Nothing Is Ever Really Lost


Alan Robinson and Walter MacFarlane have been close friends for 60 years. It all started when they played football together at a prep school in Hawaii. The men grew up, lived a few houses apart, raised families and remained good friends all their working years. As they approached retirement, they each decided to take a DNA test and uncover the details of their lost personal histories. Walter never knew his father, and Alan never knew his birth mother because he had been adopted as a baby. The men felt it was time to uncover who they really were, since both longed for family connections they had never known.

Honolulu news station KHON-TV reported that after a number of unsuccessful searches on social media and other sites, MacFarlane finally found a clear match using a DNA-matching website. He was excited to tell his friend that someone out there had an identical X chromosome with his. This meant that the unknown man and he had the very same birth mother and Walter actually had a brother he never knew about. After the DNA match was confirmed, the two mystery men exchanged names. To Walters amazement, his unknown brother was none other than his best friend Alan. Both men said it was an “overwhelming experience” when they revealed the wonderful news to friends and family.

“This is the best Christmas present I could ever imagine,” Mr Robinson said. “I had a younger brother, and never knew it. It’s funny that all these years I thought I never had any close relatives, but I always had my best friend Walter. The funny thing is, I adopted his kids as my own nieces and nephews. They just accepted me as part of the family. Now I find out they really are my nieces and nephews. What’s so amazing is that all these years our families grew up together, and I thought I had lost that time with family but nothing was ever really lost. It’s overwhelming to think about right now.” He went on to say, “There were many times when I thought, you know, I look like Robi in some ways, but I just blew it off as wishful thinking. Now I know why!”

Many times in life it seems as if something has been lost forever. We can think something that was so important is gone, and it can never be recovered. A friendship, a relationship or even personal property that had great meaning, can all go missing. At such times, the longing to have everything made right can begin to overtake our lives, and rob us of the joy of living for today. The question is, what will we do in situations like this? The answer to that question really depends on us.We can move on, hold on to hope and make the best of things, or we can hold on to the loss and let that pain rule our lives.

In some cases, things can actually be restored, and bridges long gone can be mended. Other times, you may have to forgive what happened, and just let things go into the hands of God. Every circumstance has a solution of it’s own, and we must be patient, make the best of things and keep a good attitude, no matter how things have turned out. A friend of mine is a good example of how holding on to hope and not the loss, allows God and circumstances to work out what seems impossible. We just have to do our part, keep looking, and be patient.

45 years ago he was living down south. He had traveled there in his truck with his trusty childhood .22 rifle, from his home in upstate New York. One day someone broke into his truck and took that prized childhood gun. Fortunately, he had removed the bolt from it and that was the only thing he had to remind him of that treasure. He held on to that bolt for decades and continue to confess that one day he would find the gun that fit that bolt. Sure enough, thirty odd years later he found the same year and model gun, and the owner basically gave it to him because it was missing the bolt. His bolt slipped right into the gun frame as a perfect match, and at that moment he realized anything is possible if you have hope and don’t give up.

If you have suffered a loss, missed an opportunity or had something just slip through your fingers, don’t despair. All is not lost. God is able to do amazing things if you will just relax, continue to do your part and patiently hold onto the hope that is within you. In the economy of God, nothing is ever really lost. It may be misplaced for a season, or be in hiding for a reason. It may have been taken from you by force, or you may have let go of it by mistake. The thing is, don’t count it as a loss. I am here to tell you that nothing is impossible with God. If He can raise people from the dead and part the Red Sea, He can surely restore anything that seems long gone and lost forever.

Look with the eyes of faith. Never, ever give up. Trust God in all things. Bathe everything in prayer. Dwell on all the wonderful things God has already done. Be patient and don’t let your heart be troubled. He is a master at doing what is impossible for everyone else. Have a heart of expectant gratitude and open joy. Live life to the fullest and take others with you, where ever that may be. By doing these things you will impact everyone who gets near you and be more than a life-changer, you will be a world-changer. My question is simple; “why tell the stories of what others have done when you can really live life and tell stories of your own?” Remember, nothing is ever lost, but it may be delayed for a season or a reason! You just have to wait for it…….

