I'm deeply honored to have you visit my blog and I sincerely hope that your visit will result in nothing less than immense inspiration and devotion. It is my wish that you will take every available opportunity to return and become an active extension of building lasting relationships by sharing these nuggets of love with everyone you know. Please feel free, to leave comments and browse through the archives to further enrich your reads, during this or your next visit.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sing A Simple Song

Have you ever noticed how beautiful and glorious a brand new day starts. Of course, its especially breathtaking when you realize that you are blessed to be alive and well.  My mornings really seem to get off to a great start when I take in the view of the sun rising from the east. There are mornings when you can actually see the clouds part, as if they are announcing and preparing to introduce the brilliance of this massive sphere of heavenly brightness. Some people have told me that they prefer to witness a beautiful sunset, and that's ok too, but for me personally, I tend to get a little extraordinary stuff with the incoming mornings.

Now that my eyes have adjusted to "Ole' Mr. Sun", all of my other senses are also beginning to kick in.  As, I yawn and let out a mighty roar, my arms automatically reach out to embrace the warmth rushing into my window. 

But, wait a minute. What's that I hear ? The sound is so very familiar... It's the same loud and clear sound I recognize from my childhhood; my adolesence years and even throughout my adulthood. There are no words or lyrics that I can understand or interpret.  There's not even any background music or vocalist, yet it is so, so beautiful.

It's the sound of birds singing.. and they're singing the same ole songs.

As this particular sunrise and future sunrise's come and go, I'm reminded daily, that life's ever ticking time clock, does not wait for me or anyone and that no matter what I think or do, it will continue to wind down.  Fortunately, there is peace in knowing that with each beautiful sunrise and sunset; and as each of these sweet and gentle young soliders also begin to age. I know they will never forsake; abandon or forget to herald the new day with a song........Songs that will never, never grow old. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

No Need To Fear

Very soon this month, specifically on the 31st day of the week, several different populated sides of this planet will voluntarily engage in dressing up in strange clothing (better known as costumes), and participate in what is known as HALLOWEEN.

Usually, for many the favorite Halloween color represented is your basic orange and black combination. Additionally, the event is largely associated with the use of symbolic images like, jack-o-lanterns, witches, scary stories etc.

It may sounds like a lot of fun, but it's not necessarily fun for everyone. There are some religious skeptics who have voiced serious concerns over the years, due to their belief that Halloween, is in direct conflict with their specific faith teachings. They believe that any association with Halloween has become less about fun and celebration, but more about Satan and demon worshipping. Ouch!

I grew up living with a very strict and religious family and can't ever remember going trick or treating. Sometimes I wonder and ask myself, was I really that sheltered?  Did I somehow miss out on something?  Actually, I only think about such things when the Halloween festivities come and go, or when we escort my youngest daughter and grandson, door to door collecting treats and most importantly searching for the "Great Pumkin".....Ooooo!

The next big question or complaint about Halloween is at what age should one stop trick or treating? ummm.

This situation is one that probably is no big deal, but there have been times when I've responded to my front door expecting little cute and adorable youngesters, dressed in angel; spounge bob; batman; whinny the pooh; and spiderman get ups.  Each and every one of them, tiny little people, with cute tiny little voices attempting to articlulate, those famous 3 words... TRICK or TREAT. . Wonderful Right?.... Wrong!! 

As I'm opening the door, and starting at the feet level of the ghostly vistors, I immediately realize that those little feet are huge, massive podders that are attached to large legs and torso's, who's voices are certainly not tinnie weenie. Then as I slowly glance up at the faces of these masses of terror, it's enough to knock you off your own feet, reeling you backwards inside the door and embarassingly onto the floor.  Enough already, not only are they heart attack scary, they're just to big...,  And with big people ghools, come BIGGGG! ghoolish hands. Hell, they literally took more than their ghoolly share of the goodies. So much so, that it was all gone before the Halloween night came to an end.

After a few of those incidents, I now never let them reach into the goody tray anymore. Ha,Ha, Ha.....

Thank Goodness, there are lots of other options available to attract those older Halloweener's, who wish to celebrate this event.  One of the options is to do what I'm doing and just pass out treats and call it a night.


They could actively and safely participate or sponsor Halloween parties involving their age related peers. ummm. Ok, that's all I've got for now. Looking forward to hearing from or seeing you all on the 31st.

Happy Halloween or should I say... TRICK or TREAT!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Peace In The Mist Of The Storm

It's Sunday morning and as I recall, its a perfect day of service and a time of reflection. Its a day on rest and of peace. Yes, I agree that all of this could be and should be occurring on the days we live between Monday and  Saturday, but of course many of us don't.  Sometimes we get caught up into the things that we personally value and deem more important.  Interestingly though, I tend to remember that, in every up or high there's usually a down; sometime inspite of an obvious win, there's a lost. Those who have friends, sometimes find themselves friendless. Then there are the rich and then there's the poor. There are those who praise and those who redicue. There are even those who are believer's and in the face of or the glimpse of trouble, they become nonbelievers. The ever revolving list seems endless.

