Happy Birthday Jason!

Fickle. That’s the only word that comes to mind when I think of the weather, in Iowa in March. One day, you’re basking in a warm spring-like day. The next day, you’re digging out from under a blanket of wet snow.

JasonBaby-2

That’s how I remember starting March 23, 1979. We were almost to April and the renewal of Spring. March Madness was behind us. So, the threat of another spring Blizzard was lessening every day. Still, it was warming up to the 40’s with about 2” of snow waiting to melt off.

My Bride, Kayleen and I were living in the house where I grew up, four years after being married in the Rose Garden at a local park. Kayleen was nine months into her first pregnancy. While everything around me seemed familiar; the house, the neighborhood, friends and neighbors. I’m sure for Kayleen, she wasn’t quite as comfortable. With all the unfamiliar surroundings, she was Huge. Carrying her first child, this beautiful, petite, girl must have felt like she tripled in size.

There we were. Not much more than two kids ourselves. Expecting our first born.

Gone were the early days of fear, euphoria and anticipation when we first found out that we were expecting. Now, the feeling of “can we just get this over?” seemed to dominate every day.

In the 70’s, in Iowa, things were radically different than today. The medical community was still steeped in the traditions of early, modern medicine. Pregnancy and Labor were a “Women’s” thing. There were no Ultrasounds to herald whether it was a Boy or a Girl. Husbands were typically regulated to stand on the side-lines for nine months while their wives prepared the “Nest”. All Husbands had to do was wait outside of the labor room and pass out cigars when the cries of a newborn were heard. Fortunately, Kayleen and I were following my sister, Martha, and husband Gene, who had just had their first born a year earlier.

They had found a wonderful Hospital in the small city where we all grew up. For the 70’s, the Hospital was very progressive. And offered “Natural” child birth, not common for hospitals at the time. Especially in Iowa.

2

Soon after finding out Kayleen and I were expecting our first-born, we enrolled in the Lamaze program at the hospital. Lamaze was a radical change for the birthing process. Not just for Women, but for Men as well. Lamaze included a series of classes to help pregnant women understand how to cope with pain in ways that would ease labor, and promote comfort, including relaxation techniques, breathing, movement and massage. A vital part of the technique was enlisting the Men as coaches.

Going through the classes with Kayleen, I truly learned a lot. Most of the method was designed to help women manage the pain of birth. Throughout my life, I’ve called on those lessons frequently and know them to be very effective.

Here we were. Nine months into breathing exercises and belly rubs, still petrified. As frightened as I was at the prospect of being a Father, I can only imagine what Kayleen was going through; not only with becoming a Mother, but the expected pain that had been so articulately defined in those classes. There was no turning back.

Two weeks earlier, on a frigid, 12° night, complete with a new sheet of thin Ice on the roads. We had the legendary “False Alarm”. Kayleen was sure that this was it! So, we piled into the car and headed for the hospital. The trip that would normally take 30-40 minutes, seemed to last forever on this night. Both us full of anxiety and anticipation, sliding to the hospital as fast and as slow as possible. After a few hours of tests, prodding and consoling we were sent home. The good thing about “false alarms” is the preparation they provide for the real thing.

1

This day started like most. The wondering if this was it. Trying to keep busy and focused, with the metaphoric elephant in the room. It was Friday though. On the news they’d mentioned that the record high was 86°. Fickle!

Today, the forecast was for light rain. No Snow until later in the night. Typical cloudy grey Iowa morning. Little did I know; our world was about change forever, in a wondrous way.

Not sure if I went to work that day, nevertheless I’m certain Kay was busy picking stuff up in the house. A habit that I would come to recognize as “Nesting” over the years. Sometime around eight that night, Kay exclaimed “This is really it”. Thanks to the “false alarm” a few weeks prior, there was little anxiety or chaos. Just a methodical march to the car and then the hospital.

Arriving at the hospital, we felt like pros and even recognized some faces from our earlier trip. The staff quickly confirmed that this was indeed it!

