Tip of the Day:

Don't walk between parked cars.

If I can just interject for a moment; isn't it plain to see that if you don't walk between parked cars, you'll never get home? Heck, many people have to walk between parked cars just to get from their driveway to their house. What are they supposed to do? And how does one get into a car if his car is parked on the far side of the garage?

Sooner or later, if you want to get anywhere, you have to take the risk, and walk between parked cars.

Unless you take the bus...but don't take the bus heading nowhere.



What is the largest complaint I hear people tell me about the politicians we elect?

With the elections looming on the horizon, and with so many people (possibly everybody) dissatisfied with their government officials, I thought now might be the time to share my opinion about this year's elections.

From my history, I have never been a republican or a democrat, although I have voted for members of both parties at times. I struggle to find the perspective of others who tell me they ALWAYS vote democrat or they ALWAYS vote republican. I just can't relate to such blind (or maybe wise?) loyalty.

Considering that I haven't met a person who is completely satisfied with the US government, nor have I met a person who is even content with our government's performance, it strikes me as odd that so many vote the "party line". This becomes especially odd when you consider that there are usually almost equal numbers of both parties in each branch of government at any time, meaning that you can't really blame one party or the other for the current woes.

What it does mean is that you can blame both parties, and if we are going to be fair and balanced, then we must. I never understand why an adult in any area of our nation will blame one party or the other, while turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the party he usually supports. Look at the facts; members of both parties SHARE the duties of congress and senate, which act as checks and balances against the executive and judicial branches of our government.

This year, I'd like to encourage you to do something different; even if for the last fifty years, you have voted republican, or for the last sixty years, you have voted democrat.

This year, I'd like to encourage you to consider the two parties as nonexistent, and simply vote for the person (not the party) who you think best defines what this country is all about. That means you might have to do some research, but if we are ever going to get off this dead stalemate of corrupt, rotten, dead-in-their-skins patrician politicians, we are going to have to kill their parties first. We are going to have to take the power of their party away, and make them vote according to issue, and not according to party.

It starts with us. We cannot expect our politicians to vote anything but the party line if we don't do it first.

Have you guessed yet what the largest complaint I hear is? I'll give it to you straight. "I wish our politicians would vote their conscience, and not their party".

You can make them do it.

But you are going to have to kill their party first, and you can only do that by voting YOUR conscience.

Things are never hopeless in this redeemed world of Christ. We in America are more free than we dare grab hold of. The vote is not worthless, unless you choose to vote "no contest" and hand the power to the patrician politicians by voting the usual party line.

I think it's high time we make voting a contest again, and make the politicians do what they say they will do. And if you should happen to run into a couple of politicians whose only advertisement for themselves is to cut their opponent down, treat them as though they don't exist on the ballot. For myself, I stand by what my mother told me a long time ago; If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Wouldn't it be nice if our politicians campaigned that way, too?

Remember, all of this is just surface stuff. The deeper issues belong to God, and He'll never abandon you, or throw mud at an opponent. You belong to a family of love, not a family of strife. Whenever I think of that, I always find renewed strength in the hope for mankind.

You all belong to a family of love.



All people are the same.

All people are different.

How can this be?

In my experiences throughout this thirty-nine year old life, I have learned many things about people, and I know I have much, much more to learn still. Here is what I know:

1. All people who are in their right mind (please don't ask me to explain what "in their right mind is"; I just hope there is a commonality we can begin from) tend to shy away from pain.
2. All people feel anguish or hurt in the same situations. Some will openly admit their pain, while others (especially men) will put up a brave front. But the common ground is that what hurts you will also hurt me. I know this simplifies things, but for the sake of discussion, let's leave it simple.
3. All people carry on internal "conversations". In other words, no, you aren't the only one who is crazy enough to talk to yourself inside of your own mind.
4. All people struggle with seeing their "neighbor" as a real person. This is not to say we ignore their humanity. We simply fail to cross the divide between the two of us, because we live out only one perspective; our own.
5. All people crave true love (not romantic love). True love is the type that not only loves its neighbor, but likes them as well; is willing to accept any fault and forgive any wrong, rejoices with triumphs and collaborates with calamity, and hopes to receive the same from someone...anyone.
6. All people feel lonely at times; some feel lonely all of the time.
7. Despite what Freud says, sex is not the driving factor in a person's life. Sex is merely eye candy, surface waves; no deeper than a tumbleweed crossing your path in a high wind. All people crave to be accepted. That is the single most important driving influence in any person's life. We like to be liked. We crave it. We want everyone to see how wonderful we are, even if we can't admit those words out loud.

There is much more, but this list of things I have learned has come at great cost, and through many mistakes in my life. Now, if you look at this list again, can you see why Jesus Christ is so attractive to so many people who hear of his story? Even those who are stuck in Christian legalism believe Jesus has a special soft spot for them inside of his heart. Despite century upon century of manipulation and sheer audacity, the one thing the church has failed to kill is overwhelming ability of Jesus to say in any way, "I truly love you".

I have met many fine people in my life; some of whom were so afraid to do anything wrong that they were living in a kind of daily self-fulfilling prison. Others were so free that you wondered what their secret was. But each person I met who knew Jesus, even the devoutest Lutherans and Catholics, knew they had a friend in Jesus, despite anything and everything they had ever done.

Some have closed their eyes to Jesus, but in the end, they will know he is their friend as well, because the message of His life was not to condemn, but to befriend. "No greater love has man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends". I can't recall the verse number or chapter, and I don't care. Jesus doesn't care either. He just knows that I know I have a friend in Him.

Even the most guilt ridden people I have met held in their hearts this secret place that they share with few others; the place where Jesus lives, and says to them, "Everything is going to be alright. You'll see". It is the place where hope lives, and whether you know Jesus or you don't, he is alive in you, and breathing words of comfort and hope, and of a future that has to be...just HAS to be, better than this.

Sometimes things are so good that you can't imagine things could be better than this. But being alive and free, and under the full knowledge that whereas once you didn't know you had a friend in Jesus, now He has revealed himself to you fully; well friends, life don't get better than that, no matter what happens from here on out.



Yes, I'm still alive, and I have no intention of closing down this blog. I have just been sick for two and a half weeks (still am). I get up at five a.m. and go to work for ten hours. I come home, make supper, spend some time with my daughter, and go to bed, starting the same cycle over the next day. This is how it will be until I feel healthy again. I really don't have much desire to do anything else right now.

I am sure I will feel better soon. In the meantime, enjoy the World Series, and watching your favorite politician lie on TV, while your favorite talking head pontificates, and says, "Yes, but WHAT'S it ALL about Basil?"