Finding Floyd


The odds were in my favor, but I hadn’t placed a bet with the local bookie – I don’t even know who he is. The odds were better, way better, than the drunkard and his girlfriend Bessie in “The Band’s” song, “Up On Cripple Creek”. The odds were in their favor too, “they had ’em five to one”.

It wasn’t until after the fact that I found out what my odds were. They were 10,000 to 1… I shoulda’ bet.

It wasn’t a sporting event – although it was caused, in part, by sporting events. It was the past catching up with me. Seems the faster we go, the bigger the price we have to pay… eventually. We all remember what happened to the cocky Gingerbread Man…

It’s hard to imagine how many times we’ve ignored sound advice. I even mocked wise people trying to warn me of the dangers associated with pushing the envelope… not so different than the Gingerbread Man in his younger, uneaten, days.

the odds were in my favor

image courtesy of photo

It was a routine procedure; cut one of the five herniated discs off along with the bone spur that was making my left leg go jingle jangle jingle, and back to reality. That was the plan…

That was on a Wednesday. On Thursday I was happily disobeying doctor’s orders. I was out and about driving like the Gingerbread Man once ran. I wasn’t taking any pain meds, so I wasn’t breaking the law… well, except for the speed limit.

By Friday I wasn’t feeling quite as cocky. Come Saturday and a 102-degree fever, along with a lightening rod in my back, and it was back to the hospital.

There’s not many places in life I dread more than a hospital. The weight of dread on my shoulders felt like 500 pounds used to when I’d tease gravity with the weight on my back, like teasing a hungry dog with a snack.

After massive needles were threaded into veins for blood tests and I.V. fluids and what seemed like an eternal wait, it got worse. When the ER doc said the words they echoed in slow motion as the rest of the noises and world fell silent, “Admission – mission – ission – ssion – sion – ion – on – n”. I couldn’t even hear the guy in the bed next door choking. He’d shown up with a piece of steak lodged in his throat…

They hauled me off to the medical torture chamber they call “The MRI tube”. This, after midnight, after I’d driven to great lengths to avoid the tube before the surgery, refusing to get jammed back into the air-conditioned tomb.

After the tortuous hour, they pulled me from the tube with sweat literally pouring off the plastic shoe-horn-type-gaskets they used to squeeze me into it.

The test confirmed an epidural abscess, staph infection, inside my spinal column.

It’s truly miraculous how the body is designed by God to mend. In hindsight, it seems pretty astounding that the times tempting fate and blatantly abusing these soul cages that our spirits haven’t been yanked or abandoned ship.

If grace is that abundant for our passing bodies, how much more valuable is it for our souls? The odds were in my favor…


A special request for a repost from January of 2014 by a very special person.

She could see him in the distance. He was a good man… how she loved him, after all the years. She waited at the stream, watching the only man in her life as he worked in the field. He was bent over meticulously pulling every weed, he’d been bent over most of his life now and his hunched back showed it, the precious scar on his side now faded.

He paused, stood, wiped through both eyebrows with the back of his arm. His hair was grey now, so were the eyebrows. He caught sight of her and waved from a distance… he still had the most generous smile. She smiled and waved as if she were still a girl.


image courtesy of photo

She glanced down into the water; the bright midday sun reflected her image in the gentle ripples. Her smile faded as she saw a glimmer of the once headstrong girl. She thought about the earth, her life, her man, their past, their future… and consequences.

She remembered the early days… Life was perfect. She had all she could imagine… for the life of her at her age looking back she couldn’t figure out why she wanted more, but she did…

Her tears mixed unnoticed into the moving waters as the memories washed over her, carrying immense regret that reflected in the waters. She thought about the death of her son… and her estranged son… How he could break their hearts was as unbearable as the loss of the other.

She tried to fathom how much her actions affected her world and the world all around her. The consequence. She could only imagine… She was grateful for her man and all the other children she’d been blessed with… She was the Matriarch now, but she didn’t feel worthy. Her children could never grasp what it was like to walk in her place, to carry the burden she did.

