Monday, December 31, 2007

On Going (Eternally Revised) Lecture, Sermon, Speech etc.

Passion....what is your passion?
Do you have something you desire?
Something at your core, that says "This is who I am"
Hate, Love, Greed, Self-Centered, Caring, Compassion, Teacher, Logical, Creative etc.
The list could go on forever, it could be a mash up of multiple things, whatever it is find it. It could be hate, for those with this I pray you start to question your passion. It could be teaching, for those I applaud.
For some it could change often, for those I say find your core.
For some it could be nothing, for those I pray harder.

We all should have something we are passionate about, something that drives us, something that says "ultimately this is who I am". The discovery of this can be deep contemplation or more often found in the things we do everyday.

Revision coming soon.....

Moment 12/31/07

Current Reading: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell and Church Dogmatics: A Selection by Karl Barth
Current Music: Mellisa, The Allman Brothers Band
Sounds: ESPN in the background
Sights: Blue Wall
Temp:77
Thoughts: New Year, New Beginning...."A turtle never makes any progress unless he sticks his neck out to go forward."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hectic

Sorry folks for the long intermission. Life has been crazy hectic lately as I am making some huge decisions for my life. So I needed some time away to reflect. But as I was talking to a friend the other day I was telling her how most men internalize things too much and that my release was writing. So I am back and back with a vengeance.

I am currently reading Unchristian which is a very good book if you like statistics (which I do). Pick it up if you get a chance.

Other than that I am blessed to have such great friends and family around me to help me sort through my decision process and help guide me. To them and all of you I am grateful.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Maker

Oh, Oh Deep water
Black, and cold like the night
I stand with arms wide open
I've run a twisted mile
I'm a stranger
in the eyes of the Maker

I could not see
for fog in my eyes
I could not feel
for the fear in my life
From across the great divide
In the distance i saw a light
John Baptist
walking to me with the Maker

My body is bent and broken
by long and dangerous sleep
I can work the fields of Abraham
and turn my head away
I'm not a stranger
in the hands of the Maker

Brother John
Have you seen the homeless daughters
standing there
with broken wings
I have seen the flaming swords
there over east of eden
burning in the eyes of the Maker
burning in the eyes of the Maker
burning in the eyes of the Maker
burning in the eyes of the Maker

oh river rise from your sleep....

--Emmylou Harris

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Go Boldly

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


Go boldly into this world. Love yourself, others and God. Give to yourself, others and God. If you have these three things in check and in the proper order you have nothing to fear.

In the words of Roosevelt, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"

Monday, November 26, 2007

All Men are Equal

I submit to you when I took off on that plane this morning, I saw men go out there in their overalls. (Yes, sir, Every time) I saw them working on things here and there, and saw some more going out there to put the breakfast on there so that we could eat on our way to Atlanta. (Make it plain) And I said to myself that these people who constitute the ground crew are just as significant as the pilot, because this plane couldn’t move if you didn’t have the ground crew. (Amen) I submit to you that in Hugh Spaulding or Grady Hospital, (Preach it) the woman or the man who goes in there to sweep the floor is just as significant as the doctor, (Yes) because if he doesn’t get that dust off the floor germs will begin to circulate. And those same germs can do injury and harm to the human being. I submit to you this morning (Yes) that there is dignity in all work (Have mercy) when we learn to pay people decent wages. Whoever cooks in your house, whoever sweeps the floor in your house is just as significant as anybody who lives in that house. (Amen) And everybody that we call a maid is serving God in a significant way. (Preach it) And I love the maids, I love the people who have been ignored, and I want to see them get the kind of wages that they need. And their job is no longer a menial job, (No, sir) for you come to see its worth and its dignity.

Are we really taking this thing seriously? "All men are created equal." (Amen) And that means that every man who lives in a slum today (Preach it) is just as significant as John D., Nelson, or any other Rockefeller. Every man who lives in the slum is just as significant as Henry Ford. All men are created equal, and they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, rights that can’t be separated from you. [clap] Go down and tell them, (No) "You may take my life, but you can’t take my right to life. You may take liberty from me, but you can’t take my right to liberty. You may take from me the desire, you may take from me the propensity to pursue happiness, but you can’t take from me my right to pursue happiness." (Yes) "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights and among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." (Yes, sir)


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Moment

Current Reading: A Knock at Midnight
Current Music: Don't Drink the Water by Dave Matthews
Mood: Contemplative and proactive
Sounds: A bass guitar and sax blaring out of my computer speakers
Smells: Autumn Candle
Sights:
Horses Running
Temp: 73
Thoughts: Finally a path and the first step

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bend in the Road

BEND IN THE ROAD

When we feel we have nothing left to give
and we are sure that the song has ended.
When our day seems over
and the shadows fall
and the darkness of night has descended.
Where can we go to find the strength
to valiantly keep on trying
Where can we find the hand that will dry
the tears that the heart is crying.

There's but one place to go
and that is to God
and dropping all pretense and pride.
We can pour out our problems
without restraint
and gain strength with Him at our side.
And together we stand at life's crossroads
and view what we think is the end.

But God has a much bigger vision
and He tells us it's only a bend.
For the road goes on and is smoother
and the pause in the song is a rest.
And the part that's unsung and unfinished
is the sweetest and richest and best


So rest and relax and grow stronger
let go and let God share your load.
Your work is not finished or ended
you've just come to a bend in the road.

~ Helen Steiner Rice ~

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sing With Me

Dream on, dream on
Dream yourself a dream come true
Dream on, dream on
Dream until your dream come true
Dream on, dream on, dream on...

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter and sing for the tears
Sing with me, if its just for today
Maybe tomorrow the good lord will take you away

Aerosmith

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Good One

Pray and let God worry.

Martin Luther

Wait and Seek, Wait and Seek, Repeat often....

The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

Lamentations 3:25


It is good to wait on the Lord for what He wants. Do not get in a hurry, frustrated or mad. Also do not miss the bus on the Lord. He does not need to wait on you. You see the calling, sign, nudge etc. pray on it and then act on it. Seek Him always and you will find the answers to the questions you have. They may not be the answers you want, but none the less they are answers.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Varvel comes through again

Look at his cartoon here


What shall we do with no TV drama...oh my.

Clarity Through Pain

Isn't it funny how in the darkest moments, the most painful moments life becomes a little more clear. We think to ourselves, "wow, that doesn't matter as much as I thought it would" or "I never thought that person would care".

Because pain is more times than not an individual thing, during times of pain we are forced to concentrate on ourself and our bodies to heal. While concentrating on healing we go through introspection. We constantly see how we feel and a by product of that we see other things about ourself as well. And because of this intense focus we see with clarity and we see the truth.

The reason I bring this up is because for the past week I have had excruciating shoulder pain which landed me in the hospital on Thursday night. Since then I have been recovering with the aid of my wife.

Some observations from my pain:

1. I love spending time with my wife.
2. I was surprised at who cared and who didn't.
3. Feel free to be honest about all your feelings.
4. Hard decisions are not that hard.
5. Who you are is who you are, but acknowledge the same thing in others.
6. Family is what matters, good friends are right up there too.
7. Your sanity outweighs any financial reward.
8. There is a reason for everything and search hard for that reason.
9. Give kindness and love freely.
10. It is good to be quiet and still sometimes.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A nice article on a friend in Iraq

A very well written article on a friend of mine in Iraq.

God Bless Ryan Scott and thank you for serving our Country. Come home safe!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Top Classic Books

Article from my Alma Mater.

I have read 3/4 of those books. Very good reads, although I would add and subtract some.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Regarding Tuesdays Post

Sometimes it seems quite pointless and other times exciting. Fulfillment? I don't know, maybe. Does that matter though?

This was not in response to my blog. This was in response to another area of my life. I love writing and is often my release. The above sentence was my frustration that my true skills and enjoyment of applying what I have are not being used to the fullest or at all.


and now a quick written poem...

