Fragments of a Fractured Mind


Movin’ on…..

Early Morning GladeWell, now. It’s been a while since I’ve created this little ol’ blog. Lots and lots has happened in my life – got married, moved back to my home town, got a nice, new Nikon camera, and I’ve retired, basically. My lady and I are busily working on our bucket list.

It’s also been a while since I’ve updated this blog. Not that this exercise hasn’t been fun, but the need to keep it up to date somehow got lost in the swing of things. Plus there’s the inescapable fact that while my offerings and ramblings here have generated a smattering of comments, nearly all of them positive, this exposure has done little or nothing for the advancement of my creative pursuit.

And so, I am of a mind to try something new. Thing is, one isn’t really supposed to sell anything or offer services on these free blogs, and I’ve had to sorta skirt around the edges of that small, but important reality. But I’ve found a coupla other places, new outlets, as it were. These are places wherein I can openly sell my imagery. These new places seem to better fit my needs, and they require far less regular maintenance.

However, if you want the real skinny, as in to see my newest work and to discover what I’m up to, well, gee, come and visit me at:

My primary on-0line shop – https://

My Facebook shop –

My Pinterest shop –

The new sites are open for bidness 24/7/365. I hope you’ll come and look. (He leans back and quietly mutters, “and buy….”)

See y’all there, y’heah?


Listening to the Muse….

Columbia TankIt’s been about a year now since I came home to Marion County to begin a new life with my Suzy. We live south of Columbia, my home town and south of Foxworth, Suzy’s home town, on a quiet old highway on the edge of the Pearl River Swamp. I live with the love of my life, in the midst of the family I’ve always wanted and never thought I’d have.  It’s a truly special place and time, and it has just become even more special.

You see, I have for some years been seriously fascinated with photography. This particular passion goes back to the halcyon days of my university career at Southern Mississippi. My first efforts at photography were the result of classes I took as part of my major course of study. I started with basic photography class and an old twin lens reflex camera, shooting mostly black and white film. A second course put a 35 mm camera in my hands and led me into the world of color imagery. Not long after I left USM, I bought myself a Nikkormat FT2 35mm camera, with which I lept deeply into the world of photography, going so far as to develop my own film and after I’d put together a small darkroom, making my own prints. That little journey lasted some several years, until the night I ventured onto Pensacola Beach as a tropical storm passed, hoping to get some good storm shots. Did get a few, but the salt spray being pushed ashore by the storm leeched into the camera, and it froze up, never to function again.

“Oh, well,” I said. “I’ll get myself another camera.” And I did just that….nearly twenty years later. By that time, I’d become a graphics designer, and after spending a frustrating afternoon trying to locate just the right image for a project, I decided that there had to be a better way. Recalling that I’d been a fairly decent photographer back in the day, I determined to at last get that new camera, so as to shorten the process of getting the images I needed for my graphics projects. But things had changed a great deal since that stormy night on Pensacola Beach. The tried and true film cameras of old had been supplanted by the newest thing – digital photography. No longer was it necessary to spend hours locked into stuffy darkrooms, immersed in clouds of chemical vapor, trying to create images on paper. The darkroom was gone, as was the film. Images were now captured by electronic sensors and recorded on small media cards. These were then taken into a computer, wherein an image could be shaped and molded without need for chemicals and paper. This opened up an incredible new world to me, one not limited by how many exposures were on a roll of film or how long it took a photo lab to make prints.

The entire creative process now rested within my hands. I discovered that I was limited only by my own imagination. I got my hands on a Sony DSC-F828 camera, one which gave me a great deal of latitude. I’ve enjoyed many hours of shooting, sometimes idly and sometimes driven by an insatiable need to create. Time and experience brought forth a catalog of imagery that some deemed worthy of note. There came one exhibition in Jackson, and then another. Didn’t sell much, but I learned a great deal.

