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Thanksgiving Day

25 Nov

A quiet morning at my parents before the house awakes.  Thinking and reading before the chaos begins.

I’m in the process of revamping the blog and will detail those changes soon.

In the meantime I’m preparing my heart for Christmas by rereading the Gospels and maybe digging into the Messianic prophecies of the old testament.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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When the Oceans Rise and Thunders Roar

21 Oct

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
~ Psalm 46:10

My lunchtime walks down to the Richmond Canal Walk are therapeutic.

The exercise is good since I’m currently in that season where getting to the gym is not a matter of committment, but a matter of time. It’s great that it’s open 24-hours. But I’m not inclined to give up another two hours of sleep, especially since these days I’m lucky to get five hours.

When the weather is good and my work day permits, I walk from my office down to Brown’s Island and back. In addition to the exercise, it gives me time to clear the cobwebs from my mind.

On days like today, it also gives me the chance to be still. I don’t do that very often. Certainly not often enough. Even when I’m “relaxing” at home, I’m at the computer answering emails, writing blog posts, editing the magazine and the television is going in the background just to allow me to keep up with the news.

I find myself struggling to find that quiet time, alone with myself. More importantly, alone with God.

When the morning is rushed, the bills are due, the child is sick, the wife is heading out of town and I just don’t know how I’ll get through the day, just the very act of getting away is a reminder that I need to be still.

I’m a worrier. Always have been. It’s genetic. I’m constantly playing out scenarios in my head that if this happens, then I can do that. But, more often and not I find myself at the point of not being able to figure it out. And that’s frustrating.

So on my walks like today, at least when I’m listening, the Lord says to me “How many times do I have to tell you that I’ve got this?” Not in so many words. But yes, the reassurance is there that God is in control. And I know that, while He doesn’t work things out the way I’d plan them, He’s never failed us. Never. In times of sickness, or money trouble or family crisis He’s always been there. My problem is that I’m just not quiet enough to recognize that.

Today was one of those days. Walking down the steps of my building I said “Lord, I know I haven’t been spending enough time with you.”

Here’s His answer:

Hide me now
Under Your wings
Cover me
Within Your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father you are King over the flood
I will be still and know You are God

Find rest my soul
In Christ alone
Know His power
In quietness and trust

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father You are king over the flood
I will be still and know You are God

Still, Hillsong United

Shhhh! Let’s keep it down…

President Obama needs to go back to Schoolhouse Rock

20 Sep

In a speech to Congressional Hispanic Caucus on September 15 the President omitted the words “by their Creator” from the opening paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence.

Perhaps the President needs a little review:

Or perhaps, as my friend marfdrat asserts…it was deliberate.

I’ve forgotten how to do this.

11 Sep

What’s that?  No, I’ve not forgotten how to blog.  Although, truth be told, I’m out of practice.

I’ve forgotten how to do yard work.

Stop laughing.

Over the summer of excessive temperatures, I was either working seven days a week (which continues), or I was traveling.  Between my son and I, our goals were to keep the front yard mowed so the neighbors wouldn’t picket, and keep the back yard mowed so we wouldn’t lose the dog when he went out to take a pee.  My little square foot garden thirsted away.

That was it.  My son left for college a month ago, and I was left on my own. 

So, I’ve planned to take the time I could this fall to get the yard cleaned up.  Clean up the branches that the oak trees keep depositing.  They’re determined to come down one at a time.  If you’d like to facilitate a quicker removal, I have a PayPay account.  But I also plan to clean out the flower beds that have been grassed in, and clean out the dry stream bed that no longer really works for rainwater control. 

It’s a beautiful day, I got out sort of early.  But the question was, what to do first?  I used to spend all day working in the yard, mulching and weeding and planting, etc.  No so much anymore.  And when today, I encountered a problem with the weed eater, I was stuck.

No, I didn’t quit.  I just took care of some other things.  But it made me realize I was out of practice.  The next step of yard work just didn’t come easy.  I had to stop and think it through.  Who knew that yard work could be so paralyzing?