Following The light

creation handsThe whole world seeks to find peace in these times of conflict, distress and confusion. Some look to jobs, others follow after relationships and others look to finances. However, the only peace that will satisfy the cry which is in every human heart, comes from God. If you keep seeking the peace offered by this world, you will be manipulated by it, disappointed with it, and left empty once you have it. The wise men sought Jesus 2000 years ago by following what they saw in heaven; a light in the darkness of the night. What they found when they found Him, was more than an answer. They found absolute peace for their soul and absolute hope for their future. All this happened just because they refused to stop following the light God gave them.

In case you missed it, the God of creation has given all of us the light we need to make our way to Him. That “Light” came into the world as a baby boy, and was born to a Jewish virgin named Mary. He lived a sinless life and offered Himself freely on the cross as a sacrifices for our sins. When Jesus was born in Bethelehem, God came for all of us. When He died on the cross, God died for all of us. When He rose from the dead, God conquered death, hell and the grave for all of us. If He did all that for us, why not do the one thing He asks of you?

What’s that, you might ask? Give yourself back to Him by embracing what Jesus did to pay for your sins! You are guilty, He was not. Can you believe that truth?  He died on the cross in your place, and paid the price for your sins. Can you believe how much He loves you?  He went into hell and defeated the devil, so you would not have to? Can you believe He rose from the dead to prove He had the victory? Can you believe He freely offers that new, eternal life to you? If you can, then you believe in the real Christmas message, and you understand what Christmas is all about. If you don’t believe, then what is stopping you? Why not give the best gift of all?? Give yourself back to God and be free of sin so you can know His love. Be like the Wise Men of old, and follow the light of truth that is shining in your dark night. If you follow that truth, you will find the One God the Father sent to bring you back to Himself! Then you will most certainly have a very Merry Christmas, and a peace filled life!

“The Track People Of Freedom”


“Many years ago, no one knows for sure just how long ago it was, a master builder built train tracks to connect every corner of his world. He planned it out to the last detail, and built a magnificent train to run on those tracts. It would deliver everything the people would ever need to be happy and healthy. He left a handbook that explained the benefit people would have if they build around the tracks, and the responsibilities they would have, if they were to live there in safety. Last of all, he left it totally up to them to build, or not build their towns, around the track. They had freedom to do as they wished.

At first the people did what they wanted and built their towns far from the tracks. Those communities prospered for a season but soon fell into disrepair and disgraceful, violent behavior. They lied, took advantage of each other, stole and broke every promise they made. In time their own actions caused them to be banished, and soon the towns were no more. The few people who left these communities and survived, had found their way to towns that had been built around the tracks. These towns had found the builders handbook and decided to follow its instructions. All of the towns grew and the people prospered and raised families that were filled with joy and purpose. The closer they followed the instructions in the handbook, the more benefit they got from living around the tracks. Life was good, and all the people were healthy and happy.

Over time, a very small portion of the people decided certain instructions in the builder’s handbook were not for them. They used their freedom to do whatever their emotions led them to do. So, one fine day they chose to ignore a very important part of the handbook. They began to build their homes on the train tracks. Even though there were instructions against that deadly practice, in defiance to the handbook, they did so any way. Everyone in town knew when the train came through all the track people would die. However, no matter how strongly they warned them, the track people continued to build there anyway, and began to violently oppose anyone who tried to stop them.

At first the citizens of the town had them arrested for this foolish, and deadly behavior. It violated the laws that were passed, based on the builder’s handbook, and the people of town were deeply concerned for the safety of the track people. Everyone, but the track people, became happy as the laws were inforced and this restored order for a time. However, over the years, the track people stubbornly resisted the laws and built on the tracks in secret. They became more and more angry with the people in town as their people on the tracks continued to die. No matter what evidence the town presented to show that living on the tracks was a deadly lifestyle, the track people refused to change. Sadly, over time, the pain they were experiencing and the rejection they felt from everyone made them reject the handbook even more.

Eventually the track people were confident they had come up with a solution. They got into positions of authority and passed laws based on a handbook of their own making. These laws gave them the right to not only build on the tracks, but they could marry on the tracks as well. When these new laws were passed, they shook their fists at the town in defiance and clapped their hands and rejoiced over what they had accomplished. It was a great victory for the track people because they had succeeded in getting everything their own way. Yet, the trains kept coming….. and everyone who lived on the tracks and married on the tracks died.

