Reflections of…Blue Lives Matter-Too!

Reflections Of... Blue Lives Matter-Too!

So this is going to be a difficult subject—

And I accept that some of you will disagree with what I am going to say.

But remember—our 2018 theme is HOPE:

Helping

Others&Ourselves

Peacefully

Exist

So…let’s put that in action.

Right here….Right now.

With this controversial subject—Blue Lives Matter Too!

I am the first one to say—

What happened to shooting someone in the leg or arm to DISARM them?

Why are so many of the victims of these Blue crimes being killed?

So… I do NOT agree with how a lot of the shootings are happening.

And I AM DISAPPOINTED that all of the police charged have been let go and acquitted.

I mean the guy in New York who was selling cigarettes and they jumped him and he died at the scene?

Or the guy who was running from his car—shoot him in the LEG! Not 5 bullets in his back!

So please—there are injustices being done, and I agree that someone needs to pay for the wrongs they have done.

But, do we throw the baby out with the bath water?

Do we unequivocally blame ALL POLICE because there are some who are bringing shame and reproach to the shield?

Or… do we accept and understand that—there are rotten apples in every apple barrel—we don’t throw out ALL of the Apples!

I have great respect for the men and women who wear blue and a shield each and every day—putting their lives on the line for my safety.

I pray daily for their safe return to their family and home—no child should lose their parent in the line of duty—NO CHILD!!

They never know when a routine traffic stop for a busted tail light ends up with them being dragged as the driver decides to drive away—

With the police officer in tow!!

And yes—that has really happened!

Most of them are dedicated to the honor of serving their community.

And you have to know—they do NOT get paid fairly for what they daily sacrifice.

It is an honorable profession—at least, it used to be.

But in 2018…with Ferguson in our hearts and minds—things have happened that should NOT have transpired.

And it was at the hands of a police officer.

None of their actions are acceptable or defendable.

We deplore those bad apples that have made this environment that we now live in—when those in Blue are disrespected and distrusted.

Those who have done the misdeeds deserve the dishonor—but then there are "that" majority— who tirelessly serve and protect US -who do NOT!

The Bible says to pay honor to whom honor is due!

And for those out there, doing the job, with the low pay and high possibility of loss (life or limb) at the hands of those they are serving- I salute you!

I won’t jump on the bandwagon proclaiming all police are bad and deserve to be shot!

That’s anarchy!

When we choose to defame the ones who are committed to protect and serve us—we are legislating a lawless society!

And we all know—we CAN’T have that!

Laws may be for those who abide by the law...

But cops are for those who refuse to abide!

And when they are caught by the police—the police make our society a little safer because at least today—a police officer has secured the area for the rest of us.

So…

When you respond, and I sincerely hope you select the “Contact Alan” at the top of the Menu Bar and send me your response…I want to hear it…

Please remember that I do NOT defend the undefendable—those bad apples that have given our “servants of the people” a bad name.

Remember HOPE and what it stands for…

We can calmly and peacefully have these emotion filled possibly combustible conversations with one another—and NOT lose respect for each other.

Help ME make HOPE Happen!

Write! Share! Discuss!

 

We Salute all who serve! Military and Police!

 

Reflections of…Let’s Give HOPE a Chance!

Reflections Of... Let's Give HOPE a Chance!

It’s been awhile—I know—a long while.

Just haven’t really found a reason to write.

I always promised myself that I would only write when I was inspired.

With that promise kept…it’s been several months since I have felt inspired.

2017 was such a year of adjustment for so many I know.

Adjustments to so many unexpected changes.

If you know my life--- you have no doubt heard of a man called Norm!

I kicked off the “Darn That Norm!” campaign in March 2017—after Norm hit me and totaled my car and left me with a broken left hand.

All of the unexpected adjustments I had to make to my life due to someone else’s actions that adversely affected my life.

I am a severe Lefty—so, losing the use of my left hand was severe!

And every time I had to endure some change due to it—I would shout “Darn the Norm!”

It became my comical way of coping with the adjustments to my life!

And yet….by the end of the year, I was saying “Thank you Norm!”

Why? Let’s just say that, Thanks to the actions of Norm—our home is NOW PAID OFF!

Thank you Norm!!

But this year?

I felt the Lord whisper into my spirit—“there is Hope—don’t give up—have Hope!”

