The End Of An Era

at least in My mind….

As high school kids are graduating into the next phase of their lives, many will carry life experiences that have transformed them so far in their young lives. Some are just happy to walk the stage or receive their diploma.

Yet there are others who have tried new things in their younger years and may not realize the impact it will have in their future careers, relationships, and thought processes. I feel excited for many of them as their journey is much different these days.

I share similar emotions as teachers of many of the graduating students. While I may not have been a full-time instructor (I commend those who have the tenacity to teach our next generation), I do reflect upon many of the special children that were in my care from a different type of background.

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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

Little Mary (part 1)

The August weather challenged my mind as I assembled my team for the Christmas production while coordinating thirty-six children ranging from ages 6-12. It was a small group of volunteers including a piano player to tap the notes for the children.

It would be my first experience organizing and conducting a children’s choir at church. I was up for the challenge in spite of the inattentiveness of the children. The plan was to create a musical production in less than four months. Many did not have stage experience or even participated in a full musical production. Many could not read musical notes or dance. Yes, it would be a first for everyone so let the fun begin!

Excitement filled the air and many older girls were practicing for the coveted part – Mary’s solo. There were other solo parts to be had but this one was the best in the production (according to the children). It was no wonder many girls lined up for their chance to win the lead solo (or at the very least, to be the understudy).

When the line of hopeful singers was exhausted, I asked if there were any more singers ready to try out for this special solo. Everyone looked around but no one raised their hand. Then my attention turned to someone sitting in the back of the room. Continue reading

Living Life As A Hummingbird

This past weekend, my wife and I visited a beautiful botanical garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. With the camera around my shoulder, we set out to enjoy the overcast day sprinkled with the occasional sunshine peaking through the clouds.

First of all, I am not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination but sometimes, my beginners luck provides some fantastic shots (especially after I crop some unnecessary background images).

We noticed a hummingbird hovering about thirty feet from us. It was so small against the backdrop of the beautiful green landscape and foliage. I had no chance of capturing the bird in-flight unless I pressed the shutter button as fast as I could.

In an instant, it was gone but oh, the picture I captured. Then I thought about our lives and how we live like hummingbirds. What do I mean?

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Resilience

Is that word in your vocabulary?

Lately, I have been reading many stories of life struggles. Some are my friends and others I have never met. We all have, are, and will experience life-changing events that will shape who we will become for the betterment of those around us.

That’s counterintuitive to say the least. Many ask the question, “How can something good come out of this?” Have you ever asked that question while in the midst of your challenge or struggle?

Sure, we have heard those phrases such as “When you hit rock bottom, there is no where else to go but up”. Resilient people, however, have a different mindset…. Continue reading

Deja Vu (from the movies)

Have you ever watched a fact-based movie and got caught up in the emotions of the characters? I don’t mean crying when the script manipulates one’s feelings but to have a heart-felt hurt for the character because YOU have lived it yourself?

This happened to me recently and I was totally caught off-guard.

It all began one evening when I was exhausted from the week’s activities and simply wanted to watch a movie on Netflix (you know, something mindless). I had been following this one series due to the nature of the characters and was excited when part-3 was available.

OK, it was an action movie but based on a true story. I like those type of movies. So I hit <Play>… Continue reading