Off to the delivery room. Because of the new Lamaze practice, the room was designed to start as a regular patient room and when needed, convert to the birthing room for delivery, then back to normal. Cool. Everything was hectic for the first couple of hours. I could see the fear and uncertainty in Kay’s eyes and couldn’t seem to calm her down.

You know that feeling you get sometimes when a big change is coming. Not sure if it will be good or bad? A storm brewing kind of feeling. That’s how I was feeling when I heard it. All the chatter and noisy chaos had stopped instantly. Then I heard it through the stark silence. Thud, thud, thud. Thinking about it now makes me think of the T. Rex in Jurassic Park. Thud, thud, thud. Getting louder and quicker each time.

The door to our room bursts open with a shout of “Is this where we’re having a Baby!” There in the doorway was our Night Nurse. An almost 6-foot-tall, rotund, 50’ish nurse in an impeccably detailed uniform. She was shouting orders to everyone in the room, including Kay and me. “Move This!”, “Sit Here!”, “that Can’t Be In Here!”

I took one look at Kay and saw the fear in her eyes and could only imagine how I looked to her. Calm was not the mood that night.

Together, Kay and I spent the night in anxious anticipation. Utilizing all my new skills from Lamaze, I worked to make Kay as comfortable as possible. Belly rubs, Ice chips and the monotonous breathing sessions. Our systematic practice of Lamaze was oft interrupted by a loud “What’s Going On In Here!?” Or, “Is That Baby Here Yet!?” from our bellicose night nurse. We have since nicknamed her the “Army Nurse”, or “Nurse Ratchet”. In looking back, I’m sure she was a sweetheart. Anyone that devotes their life in the service of others, usually has a heart of Gold.

For us two Doe-Eyed, soon to be parents, our nurse was both an extreme disciplinarian and our comic relief. Kay never did relax, and more importantly, never dilated. The hours and minutes ticked by sluggishly. What was only a few hours, seemed like an eternity with us both huddled in a dark, cold hospital room. Whispering to each other as if anyone could hear of us over the droning sounds of beeps and PA announcements of a Hospital. Like clockwork, every Hour on the Hour, the “Army Nurse” would burst in with some exclamation, ensuring Kay would stay sufficiently anxious.

Around 7 that morning, the door opened… flooding the room with warm sunshine. It seemed that I could hear a choir and I’m sure I even saw a few white doves. Through it all, an angel appeared in the form of our morning nurse. Immersed in a golden glow, dressed in white from head to toe, and not saying a word. Instantly, Kay and I knew everything was going to be fine. Almost whispering, our Angel floated around the room checking everything out while accessing Kay’s condition in-depth.

Holding Kay’s hand to calm her down, the Angel looked at me and with a calm, loving voice said, “You need to leave now”. Without question, I gave Kay a kiss and left.

As Kay tells the story, our Angel helped her out of bed and into a warm shower. Kay often says she was glad that no one else saw the sight of a nine month, very pregnant, naked lady in the shower. Disconcerting or not, the shower did the trick. What seemed almost instantly, the room was a buzz with nurses, technicians and Doctors. The room was quickly converted to a birthing room and at 9:01 a.m. our wonderful Son, Jason Alan made his entrance.

They had brought me back into the room and were very attentive to make sure I was by Kay’s side during the delivery. For a twenty-four-year-old, soon to be Dad, I was in awe. Never did I think something as clinical as childbirth, could be such a miraculous experience. They coached me and held my hands while I nervously cut the umbilical cord, formally making Jason an individual. An experience that will always be one of my best memories.

Well, there we were, New Parents. Now what?

3

Kay and I spent the next few years in what I can only describe as euphoria. The three Musketeers, Kayleen, Jason and me. Inseparable. Jason was always a happy and inquisitive baby. Everyone he met loved him and fawned over him insatiably.

While we were really struggling financially in a very tough economy, I always remember those days as a very joyous time filled with love and the new adventure of becoming a family.

Today, Jason celebrates his 39th birthday. Yesterday in his adopted Australia. A Husband and Father of two remarkable boys. Kayleen and I are so proud of the Man he has become. Watching him grow as a husband and father over the years has brought back so many wonderful memories of those first days as Parents.

