About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Dead Serious About Life

I'm just back from seeing the play Dead Serious About Life. It is a group of Christian teens from our area who do this play and 3 of "my kids" from church were in it. They were great by the way, and I'm not just saying that becuase I feel like a "mom" to them. The play is definately worth seeing if it is ever in your area (they travel the U.S.) as it deals with many of the issues teens face.

One issue it deals iwth is suicide. In fact, if you see the play you will witness a young man fatally shoot himself (not for real of course). I thought I would be OK during that scene but it was far more difficult than I had thought. On April 17th it will be one year since my cousin Brad committed suicide and I still miss him so much. There is a lot I could say about Brad but I'm almost late for work and I have the world's slowest computer so for now, I'll just post a pic of him (a bad one at that) and say that please, if you know of someone who you think might be considering suicide, please do whatever it takes to get them help. The pain they leave behind is huge.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thoughts From A Scrambled Mind

I've been thinking lately about what it means to be criticized by other Christians for hanging too closely with "sinners". Several things have brought this up; this morning I read that Dr. Landy, the psychologist who was famous for treating Brian Wilson, had passed away. Landy's involvment with Brian Wilson was questionable at best but while reading his obituary I was struck that it read, "cristicized for having a relationship with troubled Beach Boy Brain Wilson". I'm not saying whether Landy's influence over Wilson was good or bad - that's not for me to say, but something about that particualar line reminded me of Jesus being criticised for hanging with sinners. Luke 15:1-2

Secondly, I've been reading 2 different books about Bono and U2. Over the years there has been a fair amount of criticism of Bono for his non-traditional approach to Christianity. Many have questioned whether or not Bono really is a Christian, even though he claims to be. How could he possibly be a Christian when he smokes, drinks, curses, and "still hasn't found what he's looking for"?? I don't know if Bono's approach to Christianity is a good one or not. Again, that's not for me to say. But I do know that I hear in his lyrics the message of the Gospel and I see in his life the radical effects of one who has taken hold of that message and is taking to a world mostly ingnored by traditional Christians. It seems he may well be following in the footsteps of our Lord - Jesus was not only critisized for hanging with sinners - he was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard too.

Later Jesus and his disciples were at home having supper with a collection of disreputable guests. Unlikely as it seems, more than a few of them had become followers . The religion scholars and Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company and lit into his disciples: 'What kind of example is this, acting cozy with the riff-raff?' Mark 2:15 - The Message

Thirdly, my mother-in-law sent me a letter saying that she had read on my blog that we are using a "pirates" theme when we go out to the reservation this summer. She expressed some concnern about this and told me she didn't think pirates should be glorified. I see her point and I respect it. I really do. And I knew going into this that someone would object. That is fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I have mine as well and I tend to think that every kid out there is well aware of the HUGE Disney hit movie and knows that it is all fantasy and fun. To play with them on their level is more important to me than pleasing those who would object.

It also occurs to me that we (Christians) tend to think that true hospitality involves welcoming the outcasts of society into our places of worship. That is certainly true and as my son Cody points out in his blog, too often they are not welcomed. "We don't want to get the carpet dirty". To welcome them into our place, whether it be our church or our home, is one thing, but I wonder why we wait for them to come to us? I would guess that they realize that they would not be welcome in our churches and homes, which is why we need to take the first step and go to them. Then, when they know we accept them, maybe they will come to our place. Maybe the real problem is not whether they are welcome, but whether we really do accept them. I have a hunch they know the average Christian doesn't.

"John the Baptizer came fasting and you called him crazy. The Son of Man came feasting and you called him a lush. Opinion polls don't count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating." - Luke 7:35 - The Message

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Until the Quotation Marks Fall Away

I'm reading, among other books, One Step Closer: Why U2 Matters To Those Seeking God by Christian Scharen. I came across this last night ....

They've (U2) have quoted scripturs all along in songs, interviws, and in live performances, but the influence of scripture runs deeper still. The scriptures have so deeply shaped the way they speak that the quotation marks often fall away.

