conversation from heaven

image courtesy of

“You’re a cynic,” my friend declared to me not too long ago.
“No I’m not,” I argued, quickly realizing that not only did I sound like a cynic, but argumentative to boot.

I tried to explain to my friend that I was actually what I like to call “a realist”, but my voice began to soften and trail in defeat.

You don’t have to be related to Albert Einstein to deduce in short order that this life isn’t perfect. After being stolen from, lied to, punched in the mouth, both verbally and the good ole fashioned fist type, you begin to grasp the full weight of Adam and Eve’s original sin.

With a world full of folks that break the Ten Commandments with timely conviction, it’s no wonder some of us tend to be cynical.

Unfortunately, the modern church is no stranger to the flaws and tendencies of the flesh. After many lies and scandals, all of us become suspect of others in the church and some of their claims.

With that in mind, I can honestly say that I’ve had more than a few miracles in my life. I’m careful who I share them with and generally believe the actions of our lives should do the talking for us first and foremost.

Telling someone about a miracle or Divine intervention seldom carries as much weight as being the miracle… For those of us that have been called and changed supernaturally, including our ultimate destination, we live in a miracle, but sometimes it’s worth chronicling the additional miracles when we sense the powerful hand of God in our lives.

I was sleeping like Little Boy Blue, minus the hay when I heard a familiar voice. I had no awareness of my surroundings, I couldn’t say if it was bright or dark – that wasn’t the purpose – I was there only to listen.

I immediately knew the voice but knew he wasn’t talking to me… he was talking about me. I wasn’t having a conversation with the physically deceased, I was Divinely appointed to eavesdrop on a dialog from heaven.

I was captivated in wonder by the conversation that was about something I’d written, but more stunned and shocked to hear the voice of my dad again.

Whomever dad was talking with, they were chatting about a manuscript, a family memoir and tribute to the man we called “Daddy”, like many others with Southern roots do.

I was comforted by the conversation I got to hear. I don’t know if their conversation ended or I got to hear what I was supposed to, but it brought me wide awake in shock and contemplation.

It truly doesn’t make a difference to me if the world never gets to read that piece of writing dedicated to my dad… Knowing he’s proud is worth far more than anything I could receive physically in this life.

I didn’t get a glimpse of hereafter, but I’ll never forget the night I got to listen in a conversation from heaven.




Life can change in a blink and priorities can catch up with us even quicker than that. Even though a good many of us strive to count our blessings one by one, we’ve been so overly favored that it’s a lot like counting sheep; we get weary and fall asleep…

Odd thing about bad news and the things we dread; we’re rarely witness to them. We find out after the fact. Maybe that’s one of those blessings that are hard to see, therefore, difficult to count.

“Lola’s not in the backyard,” my wife informed me with a tone that was laced with worry and annoyance. Our eleven-year-old Lhasa Apso has become an escape artist in the last couple of years.

It’s a rare transformation when a dog that’s scared of everything except lizards, birds, and squirrels, becomes a courageous traveler. The same dog that loathed her leash and often needed to be carried on walks suddenly yearned to see the world, and the big one beyond our private cul de sac.

“I’m not going for her this time,” my wife added.

The last time the Houdini dog disappeared was when my sister was staying at our house watching Lola and Larry. My sister broke the news of Lola’s escape. She was horrified but was relieved to find Lola attempting to break back into the backyard via the gate on the east side of our house.

That’s where I started my search for the disobedient dog that has been brought back to our house by a couple of neighbors, my wife, the kids, and yours truly and most all of us more than once or twice.

I didn’t call for her. That’s what I normally do, and with a tone of anger in my voice. That tends to make her tuck her tail and book it back home. I also usually start in the cul de sac in my search when Lola is on the loose.

One of the neighbor kids was leaving for school or work as I gazed west into the cul de sac hoping to see the familiar grey hairball… nothing. I jogged out to the street to beat the automatic gates. I slowed to a walk after I knew I’d have enough clearance to beat the closing gates.

