in my heart.
I was praised by some for my compassionate, heart-filled writing.
That was a gift from God, and my parents.
Mickey Mantle, the New York Yankees great outfielder, worried that he would die at a young age.
But when he turned 60 he said, "If I had known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."
Paul claimed he was being renewed every day, even though he was in prison.
His mind and soul weren't chained. He was still a free man inwardly.
He prayed. He sang. He wrote. He fellowshipped. He worshiped. He hoped. And God renewed him.
His inner being was strengthened in faith, hope, love, poise, wisdom, patience, gratitude and joy.
We all should be that way, no matter our station in life.
We should live in such a way to prepare for eternity.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The end

"Everyone finds God in the end." -- Anon.

We're all seeking God to interdict in our lives.
Don't wait until it's too late for him to help you during your bad times.
"For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." -- Matthew 7:8.

Knock, knock. Who's there?

God can answer your knock, knock, and he already knows who's there.
So don't wait until judgment day to seek an answer to your future.
Is the end, the beginning of a new life?
Don't procrastinate your eternal life.
It can happen within one hour, or one minute, or one split second.
Oscar Wilde, one of the greatest playwrights, maybe next to Willie Shakespeare in astounding wisdom, asked for a deathbed confession because he'd been an atheist, or an agnostic, all his earthly existence.
The thief on the cross was granted a paradise reprieve.
But we don't know if God will do that for everyone.
So, when the end comes to your temporal life, what's next?
Let God be the judge right now, not when you're about to be buried or cremated.
God will decide your future and you'll be a much happier camper if you make the right decisions about salvation and Jesus' Cross experience.
Everyone finds God in the end. But this could be the beginning of a beautiful paradise here on earth.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dreamers, visionaries, doers

"You see things; and you say, Why? But I dream things that never were and I say, Why not?" -- George Bernard Shaw.

Some men dream big and do little about them.
Some visionaries act and react to their dreams.
Some visionaries create models which are revolutionary.
Steve Jobs of Apple traveled to Xerox's research center in Palo Alto, Calif., in 1979 and saw the Alto, an experimental personal computer system which foreshadowed the modern desktop computer system.
"It was one of those sort of apocalyptic moments," Jobs said. "I remember within 10 minutes of seeing the graphical user interface stuff, just knowing that every computer would work this way someday."
In 1981 he joined a small group of Apple engineers who introduced the Macintosh in January 1984 on a Super Bowl commercial.
After designing the Mackintosh computer, Jobs had a falling out with the chief executive and he left for 12 years.
He acquired Pixar a struggling graphics supercomputer company owned by George Lucas.
Eventually the company with Walt Disney Pictures released "Toy Story."
He rejoined Apple and developed the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.
Unfortunately he contracted pancreatic cancer and had to have a liver transplant.
Nevertheless, Jobs was a dreamer and a genius who transformed the computer industry.
He dreamed things and modified and revolutionized electronics and communication.
Yesterday Jobs passed on with a legacy which touched the lives of most of us.
When I started out in journalism, we batted out our stories on a typewriter.
Eventually we used computers and then laid out our pages on the computer.
In our Sunday School class one of the members related how when he was going to seminary school to become a Methodist minister, one of the assignments was to write your own obituary.
So, how many of us could write that we were a revolutionary?
It would be humbling to try and enumerate our life's accomplishments.
I've dreamed of doing some illustrative creative endeavors.
Someday I hope to author a book.
In the mean time, I'll continue to blog.
Cheers to Steven Jobs for his prodigious accomplishments.
We all owe him for his visionary and magnificent achievements.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Defining moment

"When a defining moment comes along, you define the moment or the moment defines you." -- Kevin Costner in "Tin Cup"