Whether that is true of U2 or not may be debatable, but what a cool way to live. I doubt if I'll ever attain that goal, but I do long to "live out scripture until the quotation marks fall away."

Monday, March 27, 2006

Prayer Request

In December of 2004 my dad was diagnosed with an agressive form of prostate cancer. He has since responded well to treatment and has been doing very well. Today I learned that he has been passing blood. A lot of blood. He went to his GP today and was given some meds but of course, there is really no way of knowing what is causing the problem without tests. He will also see his uriologist on Thursday. All of this is pretty scary to say the least. Please keep him in your prayers.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

For Gary - Re: Bono

I was going to respond to your comment in the comments section but I think this is going to be fairly long so I suppose I should make it into a post of it's own. :\ :)

I am currently reading 2 books about 2 very, very different rock stars. Bono and Keith Richards. Now that will make your head spin. I happen to like them both equally well but for different reasons.

I guess for me it doesn't matter if Bono is a Christian, a good man, or even a 'bad person'. I don't know him. He may be any of the above, but I happen to believe he is a Christian. His message is the Truth, often the very Truth that the Church tends to minimize. And I try to embrace Truth wherever it is found be it in a Sunday morning message at church, or in the life of a rock star. Yes, I have found elements of Truth in the life of everyone I admire, from Johnny Depp to many of the Saints, to Keith Richards, to Bono, Rich Mullins. The fact that there is Truth found in their lives at some point, (not that they are all Christians, they are not), is what attracts me to them.

Anway, here are some excerpts from Walk On by Steve Stockman about Bono that you may find interesting.

From the 2001 NBA Championship: "When the cameras switched from one venue to the other, television viewers saw Bono praying on his knees.
What can I give back to God for the blessings He poured out on me? I life high the cup of salvation as a toast to our Father. To follow through ont he promise I made to you. - Bono

The lead singer of arguably the most popular rock band on the planet was loosely reciting a prayer from Psalm 116 on national television."

"In describing U2's 2001 Elevation tour to Rolling Stone magazine, Bono said fans had told him that they senesed 'good vibrations' at the concerts.

God is in the room. More than Elvis. It feels like there's a blessing on the band right now. People are saying they're feeling shivers - well, the band as well. And I don't know what that is but it feels like a blessing, and in the end, music is a kind of sacrament; it's not just about airplay or chart positions. - Bono

Are rock and roll bands supposed to talk to Rolling Stone about blessing? Sacraments? God walking in the room? Why would this all sound so incredibly cliche coming from a well-scrubbed contemporary Christian rocker created by Nashville, yet actually sound sincere and authentic coming from a theatrical rock star?"

"There is very little garden variety evangelicalism (in the North American sense of the word) found in the members of the band. They drink, smoke, swear, and wear leatehr pants. But ther is a hefty and poetic theological substance that I think would startle St. Paul and would bring a smile to the psalmist."

"Artists and fans alike have seen what is on the world's buffet table and are still growling with hunger pangs."

I have this hunger in me ... everywhere I look I see the evidence of a Creator. But I don't see it as religion, which has cut my people in two. I don't see Jesus Christ as being any part of a religion. Religion to me is when God leaves - and people devise a set of rules to fill the space. - Bono

The central faith and spirit of the band is the same. But I have les and less time for legalism now. I just see that you live a life of faith - The Edge (U2 member)

"Maybe the times they have stumbled and admitted their imperfections have been worth the risk to be boundary pushers in a world the Church has neglected. Jesus always seemed happier with followers who would chop people's ears off (Matt. 26:51) than He was with people who claimed to have kept all the commandments."