Jason will always have that special place as our “first born”. For a while, an only child. I will always cherish my early times with Jason. We did so many firsts together.

An early Soccer star that we nicknamed “Thunder Thighs”, a talented, dependable baseball player that hit the ball every time he stepped up to the plate. Fortunately, I had the pleasure of coaching him in both, and wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Like I always tell all our kids. “I learned more from you, than I ever taught you”.

We also share a strong love for Music. Albeit, Jason would eventually venture into the uncharted waters of Guns & Roses and Metallica, he truly, always loved “good music”. As did all our family. Some of our best times together were going to concerts. While most families were off to Disneyland, we would stand in the rain all day to see Ringo. Or, climb to the top of the Metro Dome, sitting in “nose bleed” seats watching McCartney through binoculars.

4

As the “first-born”, Jason and I shared a lot of special memories, just the two of us. With music, it always centered around concerts with phenomenal guitarist. The two of us were fortunate to see artists like Stephen Stills in small intimate venues. Probably, my favorite was the night Jason and I went to see Eric Clapton. Prior to his resurgence with “Tears in Heaven” and the “Un-Plugged” album, Clapton was touring in relatively small venues, instead of the arenas he would soon be filling nightly.

It was around this time that I first heard Clapton’s song “My Father’s Eyes”. One of my all-time favorites. A new father, Clapton wrote about the uncertainty of the road ahead as a father. Sadly, this was his lyrical introduction to his son Conor, who’s tragic death was immortalized by Eric in the song “Tears In Heaven”.

My Father’s Eyes…

“Where do I find the words to say?
How do I teach him?
What do we play?
Bit by bit, I´ve realized
That´s when I need them,
That´s when I need my father´s eyes.”

Every time I hear this song, I think of Jason. Remembering the anxious anticipation of being a first-time father. Like Clapton, I turned it all over to our Heavenly Father and He continues to watch over and Bless us all.

Happy Birthday Jason! All Our Love, All Ways! Mom & Dad


“My Father’s Eyes” by Eric Clapton
PLEASE CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN

Puzzled?

Don’t Questions Drive You Crazy?

Sadly, our world has learned to answer almost everything with a question.

In my (too) many years in cooperate life, I can’t begin to tell you how many times during seminar after seminar, I was taught to NOT answer a question directly. Instead, the “rule of thumb” was to answer a question with a question. We all experience it every day; What makes you think that?”, “What does that mean to you?” or the obligatory “Why do you ask?”. Perfectly crafted responses to open the conversation up by not being answerable by a simple yes or no. More importantly, purposely asked to give time to gather thoughts for the unavoidable response. Is that manipulation or just smart? How does that make you feel?

puzzled

Eventually, it seems that the practice of “question everything” seeps into our sub-conscience thinking and we question every step and action of our life.

If you’re like me, all the questions spinning around in my head are perplexing. So much so, it seems that my thought process is more akin to a Sherlock Holmes mystery, than a straightforward path through life. If life is truly the culmination of all of choices made in life. Aren’t the decisions made everyday extremely important and impactful? Yes!

One of my favorite lessons during my corporate years was when I learned that the people who ran businesses were sometimes driven by a separate set of rules. In my experience, the bulk of people working in middle-management of those corporations were motivated by similar things. Make ME look good, make MY job easier or make ME more money. The leaders, or at least the successful ones, were motivated to “reduce costs” and “streamline efficiencies”. On the surface, both practices seem cold and calculated. Ultimately, they were all about the people working for the corporation. Two simple practices that would grow the company, providing better wages, more jobs and improving the lives or their employees.

I oft watched as the CEO’s, Presidents and leaders, of some very large corporations, concentrated on only those two questions for anything that would cross their desk. Simultaneously, the throngs of their middle-managers scurried around asking question after question, thinking they were in control, and ALL powerful. So many times, I would hear the leaders ask, “Why can’t my team get focused?”. Through it all I learned that questions can be necessary, and often a requirement for understanding. However, for the most part, too many (vague) questions create chaos and confusion. Thankfully, I was blessed to work with several very decisive leaders that were not bogged down by questions.

