Custom Search

Monday, December 26, 2005

Complete The Change

My son woke up crying in bed one early morning. At that time he was three and awoke often from cramps, bad dreams or whenever he wet the bed. This time it was a bed wetting incident and we knew there would be no sleep until the situation was resolved. We had to change him out of his wet clothing (neither my son nor I wanted the clothing to touch us) and strip his bed of completely unsatisfactory linen.
However, just because we had removed the offensive clothing and bedding, we were not done. Sure, we had discarded it and removed it from our sight, but there was one thing left undone. We had to put on new and acceptable clothing; clothing that would warm my son and make him feel renewed. He also needed crisp sheets and a comfy blanket to feel warm in. It wasn’t until he put on his new clothing and lay in his new bed that he could go to sleep.
In Ephesians 4, Paul taught, we must remove the corruptible self and renew our mind on things of the spirit. Then we are to replace our old self with the new self, created in righteousness. It’s not enough to just strip away what is unacceptable, but we must complete the transaction by redressing with new clothing.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Man in the Arena

There are two famous quotes that I enjoy reading over and over. The first is The Man in the Arena I will get to the second on another day.

Though this quote is directed toward a different audience of April 23, 1910, President Theodore Roosevelt lauded the men and women who struggled against the rugged environment and an enemy determined to keep them tied to the throne. I think he would also provide it today and address all tough individuals taught by the savagery of taming a slow yielding land and determined to move on with a brighter future. Many would sneer and say, "you cannot do this", or "don't cause trouble here, we have it good."

The determined heroes sweat, strain, bleed, and suffer. They know their relief lies in the great future they build for their children as well as preservation of values and a quality life.

For those who laugh at struggles and say "I told you so," when progress is slow should at least understand:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Veggie Tales wrote back

Great news, the Veggie Tales saw my posting and wrote back. Here is what they said:
Dear Jeff,

Greetings from your friends at Big Idea! Thank you for sharing your story with us!

It’s terrific to know that your son is growing up with the Veggies. Don't worry! He will soon come to understand the lessons along with enjoying those singing and dancing vegetables! We applaud your efforts to seek out positive media for your precious little boy!

Thanks again for sending us a note. Many blessings to you and your family.

Kindest Regards,
Veggie Tales

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Have you ever googled your name or anything like that. You should try it, you never know what you might find. I recently googled my book "Under the Lontar Palm". It is very interesting. Besides the myriad on line bookstores, Websters online dictionary used my book in its definition. Check it out.

Lost-My pet Cat

Lost: One 10 year old female tabby cat.
Name: Goes by Chicken
Last seen: In Wall Farms Subdivision of Madison Alabama
If found please email me. She has been missing for a few months. The last time we saw her, she wanted to go out for the night. The next morning she never returned, and the morning after that, and the morning after that, the morning after that and etcetera. We have since moved and I would hate to think of her out there still trying to get into the house.

Please help if you can.


Sunday, August 21, 2005

I am the Vine; You are the Tomato?

As we drove to church this morning, I took an opportunity to explain how important Jesus is to us. My three and a half year old son asked if God takes care of us. I replied yes, that he loves us and will never leave us.

He then went into detail asking how much God loves us. "Daddy," he asked. "Does God take care of our eyeballs, our arms, our heads and our eyeballs?" (can you tell that he is fixated?)

"Yes, son, he does,"I replied.

I then explained that Jesus says that he is the vine and we are the branches.

My son reminded me that..."No, daddy, God is the Cucumber and we are the tomatoes."

Has anyone else been there?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Lost in the Clouds

Okay, if you have ever gotten lost and did not ask for directions, then this is for you. I know that many experienced pilots, especially my army aviator buddies get a kick out of my lack of cockpit management skills, but that's just me.

I mean, how hard can it be flying a single engine Cessna. Few controls, hardly any electronic navigation and nobody really serious about shooting you down. Still, folding and refolding charts, trying to stay focused on the right roads during visual navigation, and fatching for other planes seems to challenge me greatly.

