Welcome to SBH
Thanks for stopping by the bear cave and checking it out. Being serious all the time is un-bear-able, so we have added a great comic strip at the bottom of page for your enjoyment. Please feel free to leave your thoughts,or shoot us an e-mail with the link to the right. We'd love to hear from all the creatures in the forest.

Friday, February 29, 2008

A season for reaping tears.

I am sorry for the recent “heaviness” of my posts. But this blog has become therapy for me from time to time. Tonight is another one of those times. Look away if you must, but like a wreck on the road, even though our little voices are screaming “don’t look”, we always do.

When I was new in my current employment certain men always stood out. They were kind and helpful in teaching and protecting. Dale was one of those guys. He was always up-beat with a smile on his face. As our careers went along his wife become very ill. Dale transferred to another division in the company. This allowed him to be home more and tend to his terminally ill wife. We did different things to try and help his situation out. We all like Dale very much as he always made our days brighter.

Last year Dale’s daughter was killed due to a bizarre phenomenon occurring here. Teenagers choke themselves to the point of blacking out. Then they recover and do it again. Dale’s daughter did not recover from her last excursion into this dark side of behavior. This lost was devastating to Dale and his wife. It is hard to imagine being caught up in the fight to keep a life and lose another one so close to you. Once again those close to Dale rallied behind him and tried to help as much as anyone outside the family could.

Today, Dale’s own life was taken in a tragic accident. Word’s can not touch on, or shed light on the agony this family has gone through since I have known Dale. It is beyond me to understand why one man’s family would be dealt so much pain. Our heart goes out to the family and I once again say “God’s speed” to another outstanding person who impacted my life in such a positive way.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Could of,would of, should of, (re-post from 2006)

When our fantasy life of the what if, when, and someday collides with our reality of could have, would have, should have, we are left with an un-lived life! And that is a big travesty. We mask ourselves to gain, thinking that who we really are will not be good enough. We bed down with our old friends; fear, anxiety, and regret on a constant basis. We pray that God himself will fix our mess and somehow place it all conveniently in His will.

Boy! He must really get pissed at us. Imagine creating a master piece that hides itself, desires to falsely become that which is opposite of your design and asks you to fix it! I call this mess humanity!We wonder why society values the ones who have the courage to be who they were made to be? We ridicule those who venture into this domain of courage to mask our own fear of exposure. Instead of the "what if they reject me, what if they do not like me, what if I fail, What if.........Hey, What if they love you, what if they are inspired by you, what if you generate a movement of wholesome goodness.....ever think of those possibilities? What if there is no black and white boundaries in life? What if it is all gray area? Gray area waiting to be defined as either productive or destructive? And the line between the two is simply defined by our perceptions and intentions.

I was chatting with my wife tonight and we were discussing her perceptions about the value of the feminine. We soon realized that her entire belief structure of the feminine has been based on how she perceived her family authority figure's statements and behaviors towards the subject. In simple terms, she believed that these individuals did not value feminine attributes, so she tried hard to please them by not being feminine. She never obtained the feeling of acceptance however tom boyish she became. As she grew older she criticized other feminine women. Why, because it had to be a bad thing, her family made that known. She perceived she was broken because she was a female.She is not alone in this saga.

We all have developed erroneous beliefs based on another's behaviors. Many of us just do not realize it, yet. Our parents, peers, teachers, and so on say things and do things, that generate a perception in our minds and we place value to it. We Begin to believe it and we act upon it! We even go as far as direct our life's path based off of these false beliefs. And then reality hit us like a ton of bricks and we feel robbed. "What do you mean, that is not true?" The would of, could of, should of, comes crashing down around us. How many times have you said "if I only knew that then, I would have....."? I challenge you to examine your beliefs, weigh them, and if need be redefine them. A life mis-lived based on false understanding is a travesty! Live the life you dream of. I think that life is the closest thing to being who you were created to be. And in the process we might discover your greatness as it was intended.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


"All the kindness which a man puts out into the world works on the heart and thoughts of mankind."-Albert Schweitzer

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." quoted from Jimi Hendrix.

"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for oneself, one's own family or nation, but for the benefit of all humankind. Universal responsibility is the key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace." quote from the Dalai Lama.

I failed

I ventured out upon the stormy sea of life, and tried to walk on water but, I failed. For my effort I was afforded the experience of suffocating as I sank into a cold, lonely, and dark abyss.

I ventured to the life’s highest mountain peak, and I tried to fly with Eagles but, I failed. For my effort I was afforded a broken and bloodied body; and left isolated and weak.

I volunteered to be a hero, to live a life that history would record, but I failed. For my effort I was afforded the opportunity to be anonymous, unknown, and forgotten.