Just before Christmas last, I was given a new camera, a Nikon D7000. This event closed a circle. That first camera I’d bought for myself, not long after leaving USM, had been a Nikkormat FT2 – made by the same company as my new D7000. And what a camera this new one is! Where the Sony had limitations, this new Nikon has incredible potential. I’ve been using it a little over three months and already, the Nikon is forcing me to stretch my wings wide, to reach for things never before achieved, and I am only scratching the surface of learning to properly use the camera. It’ll be some time before I can be totally comfortable with the camera. But even as I learn my craft anew, even as the muse whispers softly into my ear, I strive to improve, to get better with each passing day.

God smiles on me again, as he has done so many times this last year. I have come home. I have found the woman of whom I’ve long dreamed, and I’ve been graced with the most wonderful family for which any man could hope. And now, those long-ago dreams, those days spent in this little town, adrift in imaginative flights of fantasy, have led me full-circle to a warmly familiar old street that I know so well. I recall a quotation from an old sixties wall poster, one which caught my eye and my thoughts.

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” ~T.S. Eliot

And so, here I am, in the place from where I began, a place I now know so well, a place I love so deeply, among family and friends and familiar places. . One hopes you’ll find a moment or two to come back here from time to time, to gaze upon the captured bits of the imagination of a man who is so very grateful to have arrived at the place from which he started.

To Jump the Broom….

SuzyMe scanIt’s been almost a year now. Less than two weeks remain until the first anniversary of the beginning of our new lives. It was on February 6 of 2012 that Suzy and I first met – online – and set out on what has been a thoroughly wonderful journey. We both knew something was up when we started to talk online, and on a sunny and bright and VERY cold day last February, when Suzy and I rendezvoused in City Park of my old home town – Columbia, MS – to see one another in person for the first time, the feeling of “rightness” was strong. We had retreated to the relative warmth of my Silverado after a wind-chilled walk at Columbia Water Park. I had something to ask, and the very thought of asking terrified me.

It seemed as though every time I have allowed a woman to know that I am serious and that I have growing feelings for her, she’s upped and ran to get away from me. Often times, I’d start to get to know a gal, and we’d talk and talk, and then, just as we were about to begin in earnest, I’d find myself alone, again, wondering what the futz I’d done wrong. Sometimes it was a mystery as to what had happened and other times I knew the false start had nothing to do with me. Still, if a thing comes apart, the result is the same. One is indeed a lonely number. And I’d come to believe that relationships might not be for me.

Told people at my old church that I felt as though I’d wasted the best years of my life. Back then, I’d come to realize that I was old enough to be a grand-father and yet I had no family. I’d never experienced the simple, yet incredible joy of having a child sit on my lap and touch my cheek and say, so softly, “Daddy.” I’d never watched a son learn to ride his bike, or set out on his first day at school, or fidgeted nervously as a young fella picked up my daughter for her first date. I hadn’t gotten to smile with pride as my kid walked across a stage to pick up his or her high school diploma. Never had I known what it is like to have grand-children. Thought I’d missed it all, lost it all. I’d say this to folks at church and often, someone would smile and say, “It’s not too late….”

I wanted to believe them. I really did. But I discovered that my faith didn’t appear to be strong enough. I knew, I knew that God provides, and yet I was saddened by my loneliness, troubled by matters of money, by employment troubles. I shouldn’t have worried, and yet I did. 2011 had not been a fun year. Even though my relationship with my Lord seemed to grow and deepen, there were troubles aplenty. At long last, this past January, having been told for the second time in less than a month by a potential lady-friend that she couldn’t or wouldn’t see me, having done battle with a nasty and threatening loan company which was threatening to repossess my truck, I was on my last nerve. I was at the end of my string. The only thing that was going right for me at that point was an unexpected and incredible improvement in what had been a severely strained relationship with my older brother. Everything else seemed to have soured. So, one night, after having read an email from this girl I’d only just met, a note in which she explained that she couldn’t see me, I threw up my hands. “God,” I said, “I haven’t a clue what it is that I am supposed to do – not even the slightest hint. Obviously, I can’t deal with this life thing, so I give up. You take the wheel.”