The endless self-inflicted tragedy brought emotional distress, disease and rejection to all the track people, and soon they decided something had to be done. They all agreed that the problem was very clear, and it certainly was not their decision to defy the handbook and live on the tracks. No… it was the train! Get rid of the train and there would be no need for a handbook, and the tracks would be safe. If they got everyone to agreed that the problem was the train, the problem could be solved! Anyone who disagreed was silenced and branded as a bigot, a track-a-phobic and a hater of freedom. Thus, the track people tried to overwhelm all opposition, silence any voice of reason and mock anyone who dared to quote anything from the builders handbook. It seemed as if they had won.

The problem in all this was much bigger than the track people could imagine. The train was built to run according to the prefect plan of the master builder, and it would NEVER stop. It would run it’s appointed rails, and continue to benefit and bless the entire world as it was designed to do. This also meant it would continue to plow through, and bring total destruction to anyone who stubbornly chose to live on the tracks. The sad truth is, it could have benefitted the track people if they had simply obey the handbook, and gotten off the tracks. Since they had decided that would not happen, the unnecessary and tragic end of all the track people would eventually come to pass.”

Does this story sound familiar to you? Freedom has never been the ability to do what you want. Freedom is the ability to do what is right! Now the question must be asked, “How does anyone know what is right”? The answer to that is found in one place, the builder’s handbook, the Bible. If you have never read it, now might be a good time to start.  A day is coming when we will all be held accountable for the truths that are in it. Will you be ready for that day? If you want more info feel free to email me at Now go have yourself a great day……… and get off the tracks! 🙂

When December Comes


     December is a month of change, wonder and nostalgia. It brings to a final conclusion the Fall season, as Thanksgiving has just passed, and hunting season is basically over. This last month of the year ushers in Christmas, the new year and all that the cold days of winter have yet to unleash. It is more than just another month on the calendar. When December comes to the northeast, it brings with it the stuff of warm childhood memories and the reality of a long, snow-filled winter. How you see it depends on how you see life. For the young and the young at heart, it is a time of dreams come true in a winter wonderland. For everyone else, it is a time of preparing to go on hold until the Spring thaw arrives. The point being made here is quite simple, life is what you make it.
     My father and mother were believers in making life good, and they instilled that value in our family. We never had much in material wealth, but we were wealthy in the things that mattered most. Love, food on the table, a clean, warm home and consistent fair discipline were in great abundance. Since my parents had both lived through the great depression of 1929, they knew what it was to go without. I heard the stories of what things were like in those days, and I marveled at how resourceful they were with the little they had. What really amazed me was that I never heard them complain about it, not once. They took great pride in the fact that their struggle for survival was met with personal strength and the courageous conviction needed to make the best of what they had on hand.
     No one ever sat back and expected or wanted the government to bail them out. People did what was necessary to make ends meet, and they helped each other when things got tough. It was not just a way of living for everyone, it was a way of staying alive. If you didn’t work together, you didn’t survive, and everyone understood the consequences. My grandmother, Louisa Rossi, was a great example of this. Over the years, my mother told me stories of how grandpa and grandma Rossi passed this lifestyle down to her and others. Especially during holiday time, when December came, they brought hope to the hopeless in what could have been the start of a very difficult winter.
     My grandfather, Alexander Rossi, was a master blacksmith in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in the dark days of the depression. He always made a good salary even when others in their apartment building in Flatbush, NY had lost their jobs. Many of those people worked temporary jobs for the wealthy, stood hours in bread lines or dug through the garbage behind restaurants just to have one meal a day. To help these unfortunate ones, grandma Rossi made it a point of cooking extra, and I mean a lot of extra, every night. She knew some in their building had eaten little that day, so just before dinner she would take a walk and invite families to join them for the evening meal. It was not uncommon for 25 or 30 people to share God’s bounty and blessing around my grandparent’s dining room table.
     To spare the guests from feeling embarrassed, grandma would ask each family to bring some minor item that was “needed” to complete the meal. A loaf of bread, a few apples, a bottle of wine or even a jug of water were welcomed additions to any meal. The time spent together praying over the meal, sharing recipes and telling stories, enriched everyone. Such kind-hearted generosity deeply impacted the lives of all who shared those meals. It kept families together during the hard months, and encouraged them to hold on for the better days to come. No one knows how many thousands of dollars grandma Rossi spent over the years, but her desire to alleviate suffering and bless all she could, made it a worthwhile, eternal investment. She knew that a little kindness, food and time was all you needed to make someone feel that life was worth living.
     Years ago, in Saranac Lake, NY, I learned a very hard lessons along these lines as I was on my way to teach school one day. It was a bitter cold January day when I stopped at a traffic light and saw a ragged man crossing the street in front of me. He had cardboard wrapped around his shoes to keep the snow out, torn gloves on his hands and wore a dirt stained overcoat. In my heart I felt God wanted me to stop and buy the man a hot breakfast. To do so would have made me late for work so I ignored the clear inner voice and drove on. By the time I arrived at work I was deeply convicted and promised God I would look for that person the next day and stop to buy him food. I never saw the man again. What I did see was the story of a homeless man who had been found frozen to death a few days later. Had I stopped that story may have ended very differently.
     What about you? When December comes, what acts of kindness will you pass on? Perhaps your days will be filled with stress and frustration of not have more to give those who already have more than they can use. My hope is that you will look beyond your self interests and seek to help and bless those who have honest needs to be met. Think of the treasured lessons to be learned around a table of food that is filled with those who have no family, the lonely or the singles who are by themselves this holiday season. Consider the eternal impact you could have by opening up your life and sharing your table with those who are less fortunate.
Who knows, by slowing down and showing compassion and kindness, you might touch someone God has destined to change the world. It could change a life, and that life might be yours!