Strange… even now I don’t recall coming back in the gates; using the dial pad for re-entry.

It’s about fifty feet from our gates to 56st, one of the busier main streets in the northeast valley.

I’d made it about thirty feet from the gate, cars blazing by around fifty miles an hour. I saw them serve.

Then I saw Lola…

She’d been hit and died instantly.

Even knowing the laws of averages, it was the last thing I suspected. Consciously anyway…

As heartbreaking as it is to lose my little friend that I cleaned up after, the one who punched me with both paws to let me know it was dinner time, was even worse seeing the hearts of my wife and girls melt through their eyes.

It’s a fallen world and one we tend to take the good days for granted in, even knowing a tough one could come with the next sunrise… or blink.

What I am certain of is this; our Father has purpose for all things in life and uses all things for His will and purpose. Our job is to seek those things. And despite the sadness in a day when we seek His will and purpose…
… wisdom whispers.


image courtesy of

image courtesy of

It was a late lunch – so late that some older folks were beginning to file into the restaurant for dinner.

Sometimes a work day gets so busy some of us don’t get time for lunch. Those are the type of folks that society now refers to as “old school”.

When I was a kid work wasn’t a whole lot different than playing sports. We were trained to strive to be our very best; no cheating on time cards, give a little more to make sure our character was above reproach and the like.

Back in the day, work came first and it didn’t matter if it was a birthday, anniversary, or even a sick day. We worked if we could manage to drag ourselves out of bed.

The restaurant was still sparse with customers when my late lunch was finally set in front of my growling stomach. As I inhaled my food I watched and listened to a manager training a new wide-eyed young waiter.

The kid was decent looking, dressed and looked to be in his early twenties. He was sporting a hip twelve o’clock type of shadow shave, had short and light colored hair and eyes. The kid seemed to be well-mannered and focused as well as respectful to the friendly manager.

They wrapped up the in-depth training session and she welcomed the youngster to the team and shook his hand firmly. She told him she’d see him on Friday to wrap things up on his first day of work.

The fair-skinned young man stammered and began to mumble about his brother being in town from California on Friday and the he didn’t get to see him that often and was hoping to get the day off… a day off before he ever got started.

I’ve been in situations like that and more than a time or two in my life. I was beyond curious to see how the manager, who’s about my age, would handle the affair.

“When is your brother leaving?” she asked kindly.

“Saturday,” the newly hired kid replied.

“What time.”

“Around four.”

“Okay, I’ll work with you,” she offered, “We’ll cover you Friday and I’ll schedule you Saturday night and then Sunday.”

I was a little surprised. In the new world with new priorities maybe she did the right thing, but my experience and title of “old school” tells me otherwise.

My old school generation and the ones that preceded us are not the models of moderation, but then again neither is that kid who asked for his first day of work off.

The people that I’ve hired that immediately ask for time off and have been given it never work out. They’re the ones you can never count on. In fact, they’re the ones that you can count on to let you down and shirk responsibility when you need them most.

Peculiar how when you take back a job you’ve given a person who can’t seem to work it into their busy schedule and you become the bad guy…

I’m not sure where the balance is, but I’ve learned that the folks who refuse to sacrifice anything for their social calendar never seem to have enough Fridays in it…




As soon as I stepped inside I was reminded again that everything changes, and with an exclamation mark to boot.

“Just a trim today?” she asked like a seasoned pro who could read a situation in her little corner of the world like Sherlock Holmes.

“No – I want it cut,” I replied.

The mid to late twenties girl’s shoulders pulled back like someone had shoved them simultaneously at the same time as her brown eyes popped to circles, “All of it?” she questioned.

“Yeah, all of it. I wanna donate it, then I don’t want to use a ponytail holder anymore,” I explained.

I was a stranger in a strange town. Or at least that’s what it felt like. I hadn’t stepped foot into a place where they professionally cut hair in more than two decades… Now I have an idea of how Rumplestiltskin felt.

A lot has changed in the last twenty two or three years along with the how the supreme court views marriages… then again everything changes.

