More than Names

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One Thing

The bass is pounding on a sticky summer day and the acoustic guitar rhymes with the melodies of stories told by the folk-singer Josh Ritter and I am loving it. I am here because someone shared the love of Josh’s music with me.

Broken relationship? Broken friendship? A lost acquaintance that you once hit it off well with? Life happens and people exit our lives. We all lose friends whether we can’t see eye to eye on important matters anymore or we may lose them because their time on this planet is up. Whatever the reason, it is the reality and part of the pain life dispels on us.

Let’s face it. It sucks to lose a friend but I ask you to take away “one good thing” from every relationship you had.

We can escape as winners if we learn or enjoy just “one thing”they taught us that we can take with us on our journey.

On my journey I happened to meet a Josh Ritter fan that I hung out with for a summer or two.

Prior to us meeting I only had three Josh Ritter songs in my repertoire and they were buried deep within my laptop and the only one I listened to was Josh’s cover of “The River” by Springsteen.

Sure enough this dear friend and I parted ways but not before she exposed me to the well-written words of Josh Ritters music.

Josh’s music music influenced me enough I actually named a lucrative real estate company after one of his albums that served my partner and I well.

I enjoy his music so much I went to a sold-out show of his 1500 miles away with no ticket in hopes of finding one. Lucky me, someone handed me a free ticket as I approached the ticket-booth in the Rocky Mountains.

I love his writings to the point I am inspired to see the colors and the wonder of the Northern Lights when the time is right. He has lyrics, “All The other girls are stars you are the Northern Lights….”I can hardly wait to see who will be accompanying me to the gleaming green natural light-show over the Baltic Sea as I sing her those words with an enduring hug.

“All The other girls are stars, you are the Northern Lights” Such simple words yet so deep and this just an example of many of his many writings.

If this person stumbles across my writings on the web, I say thank you for turning me on to JR. You are a star.

My readers, I ask you, What “one thing” have you taken away from a person you knew and you can take it into your old age? Care to share?

What “one thing” Do tell, I just did.

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Panning for Gold

Clear water ripples down the local stream creating the sound of a magic fountain. Bubbling from the golden river-bed, water reflects the day’s rays of sunshine.

Writing this story along the greenery and water-washed river stones is where I share a recent regret in my writings.

Many times I have procrastinated in life and I still have open items I will get to later. Unfortunately I learned later may never come.

My best friend Gary always wanted to pan for gold along this East Coast stream I sit at today and he wanted me to join him. A silly idea I know, gold-nuggets don’t take up residency in these parts of the country.

So silly is the idea..our search for gold never happened. Time is too valuable and earning actual dollars makes more sense instead of trying to get enriched from one of the natural elements deposited here on this planet but most unlikely in the great Northeast.

Gary passed away this time last year. I am thinking how much fun it would it be to go on a silly adventure and tip my toes in this fresh running water and shake a pan in a hunt for precious metal.

Just for a day we could share the dream the Californians had in 1849. After all, what is 168 years among friends?

Chances of success are virtually null. We would have a better chance of seeing a black bear fishing these trout-filled waters and we would not find the sought-out shiny gold stuff and that is OK with me.

I know we would’ve made a great memory like so many other memories and fun times he and I made together.

Sometimes when we put things off because they seem like a waste of time, we may regret it later. I would be thrilled to take the day off from work today on this summer day and spend time panning for gold in the cool waters. I would even settle for finding fools gold.

The moral of this story is…if one of your friends has been asking to do an adventure with you…run with it. Do it now before it is too late. I am sorry Gary.

Too my readers, don’t be sorry. Do it now. Pan for gold. The silly search is where the fun is.

Perhaps gold would have been found. The gold nuggets would be the memories planted in my brain of a crazy idea of panning for gold in Riverdale, NJ and the laughs that would have been left in the air while doing so.

In the spirit of saying “go for it”! I would say “pan it!” Now is the time. Go pan for gold. “Pan it.”

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More than Names

Just a guy on a Journey!

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Names are carried, projected on a wall, no one could predict those towers would fall

The worst of horrors could not envision this dreadful mess when these towers were erected

Reduced in steel and ash, peoples names live on, engraved and hauntingly reflected

With stolen names along the Hudson River,

hateful people had a message to deliver

Lives of many cut down and sold short, introducing warfare of a different sort

Hate helps no one, helps no one fast, hatred caused these airplanes to violently crash

Taking lives, taken wives, taken fathers and men

They cannot take our spirit for that there is no end,

Resiliency and brilliancy, America will not lose,

this is the life we live, it is freedom that we choose

God bless America and every precious person dwelling inside of it, regardless of religion, race or creed

Christian, Jew or Muslim, allow love to identify your…

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Nana’s Rainbow

colorado rainbow

Taking in the hip culture of a downtown coffee-shop in Estes Park where hippies roam free, “Somewhere over the Rainbow softly plays in the background.

