Saturday, December 29, 2007

Canine Lessons

Okay, I'll fess up! Tonight I was somewhat bewildered with a person. Like that would be the first time it happened, not! I have the mistaken notion that if I'm always nice, other people will be too. Not gonna happen. However, I still think it's contagious to be nice and maybe a larger percentage of people will be nice in return. But, this man wasn't going to budge. Have you ever heard the saying, "His face is so long he could eat oats out of a half-inch gas pipe?" Ha. I did everything but cartwheels (and please don't ask me to do that) to be friendly. It wasn't going to work that way.

Later I thought about an old proverb we've all heard, I think we have anyway. "Walk softly around others for you don't know what burdens they are carrying." I guess I didn't think about that sooner. Maybe he's going through some tough ordeal. Maybe something rankled him today. Did he lose something precious to him? A myriad of things popped up as I thought about it. Or maybe he's, just, well, miserable. Some people just are. It's sad.

I admit I have my days too. Things don't go according to plan, a snag gets put in the way or something justs goes haywire. So, that's why I put the picture above. If these two canines can get along as pals...where does the human race fit in? The word Homo Sapien comes from the Latin meaning, "wise man" or "knowing man." Then, why does it take the animal kingdom sometimes to show us "humans" simple things? You come home, and there's the family dog waiting to greet you! Unconditional love. But, "we" humans tend to forget, don't we? I know I do at times.

So, I don't know what was under this man's skin tonight. I confess, I need to understand more at times. chance...if the guy was just a misanthropic soul like Jack Nicholson was in "As Good As It Gets", all we can do is pray. Plus, not become the same way.

I love the picture above. I can just hear the one saying to the other, "Hey Brutus, It'll be okay, Fee fee just didn't love you, but there's always someone else. Have you thought of dating Biddy?" Brutus replies, "Rambo, Biddy is a terrier, I can't go there. Maybe I'll go down to the shelter and see if Zoe isn't busy. She's a bit wired, but all chihuahuas can't be that way!"

Okay, maybe my story fell flat, but at least enjoy the pic! Be well all.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Seasons Change

Ray Boltz

Seasons change, don't they? My concept for today is really nothing new I guess. But have you ever wondered about the changing seasons and the ones in our own lives? I've always compared the four seasons to the seasons in our life. Work with me a minute on this, okay? In spring, we are born. In summer, we are in our adulthood making a living, having a family and we are full of life and stamina. Then autumn comes. This is the third season of our life. We start slowing down a bit and the summer days of our life are over. Then finally, winter sets in, we leave this earthly life. However, I don't want to end this on a downer. When we see Christ, it all starts over and we'll be in the spring of our life again! No, I'm not espousing some new age belief. I just think that's the way it happens.

I've been listening intently to a favorite Ray Boltz song. This CD came out around 1992. It has always been a favorite. I can't help but get a bit misty as I listen to the title track. For you see, I'm not a young man anymore. I've technically entered the fall season of my life. There are those in their seventies that tell me I'm still a kid. From their perspective, maybe so. However, I'm not the twenty or thirty year old idealistic individual that I used to be. There was a day I thought I could conquer the world. To some degree, many of my dreams have been met, some have diminished and some never came to fruition. These days I'm more realistic. However, I still have dreams that I hope come about in the next few years if the Lord allows unless he returns first.

I can't help but think of King David in Psalm 37 where he said, "I have been young, now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his children begging bread." David had seen much in his life. He was the shepherd boy, the young lad that slew the giant, the mighty soldier going off to war, the servant running from the madman Saul, becoming King, and finally the old man that wrote those wonderful words in Psalms. I know I'll never be a King David. However, as I ponder on things these days, I just want to be where God wants me. I have three desires in my life. If God allows them, I'll be so happy. However, if the Lord never gave me one more thing, he has given me so much in this life I could never thank him enough.

I've had my fun in the summer sun, enjoyed years of fruitful ministry, known love and even lost love, but ultimately I know a God that loves me so. Yes, our seasons change. However, our God does not! He is the same, wonderful, kind, gracious, loving God through Jesus Christ. Seasons change. They are meant to be that way. So it is with our lives. I hope I come to a point that I don't despise the autumn season of my life, but embrace it fully. Ray sings in the song, "the blessings are worth the pain." I wouldn't want to relive some of the hard lessons I've had to learn in life. Especially this last decade. So, friends, remember the seasons come. And...each one has their own special blessings. Be well.

