Friday, May 29, 2009

Field of Dreams

Over the past few days I have been thinking about a movie, Field of Dreams, played by Kevin Costner. Tonight, a possible long-term relationship has ended and it brought this movie to the foreground once again.

It's about a character, Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner), an Iowa corn farmer, who becomes convinced by a mysterious voice that he is supposed to construct a baseball diamond in the middle of his corn field. The film's underlying themes are the fulfillment of dreams, and how people can overcome any regrets they may have about the life choices they make. It's no secret that I had many regrets in life because of the choices I made.

Ray has helped several people made amend with the choices they made along the way. Shoeless Joe Jackson who brought a team together to play in the field that he thought was heaven. Terrance Mann, 1960 author, who had once written about the golden days of baseball and became a controversial author later. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham, a 1920 baseball player who later became a doctor. "Archie" Graham gotten the chance to play once again as a young man, but later when Ray's daughter was choking on a hotdog, Archie crossed over the line and did what he was called to be and that is to be a doctor.

At the end of the show, Terrance was asked by Shoeless Joe if he would like to go with them and write about baseball, which he has always dreamed of doing for he loved baseball. This made Ray angry and wondered what was in it for him. He followed everything the voice told him and sacrificed his farm and family. Shoeless Joe then said, "If you build it, He will come." Ray's dad was in the field. Ray wanted another chance to introduce his dad to his family and play catch with him and he got that chance.

Over the years, I have heard from many people how I have helped them and inspired them move on with their lives. That I must be an angel sent down from heaven and how I deserve someone better. For all this, I will have to give God the glory for he has created me to be a loving and caring person.

Once again tonight I was told, that if anything, I helped this person laughed, joke around, have joy and to live again. I'm truly glad of this.

Regrets, I have one, my last marriage. A marriage that turned into a divorce. A divorce that changed my call in life to be an ordained chaplain. A divorce that prevents me to build a relationship with widowed ordained elder due to church laws.

On a positive note it was a marriage and divorce that changed me when ministering to others in similar situations, even without my ministerial license. I can now empathetic and provide resources to these women.

Jeremiah 29:11 says: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

"What's in it for me?" Kinda selfish, huh? God has a plan for me as well as for you and he promised that the plans will prosper and not harm us and to give us hope and a future."

We are in seasons of life as stated in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
1. There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
2. a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3. a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4. a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5. a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6. a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7. a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8. a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Even though this possible long-term relationship has ended. We are still friends. I pray that God will be able to use this situation for His greater good in the future. For now it is time to weep and heal.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


What Philistine giant's name is often applied to any oversized person or thing? Most of us knows this answer as Goliath, who was the giant slain by the shepherd boy (and later king) David.

Take a moment to write down on a piece of paper your burden that you are facing right now. It could be health, relationships, financial, addiction, or employment issues. After you have written it down, take a few minutes and take to God in prayer.

The burden you are carrying seems like a GIANT and sometimes you wished God or someone could take this burden away from you. You may also believe that no one could possibly understand what you are up against. True?

There was an exercise that I participated in a seminar years ago and it was never forgotten. We were sitting at a round table for eight and the speaker asked us to write down a health issues that were experiencing in which we wished we did not have. We took that health issue that we wrote down to prayer and listened to the speaker for awhile. In the meantime, that piece of paper was still faced down in front of us. Some of us was thinking about that burden we put on that paper and others forgot about it and listened to the speaker.

Later in the seminar, we were asked to pass our paper to the person on the left. Can you imagined the anxiety that was felt in that room as we were about to disclosed what was on that piece of paper to another person?

The speaker went on to say, "The burden that you once carried is now gone, now you have a new burden. Open up that piece of paper and see what it is." Gasp and murmurs were heard throughout the room. The next question was, "How many of you want your old burden back?"

Most of you have heard that God does not give us more than we can bear. David, a small shepherd boy, standing before a GIANT with only a sling shot in one hand and stones at his feet. He did not approached this challenge without praying first for God's wisdom, strength and courage. David picked up the stone, placed it against the leather strap and swung it over his head. The stone was released and hit Goliath between the eyes, which killed him instantly.

What GIANT are you facing today? Are you willing to take it to God in prayer at this very moment?

Some of you might say, "I don't know how to pray." or "What do I say?" Do not worry, God knows what is on your heart. He is waiting for you to talk to Him and ask for help.

What you are asking for may not seem to be "killed" as quickly as David seemed to killed Goliath. For even with David it took time before he found himself ready to battle against the enemy.

Rest assure that one of God's promises is that he will be with you as long as he is invited by you into your heart.

Are you ready to face your "Giant?" Let's pray...
May the peace of God be with you. Blessings.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Remembering Mom on Mother’s Day

As soon as May came upon us I knew that Mother’s Day will soon be here.  I was pushing away what feelings I may have when this day comes. Now the day is here.

Mother’s Day was a day that I would spend time with mom and be in the moment.  I found such joy in giving her a card and/or a present.  But mom didn’t care if she didn’t receive a card or a present.  All she wanted is for her children to spend time and talking with her. 

Last night we were busy at Walmart.  There were so much joy in children, young and old,  buying that special card or gift for their mom.  I have seen pretty cards go into the brown card sack, beautiful flowers of all colors being wrapped up in the plastic sack for protection against the weather and candies of all kinds; not just chocolates.

