Thursday, November 24, 2016

Give Thanks!

"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old & the new." — Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent & dissatisfaction." ― Harry A. Ironside

Thanksgiving Day
November 24, 2016


I thank YOU for making me & then saving me.

I thank YOU for Saint Cloud, Minnesota.

I thank YOU for the crystal clear lakes of Minnesota.

I thank YOU for the grace & mercy that YOU continuously shower upon me.

I thank YOU for my natural mother making the choice of adoption rather than abortion.

I thank YOU for the family that YOU placed me in.

I thank YOU for New Richmond, Wisconsin.

I thank YOU for my Mom & Dad.

I thank YOU that they cared enough about me to teach me about YOU.

I thank YOU for adopting me as YOUR son.

I thank YOU for the many people who taught me the BIBLE & how they helped to prepare me to live in a way that is pleasing to YOU.

I thank YOU for Saint Louis, Missouri.

I thank YOU for countless visits to Rossino's.

I thank YOU for the honor of being a STL Cardinals baseball fan.

I thank YOU for Creve Coeur Park.

I thank YOU for all my friends in the USA & throughout the world.

I thank YOU for Santo Tomás, El Salvador.

I thank YOU for protecting me during the years of drifting away from YOU.

I thank YOU for Cristiana, Jamaica.

I thank YOU for the trials & bad experiences that have built my faith & trust in YOU.

I thank YOU for Miami, Florida.

I thank YOU for the privilege of being part of "The U" family.

I thank YOU for continually filling me with faith, hope, joy, love, & peace in the midst of unbearable daily pain that YOU somehow convert into a desire within me to encourage others.

I thank YOU for Prospect Heights, Illinois.

I thank YOU for the amazing brothers & sisters in CHRIST that YOU have brought into my life.

I thank YOU for Alajuela, Costa Rica.

I thank YOU for Liga Deportiva Alajuelense.

I thank YOU for creating the perfect wife for me.

I thank YOU for Medellín, Colombia.

I thank YOU for Atlético Nacional.

I thank YOU loving me every day through my wife.

I thank YOU for Homestead, Florida.

I thank YOU for an alligator I saw just a few yards from my patio which prompted me to glide across Lake Wolfe in my kayak at night while a sliver of the moon was illuminating the water with several shades of silver & I was awestruck that something so simple exuded such an intense beauty & peace.

I thank YOU for the uniqueness of the Florida Everglades. 

I thank YOU for Key West, Florida

I thank YOU for the stunning beauty of the Florida Keys.

I thank YOU for the bayous & the swamps.

I thank YOU for the mountains & the valleys.

I thank YOU for Oro Valley, Arizona.

I thank YOU for the abundant desert life.

I thank YOU for the awesomeness of the Grand Canyon.

I thank YOU for the peacefulness of a babbling brook.

Most of all, I thank YOU for YOUR unconditional love.

YOUR son,


"Not what we say about our blessings but how we use them is the true measure of our thanksgiving." — W.T. Purkiser

"Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle." ― Ann Voskamp

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, & change ordinary opportunities into blessings." ― William Arthur Ward

"I am grateful for what I am & have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment." ― Henry David Thoreau

"GOD smiles when we praise & thank HIM continually. Few things feel better than receiving heartfelt praise & appreciation from someone else. GOD loves it, too. An amazing thing happens when we offer praise & thanksgiving to GOD. When we give GOD enjoyment, our own hearts are filled with joy." ― William Law

"Thanksgiving is inseparable from true prayer; it is almost essentially connected with it. One who always prays is ever giving praise, whether in ease or pain, both for prosperity & for the greatest adversity. He blesses GOD for all things, looks on them as coming from HIM, & receives them for HIS sake―not choosing nor refusing, liking or disliking, anything but only as it is agreeable or disagreeable to HIS perfect will." ― John Wesley

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

I Love That You're My Father!

Could there be any better memories that a son has with his father than spending time fishing together?

I am thankful for all our vacations when you woke me up a few hours before sunrise & we glided across a moonlit lake in our kayak enjoying the peaceful serenity before we hopefully caught breakfast in the form of Lake Trout, Large Mouth Bass, Northern Pike, or Walleye.

When I reflect on how much I enjoy the beauty of creation, I understand that a large portion of why I am like that is because of who you are & what you shared with me.

I also got to experience places like Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior that many Americans don’t even know exist.

That included . . .

. . . the playfulness exhibited in a den of red foxes underneath our cabin or . . .

. . . seeing a moose swimming or . . .

. . . when we weren’t enjoying the melodic signing of a loon, we stealthily approached a nesting loon in our kayak & marveled at the intricate perfect design of the different colors & patterns.

There is only one perfect father, our Heavenly FATHER. In spite of not having a father as you were growing up, you are the perfect father for me & I would not want anyone else to be my Dad because I would not be a house parent to 10 precious children without you in my life!

"Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad." — Anne Geddes

The City Beautiful of New Richmond, Wisconsin is where we lived during my early childhood. Not bad to have a river running through our back yard in which we traveled on our pontoon boat to the dock at the local Dairy Queen to enjoy your favorite food in the world…ice cream!

I remember many times after dinner when you had already put in a hard day’s work, that you would go prepare the outdoor ice rink so that myself & many others could play ice hockey under the stars!


"Father taught us that opportunity and responsibility go hand in hand. I think we all act on that principle; on the basic human impulse that makes a man want to make the best of what's in him and what's been given him." — Laurence Rockefeller

The official ball of the Copa América Centenario that is now down to the semi-finals with Argentina versus the USA & Chile versus Colombia reminds me that when we moved to St. Louis, I tearfully accepted that we couldn’t afford for me to play hockey anymore. You believed that I would be successful in whichever sport I played, so you nudged me towards soccer.

"My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me." —Jim Valvano

Little did you or Mom know that a decision when I was in grade school to play soccer instead of hockey would lead to an Athletic Scholarship to play soccer as a Western Illinois Fighting Leatherneck.

"The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother." — Henry Ward Beecher

Because of the love you have for Mom, it was absolutely hilarious whenever you two had disagreements.


It just was & I guess that is because it was so far from your normal behavior.

"The greatest gifts my parents gave to me…were their unconditional love and a set of values." — Colin Powell

It really is no surprise that even though I am far from perfect, the love that you have for me & the values that you instilled in me are largely responsible for the fact that I enjoy helping & serving other people.

I just had to slip this photo in but I shall keep the meaning of this between you & me even though Michelle, & Kirsten may understand!

Praise be to the GOD and FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in CHRIST.

For HE chose us in HIM before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in HIS sight.

In love HE predestined us to be adopted as HIS sons through JESUS CHRIST, in accordance with HIS pleasure and will — to the praise of HIS glorious grace, which HE has freely given us in the ONE HE loves. — EPHESIANS 1:3-6

Just as GOD the FATHER predestined all who know JESUS CHRIST as their LORD & SAVIOR, HE also knew all along that the best possible way for me to have a life full of blessings, was for you to be my father!

There is only one phrase that sums up all that I am trying to convey!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Pastoral Search Committee

In our search for a suitable Pastor, the following scratch sheet was developed for your perusal. Of the candidates investigated by the committee, only one was found to have the necessary qualities.

The list contains the names of candidates and comments on each, should you be interested in investigating them further for future Pastoral placements.

NOAH: He has 120 years of preaching experience, but no converts.

MOSES: He stutters; and his former congregation says he loses his temper over trivial things.

ABRAHAM: He took off to Egypt during hard times. We heard that he got into trouble with the authorities and then tried to lie his way out.

DAVID: He is an unacceptable moral character. He might have been considered for minister of music had he not "fallen."

SOLOMON: He has a reputation for wisdom but fails to practice what he preaches.

ELIJAH: He proved to be inconsistent, and is known to fold under pressure.

HOSEA: His family life is in shambles. Divorced, and remarried to a prostitute.

JEREMIAH: He is too emotional, alarmist; some say a real "pain in the neck."

AMOS: Comes from a farming background. Better off picking figs.

JOHN: He says he is a Baptist but lacks tact and dresses like a hippie. Would not feel comfortable at a church potluck supper.

PETER: Has a bad temper, and was heard to have even denied Christ publicly.

PAUL: We found him to lack tact. He is too harsh, his appearance is contemptible, and he preaches far too long.

TIMOTHY: He has potential, but is much too young for the position.

JESUS: He tends to offend church members with his preaching, especially Bible scholars. He is also too controversial. He even offended the search committee with his pointed questions.

JUDAS: He seemed to be very practical, co-operative, good with money, cares for the poor, and dresses well. We all agreed that he is just the man we are looking for to fill the vacancy as our Senior Pastor.

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

Memorial Day took on an extra-special meaning for me ever since I was blessed to call Key West, Florida home as "Cayo Hueso" was originally naval housing & I daily enjoyed the stream of planes overhead from Naval Air Station Key West which is a state of the art training facility for air-to-air combat fighter aircraft of all military services.

"It is the Soldier" by Dennis Edward O'Brien 

It is the Soldier,
not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of press.

It is the Soldier,
not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier,
not the campus organizer,
who gives us freedom to demonstrate.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag. 


Thank you Dennis Edward O'Brien!

After that, all I can say is that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then enjoy my Fifty Thousand word photo essay!

FYI: As you scroll through my 50,000 word photo essay which = a grand total of 50 photos, click on this link for "Brothers In Arms" by Dire Straits & enjoy their original video or better yet come back to this page while listening to the song to see the 50 photos I have chosen for my special salute to all soldiers past, present, & those who will serve in the future!

May my solemn heartfelt thanks for the service of men & women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice inspire me to do the same!

Day is gone
Gone the sun
From the lakes
From the hills
From the sky
All is well
Safely rest
GOD is nigh
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