I tried, to no avail, to be what you asked of me but, I failed. I tried to achieve the impossible and love all I know but, I failed. And now I sit here broken, lonely and full of anger.

I tried to hold on to my deepest anger, but I failed. My anger gave way to hope. For my effort I was afforded a guilty conscious that wrestled with the deep chasm between who I am and who you want me to be.

What do you want of me? I tried to be great and found that I am insignificant. I tried to be the answer and found only more questions. I only bring anger, hate, and frustration, yet you still whisper to me to keep living. Why, I have failed.

I desire no more ventures that will remind me of my failure. I can not try to be what I am not for one more day. But somehow, for some reason, you embrace me in my brokenness and you point to another horizon and order me out into my sea of failure. How can I stay afloat amongst life’s pounding storm? Don’t you know I have failed?

I have failed at understanding how you take my failure and turn it into your victory. I failed to see you in all I know. I failed to be what you made me to be. Let me fail no more.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


"I do not know how to distinguish between our waking life and a dream. Are we not always living the life that we imagine we are?

Thank you Ladybeetle

You can have her, we dont want her? WTF

Today, I received a call; it was like most of my calls at the office. It was about another child being kick to the curb by a parent and another government agency calling me for help to intervene. As the social worker briefed me on the basic case details, I asked one question. “Who, in this child’s life, is telling her, she matters?” After a moment of awkward silence, the voice on the other end said, “That.....that is a good question.......no one, I guess”! I replied, “We are good at destroying lives, but not so good and what matters.”

I had a hard choice; my 16 person team is already committed to 500+ lives for 16 weeks. It was evident, by the tone of urgency in the woman’s voice that this child would not last until our next class in August. My problem is that there is a myriad of these cases that come to us every week. How can we say no? How can we keep adding to the already over burden case load? How can we create positive change in so many so quick? How do we keep coming back to work every day and face the onslaught of destroyed families, and kids willing to die for things they know nothing about?

Why do I wrestle with deep issue on this blog? Because, that is what I do all day long. I search for the right question, I search for hope, I search for belief that these lives matter. Some days I really suck. Maybe tomorrow I will be better?

Who comforts the Father when He weeps?

As a young man, I prayed to know God's heart. I think God must have laughed. I do not pretend to think I have ever come close to feeling God's heart. But, I think He has allowed me to sense a small dose of His peril. As the miles pass bye and I look back, I wish I had never prayed that prayer.

I see the world differently than most, or so I have been told. I cry in the shadows of life’s quite moments and laugh in a curious sort of way at the wonderful joy of a child. I have seen things that mankind has done to itself and collapsed with agonizing compassion.

I know God must weep something awful as he looks over his children. Who comforts Him in these moments? He must feel our pain, the pain of countries, cities, families, and the children. His heart must be broken, full of sorrow, His eyes must burn with despair.

Do the angels surround him, in these moments and comfort Him? Do they understand His pain, His anguish, His extreme empathy he must feel? Or does He weep in the shadows as I do. Does He agonize over us in His quite moments, hidden from all?

Do we not realize the pain we must cause Him? Do we not see Him in the eyes of each other? Who comforts Him when He weeps?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The problem with sipping "shut up" juice.

My current supervisors have come up with a saying, “take a sip.” The sip they want me to take is of what they call “shut-up juice”. Be quite, sit still and do not say anything even if you have the answer or solution. I have a real big problem with this approach to life. I think my willingness to “share” information started in my childhood and was cemented into my character during a tragic incident while I was in the Marine Corps.

It was just another scorching 120 degree day out in the high desert of eastern California. We were conducting mounted maneuvers, called a combine arms exercise (CAX), with tanks and armored personnel carriers (APC’s). This type of exercise is very dangerous due to the fact that every weapon out there is locked and loaded with live ammo. Everything from F18’s to M16’s are loaded and fired at various targets. This place is legendary, General Patton himself trained there. I was a forward observer (F.O.) and my job was to put rounds on targets. I was the only F.O. in my Company, and I was good at my job. I loved blowing things up. For me, happiness was a secondary explosion, and a huge dust cloud on top of the objective

On this summer afternoon, we were conducting a live fire mission that would simulate a quick response to an ambush. I was attached to a 60mm Mortar section(effective killing area of 60mm round is 25 meters) in the trailing APC. It came as no surprise that the commanding officer had not paid close attention to where we were in relation to the field infantry and assault sections location, who had already displaced from their APC’s. The actual perimeter of the Company was 1500 yards out. The mission briefing was simple enough. We were to jump out of the track and fire 5 high explosive rounds at a range of 3000 yards utilizing the standard Bi-Pod and base plate. When we disembarked from our track we were ordered to fire the weapon in the hand held mode using a "tac" plate which gives this weapon a 1500 yard maximum firing distance. This is where my bosses today would say “take a sip.