Seasons Change

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Post-Christmas Musings

Well another Christmas has come and past. Sometimes I'm viewed as a bit of a scrooge. However, to put the record straight, I'm not as bad as some might believe. Even Ebenezer came around in the end! So, there's hope for everyone!

Last week I wrote about Amy Grant's "Grownup Christmas List." The wonderfully talented Miss Sniz wrote me and told me she loved the song. She also asked me if I knew if Amy was the first one to record it. I know the greatly gifted David Foster had a hand in the creation of the song along with lyricist Linda Thompson-Jenner. It was originally recorded by Natalie Cole but really didn't take off. Grant recorded it on her second Christmas album and it became a hit.

Christmas this year had mixed emotions for me. Some good things came from the day. I was happy that my father and I were able to see each other and make the day special. That made me feel so much better. Conversely, I felt bad for my brother Terry. He has fought an illness now for going on three weeks. Plus, he was in an auto accident here recently. I believe that God was watching over him as he wasn't seriously hurt. My heart ached as he is still not better. My sister Julie is working at getting a group of believers together to pray for him in person. I feel this is a good thing to do. If there's one thing I know, my sister and brother-in-law Darryl live for God!

I was happy to see the nephews and nieces having a grand time at the day. I remember when I was "knee high to a grasshopper" and couldn't wait for the day to arrive. Later, when my sister sends me the photos online, I'll share a few of them.

This time of year though is very lonely for so many people. I think of shut-ins, single people (myself included), the forgotten ones in the world and so much more. I also think of the soldiers far away from home, the down-and-out, and frankly, it makes me sad. I'm sorry if this post seems a bit meloncholy and morose. I don't want to take away from anyone's special day. We have so much to be thankful for in this land of ours.

So, after my meal of ham, turkey, potatoes,, I headed back for the house. For a moment I thought of the mad rush of the Christmas shoppers that had to "get this, buy that" mentality. But, then I thought of some of the bigger and better reasons of all. Families were together and shared stories, jokes and "fish tales." Most importantly, I'm so thankful that God the sovereign Lord came to this world to redeem mankind. For without him, where would any of us be? This life is but a vapor according to Job and James. I do know that I'm so thankful that when I was a sixteen year old boy on a farm, I accepted God's wonderful grace.

Some years back, I was driving down a side street in town and I remember this prayer to this very day. I told the Lord, "Father, I know the best decision I ever made in this life and it was to become your child. For that Lord, I'm eternally grateful." AND...I am. Thank you Lord for coming to humble surroundings, walking everywhere by foot, no place to lay your head, scorned of men and ultimately dying for us despising the shame but knowing full well what it would garner in our lives. Does the song, "Oh How I Love Jesus" come to mind? I hope so. So with that, this is my post-Christmas musing. Have a great rest of the week everyone. Give someone a hug or a kind word today. It could mean so very much. Pax Vobiscum! (May peace be with you.)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thirteen Wishes

I've been remiss on doing my Thursday Thirteen. So, here we go. I guess we all have our so called "Christmas List." Amy Grant recorded this some time back. It was called, "Grown Up Christmas List." The lines that got to me were:

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal our hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up Christmas list.

Today, in no particular order, here's some of my wishes if wishes do come true.

1. That people would really remember what this season is all about.
2. People wouldn't be sucked into the machine with their "need for greed."
3. Others would actually be kind to each other this time of year.
4. That we should remember Jesus everyday and not just one day of the year.
5. That it's called "Merry Christmas" and not "Happy Holidays."
6. That our soldiers would be remembered and prayed for at this special time.
7. That families truly love one another.
8. That people would realize Christ is the only way of true salvation.
9. We should be thankful for what he has already provided.
10. That I would always have a purpose in life that would honor Christ.
11. That loneliness would go away and I still believe there can be that special someone for everyone in life. Solitude can be good but devastating as well.
12. That I'll always remain faithful to the Lord and to my friends.
13. Last, but most importantly, that I love God more every day.

Tall list I know. But we can still dream, can't we? Still, Amy Grant said it best in her "Grown Up Christmas List." May the peace of Christ be with you all.

Grown Up Christmas List

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It's A Wonderful Life?

I just looked through the one-hundred list of favorite Christmas movies. I cannot believe that "It's A Wonderful Life" was number two. My ire was cured when I found out that the "Charlie Brown Christmas" beat it out.