Well, you know, I am not a very good advertisement for God. So, I generally don't wear that badge on my lapel. But it is certainly written on the inside. I am a believer. There are 2,103 verses of Scripture pertaining to the poor. Jesus Christ only speaks of judgement once. It is not all about the things that the church bangs on about. It is not about sexual immorality, and it is not about megalomania, or vanity. It is about the poor. 'I was naked you clothed me. I was a stranger and you let me in.' This is at the heart of the gospel. Why is it that we have seemed to have forgotten this? Why isn't the church leading this movement? I am here tonight because the church ought to be ready to do that. - Bono

Ouch! :) He's right, I think. And that is why I like Bono. While the Church may qeustion the appropriateness of his faith, he questions the appropriatenss of ours.


"Q: Money. Irishness. God. Which one couldn't you live without?

Bono: Wow. Well it's an easy question to ask but... here's a thing. When I was 16, my head was exploding. I just felt my life was going nowhere. I didn't fit in. I couldn't get a job. I didn't know how I could do my exams and I wasn't even sure I could concentrate at college. In those days, I remember, a prayer came up inside me. I said "I don't know what I'm going to do with my life but if there's a God out there, and I believe there is, and You want me to do something, then I'm ready. I don't have any plans for myself and I'm available for work."

Pretty much within a few months of that epiphany I had joined U2 and started going out with Ali. A pretty good two months! Now had my destiny been -- if the God in heaven had said I want you to become a fireman and run up very dangerous buildings and save people's pets, I'd like to hope I'd have gone at it with the same gusto.

So -- I couldn't let go of my faith. But what's more interesting is that I don't think God will let go of me. I love it when people on bar stools rub their chins and say do you believe in God? That's so presumptuous. A much more important question is does God believe in us?

Q: That sounds like you believe you were chosen.

Bono: No, no, no, I don't believe that. I do think God gets a laugh out of using some very poor materials. I volunteered is what I'm telling you."

--Bono in Q Magazine

For Barbara - something to give you a laugh

Photo from Rocks Off.

They're back

My son in the cowboy hat and wild shorts

They are back Spring Break. Thanks to anyone who said a prayer for them. It sounds like the trip was good. I for one was glad to know that my son Cody had his own share of trouble as the group cooridinator. Not becuase I want my son to suffer, but selfishly, it was nice to feel that all the stuff I go through in putting together mission trips is "normal". I'm not sure why there always has to be a "problem person" along but it seems that a mission trip just isn't a mission trip without one jerk on the team. I'm sure God has His reasons.

I also get a bit frustrated with the news reports I hear. Well, it's actually not the news reports themselves becuase reporting bad news is their job I suppose. What bugs me is that so many people hear only the bad news and believe that is they way things are ... news of hurricane vicitims abusing the system, news of victims only wanting a hand-out, etc. While those things may well be true to an extent, they are most definately not the whole picture. Our family has been involved in 4 trips to the gulf states to aid in hurricane relief. We've been to Meridian MS, Pass Christian MS, New Orleans, Grand Isle, LA, Lake Charles, LA. and I've never seen anything close to the attitude that the news media would have you expect. Rather I've seen grateful people who are touched by the kindness and are willing to do whatever they can to get their lives back. Just one small example: when the Spring Break crew were eating at a restaurant some people at another table overhead their conversation and realizing why they were there, paid their bill for them. The students didn't even know until they were ready to pay and the waitress told them. That's the kind of thing we see there. Along with the still overwhelming devestation.

Monday, March 20, 2006

What's the Name of Your God? (revisited)

King of Kings Prince of Peace Comforter Wonderful Counselor The Way The Truth and The Life I AM Advocate Living Water Bread of Life Saviour Redeemer The Cornerstone High Priest Good Shepherd Immanual (God with us) Lion of the tribe of Judah The Light of the World Healer

"Who do you say that I am?"