Just saying that felt good. Seemed to take a load off my shoulders, it did. Then, less than a week later, I got an email from this on-line dating service I’d joined. Seems they had this gal they thought I oughta meet. So, with nothing better to do and thinking I could hardly be any worse off than I already was, I clicked on the link….and found myself looking at a pretty country girl. She was wearing a shiny, silky red blouse and a very nice smile. So I sent off a note. She sent one back. Her name was Susan, she said, and amazingly, she lived just a few short miles south of the town in which I’d been born, where I’d grown up. The conversations continued, and they grew longer. And more frequent. Then came the day we decided it was time to meet in person. So I drove south from Jackson, down to the place where I’d begun this life, down to the deep south of the state, to Marion County. To….home. To that moment in my truck on a bitterly cold day at Columbia Water Park.

On that winter’s day, I swallowed my fear and I admitted that I’d had a rough time of it for the months prior, the years prior, and I told Suzy that it felt good, very good to be with her. I pushed my fear back down and I asked Suzy whether she might be interested in making something lasting of our new fling. And she said….yes. That day trip led to an overnighter, and then a four-day weekend. Then Suzy told me that her step-grandaughter was to be married to her beau in a quiet little ceremony in the mountains of Tennessee, near Pigeon Forge, She asked me to go with her to this wedding, to share a mountainside cabin for a few days. Her argument made sense. We’d have to drive 11 hours or so to get there, and then stay together in that cute little cabin for a few days and then make another long drive to get back to Mississippi. If we could do that without wanting to throttle one another, she said, then we’d know whether we had something. Made sense to me, so of course, I said yes. We did make the trip and we did endure. More than that, we reveled in one-another’s company.

Once we’d returned to Mississippi, Suzy upped and suggested that I move to the country, to her family’s quiet little hilltop homestead, to be with her. And her family. Two grown sons. Two almost grown grand-sons. A teenage grand-daughter. A newly-wed step grand-daughter and her husband. Two beautiful step-great-grand-kids, a five year old boy and the prettiest little two year old princess I’d ever laid my eyes on. In short, it was the family I’d dreamed of my whole life. And Suzy was offering it…. to me. Said she didn’t care what had happened in my life before that point. Said I didn’t need money, or a job. All I had to do….was to love her. I knew, actually, that I had already fallen in love with Suzy, but the thought of telling her so frightened me beyond description. But Suzy has this wonderful and gentle way of getting what she wants, and so the night before I went back to Jackson after our first journey to Pigeon Forge, she coaxed it out of me, got me to say those three terrifying words. “I love you.” So I told her just that on that night after Pigeon Forge. Went back to Jackson. Came back to our little hilltop a week later for several days. Returned to Jackson again, and the night after I got back there that last time, I decided that I no longer cared for going to Jackson without Suzy. Told her as much in an email. So a few days later, I mentally cancelled my status as a citizen of Jackson, MS, loaded my truck as full as I could get it and I left for Columbia. Since then, we’ve brought several more pickup-loads and a trailer-load of my stuff down here, and only a little remains to be transported.

Since that beginning, Suzy and I have grown to realize that we are indeed on the same frequency. Often one of us will be thinking of doing one thing or another and the other will suggest that we do just that. We’ve already traveled quite a lot. We go the Mississippi Coast often. We’ve been to Gulf Shores, Alabama, and to Fort Walton Beach, Florida. We traveled to West Virginia to visit Suzy’s oldest son, Danny, and his family. We’ve spent a lovely weekend in a wonderful bed and breakfast on the Gettysburg battlefield. In late October, we returned to Pigeon Forge for four peaceful days.

Somewhere along the way, I told Suzy that I wanted to marry her. She replied that it wasn’t necessary, so long as we are together, but I wanted to make the commitment. Somehow, it mattered. A lot. And so, in December, just a week or so before Christmas, I put a diamond ring on Suzy’s finger. Not long after, we began the process of setting a date. We’d thought of March at first, but then we settled on April. So we thought. We picked a day, but that didn’t jive with various family schedules. So we tried another. This one didn’t match up with still other family members. We moved on to May, tried two different weekends, to no avail, and then, at last, we found a day that works for everyone.