Breath out all your troubles
Flow with the new wave
Breath in your fulfilled life now

--Will

Belief is not a Trend

But the trouble with deep belief is that it costs something. And there is something inside me, some selfish beast of a subtle thing that doesn't like the truth at all because it carries responsibility, and if I actually believe these things I have to do something about them. It is so, so cumbersome to believe anything. And it isn't cool. I mean it's cool in a "Reality Bites", "Welcome to Sarajevo", Amnesty International sense, but that is only as good as dreadlocks. Chicks dig it to a point, but you can't be all about it; you also have to want a big house and expensive clothes because in the end, we like Ethan Hawke even though we don't know what he believes. Even our beliefs have become trend statements. We don't even believe things because we believe them anymore. We only believe things because they are cool things to believe.

Donald Miller--"Blue Like Jazz"

Link of the Day

TerraCycle

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

One in Love through God

When we all reach that perfection of love which is the contemplation of God in His glory, our inalienable personalities, while remaining eternally distinct, will nevertheless combine into One so that each of us will find himself in all the others, and God will be the life and reality of all.

T. Merton

Deeply this is Me

Well, well seems I have been slacking lately with my blog. I, like everyone else, have been busy. Sometimes it seems quite pointless and other times exciting. Fulfillment? I don't know, maybe. Does that matter though? Deeply this is me:

I like to read
I am imaginative
I am not detail oriented
I am abstract
I am always in deep thought
I am relational
I like sports
I am academic
I am philosophic
I care
I love
I hurt
I cry
I like music
I like NPR
I strive for justice
I am faith driven
I get angry
I laugh
I value friends more than gold
I constantly search
I dig deep
I am a motivator
I am a speaker
I want to go back to college again
I am Will

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Love My Peeps

Love you my fellow Blog Readers. I had a crazy bad day, but for some reason I kept smiling. Now I must pass it on to you. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Painfully Me

Ever feel like you are in the middle of a Hurricane? You see the way out yet don't take the first step. Because of fear? Because of regret? Because this hurricane may not last long? Tug-of-war with my head, heart and soul. Pulling me back and forth. I say this is not me, this is not what I am supposed to do. Give me back my true happiness, my true drive. Amen

Friday, October 19, 2007

Community i.e. Friendship

I know the past week has been exhausting and frustrating for myself and many others around me but we made it through. The great thing about being in a community and more importantly having friendship is the fact that you don't have to go it alone. There is no neighborhood, business, team, or church that is void of conflict or frustration. But the great thing is we are not alone and we CHOOSE to be in this community together. That says a lot about our integrity, perseverance, understanding, love and grace.

Many run away from community because of the conflicts. They run to their own island, their own world or to the next community in search of a place that is conflict and frustration free. To them I say "good luck and God Speed." A community is a living breathing body, a heart that beats as one. Just as the human body can heal itself so too can the body of community. We need each other; we want to hug, smile, explore, transform, cry and laugh together. If I have two gold coins I want to give one away; if I have a wound I want someone to help me heal. Without community this is impossible. I pray we all value our little community we are involved in and view it with the sacredness it deserves.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Balance within the Balance

Why is it we all have an inherent need for justice? Somebody wrongs us we want justice. People being oppressed and monks killed in Burma, we want justice. African Americans being oppressed in America we want justice. I think you get the point. But why do we strive for justice? Why do we strive for right or good? And just as important why, if we all strive for right and good, are we failing so miserably?

First and foremost, I believe the call for justice and good is indicative of our connection with God. God is the ultimate justice, the ultimate good. Through that relationship, whether you believe in God or not, justice and good transcend into us. Without this relationship and left up to our own devices I think we wouldn't care for justice. We would saturate ourselves with our own needs and not the needs of others. Justice is counter to our own self preservation or own self needs. So in a sense we could say justice is divine.

So that brings us to our balance within the balance of justice. We can say justice is a balance between right and wrong. But with in this balance is the balance between self and justice. If we all desire justice why don't we live in a just world?. Sure we pray for those in Burma and we applaud the acts of Martin Luther King but is that enough to bring our desire of justice to fruition? The obvious answer is no and the reason is because we are not directly impacted i.e. self. We are 50% just. When it impacts us we demand justice; we scream it from the rooftops. But when it has a minimal impact on us we post links to our blogs, bring it up in small talk, and read the headlines.

I am not suggesting you fly to Burma and link arms with the monks. What I am suggesting is take up justice, void of self interest, in your own sphere of life. Don't talk about justice, write about justice, or read about justice..you need to be justice.

To close this out my belief is that we will never obtain perfect justice here on earth. Ultimate right and ultimate good are words we can only imagine, a vision we see in the mist. But the fact that we see into the mist says something in itself. It speaks of the divine, the goodness, and the connection we have to God whether we believe or not.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

November Rain

This is one of my favorite Guns and Roses Songs, besides of course "Welcome to the Jungle". Can you tell I was rocking out to GnR on the way to work today?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Frankie Lee

The moral of the song
Is simply that one should never be
Where ones does not belong
So when you see your neighbor carryin' somethin'
Help him with his load
And don't go mistaking Paradise
For that home across the road.

--Bob Dylan

Falling Red Change

let Your fountain of rain,
soak the red and orange tree leaves
Light reveals the change

--Will (In response to Psalm 36:9)


Had a break in the day so I did some much needed writing. A couple revisions taken before this and I am not so sure it is done, maybe I should just leave it alone.

Camden 28

Watched this documentary last night and it was pretty good. Civil Disobedience at it's finest.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Experience

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Prayer is a Relationship

The seeker seemed perplexed. "A state of prayer?"

"Thats right. Being in a state of prayer involves living in such a manner that regardless of what we might be doing, we're always praying."

"Yes, but what do you mean by that; how do I get that?" said the Seeker.

Father Laurence continued, "The question is, what does this involve?" The Seeker remained silent, waiting for Father's answer.

"Well, for starters, wouldn't it seem to require that we strive to become conscious of being in God's presence, because prayer is above all a relationship? And this has nothing to do with feelings -- it's a question of awareness, something that's present regardless of what we're feeling. But it would also seem to require more than that. We could imagine, for example, how the 'Evil One' could be aware of being in the presence of God, yet we'd hardly say that he was living in a state of prayer. What makes all the difference, I believe, is the intention to please God. In addition to the consciousness of being in God's presence, were we to have the constant willingness always and everywhere to do what is pleasing to God, then such an attitude would constitute a state of prayerfulness."............

Father Laurence..."For example a doctor performing surgery is hardly able to give his attention directly to God. He's totally immersed in what he's doing. Yet if he's developed the habit of being conscious of being in the presence of God and has the intention of praising God, his surgery is indeed a prayer, and when he's finished with the surgery his mind will go back naturally to thoughts of God"

The Monks of New Skete



I strive for this although it seems to work when I read, spend time with people, help others, cook, write and various other things. It doesn't really work when I am driving in traffic as I cuss and moan. Maybe it does and God understands I am not a perfect being and enjoys my nuances. Prayer is NOT a bedtime wish list or a cry for help every once in a while. Prayer is a REAL and CONSTANT relationship with God. Thoughts to ponder, see what happens.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Wow its almost Friday

I have been busy my friends, real busy. So I will post some of my thoughts this week:

1. Will Bill O'Reilly ever stop crying about the media. I am not left or right but moderate. My dad thought I was going left on him. Nope just getting tired of everyone talking about nothing. Why not do something. Weird rant I know.

2. What is happening in Burma is humanity at its worst. Harmless people being dictated by a military government. Killing Monks, God Bless their Souls and may Peace be with them.

3. Read this article and it made me sick.

4. If you never know what the dark is how do you appreciate the light, if you never have a rainy day how do you enjoy the sun?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Mercy

The eyes of the saint make all beauty holy and the hands of the saint consecrate everything they touch to the glory of God, and the saint is never offended by anything and judge's no man's sin because he does not know sin. He knows the mercy of God. He knows that his own mission on earth is to bring that mercy to all men.

T. Merton


Strive for This.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Don't Look Back

Funny how a memory from 1993 can have an impact on me in 2007 Q95 baby!!!