Okay, I'm not really one for Christmas. But, it's not that "in and of itself" that bothers me. It's the movie. I have to admit I don't like black and white. Plus, personally, I thought the acting was horrible. If I had to rate the worst actor ever it would be John Wayne. Now, I'm not saying Jimmy Stewart is, but what about the angel? What's his name? Clarence? Maybe I'm also too theological for my own good. But an angel gets his wings every time a bell rings? Hmm,show me a verse where angels have any. Oh, Zechariah. But that was a demon appearing in female form. But I digress. I know the movie is portraying a man that realizes he would be missed if he wasn't here. I can give it that much I guess.

Here's my rub. I don't like any movie that distorts scripture. Even if it's meant to be good or not. People start believing what the movie said and not the Word. I'd much rather watch the "Christmas Story" than the one previously mentioned. Yes, to some degree my dislike of winter comes into play. Add to that each year makes Christmas less excitable. I look so much at the blatant commercialism and people's "need to feed their greed" lifestyle.

I've tried to like the season. Plus there are a few Christmas songs that touch me for some odd reason. I know, anytime someone denounces this time of year you are viewed as cynical, a scrooge or both. My bottom line is simple: I'm so glad that Christ did come to this earth. He couldn't die for us unless he was born. That's obvious. But where are we told to celebrate his birth? Christ said to remember his death. However, if you love this time of year, enjoy it. As for me, I volunteered to work that day. I try to remember what Christ did everyday of my life. Not just one. However, I know it's special to many. I wouldn't take away from that. I'm just tired of the "in your face" attitude of the vendors, merchandisers and media. But, that's just me. Have a good week everyone.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"Lost" Not Far Off

I was reading my friend Cindy's post from today and was excited. She wrote about my favorite show coming back in January. I don't watch much TV, but the couple of shows I do watch are favs. "Lost" is the best thing going in my book. Check out the trailer! It looks like we are in for more adventure! I love a show that will keep me guessing and wanting more. Viva Lost.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Trinkets You'll Find

One of the best songs I think that's ever been recorded, has to be Gary Dunham's "The Pearl." During this Christmas season people are running to and fro to buy gifts for one another. For those that enjoy this time of year, I won't take away from that. However, I think we need be reminded that the greatest gift is Jesus Christ himself. All the trinkets, gadgets and material things will never compare to the person of Christ. Jesus also said to lay up your treasure in heaven. So, although gift giving isn't in itself wrong, I need to remind myself that it's temporary. We should never emphasize material things that will pass away. Sure, it's not wrong to have some creature comforts. But, as the billboard picture above so aptly stated, they too will pass. We can enjoy things as long as Jesus remains number one. There's a line in the Dunham song that really hits home with me. "All that this world offers are just diamonds made of dust." Great lines. Our only real hope in is Jesus Christ. Have a good week and may the peace of Christ be with you all.

The Pearl, Gary Dunham

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Where I'm From

I just had to copy Miss Sniz's idea on this wonderful post she had on "Where I'm From." She had it sent her way by someone else I believe. It's a kind of "fill in the blanks" deal. It's really good. When I put mine together with good old Office XP, it made me smile at the years that have passed. So, I pass it on to you. If you'd like, go to her link on my sidebar and you can find a way to "create" your own. Have a great week everyone!

Where I'm From

I am from hills and valleys, from old 45’s, vintage style color TV’s and red transistor radios.

I am from the fresh scent of cut grass, big yards and summer days of baseball without end.

I am from the fields of corn, green trees and running streams of water in the woods.

I am from Friday night cheeseburgers around favorite TV shows like “Love American Style” and from a mom and dad that worked hard, stayed together and raised a family.

I am from the labor of a hard working father; and a loving, caring and Godly mother that gave her life for her family. I love them so.

From a mom that said she was proud of her son and a brother who always looked up to me. Proud of a watch that my father had worn for years that I had originally gave him that I keep tucked away safely as a reminder of his love.

I am from the Baptist faith who “preached it like it was” and they still do. Of Scofield Reference Bibles, Hymnals in the pews and the men of God that weren’t afraid to preach about sin and Hell, but also preached about the glories of Heaven.

I'm from the land of Ohio and of Irish and German ancestry. From homemade meals of biscuits, potatoes and beans to the melt-in-your-mouth homemade chili that only mom could make.

From the faith of a mother who believed in a Big God when she prayed and a father who seemed bigger than life. From siblings that could make me laugh like my brother Terry who could keep me in stitches.

I am from funny, priceless and sentimental pictures stored away with care. From a family that loved a little chihuahua named “Lucky.” From siblings that squabbled but loved each other anyway. From TV shows I’ll never forget like “Rich Man Poor Man.” And finally, from a family that stayed together and weathered the storms of life. Not many can say that, but I’m certainly glad I can. That's where I'm from!