A few minutes later climbing the steep incline in Rocky Mountain National Park with a mist permeating in the air, the classic lyrics flow off my lips for the iconic song is now stuck in my head.

With the song in my head, I tell my daughter how I just sang that song to my grandmother last week as she lay on her death bed and passed a few hours after me singing the song over the phone to her.  A short moment after I tell my daughter about me singing the song to Nana, with excitement she says. “Hey look a rainbow!”

The sunlight shone through a gentle mist over the open valley lying before the great mountainside and I say quick get me the camera.  I am thinking I need to write a story about this for God has a promise in the Bible represented by a rainbow about how he will never leave us and I know my loving Nana is now resting peacefully in perfect love.

After a quick shot with the auto focus, the misty rainbow leads me up the curvy cliff-side road in Colorado 10,000 above sea-level where the blue skies appeared as calm as a resting baby laying on its mother’s chest.  Climbing the summit of the near endless mountain a sign reads Rainbow Curve.  Now I know I am to write this story.

rainbow curve

So here I am flying back to Jersey writing this rewarding rainbow experience for I believe firmly there is a pot of gold on the other side of the rainbow where the streets have no name and Nana is in her glory and her prayers are continuing for her grandchildren and great children.

The value of a praying grandmother is worth its weight in gold and now Nana is being richly rewarded “Somewhere over the Rainbow” for the love and her strong faith in Jesus and for always being available for her grandkids.

Thank you Nana for the great impact you have on my life and your unselfish love.  I love you forever.  Continued peace, love, and rest for you forever.  You deserve it and are worth it.  Good as gold!

P.S.  I have not posted a blog in over a month and as I post this story I notice my last post on the front page of my blog has a rainbow featured as the main pic and I wrote that story a few years ago.  This is just another way God rolls in my life. Rainbows have a new meaning to me.  Thanks for reading.

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Do you really want to know? 

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Do you really want to know?
You are going to have “x” amount of kids, grand-kids, live in such and such a town and you will do….(fill in the blank) for a living. You will retire at…fill in any city”. You will take your final breath at….
Your life spelled out in bold letters in front of you. The biography reads your name on the cover. Every detail of your life is written in this fun-filled book.
This all telling book talks about all of your amazing accomplishments, triumphs, vast glories, how you affected people in a positive way. What if this book was completed and you had access to it?
Pretend you already know what those things are from your birth through today (your past), or for people my age… we know what happened the first half of our life. But what if? What if the second half of your life which did not occur yet (your future) was written in a “play-by-play” documentary and you could read it today? Would you?
My question to you is, do you really want to know what it says? Do you really? I don’t.
At first glance sure, who wouldn’t? But think it through. Wouldn’t it take the joy out of the suspense each days gives us? If we already knew what and who we are to encounter on our journey through life, we would lose the joy of discovery and the gift of anticipation. There is beauty in the unknown.
Every day is a gift that we get to unwrap. Isn’t a gift more exciting when it’s wrapped up in all that fancy paper and colorful ribbon? So much of the gift is in the presentation and the anticipation of what lies under that pretty packaging.
I love discovering each day. Taking each day captive and seizing every moment that is packed into that 24 hour period.
Often, I have disappointed myself by thinking the way things should be in my future and why it did not happen. My current response is, “So what. Who cares about next year, 5 years from now or twenty years from now?”
We do not even know if we will have external life within us tomorrow yet alone five years from now. Therefore, it just makes plain sense to live for today. Let’s sing, ” Sha la la la la la live for today.”

I need to sing that song to remind me of all the joy that is within in me right now and appreciate all of the living beauty that is around me right now.
Life is amazing when you let go of how you think things should be and you keep your hands open for God’s special delivery of the day. Keeping an open-heart is vital for happiness also. Always invite love in. You don’t know where it’s going to take you and that alone is an unspoken gift. It’s making me wait, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
How about you? Do you really want to know. Would you buy the book written about you? Warning! There need be spoiler alerts on every page.

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Slow Down 


Intelligent life begs to find its purpose and until you find that purpose enjoy the ride.  

And when you do find that purpose, keep on driving, for the journey gets intensified. It never ends until we do. People need us. 

Life is not a race. Love every minute and enjoy every breath. Those sixty second time slots are finite. Slow down. Eat slower. Enjoy every sandwich. 

If you are lucky enough to be sharing that sandwich with someone that tied their love to you, enjoy it that much more. Raise a glass to their soul, look them in the eye and tell them how beautiful they are. 

I have a dear widowed friend that was having a meal with her husband and something he did at the table suddenly annoyed her. God quickly spoke to her in an unsolicited silent voice and sternly said, “Would you rather he not be here?” Not long after he became ill and now sits at the table with the Father Himself.

None of us know when our number is up. It could be tonight, tomorrow, or next year. 

With that perspective, slow down enjoy every sandwich.  

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“She Will”

crocus“She Will”

As a single guy I recently created that infamous list of what I want in “The One.” The list resides inside my iPhone Notes for easy recall.

