somewhere in your silent night (tuneful tuesday)

Emmanuel; God with us.

The message of Christmas is that God has come to show us what love really means. He came to save, and still He saves. 

I am so very grateful He found me late March 1970. Sometimes I feel as though I've been lost in the shuffle of life, but I am reminded by songs like this that Love came to find ME to give me the greatest gift of all - eternal life through my loving Savior. - Amen.


TBTIt was a warm Texas afternoon - as I remember it - sometime between 1985 and 1986. Several seminary friends invited me to an open air concert in downtown Dallas to hear a band play something they called "smooth jazz". I had no idea what they were talking about, but hey - it was free and it got me out of the dorm for a few hours. I was in.

The group was called "Shadowfax" - and all I knew at the time was that they played a type of jazz that I instantly liked. And one of the musicians was playing some sort of electronic violin. As a small town country boy from West Virginia studying at a seminary, I was totally ignorant of "hip" music, but I liked what this group was playing.

After the short concert was over, I made a trip to a local music store - yea this was way before the time of downloading music from the internet; we bought compact disks and played them on small little players. I looked up this group and bought all of their music - and I still enjoy listening to them.

Here's one of my favorites - "The Orangutan Gang"...


just write


Writers write. It’s as simple as that. Good writers tend to write a lot. That’s a big part of how they became “good” writers. If you aspire to become a writer, or if you’re already a writer and you want to improve your craft, the only way to ensure you’ll make progress is to put your butt in a chair and your fingers on a keyboard.


-Josh Langston


going...and gone


Another month gone from the 2018 calendar. The time flies like a rocket.

The month started well, but the finish? Not so much.

I have been busy traveling back and forth between my sister's house, work, and my house. 

And then, there's that dang deer. I have early reports that repairs won't begin for another 2 to 3 weeks.

That put me in sort of a blue funk. I miss my car.

Here's hoping November will be kinder...

mercy still (tuneful tuesday)

The church choir sang this anthem on Sunday. Old hymns finding new arrangements - like a new set of clothes over an old man's frame. And if done right - like this arrangement of an old Charles Wesley hymn - I find myself humming the tune and thinking of the words. A meditation on the question of whether or not a person and their sinfulness can ever exhaust the mercy of God; the answer wonderfully given.

There for me the Savior stands,
Shows His wounds and spreads His hands.
God is love! I know, I feel;
Jesus weeps and loves me still.

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AFI Lifetime Achievement Award for James Cagney, 1974.

Here's the reason why I just don't watch award shows. Mr. Cagney's comments are priceless. No political agenda. No hatred. No hijacking the moment to spout off some obscenity. Pure gratitude and pride for a job well done, and humility.

It's called "style". 

It's true. It's just not the same... Most award moments of today are full of useless moments displaying untalented people with titanic chips on their shoulders. It's no longer an honor to be awarded. Now it has to be couched in anger, and hatred, and unprotested whining and attitude.

I miss the days when gratitude and talent were good friends.


journal / journey


It's not a coincidence. "Journal" and "Journey" are derived from the same word root - "jour". It's French for the word "day".

And that makes sense, since both of them are a record of days of sorts.

A journal is a written record of the day.

A journey is the experience of where one travels in a day, or week, or month, or years.

Each day unique, even if there are routines involved. Each experience worthy of reflection, of thought, and of remembrance.

Writing things down, capturing them in words, is a way of preserving the roads traveled. It helps gain insight into things like personal development as well as a reminder of occurrences, of emotions, of milestones.

"What did you do today?"

"I journeyed..."

Best done without an eraser? I think so. There is a sense of the rawness of the moment, of memories without varnish; get it down, get it out, and then - if need be - post reflections on the reflection. Insights after the fact. Would have, could have, should have - reports without regrets. 

Deliberate. Unembellished. Constant.

TBT - Golden Trip One - EPCOT (repost)


The news is not surprising, but it is still sad.

Illuminations will be ending in the summer of 2019. Read the news HERE.

I went digging around in my archives and found this posting when I was taking all of my trips to Disneyworld in 2007



January 31, 2007

I began and ended Golden Trip One at EPCOT.

After checking in at Pop Century, I was early enough to head over to EPCOT to validate my annual member pass and stick around for the evening showing of "Illuminations:Reflections of Earth", my favorite Disney fireworks show.

My final day at Walt Disney World, I returned to EPCOT and walked around the entire park taking photos of all of the pavilions and some of the attractions. I'm looking forward to visiting EPCOT during the International Flower and Garden Show in May where EPCOT displays all sorts of beautiful flower and shrub arrangements.


see something, say something

When my sister and I are in the car driving around, we always consider it an adventure. We have on occasion taken an unknown road just to see where it leads. The fun comes in finding our way home without having to resort to a smartphone application to tell us the way (which I guess in some ways is cheating if we’re trying to enjoy the adventure of getting from there to here).  And then there are the times when the adventure is in our own backyard.

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Goodbye to Happy-ness

GroupThis morning at 5:30 AM I said goodbye to Happy, my beloved black Labrador of 10 years. I have written earlier about her weakening condition. Labradors are made of abundant dog fortitude. Happy never whined about the pain she was obviously having. She was strong and brave to the end.

On one of her last times outside, she walked slowly up the little hill on the west side of the house where she would sit for hours and look out across the wide backyard where she benevolently ruled for so many years. There she had chased many a rabbit. She and her brother sampled the latest cologne from a visiting skunk. She even argued with a ground hog once. From her vantage point she would monitor my grass mowing to be sure I didn’t miss anything. From time to time her buddy/brother Cody would join her and silently wait for something to chase or for a passerby to bark at. I remember times of calling her at dusk to come inside and she would look around at me from her post as if to say, “Just a little while longer…?”

But like all of us, time caught up with her. The emergency room Vet who examined her said that Happy had a large mass in her upper abdomen which was pressing up against her heart causing her labored breathing and sluggishness. The Vet also noticed some internal bleeding. Along with her incontinence, drooling, and sporadic eating the Vet said with tears in her eyes that my Happy was slowly dying. (She said that her own black lab had died of similar conditions.) I held Happy in my arms as the Vet administered the injections. She fell asleep and laid quietly at my feet.

Saying goodbye to such a companion is never easy. And yet, even as much as I could wish that she stay with me just a little while longer, such thoughts are selfish especially when such a beautiful animal is suffering. That moment of letting go is never easy. Yet, she has left me so many grand memories of her heart and her love.  I had a decade of days with this wonderful dog, and she will not be forgotten.

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I love hearing our national anthem. I love singing our national anthem. It has come under pretty intense attacks in the last few years, but as long as I'm around, I think it is a song worth singing. It is a song worthy of honoring our nation - its citizens, those who serve in defending our nation with their lives, and yes even the freedoms some would attempt to wreck with their protests. 

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