For the last several days, I have been getting an education in the complexities of planning a “simple” wedding. We talked with one service and another and another and another, until we settled on the one service that seems to have everything we need. And so, on Thursday, we made a down-payment for the services of a picturesque little mountainside wedding chapel in Pigeon Forge. There, in the Mountain Valley Wedding Chapel, Susan Foxworth Smith and Jon Gilbert Stephenson will “jump the broom” on 25 May, 2013.

This little union carries with it a bit of irony. You see, Suzy, as I call her, is Susan. Or Sue. Once we clear that fabled broom, she’ll be Susan, Suzy, Sue Stephenson. My late mother’s name….is Sue. Somehow, I feel my mama’s smile. And I hear my daddy’s laugh. I can see the tears on my grandmama’s face and the quiet satisfaction on my granddaddy’s face (My gawd! The boy finally done somethin’ right….). As I said early on, the feeling of “rightness” continues to grow. Lordy, I hope it never stops….

Words worth repeating….

“Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mahomet, and Napoleon; without science and learning, He shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and schools combined; without the eloquence of schools, He spoke words of life such as never were spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of any orator or poet; without writing a single line, He has set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art and sweet songs of praise, than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times. Born in a manger, and crucified as a malefactor, He now controls the destinies of the civilized world, and rules a spiritual empire which embraces one-third of the inhabitants of the globe. There never was in this world a life so unpretending, modest, and lowly in its outward form and condition, and yet producing such extraordinary effects upon all ages, nations, and classes of men. The annals of history produce no other example of such complete and astonishing success in spite of the absence of those material, social, literary, and artistic powers and influences which are indispensable to success for a mere man.”

~ Phillip Schaff

I wish I could understand….

I had a dream once, many long years ago. It was back when I was young and foolish, and oh, so, painfully naive. And alone.  Didn’t plan to be all by my lonesome. It was just the way that things turned out. The folks had died when I was too young, way too young for that sort of thing. Everyone patted me on the head and said that things would be alright, that I would get over this terrible thing. I didn’t. Still haven’t. It marked me, way down deep, too deep for anyone to see, not even those who cared to look, and there were too damned few of those. I pulled in on myself, withdrew, tuned out. An overly-enthusiastic, irrepressible, hard-to-stifle kid changed, nearly overnight, into a painfully shy and very frightened youngster.

High school turned out to be an adventure I’d soon as done without. or most of it, anyways. I was the uncool kid, butt of the jokes, the one who took the brunt of the pranks. Wasn’t much fun. I’d discovered girls, of course. Problem was, I was so terrified of them. A cute chick would look at me and my knees would turn to water. I’d come down with world-class lockjaw. I was just plain no fun for the girls. Which, of course, only made it worse, because by then, the dream had come to me, It snuck up on me one dark night when I was trying to make believe that all was right in my young world.

I began to wonder when it would happen to me, when I’d find a good girl, the way all the other guys seemed to. I’d muse about my wedding day, when it would come, where it would unfold, who my bride would be. I mean, I was so damned naive in the way-back days. I looked at those around me in the insular world of my little home town and I came to believe that life was running on auto-pilot. You were born, you grew into a kid and you did all the kid things, until you developed into a teenager and the things you did were different. Then came graduation day and the doors to the world opened wide. There might be the armed forces, perhaps the university or a job and then you met….her. You went steady, you put a diamond on her finger and then a slim gold band. You brushed the rice from your hair and you bought a house, a car, a dog and a cat and you had 2.5 kids and the dance began anew.

Just one problem with that. There is no autopilot.

The night I realized that, well, just say I was not having fun. I was alone, and the chances for changing that were slim and none. I began to understand that a guy has to fight for his joy. The perfect girl just doesn’t appear in a puff of magic smoke. Building a relationship takes time, building a relationship takes effort, takes an investment. Building a relationship means you take your heart and you put it in someone else’s hand. This requires a willingness to take a risk.