Have you ever had a moment when you seized control of the situation and made a definite statement to assuage your conscience?
My father, God rest his soul in heavenly solace, dreamed that his eldest son would follow in his hallowed footsteps and become a Methodist minister.
Alas, his footsteps were too large. He wore a size 10 1/2 shoe and I wear a 7 1/2. LOL.
Actually once when I received an urgent phone call from my mother that my father was suffering in a coma and he wasn't expected to live, I drove like a bat out of Hades to Mountain Home.
On the way, I heard God calling me to give a eulogy at my father's funeral to prove to him that I could indeed preach.
Even though my mother went to a funeral home and started making the arrangements for his funeral, God wasn't through with him yet. Miraculously he survived.
A few years later my mother passed.
I felt the influence of God invoking me to eulogize my mother.
So, with the help of God I spoke glowing words in tribute to my mother. I also accomplished a two-fold task and explained that God didn't call me into the ministry.
A year later my father passed.
Likewise I eulogized him and summarized a credo which I utilize, "Nice Guys Finish With Class."
Whenever the going gets tough, I try and display grace under pressure and show my true character, class.
I also had one of my best friends die last year and I eulogized him in an almost all black funeral home.
I summarized our relationship, "We Are Family."
No matter the color of your skin, you should treat everyone equally.
Everyone clapped as I emotionally concluded my eulogy, "We Are Family."
Indeed, we're all God's children. We're a family of Christians seeking salvation from our earthly sins.
So, when my mother and father and best friend died, I let God do the talking through me.
That's the three defining moments of my life. I, with the divine assistance of God, defined the moment and summarized those three special human beings and their significant contributions.
Those moments also defined me.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


1 Corinthians 1: 25-31: "This so-called "foolish" plan or God is far wiser than the wisest plan of the wisest man, and God in his weakness -- Christ dying on the cross -- is far stronger than any man.
"Notice among yourselves, dear brother, that few of you who follow Christ have big names or power or wealth.
"Instead, God has deliberately chosen to use ideas the world considers foolish and of little worth in order to shame those people considered by the world as wise and great.
"He has chosen a plan despised by the world, or counted as nothing at all, and used it to bring down to nothing those the world considers great, so that no one anywhere can ever brag in the presense of God."

God chooses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
Noah saved the righteous on his ark and then got drunk in his tent.
Moses was chosen to approach the Pharoah, but he claimed to be a stutterer.
Gideon was a coward.
Jesus chose ordinary fishermen and other normal people to be his disciples.
Peter, the rock of the new church, denied knowing Jesus thrice.
When we receive the power of the Holy Spirit, it embues us to be witnesses and we are sent out in the world to spread the Gospel.
God uses ordinary people filled with that Spirit to do extraordinary things.
Some may say the teachings and plans are foolish but God's plan which might be despised or counted as nothing become extraordinary happenstances.
So, what is God's plan for your life?
Just ask him and he'll fill you with the Spirit to achieve extraordinary deeds.
I was given a God filled talent for writing and sometimes extraordinary creative words spill forth which I humbly speak and/or write.
Here's hoping all of us ordinary folks can do extraordinary feats.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


"Religion is not an escape from reality, but rather a genuine effort to make sense of what passes for reality and all that surrounds us.
"Religion is not the answer to the unknowable or the unfaceable or the unendurable; religion is what we do and what we are in the face of the unknowable, the unfaceable and the unendurable. It is a constant exercise in the making of sense first, and then of meaning." -- Peter T. Gomess, Preacher to Harvard University.

I once thought religion was an escape from reality. That church goers didn't have a true vision of the reality some must endure while undergoing trials and tribulations. That some churches preferred to spend $15 million on a church with three crosses. Or maybe $4 million on a parking deck.
But that was me looking from the outside in.
Now that I'm a member of a "mega-church" looking from the inside out gives me a better and truer perspective.
Most of us can't fathom the unknowable or the unfaceable or the unendurable.
But religion provides us a window into our souls.
It invokes sense and meaning to life.
Whenever we feel like God is alive in our lives, in our hearts and in our souls, then we can gain a glimpse of the significance of what our life can mean to others.
I have friends amongst the homeless, er houseless, who look up to me for what I documented.
They encourage me to write another article.
I can't be the chief spokes person right now because I'm blessed to have a humble place to lay my head down. I don't have to battle the elements and worry about my tent springing a leak during a rain storm.
And I don't have to worry about Pepe Le Pew, that pesky skunk, who once darted through my tent seeking some Doritos.
But I can awaken every morning and say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for giving me some guidance and some sense of purpose and well-being.
We can face life's vicissitudes with a strong heart and a strong soul filled with God's grace and caring love.
Love your neighbors. Love your friends. And love God for giving us this life with charity for all.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Matthew 23:12: "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

Sirach 4:17-18: "My son, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
"Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God."

