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…


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!


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…


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!


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 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!


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!


Reflections of…Giving Honor Where Due

The Bible says to “give honor where due!” Romans 13:7

And today, I celebrate a wonderful moment in my life.

It was 6 years ago this weekend, at the end of my 21 day fast…

That My Lord and Savior healed my heart!

And I have medical proof to back that up.

Yes—He did!

And it was after He asked me “if I never heal your heart, will you still serve me?”

And I remember so solemnly soberly saying “though He slay me, still I will serve Him!” Daniel 3:15-18

After 19 months of an elephant standing on my heart, day in and day out, I was resolved—this pain was not going away, and…

I was just going to have to find a way to “live again” and not just survive a heart attack!

I am not someone who likes to give into a situation or circumstance—I always think “how can I make this better?”

But…I had tried everything in those 19 months, and except when I spent time with my young grandson Jett—the pain never ceased.

So that day…I just made up my mind—I was going to name my elephant and learn to love my life with Evan in it.

Evan—that’s the name of my elephant!

But instead—all God needed to hear was—I would be willing to live with my infirmity and still “LIVE” for HIM!

You see—sometimes, He is just testing you to see—will you quit complaining and begging and just go on with life and make it the best you can!

Will you CHOOSE to LIVE in whatever state you’re in?

Even if it’s Florida?

Seriously—contentment is not resignation.

You are not resigning to anything.

When you are content—you are at peace.

With an elephant; without an elephant...

Still—at peace with your life and desiring to live and not just survive.

It’s all in your attitude.

Remember that line “I complained of having no shoes until I met the man who had no feet!”

I was telling someone the other day---it’s all about perspective.

All you need to know what “good” is…is to have had “bad!”

It’s all relative.

And you decide—how you will handle no shoes or no feet—complain because your feet hurt or learn to walk on your hands?

Now there’s a man who has turned lemons into lemonade.

Back to my celebration—I recall the nights I would put myself to bed at 8pm because the pain was so present.

I would just lie there, hoping that, if I didn’t move—the pain would dissipate and not increase.

I would break out into a cold sweat, all the while—I was having pains in my left arm.

It felt like I was having another heart attack—night after night.

And I’m not making any of this up.

My healing is documented in my book “Put Feet To Your Faith!” which you can find on this website—free of charge—documenting the miraculous healing God gave me, that I still walk in 6 years later—that was attested to by a Hindu Cardiologist who admitted that “something must have happened because you had a damaged heart and now—it’s like you never ever had a heart attack! I can’t explain it, but I can see it with my own two eyes!”

Dr. “K” passed away last May 2016—I don’t know if he ever made peace with Jesus Christ, but I DO know that Dr. K knew that Jesus healed my heart because I told him so repeatedly. Each time, he shook his head and just said “I don’t know about that—but I do know—your heart is perfect!”

And I am about to go see my original cardiologist—who put my stent in and who told my wife “you should have been a widow today! He had 100% occlusion in his LAD artery—that kills most people—your husband got lucky today—and so did you because he should be dead!”

Dr. Singh will also hear about how Jesus healed my heart—and with the transferred medical records from Dr. “K”, he will also read about it!

Who knows? Maybe I can witness about Jesus to another Hindu doctor.

Maybe God just wants to see—will you tell somebody what I’ve done for you?

I’m reminded of the 10 lepers who were healed by Jesus and went on their way.

2 returned to give thanks. Jesus said “weren’t there 10 that I healed? And only 2 come back to give thanks?” Luke 17: 11-19

What has He done for you that you need to stop and just say “thank you” for?

Oh yeah—and He loves it when you brag on Him to others!

Talk Jesus Up today—He really has been good to me!

Has He been good to you?

Tell somebody!


Check out my book on Faith--free for you! on our website! Put Feet to Your Faith! Learn what Faith is...and what it isn't!

Reflections of…A Parent’s Greatest Scare!

Next to death…

A Parent also never expects to…

Rush their child to the hospital.

Because…his appendix is rupturing…

And he is 7 years old!

Our sweet prince Jett Jameson spent this past week in the hospital.

It all happened on Wednesday, January 18th.

Jett had just come back from his first plane ride AND his first time in the snow.

