Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dreams must count for something.

Dreams must count for something down here because I just visited with my Mom for an afternoon of walking, talking, and a hundred questions about heaven.

It was as tangible and authentic as drinking my coffee on the living room sofa writing this right now.

She left as suddenly as she’d arrived and I woke with a peculiar sense of peace and comfort I can’t fully convey, but I hope it lingers for awhile.

All I can say is as evil as the world has become six years since I last saw her, it is what it is and she was not at all disturbed by it.

I think she wanted to assure me of that and to continue walking in faith.

Redemption story

10 years ago tomorrow, I accepted an offer to work in the most challenging and rewarding career of my life; keeping a roof over the heads of those who would otherwise end up on the street.
Ironically, just months before, that’s where I was… at nights asking for leftover soups from Panera and chicken from KFC at closing time, and by day job hunting for something more meaningful than my $9/hour custodian job at The Crossing Church for which I was thankful, but far from fulfilled.
Thank you to HopeLink of Southern Nevada for taking a chance on me and my fallen but redeemed history.
It’s a place for second chances for everyone and part of my own redemption story ever since.

Debt.

Debt.
We accrue mounds of it over our lifetime. So easily buried in it with nobody to blame for our condition except ourselves.
And it’s not just a money thing. Debts are also the accumulation of bad decisions, deliberate deceptions, and wrongs that leave others and ourselves with an immense body count in the wake.
Worst part is nothing we can do or say can erase the hurt and pain that will otherwise consume us both while alive and beyond.

But then came Easter.

Among the few.

There will always be evil, tragedy and circumstances of great loss in this world. Some cope with these harsh realities through drugs, denial, or other means for an ignorant escape. Others shield themselves within walls of money, influence or possessions hoping to keep tragedy blinded and at safe distance for at least awhile or maybe the remainder of their days.
But the courageous are the realists who take up world causes in their own backyards, armed with purpose, determination and compassion at costs well above their means. They are the relentless heroes who know that love is the grave’s only redeemable possession and life’s only redeemable pursuit.
In the end, some people will need headstones to define what their short lives represented.
Aspire to be among the few who never will.

I got lucky.

I’ve never been much of a winner but my luck appears to be changing.

I attended a seminar in the ballroom of a major Strip resort yesterday afternoon. After the 500 attendees were seated and before the program began, I noticed each of my colleagues had a little red raffle ticket. As one of the very first arrivals, I’d registered before the red roll of tickets made its way to the table by the name badges, I’d missed out. We all laughed at the fact and it really didn’t matter to me anyway. 500 to 1 were slim chances for everyone. Our odds for world peace seemed a better wager.

As the program was beginning a passing staffer asked our table if we’d all been given our raffle tickets and again we all burst out laughing that the topic of a silly raffle ticket emerging at our table for the third time. I remarked at the oddity that if I’d been given a ticket at registration it would most certainly have been the winning one. Seeing I had no ticket at my place setting, she dropped one as the house lights dimmed, the stage was lit, and the program was underway.

It was an hour later before the start of the cocktail afterparty when the ladies at the stage dug into a shiny silver bowl, pulled a ticket and announced the raffle winner.

0682…036. They got my number.

The cheers were deafening as if our table had won the Super Bowl and the response back from the surrounding sea of hopefuls in the ballroom was that we were just a little too excited at the victory.

What I won was irrelevant, the most important part of yesterday was less about me having the winning ticket and so much more about eight complete strangers at our table bonding like best friends within 60 minutes.

I call that my lucky takeaway of the day.

count the cost

Don’t start something important without counting the cost.

Don’t embark on a journey to discover your purpose if you’re not prepared for the progressively difficult changes it will require.

With greater knowledge comes inherently greater responsibility to be honest and genuine with yourself and the inevitable call to make some serious life changes.

Like a couple weeks into a new exercise regimen, this is where most jump ship and regress to excuses of pain, discomfort, and for the really self-deceptive, a simple lack of time.

Journeying toward your purpose is much harder than exercise and much more resilient to and intolerant of lame excuses.

I started a study almost 2 years back that has since built what it promised. Spiritual muscle. Moral clarity. Faith and confidence.

I’d become tired enough of my self that it was a “change or be changed” moment where I surrendered my own efforts and started believing God was, indeed, powerful enough to replace them with something lasting, permanent and most important, infinitely consequential.

I counted the cost and challenge you to do the same to join me and millions of others on a private personal journey of purpose-driven self discovery.

I like my self a lot more and I’m pretty sure the same will happen for you.

My dog makes a difference.

Daily, on our early morning walks, Butch’s first stop is always for a sprinkle on a little bush just around the corner. Without fail, and for the past year and a half, that one bush has been fed his first morning pee, every day.

Of all the many bushes along that sidewalk, Butch’s favorite bush is the healthiest, greenest, and best thriving hands down. Personally, I think Butch is magical in many ways, but now there is incontrovertible evidence that he’s making a real difference on the landscape of this world.