Don't look back
A new day is breakin'
It's been too long since I felt this way
I don't mind where I get taken
The road is callin'
Today is the day

I can see
It took so long to realize
I'm much too strong
Not to comprimise
Now I see what I am is holding me down
I'll turn it around

I finally see the dawn arrivin'
I see beyond the road I'm drivin'
Far away and left behind

It's a new horizon and I'm awakin' now
Oh I see myself in a brand new way
The sun is shinin'
the clouds are breakin'
'Canse I can't lose now, there's no game to play

I can tell
There's no more time left to criticize
I've seen what I could not recognize
Everthing in my life was leading me on
but I can be strong

I finally see the dawn arrivin'
I see beyond the road I'm drivin'
Far away and left behind

Moment

Stolen from John Craig

Current Reading: In the Sprit of happiness by the Monks of New Skete
Current Music: Fresh Air podcast
Mood: Fresh Step, Improved Path :)
Sounds: Fresh Air
Sights: Tree outside my window
Temperature: Currently 87°F
Thoughts: Getting ready for afternoon meetings and errands

Pray On This

Goods and possessions are no gain in his eyes.
He stays far from wealth and honor.
Long life is no ground for joy, nor early death for sorrow.
Success is not for him to be pround of, failure is no shame.
Had he all the world's power he would not hold it as his own.
If he conquered everything he would not take it to himself.
His glory is in knowing that all things come together in One and life and death are equal.



Chuang Tzu -- Trans. T.Merton


Just Pray.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

9 Killed in Brumese conflict

Very Sad Indeed

Communion

Another from The Monks of New Skete

We storm the walls of our own imprisonment when we struggle to overcome self-centeredness, when we stretch to build avenues of communion with reality beyond our own self, whatever it happens to be. One moment it might be helping a friend, the next it might be attending to our job, running an errand, overcoming a persistent manifestation of selfishness, expressing gratitude by writing a thank-you note, breaking out of our own little world enough to notice a beautiful sunset....anything. With each step of life comes the background question "What is reality asking of us now?" challenging us to respond wholeheartedly, willingly. We escape and leave behind the self that is holed up with its own concerns, and breathe the fresh air of otherness.

We must die to ourselves if we are to ever really live. I am not professing give up all your joys such as golf, playing the guitar or water skiing. What I am talking about is a death of self and birth to communion. It is easy to give into selfish nature i.e. always looking out for number one. But the wise man will take the hard path, the path in which the self must die constantly, be born into communion with all, and learn from this constant death and birth. You may get hit a time or two with a thorny branch but remember you took this path to learn and be in communion with others not to avoid pain.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

City of Orlando says "Don't Feed the Hungry"

See the link here

I understand they want to clean up the area they just built million dollar condo high risers on. But what do they plan to do, starve the homeless and hungry to death so a rich old lady feels safe to walk "fifi"?? Don't take offense if you are a rich old lady and have a dog named "fifi" (the names can be interchanged easily). They built these condos knowing full well that Lake Eola is in the heart of downtown and is the heart of the homeless population. Now they want to starve them out, why didn't they set some money aside to build a soup kitchen or shelter. Seems it would have solved their problem, helped the condos image, and also helped the homeless get food and maybe some of these millionaires could have mentored or helped get the homeless back on their feet. But that would be way too easy, silly me.

Holding On

Two traveling monks reached a river where they met a young woman. Wary of the current, she asked if they could carry her across. One of the monks hesitated, but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other bank. She thanked him and departed. As the monks continued on their way, the one was brooding and preoccupied. Unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. "Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women, but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!"
"Brother," the second monk replied, "I set her down on the other side, while you are still carrying her."



I love this old parable. It is a daily reminder to myself to let go of the things of the past. I can't control them nor go back and change them so why do I still let them affect my future? Is it my drive to "perfect" myself? Or wish for a different time?

Well neither of those are going to happen. Nobody will ever be perfect nor go back to a peaceful time in their life. They can only concentrate and have a positive impact on the now. Stop letting your past ruin your now. You have no clue what the future holds so don't let your past dictate it. Give it up to God, free yourself from your "self-imposed" bonds and go forward with a fresh step, a new smile, and know your past is back on the bank while you are walking in the sun.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Old School


I keep passing by one particular photo album all the time. So I decided to scan and upload some pictures from this album. There are many more pictures, but I only have time to upload a few. These were taken with an old point and click film camera. France was a great place and I would live there in a heart beat.

Wind in your Ear


You ever get the feeling and hear the wind rush by you and it makes a big whoooooshhhh noise in your ear. For city people this doesn't happen much, but standing on an open farm field it happens a lot. Life hitting you full force in the face and body, entering your ears and blocking out everything else. It is an instant refresher, a breath of life so to speak. No matter what is going on you are enveloped in the wind, life itself.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Monks of New Skete




Taken from the book "In The Spirit of Happiness" by the monks of New Skete

After Abba John the Dwarf had prayed to the Lord and the Lord had taken away all his passions, he went to one of the experienced men and said, "You see before you a man who is completely at rest and has no more temptations." The elder replied, "Go and pray to the Lord to stir up your passions once again, for the soul is made strong only in battle. And when this happens, do not pray that the struggle be taken away from you, but only say, 'Lord, give me strength to get through the fight'.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Good Saturday Morning

I have a challenge for today:

1. Take a picture. Go to your backyard, favorite park or where ever you would like. But take a picture worthy of going in an exhibit. Art is in the eye of the beholder so have fun.

2. Write something. Write anything. Maybe it is the first page to the novel you always wanted to write, maybe it is a poem or a day in the life. Whatever it is write one page today (if you want to double space that is fine).

3. Be still for 30 minutes. No TV, No Radio, No distractions just be still and sit. Block out the voices in your head.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Only a matter of time....

Read Article here

I have no problem with Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Atheists, or any other religion, race,or creed. I am called to show grace, love and compassion to all. So for me to attack or slander someone different than me doesn't exactly reinforce my qualities and mission.

So here we are, the attack on Christianity. No more "Under God", no more Ten Commandments, no more prayer in public and no more "forcing your beliefs on me". I get it, I understand it and I can sympathize with it. The only problem I have is we are now going into a tit for tat society. So you want the Ten Commandments gone well we don't want low sinks so you can wash your feet. It is a slippery slope in which we are on. We could very well be the demise of our society.

Disagreements and different opinions are nothing new. But I think what we lack is the tolerance and compassion for fellow human beings. Would the person who knows it all and is never wrong please stand up? Don't worry I am not holding my breath.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Cooking

If I could cook like Gordon Ramsey I would never eat out again. I used to hate cooking, now I kind of like it except all I can do is grill, sauté and fry. My buddy Joe is an excellent cook and it always fun to go over to his house and see what he has thought of cooking.

Music is Funny

I was flipping through my CD collection on the way home and came across a Nirvana CD. I put it in the player and cranked it up. It is funny how music brings back memories. Just a few memories from some artists

Nirvana: Going to South Bend to play Soccer
The Doors: Driving to Florida with my Dad
Unwritten Law: Driving around Indianapolis
Tim McGraw: Riding horses in Brown County
Ottmar Liebert: House of Blues 98
Mozarts Eine Kleine Nactmusik: Music class in Middle School
Phish: Driving to Pensacola
Wide Spread Panic: Singing "Coconuts" with Andrea
Rush: Setting my boom box up and listening to it in my room
John Mellencamp: Got the album the day before my neighbor died of cancer (human wheels)
Grateful Dead: Listening to The Dead in my dads car the day Jerry died
Many many many more.....

Interesting, more vivid than a picture.

Had a little time before lunch


Took some pictures.....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This is what happens in Orlando during the rain

Eco-Friendly homes in Winter Park

I thought they were going to level everything from Park Ave. to 17-92 to build Condos and upscale Town Homes. I am glad they recognize the families that have been living there for decades. Glad to see eminent domain didn't place these families on the street.

See the article here

Rain Rain go away.....

