Beautiful Bride

The day was perfect in all ways!

Recently, the weather in our local region had been unpredictable. Temperatures into the high-90’s were sometimes replaced with blustery afternoons. Planning an outdoor wedding would stress any couple during this time of year.

It was my honor to witness a very special wedding this past weekend. Who says that a large wedding is reserved only for the younger people. Why not a loving couple who cultivated a long-standing friendship for twenty-plus years and surrounded by friends and family who have been a part of their lives and long-term relationship?

Well, that is exactly what happened this past Saturday afternoon.

Continue reading “Beautiful Bride”

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Joseph’s Story

Have you ever read the full story of Joseph in the Bible?

A descendant of Jacob, Joseph was sold into slavery at the age of 17. His step-brothers hated him as he revealed his dream that one day, they would all bow down to this younger brother.  He was Jacob’s favorite son and was given a coat of many colors. Some of you may remember the stage play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

As a side note for many of my old SF church friends – I have many fond memories of performing Dreamer – What Really Happened to Joseph every weekend for months! In spite of the loss of one of our brothers, we chose to live on.

Joseph’s life endured many twists and turns until he finally became second in command in Egypt – only the Pharaoh had more authority. This was unheard of for a foreigner to rule Egypt. However, God used Joseph to interpret dreams that would one day save Egypt and Israel by storing up a percentage of harvest in the good years and rationing the food in the lean years.

Joseph definitely had the courage to live on in spite of his circumstances. Here is what I have learned from this Bible series. Continue reading “Joseph’s Story”

Lost and Found

This world of technology creates a new level of self-imposed anxiety.

Have you noticed that in your life?

Try leaving your cell phone at home the next time you go out for a day. Many would be hard-pressed to separate from their electronic devices even for an hour. It is a mini-computer for that perfect solution to a portable office. For others, it is merely a communication device when, and only if, they want to be conversing with the outside world.

We learn to synchronize our personal calendars with family members so everyone is aware of the whereabouts of their loved ones. Gone are the days of – “Let me check my social calendar (i.e., their spouse or partner).”  We use it for relaxation, quick-fix camera shots, stream data, personal hot spot, etc. There are many applications to download and the usefulness is limited only by our imagination. All of this is generally within our control and our preferences dictate the functional use of our little electronic anchors.

But what if we LOSE control of our devices?

I am not talking about the forced updates or the occasional drop in the toilet. No, I am talking about actually losing your cell phone.

Such was the anxiety I experienced recently during an afternoon movie outing… Continue reading “Lost and Found”

T + P + C = H

What is this?

No, it is not a new texting acronym nor is it a chemical formula or advanced math calculation.

So what am I trying to say with these four letters? What do they represent?

For those of you who have been following this blog site, you understand that this is my journey of courage through some rather difficult circumstances and events in my life. Time has moved forward yet the wounds still seem fresh every now and then.

If you ever experienced loss in your life, this message is for you. Here is the translation:

Continue reading “T + P + C = H”

Rough Start To Our Vacation

(this is the first of a series of stories from our recent cruise adventure)

Packing our suitcases, checking our list of necessary items for the trip, trying to stay healthy, and arranging for drop-off and pick-up transportation. All this for the start of our first cruise down the Pacific Coastline on the Grand Princess!

Excitement grew as each day drew closer to our embarkation date of April 1. Nothing was going to deter us from our wonderfully planned voyage. I was exceptionally excited as this would be my family’s first cruise ever! Finally, we could see what this cruising-lifestyle is all about.

Saturday morning arrived. We had to wait for my older son and his wife to arrive so that we can carpool together into San Francisco. Last-minute preparations and the loading of suitcases into the car with some extra room for their luggage.

My phone buzzed – it was my son calling probably to let me know they were almost here. Upon answering my phone, I heard the words that would deflate my enthusiasm.

Dad, we have a problem.

Continue reading “Rough Start To Our Vacation”

The Most Important Job I Will Ever Have!

This weekend, there was a somber memorial service for a fallen California Highway Patrol (“CHP”) officer, Lucas Chellew, who was only 31 years old at the time of his death last week. He had served eight years in the CHP and his sister, also a CHP officer, delivered a moving testimony of her older brother’s legacy and life.

While we honored Officer Chellew’s sacrifice to protect and serve the citizens of California, a higher loss was recognized. He was a proud father of his young children. It is very sad that they will no longer have their daddy to protect them.

This made me think of my own status as a father. Continue reading “The Most Important Job I Will Ever Have!”

Overwhelmed By Cold, Temporary Problems

Have you ever felt buried by problems and circumstances in your life?

Just like this tree overwhelmed by the copious amounts of snow at Lake Tahoe last month, I can identify with this crown. Problems seem to pile up at times and just like this tree, I struggle to keep my head above water (so to speak).

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The good news is that when the snow melts in the spring or early summer, it will be standing tall to provide shade and a safe haven for nature as in past seasons.

Have you thought about how the base of the tree reacts to the freezing temperature of the packed snow? Do you ever feel that your problems seem to freeze you in a position that disables you from moving forward?

Continue reading “Overwhelmed By Cold, Temporary Problems”

The Storms of Change

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” – John 8:7

It is a shame that when change occurs, human nature acts out in a selfish manner. Who is truly entitled to cast blame and doubt on anyone except the blameless?

Yet no one is blameless even though some believe they are above the others.

Let us get deeper.

When devastation occurs in a person’s life such as the loss of a loved one, would you not agree that this is a “major storm” in life? Who would want such tragedies to occur? Who can we blame for our circumstances?

Who has the courage to choose resilience over resistance? Continue reading “The Storms of Change”

A Very Special Christmas Gathering

 

The brisk sunny afternoon was the perfect welcome for the annual Christmas party that was about to begin. Relatives near and far converged upon this particular home which enjoyed the perfect backdrop of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Oakland hills greeted this extended family to a party expected to be filled with laughter, stories, and love that transcends four generations!

This much-anticipated family party was about to begin!

Continue reading “A Very Special Christmas Gathering”

Little Mary (part 2)

You might be wondering why this is part-2 of my previous blog entitled “Little Mary”.

To fully understand the impact of the story written in part-1, you have to read the letter written in 2010 from this little girl (who was a three-year seasoned performer by now with Kidz Praise).

The letter was written as a class assignment and the comment at the bottom came from her teacher. The letter is written here in the original format (misspellings and all) …

Continue reading “Little Mary (part 2)”