And this was confirmed by an old friend I have not spoken to in years—she reached out to me and said God revealed the same thing to her!

Hope it is!

What is hope, you might ask?

H= Helping

O= Others

P= Peacefully

E= Exist

Can’t we all use some hope in our ever changing, more combustible than ever, polarizing world we live in?

I can no longer talk to my brother about politics—we are still both republicans, but we do NOT agree on the current president.

I can no longer talk to my friends about football—I chose to boycott the NFL because I don’t want politics when I am watching football.

You have every right to protest whatever you want—our Constitution guarantees you that right!

But…do it where it is appropriate—like in front of the stadium, with your placards raised—showing your peaceful protest in action.

Don’t take a knee when the National Anthem is played—whether you are intending to offend our military doesn’t matter—

Because….you are!

And I can no longer talk about religion with my Islamic friends because people assume because I am republican, I must want to deport them.

I AM republican, but I am NOT a Trumper, I am NOT in favor of building a Wall, and I do NOT want innocent dreamers sent home—they ARE home!

So…if we can each take HOPE to Heart and…Help Others to Peacefully Exist…

Can’t we change this world for the better?

Can’t we be the change we want to see?

Can’t we live by example instead of by words?

Who is willing to join me?

We can’t make it better until we are willing to fight for HOPE!

Let’s make 2018 the year we….

Help Others Peacefully Exist!

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections Of…Borrowed Time!

Reflections Of... Borrowed Time!

Happy 4th of July-Independence Day! We celebrate the greatest country in the world—We are proud to be Americans!

Welcome Back!

It’s been a few months since I have written.

I’m ready to move on—and start writing again.

But I’m revising and adjusting—and I am writing LESS!

Yes LESS- I will keep it to 300 words—I was averaging 700, sooo…I wanted to shorten the reflection so you can enjoy it more.

So…new LESS of me—might mean—you get MORE of me by me giving LESS!

Please let me know what you think of the “new” format.

Here goes…300 words starts NOW!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Today is my 8th year anniversary of my heart attack!

That day the doctor said “you should have died today and your wife should have been a widow!”

So much of life has been lived in the last 8 years.

So many memories that I am so glad I was around to share and experience.

Performing my son Schuyler’s and godson Shane’s weddings.

Our 15th anniversary vow renewal on the beach!

Births of 5 of our 9 grandchildren.

Saying goodbye to my forever friend Sandy, my brother Joe and my second mom Ciria.

And yes – there have been painful moments that I can’t bring myself to articulate.

But….still…

Definitely glad that I was allowed to stay—God apparently had a lot more life left for me to live.

What have I learned in the past 8 years?

I started out so afraid that the “second” heart attack was around the corner every day.

I was afraid to be alone—I didn’t want to die alone-- like my dress rehearsal, which I had all alone.

8 years later—I spend a lot of time alone, and I am still scared that I will die alone, but…

I have accepted that—when it happens—I will know—I lived “a wonderful life”-- and I am grateful for the extra time I was given.

Grateful—that’s how I want to be remembered!

How do you want to be remembered?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections Of… You Never Know!

 

 

 

 

 

In an instant—your life can change—and you never saw it coming!

I was driving home Tuesday afternoon, around 6:45pm, when all of a sudden, I see a red car dash in front of me, going 60 mph…

And I said out loud “this guy’s gonna hit me!”

And at that moment- my life changed forever.

He DID hit me—or ran in front of me so quickly that I t-boned him- between his front and back driver side door.

I literally watched in slow motion as my air bag deployed—right in my chest!

Within 30 seconds, a twenty something young man was at my door.

“Sir, are you okay? Can you get out of your car quickly please? There are all sorts of fluids coming out of your car and I just don’t think it’s safe for you to stay inside!”

I was shaken up and disoriented, but I followed his lead as he walked me over to the curb and helped me sit down.

Then I saw it—MY CAR! It looked like an accordion in the front and side.

My car---my Koby Soul! I had named it Koby when I bought in for my birthday in January 2014!

Only 32,000 miles and never had any food in it—Never!

That drove my wife crazy—no fast food in MY car!

And for all that—there was my Koby—in the middle of the road, cars whisking past.

Within a few minutes, I got to meet Norm.