I soon realized that if we fired these highly effective and dangerous rounds down range we would run the risk, with high probability, of killing our own men many of whom I was friends with. I spoke up and challenged the authority in charge. A very heated argument ensued. I was forcibly removed from the “field of operation” and placed back into the Amtrak, my face red, jaws clenching, and my ears on fire. I was pissed off and scared for all of us. The order was given to fire the rounds as ordered. All I could do was sit three and count the hang time like I had done a thousand times. As the sound of the detonating rounds penetrating the desert sand echoed across the heated desert air the radios became alive. Cease fire, cease fire, cease fire rang out with panic and disorder. Five high explosive rounds impacted the thin line of Marines, a direct hit.

Before you knew it Officers with the rank of Major appeared out of no where. The shit had hit the fan and heads were going to roll. Egos, attitudes, and ignorance had caused their wrath once again. Common sense was told to take a sip. I walked away from that day, but that day has never walked away from me. May be I am at fault for trying to give out to much information. May be those in charge do not really care about the details. But I do know that those men, on that day, wished they had cared, they wished they had listened, they wished that there was no shut up juice to be found out in the field on the hot summer day.

Should we speak our minds? Should we tell others there is danger ahead? Should we rebel against authority figures when ego, attitude, and ignorance consume them? May be it is better to let them destroy the lives of other good men and set here quietly sipping our shut up juice


Spending my life away

I was pondering responsibilities as they pertain to our duties within our spiritual beliefs. A recent comment left (here) , led me down this path, which I might add, initially troubled me. As I wrestled with some of the issues related to this maze, I thought about a quote from the Buddhists religion. The quote is credited to Buddha who said “If you want to change the world, change yourself.” Although I am not Buddhist, I find this quote very interesting. I also investigated the meaning and synonyms of words like: Responsibility (which I noticed had three I s’ in it, like when you point your finger at someone and you have three fingers pointing back), Answerability, accountability, and respond. I found it interesting that the dictionary links all of these words together as synonyms for each other.

Based on the comment left here, I pondered the foundations of our beliefs as they pertain to our parents. It seems to me, that every generation is taught something a little different and we anchor ourselves to these parental teachings as truth and absolute. One child may be taught not to blame others and another child taught to take responsibility for their actions and behaviors. On the same note, one child may be taught not to try and change others, while yet another child is taught to try and make a difference in all that you can. I am forming the mindset that it is these foundational teachings that set us on a collision course as adults. Words like efficacy and complacency become rooted in emotional conviction and confused for right and wrong or wrong and right

During a Christian youth conference, I attend decades ago, I heard a teacher tell us that the question you ask your self is the key to your understanding on how to live. This man gave this example “If you look to the Bible and you ask ‘what can I get away with’ you will find only confusion. But if you look to the Bible and ask ‘how good can I be’ you will find many answers.” What question we ask ourselves is truly important

As I pondered these things I thought about the fear and love trees that I have written about before. Are my internal questions based on fear or love? Do I set out to change things because I fear, hate, or distrust them in their present state? Or do I set out to change things because I love, empathize, and believe in them no matter what state. The obvious red flag to me is the word “Change”. I should probably find another word that defines my intentions better? May be “direct” would be a better word. But my mind is always mean to me and it can never be satisfied. This constant wrestling match took me from directing to leading to serving. I came to realize that change is about leading, and leading is about serving. And serving took me back to the Bible. This time my question I was asking was “what am I going to be held to answer for, judged on, and accountable for when my time is up

I was reading in
Matthew 25 this morning, and for those who may not be familiar with the passage, it is the last parables Jesus used during his three year ministry. This passage gives us a few stories about what we are responsible for. I focused on the story about the master leaving for a trip and giving his three servants some money (talents) to work with. The master gave three different amounts to the different servants based on his assessment of their abilities. In this story there comes a time when the master returns and wants an account of what the servants did with what he gave them.

Two of the servants doubled the monies by taking action which held some risk. The third servant however did nothing more than burying the money he was given. This third servant took no risk and therefore gained nothing. In fact this servant was judge harshly and banished. He was afraid he would lose what was not his to start with. As the Chapter goes on, Jesus gives another story about the final judgment. The judgment when God separates the sheep from the goats. Here is where I had a wonderful “insight”. I was taught that we must do good things or we will be judged. But in this passage the “sheep” did not even realize they had done any of the things they were being rewarded for. Should I come to the conclusion that they just did them because it was simply a part of their normal life? Did they just do these things because it just made sense? Could it be that it was “love for their brother” that caused such acts? Where, or are, the sheep void of fear of judgment? Did they just simply care about one another no matter what the other's beliefs were, or are? Did these “sheep” help other “sheep” and “goats” alike? Did the sheep in this story embrace acceptance with no costs attached? Did they abandon all and any form of rejection, prejudice, or personal judgments?

