Today I Get a Mulligan

Well actually everyday is a mulligan, and we all get them.

I have been reticent in not posting for so long. Recently I was encouraged to write again and I thought I would just test the waters today and see how it goes. So... here goes:

I've been thinking a lot lately about why things are the way they are. You know, just why is it like it is? Even though no one is actually "causing" things to be like they are, it would be helpful to blame it all on someone when it isn't according to my idea. At the same time, I am certain that most of the difficulty we face starts with us.

Let me explain that: We get what we look for.

I have a four-year-old step daughter. She is my princess and she has a way of helping me see things as they really are. Imagine that. A child's wisdom teaches an old guy like me. I love it... and she knows it.

Many times in recent months I have been blinded by the "unfairness" of things. I get all pitiful and self absorbed in things I cannot control. At times like this, I don't really feel like listening to advice but when this angel of God looks at me and smiles, I melt. I simply melt. And when I least expect it she changes the way I "see" the things that previously had my attention. Her latest effort to keep me focused on what is real is to climb up into my lap, kiss me, wrap her arms around me, and simply and very gently pat me on my back.

Who is the child in this visual I just gave you?

Clearly this is an oversimplified lesson in keeping the real thing the real thing. At the same time, it is one of the ways I am reminded to stay focused on what matters to God. He sees all my struggles. He knows that I can become desperate. He wants to help me. He rejoices when I relax and let go of my need to control. Yet I bind his hands when I worry instead of leaning on him.

Today my wife said those very words. Today I am more grateful for her, for her faith, her example, her belief. Today I am content to let those things that are not mine to control -- be it people or circumstances -- be what they are. Today I take my mulligan.

Beloved, we are granted unmerited favor by Christ's finished work on the cross and it is ours to take. It is a free gift... and much better than a mulligan in the fact that whether we take it or not, it is still ours. I want to claim mine Today and let the things of this world fall away.... far away.

LUVWRX. Thank God!


Making Sense of the Election

Hey, has this been the nastiest season for election commercials ever? I mean, if half of what one candidate says about the other is true we are doomed to elect a host of worthless office occupiers instead of individuals who give a crap about this great country.


I have to say that it sickens me that we have devolved to this type of wretched politics; but who's kidding who? It's been going on for years and we as the voting public are in a position of responsibility in speaking out about it, or it's just gonna get worse. I for one think the commercials should be banned in favor of debates... or UFC-type elimination. Just kidding. That stuff scares me.

At the same time it is very difficult to make sense of all the mudslinging. And if you're an honest citizen simply trying to vote your conscience and hopefully elect the right person for the job, it can be depressing as well. In navigating through the maze of innuendo and deceit, it's important to consider how we can get some clarity in the midst of the historical darkness that looms over our country's future.

For one thing, we can stop watching television. I know, that's sounds extreme but I did it a few years back and I feel like the effect has been a subtle lift in the energy of my day to day. It's okay to be informed, we just don't have to inundated. Second, and of considerably more importance, we can pray about it. I don't mean, "Dear Lord help me to know who is the least evil among the candidates." I am talking about praying for our country specifically, as well as the men and women who are vying for your vote. It's important that we have a spiritual approach to elections since the attitude of ugliness we have been witnessing seems to have a certain dark force behind it. I'm not a doom-and-gloom type but I can see evil when it presents itself.

Let's call it what it is.

We want honesty in office. We want integrity. And we want results. I do not take sides and this post is definitely not of partisan flavor, but I am an American who is sick and tired of being sick and tired of the way we get blindsided by the very ones who promise to lift our country out of the mess we've made. I love this place and I want to see it lifted up, not torn down. I am praying that God will have mercy on all of us.

To make sense of this election requires a bit more in the brains department than I have to work with. However I don't have to be Einstein to recognize that we need Divine intervention, and we need it soon. Maybe the answer lies in remembering the history of other great nations who have gone before. I for one do not look forward to being another statistic, and I would be thankful to see us get our proverbial act together and begin working together instead of attacking our brothers and sisters. Some days it seems like it may be too late.

Is it too late?

I don't know, but God knows we need an answer, and we need it soon. Love works in all sorts of situations in helping to bring about reconciliation and healing. Can't we pray for Love to infiltrate the hearts and minds of our already-elected officials as well as those who are about to take office? Maybe it's just me, but today it feels like we don't have any remaining options except to make Love the foundation of our thoughts and actions.

There was a great man named Jesus, Emmanuel, the Christ who visited us and taught that loving God and loving each other were the most important things to consider. Is there a candidate out there who has said that he loves his opponent?

LUVWRX. I Believe it!

-- jb


Happy Halloween

I guess you could say I'm not that into it, but for the kids' sake most of us go out and buy tons of deadly, obesity-promoting products disguised as "candy" so we can load down each lil guy's bag with as much as they can drag home. How long does it take to eat all that junk anyway?

I remember that when I was a kid there was no alternative to Trick or Treating like we have today. Lately it seems all the religious outfits wanting to redeem the holiday offer the option of a Fall Celebration. I rather like that since the folks in my neighborhood seem bent on the creepiest decorations I have ever seen: hanging corpses, zombie-like figures, and cobwebs with spiders the size of Volkswagens...