A Time Of Thanksgiving

harvest 2I am thankful for the life we have here in America. It is amazing on so many levels. No other country in the world has been blessed like this nation. Our foundations were forged in the fires of freedom that generations fought, bled and died to secure. Most people know that the first roots on the soil of this land were put down by the Pilgrims. What they don’t know is that they were seeking a place to raise their children away from the bad influence of Holland. They had fled to Amsterdam, Holland from persecution in England during the early part of 1606, and finally settled in 1609, in Leiden, Holland. By 1620 it was clear that the religious liberty encountered in Holland was negatively counterbalanced by a political and social climate tolerant of everything. This meant there were no clear spiritual standards to live by, and Holland’s liberty had become a cesspool of mixture, lacking moral fiber and clear absolutes.

The Pilgrim’s, who were Calvinists, had uncovered a fatal flaw in what they thought would be a place of promise and opportunity. They realized that tolerance, without spiritual truth, produces a society with no reason to establish moral clarity. They saw first-hand how unbridled liberty, negatively influenced their children, and destroyed the fabric and spiritual life of the culture. Historian, Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs, uncovered what most people were never taught in school. He wrote 800 pages of historical evidence that shows the Pilgrims saw the seductive pull of unrestrained liberty as a bigger threat than the intolerance of England’s religious elite. This was the compelling force that finally drove them to one conclusion; it was better to face the possibility of death, in an untamed new world, than stay in the old world and watch their children be pulled away from God by the unrestrained liberty of a tolerant, and increasingly decadent society.

Thus, In the first week of September 1620, a band of 102 sojourners left Holland in a ship called the Mayflower. It sailed west-southwest for 66 days, crossing stormy seas as it headed for what is now the area of Virginia. They had been granted permission by King James, to plant a new colony in the fertile land south of the Hudson River. Here they would establish a place to live in ordered peace, free from the godless influence of the unrestrained liberty they had encountered in Holland. During the first week of November, as they began to approach the east coast of America, near Long Island, dangerous shoals were encountered and rough seas came up that took them 240 miles north of their intended target. On November 11th, 1620 they found safe harbor in what is now Provincetown, Cape Cod.

Five of the group had died during the 66 day trip, and they knew others, 45 to be exact, would die the first winter in Plymouth. However, before leaving the ship to establish their colony at Plymouth, the Mayflower Compact was signed by the leaders of the group. It’s design was to establish a clear biblical foundation and Christian spiritual focus for the life they all agreed to build together. After signing this covenant, they went ashore, and established the Plymouth Colony.  With the help of Squanto, an english speaking indian, 51 men and 2 women survived the winter. The next Fall, after having an abundant harvest, they thanked and gave glory to God and celebrated the first Thanksgiving.

Below are the words of the Mayflower Compact, which is our national foundation. As you read it, let each word sink in. No matter what you may have been told in school, this is the truth behind our great nation. It was built by those who wanted to protect their children from ungodly influences. More than that, the Pilgrims wanted to worship and glorify God in all they did from a place of Biblical liberty. That liberty had to be based in Christianity because it would give them the moral foundation needed to stay pure and free. This Thanksgiving, be sure to thank God for what He did in 1620 and what He is still doing in America today! We are truly a blessed nation in so many ways.