Here's what I know..

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Stroke Of The Pen

Today was suppose to be just another beautiful morning, with the sun shining brightly between the clouds, trees swaying in the wind and birds singing. So what went wrong? Instead of being able to re-experience all of those lovely events, I was spending my time stuck at the dreaded "DEALERSHIP".

As you know it all starts with a friendly and accomodating service managers voice, which in my opinion, "sets the trap".  Of course, we've all had suggestive offers before, and we've all had options to just walk away, but who in their right mind could resist the sound of those compelling words, that are so often promised, but never really delivered. Statements like, "don't worry, we'll get you in and out in a jiffy".....ummm. Oopes, they got me again. The end results were very mentally challenging and painfull. Suddenly I was having and seeing images of donkeys with long ears and tail, popping up in my head, and the donkeys all had  faces that looked a lot like my own. YIPES!!

Heck, I was only scheduled for a preventative maintaince checkup.  I interpreted that to mean an oil change and lube; checking some fluids and also the tightening of a few belts. Nothing more...right?.. WRONG!!

By the time I got the beast back, which turned out to be 7 hours later, I was needing new motor mounts, brakes, a new head light, tires, a water pump etc, ect.... all summing up to over $1200.00 (in US currency of course), plus labor and taxes.


Anyway, before you begin to feel sorry for poor little ole me, let me stop you. Its all good, and no I'm not wealthy or any wonderful thing like that, but I have to give credit to where and whom credit is due. So as they say during most acceptance speeches....I'd personally like to thank my wife (Joy) who refused to listen to me during the initial purchase of the beast and for standing up during the process and gave me that.. you know, that look; pushing and literally forcing my hand to sign that 11x14 form, which was titled at the top....."EXTENDED WARRANTY AGREEMENT". Yes!!, Only in America and thank you JESUS!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not Just Any Ole' Chicken

Call it "Wild, Crazy, Stunning and down right Outrageous", but we're not just talkin' about browning any little ole' birdie here. This is my special tale about a bird that had all the reasons available in this world to believe, they would have a carefree life, and most importantly never become the mistake, of ending up on my dinner table. This is how it all happened.

One Day, not to long ago, I was encouraged or should I say challenged, to take my "Grill Master's skill to the next level. Although I've endured many grilling stories told by some of the best grillers I know, it was now my turn perfect the art of cooking chicken on the grill.

Growing up in the south, I became a true fan of what my family affectionately called the "Gospel Bird". That title was offered because thats what most southern families were accustomed to eating on not one, but practically on every single Sunday, after church services. We had it, fried broiled, boiled, baked, stuffed, dressed up, cut up..whew!! you name it, they cooked it and I ate it. It wasn't until I grew up and older, that I eventually learned to enjoy that featherless non-clucking wonder grilled.

Of course, like with any and most things in life, there is a process and everyone has their own little twist to its perfected prescription.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Keep on TRUCKIN'

As I lay in bed resting today, my mind wondered back on a recent business trip. My thoughts were not so much about the long and seemingly endless terrain, surrounded on both sides by various plants and tall trees. I was also dealing with the on and on miles of the tarred asphalt roadway, which appeared to at any moment would burst into huge glowing flames, ignited by the heated rays of the sun above. Either way, I did not despair, because I would just choose to lose myself in thoughts about how incredibly beautiful it all was.

This road trip probably would have seemed shorter provided I knew exactly where I was going. I mean, heck I had a written map and my handy GPS system, but with all of those conveniences, for some reason part of my focused thoughts would get penetrated by that demon called "FEAR". Not the panicky type or the type that brings about total mental shut down, but the one that seeps and oozes its other demon cousin, called doubt.

Oh crap!! then it happen. I missed my exit.

It didn't help a whole lot that I was also moving along at a.... lets just say that, red and blue flashing lights to the rear of me would have been justified and warranted. Now that my exit (state rd 82) was in the far and distant past, I kept in mind that I did have options.

Option #1; Yell loudly with excessive repetition this phrase... !%^**!*#


Option#3; Repeat option#1, as you proceed to carryout option#2


Remember that this trips consequences was no different in how I've succeeded in other life missions before. So, I just simply implemented the following belief system:

Should I ever miss or bypass an OPPORTUNITY... never turn around and go back. Keep going on and moving forward; it will always take you to where you need to be.

* Ask any trucker!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Prediction

A few days ago while dining out and waiting for the server to take my order, I became infatuated with all the noise and chattering going on around me. As I subconsciously summoned the fine tuning knob of my audio and visual skill levels, it somehow managed to exclude all the single party customers in the room. Of course that left me with only the couples, which was not a bad thing because, there were couples of all sizes, shapes, and cultural backgrounds. I saw couples who were talking so much, they were actually flapping their lips at the same time. Then there were some who merely just stared at each other; some who held hands; some old and some young; some who laughed together and even some who actually ignored each other. Either way it was a rather interesting event to observe.

