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Wednesday, December 31, 2014


dennis and i wrote this blog for the new year. blessings to all!


New Year’s celebrations are about optimism and hope, desire and dreams.

·      This year will be better.
·      This year will be different. 
·      This year will be successful.
·      This will be my best year! 
·      Something will change.
·      I will change.

 Isn’t that the way almost every year begins?

And yet…it most often turns out just like last year. The new years’ optimism gives way to 
the new years disappointment. It’s almost like climbing a hill. “I didn't make it all the 
way up this year, so in January let’s try again.”

Here are the most poplar New Year’s resolutions on the generic list;

·      lose weight
·      quit smoking
·      get a better education
·      get a better job
·      make/save more money
·      get fit
·      eat healthy food
·      manage stress
·      manage debt
·      take a trip
·      reduce, reuse and recycle
·      drink less alcohol

Add a few spiritual ones for us Jesus-followers, like:

read my Bible every day
go to church more often
get involved in ministry
pray more
start tithing

…and you can probably add several more to your personal list that you hope for and 
intend to do.

Folks, it likely won’t happen…at least not through some new year’s resolution or 
hopeful goal decided emotionally or out of desperation.

So what should you do in 2015?

Before you can do anything about the future you have to think through why you 
want to do that or why that change is necessary.

·      Goals based upon guilt are always weak.

·      Goals built on desperation lack the logical plans necessary for change.

·      Goals based upon pure optimism usually don't have enough commitment 
for us to follow through on.

It is virtually impossible to consistently do anything that is inconsistent with your character
You actually don’t have a problem; YOU are the problem. 
You cannot separate where you are in life from what you are in life.

This is a sobering thought. Something has to change about me to change 
what I will be and what I will do do next year.

If you really want a year that is better and different from last year, 
give some thought to the following:


What was wrong with 2014 that needs to change in 2015?
Most important, Why do I want this to change?

Normally we make a goal for change because we are dissatisfied with the present. 
Why are you dissatisfied with today or 2014? Why exactly are you wanting to change? 
The problem is….. I need to…… because ….. I want to….Why? 
What is in my heart that has brought me to this place where I need to change?


I too have made lists. Truthfully, the longer the list the more certain you’ll fail. 
Just pick something you are passionate about- just one thing. 
One goal, one passion, one need and give that some thought, planning and prayer. 
One of the simplest definitions of success I’ve ever heard is, “Find a need and fill it.” 
– even just one. Modern media has increased our distractions. To some extent 
we are restless when not multitasking. However accomplishment actually decreases 
when we run in 
multiple directions. You’ve got to start with one thing.


Make some reasonable steps to get there. Let’s be realistic here. Resolutions, 
goals, and  objectives are all about change. Change is so very difficult because 
inertia is against us. If change was easy we’d all be changing for the good every day. 
I suggest you confide in a strong friend/spouse/co worker and form a partnership. 
Get an accountability partner. Share with them your resolution/goal/dream and 
ask them to ask you regularly if you are doing as you said you would.


If your goal is to “get a better education”, make some steps to get there now and put those 
steps in your calendar. Make phone calls. Fill out applications. Buy some books. 
Take action.

If it’s “to eat healthier”, get up off your chair, go to your kitchen right now and throw 
all the junk out. I’M NOT KIDDING. Never buy that junk again.

If it’s “read my Bible through”, schedule it, starting today, and stay with the same time 
every day.

Do something about ONE thing. This calendar idea may be the big secret to help you. 
A small daily change can produce big results over the long term.  As they say, “baby steps…
baby steps…”

Actually if your ONE THING doesn’t somehow get into your daily routine, 
nothing will change. You’ll be overwhelmed by the habits of the past.

 Do you feel lie you’ve got too many things that need to change this year? Don’t we all!  
Just one thing at a time! The Apostle Paul said, “This one thing I do...” King David said, 
One thing have I desired of the Lord…” They got it. The one thing!


Engage your brain. Your feelings will come and go. Rationally, do you want to do this 
ONE THING? Needing to do this does not mean as much as wanting to do this. 
There is only one way in the world to get anyone to consistently do anything- they 
have to want to do it.

So what should you do in 2015?

Just ONE thing well.

ONE thing passionately.  

ONE thing consistently.  

ONE thing differently.

For ONE year.

One success is much better than a hundred noble objectives that you have 
neither the ability, time nor discipline to accomplish.