Looks like rain all day down here in Central Florida. Not that we don't need the rain, but rain always makes the unbearable roads even more unbearable.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Candy For Your Ears



Put your headphones on and enjoy the experience....

see more here

Monday, September 17, 2007

Books for the week

Just Finished Parker Palmer's "The Active Life" which was an awesome book. I highly recommend everyone to read it.

Picked up two books for the week they are sure to go deep:

Reawakenings by Keating

The Seven Storey Mountain by Merton

Friday, September 14, 2007

Centering Prayer

See this here

Be still with God

Good Morning


Woke up extra early this morning so I was able to catch a pic of the sunrise. I love waking up before the sun rises and it is still dark. There is something about "seeing" the dawn of the day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A new twist on the Mother Teresa Saga

See this article

Could it be that Mother Teresa is among the “many” that did “many wonderful works” in the name of Jesus, but were trusting in their works to vindicate them in the end rather than the One they were working for? Do Mother Teresa’s letters suggest that she could be among those who will hear Jesus say, “I never knew you”? You are aghast at the thought because such a sentiment is so contrary to the conventional wisdom that says Mother Teresa, of all people, is in heaven because she served the poorest of the poor and gave up her own life in doing so.

But that’s precisely the point. If anyone is in heaven, it won’t be because of the many wonderful works they did in Jesus’ name. It will be because they received faith as a gift from God, a faith that sustains in the midst of doubt, a faith that gives evidence of the reality of our relationship to Christ even when our innate human reason suggests—as it evidently did in Mother Teresa’s case—that the prudent course is to abandon all hope.


Interesting....also see this post by John Craig here

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In Response to The Woodcarver

Taken from Parker Palmer's "The Active Life"

We need ego-strength to live and live fruitfully. But it is a paradoxical truth that in order to gain the strength that comes from knowing our gifts we may have to fight the ego's drive to dominate our lives. The woodcarver fought through fasting, forgetting, and dying to the false demands of his ego. In that process he penetrated the ego's self -delusions and arrived at a truth about himself, his gifts, and his relation to the reality around him, a truth that allowed him to transcend the traps inherent in the skillfulness necessary for action.

It is important to realize that the woodcarver's native gift may not have been the obvious one -- his capacity to employ woodworking tools with consummate skill. Even if he had been born with the manual dexterity that woodworking requires, his skill with those particular tools surely took him years of practice to perfect. A careful reading of the story shows that the woodcarver possesses several other gifts, all of which are essential to the mastery he demonstrates: the capacity to wait patiently for insight to emerge, the capacity to trust in the outcomes of an uncertain process, the capacity to take risks even under pressure, the capacity to speak his truth even when it is not what people want to hear. Any of these may be his birthright gift, without which his technical ability to carve would make him no more than an average artisan.



His excellence isn't in his skill but his gifts. I wonder what would happen if we all embraced our gifts more. I know some of my gifts are relationship to people, empathy, humility, compassion and energy. I know I do not have the gift of organization, patients, or details. If I am to succeed I need to embrace the gifts I have and transfer that into a relevant skill. Hence I may never be a paper pusher or professional fisherman.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Global Walmart

IU article on Walmart in Mexico link here

"They failed in Germany and South Korea, for example, and they're having difficulty in Japan and the United Kingdom," Biles said. "They've also had difficulty competing with China's state-owned supermarkets, and they have yet to gain entry to India. The Wal-Mart model is not universally appreciated. Mexico is still their only international success."

I wonder why? Could it be that "mom and pop" stores are more valuable to their culture and history than low prices and big box convenience.

Also see this link on music and walmartization.

Selfless Love

One of the paradoxes of the mystical life is this: that a man cannot enter into the deepest center of himself and pass through that center into God, unless he is able to pass entirely out of himself and empty himself and give himself to other people in the purity of a selfless love.
Thomas Merton

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Woodcarver

Khing, the master carver, made a bell stand
Of precious wood. When it was finished,
All who saw it were astounded. They said it must be
The work of spirits.
The Prince of Lu said to the master carver:
"What is your secret?"

Khing replied: "I am only a workman:
I have no secret. There is only this:
When I began to think about the work you commanded
I guarded my spirit, did not expend it
On trifles, that were not to the point.
I fasted in order to set
My heart at rest.
After three days fasting,
I had forgotten gain and success.
After five days
I had forgotten praise or criticism.
After seven days
I had forgotten my body
With all its limbs.

"By this time all thought of your Highness
And of the court had faded away.
All that might distract me from the work
Had vanished.
I was collected in the single thought
Of the bell stand.

"Then I went to the forest
To see the trees in their own natural state.
When the right tree appeared before my eyes,
The bell stand also appeared in it, clearly, beyond doubt.
All I had to do was to put forth my hand
and begin.

"If I had not met this particular tree
There would have been
No bell stand at all.

"What happened?
My own collected thought
Encountered the hidden potential in the wood;
From this live encounter came the work
Which you ascribe to the spirits."

- Chuang Tzu
from The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton

The Archer

Chuang Tzu

When an archer is shooting for nothing he has all his skill.
If he shoots for a brass buckle he is already nervous.
If he shoots for a prize of gold
he goes blind
or sees two targets
- he is out of his mind!

His skill has not changed. But the prize
divides him. He cares.
He thinks more of winning than of shooting
and the need to win
drains him of power
.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

No Bread in Zimbabwe

Very sad indeed. Read the article here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Joseph Campbell

People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we are seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance with our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Extreme Religion

I have heard it everywhere the past couple weeks; extreme religion, extreme beliefs or lack of beliefs. From God's Warriors to Christopher Hitchens stepping on the back of Mother Teresa.

From the makers of Extreme Makeover (Not Really) we are brought Extreme Belief. In which we kill, beat, jab, poke, belittle, and basically strip a person naked in the name of belief/religion. These activities more resemble an animal attacking prey than it does a true concerned believer. Do you walk into a job interview with the intent to belittle, do you go to dinner with your mom and poke fun of her, do you go out with friends and kill them if they don't believe? So why do some act like animals when it comes to faith, belief/lack of belief, religion and God? Let me break it down a bit:

1. Belief/Faith is a huge step to take not only in the mind, but more importantly in the heart.
2. God aside (although my beliefs believe God is the point of this) we all have an inherent need to feel comfort, to feel safe, to feel needed/worth while.
3. Animals hunt out of a need and impulse in their mind. There is no heart or soul requirement for an Animal. It is just an impulse driven creature.

So we are left with Heart/Soul vs. Mind/Impulses. If I rely solely on my mind I believe that I will not only be a shallow person but also miss the mark on what it means to be a full person/human being. I can't rationalize love, compassion, friendship, caring, forgiveness. These are things of the heart and soul not the things of the mind. I know what my dog looks like yet I find more enjoyment out of petting him and caring for him. My mind can rationalize love but if my soul never feels it was it really worth it or there? I know what compassion is but if I never extend with a true heart is it worth it or true?

When we let our minds control our soul I believe we do irrational things. Going back to my dog example (although this might be a bit extreme), if I look at my dog from a pure rational/mind point of view he is worthless to me. He doesn't bring me food or protection, he is lazy and stupid (compared to my mind) and he certainly doesn't further my life or quest for knowledge so I should probably just do away with him. Does this sound familiar? Extreme belief anyone?? But if I look in my soul I find a creature that I am amazed with everyday. My dog makes me laugh, smile and generally feel good and I know I love him and his value is immeasurable. If I can feel this way about my dog, why can't Extreme Belief stop using solely their heads but also their soul? Would we have the belittling, the killing, the beatings?


P.S. Take from this rambling what you can. I read this refreshing article this morning and read this excerpt from the Cherry Log Sermons last night:


But God took this creature made out of clay, held it up as a mother holds a baby, and breathed, and it became a living soul like God. And God said, "This one is like me. I am proud of the squirrel, I love the elephant, the horse is good, the mule is nice, and I do like these llamas, but the one that is exactly like me is this one. I have breathed into this one my own life." This is why human beings are not content, if they are real human beings, with just eating and drinking and working and showing off and bragging and dying. Real human beings long for God, search the heavens, write poetry, play music, spread art all over the world, and think the things of God. We human beings perhaps even spend time pondering if, after we die, we will live again, since we have the breath of God. This is extraordinary, so extraordinary, in fact that the most horrible thing that you can imagine is for the breath of God, the Spirit of God, to be taken away from you.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Ahhh What A Saturday


Woke up watched some t.v., took wrigley to the doggie park (see his baby picture above), now watching some Big Ten football on the Big Ten Network. What a day.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

About Me

In response to John's Comment. Sorry if I am a little vague, but I don't want all my info out on the internet.

