Saturday, October 03, 2015

I'm back.

2015... 5 years since my last entry. What has happened? A lot. I will try to blog once again and maybe even fill the reader in on some of the past 5 years. I am now a grandfather of a 5 year old girl named Faye. She is my daughter's child. Faye has changed the routine of my house with the task of keeping her on the weekend to help make it easier for her father to pick her up to spend time with her.
The music I had written, played, and promoted is now something I no longer do. I felt God was telling me that this pursuit was a fruitless branch on my spiritual tree. I have finally come to the place where I can talk about it without bitterness or grief.

Now I want to say that the Lord is urging me to do something in men's ministry. I am in a study at church about authentic manhood. Authenticmanhood.com.

I have an idea that men need to be called to live in authentic, Christ-like manhood. I want to pray with and for men, to fellowship and encourage each other to greater faith and relationship with Jesus. If a man walks this life without engaging with other men over their faith and everyday living, they struggle alone. Things like pornography, workaholism, greed and the grasp for power can take over their mindset. That is why we men need each other.

We also need to pursue a personal relationship with Jesus one that engages our spirit as well as our mind.

Here's a thought:

Romans 8:5-8 New International Version (NIV)

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

Christian fellowship among men can help to put aside the thoughts and temptations of the flesh. We can come to the place where we can be accountable to one another to walk according to the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The river of dreams engulfed me and in its current my memories of Europe assembled piece by piece. With a rush of wind that was adrenalin, I was in the body of a young man once again.

I approached a cafe table where a petite young woman of my apparent age was having a continental breakfast. We were both dressed quite formally in clothing that enhanced our youthful vitality, but could as easily fed an idealized fantasy of the other should we decide to merely ride the current of this dream. This realization told me that my heart was still the middle aged man that lay sleeping somewhere, and that knowledge imposed itself enough to try to check the impulses of the young man I appeared to be.

The young woman was someone I vaguely remembered from my middle aged man's past. When I saw that her face lit up to see me, a young man's desire stirred in me as I sought to engage her in conversation. She was new to Europe and as in many dreams, the details of her being there were not explained and she seemed to not need a reason for me to have encountered her.

The current of dream bid us part after a pleasant interlude.

The slow current brought me around again on another day at the cafe where we shared another meal. Her story of a child she loved dearly and somehow lost, brought the sense of an infant in my arms and the brush of a silky smooth baby cheek against mine. Instantly I held the young woman instead. My arms were warm around her slim form with the curls of her brown hair tickling my cheek. My middle aged heart fought my young man's ardor, but when my blue eyes met her brown ones, I was lost.

I almost babbled of places I could show her around Europe and all we could share if she just let me take her away. She seemed taken with my proposal, but then my middle aged heart clenched. My sleeping form lay next to a wife of more than twenty years who I owed everything and dearly loved! In my dream, my young self bitterly protested.

My true self would not tolerate this any longer. I lay warm in my bed with my eyes remaining closed and the warmth of my wife next to me breathing deeply and evenly.

This is the life where I belong. Why did I go to such a place and situation in my dream? My heart berated me. I knew this waking life was set in motion for me by the Creator. I really didn't want any other.

I found that I could trust the life I have been given because I am in relationship with the Life Giver. Leaving control in His hands actually strengthens our relationship.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I thought my music would cause me to be remembered after I was gone.
I thought my influence would live on in this way, but time forgets as it moves on.
I need my brothers and my brothers need me, and only together will there be a difference to see.
We sing one today, but tomorrow's a new song.
We keep looking up because we're already gone.

Friday, January 09, 2009

I am a hollowed out acorn trying to compose like Mozart. I am a blade of grass between a pair of thumbs trying to sound like a symphony. Even as I am created in the image of God, I still need Him just to breathe.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

No war vet claims to be a hero. It is the honored dead who are heroes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In the darkness between the streetlights, I feel invisible. The lights from the coffee shops and convenient stores have little draw for me tonight. My thoughts are on something besides spending time in idle pleasure. Maybe I should say someone. My thoughts are on someone who was able to touch my heart in such a way as to leave me with the desire to not shut her out.

Now, I sit on a park bench in the dark as just another creature of the city at night. I am a vague threat to anyone who might walk by. Most people do not lightly walk by someone sitting in the dark, and I don't expect the two girls walking toward me on their way to the girls' dormitory to stay on my side of the street much longer.

It's their dorm I'm sitting across the street from, but if they really knew me, they would know I was no threat. As much as I sometimes hate to admit it, I do like people. It's when I get hurt that I want to become a hermit, and I don't want any detached sort of “counseling”. Once I've had time to recover, I'm ready to deal with my few friends and acquaintances and even meet new people again.