Who is Norm?

Norm is the 74 year old guy who met me saying “I didn’t see you—I just didn’t see you!”

Even at 57—I was raised in the South—we respect our elders.

So…I couldn’t even yell at him.

He said “I’ve been driving 47 years and never an accident…until today!”

I did retort “so why’d you pick me?”

We both laughed.

Norm was not hurt.

My left hand was throbbing and my right chest was killing me!

You have to remember that I am a heart attack survivor so…any pain in my chest concerns me!

The police and the tow truck guys said Koby was totaled- the damage was extreme.

My brother and sister-in-law came to get me.

I kept saying “I can’t believe he hit me!”

My wife looked at my chest—black and blue from where the airbag deployed IN MY CHEST!

My left hand was still killing me.

She said “as long as you can wiggle your fingers—it’s not broken!”

Remember that for later.

I didn’t sleep well- kept waking up from a dream reliving the accident.

My wife said that I was yelling “this guy’s gonna hit me!”

Over and over again.

I went to the ER the next morning to get checked out.

X-rays of hand and right side were taken.

Ribs were NOT broken- yay!

But…

Remember that finger wiggling comment from my wife?

Well Nurse Jessica dispelled that old wife’s tale with the declaration “you’re hand is broken!”

Even IF I can wiggle my fingers?

YES—even IF!

So…cast placed on left hand- they want to put a pin in my left hand when they do hand surgery.

Bella and I went to get my personal effects out of our Kia—

And I saw it—and it hit me!

I walked away from that!

To God be the Glory!

I heard the scripture that promises “and lo, I am with you always!”

And He was!

In an instant—One Unexpected Event—my life changed—the moment I met Norm!

But…my bride is NOT planning a funeral and my friends are NOT writing eulogies…

Because God saw fit to let me walk away!

I’ll never forget the day I met Norm—but mostly, I’ll never forget having the chance to be alive to meet Norm!

And all I can keep singing is “How Great Thou Art!”

 

 

 

Reflections of…Always Be Ready!

The scripture says “Preach the Word--Be instant in season…and out of season!” II Timothy 4:2

What exactly does that mean?

A little ABR—always be ready!

Like at a 10 year old grandson’s birthday party!

Marcus Riley Johnson is our 2nd oldest grandchild—and he just turned 10.

Nano, that would be me, started a tradition that all 9 of our grandkids get, on their 10th birthday—100 $1 bills!

Yes—100 $1 Bills!

I know, I know—that can be expensive!

With 9 grandkids—you betcha!

I did NOT think this through before I said it—but, now I have to keep the tradition going!

And believe it or not—you can’t take your money with you, so…why not make a 10 year old smile ear to ear!

You see-- $100 to a 10 year old is HUGE! To a teenager? Not so much!

So…if you want to impress your grandkids—do it when they are impressionable—like at age 10!

And oh—what  a memory you will make! For them—AND for you!

Nano and Nana playing dodgeball with the grands!
So Nana and Nano put on this party for Marcus—I have always called him MarkyMarc! Nano’s nickname for him!

We themed the party SPIDERMAN! The cake! The plates! The toys—all Spiderman!

And we had games—like water balloons, water guns, skittles n straws and Dodge Ball with the grands!

The kids had a lot of fun!

Nano and Nana were exhausted.

We saved the best for last—the presentation of the Mulah! (Money! 100 clams!)

But wait—back to the scripture.

I ordered a dishwasher for my wife—it’s her birthday on Thursday, so I wanted it delivered before her birthday.

Jay and his coworker showed up with the washer—he had difficulty installing it.

He said “Saturday is my day for blessing people—so I am not leaving til we install this!”

And with a lot of hard work and some ingenuity—it was installed.

I thanked him and shook his hand—something hit me when I did—and I asked “may I pray with you?”

Who does that? Pray with a service provider?

Yeh—that would be me!

So I prayed with him—asked God to bless him big for his commitment to quality and to open doors he didn’t even see there!”

When we finished—he was smiling ear to ear.

He said “this is what you didn’t know. I have been in a deep valley for 3 months—wondering if I would ever feel God’s presence again. I prayed each day for me to feel His presence, but nothing! I asked him to let me feel Him no matter where or when! But nothing—for 3 months—nothing. But today, when you prayed for me—I felt the Lord’s presence for the first time in 3 months! I had to come here to meet you to have you pray for me to feel God’s presence. Thank you for obeying the Lord—He used you to answer my prayer!”