Here is an article I wrote based on my experience as a private pilot:

“Are you following I-20 west, or are you following I-95 south?” The voice cut through my headphones. The small airplane’s engine played loudly in the background, adding to the confusion.
Just a few minutes prior, I had called the tower operator for a ‘vector’ to his airport. As I had hoped, his trained ear understood my dilemma.
“I intend to follow I-20 east to Columbia, South Carolina,” I replied confidently. Though 50 miles off course, I was now in control, and could easily find my way.
“Many people confuse the two interstate highways, so I just wanted to guide you to the correct one,” he instructed politely before continuing. “It all looks the same from above.”
I acknowledged his instructions and dismissed him with a nervous laugh and a ‘thank you’. I felt ashamed for getting lost, but nonetheless certain I could find my way to Columbia. Suddenly the familiar and friendly voice interrupted my thoughts.
“If you intend to follow I-20, turn to a heading of 270 degrees and you should see it,” he hinted gently, after noticing I was again heading in the wrong direction.
There I was, heading directly south instead of east. The man in the Florence, SC tower was more than patient with the errant pilot, but still had time to correct my course. He offered his undivided attention to illustrate the distance to the highway, and stood by until I acknowledged seeing it. All the while, I thanked him silently for keeping me on his radar.
How often do we find this illustrating our relationship with God? We realize our pilgrimage is not headed in the right direction, and we call upon the Lord for guidance. A little prayer and Bible study and we head back out armed with a compass. Confident in our new course, we suddenly find that all too familiar voice telling us we have erred again.
Even with Bible reading, church service, and prayer, we can still lack discipline. Too many activities; church, family, and work can take our focus off the Lord. Without focus, we try to interpret His will with terrible results.
Without true undivided attention on the Lord, we can lose our way to the whims of any of many distractions. In that airplane, I had a compass, radio navigation equipment, and a good map. Even with this required equipment, I became distracted and disorganized. I even had the ‘hot line’ to the tower, constant reproof, and still became disoriented.
God provides for us a focal point. With that goal, He gave us the required tools to reach it. Constant prayer, Bible study, and living a God centered life will prevent incorrect course changes. But even if we err, God is right there providing the directions to the road back. I thank Him constantly for the undivided attention and for Him ever keeping me on His radar.

Price of Oil

$3 gas looms
August 12, 2005
Oil vey!

The average retail price of regular unleaded gas in the city rocketed to a record $2.619 a gallon yesterday - with some stations edging toward an incredible $3 a gallon - as oil prices soared to an all-time high of $66 a barrel.

My mode of transportation thrives on this news. The old truck seems to enjoy drinking the new expensive fuel. It appreciates the higher costs and consumes it at a higher rate. Does it think that since it costs more, it must be better? I know people like this. You know, the ones who choose to pay full price instead of shopping for bargains.
What's happened to my truck? Maybe it's not my truck at all. Perhaps the real culprit is my wallet and not my pickup's new taste for expensive fuel. It seems to grasp the cash a little tighter forcing me to pump only half as much as normal. I tend to leave the pumps at half tank thinking in vain that the prices will have to go down. Yeah, this really works...I end up back at the pump a few days later only to pay much more.

Basketball Jam

So, I hear that some city is going to put an ordinance up dictating a nightly curfew on playing hoops. Is this a good idea? I can't imagine living in an area that has basketball right outside. I mean, I have a basketball goal and it is way underused.

Maybe this is going the way of Midnight Basketball. Does anyone remember that? It was an attempt to keep people off the streets by getting them interested in organized basketball tourneys. Who's not interested in a game of hoops?

Maybe by not offering basketball, we will get people off the streets. Does basketball or no basketball equal quite streets?

Basketball does seem to be the big equalizer as far as getting people together. It's loud, exciting, and people cheer for their favorite teams. Our church in involved in Upward Basketball. It's a great outreach to the local community as children of all ages participate. Half time entertainment consists of a quick bible reading or devotion.

But let's get back to the noise. Sometimes when I bounce my basketball, there is a distinct sound of the rubber hitting the pavement hard. I kind of like the tinny echo that resonates for a fraction of a second. I dream of a continuous swoosh of only net, but mostly I get the sad thud of the ball hitting the backboard way too hard.

