Advice for Hearts

A word to the young,
Yours can be fooled
Usually when you’re foolish
Reckless and never ruled.

A word to those who are gray,
Before you lay to rest
Stop pining for yesterdays
And make today your best.

A word for the lonely,
Don’t be offended by my tone
Sharing your journey is a choice
So is staying alone.

A word to the lost,
Open your eyes
And commit to find your way
Instead of living on lies.

A word to those who are filled,
Help us sift the truth from the tales
Warn us about chasing after empty dreams
And remind us that love never fails.

Walking Alone


Walk alone
There’ll be times you have to
Whether understood or not
And that my mean it’s just you
Walking alone
Reflecting and looking ahead
Sifting through the noise
To hear the one clear voice in your head
Walking alone
As the loneliness fades away
Hopeless becomes hopeful
As His voice lights the way

The Paths We Take

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“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own,
and you know what you know.
And you are the only one who’ll decide where you’ll go.”~Dr. Seuss

Why do we spend so much time and energy trying to avoid the hills and valleys of life?  Here are a few of my thoughts on the paths we choose in life:

  • Regardless of your theology, you are never alone. Why even try to do life by yourself? It is way more interesting to walk this journey with others.
  • Speaking of theology; I’d rather trust in the One who knows more than me for directions.
  • Have a destination because that’s your goal. What makes you is the journey.
  • Walk with purpose in every step. They count whether they were wasted or not and you can’t take them back.
  • Swallow your pride and change your course at any of point of the journey if you realize you were going the wrong way.
  • Don’t avoid paths just because they are too challenging or risk pain. No pain. No gain.
  • Enjoy it.

What would you add to the list?

“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own,
and you know what you know.
And you are the only one who’ll decide where you’ll go.”

Thank you Dr. Seuss.

Filling Up Flashback Fridays

Here’s my picture for Flashback Friday.

My son and I walked through Venice Beach some years back with a Canon Rebel armed with a 2GB card for pics and $25 for lunch.

We had a fun time that day people watching and taking pics. Now that he’s an adult, the question is, “Did I provide a lot of memories for future Flashback Fridays?” Am I creating new memorable experiences for my wife and kids for future Flashback Fridays?

I think most of us agree that the things we attain and our accomplishments mean very little when we have no one to share them with. Our greatest investments will be time spent with those who are closest to us.

What are you doing to deposit memories in the bank for future Flashback Fridays?

Life getting you down? Here are things to look at.

img_0564An encouragement to you if you are in a storm of your life or even battling depression. Here are some things you can “look at.”

Look at your watch. Trials are temporary. Sometimes, you even have a say-so in how long the trial will last. Storms don’t last forever. They end at some point.

Look at the bigger picture. It is way too easy to have your head caught up in the crisis or trouble. Take a step back if you have to have a bigger perspective. That helps you thoughtfully respond instead of reacting out of emotion.

Look around for others. You are not alone. You were never meant to do life alone. As much as you would could claim that your situation is unique, most likely a family member or a friend has gone through something like your situation and can provide a listening ear or encouragement.

Look up. The first opportunity that you have, go outside. View the expanse of the sky. Feel the breeze on your face, Listen for signs of life even if it’s a car driving by. Your sigh can be one of relief instead of despair. Remember that there is God who sees you and knows you by name.

If you’ve never done this before, lift your hands towards Heaven and open up your hands and ask God to take the heaviness that you are under. If you have never asked God to help you, then ask. If your challenges have a name or names, like names of kids, say their names verbally. God knows them.

Allow yourself the chance to be surprised. The result may not be an instant miracle. However, when you are the one who changes in the midst of the storm, then the win lasts way after the storm is done.

Respect the Lord. His blessing includes your family.

A verse and a short commentary before I do my churchy duties.
I found this verse to share at a baby dedication yesterday,
“How joyful are those who fear the LORD-
all who follow his ways!
You will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
How joyful and prosperous you will be!
Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine,
flourishing within your home.
Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees
as they sit around your table.
That is the LORD’s blessing
for those who fear him.” ~Psalm 128:1-4

God is worthy of respect and reverence. He is after all God. However, he is a God who always looks to bless. Think of the blessings in this short passage you just read: joyful, prosperous, fruitful, vigorous. I love that part of the family. Wife and grapes? That’s a win. Children around my table like healthy trees? That’s another win. I encourage you to look to engage with God like this and be ready for Him to bless you and your family.

What do you wish for?

If you were granted three wishes
you could wish for your child
Would you keep it thrifty
or would you dream wild
Would his journey be easy
or would the path have hills and valleys
Would she always be winning
or will she have to rally
Would he be just like you
or totally the opposite
How about only the good traits
remain after the filtered deposit
After all, it’s really up to you
They’re like arrows ready to be fired
Aim high.
Aim higher.

Remember the Cross

One of my pastors preached a simple yet powerful message at church this weekend about remembering the cross. Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh and foretold that because he loved us, he would have to sacrifice himself on a cross for the sins of the world. Then he did just that. For those who believe that Jesus came back to life and choose to wholeheartedly follow him, they are free from their past and can move forward in life into eternity with God.
As a husband, father, son, brother, co-worker, friend, or whatever roles you have in relationship with others, it is too easy to live with guilt of all the failures in the life and all the damage that resulted. That doesn’t have to be the case. If you believe in the message of the cross then remember that today is a new day, forgiven and free from being trapped by the past. Walk forward with God like when you first believed. If you don’t believe in the message of the cross, then carefully examine why you don’t. It is the very thing that matters most in this life and the one after.

Wanna get away?

What’s a stressful day look like in your world? In a 24-hour slice of time, you can find out that you missed an important deadline at work because you failed to thoroughly read an email, you get a bill from the toll roads people that shows a penalty of $300 because the initial bill of $3 went to the wrong address, you get an email from your child’s teacher for a conversation about her (lack of) progress, your spouse has an allergic reaction sending both of you to the ER, and your other child breaks her tooth, so you leave your wife at the ER to take your child to the dentist. Also, while you were away from home rescuing your family, your pet dog ripped one of your pillows to shreds because he wasn’t getting the attention he believed (and still does) he deserves, and of course the other regular stuff like 4 small mountains of laundry backed up while a load in the washer is now starting to smell after sitting in it for 2 days, a dishwasher that isn’t working, your car is making a noise that you’ve never heard before, and you just saw that bill of $300 again.

After having a day just like that, I wanted a break. Instead of me peacefully wandering around tide pools and looking out over the expanse of the ocean like in the picture, my getaway was the garage. I just stood there just staring at the reflection of myself in the car window. I reminded myself few things.

  • Stress is a part of life. It will always exist, and the key is how I handle every challenge. Unfortunately, I found out that eating half a box of Oreos just makes things worse for me in the long run.
  • Crisis is a part of life. Even in moments that need an immediate response, I still can make a thoughtful response instead of a rash reaction that 9 times out of 10 end up not-so good.
  • God is there. He’s not panicking. He sees this whole crazy world and is not panicking. Don’t panic. Pray instead. I know I don’t know it all and put my trust in the One who does. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.

Most folks don’t live in a place where they can walk out from their place onto the rocks and stare at the ocean. Your getaway maybe as simple as encouraging yourself in the reflection of your car window. Hope you cope in life is a pattern your children can and most likely will follow. How are you coping?