Humility can be the most God-like quality to embrace.
We all are very proud people.
But one must subjugate hubris (selfish pride) to distinguish oneself as a humble individual.
I can remember my vain-glorious days when I put myself on a pedestal.
But sooner or later humility intervened and I learned the true meaning of respect from my peers.
We all disdain boastful, arrogant braggarts who want to pat themselves on the back every opportunity they can.
There's nothing wrong with being proud of your accomplishments, but humility will let others appreciate them and you much, much more.
The gifts God bestows on us are our talents.
But he appreciates us if we just stay humble.
I don't know if I've ever met a humble Texan, but I've met a plethora of humble Arkansans.
Alabama sure made the Razorbacks swallow humble pie!
Humility brings us back to our senses and we must not get depressed or cast aspersions on our pride. Just learn from one's braggadocio and the speed bumps that intervene. Then, go on not with a chip on your shoulder, but humility in your heart.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Good deeds

"Do all the good you can.
By all the means you can
I all the ways you can
In all the places you can
At all the times you can
To all the people you can
Al long as ever you can." -- John Wesley

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions." -- Anonymous

Are you a good deeder or a wannabe who procrastinates?
We all strive to do good deeds, but sometimes we stray or put it off until...
If you don't do something good when you have the window of opportunity, shame on you!
Sometimes we must make choices and sometimes the decisions aren't just black or white, but a tinge of grey, just like my beard.
I hope to inspire someone someday like my parents who were Christian saints who instilled in their children the paths of righteousness and good will to all men.
They made sacrifices at times.
They weren't storing up riches on earth.
Sometimes for Christmas all we got were clothes, but those were necessities.
They spent a lifetime doing good deeds to all they could, by all means, in all ways, in all places, at all times, to everyone and as long as they lived.
Even when they were both not in very good health, they still became involved in the literacy program at Central Methodist Church in Conway.
They were even teaching an Hispanic to read. They wished they could speak Spanish so it would be easier.
So, what path are you traversing?
Are you doing good deeds or just pretending that you want to do some good things?
Hopefully we'll meet in the hereafter and reminisce about the goodness of God and the great times we had here on earth.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Listen, listen, listen

Sirach 12:7-8: "Before investigating, find no fault; examine first, then criticize.
"Before hearing, answer not, and interrupt no one in the middle of his speech."

Proverbs 18:13: "He who answers before he hears, his is the folly and the shame."

All good journalists know these proverbial words of wisdom from experience.
You've got to be a keen listener to be a good interpreter.
So, how many times have we failed to listen and learn before we respond?
Sometimes it's easier to interrupt someone else's opinions before they're through talking.
Of course, in the midst of a debate, one must bite his tongue before tongue lashing.
They key to being a good speaker is being a good listener.
Formulating a response with earnest sincerity requires hearing all that's said, digesting the significance and then espousing an opinion.
One garners respect when one listens, listens, listens. Respects the opinion of the speaker. Then, responds with contemplative rejoinder.
It's easy to be a mouth that roared.
But how many of us want our opinion to speak louder.
You're never going to change someone else's opinion until you've allowed them all due respect.
Critical analysis should be sagely phrased and succintly stated.
So, listen before you speak.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Who am I?