Think of being decisive in your life. Why do you think most of us aren’t very decisive? Oh, there I go again with the questions…

Basically, I believe it is very similar to those leaders and their managers. Most middle-managers I’ve had the pleasure to work with were SO busy, their world was a whirlwind. Being busy made them feel like they were accomplishing a lot. It always seemed to me that their entire corporate life was to create more questions. If you ponder that thought, you’ll quickly see that it was all about SELF preservation.

On the other hand, the successful CEO’s, Presidents and leaders that I knew, were pretty laid back, calm and stress free. Their days were filled with questions as well. Albeit, truly impactful. Each response carried the weight of responsibility for the lives and well being of thousands. So how could those leaders maintain that laid back, calm and stress-free lifestyle? Focus.

Having presented a lot of questions to these leaders, I soon saw a trend. For every query, they would simply distill their decisions down to the two simple questions. Will this “reduce costs” or “streamline efficiencies”? If the answer was no. The consideration was over. If the answer to either question was yes. The answer of how they would accomplish one of the two points would light the path for the next steps.

Recently, my wife and I have been faced with some major life changing decisions. Something, quite frankly, we haven’t experienced for a while. The choices we make will impact others, and will set new paths in our lives. Like any major decision in life, all the questions pop up, one after another. Most are about the unknown. “What if… This and That?” Uncertainty of the future can be daunting.

We both have been taking our concerns to God through prayer. Practically non-stop. This morning, I woke up before the sunrise, tossing and turning. Waking up, there was a single word burned into my morning consciousness. Something I have come to know as God’s answer to prayer. The word? “Puzzled?”.

There I was, no Sunshine breaking through, toasty under my covers, on a brisk 40°+ morning. I really didn’t want to get out of bed. Yet, all I could think about was PUZZLED? Sleep was just not happening. At the same time, there was a song running through my head that I couldn’t stop. Usually, I can hit the “next” button on the playlist in my head and change songs instantly. Not today!

Then, understanding that God does have a sense of humor, I started thinking how much this was like a frigid Iowa School day, when Mom would work to roust me out of bed. There I was anticipating the “Divine Chuckle” that usually accompanied the prodding for me to get up. Then it hit me. The word and the Song! “Puzzled?” followed by the name of the song… “Love is the Answer”. “Ha! You’re funny” I acclaimed as I reluctantly rolled out of bed and found my keyboard.

I had my focus. Just like those CEO’s and leaders, God gave me the focus to distill all the questions that my wife and I were facing.

As every question pops up, the answer needs to either proclaim our love for God. Or, spread God’s love to others. Simple. Every question that can’t be resolved through Love, are no longer considered. Hallelujah!


“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” -2 Timothy 1:7


Puzzled + Love = Answers

“Love is the Answer” by Rumor
PLEASE CLICK BELOW to Listen:

Carry On ‘Til Tomorrow…

“In the confrontation between the Stream and the Rock, the Stream ALWAYS Wins… Not through strength, but through Persistence.” -H. Jackson Brown Jr.

In this frenzied world, I often get the impression most of us wish life was effortless. If only we could accomplish all our dreams. Without problems, barriers and disappointment. Really? Think how boring that would be.

Persevere

Making it through all the problems and barriers thrown at us while persevering, fortifies us with a deep sense of accomplishment. At the same time, it builds our character, and prepares us for more barriers and tough times.

So, the next time you are overwhelmed with trouble or hard times, be thankful, and know that you are getting stronger!

Think of how our bodies were created to deal with stress and injury. The first time you grab a shovel and head to the backyard for some Gardening. Typically, what happens? Blisters! Just saying the word brings pain. You work hard all day long to provide some food or beauty, and what’s the result? Your hands and knees are covered in those bubbles just under your skin. If one pops, you know the pain that follows. In addition to the blisters, the muscle throughout your body feels like you just finished a game of Football, and you were the Football.
Why?