Who is Jesus to you today or this week?
Or, who do you need Him to be?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Do Not, Do Not, Do Not...

miss this post at Today at the Mission. I read it a while back and have been thinking about how to respond. The fact is, I'm speechless. RWK has a way of saying exactly what my heart feels.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Dropping Out - Part 3

It's embarrassing to admit to how completely flaky I was in my early adulthood. The sad truth of the matter is though, that I was indeed flaky. That summer before heading off to a college in another state to pursue a degree in Social Work, I started dating "Johnny" (name changed to protect the indifferent). We dated all summer and as summer came to a close and the time came to go to school, we dreaded saying the inevitable "goodbye". Not believing we could survive without each other, he pulled some strings with the people he knew at Anderson University where he was attending and got me in at the very last minute. Again, it's embarrassing to admit that I changed all of my plans for college and changed schools just so I could be with "Johnny". But I did. And wouldn't you know it, the moment I set foot on Anderson University campus, I decided I didn't like "Johnny" any more. Brilliant. So here I was at a college I had not planned to attend, and no longer interested in the guy I came there for. Wonderful.

I did enjoy Anderson University though. Looking back, the year I spent there was one of the best years of my life. And I met my husband there.

I had to be on campus a week before classes started for orientation. I arrived and at my dorm room to move in and found a note taped to the door which read, "My name is Brian and I am your group leader. Please be in the cafeteria at 6PM for a orientation banquet. Our group will be seated at table #36".

That evening, dressed in my best dress, I was the first to arrive for the banquet. Not knowing what else to do, I found table #36 and had a seat. Moments later a friendly young man who reminded me of a energetic puppy approached me asking if I was in his group. I said, "I'm not sure, I don't know your name". He said his name was Brian to which I replied "Then, yes, I am in your group". He sat down and we chatted as the other's arrived.

Once the banquet got underway we stood to "sing" the blessing. Normally I am very polite and never insult anyone even if my life depends on it, but the sounds that came out of Brain were just .... well .... so horrible it was funny. (Think of some of the worst American Idol contestants and you get the picture.) I laughed. Uncontrollably. Brian looked perplexed and asked if I were laughing at his singing. I had to be honest and say "yes. I'm sorry. I can't help it." At another point during the meal I managed to tell Brain that he reminded me of someone I did not like.

Somehow, despite the events of that first meeting, Brain and I became good friends. In fact, he was my best friend. I was not, however, the least bit attracted to him romantically, so things got a bit awkward when he began asking me out. Brain "wasn't my type". He really wasn't. I had the worst taste in guys, always choosing guys who were emotionally unavailable, addicted, or worse. Brain was a good guy. For 3 months Brian didn't give up. To this day I have no idea what made me change my mind, but I did. About the time I convinced him that there was no hope in us ever being together and that he should stop asking, I changed my mind.

We dated the rest of the school year and dreaded to see summer come when he would head back to California and I would go back to Ohio. That summer was hard. Email and IM was not around back then and long distance phone calls were expensive. Snail mail was often S-L-O-W. The summer was made harder when I was unable to find work. I needed to work that summer in order to save up for college. But it was the early 80's and our economy was in a recession and there were simply no jobs to be found. Mid-summer I called Brian to tell him that I was still unable to find a job and that I just simply could not afford to continue college. I really thought it would be over. I mean, how in the world would we ever make it work living in two different states and rarely seeing each other? I fully expected that we would have to break up but I wasn't going to be the one to do it. I left the dirty work of ending our relationship to him. To my complete surprise, when I called to tell him the bad news, I was met with a prolonged silence, then he said, "Well, I graduate next June and my parents will be back in Indiana for that, sooo, that would be a good time for us to get married". We will celebrate 23 years together this June. :)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Would You?

I don't feel like doing a "Thursday Thirteen" today so instead I thought I would ask a few questions and hear from some of you. I wont' scare everyone off with 13 questions, but just a few.

Would you rather ....

1. Be a rock star, a movie star, sport's star, or a Saint (as in the Catholic church saithood - I know all of us who are saved by grace are already saints)?

2. Make a difference as a famous person, or make a difference as an obsure person that no one would ever know about?

3. Be beautiful or rich?

4. Be known to be generous or a gifted teacher?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

For Anonymous

I saw in email that you had responded to one of my posts. Since the email did not say which post you were responding to, I thought I would respond here.

Anonymous said...
Most mentally retarded and mentally ill people are not in the least dangerous.I think the chances are slim that you would ever be attacked and hurt by one, my friend.