I'm in the midst of another mid-life crisis.
Who am I?
Where am I going?
As I turned the calendar on Aug. 15, gadzooks I discovered after doing some mathematical matriculation that I had lived 60 years on this good Earth.
Alas, I'm not satisfied with my current life function.
Yes, I'm happy to have a roof over my head, thanks to two awesome Christians, Joyce and Tom Conner.
But, I'm frustrated because I don't have a fruitful job milieu.
I had a glimmer of hope transpire Friday when Blair Jackson, editor extraordinaire of the Free Weekly newspaper and I chatted.
Ostensibly I was hoping for job clarification.
She asked me if I was seeking to write a column every week.
I told her Kent Marts, her supervisor, had offered me a column once a month for an Andrew Jackson in compensation.
Woops!!! I didn't give her all the details.
I sent her some of my articles which were published about houselessness.
She astounded me by informing me she'd gone through the archives and read my published treatises on homelessness.
Then she proceeded to interview me for over 30 minutes and took notes.
I guess she was trying to finalize her article because she said her deadline was Monday.
I asked her if she'd talked to anyone at Seven Hills and she said she'd called there 10 times and struck out.
So we proceeded to Seven Hills and I introduced her to the powers that be.
They even hooked her up with a phone conversation with Jon Woodward in Florida.
So, I gained a sense of accomplishment.
She asked me if I wanted to go somewhere else.
On the way back to the library I sheepishly queried her if she might have any writing assignments for me.
And she said she was contemplating.
So now I've got to be aggressive and try and impress her with an article.
I was a classmate of Judge Mary Ann Gunn, who's starting a controversial television program tomorrow.
I also matriculated with Alice Walton, so that's another shot in the dark possibility, i.e. on 11/11/11 the Crystal Bridges Art Museum opens up.
I just need a sense of purpose and a sense of direction, so as I progress through my 60s I won't feel as forlorn and footloose as I currently creep.
Pray for me and maybe help me figure out who I am and where I'm going.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Sirach 7:5-17: "A kind mouth multiplies friends, and gracious lips prompt friendly greetings.
"Let your acquaintances be many, but one in a thousand your confidant;
"A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure.
"A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth.
"A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds;
"For he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will be like himself."

The Book of Sirach derives its name from the author, Jesus, sone of Eleazar, son of Sirach.
The Catholics include it in their Bibles and use it extensively in their liturgy.
The author, a sage who lived in Jerusalem, was thoroughly imbued with love for the law, the priesthood, the temple and divine worship.
Sometimes we can garner wisdom by reading divinely inspired words which aren't included in our Protestant Bibles.
Indeed, faithful friends provide us shelters from the storms of life and the treasures they imbue are priceless.
No one can measure friendship by a monetary value.
Faithful friends are life savers sometimes.
A faithful friend will go the extra mile to aid us when we need it the most.
I've been rescued on numerous occasions by faithful friends who altruistically provided me with rides, food, clothes, hospitality, camaraderie and genuine unsolicited friendship which they never expected to be repaid, except by just a simple thank you.
God intercedes in our lives through friends.
We should reciprocate and pass on our friendship to others who are in need of just a friendly gesture.
Some of us can't provide friendship through monetary means but we can be good neighbors through our Christian love.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Luke 12:25-26: "Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life span?
"If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest?"

Or in the immortal words of the songster, "Don't worry, Be Happy!"
I don't even sound good singing in the shower, but once upon a time I did my version of that ditty to try and bestir a lady who was worrying too much about her beau.
And so every once in awhile if the spirit moves me I'll karaoke that tune.
And I'll ad lib the words to fit the occasion.
I used to worry too much.
Once I endured the slings and arrows of my outrageous misfortune I learned that
God was in control of my destiny more than I was and I stopped worrying as much as I used to.
I'm worried about the Alabama-Arkansas game but I remember when Arkansas was not even on the Vegas tout list when they faced Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.
Lou Holtz suspended three of Arkansas' high powered weapons for a dorm dalliance.
Prior to the kickoff Holtz had his players stay loosed by telling off colored jokes and they pranced and danced to a 31-6 rout of the more ballyhooed Boomer Sooners.
And I covered the Arkansas-Texas A&M joust in 1975. The Aggies were clear cut favorites after ousting the Texas Longhorns the previous week.
I had the (mis)fortune of entering the Aggies dressing room following their 35-14 loss to the Razorbacks.
Two of the Aggies All-American linebackers Ed Simonini and Garth Ten Apel were commiserating about the rugged loss.
One said, "What was the final score anyway?"
The other quipped, "I don't know, I think Arkansas is still out there scoring!"
Then, Simonini sarcastically remarked, "Well, at least we lived up to Aggie tradition. We choked!"
Yes, we all have a tradition of making tragic mistakes sometimes by not following our Christian principles of right and wrong.
Don't worry about the future, make it a positive happy day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Spend yourself altruistically

Isaiah 58:10: "If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourself in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your life will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noon day."