The Mayflower Compact

The Mayflower Compact was a unique document drawn up as a “covenant” between the Pilgrims and God in heaven. A covenant is a God-ordained agreement between a people and God. It is a sworn allegiance that will not be broken in order to establish the will of God in that place. This covenant acknowledged the Pilgrim’s strong Christian faith, their desire to do all things for the glory of God, and their desire to honor the earthly powers that released them to fulfill their vision. When we consider these factors, perhaps America would do well to return to these basics if we want to secure the continued blessing of God for future generations. That idea certainly is food for thought!


“In the name of God Amen· We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord King James by the grace of God, of great Britain, France, & Ireland king, defender of the faith, having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king & country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia· do by these present, solemnly & mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant, & combine ourselves together into a civil body politick; for our better ordering, & preservation & furtherance of the ends aforesaid;

and by virtue hearof, to enact, constitute, and frame such just & equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet & convenient for the general good of the colony:  unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.  In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod in the 18th year of the reign of our sovereign Lord king James of England, France & Ireland, and the 54th year of reign of Scotland. The 11th of November Ano: Dom 1620″

With these words a new, a God centered government was established in America “for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith. May we return to this foundation once again!! Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours..

Some Things Should Not Change


cash register

I have lived a few decades at this writing, and during that time, the things I have witnessed are amazing. So much has happened so quickly, that at times it’s hard to keep up with it all. Thus, I am convinced that some things should not change. Those truths that anchor us to reality, and remind us about life as is should be, need to remain a constant beacon of light in a darkening night of endless change.

Let me give you some examples of the changes that have happened during my brief time on earth. The Beatles upended the fabric of music, men walked on the moon, lap-top and hand-held computers arrived. DNA was discovered and the genetic manipulation of every organism is now possible. We have had numerous wars, the internet was birthed, smart phones revolutionized communication and spacecrafts traveled to and traveled on other planets, while other crafts went to every planet of our solar system and beyond. Mega-typhoons slammed the earth, men began living in orbit above the earth, the fall of both the Berlin Wall and communism happened. Terrorism by demonic religious fanatics murdered thousands, and 70 million babies have been murdered in the US through abortion on demand. Meanwhile, riots and unrest have been spread because any person with a cell phone and an agenda, can now do a live broadcast any time, and any place they want.

With all this change, distress, growth and development, I am so glad that some things have remained the same, and they needed to. Why? Because people still have to know the basics. They need to know how to have honest, personal communication. They need to know how to express their feelings, and recognize and respect the feelings of others. They need to know how to make a good meal, and enjoy it with loved ones. They need to know how to show compassion for those around them, and how to help those who are genuinely in need. They need to know right from wrong and how to spot a liar or a con-man, or when it’s time to go the extra mile for someone, even when it hurts. These are the things that make us uniquely human, and they hold life together in many wonderful ways.

The problem is, we all feel so pressed, pressured and rushed that we have nearly lost the art of doing the basics. We are distracted by cell phones at play, at home, at work and on vacation. We are bombarded by endless advertisements which encourage us to buy more and go deeper into debt, which means we have to work more to pay for it. From childhood we are entertained by violent and sexually oriented video games, movies and tv programs. To make matters worse, over the last 15 years, televisions have found a place on the wall of every store and restaurant, livingroom, bedroom and classroom. Companies have now put them on gas pumps so we are forced to listen to their annoying, self-serving drivel even while gassing up to get away from them.

The art of conversation, and building meaningful relationships, is nearly dead. Anything other than a brief Tweet or a condensed lettered text, (LOL, OMG) is considered unnecessary. A hand written letter in beautiful penmanship…..what in the world is that? It would be time-consuming, take days to deliver, and growing numbers can no longer read hand-written script. Beyond that, it’s not free. You have to go to the post office, buy the stamp, put it on the envelope and put it in a mailbox. Who has time or money to waste on that? All I can say is, if I receive a computer generated, spell checked and instantaneously, electronically delivered email to my inbox, it better be a short. I mean, get to the point, or it goes into the massive pile of spam that automatically is deleted daily from my four email accounts.