I believe they did. I also believe that the “radical”, “reform”, and “emergent” movements that are embracing who you are, where you are, and giving parental direction based on grace is the closest thing to the sheep in Matthew 25 we have seen since the church of Acts. My new questions for myself are this, “Am I willing to take risk and double my 'talents'?” Or will I ultimately become the servant who feared to invest in anything or anyone?



"If you wish to be good, first believe that you are bad. "

Monday, February 18, 2008

Dad is coming home?

There is a scene in the movies and TV commercials that I have seen many times. The kids are home alone and have a great big party. At some point the kids realize that their parents are going to be home soon. This realization creates tremendous anxiety and panic. As the kids look around they know there is a lot of clean up that needs to get done. Can you picture this scene that I am sure you have all seen, or may be even you have been there and done that.

As I read many a post throughout the blogosphere I see many posts about drive, anxiety, and the need to clean our house up before Dad gets back. The question that is rattling around in my head is this. How is it, that men and women from every part of the global, un-connecting, and un-influenced by common social groups are sensing the same thing? Does this not raise red flags for anyone? Are bells and whistles going off for anyone

When I look around, I think that mankind has had a big party for thousands of years. My college theology professor touched on a period of time not foreseen by the early Hebrew prophets. A time of the church that eluded prophesy. A time of grace and mercy; our time. And now it seems like many of us “children” have this sense that “Dad” is coming home and we desperately need to get this place cleaned up. I know that the end of times message has echoed the religious halls throughout history. But, I just can’t not get past the fact that SO many people posting on the blogosphere, from SO many different denominations, from SO many different walks of life are all stating that they are “feeling” this urgency.

The dreams I have at night are full of urgency. My eyes see the hurting masses and my heart shatters day in and day out. The harvest is bigger than ever and the workers seem to be caught up in an argument on how we should be out harvesting instead of just getting out there and getting it done. The organized religious dogma has failed to produce mature workers as a whole. Yes, there are many good workers out there. But, when I look at 2000 years of the “organized” church and compare it to 2000 years of harvesting I see a huge deficit. Am I the only one that seems to think that the most productive workers today are the ones who have deviated from organized religious dogma? Am I the only one that is seeing or sensing this stuff? I do not think so.

Is Dad moving many of his children to step away from this useless spiritual dogma war and just get out there and get things done


The Award of Excellence

I have been advised by StoryTeller @ http://sacredruminations.blogspot.com/on the rules of accepting The award of excellence.

By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you agree to award it to 10 more people whose blogs you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want but please award at least 10. You deserve this! Feel free to award people who have already been awarded.

So, since I accepted the award from Storyteller, I am now awarding it to 10 fellow blogers who I have personally grown from. Those 10 are;

Envelope Please,

1. Mike Barrett @ AdventureFaith – Because he is the one who challenged and encouraged me to start a blog.

2. “HGF” @ Wellied on Life – Because, well she is cute and cuddley ;)

3. “StoryTeller” @ Sacredruminations – Because she is faithful and leaves feedback on many of my posts, plus I like her writing.

4. “PJ” @ Much talk on little cause – Because she has wonder thoughts about life.

5. “Endlessly restless” @ of dreams and visions – Because he has outstanding insight and creativity.

6. “Big Mac” @ Isaiah 6:8 – Because he is an outstanding light in a dark world and shares his adventures with us.

Stay tuned there are 4 more to come.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Henri Frederic Amiel

"Destiny has two ways of crushing us -- by refusing our wishes and by fulfilling them."

Fate knows no rest.

I woke this morning and wanted to write something meaningful. I wanted to capture something that lays just under the surface, but deep enough to elude normal disclosure. I wanted to capture that thing that often drives me. Anyway, the words below are what I wrote, than I searched for a picture to use and found a blog called "painted bones", which had this picture on it ( I could not find who to give credit to for this picture). The post on this blog deeply spoke to me this morning after writing my post.