He went with his maternal grandparents to Rochester, New York.

Apparently—I can only go by what I’ve been told 2nd and 3rd hand—

Jett wasn’t feeling well on the trip-

But they continued on because it seems like it was just a little stomach pain.

He got home Monday night and he said he didn’t feel well.

His mom and dad put him to bed—and his mom noticed he had a temperature.

She gave him some Tylenol and watched him through the night.

The next morning, he was complaining of his stomach not feeling well.

What I am about to say may shock some people who know me…

But those who really know me best know…I have always said this!

Thank God for his Mom—she just had a bad feeling that something was off with him.

She decided to take him to the doctor instead of school.

She knew he was okay, but…she just has an intuition that something was off.


The doctor checked Jett and noted that there was tenderness and swelling in the right side of Jett’s stomach.

He did a CT scan, and it revealed—7 year old Jett was in pain because his appendix was rupturing.

7 years old? Who has heard of such a thing?

I just turned 57 and I’ve still got mine. Do you have yours?

They rushed him into surgery—he must have been so scared—my poor JettJett.

He came out of surgery okay—doctor said they were going to watch him for a day and…if all was okay, he could go home.

Unfortunately, all was NOT okay!

As of today—5 days later—JettJett is still in the hospital.

His swelling did not go down as expected.

His appetite did not return as expected.

His lack of energy and listlessness was worse than expected.

Our little prince was NOT bouncing back like they had hoped.

He wasn’t eating—he had no appetite!

He was just out of it—he would respond, and he would walk around if requested, but…he was NOT our JJ!

No parent ever wants to see their child going through pain.

Remember when your parents used to say “If I could take the pain from you and carry it for you—I would do it in an instant!”

Never understood that comment when I was a kid, but…

As a parent and now—as a grandparent—here’s my appendix—just give it to him so he will be okay!

We know it’s not that simple—we don’t need our appendix.

It serves no medical purpose.

We can’t even explain why we have one.

But—let it get inflamed or burst or rupture?

You are in the hospital for at least a few days.

In Jett’s case—5 so far.

We just got the word that—doctor is hoping to release him to go home tomorrow.

Thank God!

We have had everybody praying for our Prince JJ!

Wouldn’t you if it were your son or grandson?

Sure you would.

That’s all about being a parent.

And learning the true meaning of love.

To be willing to replace that person you love, experience the pain they are experiencing, take on whatever is hurting them…

All in the name of love.

If we feel that love toward our children and grandchildren…

Can you imagine how our God the Father feels about us?

Sheds a whole new light on…

“For God so loved the world that…He gave!”

I kinda understand that kind of giving now.



We gave Jett this "IMissYouSoMuch"Asaurus!

Reflections of…Living Happily Ever After!

So…picture it…

Saturday afternoon.


On the beach.

Wedding being performed.

And I’m the officiant!

Yes—I love performing weddings.

Just something so hopeful about a wedding.

The two people just oozing with love and passion and potential and possibility.

The future is bright at a wedding.

We don’t need to discuss the reality that sets in as the years unfold.

No—for today—we celebrate the love and the hope in love.

And this one was extra special.

It was for Joshua…my adoptive son.

And what made it even more special than that was…

Until yesterday at 5pm when Josh drove up in his Expedition…

I had not “seen” him since 1994!

He was in my youth group back at DayStar Christian Center—the church I helped start and was Associate Pastor, Youth pastor and…

For about a minute—Senior Pastor.

Josh was such a serious teenager—he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.

He was responsible for his mother and grandmother, and he did a remarkable job taking care of both of them.

But…he didn’t do a very good job of being just a teenager—no, he didn’t have time to just enjoy his youth.

Josh and I reconnected via FaceBook about 5 years ago…

Once again, I will say that FB can be used for good and can we responsible for good things—like reconnecting with Josh.

So…he and I text or talk atleast once or twice a week.

So seeing him was wonderful but…it wasn’t a reunion—we are blessed by being present in each other’s lives.

But meeting his wife and two children—that was beautiful.

You see—this was more of a recommitment ceremony for Josh and Rosie—with their teenage son and daughter as witnesses.