Mostly I would agree with you. That is certainly what I learned in every psychopathology class I've ever taken and for the most part, my experience has born that out. However, I like viewing mentally retarded or mentally ill people just as I would "normal" people. That is to say that ANYONE, mentally ill or retarded or not can have the capacity to be violent.

I have worked with mentally ill people and addicts in groups and I currently work as a caregiver in a home for developmentally disabled adults and have seen quite a bit of violence. Both of the women I care for have attacked staff before. One, a mentally retarded schizophrenic who is also bi-polar, threw a staff member through a plate glass window, permanently disabeling her. She got another staff person on the ground and stompped her face, breaking several bones. Another time she burned down the house she was living in. For the most part, this lady was a delight to be with and I enjoyed her a great deal, but she did have a tendency toward violence and I went to work many days wondering if I would get the crap beat out of me that day. She eventually had to be removed from the house when she attacked her roommate. In our company, my boss has been beaten up by other clients many, many times. And I had a friend who was murdered by a schizophrenic lady. I also have a friend who I have known for most of my life who is mentally ill. He raped and murdered a 5 year old little girl. So I wouldn't want people to believe that mentally challenged people are never violent, just that they, like anyone else, can be. Neither do I want people to fear mentally retarded or mentally ill people. My appraoch with them is as it is with the rest of the poplulation - to not fear them or distrust them utnil the individual gives me a reason to. Anyone, mentally challenged or not can be wonderful human beings, or they can be violent. To me it seems that with any population it is more of an individual thing than something that can be pinned on a catagory of people.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Dropping Out: Part 2

With so many details of my life in disarray I began taking a good hard look at where my life was going, or not going as the case was. In early January 1980 a pastor's wife of a local church called me saying, "I hear you are needing a job and you are just the kind of person we are looking for to work in our daycare center. Come in a put your application in and you can start Monday". Little did she know... But I needed a job and she was offering. I took her up on her offer and started working with a whole staff of Christian in a church run daycare center. I started back to church because my job required it and because I really was seeking answers. I wasn't sure I could really live a "Christian life" so I wasn't making any commitments or promises. I was just going to "check things out" while doing some serious thinking.

Three weeks. That's how long it took me to surrender. I think once I opened the door, God stepped in and began working. Some talk of the "hound of heaven" tracking them down. I know what they mean.

I had also begun to make plans for a "real job". I was accepted to the Central Academy of Commercial Art in Cincinnati but classes were not to start until August of that year. So I worked at the daycare and began dating a man from church who I was later to discover, was an alcoholic. What can I say, I have great taste in men.

Over the course of that year something was bothering me though. Somehow I wasn't convinced that God really wanted me to be an artist. That was a disturbing thought since all I had ever wanted was to be an artist. I talked to every mature Christian I could find about this matter and they all said the same thing - "God needs Christian artists". Yes He does, but I still was not satisfied. Probably because deep down inside I knew God had other plans for me.

That August, I went ahead and attended 11 months of art school. I did well and won the praise of my rather irritable instructor. However, I was already feeling the "call" to a ministry of some sort and all the trappings of success, money and power that were being lauded in the advertising world, were a huge turn-off to me. I wanted something more meaningful than pushing products and trying to be better that the next guy. I wanted to work with people. After 11 months I dropped out of art school again and began to search for a college where I could get a degree in the social sciences. My dream was to live in a trailer on an Indian reservation, to have a dog and a horse, and to work with children.

That was not to be. At least, not exactly.

Why I Dropped Out of School - #1

I mentioned in the Thursday 13 that I had dropped out of a whopping 5 schools in my lifetime - something I thought I would explain, not because I feel the need to explain what I do, but because in sharing those stories, I am sharing part of my life's story. And since there are 5 schools, I'd better have mercy on anyone reading and break it down into 5 posts. :) So, without further elaboration, here I go...