I am not sure why I wrote what is below, or for that matter why I am even posting it. It seems to be full of anguish, but then again may be that is what drives me? Anyway, here it is,

The fire in my eyes burns as my consciousness fades into darkness. Another round of life’s conscious pursuits is completed, as another round of life’s unconscious war begins. Some call it dreaming, I just call it the other side of life’s confusing coin. I search in vain for the off switch, but the images, emotions, and paralyzing struggles just keep coming. The imagines are so convincing that I can not discern reality's passions from this realm's poisons. Falling, flying and fighting are common undertakings while my eyelids hide the tears of torment that will haunt me tomorrow; un-noticed by the world that stares straight at me. My body screams for rest, but there is none to be had. The past seems to be scrambled with the future. This realms timeline seems to be intertwined with the tangible, touchable, and tolerable side of sanity. I often awake more exhausted then when I laid my head down. The excursion into my minds hidden side will leave me with un-settled emotions, un-anchored fears, and a trace of unknown warnings of what may come to past in my future. Guilt and anger are born from acts my unconsciousness suggests I will commit, or will be committed against me. I don’t know what haunts or hunts me, but it draws my fears out into the open, betraying my desires to be strong and courageous. My internal awareness screams for me to run, but from what? The lines that define life’s realities and this realm’s undefined boundaries have become blurred with every emotion I have ever known. What is real? Where does reality live? I fear I am caught up in a battle of destinies. I attempt to elude fate by controlling the unpredictable. The unpredictable eludes me by controlling my fear. My fear eludes arrest and I am left with my weakness. I can find no rest.


Friday, February 15, 2008

"I just want you to know who I am"

The Scots and Irish wear kilts to let others know who their clan is. These families have taken great care in picking the colors of their tartans. The patterns are chosen with diligence and the cloth is treated with a certain reverence. If you were to make a tartan to represent who you are, of those character traits and principles that you think make up your personality, what colors and patterns would your tartan be

I think this question is a difficult question for most to answer, at least answer honestly. “Endlessly Restless” at the Dreams and Visions blog posted a interesting piece recently. This blogger asked a great question and started me to think about the color of our soul. My mind went through several analogies playing with this question. I thought about the building of a house compared to our inner being. My thought process took me to the beams that support many parts of a house and I thought about the beams in terms of character traits that support who we think we are. From there, I came to the tartan and the many colors of such a noble cloth

I left a post for “Endlessly” about how I had to come to grips with a color I know my tartan would have. That color is black. Black because I know I have a dark side; a side that as grown through life’s hardships. At first, I associated this color with sin. Then I realized that black is not the absence of color, but the presence of all color. It is the accumulation of all that I am both good and bad. It is what frames all of my other colors. I started to think about my colorful beams of character and pondered about the fact that although these beams are present, can others really see them or are they buried so deep inside me that they go unnoticed? What color would I use to represent such important parts of me.

As I took this fun journey of thought, I started to think about why this would matter. I realize that all of us want to be known for who we are. We want others to see past our brokenness and embrace our fragmented soul. I want someone to tell me that my life matters, that I am doing right by them. I want to be loved, and to love. I want to feel important. I want to wear the color of my soul like a tartan so others know that their life matters to me and that they are important

But all too often, I just go on living life making everyone guess what the colors of my soul are and wondering if any of it matters? This is my regret


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The sounds of sorrow.

I stand as tall as the howling wind will allow; my arms firmly by my side, thumbs along my pant seams. The bag pipes play faintly at first. From my right I hear “Detail uh-ten- hut”, “Detail present arms”. My right hand, now barley touching my right eye brow, quivers as tears well up and cascade stoically down my cheek.

Another flag draped casket slow passes through my field of view. The pipes first play taps then the song of sorrow; you may know it as “Amazing Grace”. The sounds of a family weeping comes from my right, a child’s cry for her daddy pierces the noise of the blowing wind. Once more the journey from birth to the grave is complete.

There is no solace for the living; as we watch parents say goodbye to their beloved son. A holy man says his peace, but no peace is found this day. “Detail at ease” rings out, my tense and trebling body finds a comfortable posture. All of the could-haves, would-haves, and should-haves come rushing into focus. I stand there in the wind, lonely amidst a crowd. Good bye friend, good bye.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ron Heagy Promo

I Love this guy, we use the clip in a leadership class. I hope you are touched by ROn's story as we are.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What light is your light to share?

I could not just pick one, so I have post many on this topic.

Light is the first of painters. There is no object so foul that intense light will not make it beautiful. Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Where there is much light, the shadows are deepest. Author: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

And this I know; whether the one True Light Kindle to Love, or Wrath consume me quite, One flash of it within the Tavern caught Better than in the temple lost outright. Author: Omar Khayyam ("The Tent-Maker")

He that has light within his own clear breast May sit i' the centre, and enjoy bright day: But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts Benighted walks under the mid-day sun; Himself his own dungeon. Author: John Milton

Beautiful light is born of darkness, so the faith that springs from conflict is often the strongest and the best. Author: R. Turnbull

Adventure Faith's new post

I encourage my readers to check out Mike's new post here. He has brought up a great topic. I also encourage you to post your point of view on the topic.

What Light?

