A cold, internal stone wall held him prisoner, but somehow, he was held captive at the same time he was set free.
Like everyone who grew up there, he loved the beach, so when it was darkest inside, that’s where he drove outside.
It’s an isolated stretch of beach where few venture, especially at night. No one was around for miles. Inside he felt in 360 degree direction, yet outside, the full moon was shining nature’s night bulb so bright you could see your shadow.
He sat on the bumper in the warm, humid, salty air. The sea, rich in smell and wet sand gave off its familiar odor. Roaring waves crashed upon breaking waves which eventually slid gently in a thin glass sheet to where land starts and ocean stops. Continue reading Beach Fix →
Last Sunday night we went to Janet’s old church in another town. There were about thirty speakers! Now before you pass out, here’s the deal – each person had memorized either a chapter, or a large portion of the book of Revelation. Each quoted their portion sequentially until the entire book was quoted from memory!
The pastor quoted Revelation 1 and applause broke out as he returned to his seat. A teenage girl, about 13 years old, stood and quoted chapter 2 as smooth as silk on a glass table.
Next her twin, autistic brother began quoting the words he knew so well. About the 6th verse he faltered, and in frustration, rocked back and forth. He quickly regained his composure and continued quoting what he had worked so hard to learn. He hit another roadblock and began rocking again, but the train returned to the tracks and he hit his rhythm.
He stumbled once more, and looking up, began moving his hands in a grabbing motion, as if to grasp individual words floating in his brain to get them back in logical sequence. Continue reading Revelations From the Heart →
Today was Jessica’s last, first day of school. It’s always different for a senior during their last year of high school. It’s the beginning of the end, but also an end of the beginning. It’s a celebration, yet a mourning, and both emotions run a parallel course.
Most seniors. whether high school or even golden age seniors, inherently seem to make more effort to savor the time. A sentimental process of looking back and remembering starts.
At the same time, seniors usually seek out more opportunities to make more meaningful memories with their friends because the looming reality is that it is all about to change.
It’s strange. I’ve noticed that even kids who don’t like each other tend to unite during their last year of high school. Maybe it’s because they share a bond of we’ve done this together and belong together. We belong to this school. We belong to this year. We belong to this graduating class. We, we as a group, we have walked a path together, even if on different trails, and we will end this journey together as a group, so we will enjoy each other on the path because after this year, it is no more. Continue reading Last First Day →
The knot is tied. The balloons won’t come apart. Each is similar, yet unique, different, but the same.
They have the same amount of helium, at least at a glance, but you never know about balloons. They were filled with flight giving helium about the same time, but sometimes a balloon leaks unexpectedly. Its smooth surface becomes slack and loose. It doesn’t bounce or move like a newly filled balloon. Instead of rising to the ceiling, it begins to float around a room mid-air, eventually dropping even further until finally it rests on the floor.
Turn a full helium balloon loose outside and it flies freely, climbing higher and higher! They are easy to see at first, but become smaller as they rise to wherever the winds blow until they finally look like tiny dots before disappearing from sight.
In some ways, two balloons tied together go farther, climb higher, move faster. They catch more wind together than individually. In the long run though one, or both, go flat. Maybe one is accidentally punctured by a tree branch. Maybe the weather changes and cold air causes the balloons to move less freely. Maybe they just sail along until they simply wear out.
Continue reading Fly Well →
Janet and I have eleven children between the two of us, and the count’s at 9 on grandchildren. We’re thinking there’s plenty more to come, especially since 5 of the kids aren’t married yet.
We bought a place last year that was right for family and grandchildren. I built a standard wooden swing set from a hardware kit. Easy peasy. But it needed more!
We looked at playground ideas and my imagination ran as wild as an East Texas roadrunner.
Then a blast from the past popped up on Pinterest, a firetruck. I grew up around that! My dad was a volunteer fireman for years, and two of those years I was the official “mascot” of the fire department. That’s pretty cool for an elementary age kid!
I knew about an old fire truck which had been sitting in a field rusting the last 22 years. I got permission and scavenged pieces and parts. Continue reading Fires of Life →
The man sat on the bench in front of the Wal-Mart checkout lanes. I thought he was waiting on someone, but he wasn’t. He was just sitting and watching for a minute.
He was obviously a working man, about 65ish, and had a day-old shave. He was a bit chubby, but not flat out fat. He had draped a couple of plastic bags of items he just bought over his blue jeans. He wore work cowboy boots and a free blood donation T-shirt.
His face was confident, like he knew he could pretty much handle anything that happened on the outside. His eyes, however, looked like his heart had been, or maybe still was, wounded. His eyes looked like muddy, shallow puddles instead of a deep, free flowing fresh water wells.
He got up and started for the exit limping with a distinct, weathered limp. Who knows why, but I suspect his limp was from a rugged injury such as a car accident, oilfield work injury, or getting his leg pinned against a chute while dealing with cows. Continue reading Help Wanted →
When the heart’s tap root hits pain, angels cry. Do you feel it? Do you feel them, something, somewhere, swirling, moving, circling the soul as the root draws up pain watering the heart making it swarthy and bruised?
Some people, some personalities cannot get away from the pain. It’s not that they don’t deal with their own. They do. It’s that some can’t get away from other’s pain.
Sometimes out of the blue it can hit you, in the store, watching TV, hearing a story, understanding what has happened. The person’s pain, both shown, and even more intense, the hidden pain, grabs hold with a dry ice-cold grip burning the very beats of one’s own heart.
It can’t be explained with words, for words don’t express it. Letters can’t convey it, and the alphabet becomes nothing more than scissors on the tongue. You can’t get out what has gone in. Continue reading No More Angel Tears →
When Jesus healed ten people, only one returned to Him to say thank you. (Luke 17:11-19) Jesus even asked where the other nine were. They were all blessed. They were all miraculously healed. They all gained life over a slow excruciating death, yet only one even bothered to come back and say thank you.
That’s horrible! It’s wrong on so many levels! But then I cringe when I realize I’m not in the 10% of people who are truly grateful. I don’t always go back and say thank you. I’m ashamed of that.
I once read it’s impossible for an ungrateful person to truly be happy. Makes sense! A lot of sense! Continue reading 10% Thankful →
Over dinner my youngest daughter, Jessica, said she has the STAAR English test, a standardized, mandated test in Texas schools. She’s nervous about having to write about some randomly assigned topic in just 45 minutes of time.
Long story short, I agreed to do the same. She quickly picked out a random topic: Should you ALWAYS tell the truth?
I was thinking puppy dogs or butterflies, but she picked a hard one.
— The STAAR test begins. The teacher gives instructions, and then turns the 45-minute hour glass over. Alright class, your test starts, NOW! —
Should you ALWAYS tell the truth? Continue reading To Tell The Truth →
Several years ago, I stopped by a friend’s used car lot at lunch time. I didn’t need anything, just figured I’d stop in and chit chat for a few minutes.
He told me he almost sold his integrity earlier.
An older man came in early that morning and wanted my friend, Dan, to buy a truck he owned. The elderly gentleman didn’t want a trade in, but to sell his truck outright. He had a nice, older truck with low mileage that was clean as a whistle. He’d bought it brand new and maintained it well over the years.
Dan had never seen the old country gentleman before, and the man seemed, well….sad.
Dan asked how much he wanted for his truck. The man hesitated, almost wincing in embarrassment, and said he hoped to get $3,000 because he had some expenses he needed to take care of.
That’s when Dan said he was tempted! Continue reading Extra Mile Integrity →