And he hugged me.

Wow!! I didn’t see that coming—in the middle of a 10 year old’s birthday party—but, I have learned ABR!

Always Be Ready!

And wherever and with whomever God wants to use me—I am His to be used as He sees fit!

Is that how you feel? Do you yield to the Lord to be used as He sees fit?

There might be a Jay who needs you to do what God says—when He says it!

You could be His Hands Extended to touch a heart and confirm a prayer—yes--- YOU!

It’s really simple when you no longer think about being embarrassed or being offensive or being wrong!

Trust the Lord who loves you to never cause you embarrassment—He’s not like that—EVER!

ABR—Always Be Ready! For Him to use you!

Back to the party—When I prayed over Marcus and gave him his 100 $1 dollar bills---

He wanted to make it rain! And he did!

Then he said “Nano—I want to roll in the money!”

And he did that too!

MarkyMarc rollin' in the money!
It was everything I hoped it would be—for him AND for me!

Memory made by all—and prayers answered to boot!

A-B-R! Just that simple, just that easy—IF you want it to be!

 

Reflections of…Sharing The Good News!

You see that young man?

He is following his dream…

At the ripe old age of 67!

I know, I know…he doesn’t look a day over 45, but he really is..67!

And yet—he is undaunted by the possible hurdles he must face… on his path, following his dream.

Even if it’s a 24 hour airplane ride from Tampa to Nairobi—KENYA!

His dream, his passion, his calling—is to be a missionary!

And he has been walking in that calling as a missionary for 8 years—this summer will be 8 years since his first trip to Costa Rica.

He took a group of people from our church on their first of many trips to Costa Rica.

Then God opened the door for him to speak in Brazil…

Then…Africa!

He has been back to Africa a few times—ministering to other pastors, to children, to adults who want to hear the “good news!”

That Jesus loves them and that Jesus cares for them where they are.

There’s a scripture that says “Go ye therefore, teach all nations, go…baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost!”

We call it the Great Commission…

It’s called that because it commissions all of us to…GO!

Go and tell others about Jesus—to every nation—even America!

My friend Charles felt the burden to cross bodies of water and go through forests and travel in treacherous terrain—to tell others about Jesus.

We pray for him each time he steps out on his great commission—fulfilling God’s call on his life.

And he’s no spring chicken—although he acts like one.

While others in their sixties are starting the last leg of their journey—called retirement—not Charles and his lovely bride Mavis.

They are not content to sideline through life—they are in the battlefield for their Lord.

What about you?

Where are you spreading the “good news”?

Who are you telling the good news to?

What treacherous terrain are you crossing just to get the message out “Jesus Loves you just the way you are!”

You see—many are content to just phone it in once they hit a certain age—they’ve done their time, earned their points, made their mark…

But, for people like Charles and Mavis—it’s not about earning the right to not do anything—

It’s about finding that one thing that you were meant to do—and loving it enough to—go do it!

I myself have always found the missionary field of Corporate America to be the place where I have been called.

From IBM to Bank of America, from Hewlett Packard to Progressive Insurance—I have always taken His Light into the dark places.

The Word says “Let your light so shine before men!”

And there are those in cubicles and corner offices all across Corporate America who need Jesus too.

God has used me over the years to be the person everyone brings their prayer requests to, asks for advice and seeks counsel from.

Why? Because people watch your life—not that it has to be perfect, but that you show a “strength” when dealing with life’s hurdles…

A strength that shows—God is your source, your refuge, your strength!

Sharing God’s love to a lost and dying world—whether it’s Nairobi or New York City.

Jesus loves them all.

And He wants to send you out to teach all nations—

Question is?

Will you go?

 

Reflections of…The Bonds of Friendship!

Reflections of...The Bonds of Friendship!

Friendship is the blessing from Heaven that helps you step thru the tough times and sees you to the other side.

My favorite scripture is Proverbs 18:24 “A man who has friends must be friendly; and there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother!”

2 parts to that scripture.