You’ve changed your routine and started using your hands and body for physical labor. Your body is simply protecting you from doing major damage. While your blisters and muscle slow you down for healing, your body is recreating itself to endure your new activities in the Garden. God didn’t promise that there would never be pain. Instead, God designed our bodies to become what we need them to be, to handle the task at hand. The circumstances of our lives are no different. Sure, there are times when we feel like we can’t take one more step; that there is no clear path to a good ending. Like the blisters, it hurts. Sometimes the pain feels unbearable.

God knows your pain. Like any loving Father, He would do anything to eliminate your agony. Akin to how our body uses pain to slow us down while it recreates stronger, more resilient, skin and muscle. So too has God created us to become stronger and more resistant through tough times.

Story after story in the Bible depicts how the weakest were favored, blessed and honed by God. Often through extreme trials. At the end, all were given everything they needed to persevere.

Reading the plight of the Israelites during their four hundred, thirty years as slaves to the Egyptians. I oft wondered, how could that be? After all these were Gods Chosen People. Imagine, an entire culture enslaved as “sub-human”, manual labors for over four hundred years. Every dirty, sweaty, job too lowly for the oppressors, forced on the Israelites. Was God punishing them?

Understanding how God created our bodies to get stronger in adversity, it follows that the same regeneration was happening to the Israelites. After over four hundred years of toil and hard work, what shape do you think the Israelites were in? I’m confident that they weren’t starving, as that would not serve their master’s needs. Four hundred years of getting stronger every day, physically and spiritually. Is it no wonder that they became conquerors? Just as God will provide What you need, When you need it, He refined the Israelites, body and soul for the mission ahead. The vision of scraggly, starving slaves just doesn’t seem to fit God’s purpose for His people.

We all have those times when we are overwhelmed with trouble or hard times. Experience has taught me, that it is at those times, God is making me stronger and more resilient. Physically and spiritually. Sometimes I need new tools to move on, other times I just need to slow down. Whatever the need, I know God has a plan, and will provide all that is needed. When trouble comes, be thankful, not fretful. God is making you better.

Have faith in God; listening for His still, quiet voice for direction, and Persevere!


“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” -James 1:4


“Carry On” by Badfinger
PLEASE CLICK BELOW to Listen:

Choices

Choice

Just like the ecstatic, proverbial, “Kid in a Candy Store”, aren’t our lives simply one choice after another?

We’ve all been there… Amid everything we have, or do in life, what are the right choices? Deep inside, we know, the right and wrong choices. A good friend always said, “There’s Two things you can do in this life, the Right thing and the Wrong thing. No one wants to do the Wrong thing. Right?”

Still, we oft make the wrong choice. Even when we know, we’ll regret certain decisions. Like the kid in the Candy Store, we eat our hearts content, only to spend the night in bed with a severe stomach ache. What were we thinking!

How is it that we know before we make a choice that it’s not a good step? Where does that quiet whisper come from? Some would say it’s intuition. Others will mention their “Gut Feeling”, a “Conscience” or “Third Sense”. Through all my bad, and good decisions, I’ve come to know the almost inaudible prodding, as the still, loving voice of God.

Most of my time on Saturday mornings growing up were spent watching Cartoons. Not the slick toy advertisements that propagate kid’s TV today, but the classics, like Looney Tunes and Popeye. While parents today would be appalled with the physical violence and seemingly cultural in-sensitivities, most of those early cartoons carried some robust moral teachings. Regularly, when faced with the Right/Wrong dilemma, a devil and an angel would appear on the characters shoulders whispering into alternate ears. Isn’t that kind of how it seems? When facing a tough choice, you are pulled in two directions that somehow you know to be Right and Wrong. Why do we choose the wrong thing so regularly?

In my experience it seems that most of my bad decisions come from “overthinking”. Instead of turning to God in prayer, I dwell on the decision, weighing ALL the potential outcomes. Like I really know what’s going to happen. If that were the case, the choice would be simple. Right?