I’m a proud dad.

anonymous.

Some days forever change your perspective.

“You got a card,” said the receptionist on her rounds about the office, tossing a small pink envelope with no return address on my desk at lunchtime.

Busy working through the hour on a difficult project, I could have easily lost it amid the mounds of scattered papers I call my desk.

By the time I was finished, I’d added another wave of debris to the stacks but the little pink corner peeked out among the mess as if it had climbed itself to the top not to go unnoticed. I grabbed it with my left and gulped a sip of cold coffee with my right.

Nobody sends me cards at work. A pink one at that.

But It being just a few days ‘til Valentine’s Day, I sniffed it for perfume but it smelled just like a card, so I tossed it back and went to lunch.

The day had been merciless at our little non-profit that helps people stay housed, fed and plugged in to utilities at critical times of their lives when nobody else cares. Much of my morning had been spent on such cases but I returned from lunch with a salad and what I thought might be some better ideas how to help these people.

A dozen more urgent memos had made their way onto my heap during the 20 minutes away but the corner of that same pink envelope had again risen like a phoenix as if were begging to be opened.

I notice things like that.

My desk may be a fire hazard but I keep snapshots of it in my mind for times like this and I knew that card wasn’t buried where I had left it just minutes earlier.

No return address, I opened it.

“I just want to thank you for all you do for me. Seems we never find the time to say it enough but thank you, I will always remember this day.”

That was it. No salutation. No signature. No return address. Nothing.

Easing back in my chair puzzled as a forensic investigator, I was attempting to recognize the penmanship or some other telltale mark that might reveal the sender’s identity, when it hit me.

So many names, cases and contacts I have made over the years. I suppose it could have come from any one of them, or all of them for that matter. I let my mind sort through the register of memories and in doing so, I smiled, realizing the absolute brilliance in the strategy of this one anonymous pink envelope author.

He or she wasn’t satisfied with just paying it forward as so many get noticed doing these days. Buying someone’s coffee or meal, pitching in a buck when someone comes up short at checkout, all are wonderful displays of a caring humanity, but the power held in this tiny, pink, anonymous card trumped them all.

Its anonymity had the power to change the world, or at least one person’s perspective of it.

For the remainder of the day, while doing my work, I kept imagining names and faces of possible senders and individual reasons for their thankfulness. It could have been pretty much any one of them. By 6pm as I left the office for home, the entire experience had changed me.

The cluelessness of that lunchtime mystery had put a smile on my face that remained all afternoon.

That brilliant anonymous author of the pink envelope never meant their identity to be known.

They meant to be Anyone or Everyone.

I tucked the pink card from Anyone in the corner of my bulletin board, turned out my light, and said goodbye to the staff in what had become a lovely ending to a difficult week and began my weekend with a smile and a stop at the store to pick up postage and a few blank little pink cards of my own.

I wonder

I wonder if they’ll wonder why

I never ever said good bye.

I’m not around and out of touch

Nothing nowhere, not so much.

I wonder if they’ll wonder where

I’ve clearly vanished to thin air.

Or look and see I’m not around

And hear me not, and can’t be found.

I wonder if they’ll wonder how

I took my leave without a bow.

Or disappeared without a trace

And left a tear on no one’s face.

I wonder if they’ll wonder when

I might be coming back again.

Like absences that reappear,

Not very likely, this is clear.

I wonder if they’ll wonder if

At six feet under when I’m stiff

I’ve gone away to heaven’s gate

With earnest hope for them to wait.

I wonder who will wonder then

Or think of things which might have been

Or wonder not, their life resume

To wonder things they just presume.

I wonder if I’ll even wonder

In that sleep to think and ponder

Thoughts like these I left behind

Or in their slumber never mind.

Or if and when and how and why

It even matters when I die?

But wonder not where I have gone,

Rejoice instead “He’s finally home!”

could it be this simple?

Could it be this simple?

An invisible wall exists around every nation, erected by international laws to protect the assets and interests of each bordering country.

Provisions for passage exist with conditions to be met and respected. Continued breach and disregard of that agreement will inevitably require a reinforcement of the invisible wall with something visible. Not due to a fault of the host country but due to the blatant disregard of the infiltrating elements and leaders who turn blind eyes to it.

The fact that a once invisible wall must become a barrier was never the the original intent, but is made so and considered such only by its violators.

Appealing to the hardships, heat and distress suffered by those who try to cross not seeking actual asylum and against the law in places where no walls exist is invalid. Knowing there exist walls or fences in some places–and for good reason–then actively seeking passage in places they don’t exist, is having knowledge that it’s wrong and prohibited but not caring. Ignoring the very first law encountered in what they hope to be their new home questions whether they will respect any others if asylum is granted.

And still, the signs don’t say ‘keep out.’

They merely say ‘please use the door.’