Recently I came across a few posts about letting your light shine ( here, and here). I enjoyed these points of view, but a nagging question kept screaming in my head. What is your light? I have been told to let my light shine every since Sunday school. We even sang a song about it. But I have never been advised to what exactly my light is that I am supposed to let shine.

I have heard several attempts at an explanation, but none of these explanations are very descriptive. They are more like one word meanings that in and of them selves we do not truly understand, like; essences, smile, joy, and so on. How am I supposed to let my light shine in a world of darkness if I do not know what it is, nor understand how to turn it on or keep it on? Why do we use terms that are not clear to define a behavior that we are supposed to have

If my light is supposed to shine in the darkness, than I think it is a behavior I am supposed to have when life is crappy. But I think we all know this is a major thing, be of light when we feel like crap. This is the path to placating and disbelief. I am supposed to be something I do not feel like, and most like do not believe at that point in time. Here we go, let us build another fa├žade to hide my darkness; I will put some light into it so it looks good for the masses. This is bovine scat.

When I was a construction foreman we used to have the new guys always go to the tool bin and get us a “stud stretcher” or a “skyhook”. We would let them spend way to much time searching the entire job site for something that did not exist. At the time we thought this to be funny. And the new guys thought they were looking for real items. Is this whole “let your light shine” thing the same sort of thing? Something we are told as children to make us think that we have to always be happy and pleasant?

May be I am the only one who thinks that this life has many things and times in it that just plain suck? In these moments, what am I supposed to let shine? What part of Jesus’ light was he letting shine when He angrily chased the money changers out of the Temple
? Maybe this whole light thing has nothing to do with neither happiness nor pleasantries. Maybe it is about commitment and contentment? Just the simple knowing that God is in all things and that we are subject to uncomfortable times. May be we just need to chill and let God do His thing and be content with it no matter how ugly it gets around us? I do know that the song “I am going to let it shine, all the time” does me no justice in understanding how to let my light shine when life sucks?


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Assumption of Success

What is your life’s foundational assumption? One definition of this word, “assumption” is a statement that is assumed to be true and from which a conclusion can be drawn”. As odd as it may sound, we all have a foundational belief or assumption about how we perform, or behave. The out come of your endeavors depends on what your foundational assumption is. Do you assume that you are a good person who does good things

Your foundational assumption about yourself gives direction to what choices you make, how you respond to adversity, and your overall attitude. One could even go as far as to say there is a strong correlation between your self assumption and your character. Examples of two polarized self assumptions are, I pursue the right things because I am a good person, or I am a bad person and therefore I do bad things. This is why it is very important to understand what your self assumption is. If I assume the statement “I am a good person” to be true, then when I make a mistake I am likely to say to myself, “that is not like me”. On the contrary, If I assume that the statement “I am a bad person” than when I make a mistake I am likely to state to myself “that is just like me”.

If you want to change a behavior or an attitude you first need to change your self assumption. I can form a new assumption and start to affirm that to myself. For example, I assume to be true that I am a successful businessman. I tell myself this every morning as I start my day. Soon I will begin to make some changes. I will buy a nice suit because that is what successful business me do and that is like me

What we need to do is stop assuming that we are a bad person, a failure, a reject, or unwanted. This is a self defeating foundational assumption. We need to stop affirming this belief. We need to stop assuming that we deserve bad things to happen to us. We need to start forming the assumption that we can do, we deserve to win, we always find a good solution, and so on


A conversation between education and experience.

I was asked to help with a project that is very unique. You can see it here. On this particularly day there was a man and wife out at that project site. This man was introduced to me as “the man who did the math calculations for the space lab”. He held a doctorate degree in advanced quantum physics. Needless to say, he was very smart. Then, there is me. I was running the front loader (big tractor) for the heavy lifting. Well, during some down time this gentleman comes up to me. So, there we were standing next to this tractor. Mind you, we have nothing in common, brains and brawn, young and mature, having an awkward moment. He says to me, “do you know the physics of that hydraulic cylinder?” I respond with, "what?" He says “the math, do you know the mathematical equation of how the fluid is pressed into that cylinder to make it work?” I say, "ah, no sir, I have no clue." He does one of those awkward laughs and says, “of course not” and shakes his head knowing that his attempt to bond with me was not going well.

Feeling bad for my shortness, I make a friendly attempt to have him explain it to me. I was no smarter when he finished but he was happier. I looked at him and asked, “every been on a tractor?” He says “no, but it looks like fun”. So, I have him climb up onto the tractor with me and drove him around the site. He was like a kid in a candy store. As we drove past his wife he starts to wave to her. I smiled and said, “Does your wife want a ride?” He says to me “is that even possible?” "Oh yea, have her climb up here." So there I am, giving tractor rides to the man who did the calculations for the space lab and he was happier then a pig in a wallow. What’s my point, you may be asking by now.