Ah. There’s the rub. In 62 years of searching, I have found…not very many…people who are possessed of such a willingness. Not enough guts to go around, more’s the pity. I haven’t found many who will look a new thing square in the face and say, almost without thinking, “Yeah. Let’s give it a go.” Those that do? Well, sometimes they get hurt. But many’s the time that the risk-takers succeed beyond comprehension. How do the old sayings go? “Y’can’t hit a home run unless you swing at the pitch.” “If y’wanna go for a sail, y’gotta get in the boat.” Yada, Yada.

Me, I am stubborn. When we were kids, my brother would tell me that I would argue with a fence post. I hate to give up, even if there is only there faintest glimmer of success. So I try and I try and I try and….

I’ve been trying my whole life, trying to find just ONE girl. Just….one. One is all I need. I’ll meet someone, somewhere, online, offline, at work, in church, getting left in the lurch, most times. I see, I want, I try, too hard, she goes away. Sometimes I know why, most times I just don’t understand. I wish I could understand….

Sixty-two years old now, and I’m a little gun-shy. But still, they seem to drift by, the girls with….something magical. So you throw caution to the winds and…you try. Most times, you’ll fall flat on your face. But once upon blue moon, it works. Um. Or, at the least, it seems as though it is working. The guy and the gal seem to feel something, they say the right words. The feelings grow and the smiles get broader.  You start to think that maybe, just maybe, this is the one. This is the girl I’ve been searching for my whole life. You feel so good when you think that the hunt may be over, at long last.

Sometimes, for some people, it really, truly is. For some people.

For others, one feels that something wonderful has been discovered. One feels so damned good. But for the other comes a nuance, a lessening, drifting cooling. Circumstances suddenly intervene, distance slyly creeps in between two hearts, and one decides,”Well, maybe not…” It could be that words will be exchanged and it could be that tears will fall. Hearts will break. Oh, how they break. Sometimes, there are just no words. One will decide to go, and they will decide that it is best just to silently drift away. So they do. No explanation, no reasons, just a lot of ice cold gone.

And again, hearts will break, all the more painfully, because one doesn’t know the why of it.

I’d thought I was past all of this. I’d thought that God had strengthened me and cleansed me and rebuilt me until the foolish fantasies and fruitless adventures of the heart would never again overtake me. I was wrong. I chanced to find her, out there on the information highway one otherwise bland evening. She was full of lightning and she sparkled like moonlight on the beach.  Chestnut hair cascaded down her shoulders. She has a smile that will melt the hardest of hearts. She confessed a fear of dying alone, of feeling hopeless that anyone would ever love her for herself.  These last are my very own, time-worn fears.

I knew at once I had to try for this woman. I HAD to. She and I talked and talked and talked and we kept finding that we’d been to many of the same places, we like the same things and we seemed to want the same things. So, of course, I did it. Dammit. I opened my stupid mouth and I told her how I was beginning to feel, the way she had brought light to my lonely soul. I don’t know that any other woman has ever made me feel this way, and I told her so. I was well on my way to putting my heart right in her hand. Told myself this would be the last time, that this would be the one that would work. No more dark and lonely nights, I told myself.  Just me and my lady, hand in hand walking in God’s good sunlight.

Ah. But. The circumstance. First I didn’t hear from her for a day. Felt as if it had been an eternity. Then came a brief email. Her son had been injured in an auto accident, not seriously, but she’d flown out west to care for him. Said she’d call. Two days later came an email. Something else had cropped up, she didn’t say what, but she told me she might be out west for months. About things of the heart that I’d written to her, she said nothing.

When I read that last message, I went cold. Absolutely cold, worse than it has ever been. I cried, I prayed, I went to church and I got on my knees and I gave it over to God- the only thing I could think of to do. So night has fallen in my soul once again. Once again, I feel the weight of a life’s worth of loneliness.  Once again, I have no idea what to do.

I wish I could understand……

Why are you so uncomfortable?

