If you create, in any way, shape, or form, for any good length of time, you’re bound to stumble into a dry spell. That’s where I find myself, yet again, as evidenced by the last few weeks of reposts.

If I didn’t know better, I’d be convinced that someone kidnapped my muse. That would take a pretty desperate individual. If there really was such a thing as a musenapper, mine wouldn’t fetch a lot in the way of a ransom.

It’s not that the world is lacking subjects to write about, it’s quite the opposite, it’s that nothing inspires the creative writing flame within. The last time I sat down to write I came up with zilch, mostly just silence with the occasional mental cricket chirping – real slow.

dry spell

image courtesy blogs.longwood.edu

Oh, I’ve been here before. I’m familiar with the territory. I know this road like the back of my hand. It’s a ghost town and there’s no way out of it until I can find the inspiration and gifts that are everywhere we are.

I’ve read quite a bit on the subject of writer’s block. A lot of famous, and some not so famous, are willing to push their two cents to the middle of the table.

The secular world has a different perspective when it comes to creativity – some of it is common sense, but for some of us, there’s a much different perspective.

Writing for gratification of the flesh can’t ever be fulfilled, at least from a Christian worldview. For us, we can write a lifetime library and if it doesn’t point to Truth it’s just chatter. Words that carry or point to Truth are eternal. They will last through eternity.

Coincidently, my writer’s block is almost always accompanied by my lack of study and striving toward God. But when we start spilling words out of our mind, even if we don’t know the direction and destination, like these, who we are and what we believe finds its way out.

I love to write. It’s a gift to share words, but only if they point to the Truth that will lift up others.

We’re here for a moment, then it’s gone. The moments spent breathing in this physical world are for the purpose of us choosing our eternity. Most of you know that like you know your name, but all of us need reminding and encouraging.

This is my reminder to myself, but the encouraging isn’t mine. It’s from the Maker of all things – the Sustainer of everything. I’m encouraged by His rescue of a wondering mind, pen, and keyboard.

If you’re in need of encouragement, you have it. Not because of these simple words, but because you know this Truth; it’s a promise from God; reach to Him and he’ll reach to us.

When we do that our ghost town is transformed into a spiritual Garden of Eden where we walk with our Father.

It’s the only place we find true peace on this earth and the only way to avoid stumbling into a dry spell.


Repost and edited from September 2011

They were green eyes… I realized with time his eyes really did most of the talking for him during his lifetime. It wasn’t as much the look or expression on his face as it was the focus or emotion in his eyes that could portray any sense of feeling he had.

They were his mom’s eyes. His dad was half Native American, or at least that’s what his dad told everyone. His dad most certainly looked half Indian. In fact, to say he looked full blood would be a bit more accurate. He had some of his dad’s attributes, but the eyes were from his mom’s side of the family.

Those eyes were strong first, they showed intent in everything he did, but they also carried in them peace and joy. Long after I first began to understand the strength in those eyes, I would slowly, with time, realize in those green eyes were comfort.

As I looked out over my guard, which was identical to his, due to his teaching, I saw joy. Those green eyes told me he was having fun. Despite his waining skills, my quickness would be a bit too much for the man behind those haunting green eyes… finally.

As we moved, sidestepped quickly, carefully positioning the members of our bodies to best the other, I saw something else in those eyes. I saw extreme joy mixed with intensity… I didn’t see a shred of doubt…

The confidence in his eyes caught me a bit off-guard. The man behind the green eyes was underestimating the skill behind mine. I knew I was physically superior. I had longer, quicker and stronger arms. My feet and legs were superior as well.

It was all in fun, we weren’t going to throw full punches, just a hard, stinging pulled punch or slap in order to prove who would be the best for that day.

green eyes

A hint of his eyes in mine

The confidence in his green eyes was backed up by, not a grin on his face, but a full blown smile. I was smiling as well. His boxing career in the Air Force and Elks Lodges for extra money when his kids were babies was twenty-five years in his rear view mirror. I wasn’t even born at the time.

“You have any idea how fast I am?” I chuckled as we were moving around each other.

“I bet you’re really fast,” he was almost laughing.

Then he said something like, “Why don’t you show me some of that speed,” still smiling big. Right before he could get the last syllable out, I launched a lightning left jab getting ready to “slap” his right cheek… It never got there…

He parried my jab with his right and landed two straight jabs to the side of my face while I thought I had my guard up. It went on for another 20 or 30 seconds as the kind eyes and smile pummeled me gently.