Never under estimate what have you brought to the table. I could not tell you why that tractor worked, but he could. He could not tell you how that tractor worked but I could. Together we completed each others' knowledge. I have had some great opportunities to work alongside some brilliant minds. Many of them way more educated than I could ever dream of being. But I bring to the table something different, something that they need and want. I bring the ability to put their knowledge into motion. Each of us brings something wonderful and unique to the table, never underestimate your contribution.


As you were!!

As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle

Subject: Berkeley council tells Marines to leavehttp://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_8120433?source=rssBerkeley council tells Marines to leaveBy Doug OakleySTAFF WRITER

Hey-hey, ho-ho, the Marines in Berkeley have got to go.That's the message from the Berkeley City Council, which voted 6-3Tuesday night to tell the U.S. Marines that its Shattuck Avenue

recruiting station "is not welcome in the city, and if recruiters chooseto stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders."In addition, the council voted to explore enforcing its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against the Marines because of the military's don't ask, don't tell policy. And it officially encouraged the women's peace group Code Pink to impede the work of the Marines in the city by protesting in front of the station. In a separate item, the council voted 8-1 to give Code Pink a designated parking space in front of the recruiting station once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week from noon to 4 p.m.

In Berkeley, push to rescind letter to Marines
Carolyn Jones, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Georgia (default)
Times New Roman

(02-04) 18:52 Berkeley -- A week after blasting the Marines as "unwelcome intruders" in Berkeley, two City Council members want the city to back off the declaration that ignited the wrath of the nation's right wing and inspired a Republican senator to try to sever Berkeley's federal funding.
Council members Betty Olds and Laurie Capitelli on Monday proposed that Berkeley rescind its letter to the U.S. Marine Corps that stated that the downtown Berkeley recruiting center "is not welcome in our city," and publicly declare that Berkeley is against the war but supports the troops.
The City Council will vote on Olds' and Capitelli's two proposals at its meeting next Tuesday.
"I think we shouldn't be seen across the country as hating the Marines," said Olds, who voted against last week's proposals. "If you make a mistake, like we did, you should admit it and correct it and move on."
The brouhaha started last week when the council passed two items condemning the Marine recruiting center on Shattuck Square, which opened about a year ago. The first called on the city clerk to send a letter to the Marines telling them they're unwelcome, and the second item granted Code Pink a parking space in front of the recruiting office every Wednesday afternoon and allowed the group to operate a loudspeaker.
After the items passed, the council was besieged with criticism from right-wing groups and military supporters. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., proposed that the federal government cut off funds for Berkeley, including lunch programs, ferry service and UC Berkeley.
Olds said she heard from hundreds of people angered by the city's action, including many in her Berkeley hills district.
"People are so mad about this. They have relatives in the service, and now they think they're not welcome in Berkeley," she said. "My twin brother was a Marine in World War II. He'd be turning in his grave if he saw this."
The council appears split on the idea of backing down. Some council members said the original proposals inadvertently insulted veterans and those currently serving in the military. Others said Berkeley should stand by its convictions.
"People are used to Berkeley taking a stand for peace, but you have to do it intelligently," said Councilman Kriss Worthington, who voted against sending the letter calling the Marine Corps unwelcome. "You don't want to slap one group in the face and then, the next minute, slap the other group. I think we have an obligation to be thoughtful and sensitive and not be counterproductive to the cause of peace."
Councilwoman Dona Spring said the council should not be cowed by the volume of hate mail and threats.
"I still oppose the Marines recruiting in Berkeley because it's one way of protesting this wasteful war," she said. "Our military policy is a shambles. But we're not in opposition to the Marines; we oppose the policy that directs the Marines."
Meanwhile, the Code Pink protesters said they were disappointed that Berkeley might rescind its letter to the Marines.
"I hope they're not acting out of intimidation," said Code Pink spokeswoman Medea Benjamin. "Berkeley is a city of peace, and a recruiting station does not fit Berkeley's values."
Mayor Tom Bates, a former Army captain, said it probably wouldn't hurt if the council clarified its position.
"It's a symbol, but there are consequences to symbols," he said. "A lot of people think we're anti-Marine, but there's a difference between the warriors and the war. This is an attempt to clarify that."

It is amazing to me that people forget who paid the price for the peace they enjoy! War is never relished by those risk their lives in one. But a Soldier/Marine/Sailor/Airman will answer the call to duty and stand on that front line so those who spit on them can live in peace. God Bless our troops!!!!


