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.

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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

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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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The Door Test 

It is the mid-1960s the setting and the scene are both borrowed from the film a Bronx Tale. 

The young 17 year old impressionable boy just started driving and is being mentored by a local mob boss whom carries a tremendous amount of respect in the all Italian neighborhood.

Sonny the mobster teaches the teenager a lesson whom was dating a girl from another race. Back then that was as controversial as if Snoopy was hanging out with Felix the Cat.

In a New York City accent, Sonny says (paraphrased), after you open the car door for her and you go to put the keys in to unlock your door, if she reaches over and unlocks your door for you, she’s a good woman and worth keeping. 

If she does not open the door for you, get rid of her and run the other way. 

I adopt this lesson to modern times for it is rare to find a car these days containing manual locks. 

Adaptively applying the same lesson in similar fashion, I ask the woman what her favorite Bible verse is; and after her response, if she asks me mine, she’s a potential keeper, if she does not ask me mine, that is not a good sign. She is probably self-absorbed. 

If it is a mindless moment for her and she does not ask me my favorite verse, and yet I have an interest in her, I may have to rent a car with manual locks and see if she leans over to unlock my door. 

I write this story with tongue-in-cheek yet with a subtle amount of seriousness. 

At the root of a good relationship, I believe it needs to be paved with strong and similar values and valuing the other person is key. 
If any possible future relationship of mine stumbles across this blog and reads this story, you are given a heads-up, lol. 

The moment is magical in the movie when the teenage girl reaches over to open the lock for the protagonist in the tale, of course the moment is shown in slow-motion as the boy gets an extra skip in his step riddled with excitement and a high-five type of smile and shouts yes! 

Kindness feeds the soul.

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“133”

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In awe my jaw drops serendipitously as my Pastor opens today’s message by stating, “Lately, I keep seeing the number 133.”  This prompting leads Pastor Nick to teach about Psalm 133 from the Old Testament of God’s written Word.

I nearly fall off my chair.  133 is a number that is near and dear to my heart in a way that no words can describe but I will attempt such measure in a future writing when the time is right.  I have only shared this “magic” number with a handful of people for it is too personal to write about publicly, but today I am compelled to share what I will call my lucky number (133) for simplicity sake.

As Pastor Nick says 133, I instinctively shout out from the last row in church. “That’s my number,” and he responds, Tim knows what I mean with numbers representing things.

I do know what he means.  I totally get it.  God speaks to us in a way that we get it.  He speaks our language and He speaks to our heart.  He speaks to us in a language we will understand.  Sometimes it is a puzzle and a mystery.  It makes for great conversation.

133 appears in my life every single day without fail as He confirms the word UNITY to me. The Bible says in Psalm 133, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”

After I shout out “That’s my number”, the young and brand-new first time Dad sitting in front of me turns around  with a proud smile only a new Dad can have and whispers, “Abigail was born at 1:33.”

Sometimes God whispers in our ear and sometimes He has to knock a more dense person over the head with a message such as myself.  It’s all good, I will take it anyway He gives it.

As I write this story, I open up the dashboard of my blog to begin writing this message and wouldn’t you know it, 133 is on top of the screen glaring in blue letters.  Apparently I have published 133 times at http://www.justaguyonajourney.com

Allow me to ask you, does God speak to you in numbers?  Care to share?  Post a comment or email me. For me, 133 is the form of a modern day angel.  May God release His angels and messages whole-heartedly upon you.  Just ask Him, see what happens and keep your ears and eyes open.  I love you.

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“Brinjoy”

Brinjoy?? You may ask what the heck is that?  Is there such a word?  I think not, it is a cheap rip-off of the word enjoy which is derived strategically from the word joy.

I fabricated the word in Jersey City style where the letter g gets dropped sometimes from the end of the word; for example, as said with an accent, bringin instead of the proper word bringing.

If you bring joy to someone you are practicing “brinjoy.”

Allow me to encourage you by inviting you to bring joy (brinjoy) to someone whether it be the next person you see in the street, at work, or at a mall as people shuffle briskly during the madness of this season; some completely stressed out just wanting to get home.  You can brinjoy fast and for free simply by flashing a peaceful and happy smile.

You can also brinjoy via a text, or a phone call to a long lost friend or distant family member.  Make the lost art of a phone call and simply let them know you are thinking of them.

How about the gift of an inexpensive poinsettia?  I recently brought a fire-engine red poinsettia to an elderly lady whom I met briefly only one time, it completely brightened her day and the thought of bringing her an unexpected gift brought her joy.  She could not believe the seasonal plant was for her.

The joy on her face was as if a squirrel found a pound of already shelled acorns at the bottom of a tree within a few feet of its nest.  I enjoyed this act of brinjoy before I even gave it a name.  I enjoyed her delighted reaction.  Now that I gave it a label, I will make it a point to brinjoy at least once a day.

Brinjoy.  I’d love to see it appear in the Webster Dictionary as a new and useful word.

Again, the next place you go…..brinjoy.  You will be happy you did.

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