Paul And Timothy

First Timothy 4 verse 12 says, "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word...." Also Paul starts the epistle by calling Timothy his son in the faith. Now we know that in those days, historically, they still considered someone 'young' who was of 35 to 40 years of age. However, in our day and age, culturally we have many in ministry much younger than that.

I remember when I came to the Lord in 1973. It was in the month of June. I remember it well. I looked out my bedroom window and wanted to change my world for Christ. I started passing out gospel tracts by the hundreds, witnessed to others in school and in the workplace. (Try that today though!) I was preaching in churches at the age of seventeen. By twenty, I began ministering to thousands by the air-waves in Christian radio. God has truly been good to me. I said the previous comments out of humility and not one of pride. For anything good I have accomplished in this brief life of mine comes from the goodness of Jesus Christ. I'm glad there were many that didn't 'despise' my youth.

I felt compelled to write today's post because of the words from a fellow blogger. This woman I speak of is ministering to others in a great way through her written words. I'm sure that as well, Amanda is ministering by her witness with those she comes in contact with. She mentioned that even 'older' people are touched by her words. I say, 'amen.' For I had the very same thing happen to me. On another note, how many 'seasoned' Christians are still ministered to by younger pastors in the pulpit? I'm sure many are. Regardless of our age, we can learn from others. Now, I'm at the point in my life where I am being taught by younger individuals. I keep my heart and ears open for I can learn much.

I'm not really throwing a caveat in here, but it could be taken that way. I hasten to add that those that are younger who do minister must be truly grounded in the Lord, his Word and everyday living. For the Word also says that to hold a certain position in the church you are not to have a 'novice.' However, that's dealing with spiritual leadership in a church environment. But, for those who are older, remember the zeal you had when you were younger, and don't forbid those that are truly walking with the Lord to minister. May the peace of Christ be with you all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Drum Lessons

The stick was raised vertically in the ground. The old hubcap from the car's wheel rested upon top. There were boxes all around and two ordinary wood sticks were being held in my hands. This was my first drum set! I was ten years old with quite an imagination. The hubcap was my cymbal and the boxes were my snare drums. I wanted to be a drummer and was enthralled with Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees. Later on, in Christmas, Mom bought me a real drum set for my very own. Oh the joy. Then, I started taking drum lessons at school.

Well, let's say it didn't quite work out. I studied hard but soon found out one very salient lesson in the art of playing drums which I lacked: rhythm! I had none. That pretty much ended my aspirations of becoming the new Phil Collins. To this day, I have to smile, albeit sadly maybe, that it didn't come to pass. I had to face it, I understood basic music theory but I don't have the talent to play an instrument. I can do a few major chords on a piano but that's as far as it goes.

I've always been in love with music. Maybe that's why I chose a profession like radio broadcasting. If I couldn't perform the music myself, I could at least "air" it so others could listen. That would be good enough for me.

I remember about seventeen years ago I had Rich Mullins in the studio and he had his hammer dulcimer with him. He played for us live. I was amazed. I told him what a gift he had. He taught me a valuable lesson that day. He said, "Randy, don't underestimate your gift. There's no way I could get behind that control console and flip all those switches, look at the clock for timing and all the other things that people don't see." That always stuck with me. We all indeed are gifted in different areas.

Tonight I was watching an Eagles DVD and was just amazed at the precision of these guys on the instruments. Precision, to the Nth degree. So, at this point in my life, I admire great performers. Whether they play violins, piano, drums, guitars, flutes, However, late at night when I'm ready to go to sleep, the thoughts cross my mind to being ten years old again when I made that makeshift drum set before I got the real thing. Then, my imagination takes over one more time. I also love guitars. I'm in front of a large audience, playing my Fender Strat with the Roland keyboard improvising behind me and the drummer on the Yamaha set keeping time. We all can dream can't we? However, I won't forget the gifts God has given me. He is good and gracious. Be well all and have a great week.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Okay, at the prompting of my fellow blogger, "Miss Sniz", I gave myself this award! She encouraged some of her fellow bloggers to do the same. I feel a bit shameless in doing so. But, I won't 'diss' my fellow blogger from Indiana on this one. Her blog is a real treat by the way. Her posts are well written and many times will bring a smile to your face with her humor. Well, this might be the only award I get this year, but why not? Ha-ha. Be well all.