1991, I met a young "bigger than life" man who was all of around 21 or so. Our careers started together as carpool partners. He was a true warrior who feared not. Our career paths crossed several times and we shared many laughs together. We worked an area that carries the designation of number 11. After some time he was forced to medically retire early. Today he became the 11 man I started this job with to have his life taken early. In his late thirties, he leaves behind a child and an ex-wife. Dan, you will be missed, God speed!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Scandalized; Constantine’s church is alive and well.

My friend Mike Barrett has posted an interesting post here about atheist pastors in today's churches. After reading the linked articles and pondering on the subject for awhile, I thought I would post on some of my thoughts.

The "Church" as we know it to be today is the result of thousands of years of manipulation by mankind. Even the Bible has numerous variations. Debates and arguments rage over the legitimacy of whose theology is the most sound. I started to think about the church’s origin. That moment when Christ’s followers went from martyrs to accepted community members. That moment when the Roman Emperor Constantine decided that Christianity was cool and declared his armies Christian armies. He appointed “pastors” over his church and the madness of Nero went from bad to worse as the dynamic faith of Christ’s followers was lulled to sleep.

As humanity becomes more aware of how God created us through efforts like psychology and sociology it is no wonder that many begin to not only explain away their duties as “believers” but actually turn away from the empty practices of their faith. Following Christ was never meant to be about rules, dogmas, theologies or traditions. It has always been about passion, conviction and that small seed of faith sewn in the heart of an individual.
Constantine’s decision to make Christianity legal was no more than a political power move and it was very effective.

I believe that many people are realizing just how hollow organized religion is, including pastors. It is great for the money changers and power seekers, but for those of us who seek a dynamic relationship with God it is very limiting. Make sure you show up every Sunday so you can put your share of money in the tray, but keep God in a controlled box. Once God gets out of that box the masses might realize that the church really was never meant to have so much power and control of the masses.

Another issue I ponder about was the issue of always talking about what God wants you to do in your life, but never actually going out and doing it. Many pastors are hired based on their what; level of education? You went to what school for how long to learn about the theology? How much living do they have? A friend of mine said to during a conflict resolution chat, “‘TB’ there are two types of people, white bread and wheat bread”. Wheat bread folks have seen, felt, and experienced the ugly side of life. They know God’s Grace and Mercy. They know the need for forgiveness and they do not reject the ugly, hurt, and broken of this world. The white bread folks only know these things by words and theory.” God is alive and well for the wheat bread folks.
If you doubt where God is, put your books down, take a break from your traditional religious routine and go out into the world and allow God to love you there. Do as Christ did, break a few religious rules, touch the untouchable, love the unlovable then come back and share your knowledge and experience with those you send out to do the same.

Oh yea, and throw away your “God” box. He has never fit in there anyway, so when you open it and say “where is God” dont be so shocked that He is not in your Damn box.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Doctor orders rubber ducking time.

Recently I went to the doctor. After reviewing my aliments, he gave me some medicine and ordered me to take several hot soaks in the tub. So, I came home and started my “treatment”. I have not had a “bath” in decades. So I found myself in a nice tub of hot water and some additives, bored out of my mine. My lovely “Girl Friday” walks in with a book and a glass of red wine. She states “thought you might need these”. The book she brought to me was called “Messy Spirituality”, God’s annoying love for imperfect people by Michael Yaconelli.

I purchased this book some time ago and it has sat on the shelf, un-noticed and unimportant. It is funny how these things work. As I read this book the topic was presented to me at a perfect time in my life. I had recently heard a great quote that had me thinking about such things. The quote went something like this “God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called”. Anyway, the book touches on how Christ did religion all wrong. And that is the point, the religious miss God because they focus so much on the rules that they have made about how to follow God.

Like most of the books I like, this one has many quotes in it. Quotes like: “He got all “A’s” and flunked life”, by Walker Percy, and “It is not going to be easy to listen to God’s Call. Your insecurity, your self-doubt, and your great need for affirmation make you lose trust in your inner voice and run away from yourself. But you know that God speaks to you through your inner voice and that you will find joy and peace only if you follow it”, by Henri Nouwen,The inner voice of Love.

As my body soaked up the medicine, my soul soaked up the moment. Robert Capon’s quote “The church, by large, has had a poor record of encouraging freedom. She has spent so much time inculcating in us the fear of making mistakes, that she has made us like ill-taught piano students: we play our songs, but we never really hear them because our main concern is not to make music but to avoid some flub that will get us in Dutch”, speaks volumes to me.

I was pondering the concept that we are taught to live in constant fear of our mistakes that we never live our lives as God intended. Is it possible to follow all the rules and have God pissed off at us? Why did Christ break so many of the religious rules of the day? Has the church become so concerned about the theology that she has lost sight of God, and His purpose for us.


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