  • If you are going to have a friend—you must be a friend! Reciprocate the effort of friendship—it is an effort—worthwhile, but still…
  • Jesus is that friend who sticks closer than a brother would-I have a close brother—and, believe me, that’s pretty close. My brother would do anything for me, and he has always been there anytime I have needed him, so I know—if Jesus is going to be closer than Paul—that’s close!

I don’t take my friendships for granted—I know people my age who do not have any close relationships that they call friend.

Oh sure—they know people—don’t we all? But, to sit and say “I’m having a tough time right now and I just need a friend.” That’s not something they can say to anyone because—they have not cultivated and nurtured an acquaintance relationship into a bond of friendship.

And it takes effort—you have to be a friend to have a friend—you need to work to be the kind of friend that a friend would like to have.

Think about that—the kind of friend that a friend would like to have—someone who is caring, attentive, thoughtful, present when needed.

Are you that to your “friends?”

I really am.

And I am blessed to have my faithful 5, who are 6, who are also that good friend to me.

Butch, Teeto, Suzann, Shawn, Kay and Belinda—are the kind of friend you would love to have.

The guys are guys—but they are tender hearted and loyal and present in my life—tough times, good times, all times—shared!

The ladies are the sisters I never had—they sometimes dote on me, sometimes kick me in the rear end—like a true loving sister would.

You see that picture?

That’s two of the five who are six.

Now see if you can follow me—

The one in the middle is my cousin by blood, but my sister by heart.

Her mom was my Aunt Ciria (pronounced See-Dee—ah!).

She was my second mom.

When she passed—she made me promise to always watch over those she loved—and she adored her only child Belinda.

So…that’s how my cousin became my sister.

And the other one?

That’s my sister-in-law Kay, married to my brother Paul.

She has known me since I was eleven years old—when she sat in my makeshift tent outside in our yard—and I lied and told her that I was adopted.

I felt adopted. I looked adopted(I was blonde, fair skinned and blue eyed; they were olive complexion, dark hair and dark eyes).

She believed me!

She asked my brother “Why didn’t you tell me that Alan was adopted?”

Hmmmm? Because he’s not!

Lol!

Over the years, she has been my Mom replacement—I was 17 when my mama passed away—so Kay has mothered me over the years.

But now…we are Best friends!

I call her Bestie—she calls me BFF—we call each other often.

Our spouses don’t mind—they know—Kay and I are talkers—and we also are energizer bunnies—we do and go and do and go again!

So…it’s agreed—a Bestie Day once a quarter is required.

This was one of those days—and I invited my sister to join us for lunch.

Get the 3 of us together—and who has time to eat? We talk a mile a minute and still—keep all 3 conversations going without missing a beat.

They know me—and love me as I am.

Not an easy task—I will admit.

And they know—my heart is hurting due to a fractured relationship that I cannot fix—no matter how hard I try—only God can!

So… we don’t have to talk about that—they are just present in my life—for when I need a hug, need a shoulder to cry on.

Until then—we just talk about everything!

And sometimes—we talk about nothing.

Just sharing life and we walk through this meandering path, sometimes it’s hilly, sometimes it’s valley—always, it’s interesting.

And… worth talking about.

Glad I’ve got the kind of friends who love to share their lives.

It really is better when shared!

 

Reflections of…Just Because!

Reflections of...Just Because!

Brace yourself…

This is going to be revealing.

About me.

You see—I believe in…

Expressing love…

Verbally!

Yeh—I said it—if I love you—I let you know!

And conversely, if I don’t—you know that too!

I just really believe in verbally appreciating the people who matter to me.

If you have impacted my life, affected my heart, transformed my way of living, made a difference in whom I was and who I am now…

I’m going to show my appreciation!

Always verbally, either through conversation or a card or letter—

Side note—I am a BIG believer in cards—maybe ad nauseam, but—I often send cards for holiday and then, the best ones are sent…

Just Because…

Yes—I am a big believer in expressing my love and appreciation for someone in a “Just Because” kind of way.

That may be a little present that I know you might laugh at or love or be surprised that I picked up on how you liked something.

Case in point—I have a dear friend who is a Cat Lover—and that, is an understatement.

She loves her cats--- she is a champion for cat adoption and care of those who have special needs.

I admire her devotion and dedication to her cause—I must admit—I like Siamese cats because of their arrogance—but, that’s about it.