How bad has it gotten? Well, I have observed couples, or at least I assume they are couples, stopping at my local diner. This is where I go to enjoy reality with my wife, or one of my friends. There we sit, typically engaged in focused, meaningful conversation , solving the worlds problems. So, into this place comes a younger “couple” and I brace myself for the show that is about to begin. First of all, they must pry themselves away from their phones, long enough to glance at the menu. This is confusing and unsettling, because the menu is printed on paper. It’s not back-lit, there is no scroll button, and there is no instant electronic points to apply, or code to be scanned. Just as they adjust to this reality check, the next shock comes. They discover the menu is two-sided and they uncomfortably hesitate as they flip the page over to read what’s on the back.

I watch in fascination as they look at each other wondering what to do next. There is no kiosk, no electronic voice telling them how to place an order, and no flashing, ever-changing menu rolling across the wall. There is no place to tap their phone, insert a credit card or beep for service. They look helpless and bewildered, and they are about to leave this alien environment as the waitress walks around the counter and comes to their small wooden booth. When she says, “what would you like to drink hon?”, a look of relief floods over their faces and they say, “we will have a double, low-fat latte made with almond milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon”. Then a desperate confusion sets back in when the waitress says, “We have hot tea, coffee, orange juice or water. What will it be?”

In all honesty, this floor show is well worth the price of my morning tea. The facial expressions, the confusion and misplaced curiosity that shows up as the waitress hand-writes their order on a green order pad, is priceless. However, that is not yet the best of the morning’s entertainment. No… that comes when it’s time to pay. As they near the end of their coffee, the waitress, who is the only one ever on duty, places their bill on the table and just walks away. It has been hand-written, the total has also been added by hand, and it has simply been left there without a word. What they don’t understand is they have to physically get up, take it to the old red mica-topped counter to pay.

After I watch them impatiently waiting another ten minutes or so, because no one has come back to their booth, I usually point at the counter to indicate that’s where they go next. So up they go, phone in hand, and the grand finale is about to begin. I watch their stunned faces as the price of each item is separately pressed into the ancient cash register, and the hand crank is pulled back to add everything up. With a final flourish of two pulls the bell rings, the total flashes up on hand-lettered metal cards in the glass window, the cash draw pops open.  With a smile the waitress says, “that will be $3.00”. This is a pleasant surprise, because these two usually pay $5.50 a cup in some overpriced, cafeteria style coffee barista.

Then it happens, they look for a place to swipe, or tap, or insert, or scan, but it’s nowhere to be found. There is an aquward moment of question until the waitress says, “oh, we only take cash”, and then the fun begins. They frantically look at each other and begin to dig through pockets, wallets, purses, backpacks and shoulder bags. Eventually, they may pull together enough money, but at times I will chipped in an extra dollar or so, because they came up short. When that happens, just for the extra entertainment value, I let them sweat it out for a few minutes first. Finally, in true Adirondack hospitality, I come to the rescue and they thank me profusely. Once the cash is handed over, they leave the coffee shop, which has been the same for over 60 years, having had a new experience with the old, unchanged ways.

Yes, some things should never change, because they remind us of who we are, where we came from and what’s really important. They slow us down so we don’t get where we are going, too fast. Life can be rushed, it’s true, but we don’t have to be caught up in it 24/7, and miss the best that living has to offer. Find time every day to slow down, and decided for yourself what things you will hold fast. Is it a coffee shop that is frozen in time? Is it a friendship that holds conversation at a premium? Perhaps it’s a special weekend meal or a family tradition or a desert at holiday time. Whatever it is,  keep it close, enjoy it to the fullest, and let it be like a rock in the river that the rush of time must move around.

All of life may have to change, but every one of us must keep a few things forever anchored in the rich fabric and heritage of the past. These things hold us to reality and give us a point of reference to go back to when life gets too busy. From these unchanging places of stability we gain rest in the moment, insight for the present day and clarity for the days to come. Without them, we are caught in the rush of life-to-fast, and are swept along in unending change that rules over way too much of the precious time we have.

Are you feeling the crush of speed living, and the rush of constant change? Have you been over-run by adds, programing, distraction selling and the push to buy more, do more and be more?  Let me suggest that it’s time to find a small local diner, or a mom & pop coffee shop that is locked in time. These are wonderful places that have no TV’s on the wall or music in the back ground vying for your attention. They are gems from days gone by, that harken back to a time when phones hung on the wall at home, and conversations were savored over a cup of coffee and a fresh made doughnut.