Name: Will
Hometown: Very Close to Orlando, FL
Occupation: Own a Business/Leader in a Church/Husband/Counselor and Friend to Others
College: Graduate of Indiana University
Enjoyments: Friendship, the seasons, reading, golf, church, teaching, speaking, riding my bike, blogging, riding horses, music and my wife and dog.
Dislikes: Headaches, hate, ignorance, never sleeping and asparagus.
Favorite Food: Thai or a juicy rare steak and potatoes.
Favorite Book: By now my brain is one big book, I like a lot of non-fiction
Your trademark: I have never met a stranger, and this drives my wife crazy.
I wish I could: Play the guitar
Currently listening to: Widespread Panic
Something I am afraid of: Never living up to my full potential
Something interesting from my past: I use to train lifeguards
Something I want for the future: to use my God given abilities (currently searching this)
Political View: Moderate


I am pretty much a simple kind of guy so this is me in a nutshell.

Ouch Bad Headache Today

Head is throbbing!! I hope all is well with everyone else. Just to let you know what I am currently reading.

The Cherry Log Sermons

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

80 vs. eternity

"Only one life, 'twill soon be past; Only what's done for Christ will last."

For arguments sake let's say a full and healthy life is 80 years. You have 80 years on this earth to do as you please, 80 years to waste or 80 years to enjoy. After those 80 years are up you have an eternity somewhere else. Now let's say the person you spend eternity with will know how you spent your 80 years. He will know if you spent it chasing fruitless dreams, giving into every desire, or worshiping something other than you were called to worship. How will you feel when you enter eternal life and great your Creator? What will you tell when he asks, "What did you do with the 80 years I gave you?"

This isn't a call to go stand on a street corner professing Christ (although if that is your thing more power to you). This is a call to evaluate your 80 years. Evaluate what truly matters in the eyes of God. Be honest and remember you have 80 years here, but an eternity somewhere else, make this life fruitful and productive.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Speaking of Changes

Why is it changes and transitions are always the hardest thing. Choices to make, things to prepare for, things to do. It seems when we come to the final product (the result of the change) we are usually satisfied. But why do we detest the journey; the meat and potatoes of the change?

We like the new job but hate the job hunting process, we like the new house but hate the looking at all the houses, we like the new clothes but hate the shopping (well maybe some of us). So here we are on a venture that should have a great end result but the journey is a thorn in our side. I feel we should embrace the journey it will not only teach us valuable lessons, but also make the final product that much sweeter.

I know the end result of change is not always sweet. There is change involved in death, losing a job, turmoil in a marriage or family, financial hardship etc. and the end result of this change may be a bitter pill to swallow. But in this moment you must embrace the process, be introspective, find out what you are made of, and most of all have Faith. What good will it do you if you learn nothing about why you went through the financial hardship or why death occurs. You rob yourself and others of the important emotions, anguish and knowledge that is inherent in this process and most of all there is a high probability you might need these skills during the next change.

Lastly, in all change you must trust God. You must trust that He has your best interests in His heart. That your prayers are being heard although not answered exactly as you want. If you laughed all the time, would it have the same meaning? If God gave you sunshine everyday would it really make you smile? Enjoy the days in the sun, reflect in the hard times and know that in the end you will enjoy the rewards of a great relationship with the Lord.

Changes

Changed things up a bit. Tired of the old white look and the boring header. Hope the changes are well liked.

"Easy" button

This article is so true. We were never promised an "easy" walk. We were promised a walk in which God would always be with us and one that leads to eternal life. So if you want "easy" keep searching, if you want a life of discovery and relationship keep the faith.

Link Here

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Chevelle "Point #1"

This is one of my favorite songs....a must listen if you like harder rock. This song is off their first album. Read the lyrics....

It seems I’ve gained the world but have nothing
To keep tabs upon this loss isn’t wasted time
Face opportunities to recognize now we have time
Rebuke, don’t choke on this twisted dream
‘Cause he’ll pay for it, the whole sum
Or magnify pain is point number one
‘Cause he’ll say pay for it, the whole sum
Or magnify pain is point number one
It seems I’ve gained the world but have nothing
To keep tabs upon this loss isn’t wasted time
Face opportunities to recognize now we have time
Rebuke, don’t choke on this twisted dream
‘Cause he’ll say pay for it, the whole sum
Or magnify pain is point number one
We need a healing aloe plant
Your soothing hands run down my back

Hate - Couldn't do, couldn't do no wrong
Hate - Couldn't do, this could do you in

We need a healing aloe plant
Your soothing hands run down my back
We need a healing aloe plant
Your soothing hands run down my back

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Roller Coaster Day

Up-down-Up-down-Up

Whoa what a day. One of those days in which you don't know whether to laugh, cry or smile. I hope this is one for the month and not another till next month. I hope everyone has a great day tomorrow and no Up-down-Up-down-Up. If so just try and smile.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Neck Better

Neck feels 100% better. Icy hot and Tylenol works wonders. Busy week ahead have some things planned that might be pretty cool. I hope all is well with everyone and you need to understand somebody else to show them compassion.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mark 8:36

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Ouch

Woke up this morning with a really bad kink in my neck. I can't move my neck from side to side with out spine tingling pain. Took some medicine and had a hot pack on it all morning it feels a bit better but not how I want to start the weekend.

Last weekend I read Tony Dungy's book "Quiet Strength" here are some notable quotes I picked from it:

Excerpt from Chuck Knoll: "Success is uncommon and not to be enjoyed by the common man. I am looking for uncommon people because we want to be successful, not average"

"To whom much is given, much is required--whether it's privileges, responsibilities, or material items. And if God has given you a lot of ability, I believe you should be held to a higher level of expectation."

"What you don't understand is that champions know it's all important....You have to understand that all the little things your coaches are asking of you really do matter. Knowing I can count on you is just as important as your talent. You'll always find excuses for not doing exactly what you're supposed to do. But that's exactly what creates a losing environment,"


"The first step toward creating an improved future is developing the ability to envision it. VISION will ignite the fire of passion that fuels our commitment to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to achieve excellence. Only VISION allows us to transform dreams of greatness into the reality of achievement through human action. VISION has no boundaries and knows no limits. Our VISION is what we become in life"

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Commitment

Today lets talk about commitment. What are you committed to? What are you not committed to? Everyone struggles with commitment whether it be working out, diet, finishing up a project, or doing something the right way. I struggle with it the same as you. Often times we are committed to the things we love most or the things that have the most perceived impact on our life i.e. marriage, money, material things. These are things that have a measured impact on our life. If we are not committed in our marriage (although this is only the case with 50% of the population) we might find ourselves alone; if we are not committed to money we might not have a place to live, this list goes on and on.

Now lets talk about some of the stuff that we think doesn't have a big impact on us day to day.mSome examples would be Faith, doing the right thing, friendship and things we aren't paid to do. I think the lack of commitment in these areas is because we perceive we could live without them if absolutely necessary or something that is more important (marriage, money and material things) trumps them. Which brings me to some questions....

Is your commitment to your spouse greater than your commitment to God?
Does chasing money bring you more fulfillment than helping somebody in need?
Does a new "widget" make you smile more than a friend?

I think by their own guilt everyone would answer these questions with a no. But deep down most people if they answered honestly would have to say yes. We know why this is so now the real question is "how can we change it?".