Well, all of you midnight players. What can I say, let some air out of the ball and tape your mouths shut. Better yet, turn it up!!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

A Professional, as described in the Bible

Enjoy the devotional and be sure to visit my website. You can read about my latest novel, "Under the Lontar Palm"
Col. 2:6-7
Writers in the bible have often talked about our relationships with God as a walk, race or conversation. In the army we used to say it was a way of life more than a job. When you are trained and expected to perform to a certain degree, you become more involved than just merely doing what your paycheck or job description says you are to perform. Working late into the night, weekends, putting the unfinished work ahead of personal priorities is not out of the ordinary. When it comes to knowing how to act in unclear or unforeseen circumstances, choices are crystal clear. Only because when committed to something, we act as we are taught.

We had another saying in the Army and that is train as you fight. Never ever forget why you are here. When it rains, or is too hot, or you would rather do something more pleasurable is no excuse to stop the momentum. We knew that the enemy never rests and he will exploit our weaknesses during the tough times. As Paul had taught before, we are in a spiritual warfare. As he says here, we are to maintain our momentum regardless of being on a mission or carrying out our daily lives. WE are expected to be prepared at all times, not just when the spotlight is shining on us.

It is important to understand what our beliefs are and our doctrine. Not only as Christians, but as a body of believers. We have a constitution that is important for everyone to know. Not everyone can vote, not everyone can be a deacon; you need to know what the qualifications are. We take this doctrine and apply it as a soldier does so that in all situations, our choices are clear. Not everyday is going to be a spiritual battle, but we need to be at our best at all times, always alert.

We must have a thankful attitude. God has forgiven us and provided a savior. NO matter what, we should be thankful in all of our circumstances. Hard to do, but is expected. Once we focus on God’s plan and not our own desires, it is easier to be thankful. That’s self-sacrifice that Paul talks about. Turning the TV off to really talk to someone who needs you, walking out of a bad movie, staying late after church to help clean up, be a prayer partner instead of going to bed early, not to mention the ministry needs in your own families.

Col. 2: 8-15

Have you ever been in a conversation and you felt yourself persuaded to listen to things that you knew were not spiritually sound? Did you ever get taken away by someone’s smooth words and rhythmic cadence of their voice? These were times that you were to give reason for your hope and do so joyfully, but you just didn’t want to break the peace. Many Christians as in Paul’s days are fooled by humanistic thinking. How about this one? "Jerry Falwell is just rocking the boat too much." I heard a fellow Christian say. "He is not making a good example of how a Christian should be acting." He quotes scripture for crying out loud.

The whole reason to study scripture and doctrine is so that you will know the truth in ALL situations. This will be less of an opportunity to be seduced into an unholy belief. The doctrine of Christ holds it all together. He provides the anchor of our beliefs, values, ethics if you will just let him. Dr. John Maxwell wrote a book called “No such thing as business Ethics.” How can there be if we are forged in righteousness.

The self sacrifice comes in again with circumcision of the Messiah. We trust in Christ who has provided ultimate forgiveness. I can see the devil saying, God, your plan won’t work. Jeff is going to just hurt you again and again and again. Jesus stands up and says “He is mine, I paid the price and he accepted my forgiveness. You have to forgive him, Father”. He has taken the words that describe our most disgusting offenses and erased them.

True Story (I know, I saw it on "The Apprentice" A man was riding in his Limo and it broke down. A couple came by and offered assistance. The man paid off their mortgage. He took their debt and erased it, took responsibility of it and lifted their burden. They do not have to worry about it again.

Isn't it great to know that you have the same opportunity. By accepting Christ, your debt is paid in full.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Published Works
Under the Lontar Palm

Come visit my store on CafePress!
ISBN: 1-58851-098-0, 242 pages, 6 x 9
More than anything, John wants to be an airline pilot. Fresh from the Vietnam war, he begins his odyssey flying missionaries over the jungles of Irian Jaya, Indonesia. He plans to stay a short time as he gains flying experience. However, he didn't count on meeting Marta, a widowed missionary. In spite of different motivations, the two are somehow drawn to one another. In the midst, both must deal with their feelings as they experience the outcome of tribal warfare, trouble making miners, and humorous villagers.