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.