I think people need to evaluate the reasons why they are committed to something and find out if it is either good or bad. Evaluate the things they are most committed to and the things they are least committed to. After that is all done evaluate what the short term and long term impacts and benefits these things have. For Example:

Faith: Worship once a week, fellowship, sometimes questioning, fullness, filled, happy

Friendship: Smiling most of the time, sometimes hard times, trust, somebody to talk to

Money: pay the bills, sometimes stressful, takes up a lot of time, fun to buy things

Widgets: thrill of something new, something to tell others about, something to enjoy for a while


The list could go on and on. But I think if people would be honest with themselves they will find they are not committed to the things that really matter in life. They fool themselves into happiness; they take the easier route when in the end it is the most difficult they will ever experience.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Photo of the Day


Taken last week near Disney World....

What is your motivation?

That response made me wonder about some of my motives when I reach out to others. If I don’t receive a response I sometimes get perturbed. If there is not acknowledgement of my “heroics” I feel hurt or angry. When I simply do the right thing for one of God’s struggling creatures should I expect anything in return? What is my reason for helping others?

Click here for the article

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Simple Man

Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this
It will help you some sunny day.
Take your time... dont live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
Go find a woman and youll find love,
And dont forget son,
There is someone up above.


And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Be a simple kind of man.
Wont you do this for me son,
If you can?

Forget your lust for the rich mans gold
All that you need is in your soul,
And you can do this if you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.



Boy, dont you worry... youll find yourself.
Follow you heart and nothing else.
And you can do this if you try.
All I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.


Rossington/Vanzant

Friday, August 3, 2007

My photo of the day.....



Taken a few years back, but this is one of my favorite pictures of the Enzo.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Youth leaning to left

Great article on how the younger voting generation is leaning to the left. I don't think there is a one size fits all party, it is usually which party you agree with at the time as things change, peoples opinions change, ideals change etc. etc. It does seem that the Republican Party has an uphill battle in 08, it is the Democrats election to lose.

http://www.crosswalk.com/news/11549919/

The Next Thing

The article about "The Next Church" got me thinking. What is your "next" thing. Next requires us to no longer think/live in the present but in the future. Always thinking about what is coming or going next. I do not think this is very healthy to do. While planning is fundamental, it should not consume us. We can't control the next no matter how hard we try. So why do we long for something we can't control nor can foresee. Are we that miserable in our current place; that uncomfortable? I know there is a longing in everyones heart they can't explain and until they fill that void they will be uncomfortable; always going to the next thing to see if it fits. Why not stand still for a second and listen, really listen to what your heart is calling for and it isn't the newest self help book, life track, ipod, flat-screen TV, car, or house. Are you defined by what you consume or what consumes you? Go pray, walk, ride, just get out and listen. Listen for that calling, you won't hear it sitting in front of your T.V., computer, or radio. Go be alone, quite and listen.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Oppsss

Playing around with blogger

The Next Church

I guess it follows suit with our culture...

http://www.crosswalk.com/news/commentary/11549758/

Just how connected are we?

Seems our overspending isn't just hurting us.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/01/business/01cnd-stocks.html?ex=1343620800&en=2e26dcc1467c3ce4&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Record High

Oil has reached a record high, while everyones wallets have hit a record low. Wow!!!

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/31/business/01oil-web.html?ex=1343534400&en=c25670a3517d6605&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Talks on Withdrawl

Seems this has been getting a lot of talk with the president's approval rating, democrats controlling congress and the 08' elections coming up. I was watching C-Span the other night and the committee was talking about withdrawl and not to set an unattainable goal.

Here is an insteresting NPR story on the withdrawl.


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12360390

Sunday, July 29, 2007

1st and 2nd

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.
Mark 12:28-31

Wonder what would happen if we would constantly put this to pratice.........

Saturday, July 28, 2007

hrmmmm....

Where to start. Been busy as everyone else in this world. Had a couple weird dreams about consumerism and they made me really think about the impact consumerism has on our society. Why do we want certain things, where we expand most of our energy, where most of our thoughts are, why we see something cool or beautiful and immediatly want it before enjoying it for what it is. We are an impulsive society that has a bad case of consumerism. What would happen if we took that energy and gave more back to our society. Instead of hitting the mall or bookstore going to the soup kitchen, instead of buying that flat screen TV we don't need feeding a family for a couple months, instead of thinking of ways to buy that next product thinking of ways we can help others and the list goes on and on.

Challenge for the week: Calculate how many times you think of purchasing something vs. how many times you think of helping somebody else or doing something good for society. You will probably be as suprised as I was.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Current Reading: "Simply Christian"
Current Music: When the Music's Over--The Doors
Mood: Can't wait for the weekend
Sounds: Jim Morrison Screaming
Smells: My laundry detergent
Sights: Guitar in the Corner
Temperature: 91 degrees
Thoughts: More managing less doing.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Christian Kloesel

One of my favorite professors when I was in college. He was truly what I considered a great educator and person.

Memorial Resolution Here

Thursday, July 12, 2007

This fits me....

A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
- Thomas Mann

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Guess the Song

"Oh, let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been"


Probably one of my favorite classical songs.

Music From IU

Some music from my Alma Mater. Look and Listen Here

Moment

Stole the idea from John Craig.

Current Reading: Rolling Stone
Current Music: Beatles White Album
Mood: Calm, Refreshed
Sounds: McCartney belting out "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da"
Smells: My Cologne
Sights: My shelf
Temperature: 91 degrees
Thoughts: Finally glad to slow down a bit and can't wait for Church tomorrow.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fourth of July


Had a wonderful Fourth with family. We went down to Delray Beach to watch fireworks and enjoy the day. Hope everyone else had a good rest and fireworks show.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Monday, July 2, 2007

Shelf



This is one of many things on my shelves in my office. I took a picture of it because it has a kinda funny story. While Ottmar Liebert is one of my favorites, the last time he was in Orlando I didn't get to go to the show because I was working so much. I think this was in the Fall of 2004 if I remember correctly. So a friend went to the show instead. He took his wife and mother along with him and I guess some big wig didn't show up and my friend, his wife and mother ended up getting a front row table. He also got me this signed CD that sits on my office shelf.

Moral of the story: Take time out from work to do the things you enjoy.

New Smyrna


Went to New Smyrna Beach yesterday with Andrea and my mother-in-law Gloria. It was such a nice day. A little sun, a little water and a lot of relaxation. Gloria was amazed we could park on the beach; I guess I just always took this for granted. I am leaving to go down to South Florida for the 4th to watch Fireworks from our hotel balcony so this should be a fun week.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Einstein

Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish.
Albert Einstein

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ovation TV

I just found this station on my tv. I have been watching various programs for the past couple days. The documentary on John Mayall and Johnny Cash were great.

Friday, June 29, 2007

I need to slow down smell the flowers....

This week has been a huge whirlwind of busyness. Too much work not enough play. I haven't had time to do anything. The good news is I will be taking a mini-vacation next week. Going down to South Florida to spend the Fourth with Andrea's family. Good people, hotel on the beach, ahh relaxing.

I am about to doze off as I write this.....

Thought of the day: When you can't tee off on the 17th hole because 6 deer, including 3 babies, won't get away from you it is actually a good thing. I just wish I had my camera and that my phone battery wasn't dead.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cradle to Cradle

I finished "Cradle to Cradle" yesterday and I have to say it is a good book. The first half talks about impacts, how we got here, credentials etc. The second half of the book goes deep. It talks about Natural vs. Technological waste, upcycling and downcycling, industrial rental (which is a great idea) and many other aspects of where economy, ecology and industry is going. Definitely worth picking up and if you are already somewhat knowledgeable about environmental issues grin and bear it until page 100. Here are a couple quotes I pulled from it:

If our systems contaminate Earth's biological mass and continue to throw away technical materials (such as metals) or render them useless, we will indeed live in a world of limits, where production and consumption are restrained, and the Earth will literally become a grave.

The vitality of ecosystems depends on relationships: what goes on between species, their uses and exchanges in materials and energy in a given place. A tapestry is the metaphor often invoked to describe diversity, a richly textured web of individual species woven together with interlocking tasks. In such a setting, diversity means strength, and monoculture means weakness.