With today’s first cup of coffee in hand reading the verse of the day, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6).  I thought of something I should add to my list.  Something I “must” have.

Speaking into my notepad and updating my request I wrote “She must …” the phone changed the sentence automatically to “She will…”

Brewing a second cup of coffee I decide to open Microsoft Word and think this through a bit and capture my thoughts.  Must vs. Will.  Must sounds like a requirement as in something she “must” do whereas “will” sounds much more pleasing as in she will….

So the Lord is telling me not to stress about it because she will…. and do not put a “must” requirement on her. He tells us not to be anxious about ANYTHING but in EVERYTHING bring your concerns to Him.  Let’s be thankful that He listens to us and gives us wise instructions (bring your requests to God) for our own benefit.

What is it she will do?  Ha, I reserve the right to share that in a future writing but in the meantime I strongly recommend all couples read the book, “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.

And yes there are a number of things she must be in order for us to be a perfect match, I have no doubt in the Lord’s hand she will be and I just got a big peaceful smile writing this sentence because I know she will…..

 

P.S.  As I just downloaded the picture of the crocus I took yesterday so I can use the photo for this article, the computer reads “Processing request”  I download pictures everyday for work and I have never noticed that.  Coincidence I am sure.  🙂 I think that may spark another story.

 

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Jubilee!!!

I love when God speaks to me. I wanted to write a story about Jubilee today but I was not sure where to start it for it speaks to me in so many ways. With a story too complicated to write about on paper, I quickly wrote a song this morning with Jubilee in the chorus. I liked the melody so much there was time to sip two cups of early morning coffee before I put the six-string down. I think I may title the celebratory song “Busted Open.”
I still did not have a story per se to write about although I knew I wanted to write about Jubilee for the jubilance that radiates in my cheerful heart. Pulling my morning verse from my box of God’s promises I get Leviticus 25:21 where it says I will command my blessing on you. I wanted to learn more about that and I look up Leviticus 25.
Wouldn’t you know it? Leviticus 25 is the story of Jubilee. I was so excited and it sparked the words I am writing now.
My word for the year is Jubilee. Jubilee occurs every 50 years as per the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament. Jubilee is when all debts are forgiven, possessions returned, slaves are set free and the land lays fallow for a year and you live off the prior year’s harvest. It is a year-long celebration of rest and prosperity.
2016-2017 is an actual Jubilee year according to Jewish scholars. The last Jubilee year was 50 years ago in 1967 when Israel won the war in six days.
I also turned 50 during this time so I claimed my word for the year as Jubilee and what a jubilant year it has been for me.
Praise the Lord I started a new business and it is prospering with His blessing upon it. I get restored on a daily basis with much joy in my heart and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. I have taken the word Jubilee so seriously when I learned there is a micro-brewery on the Southern Coast of California with a beer named Jubilee, I went there recently to have one.
Jubilee is alright with me and the beer taste fine and I am not even much of a beer guy. Jubilee! Jubilee! I have been set free.
Well….this story was going to end on that note but I just looked up the Brewery that hand crafts Jubilee beer on Facebook to get a picture of the custom brew for this article and once again my message is confirmed. The page has 133 “Likes”. I recently wrote a story called “133” for the number has special meaning to me. God is always speaking when we serve Him and we put Him at the center of our heart. He is incredibly awesome and so caring and loving.
So my new ending for this story is…..Jubilee Baby! You bet ya! Jubilee!!!

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A Lost Key

vw-key

A few months ago a “Key-West” keychain sporting a Volkswagon key sits alone in the street as I drift by walking my dog. After contacting the police hoping they have a lost-and-found and knocking on a few of the neighbors doors; I could not find the owner of the key.

I liked the KW keychain so I put the spare keys to my truck on it and tossed the keys in that notorious “junk-drawer” we all have in the kitchen.  I forgot attaching my keys to the ring but I knew the VW key was tucked away in hiding.
With the day off today,  I said to myself, today is a good day for me to find the spare keys to my truck in case I should need them.

Yesterday, on the outskirts of my neighborhood, I noticed two Volkswagons on top of the hill. Another thing on my to-do list for today was to check in with them and see if they lost a VW key.
Grabbing the key today to go knock on the door and see if they are the rightful owner, I notice two silver keys dangling from it. Apparently I used the key chain to store my spare keys and forgot doing so.

Standing behind the door is a man with an Eastern European accent and I like to learn a word or two in every language. It is his spare key. After the key exchange, I ask the gentleman where he is from.  He staunchly answers…Bulgaria.  So now I know how to say “friends” in Bulgarian.

In doing a good deed today I accomplish something that was on my to-do list while knocking off a second item on my list.

There’s a negative saying that no good deed goes unpunished. I choose to reframe that saying and say good deeds are re-warded.

Today I found my spare keys and spent no time in searching for them as they popped out of the junk-drawer and I learned a new word.  I feel rewarded to have found my spare keys and I am happy I can greet someone in the Bulgarian language.

Thanks for reading my приятелиv (friends in Bulgarian).

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