Still, it was good to be back out there.  While I didn’t accomplish as much as I hoped, I do have a grasp now on what has to be done.  So on those rare evenings when I’ve got an hour or two to spend outside, I’ll be productive.  I can take on smaller projects and move forward.

After all, the leaves will be changing soon.

How a Montgomery County, Virginia UPS driver ruined my family’s evening…and maybe week.

7 Sep

My wife works in sales. Periodically she has to ship training materials to locations around the state. This is one of those weeks.

Last week, she went to our local UPS Store to ship a package from Richmond to Montgomery County. It had to be there today. If it’s there later than 7:30 tomorrow morning, it’s too late. So she paid the extra rate for guaranteed delivery by close of business today.

Around 1:00 p.m. today she called UPS to track the package. She was told that before noon the driver had attempted to deliver the package but that the addressee was no longer at that address. He. Was. Wrong.

So, when I got home after 6:00 p.m., she was STILL trying to get an answer from UPS. In the course of conversation she determined that the driver never actually went inside the building. She clarified the address.

Apparently that was a mistake.

Seems UPS took it as an “address change” which automatically delays the “guaranteed by close of business today” for 24 hours.

Huh?

Another hour or so on the phone with no luck.

To his credit, the manager of the local UPS Store got on the phone and located the package. The trainer should be able to go to the airport tonight to pick up the package.

If not, my wife has to get up at 3:00 a.m. and drive to Montgomery County.

Oh yes, we’ll be getting those shipping charges back.

And using them to send things from FedEx.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

7 Sep

A back to school classic.

Labor Day is the “New” New Year’s Day

6 Sep

Think about it, seems to me that Labor Day is more a day of new beginnings than the actually New Year’s Day. A new school year starts tomorrow. Virginia Tech Football starts tonight (go Hokies!), our church Christmas production swings into full gear.

New Year’s Day, on the other hand, tends to be the day when we say we’ll be better in the next year. More likely it’s just the day when we’re getting really tired of leftover ham and we’re dreading packing away the decorations.

So, I’m using today to get organized and find my desk. I’ve got some projects to finish up so that tomorrow begins with a clean slate.

This afternoon, we’ll hit the pool for one last hurrah just like we did the water park at Kings Dominion yesterday.

Tomorrow begins a new year, a new schedule.

The big yellow bus arrives at 8:45.

And Can It Be?

18 Aug

My Class Hymn at Asbury College University.  And yes, I have a special reason for posting it today.

Where do we go from here?

12 Aug

Unlike previous years at the beach I haven’t spent this year strategizing on how I’ll be more organized and make things better in the next year.  And I haven’t felt compelled to get up early every day just to have quiet on the beach.

Instead, I’ve just let things happen and have not been slave to any particular agenda.

Yes, I’ve made some notes to work more on writing.  But I also read enough of “The Well-Fed Writer” to know I’m not ready to do that full time.  I’m a little concerned, however, that I may leave here without a Nanowrimo plot.

And I’ve also noted the need to get back to the gym.  Excessive summer heat and summer travels got me off track.  But September means routines return and hopefully cooler temperatures.  There are at least good intentions.

It’s been a good week.  A time to remind me that life is pretty good.

I’d like to think this is all because of spiritual growth.  But I can also accept it as part of the aging process.

The Beach – Day 4, or is it 5?

11 Aug

We’ve had a good few days here at the beach.  Nice and quiet.  A little different that years past.  A little more relaxed.  I like that.

That’s about to change today as more family starts arriving, but that will be good also.  Just not quiet.

I didn’t come with an agenda.  No plans to reorganize my life.  No plans to outline the next great writing project.  No plans to read volume after volume of works on my “must read” list. 

Yeah, I brought all of that stuff with me.  But I haven’t felt obligated to look at it. 

I think when I get home on Saturday, I’ll be ready to hit the ground running with much of that.  Back to work (at all three jobs).  Back to writing.  Back to the yard.  Back to the gym.  But I don’t have to map that out here.

I did finish a series of books I’ve been reading.  And last night, I read the manuscript of a friend.  I convinced that we’ll see it in published form soon.

Mainly, I’ve cleared out the cobwebs.  A busy fall and winter lie ahead.

Today, I’m ready for them.

Next week, the story may change again.