For the engineer who has always taken-indeed, has been trained his or her entire life to take-a traditional, linear, cradle-to-grave approach, focusing on one-size-fits-all tools and systems, and who expects to use materials and chemicals and energy as he or she has always done, the shift to new models and more diverse input can be unsettling. In the face of immediate deadlines and demands, such changes can seem messy, burdensome, and threatening, even overwhelming. But as Albert Einstein observed, if we are to solve the problems that plague us, our thinking must evolve beyond the level we were using when we created those problems in the first place.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

San Francisco says no to bottled water....

Article Here


Newsom has issued an executive order banning city departments from buying bottled water, even for water coolers. The ban goes into effect July 1, and will extend to water coolers by December 1.

The move was billed as a way to help stem global warming and save taxpayer money.

Last Monday in Tampa/Clearwater


Stopped for a rest and some prayer by the Skyway Bridge. Here is a picture I took while I was there.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Been a busy week....

Tampa on Monday for meetings, remodel of a bathroom Tuesday-Friday, Golf with my dad and some friends Friday afternoon. It has been a very busy week. Finally got my latest shipment of books in. One notable book was "Cradle to Cradle". I am about 50 pages into this book and so far it has not told me anything I don't already know. Maybe it will get better or maybe I am more knowledgeable about environmental issues than I previously thought. I thought this book was going to grab me from page one, but it hasn't. I will give a full review of it once I am finished.

One other notable thing is I am glad to see others publicly and deliberately talking about compassion and giving to other people such as John Craig. It shows me that America is not as consumer minded and self centered as I once thought.

Finally, I am wondering when some good concerts are going to come to Orlando. I desperately need to see a good concert. Nothing really interesting coming to the Orlando area in the next 4 months. Maybe I will just have to travel around to see the concerts I want to see.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

RIP Coach Hoeppner

Article Here

"Coach was the eternal optimist," Sampson said. "Right now I'm looking outside of Assembly Hall and it's raining. The weather kind of fits the mood around here right now. It's a rainy, dreary day. But if coach Hep were here he wouldn't see the rain. He just never saw a bad day. It was never a rainy day, the sun was always shining for him. He will be sorely missed in this department."

Friday, June 15, 2007

Creation Care

I went to a Creation Care discussion last night at Northland Church. I have to say it was a great discussion and it was awesome to see a Church get involved in the care of the environment. I know that Northland has a task force set up and is spreading the Creation Care gospel to the church; I am interested to see how far this will reach. Here are some of the main points from last night.

  • Don't try to do less bad, try to do more good.
  • We do right as an obedience to God, a moral mandate.
  • It is easy to get educated but hard to switch.
  • The more practical the problem, the more need for prayer.
  • Personal conservation, cultivation, customerzation
  • Church, Family, Creation, Stewardship
  • Think about local, state and federal govt.
  • We have to lead!
And here are some websites that were brought up last night:

www.creationicare.net/
www.coolingcreation.org
www.time.com/time/specials/2007/environment/

Pastor Hunter also mentioned a book "Cradle to Cradle". I will probably pick this up soon. So everyone do your part to do more good for the environment. Get Educated and most importantly do something positive.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

More Vonnegut on Time

Taken again from "Slaughterhouse Five" Very interesting when you think about it.


Earthlings are great explainers, explaining why this event is structured as it is, telling how other events may be achieved or avoided. I am a Tralfamadorian, seeing all time as you might see a stretch of the Rocky Mountains. All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I've said before, bugs in amber.

Glaze Under Fire


Went to a place called "Glaze Under Fire" on Saturday night with Andrea and some friends. I was a little skeptical at first. But it ended up being a lot of fun and we plan on doing it again in the future.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

What a Week

I spent Wednesday through Friday at a church conference in Lakeland. Interesting to say the least. I am just glad that there are still some down to earth Pastors out their. My Pastor and his friend Allen were a big key in enjoying myself. Two down to earth guys who understand what it means to be a Pastor and a human being. Yes, both must coexist. After getting back I read a quote in "Death by Suburb" by David Goetz that hits the nail on the head.

They're trapped in the attractive veneer of being "perfect people". That, by its very nature, negates the transparency to form a deeper bond with a human being.


Thursday, June 7, 2007

Equal Exchange Coffee

Check it out.

I drank a cup of this at conference this afternoon. Pretty tasty coffee and helps people that actually do the labor and work. I ask you to check it out.

The invention of time

There was nothing I could do about it. As an earthling, I had to believe whatever clocks said-and calendars.

Kurt Vonnegut--Slaughterhouse-Five

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Conan O'Brien Commencment Speech

Commencement Speech to the Harvard Class of 2000

I've dwelled on my failures today because, as graduates of Harvard, your biggest liability is your need to succeed. Your need to always find yourself on the sweet side of the bell curve. Because success is a lot like a bright, white tuxedo. You feel terrific when you get it, but then you're desperately afraid of getting it dirty, of spoiling it in any way.


I left the cocoon of Harvard, I left the cocoon of Saturday Night Live, I left the cocoon of The Simpsons. And each time it was bruising and tumultuous. And yet, every failure was freeing, and today I'm as nostalgic for the bad as I am for the good.


http://www.february-7.com/features/conan.htm?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Been A While

I have been busy lately and I haven't been able to blog as much as I would like. A lot has been going on such as my 3 year anniversary with my wife, a great friend going off to Iraq, keeping Entegra going and of course many things going on with the Church. That is my life in a nutshell for the past week or so. I started reading Kurt Vonnegut's "A Man Without a Country" I have to say it is a great read. While I don't believe in all his thoughts and opinions, he is pretty dead on most of his rambles. Here is a notable quote.....

"Fossil fuels, so easily set alight! Yes, and we are presently touching off nearly the very last whiffs and drops and chunks of them. All lights are about to go out. No more electricity. All forms of transportation are about to stop, and the planet Earth will soon have a crust of skulls and bones and dead machinery.
And nobody can do a thing about it. It's too late in the game.
Don't spoil the party, but here's the truth: We have squandered our planet's resources, including air and water, as though there were no tomorrow, so now there isn't going to be one."


Can you picture what would happen one day if your gas station closed up, your electricity shut off, your grocery store closed? The list could go on and on. Are you confident that we have things in place to make the transition from oil to alternatives?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Weekend Challenge

Everyone have a good memorial day weekend. I have been so busy I didn't realize this was a holiday weekend. Here is a weekend challenge:

1. Eat something you never would have tried.
2. Find a trail near you and walk/run/bike for a while.
3. Read a book you never would have read.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Blue Like Jazz

I am almost finished with "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller. It is a great book, a more spiritual side to God rather than the feel good ra-ra stuff. It is a great read and I recommend it for everyone Christian and Non-Christian alike. Here is a quote that struck me....

"Can you imagine if Christians actually believed that God was trying to rescue us from the pit of our own self-addiction? Can you imagine? Can you imagine what Americans would do if they understood over half the world was living in poverty. Do you think they would change the way they live, the products they purchase, and the politicians they elect? If we believed the right things, the true things, the true things, there wouldn't be very many problems on earth."

Monday, May 21, 2007

Great Long Weekend

This was a very relaxing weekend.....

Friday Night: Went to dinner with Andrea

Saturday: Did some work in the morning, worked out with Andrea, went to dinner with some friends.

Sunday: Did some work around the house, read a book, rode 7 miles to help a friend with a fence, rode 7 miles back, cooked dinner and watched a movie.

It was a very nice weekend, although we did miss church on Sunday. I hope everyone else's weekend was good.

Life Story

Setting
Conflict
Climax
Resolution


Fill these elements in for your life. Story elements are universal.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Daily Challenge 2

Improve one thing you dislike about yourself today.


I am not an emtional kind of guy so it is often times hard for me to talk about anything except for intellectual or analytical things. I realized last night while talking with some friends I need to change this. The moment I got home I started my new found self; I started talking about random stuff that matters to my wife and our relationship. It wasn't too hard and it was fun. I will continue to improve myself in this area everyday.

So again, Improve one thing you dislike about yourself today. If I can do it so can you.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pacifists an FBI threat?