How many of us could learn myriads of wisdom from this verse?
How many times have we pointed fingers and blamed our ordeals on someone else, or even God for making us endure the yoke of oppression?
And how many of us have maliciously gossiped and talked the talk of foolish misrepresentation of the truth.
So, Isaiah says we should spend ourselves to feed the hungry and in that sense of expression satisfy the needs of the oppressed.
Then there will be earthly rewards, not just spiritual rewards in the afterlife.
Your life might shine as a beacon to end the darkness the oppressed are suffering through as they seek shelter from the storms of their misery.
Their dark night of the soul might be like a phoenix arising and permitting them to enjoy the food and nourishment the more fortunate should be sharing.
Similarly, we are given different gifts and talents by our Master.
The thing that matters most is how we use what we have been given, not how much we make or do compared to someone else.
What matters is that we spend ourselves while we are able to do so in a spiritual food for thought way.
Or, I paraphrase the Serenity prayer whenever I want to rap with God.
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
God grant me the Tranquillity to seek to bring some peace on earth to those who are fighting with themself.
God grant me the Altruism to love my fellow man and serve him with my gifts in a loving, caring experience without expecting any positive paybacks, either financially or materialistically.
And, God grant me the Wisdom to make smart choices and do the right thing.
That's the STRAW that stirs my soul.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Why is it that some people survive drug and alcohol abuse, even manage their lives with it, while others succumb got addiction?
According to Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Use, people who are addicted to cocain, heroin and alcohol have fewer dopamine receptors in the brain's reward pathways than nonaddicts.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter critical to the experience of pleasure and desire, and sends a signal to the brain.
Drug addicts may have blunted reward systems in the brain, and everyday pleasures don't come close to the powerful reward of drugs.
More than likely a complex interplay of genes, environment and psychology play an integral role in determining addiction.
Then, why can't we be addicted to God's love?
Wouldn't it be awesome to tell someone I'm a Christian-aholic.
I'm addicted to God's grace and love and mercy.
That would be the best high on the planet. Just tune in, turn off (the other drug addictions) and let God take you higher and higher into an oblivious state of emotional fervor filled with love.
Sounds like a plot for a hippie happy party of a time in a Christian environment.
But wouldn't that be much more fulfilling than drugs?
God can take us higher into a nirvana state of ecstasy. And the only hangover would be wanting to do it again and again.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Faith, hope

Romans 5: 1-5: "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the Glory of God.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
Sometimes we wondered why we have to suffer.
Maybe God is testing us and/or teaching us some supreme lessons in the meaning of life.
Suffering produces endurance.
Endurance produces character.
Character produces hope.
Hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given unto us.
I know from painful experiences that I endured and persevered suffering while going houseless for a period of time.
Sometimes I wasn't sure why I was going through these experiences.
But I developed a stern character and never lost hope that someday I would be a better person and would enjoy life in a more normal state of being than sleeping in a tent during a rain storm.
 Or having a skunk poke its beady little eyes in my tent at 5 a.m. and scamper through my tent scaring the Holy Ghost out of me!
Or having two policemen awaken me and my camp mates at 1:30 a.m. and brazenly lecture us that we were flirting with criminal trespassing.
Maybe God had his ulterior motives in all of this.
I gained endurance and developed a Christian character attitude toward my adversity.
Hope became my watchword.
Lo and behold, I've been blessed with virtues which I couldn't have ascertained any other way.
God loves us and he cares about us and he wants us to gain life wisdom through our vicissitudes.
So, keep hope alive in the midst of life's travails and God will bless you with his Holy Spirit which can strengthen us in the future while encountering the inexplicable travails we sometimes must travel through to become onward and positive looking individuals.
You Gotta Have Hope and Faith and garner wisdom!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10.
God wants us to make a difference in his world. He wants to work through you. What matters is not the duration of your life, but the donation of it. Not how long you lived, but how you lived.
If you're not involved in any service or  ministry, what excuse have you been using
Abraham was old.
Jacob was insecure.
Leah was unattractive.
Joseph was abused.
Moses stuttered.
Gideon was poor.
Samson was codependent.
Rahab was immoral.
David had an affair and all kinds of family problems.
Elijah was suicidal.
Jeremiah was depressed.
Jonah was reluctant.
Naomi was a widow.
John the Baptist was eccentric to say the least.
Peter was impulsive and hot-tempered.
Martha worried a lot.
The Samaritan woman had several failed marriages.
Zacchaeus was unpopular.
Thomas had doubts.
Paul had poor health.
And Timothy was timid.
That is quite a variety of misfits, but God used each of them in his service.
He will use you, too, if you stop making excuses.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Trust in the Lord