The guys salon had the stereo cranked up the 70’s disco era nightclub decibel levels and the place was decorated in black and red; red walls, black ceiling, and black and red checkerboard tiles on the floor.

The plush red leather theatre type of recliners were in two rows, the back one being up on a step like a mini-theatre. Across on the opposite wall were three Texas sized TV’s. If that weren’t enough for my mind to fathom, there was a red felt pool table between the seats and the TV’s.

The only thing missing in that hair cutting joint was a dog for me to mumble to, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Proof that everything changes is that hair keeps growing, maybe not where we want it to, but it keeps sprouting. Due to that fact, I’ve sent a fair amount of hair to the places that make wigs for kids with cancer.

I wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea of me and rush out to title a Catholic church in my namesake. I wore my hair the way I wanted as much for the fact that it was easier to pull it back into a ponytail that to run to the barber shop constantly.

I figured if that’s how I was going to live with my hair, some unfortunate child should at least get the benefit of my quirkiness.

The era for me sporting longer hair is over and probably significantly past due, but change isn’t easy. If something as trivial as changing a hairstyle can seem trying, how much more difficult to wrestle with are the significant matters in life?

Nobody likes change and yet it’s the only guarantee we have in this life. Most of us tend to obsess and stress over all matters in life as if by worrying enough could change the outcome.

I can’t begin to recollect all the times that I’ve had to be reminded that my infinitesimal will means nothing when it doesn’t align with that of my Father’s.

Most of us sweat the small stuff too often and miss the big ones that mean the most. It’s never about the soul cage dressing, it’s about the soul’s destination. And everything does change… except the One who designed all of it…


image courtesy of photo

image courtesy of photo

It’s silly the things we remember from childhood. Even more amazing is how and when the scenes from decades past burst to life again as if they’re waiting patiently in our heart for their turn… again…

I, like most of us in this country, have strong opinions on the new ruling in the land about same-sex marriages. Seems pretty cut and dried to me, but then again, I’m one of those folks that believe in absolutes, blacks and whites… and consequences.

Because the object of this site is to encourage, reflect, and strive to unite us as Christians, I rarely grab the decisive issues by the horns and send my two cents into cyberspace. I do this time not in anger or passion, but in quiet honesty.

As I sat reflecting on the issue, an old movie, from when I was around eleven years old, came back to me like an old friend. Funny, the things we remember. The movie was The Three Musketeers.

And while some of the story is vague, there is one scene that stood out. Stood out so much that after forty years I can still see the images burned into my memory. I think it was Faye Dunaway that was the antagonist that had killed D’Artagnan’s (played by Michael York) girlfriend, (the character of Raquel Welch), and had also betrayed her country.

When justice was about to be poured out on the antagonist in the form of an execution, D’Artagnan had compassion and thought maybe there had been enough killing. He stepped in to try to reason with the rest of the Musketeers.

The burly Musketeer named Athos, played by Oliver Reed, spoke the line in the film that has stayed with me a lifetime. I’ve quoted the simple line in humor and I’ve spewed it in anger more than once. Ahhh, the things we remember.

“This is where we cross swords, D’Artagnan,” Athos told the youngster and was ready to fight him to the death to bring about justice.

The two sides of the latest decision by the court bring about that type of attitude and conviction. And which side we land on is based on what we believe in.

I’m willing to stand and cross swords with those who wouldn’t agree with my opinion, but not in a violent way. That’s not the Christian way.

I’m not surprised to find the ones that once told the moral majority that they couldn’t “legislate morality” are doing exactly that. I am disappointed that the modern church in their quest to “get along” has become silenced in their common sense.

In general I believe most of us are all for equal rights for a soul and a body the way God intended them to be born. That, however, doesn’t transfer to equality based on the actions of the soul cage… for any of us…

May our actions be that of patience and understanding in a lost world that serves a different master. I need to be reminded that the true love of God is for every single soul He created. That’s what will change hearts and the world. I hope those will be the things we remember.