Two Hands While Learning

When I was learning to catch a baseball, my dad always told me, “Use two hands while learning.” He said when the ball hit my mitt, put my other hand over it to make sure it couldn’t pop back out of the mitt. It was good advice.

This morning, I was thinking of another saying that’s popular with some of us rednecks; “Here, hold my beer and watch this.” But how these two came together in my mind is interesting. I was thinking about how we are tempted all day, every day, by the world and it’s shiny and exciting things and adventures. We do our best to keep our hand in God’s, so he will help us not to succumb to the temptations, but sometimes we literally look at him and say, “Just this once?” I picture Him smiling as he lets go and lets us make whatever mistake we’re going to make, but I also realize He’s wanting us to not only not let go of His hand, but give Him our other hand as well.

 

boy catching ball (2) 2

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Amy Works For Us

As they were yesterday, the trees, shrubs and grass alongside the walking path were many shades of green this morning. The sky was the same light blue, and the clouds were still white. But, unlike yesterday there was color on the trail today. Dark Blue.

As I approached the trail, I was met by one of the Longview Police Department’s finest. I’m not shy, and didn’t ask if I could, I simply fell in beside her, asked how she was doing, then we walked and talked for about a mile before turning around and heading back. As we walked, we shared our thoughts about current events, family, and other things. We smiled, waved, and said good mornings to those we met on the trail, and then as we came to the trail head, we shook hands, said our goodbyes and she went to her patrol car. You might ask, “So what’s the big deal?” And, that is exactly my point. She was just people. Just one of us. I feel blessed to live in Longview, Texas, and blessed I was able to spend a few minutes of my day with Amy Works.

Back the blue

We all need a little levity right now, so I’m including humorous little story about an encounter I had with an officer in College Statin, Texas a few years back: Police! Open up!

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Just People

I wrote this Monday after my walk.

no color at all

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I Think I’m Onto Something

God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, because He loves us unconditionally, and wants us to be with Him for eternity. How awesome is that? I want to love like that! I want to give everything I have to God and my family and friends so we can all be together with God forever. And, if loving unconditionally is what it takes, then I want to do it! I truly believe if we focus on God and love Him with all we’ve got, He will put that kind of love in us. In fact, I will go a step further and say I think that kind of love is already in us; it just needs to be unleashed.

A binding of love

I think I’m onto something.

The father loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands. John 3:35

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I Think I’m Ready Now

I'm readyI was a frightened little boy, an angry young man, and then I was, for all intents and purposes, lost for many years. Then, God sent the person—my wife Sherry—He knew could soothe my soul and help Him prepare me to do the job He’d trained me to do. Yes, all those things I went through, all those things I did, both good and bad, were simply His method of training me, and in some cases—maybe most of them—allowing me to learn things the hard way.

Now… I’m an old man and I just want to spend the rest of my days in peace and try to be a good man, doing whatever it is He wants me to do. But it turns out… it’s harder than it looks and I’m not very good at it. Maybe it’s too late—too much damage done—I don’t know. I’m definitely going to have to let him lead me to whatever it is I’m supposed to do.

Sometimes, I think maybe if I write it all down—all the mistakes and hurts I caused—maybe I might help someone else to not get lost; to not hurt other people as they navigate this mess called life. But maybe that’s not my job. Maybe we all learn the hard way, while we try to do it our way.

And so, I will just keep my eyes on Jesus, and hope He and our heavenly Father will continue to have patience with me, as I await their instructions. I think I’m ready now.

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Mom Broke My Heart Today

be still coverI talked to Mom today. She sounded so good, so happy, and that makes my heart sing. I love my mom as much as any man can love another person. She’s my mentor, my guide, and my light. I just sometimes wish I could be the man she hoped I would be.

Her husband, Ray Brown isn’t well. So many things going on with his poor old body I can’t begin to list them all. But they keep praying and believing for his healing, and I pray with them. He’s a good guy, Ray Brown is, and I should have shown him more respect and given him more love these past 25 years or so. But I’m not that good a guy sometimes.