By that time, his eyes were pouring emotion. He laughed his high-pitched perfect laugh. I laughed too… He grabbed me and hugged me, laughing, “Son, your faster than I thought you were,” he was still laughing, but sincere in his assessment.

His green eyes were proud, not of himself, he didn’t matter to himself, he was proud of me for really nothing, just for belonging to him.

I was proud of who he was as a man. His eyes hid no intention other than the truth of God he lived his life by, and that could be clearly seen in his green eyes.

As time goes on and God reveals to and in me who I am in this world, it changes me from not only the inside but the outside as well.

On a rare occasion and the light and angle are just right, as I glance in the mirror, I can see them, faintly, deep inside I spot them, my father’s eyes. I remember the eyes looking back at me, reminding me of the man I can still be.

When God took my dad home to be with Him, He plucked a piece of my heart and took it with them. Through the sorrow, I’ve learned it was His way of preparing me for when it is my turn to be taken home.

I’m also left with the memory and the love I will always carry with me, captured in those green eyes…


REPOST from August 2011

At the age I am now, right or wrong, I generally figure I’ve pretty much seen it all. Things rarely happen in my life that take me by surprise. When the unexpected happens, I react without too much emotion. I’ve usually been there, done that, bought the hat…

No win situation

image courtesy wikipedia

Occasionally though, I get thrown the metaphorical curveball or changeup. Even then, with years of practical experience dealing with surprises, I’m rarely left struggling with what the right course of action to take might be.

That was not the rare case this particular Sunday. It was a no win situation. While out of town we found a friendly little church a few years back while on vacation. We try to make it a point to attend if we have time between travels even now.

We were sitting about four rows back on the south side of the church closest to the front door, which is typically my style. There were only a couple of rows behind us. Several minutes after the service started a very elderly man shuffled into the church, having a more legitimate use for a cane than anybody I’ve witnessed.

As the latecomer eyed the seat directly in front of me, he hobbled, lost a bit of balance and bumped into me, helping to keep him upright. The elderly gentleman settled into the seat directly in front of me.

I knew that my new neighbor wasn’t going to be doing any standing for praying or singing… The old guy knew everyone. When the worship leader invited everyone to greet one another, I think every single person in the church came by to greet him.

Though frail, I can’t remember a person singing with as much enthusiasm as the old timer. I’m not sure if the old guy knew he couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket or not. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have mattered to him one way or the other. Just one of the gifts of being very elderly, I’ve heard.

The old fella had long, past his shoulders scraggly hair extending from the sides of his head with a worn, sun-spotted, round, bald spot on top. When I shook his hand during the greeting portion of the service I found he lacked no grip strength.

During the middle of the service, while glancing either down or up, to or from my Bible, something caught my eye on the old guy’s faded black windbreaker. I first thought it was a fly. It quickly crawled from under his collar, just above his left shoulder, and as I saw it- then did a double take, it moved quickly around the top of the old guy’s back and over his right shoulder, where it disappeared from my view.

After it was out of sight I realized what it was… It was black, about a size and a half bigger than a horse-fly with short, quick, legs. It was hard to spot immediately due to its color and my mind not expecting it… It was a black spider…

There I was, at a loss for what to do or how to react. It was a foreign feeling to me now. I knew the spider wasn’t a black widow, but I wasn’t completely positive it wasn’t poisonous.

In a church where no one knows me, I’m not sure how they would have reacted if I’d gotten up and announced something like, “OK – TIME OUT – I’ve spotted a black spider on the old guy in front of me! – I think you’ll find the culprit hiding under his collar!”

Their first thought would possibly have been that I was some kind of demon-possessed weirdo. What if they searched and the spider had got away? They certainly would have asked me to leave with my family…

I thought about using my bulletin as a spider swatter, but what if I slapped a little too hard and broke a bone on the old guy? No – That wouldn’t do. Even if I slapped at him to shoo the spider away it may have startled the old guy and caused him to have a heart attack!

This was a no-win proposition. What did I do? … I didn’t do anything except keep an eye out for the church going spider…

Then I prayed for the old man’s protection…

It’s all I could think of. Maybe that’s the problem with many of us…

We wait until there’s nothing else to do, but pray…


“Are you kiddin’ me?” I asked myself the rhetorical question. I knew good and well the answer to the question; it was a resounding “No!” Not a major event, I was more aggravated than anything else. Sometimes being agitated with ourselves is worse than with others.