She gazed at the wrinkles around her eyes and realized her remaining days were fewer than she might know. As a young woman, she had planned to live forever, but she wanted more… traits that were obvious in her offspring…

She filled the bowl with the cool water and took a drink before filling it fuller for her man. She could see his tired skin still shining with sweat as he turned; he always seemed to sense when she was around… She appreciated that he worshiped the ground she walked on… even now when she was old.

“You’re too good to me, my love,” he said. She loved hearing those tender words and came to count on them like the rain.

“It’s just water, dear,” she passed it off humbly. He drank the whole bowl down, the drips falling into his heavy beard.

“It always tastes better from your hand, my love,” he smiled.

“You’re watching for snakes?”

“Of course!” he reached out and grabbed his wife, turning her, placing both arms around her and clasping his hands in front of her, “The crops are going to be strong this year,” he said peering out over the pathetic crop.

“Mm-hmm,” she paused, “We just didn’t know how good we had it…” She leaned and turned to see the face of her man, “Why don’t you blame me or hate me for what I’ve done?” she asked again.

“We’re in this together, have been all our lives,” he answered.

“But I ruined our family… I couldn’t have known that it would ruin the world!” she began to cry.

“If I’d have been the man I was supposed to be, you’d never have made a mistake to begin with… I was weak… I blamed you, but it wasn’t you, my love… it was me.”

“You’re too good to me, my love,” tears ran like her stream.

“We’ve not been the best, but I fear much worse will likely follow.”

“I’m sorry, Adam.”

“I’m sorry too, Eve.”


I’ve parked and walked by it, I don’t know, maybe fifty times? Enough times that I should be familiar with the surroundings and everything in, on, or around the front of the grocery store I patronize.

I”m sure a lot of folks meander by the chocolate and vanilla fake stone flanked with the chocolate syrup colored stucco pop outs and don’t really see it.

I don’t like going to the grocery store, and sure as help not twice in one day.

My first trip to the store was to get a flower arrangement, a balloon filled with helium, a card, and a few necessities, like my favorite coffee creamer.

The balloon and card both said “Happy Birthday” on them. It was my wife’s birthday and I already had the gift part taken care of, so this was just the icing on the cake, so to speak.

The card was yellow, massive, the kinda card that you open and it plays an amusing song that turns to annoying after it’s been opened for the twentieth time.

The first feeling you get when you discover you’ve lost something is violated. The first thing you do, at least people like me, is to accuse somebody else.

I dug through the trash to make sure I didn’t toss the card with the feeble plastic grocery bags – grumbling about the cashier. After I discovered the card not to be found in the trash cans, I poked around for the receipt that showed that the birthday card never made it into her hands… which didn’t make me feel any better about the situation.

As I pulled back into my favorite area of the parking lot, the space between the grocery store and the small store fronts, I noticed it. For the first time.

the grocery store

A time gone by…

A public pay phone – or the housing that used to hold a telephone. A reminder of days gone by. I stopped and took this picture inserted before I went back in the grocery store.

I was reminded how we get in such a hurry we miss the little things, the details. I was also reminded how quickly life passes and that change is imminent.

As I stood beside the car, taking the time to snap the picture, long gone memories came back for a visit. I remembered calling our house after the movies for a ride from the pay phone I didn’t have a dime for. They knew it was us, even though they couldn’t hear us and come to pick us up and take us home.

I smiled, but not one of those almost laughing smiles. It was more of a glad-for-the-memories-but-a-little-melancholy-’cause-they’re-never-coming-back kind of smiles. It was mixed with an I-need-to-stop-and-smell-the-roses-more-often- type of sighs.

I couldn’t find the card. It was gone. But I got another annoying song playing type.

The next morning I realized I’d got the wrong creamer… Three visits to the grocery store in less than twenty-four hours. I should know that place like the back of my hand.


You have to watch what you say these days. I have to be mindful even in my own house, for cryin’ out loud. I learned the hard way with kids that “picking your battles” is really just a fancy way of saying, “You gotta bite your tongue.”