This question is addressed to those of you who antagonistically profess no belief in God, in Jesus. I know that you of little or no faith are uncomfortable. How? This is a truth revealed by the intensity of your insistence in denying God. Many of you achieve an almost spiritual fervor in this regard. I’ve even encountered one person who claims to be an evangelical atheist.This person seems to have dedicated their life to utterly destroying religion in all its forms.   There is no limit to the ferocity of their attacks, and they see no argument against God’s existence as being too inappropriate, too insulting, as going too far. They seem to take a certain delight in ridiculing those of faith. The more one tries to argue with them, the worse they become.

People who engage in this sort of behavior in other areas of on-line discussion are commonly referred to with the decidedly unflattering name of “troll.” The difference is that a troll is deliberately trying to goad another person, to push their buttons, to make them angry   just for the fun of it. Most trolls don’t really hold any disdain for their targets. But an aggressive atheist is trying to destroy a person’s faith by whatever means necessary. A troll is out for a lark. The aggressive atheist delights in being hateful and hurtful.

One wonders why this is so. Methinks this abrasive and inconsiderate behavior arises from a certain discomfort that lives within the heart and soul of the atheist. Deep within themselves, they feel that they are wrong, but wrapped as they are in stringent smugness, they refuse to outwardly admit it, to others, to themselves. In lieu of respecting the feelings of others, of respecting the faith of others, of respecting the constitutionally guaranteed right to believe in the faith of one’s choice, these aggressive atheists prefer to be rude and crude and boorish. They choose to belittle those of faith, to paint them as fools, as people with a lack of practicality and intelligence. It’s an old and unfortunately overused tactic. If one’s inner self knows that one’s views are difficult to defend, then one engages in the tactic of belittling and tearing down of those around one. The thought is that if all others lie in ruins, then one cannot help but be seen as superior. Trouble is, this feeling lies solely within the mind of those who engage in this shoddy tactic. Most others see through what they are doing, and view it as pitiable.

Look at the politics of today. Those who adhere to views of one sort or another inevitably encounter those who will openly disagree with them. The obvious thing to do in such a situation is to engage in valid debate with such people. From debate comes compromise and from compromise comes progress. But some people active in today’s political theatre, too many people, choose instead to engage in the politics of  destruction. They mock, they belittle and they openly and aggressively seek to impugn the character of those who disagree with them. That this approach too often goes so far as to ruin the lives of those on the receiving end of such assaults doesn’t seem to matter. It’s almost as if some political players firmly believe that the way to victory lies within the scorched earth philosophy. Destroy anyone and everyone who gets in your way and to hell with how it affects other people.

Over these last few months, I have noticed more and more atheists adopt this approach. They are so smug, so certain of their feeling that God does not exist that they appear to be unable to let that be, quietly. Instead they seek out every opportunity to belittle, ridicule and destroy the faith and character of the religious, especially Christians – not so much with other faiths.

Many aggressive atheists appear to follow this path. To be sure, I am certain that there are many who profess to be atheists who are content to keep their lack of belief to themselves. The overwhelming majority of Christians follow this approach. Are there those Christians who are of the “get in your face” sort? Certainly. There are aggressive, even fanatical Christians. And the worst of them can be as every bit as bad as the most hurtful, hate-filled aggressive atheists. Every faith, every belief system has its collection of rabid adherents. The folks who go to the funerals of fallen soldiers to scream their fanaticism at the top of their lungs are a well-known example. Do they go too far? Are they misguided? Oh, yes. But they do not represent Christianity as a whole.

But, you know, I have to forgive them, just as I forgive the aggressive atheist. The teachings of my faith requires it. Beyond that, I was brought up to respect others, even those with whom I disagree and who I dislike. On occasion, I am moved to reply when I encounter a particularly abusive statement, on-line or elsewhere, but most times, I try to do as Jesus taught, to turn the other cheek. But in all cases, I sense that discomfort within the hearts and souls of atheists, especially the aggressive atheists. It often seems as though the audience they most want to convince….is themselves. One can not help but wonder why this is so. But truth be told, we do know why.