Choice is a Gift from God. The core of who we are, is the totality of the choices that we have made in life. God has a plan for your life. Your steps were ordered since before you were born.

With that in mind, it seems to follow that the Still, Quiet Voice of God is pulling us toward those divine steps. Experience has taught me that following a path I know to be wrong, will not end well. Like the kid in the Candy Store reeling with pain.

Throughout my life, when my stubbornness prevails, and I work to force one wrong, albeit well thought out, decision after another. Inevitably, the pain of those bad decisions and the tough lessons learned, point me to the right path.

What was I thinking?
This Is the Way, Walk In It!


“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” -Isaiah 30:21


“God-Trying-to-Get-Your-Attention” by Keb’ Mo’ -Enjoy!
PLEASE CLICK BELOW to Listen:

Here I Am, Make Me

Does the idea of Time Travel make your head hurt? We’ve all seen the movies, or read the books about people that go back in time and meet themselves when they were kids. Or, when a couple falls in love and the man travels forward in time, not aging at all, and meets his girl when she’s in her 80’s.

The concept is literally mind boggling.

The linear path of time is infused in the human psyche. It seems we spend our lives working toward that next goal. Some are monumental like “I’ll start doing that once I turn Thirty.” Others are mundane like “I’ll get up off the couch when this show is over.”

We think of the past in linear concepts as well. “If I only would’a, then I could’a.”

For God, time is only a measuring stick without constrain. He was there at the beginning, and he is there at the end. He knew you before you were born, and he knows every step, thought and need of your life.

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” -2 Peter 3:8

One day, decades ago, I was watching an Army of Ants as they traversed some sandy soil in the back yard at the house where I grew up. Someone had thrown a sandwich into the yard. The orderly battalions of Ants were steadily dissecting the sandwich and moving it to their Ant Hill about ten feet away. While watching, I remember thinking what a long journey for those Ants. What would have taken me a couple steps from one point to another; probably was a day’s work for the Ants.

That’s when it dawned on me. This must be like how God see’s our life. I could see the busy “dissectors” at the sandwich, I could see the caravan moving the sandwich pieces, and, I could see the sandwich disappearing into the inner sanctum of the Ant Colony. Imagine, what if I picked up a piece of the sandwich from the beginning of the caravan, and placed it at the mouth of the Ant Colony? What would the Ants think? Truly, a Miracle in their eyes?

In my early twenties, God touched my heart with the understanding that he could and would Make Me who I needed to be, in fulfilling HIS purpose for my life. All I needed to do, was to have Faith and Believe in Him.

A few years later, I was praying and begging God for his forgiveness with something that I had done in the past. I remember thinking how that stupid act would be with me always. It was then that God touched my heart; explaining that time was irrelevant to him, and reminding me, that he would “Make Me” who I needed to be, fulfilling HIS purpose for my life.

There I was, considering that new understanding of “Make Me”; when, that day in my back yard with the Ants popped into my thoughts. Wow, God could “Make Me” forgiven before I committed that Sin. Confirming that thought, I remembered reading about the difference between Forgetting and Forgiveness. Forgetting is simply, not remembering. However, the memory is still there and can be called up at will. On the other hand, Forgiveness is forgetting without any memory or recollection.

Think about that. When God says he will “Forgive” our sins. By definition… they never existed!

Every day my prayers start with “Thank You God for Making Me…” What a blessing to know that I have been re-born, before I was Born!

Here’s a wonderful song called “Here I Am” from my friend and Pastor, Rowdy Van Horn. Every time I hear it, I think about those Ants.

Here I Am by Rowdy Van Horn Enjoy!make me

I Will NOT Be Silent!

The Silent Majority

Over the past few years we’ve all seen how people that are typically silent regarding their politics can become unified around a cause, and then Change the world. This “Silent Majority” gets so fed up with the “Status Quo”, they bind together in their cause for change. Setting aside ALL their differences; they can truly move mountains. We saw this with Reagan, the TEA Party, Bernie Sanders, the BrExit movement and recently with the Trump election.