This is interesting

What is Contemplation?

I started reading Thomas Merton's "New Seeds of Contemplation". This book is awesome. Although it is not your average "feel good" book I recommend it for all to read. The opening paragraph hits you right in the face.....

Contemplation is the highest expression of man's intellectual and spiritual life. It is that life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive. It is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being. It is gratitude for life, for awareness and for being. It is a vivid realization of the the fact that life and being in us proceed from an invisible, transcendent and infinitely abundant Source. Contemplation is, above all, awareness of the reality of that Source. It knows the Source, obscurely, inexplicably, but with a certitude that goes both beyond reason and beyond simple faith. For contemplation is a kind of spiritual vision to which both reason and faith aspire, by their very nature, because without it they must always remain incomplete. Yet contemplation is not vision because it sees "without seeing" and knows "without knowing". It is a more profound depth of faith, a knowledge too deep to be grasped in images, in words or even in clear concepts. It can be suggested by words, by symbols, but in the very moment of trying to indicate what it knows the contemplative mind takes back what it has said, and denies what it has affirmed. For in contemplation we know by "unknowing". Or, better, we know beyond all knowing or "unknowing".

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

What does $456 billion buy?

When the Iraq War first started I was all for the liberation of oppressed people and taking out Saddam Hussien even though it was under perceived false pretenses. But now it is dragging on too long. Some say Americans live in a "Now" society in which we want everything now and for this reason we think the war is dragging on too long. Well this could be the case. Or it could be that nobody really has an answer to Iraq and think throwing more money and manpower will do the trick. I don't normally sit on the fence on issues but in this case I must. I, as well as the majority of Americans, do not know what is going on in Iraq other than spending boat loads of money and people dying. Give me a plan, give me some results, give me a perceived future of Iraq and then I can make an opinion. Right now it is just a big mess.

Check out what $456 Billion could do....

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Daily Challenge

Think of 3 people you know. Whether you love them or hate them do something nice for them today. Buy them a soda, call them on the phone, send them an email, write them a poem, take them to lunch, whatever you want to do. Just make them smile. Be an example, let that Light shine!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Good Short Read

I received some books for my birthday and one of them was "A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis. While Lewis is probably one of the best apologist for God this book shows the opposite side of that coin. In this book Lewis struggles with his faith after his wife dies. He likens his faith to a "deck of cards" in which he didn't know what faith was until he was overwhelmed and the cards came crumbling down. This book is a very short read and very interesting I recommend picking it up. Here are some notable quotes from the book:

Is God a clown who whips away your bowl of soup one moment in order, next moment, to replace it with another bowl of the same soup? Even nature isn't such a clown as that. She never plays exactly the same tune twice.

You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn't you then first discover how much you really trusted it?

And so, perhaps, with God. I have gradually been coming to feel that the door is no longer shut and bolted. Was it my own frantic need that slammed it in my face? The time when there is nothing at all in your soul except a cry for help may be just the time when God can't give it; you are like the drowning man who can't be helped because he clutches and grabs. Perhaps your own reiterated cries deafen you to the voice you hoped to hear.

Not my idea of God, but God. Not my idea of H., but H. Yes, and also not my idea of my neighbor, but my neighbor. For don't we often make this mistake as regards to people who are still alive--who are with us in the same room? Talking and acting not to the man himself but to the picture--almost the precis-we've made of him in our own minds? And he has to depart from it pretty widely before we even notice the fact.

Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. How many hours are there in a mile? Is yellow a square or round? Probably half the questions we ask--half our great theological and metaphysical problems--are like that.


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Better Day

I guess today was a better day. Got some things sorted out in my life, although not completely so we shall see what the future holds. Whoever tells you they have it all sorted out is lying to you. People often ask why I don't worry or how I can take life as it comes and goes. Not to say I don't stress out from time to time, but generally I am a laid back kinda guy. This is the reason:

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

It is a lot easier when you come to the understanding that control is an illusion. There is no control in life; nobody is in control of their own lives. So suffice to say if we have no control why do we worry so much about results? Do the best with your talents and let God lead the way. You will find that you are in a much more peaceful place.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Bummer Day

Ever have one of those days in which nothing goes right? Well today was that day for me. From dealing with stuff at work to family issues it wasn't the best day. Oh well.

Pastor Preaching Environmental Issues

I was talking to a friend (Who is also doing a waste sort for his church to minimize their footprint) of mine who goes to Northland Church here in Longwood, FL. I was talking about how I am viewed as a nut because I am passionate about environmental issues and God. It seems that in modern society those two don't mix. You are either a Conservative God Fearing Capitalist or a Bleeding Heart Hippie Environmentalist. There is no middle ground on either side. So I was surprised and happy to hear his Pastor is preaching both Godly principles and Environmental conservation or as he calls it "Creation Care". Here is an article written by Dr. Joel Hunter pastor of Northland Church of Longwood, FL.

Article Here

Friday, April 27, 2007

Riding

Went for a nice ride today around the back side of my neighborhood. It is amazing the things you never notice when you are in a car. Saw some cool houses that reminded me of Indiana, it made my kinda homesick. Riding in my neighborhood is much better than riding on the bike/walk/run trail that the City of Winter Springs built. By riding around my house I get to see all things I normally miss while I am jamming out to the radio.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters song "Times Like These" is such an awesome song. The video is catchy because it shows people seemingly throwing their attachments off a bridge; couple that with the lyrics and it sends a nice message.




I am a one way motorway
I’m the one that drives away
Then follows you back home
I am a street light shining
I’m a wild light blinding bright
Burning off alone

It’s times like these you learn to live again
It’s times like these you give and give again
It’s times like these you learn to love again
It’s times like these time and time again

I am a new day rising
I’m a brand new sky
To hang the stars upon tonight
I am a little divided
Do I stay or run away
And leave it all behind?

It’s times like these you learn to live again
It’s times like these you give and give again
It’s times like these you learn to love again
It’s times like these time and time again

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Something else to chew on...

http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2007/04/12/iraq15687.htm

A couple more quotes.....

Taken from Susan McElroy's Book "Animals and Healers and Teachers"

Spiritual leader Meher Baba said, "Things that are real are given and received in silence."

"All wisdom," Thomas Aquinas says, "is given to us on loan."

"Men and women everywhere are being made acutely aware of the fact that something essential to life and well-being is flickering very low in the human species and threatening to go out entirely. This "something" has to do with such values as love...unselfishness...sincerity...loyalty to one's best friend...honesty...enthusiasm...humility...goodness...happiness...fun. Practically every animal has these assets in abundance and is eager to share them, given the opportunity and encouragement.

--Jay Allen Boone
"Kinship with All Life"

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech

Pray for those at Virginia Tech. Such a sad and senseless act of violence.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Started a new book

Started a new book yesterday called "Animals as Teachers and Healers" by Susan McElroy. As many of you know I am an avid animal lover so this book is a great read. Here are some quotes I tabbed while reading it...

Native American elder David Monongye wrote a letter to the United Nations, urging the leaders of all nations to consider the wisdom of obedience to what Native Americans call our "original instructions". He advised, "The original instructions of the Creator are universal and valid for all time. The essence of these instructions is compassion for all life and love for all creation. We must realize that we do not live in a world of dead matter, but in a universe of living spirit. Let us open our eyes to the sacredness of Mother Earth, or our eyes will be opened for us.

As Dostoyevsky wrote, "When you love every creature, you will understand the mystery of God in created things."

At a symposium on nature and spirit, Protestant theologian Sally McFague presented a modern look at our ancient notion of "dominion" over the Garden of Eden. She proposed that the devastating social, spiritual, and ecological problems we face today hinge on our refusal to sit down and "take our place in the scheme of things." Our intended place is not that of overlord or master, but one of a respectful and loving partnership.

Storyteller Joseph Bruchac speculates that perhaps animals are wiser than human beings because they do not forget how to behave: "A bear never forgets it is a bear, yet humans often forget what a human must do. Humans forget to take care of their families and forget to show respect to other things. They become confused because of material possessions and power"

Just some things to ponder...