Proverbs 3: 5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight."
So, whom do you trust?
Once while camping out a friend, Duane, went to all of the "neighbors" and gave me a glowing recommendation as to being a trustworthy soul.
He told them to not harass me and to let me enjoy their camaraderie.
Albeit, that was a cool Welcome Wagon greeting that made me feel special.
I echoed his sentiments at Seven Hills Homeless Shelter. I opined that I could be trusted.
Well, gadzooks! One camper told me he didn't trust anyone, and sometimes not even himself.
A few months later after word filtered out that I was working on writing a book, this same dude laughingly told me I could write two chapters on his life and times.
Then we started cussing and discussing about all the people who had died during his seven-year tenure as a tentsman.
He said there had been 20 something unfortunates who perished while camping.
One had a seizure and fell into his camp fire.
I've strayed from my focus on trusting but the Lord can be trusted moreso than trusting other humans or even our own understanding.
In all ways we must accept his grace when we stray from the paths of righteousness.
In other words, you can't live a straight forward life if you think crooked thoughts.
Read the Bible daily. Garnish wisdom from His Holy Words and follow through with a straight face and a straight lifestyle.
Do the right thing. Think the right thoughts. Pray for guidance and wisdom. And He will lead you through the vicissitudes with a long and happy life filled with the blessings He will bestow on His "chosen" people.
Or as Spock spoke on "Star Trek": Live long and prosper.
With God's grace we can live longer and prosper more.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurry up...and wait

On Sunday the head of the Wesley Foundation at the University of Arkansas profoundly said, "Don't just do something, stand there!"
Indeed, we all must hurry up...and wait.
Most of us are rushing headlong into the future too fast.
Sometimes it pays to just sit and reflect, rather than brashly act and react to our (mis)fortunes.
God adores those who seek his advice.
In the Epistle of James Chapter 1: "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.
"Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
"But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it will be given to him."
What an easy formula for success: just ask God for guidance when facing a difficult decision. He will provide the wisdom to make the right choice.
So, when you're down and out and need some help, get down on your knees and pray to God to help lift you up out of your misery.
He will provide the rescue arms of salvation.
I endured many travails of pain and suffering while struggling to survive as a houseless individual.
But God provided me with great friends like Tom and Joyce Conner, Andrew Kilgore and some others who prefer anonymity.
Praise to God for intersecting into my life the aforementioned Hall of Famers!
Their mercy rescued a wretch like me!
Amazing Grace!

Monday, August 29, 2011


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Ahh!! This prayer should be a beginning to every day and a benediction at the conclusion of every day.
Some of us are in too big of a hurry to proceed and succeed.
But sometimes it's best to reflect before we act and react.
If we live one day at a time, one moment at a time, then we can be more serene and less mean.
We must accept adverse circumstances on the pathway to peace.
Sometimes we must experience adversity to appreciate a more tranquil time.
Serenity is in the mind of the beholder.
But chaos brings confusion.
Be serene by accepting the things you can't change and permitting God to intervene and provide guidance.
Be courageous and take a stand for the right things and do them in the right way.
Then ask for wisdom from God and learn from one's mistakes.
Try to be happy no matter the circumstance.
If adversity strikes, make a list of the blessings God's ordained in your life.