Speak Up

All politics aside, the power of the silent majority has changed and redirected events when all thought it was too late. Powerful.

As Christians, we are way to Silent. Talk about a silent majority. Studies show that there are 2.2 Billion Christians in the world today. That’s more than a third of the people on the planet! One out of Three people identify as Christians. Unlike more vocal religions, Christians are taught early on to be humble. This has led to the largest religion on earth to be consistently silent and unassertive.

Compounding the silence is the number of Denominations of Christians throughout the world. Estimates say that they are 33,000 separate denominations of Christians. Simply, by the math, that divides the Body of Christ into 33,000 separate voices representing an average of 65 million Christians per denomination.

I love my Church, and have complete faith in my understanding of God’s Word. As I’m confident most of you do as well. Please consider that Jesus never taught that “the Church” was the Body of Christ. You, and the rest of the 2.2 Billion Christians are the Body of Christ.

“All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”
– 1 Corinthians 12:27

As individual parts of the Body of Christ, we need to make our voices heard. No longer can we be silent as the ways of the World engulf all aspects of life on Earth. When confronted with a World that contradicts our faith; we MUST speak up and not be silent.
Sure, it can be frightening, or intimidating, to contradict the trends and ways so prevalent in life today. That’s where Faith comes in. Know that if you are Honoring God, he will protect you.

“But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!”
– 1 Peter 4:16

My message is simple. Unite as the Body of Christ and be Vocal about it. No, this is not a call for you to change your beliefs, nor leave your Church. Instead, it is a call to Rise Above differences and Speak Out in the name of our Lord and Savior, the Christ Jesus. A call to NOT Be Silent!

Here are some lyrics from “I Will Not Be Silent” by the late Dan Peek. Founding member of the band America.

I Will NOT Be SILENT

“I Will NOT Hold Back,
I will Cry Out Loud,
Though the Dark Clouds are Gathered,
HIS Light is Shining Down
I Will NOT Look Back,
I Will Stand My Ground,
Though the Enemy Surrounds Me,
The Battle HAS Been Won!”

To Hear All the Song, please click the link below.


Will Not Be Silent, by Dan Peek -Enjoy!

Fill ‘Er Up!

Have you ever been in place where it seems that no matter what happens, you can’t hold on to any joy or happiness? Trust me when I say. “Been Dar’ Dun’ Dat”!”

ocean

For those that know my story, they have heard how there was a time in my life where I felt like my soul was attached to a Huge Vacuum Cleaner. Every bit of happiness or joy that I found was quickly “sucked” up, like a yesterday’s dirt.

One day, circumstances took me to the end of my spiritual rope. I felt like I was in a Long, Soundless, Dark Tunnel. Then, an almost indistinguishable voice seemed to be whispering in my ear asking… “What Are You Doing Here?” Well, I didn’t have an answer except to say I’m sorry, please forgive me.

Understanding that I had walked into that tunnel ALL by myself.

Then, as if to say, “Come with Me, I got this.” That still quiet voice, that I knew to be God, wrapped around me and guided me out of the Tunnel; and set me on a new path where God would always light my way.

Well, from that moment forward. That vacuum turned into a Huge Fire-Hose, filling my soul with God’s Promise and it’s never stopped flowing and filling my soul.

Every time I hear the song “The Ocean” by my Pastor, Rowdy Van Horn, I relive that wonder full moment again. The song is from Rowdy’s seemingly forgotten CD, that I Highly Recommend called Rowdy Live. From the first time I heard the song it quickly became one of my favorites. I love the poignant lyrics including:

I Need You Lord,
You Are All I Know,
My Heart is Overflowed,
Please Don’t Let Go,
I Need to Feel Your Mercy Flow,
For You’ve Become the Water, in the Ocean of My Soul

I Just Want to Say, Thank You for the Change,
You Opened up My Heart,
And Poured Down Your Rain,
I need You, And Called Out Your Name,
And Since that Day, I’ve Never Been the Same


The Ocean, by Rowdy Van Horn          -Enjoy!