It was the summer after high school and I was planning to go to Art School, namely the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Ever since I was a little kid I had wanted to be an artist. When I was really little I wanted to be an artist "so I could make a lot of money and give it away to poor kids". When I was older, in my teens, I wanted to be an artist because, "I wanted to be successful at something I was good at". By that time in life I had lost my childhood innocence and due to a bad experience in church*, had left my faith behind.

It was 1979, the summer after high school, a friend from my hometown was visiting for a few weeks. She had broken up with her boyfriend and wanted to "go meet some guys". I, on the other hand, was bummed out over their breakup and wanted to stay home and mope. She won and we went to a local spot where I assured her she would indeed meet some guys. As we were leaving there that evening I noticed that a car seemed to be following me. Rather than drive home and lead them to my house, I drove around trying to lose them. It turned into a chase and a dangerous one at that. I was livid as I purposely drove back to the parking lot of the bar we had left to confront this jerk. I am quite sure he had little doubt as to how ticked off I was. Three weeks later we were engaged.

I had thought he was good for me. He was clean cut, a buisness man working in management, and he didn't smoke, drink or do drugs. I did all three but not when I was with him which is why I thought he was good for me.

As Summer turned into Fall, I started at the Art Academy just as things were beginning to deteriorate in my relationship with Greg (name changed to protect the guilty). In the beginning he had been "too good to be true", which I've learned is always a bad sign. In this case it was a very bad sign. He slowly became more and more insecure, jealous, and controlling. He used verbal, emotional, and finally physical abuse as means to control virtually everything about my life. I was not allowed to see friends and eventually dropped out of Art School because "no woman of his was going to work". The end finally came after the kicked me down a flight of stairs knocking me unconscious. I figured either divorce or death were in my near future and neither sounded like a good option, so I left.

After the break up I found myself out of work, out of school, and no longer getting married. My mother was had gone through 5 major surgeries in 4 months time and had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. My best friend was missing, presumably the victim of foul play. It was time for a change.

*Note: Looking back I do not blame that church for what happened. It was simply an unfortunate misinterpretation of the pastor's intent. As of this year my husband and I will have served in that same church for 19 years.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Prayer Request

It's Spring Break and my son (pictured) and a group of students from Campus Crusade for Christ at Miami University are headed for Pass Christian, MS to do some construction in the Katrina Relief Effort. Please pray for their safety and that they will have opportunities to share Jesus.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Impact Makers 2

I was 4 years old when Mr. Geary came to live in the upstairs apartment. Our town, a small farming and coal mining town in southern Indiana was building a new power plant and my parents rented the adjoining apartments to some of the construction workers who came from Kentucky to find work.

I don't remember much about Mr. Geary except that he seemed hopelessly old with his wrinkled face and rough features. Before long he and I, and unlikely pair, established a daily routine. When my mother would tell me that it was almost time for him to come home from work I would run out to sit on the front porch and watch for his old red Ford pick-up to come rumbling down the road. At the sight of it I would jump down off the porch and run back the lane to meet him. Every day he brought me a Hershey candy bar and either a pack of gum or Lifesavers. The he would trudge up to his upstairs apartment and I would run to our apartment to get the daily newspaper. Often I would pick a red rose from my mother's rose bush and then stand at the bottom of the stairs and holler, "Mr. Geary, do you want the paper?" He, knowing what was coming, would tell me to bring it on up. He would have already poured 2 glasses of tomato juice and sat them at his kitchen table. We would drink our tomato juice while he looked over the newspaper. I hated tomato juice but I drank it because he liked it.

We then would spend time together playing with my dog or with my dolls. Yes, he played dolls with me. Looking back, I am quite sure that the last thing he felt like doing at the end of a long work day was to play with a 4 year-old. But he did.

I remember the day he left with crystal clear clarity. My mother had tried to prepare me, explaining that he had a family back in Kentucky that he had to go back to. All I knew was that my best friend and surrogate grandpa was leaving. I was angry. When it was time for him to leave I ran to the back yard and sat on my swing set - facing away from the house because I didn't want to see him go. After a while he came out and stood off to the side of the swing set, trying to tell me goodbye. I would not look at him or say a word. I was angry and I wasn't giving him the time of day. After several minutes he came over and bent down and kissed me on the cheek. His face was wet with tears as he barely got out the words "goodbye". Then he climbed into his truck and drove away. I stood there dumbfounded, in disbelief that he had really gone.