The fact that this person touched me so deeply so quickly has me starting to believe what one of my high school teachers told me several years ago. “Getting to know people is sometimes worth the risk of getting hurt.”

I count the windows on the third floor. Yes her light is on. More than likely, she's there. I glance at the phone booth some yards down the street. I want to call her but I don't want to hear that she needs to study and can't spend time with me.

Her lit window is a focus point in the shadows for my eyes while my mind replays those few times we were together. I liked how her eyes were the color of a lush grassy field and how the gold flecks made me think of flowers in a meadow. I suspect she has something magic about her when I see her smile and playful manner.

My hand is on the receiver of the pay phone before I realized I wanted to hear her voice. I don't begrudge her the last of the coins in my pocket as I prepare my words and my heart for the sound of her voice.

After five rings, I know no one will answer, so I hang up and retrieve my coins. My hopes for our friendship are fizzing like soda inside me. I have no choice but to live with not knowing where I stand with her.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Back From The Edge

I watched Fern’s toes wiggle lazily as we sat under a shady willow that in combination with the breeze off of the river cooled our sweat-beaded brows. The languid branches acted as a curtain forming a natural tent for our relaxation.

Just visible out in the sun bobbed a red winged blackbird. In a blur of feathers that was becoming a common occurrence for me, the bird became a young woman with her blue-black hair streaked with two lines of yellow and red. She pushed through the branches and looked at me with unfocused eyes.

“You must go home now and bring him to me here,” stated the girl flatly and mysteriously.

“Bring who to you?” I frowned.

“Her boyfriend,” replied Fern when I looked at her for help.

Her boyfriend...? “Oh! You must be Tom's girl.”

“I had to come home. Here. He wouldn't come with me,” the bird girl tried to explain.

“I can bring him here? I don't even know how to get back,” I looked at Fern. “Which is something I've been meaning to ask you since we arrived here this afternoon.”

“I will show you,” said Fern.

“I must go now!” interjected the blackbird girl just before she changed back and flew away.

“Come,” beckoned Fern as she pulled on my arm. We walked across the stretch of grass back toward the sheer cliff of the bluff where we had first appeared near its unassailable surface.

“We don't try to climb and then jump the way we got here, do we?” I wasn't sure I could do that again, especially when Fern had to force me over the first time.

“No, no,” she said and pointed to an indiscernible spot on the cliffside, “we walk straight in here.”

We were standing about ten feet away, so I slowly held my hands out in front of me and walked toward the place she seemed to be pointing. Before I could get near enough to touch the rock, my hands blurred to almost invisibility.

“You can close your eyes if you want to,” prompted Fern.

“Let's just go,” I said.

We walked forward together into dizziness and a wind that pulled me up into a nauseated disorientation. I opened my eyes when I felt like we had arrived back and saw that we had in fact returned to Minnehaha Park. Fern was lying next to me in some grass well away from the park's cliff edge where we had entered Fern's world earlier.

Fern sat up and said, “You go get the boyfriend. I'll wait for you over there.” She pointed to the edge of the cliff. I nodded that I understood.

As I made my way to Tom's house, I wondered why I was going along with this idea of bringing Tom over into that other world I had only just discovered myself today. If anyone would believe me, it would be Tom. After all, his girlfriend is a red winged blackbird. How insane is this? How insane am I?

Thomas Mayfield answered his door on the third knock. He just stood in the doorway and looked at me blankly.

“I have a message from your girlfriend. I think you said her name was Jenny?” I was surprised her name even occurred to me.

Tom ushered me into his living room. “How have you heard from her?”

“She bobbed up to me and changed right before my eyes and told me to bring you to her.”

“That is strange. If anything, I’d expect her to come to me herself.”

I told him about Fern taking me to her home in another world, and that was where Jenny was. “I’m suppose to bring you to her there. Fern insisted I do so.”

“Look,” said Tom, “Jenny told me she had to go home for a while. I thought maybe she was trying to find a way to break up with me. I mean, how can someone humdrum like me last with someone magical? I thought that was it.”

“Tom, I don’t know the hows or whys. I am only doing this because Fern thinks I should. It sounds like Jenny still wants you. At least, I think so.”

“Is there some kind of time difference? I mean, what day do you think this is? How do you know you weren’t gone longer than you think?”

I was beginning to think he was making excuses. “It’s Sunday, right? The twenty-eighth? Just come with me and see.”

---

At the edge of the cliff, I held a tree branch out over the edge. The end was blurred into invisibility. “Now you do it and see it’s no trick.”

I handed him the branch and he gingerly extended it over the edge.

”You’re going to hate me for this,” I thought as I gave him a push…