She is a crusader for the well treatment of all animals but, at this point in her life, especially cats.

So…I we had lunch the other day, and I gave her a “Just Because” present.

It was just a magnet I picked up while in Savannah, but…I saw it and thought “Shirley would love this!”

I’m generous like that—my wife gives me budget that I can spend on others—just to buy little somethings that may show my appreciation.

By “budget” I mean—she never tries to tell me what to spend and could never stop me from buying something I want to get for a friend.

I recently was in a Dollar Tree and saw shamrock scarves—and I thought “my Bestie is the only Irish person I know—she would love this!”

Sorry Kay—they were from the dollar store—but, she loved them!

My wife and I have been doing this “just because” thing for 19 years—it started when we started dating.

No real reason, but “just because” we love celebrating love and sharing a moment with one another, just to say “you matter to me!”

It may be in a present, it may be in a card, it may be in a picture…and it may be in a poem.

Now I am the Poet in our home—check out the Poetry Section of this website and you will see—I have been writing poems and songs forever.

But my Bella?

Not usually.

She used to—back when we first started dating, but…over the years, it has become less and less.

Not the “presents” but the “poetry”.

So she really surprised me with the little limerick she composed in my Valentine’s Day card.

It took me aback—it made me cry—my Bella made me cry.

It touched my heart and let me know—she knew and understood.

Knew and understood what?

Knew and understood that I’m going through a tough time right now.

God knows what’s going on- you don’t need to—but I do appreciate your prayers.

So when I opened up the card, and I read…

Through thick and thin…

We have always been…

Through new and old…

Our love is gold…

The ups and downs may give you a frown…

But the Lord and I will not let you down!”

It touched my heart—

She let me know—she was there for me—she wasn’t going anywhere—we would weather this storm together!

And it reassured me that—I was not alone, I was appreciated, I was supported.

All the things a “Just Because” present should do.

So…why not you?

Do you realize how much good a little reassurance can do for someone going through a touch time?

Maybe a card? It takes 50 cents to buy a card—Dollar Tree—two for a dollar!

A stamp costs 49 cents—I buy 20 at a time.

And you can buy a few cards at a time to go with your stamps.

Or maybe… just considering your friends when you are out shopping.

The next time you think “so and so would just love this!”

Don’t just THINK it—go ahead and BUY it!”

It doesn’t have to be expensive to be thoughtful.

Love really is all we need—and we need to share the Love!

If you are lucky enough to be loved…you should be grateful enough to show love!

And it all starts with you!

Why?

Just Because…

Even upside down...
Love is all you need!
 

 

Reflections of…A Chance Encounter!

Ever have one of those moments when…

You are walking….aimlessly…

Through an art exhibit.

Not really noticing anything specific…

Just taking it all in…

When all of a sudden,

You take a left, and then a right, and then swing around one exhibit…

And Voila!

You run into someone—almost colliding!

And most times, you would say “excuse me” and then go on your way…

But this time… you strike up a conversation—and you spend about 30 minutes, talking about the obvious—the exhibit.

That’s how I met Miss Ersula Odom.

We were standing in front of her exhibit on Local Black American Heroes.

It is Black American History month—and it is something that I am always keenly interested in learning more about.

You see—of our 9 grandkids, two of them are half black and half white.

And we honor and celebrate both sides of their heritage.

And Miss Odom had a wonderful display of some of our local heroes—people most people didn’t know anything about.

She had a lot of interesting facts that I was not aware of—very educational.

She also does a characterization of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, the founder of Bethune-Cookman College, a private African American college over in the Daytona, Fl area. Dr. McLeod Bethune was a civil rights activist and well known educator. Miss Odom does a presentation where Dr. McLeod-Bethune comes alive through Miss Odom.

We had a delightful time, reminiscing about the good ol’ days and about our favorite topic- our kids and grandkids.

Miss Odom had a charismatic personality and a smile that would win millions—quite the entertainer!

As we started to leave, I told her about our Reflections blog and how we are read in over 63 countries each week…

And that I was going to write about her because…she had made an impression on me.

I felt inspired by hearing her story—how she just wanted to make sure the next generation knew about the struggles and victories of the past.

She was a gateway back to a day, not so far away, when not everyone could come and go as they pleased.

I sensed her commitment to being an oracle of history for anyone to hear and learn from.