I never saw Mr. Geary again. For years I had wondered about him, and assumed he had passed on. Then about 8 years ago I decided to try to at least find out where he was buried so that I might go and finally say "goodbye" to him. After countless phone calls and a lot of detective work, I found his son who told me that he had passed away 2 years prior. All those years he was alive and living just 2 hours away.

I'm sure he died thinking that because I was so young, that I had forgotten him. I'm doubly sure that he had no idea how much he meant to me or how much of an impact he made on my life. I never got to tell him. But 40 years later I am telling a lot of other people about Mr. Geary. He is the reason I Believe that no act of love or kindness is wasted. He is the reason I believe that it is possible to make a difference in the life of someone even if we don't have all the great talents abilities that it seems others do. And I suppose that he is a big part of the reason why I put a big emphasis on "just loving and playing with the kids" when we go on mission trips. He may also be the reason I'm hopelessly addicted to chocolate.

I did find Mr. Geary's grave. It was marked by a cold black granite marker in a small cemetery in Kentucky. So unlike the man I had known. There was a driving rain that day so I didn't linger long, just long enough to lay some red roses on his grave and say "goodbye" to a friend.

Friday, March 03, 2006

What's Love Got To Do With It?

A lot of what passes for love, is really just plain old manipulation. The Bible is clear about what love is, and what it isn't.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Manipulaton seeks it's own way. It is a way of saying, "My wants are more important than yours, and in fact, they are more important than the relationship itself." No one who manipulates will admit to that, but their actions scream it. Love says, "I value you and will put aside my own desires to do what is best for you."

Love build up relationships. Manipulation tears them apart. One is self-centered. The other is relationship centered. Who wants to be in a relationship with a manipulative person? No one.

Sadly, the person manipulating others will rarely see this. They continue on in their pain, blaming the other (becuase they will not bend to the manipulation) wondering why the relationship doesn't work.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Bit of Fun

Last night a friend and I went to see the Rolling Stones "A Bigger Bang at a local movie theater. On Feb. 18th they did a free concert in Brazil with an estimated 2 million people in attendance, then for one night only, last night, they showed the concert on the big screen in select theaters. It was GREAT! Really! My son thinks I'm a total loser, one for liking the Stones, and two, for seeing them in a movie theater as opposed to live, but I've decided that's really the way to go. We had great seats and could see the entire show up close. And the crowd was well behaved. Nevermind that everyone there was too old to be anything other than well behaved. ;)

I continue to be amazed at Mick Jagger's energy level. It's a bit depressing that a 60 year old rock star is in better shape than I am (I hurt myself in my rocking chair sometimes) but it is also encouraging. MAYBE IF I get up off of my duff and DO something I wont have to grow old before my time??? That's MAYBE, and IF.

I must say too that it's nothing short of miraculous that my favorite Rolling Stone, Keith Richards is still alive. He even borrowed a George Burn's line and told the audience that "It's good to be here. It's good to be anywhere." He is looking a bit rough, OK, he's looking a lot rough, but he's still "got it" when it comes to talent. He is as amazing as ever. Mick may be the face and voice of the Stones but it's always been my opinion that Keith, or Keef, is the heart and soul of the Stones.

My friend Cathy was also good for some laughs, as always, even if they were at her expense. :) Yes Cathy I will tell it. While we were at O'Charley's eating dinner the before the show, she mentioned that "those are some awfully tall chairs". I looked about and then laughed and said, "I think those are called bar stools Cathy". She felt silly and I cracked up. That was not the end of our laughing though. We found plenty to laugh at, mostly at ourselves. It's good to laugh, to be with good friends, and to just cut loose and have a bit of fun once in a while.