Archive for January, 2017

No Dumbass

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

The other night I was in line at McDonalds behind a woman who placed an order for one burger that had several caveats attached. She first got my attention when she was very wordy with her order. Like she said that it was for her sister and not for herself and on and on. She then griped about the price. The order came out rather quickly. Unfortunately, the woman opened the bag to find that it was not correct. While showing me the burger she said to me, “Look I told her no mayo. She is such a dumbass”.  Since I know the counter person I said, “No she is not a dumbass. She is a hard worker.  Somebody along the line made a mistake, but that does not make her a dumbass any more than you would be a dumbass if you made a mistake. It’s a mistake; that is all.” The woman gave me a strange look, apologized and left with another burger that was correct.

Cathy and Hudson, my grandson, were both proud of me for defending the worker. As I was basking in the warm glow of their adulation I had this thought: Would I have been as vocal had the complainer been 6’4”, 245 pounds with a three-day stubble? I think I would.


My journey to wholeness in my free online book  @

Part 1 UNSCREWED – Becoming Whole Again


Thursday, January 19th, 2017

I’m at Starbucks drinking a tall decaf with nutmeg. I can get it cheaper and better at McDonalds, but I find the people-watching is still better here, regardless of the price. Here are my observations about some of the folks I’m watching: There is a woman standing outside in a light midst smoking a really long cigarette. It is cold out there and she is coatless.  I think she might be shivering. She looks really anxious; every time she takes a drag, as she exhales, she looks down at the cigarette in her hand.  I think she is checking to see how much longer she will have to stand out in the cold rain enjoying her smoke. It will be a while. She doesn’t look like she is having fun. Once, as she blew smoke out her nose, for just a split second, smoking appealed to me again; I better stop watching her. I don’t get it. Why do people stand shivering in the rain to do something that isn’t good for them? Maybe it is the same reason that I sometimes eat a pound of M&Ms.

Across from me there is a guy reading a newspaper. Actually, he is reading two —- The New York Times and The Tennessean. They aren’t his papers. I see him here often; he just borrows them from the rack. When he is finished he will reassemble and put them back. Is that stealing? I think it is. I wish people didn’t do that. When I buy a paper I want it to be crisp, unwrinkled and flat without that fellow’s crumbs or grease spots. Why do folks do things like that?  I’m sure he doesn’t consider it wrong any more than I do when I speed or gossip a bit. There are a couple of teens on an I Pad; I’ve heard the “F Bomb” twice already. I think that is really tacky. I am tempted to go over and say something. For some reason, I just recalled a day, many years ago, when I let one fly.  OUCH!

You know there is a lot to be learned about ourselves just watching other folks drink coffee.

Something to think about.



My journey to wholeness in my free online book  @

Part 1 UNSCREWED – Becoming Whole Again

People Pleaser

Friday, January 13th, 2017

For the first 15 years of my ministry, after a service I could have 50 people say “good job”, but if my wife or a close friend didn’t give me an “atta boy” I wanted to shoot myself. That is the sad truth. Sadly, I lived like that for most of my life. Some of you know the feeling. I hope what I am telling you will help. You are not alone!

For reasons that mostly had their genesis in a child’s imagination,  a guy who had pretty much succeeded at nearly everything I ever tried, other than hitting a golf ball straight, every day of my life until fall of 2005, I secretly felt like an inferior product – a reject or a second. Metaphorically, I equated myself to one of those over-priced “YETI”© products that you can buy for 75% off because it has a huge dent or leaking top. I found that to be a very painful way to live!

The fact of life is many people who are driven to perform and achieve, folks who often stand on the stages of life, are some of the most deeply insecure people on the planet. I find this to be particularly true of people in the helping professions – like ministers and counselors.  If any of what I’ve said hits home with you then believe me when I tell you that you do not have to live that way. Here is something you might want to try. Each day before your feet ever hit the floor ask yourself:  “For whom am I going to live this day?  Am I going to live my life to please people or am I going to live my life to please God?”  If you daily choose people you will pretty much set yourself up to fail, but if you choose God, you will never again be people dependent.

Something to Think About


My journey to wholeness in my free online book  @

Part 1 UNSCREWED – Becoming Whole Again


Wednesday, January 4th, 2017


With the regularity of the Swallows annual return to Mission San Juan Capistrano, come loads of new folks for the annual New Year’s pilgrimage to the gym. Unfortunately, few will still be working out by spring. This morning at the “Y”, in addition to several new people, I also noticed a new Stairmaster type machine. They are thinking about replacing the older machines with the new type and asked folks to try it out and write their comments down. The first comment card that I read said, “Wow, I like it. It is much easier than the old ones!”   From my experience, as a rule “easy” and “success” are mutually exclusive concepts. Yet “easy” seems to be our chosen default setting.

It is much easier to stay in bed and skip the gym. It is easier to hate than love. It is easier to believe everything you see on the Internet than to seek truth for yourself. It is easier to stay in an addiction than to commit to the program. It is easier to sell drugs than work at McDonalds. It is easier to steal what belongs to someone else. Often, it is easier to lie than to tell the truth. It is easier to make believe that you are prefect than to face your glaring flaws. It is easier to blindside someone than to face them head on. It is easier to play with your cell phone than with your kids. It is easier to pig out than to say “no”.  It is easier to hate than to love. It is easier to continue to smoke than to quit. It is easier to leave God out of the equation of life than to deal with the consequences of including Him. It is easier to give up than continue. It is easier to blame someone  else. It is easier to be more talk than action. It is easier to hold grudges than to forgive. It is easier to badmouth than to praise. It is easier to keep it all than to give some away. It is easier to wallow in pride than to seek forgiveness. It is easier to drive drunk than to call Uber. It is easier to tear down than to build up. It is easier to say the right words than do the right thing. It is easier to dream than to do. It is easier to be stingy than to be generous. It is easier to keep a few man-made rules than really follow Jesus.

Something to think about