As mom and I talked, while I walked, this morning she told me how much it meant to her that I’ve started calling Ray every now and then—just to talk. Then… she told me about a dream she had last night. She said she doesn’t dream that often, and when she does, her dreams are vague and disjointed. But she said this one was vivid and clear. She said she dreamed I was sitting across from Ray, me in a chair facing him in his chair, and I was just holding his hand and smiling at him. But here’s what broke my heart and left me crying off and on the rest of this day. Mom, trying her best not to cry, said, “There was nothing but love in your smile, Charlie. I can’t even describe it.”

I don’t deserve a dream like that. I just don’t.

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Stop It!

I can hardly grasp what God has done for us. Knowing we could not save ourselves He sent His Son to take all our sins upon Himself. This is a miracle bigger than healing the sick, raising the dead, walking on water, or feeding five-thousand people with five loaves and two fish. It is the ultimate demonstration of God’s power and love. We are forgiven! We are loved!

So, what’s the problem today? Why do we live in fear? Why are we sad? Yes, we all have fears, insecurities, and sadness but we don’t have to. In John 3:17, Jesus said, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

a man - forgiven

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The Easter Bunny?

He wasn’t a stray. I figured he’d just found a way out of the yard and thought he’d soak up some freedom. When he saw me, he joined me on my walk, doing an excited trot beside me, then running ahead, smelling every bush and tree. Then he cut up a driveway and grey bunnydisappeared but only for a few seconds. A fat grey rabbit came shuffle running around the house and into the street, almost running into my leg. And, as it passed it looked up at me with big eyes that begged, “a little help here.” Another pet out of its cage, I figured. The dog gave chase, but quite obviously had no sense of why. Just instinct. The rabbit went ‘round the house, and a squirrel came flying from the same direction past the dog. The dog probably confused by the size change in his prey, stopped, cocked his head, then appearing to laugh, chased the squirrel that vanished quickly up a tree. I started walking again and the dog bounded on ahead, a happiness in its step that said, this freedom thing is the best! He went around a corner and that was the last I saw of him. I figured he’d find his way home when he got hungry. As I walked on, I thought about how happy he’d been, roaming and exploring and being free, and I smiled thinking, he was right; this thing called freedom is indeed a wonderful thing.

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Who’s Silly Now?

If you haven’t read the post preceding this one, That’s Just Silly, it’s kind of a lead in to this one, and you might enjoy reading it first.

…….

silverwareThing is, we have 12 of everything in our silverware drawer, but we only use the top two of each utensil because I hand wash, dry, and put away the dishes after every meal. So, I’d been thinking about this for a while and then yesterday I came up with a plan. I would leave the washed silverware in the drain thingy until we’d used it all. Brilliant! So, I’m smiling, all proud of my plan, when another thought hit me. How would I know which silverware I used first? It’s just going to go in randomly, and how’m I gonna know the same two aren’t being used over and over. I told Sherry about my plan and the problem with it, and she just laughed and laughed. What’s up with that?

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That’s Just Silly

Stopped by a neighborhood C-Store yesterday. Had a lottery ticket I wanted to cash, so I walked up to the newly installed bulletproof shield at the register and handed the ticket man runningthrough the little slot at the bottom. The young lady behind the plexiglass said, “Put it down!” I jerked it back and said, “What?” “Put. The. Ticket. Down!” I was a bit unnerved, and said, “Why?” She glared at me. “We’re not allowed to have contact with customers.” I grinned as I said, “That’s just silly. I’ve had my hands on every square inch of this ticket in the last five minutes.” She just pointed to the ticket, then the counter. Oh-kaaay, I thought, as I put the ticket through the slot and let it fall. I traded the ticket for another one, and when she stuck it through the window, I said, “Put it down!” Then I just laughed and laughed. Until, that is, she dropped the ticket and started around the counter. I assumed she was about to break the no-contact-with-customers rule, so I bolted for the door. I’m fast when I need to be.

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