A co-worker who is pregnant with her second child asked if I would work for her tonight so she could spend time with her 2 year old son and her husband for mother’s day.  I told her yes and then thought about generations and life itself.  We don’t know how long we will have our mom with us on this earth.  Many have lost their mom in childbirth, as a young child or teenager, as a young adult with small children, as grandmother or grandfather with a grandchild along the way, or as an elderly themselves.  In the past year I have met or talked to people who have lost their mom in all these generations and wonder how they are grieving on this special day for Mom's.  My prayers is out to all those who are grieving on this special day.

I’m on the third series, “Someday” of Karen Kingbury’s book.   This book is really touching my heart.  Ashley has lost her mother three years ago and her daughter shortly after birth a few weeks before due to a birth defect. Yet, God’s timing is right and good things are spring out of a painful experience. 

As I was talking to a special friend last night about Mother’s Day and the impact that it may have to those who have lost their mom recently, I was wondering what impact it may have on me.  My plans included going out to Mom’s grave, put flowers on it and just sit, talk, and probably cry my eyes out.  Today I can hear mom saying, “Don’t waste money on flowers just visit and talk with me.”

A few minutes ago I was listening to Vince Gills’ song, Go Rest High On That Mountain, which brought tears flowing down my cheeks.  It was one of the song mom had requested to be sung at her funeral.  The other was In The Garden, which was mom’s all time favorites.  I found that I don’t need to go out to the grave to talk with her.  She is in my heart right here and now.  There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about her and talk to her.  I do miss her laughter, her smile, and her constructive criticisms (and believe me, she gave plenty).  She has not been a mentor to just me, but to everyone she comes in contact with. 

Although the tears are falling, they are tears of joy, peace and love that only mom can bring to a child.  May this day be blessed with wonderful memories of your mom on this special day.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Kiss An Angel Good Morning

As I remembered Aunt Alice, the memories of the song, Kiss An Angel Good Morning, also came to mind because Aunt Alice loved Charlie Pride as well as I did.

Every Friday night (payday) when I was a teenager, dad and mom would load four kids (me and three brothers) into a car and go up the street to Alfanos Pizzeria, the best pizza in town. We would walk into the door and sit down to a table of six covered with red and white checkered vinyl cloth and a red candle in the middle.

Pizzas and drink were ordered and as we wait for the pizza, I would get permission to go to the jukebox in the corner of the restaurant. For fifty cents one could play six songs or twelve for a buck. There were two songs I would play every friday nights, Kiss An Angel Good Morning and Kaw-Liga, both by Charlie Pride.

The pizzas were so good and greasy that the orange color juice would run down your hand to your wrist. You had to hold the pizza with two hands or partially fold it in one hand.

This was another family time moments that I will always remember.

Aunt Alice

It’s fascinating how a familiar song will bring back memories.  Last night I was flipping through the channels on the television and stopped on PBS Gaither Gospel music.   When mom was alive, I would go over on occasions and watch the Gaither with her on Saturday nights.  Dad and Mom would watch it every Saturday in their green recliners.  Dad with his coffee cup on the end table and popcorn bowl in his lap while Mom would sing as they sang. Mom loved to sing.  Unfortunately and as her health deteriorated, she had a difficult time catching her breath when she sang.

Mom loved Guy Penrod because she thought he looked like the photo of Jesus himself.  As he came on last night and sang "Why Me Lord" part 1 part 2, I stopped everything I was doing or thinking and focused on the song and the memories, which led to Aunt Alice.

Aunt Alice is my dad’s aunt and my Grandma’s sister. She was a wonderful inspirational woman who loved the Lord.  Aunt Alice is a woman from the Kentucky hills with an “hillbilly accent” that I loved to hear when she talked.  She had long gray braids that she wore in a wrap on top of her head.  She also worn a simple cotton printed dress and she was pleasingly plump.  (I can hear dad laughing at this description).

As you walk into her home through the back door, there was the kitchen with white metal cupboard sink and chrome leg kitchen table along  I believe red vinyl seat covered chairs. The table was full of medicine bottles, salt and pepper shakers, butter dish and today's newspapers.  She had a red utility cart and Aunt Jemima figurines throughout the kitchen.  The old vinyl floor had seen it’s better days as the prints were worn off and there were some tears.  Her kitchen had a smell of bacon or sausage that linger from the morning breakfast.  Among the clutters, one would have the feeling of warmth and love that only a grandmother or in this case Aunt Alice can bring.

From the kitchen is the dining room.  The dining room table was also full of papers and items that makes one wonders where a person will put their elbows when they eat.  Not that we were allowed to put our elbows on the table when we eat.  Also on the floors there were boxes of materials and swatches for quilts that she hand sewn throughout the years.

On the far side of the room is a phonograph player.   She had several albums she loved play and listen to.  One of those album was Kris Kristofferson that had the song “Why Me Lord” on it.  When she played it, this little girl of twelve would sing her heart out along with Kris.  Now mind you, I cannot sing a tune in a bucket, but Aunt Alice didn’t mind.  She found joy in listening to me sing to the Lord.  As she said, “Jesus loves it when I made a joyful noise unto him,” which made me sing all the more even though I didn’t understand what she meant at the time.

There were other inspirational songs and artist that she played, but when I heard Guy sang this song, the memories of Aunt Alice flowed.   She passed away many years ago.  Her legs were amputated due to diabetes.  But through all this, she never lost faith in the Lord. 

She is sadly missed, but her memories will live on in my heart.