Miss Odom had a passion for what she was doing—educating and inspiring.

I know that’s what she had done for me—educated and inspired.

Her website is www.sulatoo.com and it is worth taking a look-n-see!

She is an author and provides character sittings where she comes in character and teaches and inspires her audience.

Bella and I both felt that it was not just a chance meeting—we were brought together for an appointed moment in time.

And I was better for having met Miss Ersula Odom.

It really makes you wonder…

Do things just happen?

Or… is there a Master Plan to your life?

I know one of my favorite scriptures reminds me:

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord; plans to prosper you and to give you an expected end!” Jeremiah 29:11.

So…His plans…all of His plans…even taking a left, then a right then turning a corner and BAM! You run smack dab into the middle of a moment God prepared for you…so you could be educated and inspired.

Isn’t God Good?

Oh yes He is…Oh YES He Is!

Black History is Our History!
 

 

Reflections of…Time to Rejuvenate!

There are days that are meant for working hard and getting a lot accomplished…

And…there are days meant for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation of your heart and soul.

Saturday was one of those other days.

My wife and I started out the day on our screened terrace, having breakfast—homemade.

I have to tell you—my sweet Bella makes the BEST breakfast in the world.

I’m not usually a breakfast eater—I usually don’t eat anything until lunch.

I’ll have a cup of coffee in the winter—from November to March, usually.

Then I retire coffee for the spring and summer and… I just go straight to my Dasani water.

I am a water connoisseur – I know my water—and I have determined that Dasani is the BEST—it has a sweet taste to it that I love!

Back to Bella’s breakfast!

On Saturday and Sunday mornings—I am blessed by my wife’s home cooking.

She makes the crispiest bacon, the runniest over medium eggs, the thinnest pancakes, the grittiest grits and the homiest home fries you will ever eat! And it’s all coming out of our humble abode on Peach Avenue.

You should stop by some time.

By…make sure you call ahead—want to make sure someone hasn’t beaten you to the table! LOL!

So…

After breakfast, I forced my Bella to help me in the backyard with some planting and weeding of some new flower beds.

She was NOT a happy camper!

She did NOT want to do this!

She did NOT sing as she worked!

There were NO butterflies dancing as my Snow White frolicked in the garden—nope, not one!

But… we got it done—and it looked great—hoping at least half of the stuff we planted lives!

I have a green thumb—but Bella’s thumb? She makes a wonderful breakfast…but her thumb? Let’s just say it’s not green!

We got ready to head out…

And we went to our favorite beach—Treasure Island.

It was a perfect day- windy, sunny, springy.

And we got to the beach, and…

There was a Kite Festival going on!

All sizes and shapes: a crab, a sports car, a circle in constant motion (the pic I included)—so many people, so many kites!

And it was perfect!

We remembered that we had brought Jett one time to see the kites—and my heart smiled at the memory.

So, I had brought our camp chairs, and my sweet Bella and I sat at the shore, with the waves beating against the shore.

It was rejuvenating.

Just basking in God’s beauty—His nature—His handiwork!

I took a walk along the shore, and I found this lady, sitting in a frog like position—like my brother Joe used to sit when I was growing up.

I stopped and talked to her for a moment because—I am THAT guy who stops and talks to strangers—Bella is NOT that guy! Lol!

As we are talking, I see this beautiful mosaic that she has been working on.

She said it was just this morning when she started, but---WOW!

It was beautiful!

And it was so detailed!

And it must have had over 500 shells—small, medium, large!

All that she collected and assembled and put in place—all so it could be admired by the passersby along the shore.

She said “my husband and I went for lunch, and when I got back, someone had damaged it, but…I just took the time to restore it back!”

And restore it back she did—it was breathtaking!

And I just paused and said “Thank you Lord—just to see this handiwork, just to feel this weather, just to take this time…to rejuvenate!”

Maybe life has been kicking your butt lately?

I know it has been kicking mine!

But… I trust the plans God has for me; plans to prosper and for an expected end! Jeremiah 29:11

Understanding that—His plan for you is to prosper and to get to the end that HE planned for you—that HE expects of you…

Sometimes, you just have to take a break, rest a little while, have a great breakfast, work in your garden, walk along the shore…

And just rejuvenate!