As I stood there, officiating—my mind went back to when Josh was that teenager—and all the hopes I had for his life ahead.

And here he stood—beautiful wife and wonderful children—so my heart was full of joy and appreciation that he was loved.

I talked about how God saw that it was “not good that man was alone—so He created a woman to be his companion in life!”

I then spoke of how a man will leave his mother and father and connect to his wife—and they shall become one.

The Love Chapter (I Corinthians 13) talks about all of the virtues of love.

But it also states that Love is not easily provoked—but, it CAN be!

I stressed the importance of deferring and respecting each other—and not uttering words in an argument that could not be taken back.

I suggested a walk around the block BEFORE saying that one thing that you know will win the battle BUT lose the war!

You see—living so close to someone reveals their vulnerability so… we know exactly what to say to hurt them the worst!

But—that’s no reason TO say it!

I then charged them to be careful with their words and their deeds because children were watching.

They will repeat more of what they see than what you tell them.

I closed with a not often used scripture from the book of Ruth.

Ruth chapter 1, verse 6 says:

Entreat me not to leave thee, nor to return from following after thee

For thy people will be my people

And thy God will be my God

The Lord do so unto me and more…

If but death part thee and me.

I challenged them to remember that they are on a journey, like is referenced in Jeremiah 29:11…

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper and have an expected end!”

God knows the plan; God knows the end.

And it is expected of them to get to that end that God planned for them!

I closed with my charge-- but I added something special.

But I added something special…

By the power invested in me as a minister of the Gospel and by the state of Florida..

But most importantly…as a father to this son of mine

I declare that you are married, husband and wife!”

And I announced to the world the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Cooper.

Ah hope—it still springs eternal.

And another couple starts their journey together – 18 years in the making.

Don’t you just love a good wedding?

Hey—I’m ready and available- Call me!



Love that lives happily ever after!



New Year–New Opportunity To Please God!


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.

2016 was such a year of loss for so many I know.

Whether it was loss of a newborn or having a grandchild kept from you…most of my world suffered loss.

But with loss comes decision time—what do you do after the loss?

As you can tell…sometimes, that answer does not come easily nor quickly.

I just celebrated my 57th birthday…

It was the quietest birthday I have ever had.

No party—by my choice.

No hoopla- again, by my choice.

I just wanted it to be quiet—and it was.

But…in that quiet, it gave me the opportunity to reflect and recognize something.

I’m not dead!

I have lived through that one thing that I said “if this happens, it will kill me!”

And yet—it did and it didn’t!

Funny how, so far…I have lived through 100% of those moments that we were sure would kills us.

So…I always say, “I can’t wake myself up—there are people who don’t wake up every day who wish they could have, so…it can’t be sheer will!”

Nope—it’s that Man Upstairs—He decides—whether you get to wake up or not.

And, if HE woke me up, HE had a reason, and…it’s MY job to figure out why—I’ve only got 24 hours to determine what today’s mission was.

And so do you.

If He woke you up…He must have decided that you had something HE wanted YOU to do for HIM!

So… New Year…but same old problems.

So…maybe it is our challenge to figure out how to deal with those same problems in a New Year kind of way!

I just started a fast- 2 Samuel 24:24 has David saying “I will not offer a sacrifice that costs me nothing!”

What I decided to offer that I knew would hurt is… no social media for 21 days.

No facebook, instagram, snapchat or twitter.

Not looking at it, no updating it—not one sneak peek or casual swish of my finger—for 21 days!

Some of you have just broken out in a cold sweat!

See—not eating IS easier than not having your “go to” social media fix when you wake up, while you’re on the phone, at work, at lunch, at home.

Oh believe me—I know—my phone is always with me, and my FB family and Instagram crew can attest—I am someone who updates and often!

But…not for 21 days.


Because I need to show my Lord and Savior that I am grateful that He woke me up each day, and I AM thankful that He gives me a mission.

And…I am reporting for duty—in pain and still not inspired—but living by faith and standing on the promise that God is faithful!

So…who’s with me?

No matter how painful 2016 was…

There are blessings you have never seen

Waiting for you in 2017!”

I for one…could use a blessing…

And I am going to work for one…

You in?