In Contrast, I'm sure there had to be some other bright intelligent observer(s) in the room who were also caught up in conducting their own people watching experiment, but only focusing on the single parties, which of course would include yours truly.

So what is the glue that will hold it all together? How does one stay true to the other over time?

Yes, the obvious answer is LOVE. But, is there something more?

Lots of people I know, have offered a universe full of thoughts and prescriptions for staying together through thick and thin or the ultimate.. until death do us part.

Suddenly, the waitress appeared and broke my trance like state of mind. I shared with her my vision and we agreed on the following:
Couples have to see their lives together ultimately from a long range perspective. Starting and applying the same skills you would when planning objectives and setting goals. For example, setting mini; maxi goals ect.

In comparison, remember what it was like the first time you started dating....

The short answer is those dates were absolutely INCREDIBLE!!

Later at some point you started seeing yourselves as husbands and wives. Then finally came the visions of having kids and making the union a family.

Enter problem numeral UNO.....

By that I mean, should you Forget, drop or forsake these lovely principles, by excluding them out of the equation, the results could become a life-changing mistake.

My advise from the onset is to NEVER stop dating each other. If its humanly possible, keep planning and having those date nights/weekends etc.

WARNING: Discontinuation of the below could be hazardous to your overall relationship's health (physically, morally, spiritually and financially).

1st. Be a LOVER

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What you really mean is.....

Ever wonder why sometimes, after talking with someone, you end up saying to yourself... ummm, I have no clue as to what they really meant by that comment. Its not just happening to you, because it happens to all of us at one time or another. Lets together travel back a little bit in visual time... (drum roll please).

On the floor jumping around, barking and running back and forth toward the front door is our Jack Russell terrier. To my visiting guest at the house, he is just acting weird or excited and just wanted to play. Of course, as this all plays out in mind, my dog is remembering that time to him is becoming a major priority. I had several options available to me, one being to ignore the true signals flashing in front of me or listen to my uninformed guest. My friends are now laughing out loud and saying, "wow what a cute dog, what energy that breed has." I can now see that my dog has lost is humorous side and has this clear expression on his face that says, "You idiot, if only I had the time, I'd show you energy". Anyway, because I have learned through past experience, that this behavior being displayed means something totally different from that of my guest, I immediately took the correct and appropriate action and let man's best friend do his thing.

Now let's travel to say, your favorite mall, and suddenly you realize that there's some new construction to the roadway and to some of the buildings within the mall parking lot going on. Just up a head is a uniformed police officer directing traffic around the construction site, but for some reason the traffic flow has stopped. You are close enough to hear an elderly couple asking the officer for directions to the mall. Of course you find this somewhat strange because they are actually in and at the mall. As the conversation continues, the officer who is now standing erect, and pointing upward, adjusts his dark mirrored colored sunglasses and replies to her question in a firm voice saying, "Lady, can you read the sign!!" The woman is now so upset and panicky, that she tells the officer's supervisor that she was disrespected, yelled at and called stupid, blind, old and the list goes on and on. Although you never heard the officer used those terms, its conceivable that from her perspective all those things actually occurred.

Finally, I'm sure this has never happen...right?

You're home having an incredible day off and spending some time with your significant other. There's time spent laughing about the weeks craziness, and the interesting things on the tv. Your significant other, states that suddenly she's bored and wants to go shopping and further more wants you to give up the couch and tv and accompany her to the stores. You pause, take a deep breath and image feeling the despair and burning sensation rumbling around in the pit of your gut. Then you see yourself, going from peace and tranquility to noise, traffic, people, walking from store to store and more noise, awwwww!! S0, you stand up, look her straight in the eyes, and with a pointing finger, you say, "Look, I love you very much and I'm willing to do that, but not today, now tell me you're listening and you love me too and that you understand?"

Her response is pictured above.

In all of these cases there is obviously a teachable moment. Communication whether spoken or not has meaning. The hardest part may lie in our recognition of how we deal with what we personally interpret as a true meaning. Each and every word we utter has a meaning. Sometimes people don't or can't always filter through their own issues i.e. drugs; anxiety; fear, etc., at the time to adequately decode our message to them. It's YOUR responsibility to ensure they properly understand the message.

On the other hand, if you're the receiver of the message, try paraphrasing back the message you've received. Perhaps saying, " So what I understand you to mean is..". This is just one of the many resolutions to avoid a total misunderstanding. The next element to making the conversation positive is to learn how to RESPOND to a statement verses REACTING to it. Trust me there is a distinct difference, because YOUR delivery style does matters.

From the receivers perspective:

The majority of conversation taken in is in the TONE;

Next, OTHER NON-VERBALS, are taken in at a high percent;

Lastly, the remaining and least values are placed on CONTENT

Ensure that all your verbals and non-verbals match and remember...

Always leave a person feeling better than when you first encountered them.
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