Being politically correct has invaded the walls of our homes. We’ve learned to speak in code words. Not as intricate as John did in Revelation when he was warning the Israelites about the future in the same language as their rulers, but in the same tongue all the same.

After all, being politically correct is all about not offending or causing emotional distress for others. To speak words that bring any kind of spike in emotions is just downright insensitive. And we all know that speaking words that might cause others to react in emotion is just being inconsiderate and intolerant of other folk’s feelings.

We have self-imposed rules against certain words that might cause anyone in the family emotional distress.

I apologize in advance for the four and five letter words I’m going to use in this post.

“Walk” is one of the words we don’t use in our house. It is allowed only if we ARE going for a walk. When we say “walk” out loud and don’t actually take Larry for a walk he’s devastated – emotionally wrecked.
To be politically correct we use the letter “W” as the code word for “walk”.

Another word that isn’t allowed is the word “treat”. I’m not sure which Larry loves more, “treats” or “walks”, but either one is forbidden unless we’re actually going to take him for a “w” or give him a “t”.

While I’m being honest and sarcastic, I’m trying to make a point; and that is the absurdity to which the limit of being politically correct has come to.

I don’t really want to offend anyone else, but when we speak in code words and whispers in our society, shamed into it by a mainstream voice that preaches tolerance for all people but refuses to extend that tolerance to Christians, I’ve had enough.

The very First Amendment in the Bill of Rights is Freedom of Speech, bought and paid for, in majority, by the saints.

I don’t appreciate people calling me names and belittling me for my beliefs or looks, but I recognize their right to do so and support those rights. So when I express my opinions – Don’t Tread On Me.

what you say

Larry fast asleep after a “W”

I know that not everyone reading this shares my opinions, but I support you with respect regardless. I’d appreciate the same courtesy and understanding. After all, even my dog Larry will forgive you if you forget to watch what you say.


It was called a tongue twister. And twist the tongue it did. Someone with absolutely too much time on their hands and brain thought of putting words together that tripped up speech patterns. They revealed just one of the weaknesses of the flesh.

My favorite one I eventually mastered, with entirely too much time on my hands and brain. That, after failing and bungling the words like a baby.

image courtesy of photo

We were challenged to say, “Rubber Baby Buggy Bumper”, as fast as we could. A couple of words in and it sounded like the baby in the buggy just discovered the letter “B”.

Then there was the “Magic Pencil”. It wasn’t really magic, but it bent the brain through the eyes like the tongue twister did through the mouth.

The Magic Pencil worked best with a brand new one. The trickster would hold the pencil opposite the silver crimped pink eraser side and between their thumb and forefinger. They’d move their whole hand up and down a couple of inches each way, keeping their wrist locked.

After a few seconds of wagging the writing utensil, it began to look like it was flexing in the middle of the wooden pencil like it was bending, hence the Magic Pencil.

It was just an optical illusion. I know, I grabbed the first couple of pencils and snapped them in half, thinking I was getting worked by a fraud and a fake rubber pencil.

The flesh and our senses are easily fooled, and I mean far beyond that of a ventriloquist act. The weak flesh wants to believe a lie. Need proof? Just look at how many on-line scammers there are. Bad folks preying on the weakness of gullible people who struggle to learn the truth in the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.

We want great deals and we want security.

Most of us have learned the hard way that to get a great deal you have to compromise. And compromising never gives us the return on investment we’re dreaming of, no matter if it’s physical or spiritual.

Many of us have also learned that the price paid for security, as promised by other humans, cost us our freedoms… and when that’s gone… so is the security.

We’re like sheep – in need of guidance and protection. But unlike sheep, we’re more easily lured away from our security and true freedom. We’re deceived into believing that we can find peace, joy, and security physically.

If that were the case, a lot more rich people would be a whole lot happier.

The Good Shepherd and His good Word reveal that the world and it’s inhabitants for what they are; liars and deceivers.

If someone believes the promise of security and freedom outside the sovereignty of God… then they’ll fall prey to the flesh as easily as the Magic Pencil and Rubber Baby Buggy Bumper… said really fast.