One thing I have noticed. More and more Christians are feeling that they have been pushed once too often. Many of us are adding our two cents’ worth to on-line discussions and some are taking it a step further. One small town in Tennessee found itself on the receiving end of a threat made by a well-known atheist group. Seems this town had allowed a local Sunday School class to place a cross atop a city-owned water tower. No taxpayer funds were spent on the project. Nonetheless,  the atheists group threatened to sue the city if the cross was not removed. The city has no high-powered attorney, nor does it have the funds with which to engage in a lengthy legal battle. So the mayor had his workers remove one horizontal arm from the offending cross, so that it nows looks something like – ⊦ – which is apparently enough to say, in terms of the law, that this is not a cross. Most who look upon this still see a cross, but the law is the law, and the atheist group was forced to stand down. The people of the town, however, did not. They began to erect crosses in their yards and in their businesses, taking care not to place these on public property. There are now hundreds of such crosses in this hamlet.

Another small town in Texas is under assault by this same atheist organization. Seems that the community has a decades-long tradition of erecting a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn. The atheists group is threatening to sue if it is not removed. The city’s response? As stated by a county judge, “We’ll remove the nativity scene when hell freezes over.”  Local officials appear to have the full support of the community in this defiance. The atheist group claims that – one – resident complained about this display. So in order to prevent this one citizen from being offended, they offend an entire community. Slam the city government and the hell with how it affects the town.

Now, I started this all after reading an entry in another blog. It touches upon something in today’s headlines. I’ve included a link to the post. It’s an illuminating read.  Take it. May it serve you well.

In memory of mother. Father, too….

She suffered greatly that night, 62 long years ago. The birth of her second son was not an easy one. As if the pain of childbirth isn’t enough, there were complications and so I was delivered by means of a Caesarean section. I am told that even with this great pain, even with agony of unexpected surgery, mother smiled and laughed when she first looked upon my face. My father, standing not far away, cried softly, even though he was a very strong man. He looked upon his newborn son and said, “Well. He’ll always have a place to sleep.” These sainted people gave life to me and they saw to it that I never wanted for anything that can be truly considered to be important. Even as the storms of life descended upon their marriage not so many years after my birth, my folks never once allowed their differences to erode their love for me and for my brother.

Came a summer day in 1960 when my dad lost his life in an auto crash and just one year and two weeks later, it happened again. My mother met her end, violently, painfully, in a twisting of metal and shattering of glass on a lonely darkened stretch of country highway. I am only just now learning much of the details of those troubled days, and I admit that some of it is difficult to hear, much less understand. But I will know the truth of it. This I pledge to the two people who graced me with gifts that no other earthly person could hope to match. They gave to me a strength and an intelligence to deal with this often ponderous life. I confess here that I have not always honored those gifts as well as I ought to have. I beg my parents, there in the streets of heaven, near to my Lord, to forgive me for these shortcomings. I want for them to know that I will spend the remainder of the days with which God will grace me being the son they can be proud of.

I miss you, Red and Sue. I miss you so much, and I love you with all my heart. I am so proud to be your son. Thank you for the bountiful wealth you gave to me.

It begins with trust….

Last few months, I’ve faced considerable internal unrest. I’ve been beset with a few life crises and there have been times that the weight of these burdens have been overwhelming. And then, just as the sunshine will burst through a storm cloud, things improve, the burden decreases, and so I move on. But not without some introspection. Because, you see, I have this feeling that I have failed, fallen short of the mark, if you will. More to the point, I feel as though my faith in my Lord isn’t as strong as it ought be, otherwise, the troubles of this life could never bring me down. My shortcoming? I fail to trust. I fail to hold tightly to my faith. Ah, but then, I am hardly the first to suffer from this flaw….

Matthew 14:22-32

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

You see, when I haven’t the strength of my faith as I ought, when I fail to trust in my Lord, this is when I begin to sink. Still, I know that all I need do is to regain my trust, and I do this by reaching out to Jesus and I say “Lord, save me.” Jesus may chide me for lacking in my trust, my faith, but He WILL reach out His hand, and He WILL stop me from sinking. He’ll do the same to you, if only you will believe.

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

So true.



Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’Ts
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me –
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.

These words were written by Shel Silverstein. They are somewhat echoed in the Holy Bible, where one discovers that NOTHING is impossible for God.

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