Happy New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2014


meditating tonight of a baby, falling from a golden heaven into a young girl's womb, birthed precipitately in a barn filled with quiet animals, living transient,homeless, and poverty-stricken in this world... and calling me- gently- to do the same.

"He did not have a house where He could go
When it was night- when other men went down
Small streets where children watched with eager eyes,
Each one assured of shelter in the town,
The Christ sought refuge anywhere at all:
A house, an inn, the roadside, or a stall!

He borrowed the boat in which He rode that day
He talked to throngs along the Eastern lake;
It was a rented room to which He called
The chosen twelve the night He bade them break
The loaf with Him, and He rode, unafraid,
Another's colt in that triumph-parade.

A man from Arimathea had a tomb
Where Christ was placed when nails had done their deed.
Not ever in the crowded days He knew,
Did He have coins to satisfy a need.
They should not matter, these small things I crave.
Make me forget them, Father, and be brave!"

-"The Transient", Helen Welshimer.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

finding me

if  you stood of the deck of a little boat
that was tossing and rolling at sea
and you took a pair of binoculars
and began to look for me

you would find that your eyes looked carefully
and adjusting the focus, you’d see
past the beach, through the city, and over the lakes
to the hills where I might be

to the distant hills and the mighty trees
to a little perch at the top
where a cozy house sits jauntily
and there your eyes might stop

for there, past the cities,
over the lakes,
in the wind that comes from the sea
you would find a little house on the hill
and there, you would find me.

Monday, December 1, 2014

falling into Christmas

this year, as always

i pray for peace

for stillness

for moments, hours
that are deep and throbbing with meaning

eschewing busy-ness
i stay away from lights
and noise

i pray more
i sing more
i read more

i stand in the Presence
and wait to hear
wait to speak

i watch the world
careening into chaos
and wish for all the hearts
that do not know
to sense deep down
the voice
that echoes

i fall into the whiteness
memories of cold
memories of dancing flames
in the fieldstone fireplace

surfacing among the palms
that surround me now

that the day was special
back then
not because of presents
but because we were together

falling into Christmas

Sunday, November 16, 2014

night comes quick

on the mountain

by mid afternoon the towering palms
have blocked the western light

sunfingers probe between the fronds
desperately straining to reach us
as we sit on the cool grass

i hear the evening breeze
whisper as it breathes away
the last of the day


suddenly night falls
and the silence
shouts so loud
that my ears ring

night comes quick
on the mountain

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

on the mountain

morning comes slow
on the mountain

the light creeps through
the canopy gently
parting the palm fronds
with careful fingers
as if to give
a quiet warning alarm first
before the real wake-up call
and then a snooze option too

the night voices speak and fade away
huge gecko's, rasping
rustling, chirping jungle sounds
of unknown creatures
whose life is lived in the shadows

and on the floor, small black mounds
that tell me
the house is haunted

except that papa steps in it
and mutters to himself
on his way to the coffee machine

morning comes slow
on the mountain

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

getting ready to move

"the owner of the house i have lived in for many years has notified me that he will do little or nothing to keep it in repair. He has also advised me to be ready to move.

at first this was not very welcome news. in many respects the surrounding area is quite pleasant, and if not for the evidence of a somewhat declining condition, the house seems rather nice. yet a closer look reveals that even a light wind causes it to shake and sway, and its foundation is not sufficient to make it secure. therefore i am getting ready to move.

as i consider the move, it is strange how quickly my interest is transferred to my prospective new home in another country. i have been consulting maps and studying accounts of its inhabitants. and someone who has come from there to visit has told me that it is beautiful beyond description and that language is inadequate to fully describe what he heard while there. he said that in order to make an investment there, he has suffered the loss of everything he owned here, yet rejoices in what others would call a sacrifice. another person, whose love for me has been proved by the greatest possible test, now lives there. he has sent me several clusters of the most delicious grapes i have ever eaten, and after tasting them everything here tastes very bland.

several times i have gone to the edge of the river that forms the boundary between here and there and have longed to be with those singing praises to the King on the other side. many of my friends have moved across that river, but before leaving here they spoke of my following them later. i have seen the smile on their faces as they passed from my sight.

so each time i am asked to make some new investment here, i now respond, "i am getting ready to move."  (streams in the desert)

Sunday, October 19, 2014


when i give my mind permission

to dream

it does

it enters happily

into the cloistered inner halls

where thoughts abide

emotions hide

it sorts and picks

and touches



busily creating

space to dream

i should go there


more often