As I took the Bluetooth out of my ear, before I stashed it and my phone out of the sight of bad folks, I remembered that I’d forgotten my I-Pod… yet again.

I’d been out of town and had tucked my tiny jukebox in my briefcase, but I’d been back in town for almost a week. That was my third trip to the gym musicless.

The crazy part is that it is a big deal for me to have music when I workout – monumental actually. But once I’m done, my priorities fade like a vapor.

I sat in my truck, an older version of my younger self, so much time, so different, so much more wisdom… and yet so much still the same kid, just added pounds and wrinkles.

I flashed back to high school, the first year of it, P.E. class. Showering was mandatory and the P.E. coach stood guard to enforce the rule. At the time, I couldn’t imagine such a horrid job. Over three decades later and the job seems even worse.

Are You Kiddin' Me

image courtesy of Amazon.com

I developed a habit back then when it comes to showering. Not the showering part, the drying off part.

It didn’t take too long for me to forget my towel. I didn’t need one for football practice, they handed them out, but P.E. was a different story.

It was usually when I was getting dressed out for P.E. when I would realize I’d forgotten my towel yet again. It was a massive inconvenience to shower without the advantage of a towel to dry off. I was sure I’d remember the towel that night for the next day… which rarely happened.

Because I forgot my towel so often when I was a kid, I still use my hands like a squeegee on my torso, arms, and legs to wring off the excess water when I shower now. Those years of trying to pull dry clothes over a wet body have stuck with me.

We learn, for the most part, to get around our weaknesses and tendencies. If I don’t want to forget something, I put it in front of door so I’ll trip over it. We create systems to outwit ourselves and to make life easier on us, as well as make us more efficient.

I’ve learned with the aggravating weaknesses we possess, we also have the flip side of that which is our strengths, or the gift’s were given.

We get the occasional setback to remind us where we came from. And with enough time we learn our strengths can become our weaknesses and our weaknesses our strengths.

It could be that when we pose the question, “Are you kiddin’ me?” To ourselves, It’s God reminding us of who we are… and Who He is.


“Play hit the wode, Jack, again,” she squealed from the backseat of my truck. She was young, real young, before she could say her “R’s”. My youngest meant “Hit The Road Jack” by Ray Charles. I’d press the back button on the CD player, yet again, and we’d sing it together, “No more, no more, no more, no more, Hit The Road Jack, and don’t you come back no mooooooooooore.”

She’s not so different than her dad when it comes to music. She’s always loved it. At that age, she had her favorites. Along with that Ray Charles song, she loved “Me and you a Dog Named Boo”, by Lobo, the best.

image courtesy of kat45.com

Of course, that time in our lives sailed by like an Amtrak train at full speed, us more than the kids. All the girls taste in music has changed. They’re not so different than all of us that have grown up in the Rock-N-Roll decades.

The older girls have mellowed much quicker than I did. The youngest still likes her music with an edge… not sure where she gets that…

Everything changes because we change. One of the many ignorant declarations I made in my youth was that I’d never own a four-door car. I was young enough that the kids never heard it.

Admittedly, cars with four doors have come a long way from the days of stations wagons, Pontiac Catalina’s, and Chevy Caprices… What hasn’t changed is my passion for stylish cars. Even if they do have four doors.

We are who we are; the tastes, passions, and desires God born us with.

The oldest has a thing for sporty cars, stylish ones. Although now as a mother of two her motherly instincts have taken over. Proof of that was when she sent her Mustang packing and rounded up an SUV. Our middle daughter is more practical, always has been. She prefers her hybrid car… hard to grasp…
The youngest like cars too, but her taste is for most things nostalgic. She has dibs on my old muscle car.

The things we love or the things we crave, and it can be anything, not just cars or music, can be used against our weak flesh. When the things of this earth become more dear to us than the One who caused or allowed them, a wake up call is coming. I know. My neck hurts from being snapped back to attention.

Our youngest and I compare music, usually when she’s home from college. I wasn’t at all surprised when I found out she was going to be the DJ on Friday afternoons at the college radio station.

Music is one of her passions. In time I think her tastes will change, but till then I’ll tune in.

You can catch her online too at ASU, “The Blaze”, Fridays from 3:oo to 4:00 pm.

I’ll admit I was proud to hear her sweet voice over the airwaves. Maybe if you too request it, we can get her to play “Hit The Road Jack”. She smiles every time she hears it… always will.