Give me a break.

All I'm saying is, you can take things too far and they lose their entertainment value. I guess that's why the local churches have seized the idea and are advertising for their share of the popular consciousness. I don't mind that so much, but I wish we could just leave church work to helping the poor and outcast, and let the "entertaining" of fun-seeking horror buffs be a midnight party someplace a long way from my house. That way I don't have to be reminded of my fear of Freddy and Jason. Those movies scared the crap out of me, and I have never forgotten it. I can't even stand to watch the trailers for the movies these days. We have definitely graduated to the next level of sick when it comes to the minds behind some of this junk

I digress.

You know what I wish? I wish there was as much talent and imagination when it comes to ways of making people feel safe and loved, as seems to exist in attempting to make them feel demon possessed and potential victims of some psychopath. In my mind's eye I can see a world of people that don't even experience death. I dream of love and the empty graveyard. I dream of unlocked homes and drive by kisses. I am a very strange man you might be thinking, but in the world I am speaking of, there is One Lord, One Christ, One Love for All to be in the midst of. No more reason to poison children with copious amounts of sugar; no promotion of evil acts and death; no excuse for being anything less than a good neighbor and friend to those who have no one... ever.

There is no them.

Look around and see those who are lonely and hungry. The elderly women and the fatherless children of our communities need more than Tricks and Treats, they need food, love, protection and ATTENTION.

Pay attention Beloved!

We can't ignore them and we mustn't forget them. There is no them as long as we receive them into our world of big bank accounts, luxury cars, and nice spacious homes. Look around. See them. Love them. Treat them to a Fall celebration that could potentially save them from their despair. Trick them into thinking they are loved and accepted and then convince them it's true. And may God bless your doing and your being what Jesus asks each of us to do and be.

(James 1:27) Read it!



Move Your Mountain

It's too close to mine:)

Jesus Christ taught that we have the power to move mountains through prayer. By mountains, I like to think he was including life's many obstacles. We seem to have more than our share these days but the question is:

What are we going to do about our circumstances if things are not like we want them?

When I was a child I thought that if I closed my eyes I would become invisible. Well I have tried that as an adult, and it doesn't work all that well. I have tried praying, and it seems that even praying doesn't eliminate my mountains.

For the last few days I have really tried to come to grips with the instability of things... you know, here today gone tomorrow, or piles of bills, or the illnesses of our loved ones. I am certain that we all can relate to some of these things. I am almost equally as certain that many of us are not able to move our mountains in such a way as to feel relief.

Why is that?

For me it begins with my own ability to see beyond my circumstances. It is a faith issue to a large degree, and no matter how much we may be on our knees, if we don't believe that things will improve, chances are they are not going to.

I have challenged myself to be more content with the instability of others. I only control me, and I can be steady on my own if that is how it needs to be. I can only pay what I can pay so if my bills are in the way of my peace, I can spend less and save more. Things are never as bad as they seem. While my family is pretty healthy, I have a dear one who is not doing so well. I can't heal her or I would. I can't even maker her feel better with my words. I can however just sit and be with her. Sometimes words aren't a necessary element in the art of loving another.

Beloved, you can move your mountain. And you can begin by changing the way you see your situation. By changing the way you see things, things begin to change.

I love you... and LUVWRX. Believe it!


I'm Alive



it matters not what season
of life i'm in right now,
there's more than one good reason
to let silence show me how

to hear what i've needed so to hear
and with much more clarity,
that life is really, really good
it's not meant to be a rarity.

being alone, for me,
was hard for many years.
but in silence now i see
that i was blinded by my fears

of being left, rejected or
abandoned by someone.
not being needed anymore
is not my style of fun.

fun for me was hard
on the one who gave so much,
that she's the one who's scarred
mine just don't mean that much.

and in the silence now
i'm hearing truth in love.
spirit showing exactly how
my freedom's like the dove,

able to soar above the din
of chaos, noise, and pain.
the things i did i don't defend,
but i won't do them again.

if i had another chance to show
my heart's been healed at last,
my love, i think, would finally know...
but that's living in the past.

there is no going back for me.
had to learn the karmic way.
though it's not meant to be that easy,
i've paid my dues you could say.

in silence now i'm reassured
that i'm honorable, good, and true.
spirit my soul has kindly cured
at last i feel brand new.

LUVWRX. Believe it!


My Next Move

sting of tears
relinquishing fears
all these years
love in arrears

i'm learning
with eyes burning
pages turning
as love's returning

it's my next move
and i choose love

not a curse
could be worse
in a hearse
my final traverse

back in the groove
with scars to prove
my next move
is one of love

it's my next move
and i choose love

shedding my skin
exposing to sin
no lose, no win
beginning again

no danger of fear
love oh so dear
feeling it near
truth to appear

it's my next move
and i choose love

peace my quest
no form of test
just find my rest
love, you're the best

nothing to prove
just my next move
heart does behoove
it comes from above

and it's my next move
so i choose love