When you find such a place, go there on a regular basis with a loved one, get a cup of coffee or tea, turn off your phone and just sit a while. Dunk a doughnut, eat a piece of pie and begin to enjoy the unhurried atmosphere of this unchanging place. It will do something within you that is desperately needed in this high pressure world. Here you will rediscover yourself, and the art of honest conversation. Here you will find words that are anchored in the past and bring clarity to the present. This is where your thoughts will finally begin to settle, and the push to live someone elses idea of life, will give way to the joy of living life the way you see it.

Now, if you will excuse me. My booth at Petes Coffee Shop is waiting!


A Stone On Your Head


In 1834 the following story was written by English historians who were compiling a review of County Crayke. It is the true account of a gentlemen named Simeon Ellerton.

“Simeon Ellerton died here, Crayke, North Yorkshire, England, January 3, 1799, at the advanced age of 104. He was a noted pedestrian, and was often employed by gentlemen in the neighborhood on commissions to London and other places, which he always executed on foot, with fidelity and diligence. He lived in a neat stone cottage of his own building; and what was remarkable, he had literally carried it upon his head!

It being his practice to bring home from every journey the proper stone he could pick up on the road, and place it on his head, until he had accumulated a sufficient quantity to erect his habitation, by which time, although the motive had ceased, this practice had grown so much into a habit, that he imagined he could travel the better for having a weight upon his head and he seldom came home without some loading. If any person inquired his reason, he used facetiously to answer, ‘’Tis to keep on my hat’.”

The article went on to say that local residents all thought he was a “curious fellow”, a bit touched in the head, or at the very least, a bit eccentric. Because of his practice, the term “rocks on your head” began to be used to describe anyone who acted out of the norm, or had behavior considered a bit strange. What is fascinating, is that the term is still in use today. It has come down to us in the form of “rocks in your head”. Yet the fact is, the man it was intended to mock,  actually lived an honorable life. He was trusted and respected by all who hired him, and lived to the ripe old age of 104, during a time when the average person died before the age of 50. Hardly the life of one who should be mocked!

For me this is such a great story. It demonstrates the value of quiet resolve, personal diligence and clear vision, which are so important if you are going to accomplish anything in life. Let’s face it, few people today would stop to ask why a man was walking the roadside with a rock on his head. Most would assume he was mentally unhinged, or an emotional prisoner to some trauma in life. He would most likely be reported to the authorities and locked in some psychiatric ward. Fewer still would have the diligence, fortitude and patience to carry out a practice everyone questioned. The mockery of others, and the sheer magnitude of the task at hand, would simply wear them out.

There is a powerful lesson to be learned from the humble determination of the man who carried a rock on his head. He is the model for all of us who think outside the box. We all live in a world that tries to conform us to it’s way of doing things. Dress like this, talk like that, think like this and act like so. Drive this car, use this makeup, live in this kind of house and dress in these clothes. Conform, or you are an outcast and will have no work! The point is, most people are nothing more than rats running in a social maze and they are too blind, or too scared, to see things for what they really are.

And so, those of us with a rock on our head, who carry this load along life’s road, are doing so because it secures our future.  We are carrying the stones of a place not yet built, where we will live free, think free and enjoy independence from that which influences and manipulates the rest of the world. Run like mindless lemmings, if you so desire, into the sea that this world offers. But, as for me, I will go against that flow every time, and much prefer to be the odd ball. An outcast in some circles, perhaps, but who cares! While they are running like gerbils on their caged-in treadmills, I am having amazing failures and wonderful adventures in the real world that take my breath away!

I, and those like me, are the curious ones that others wonder about, as we serve God, pray and live biblically principled lives. We gladly walk our road with a rock on our head, knowing that in time we will have a “neat stone cottage” approved by God. It may not be tomorrow, but one stone at a time it will be built. As this world goes it’s merry way, deeper into conformity and sin, laughing, mocking and looking at us with curiosity, we will be building a future that will not be shaken, one stone on our head at a time. My question is, what’s on your head my friend, and what future are you building?  If you don’t like what you see, let me invite you to join us on our journey into the presence of God. You won’t regret it! Now go find a nice stone….. and have a great day!