Sunday, June 12, 2011

I have sweet memories of growing up in a large extended Italian family..My Grandmother had five sisters all with families.. Holidays were so much fun... My cheeks were pinched a lot and often!....there is only one of her sisters still alive and she is 91 now.

As i reflect on these old times, first off it seems like an eternity ago, secondly my memories are viewed through the eyes of a little kid and all the romanticism and childlike sort of ignorance that protects young hearts. All seemed perfect and good...My young mind couldn't imagine problems, trials and relational hardships being experienced by all the family whose love and presence made me feel so secure, like a little bird in its nest. I now know there were plenty of stresses and strains and personal drama's and even betrayals.....But at this moment I gladly file that stuff away and enjoy the aroma of my Italian family.....pass a meatball please...........

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Aradhna plays Bhajo Re in Varanasi on September 4, 2010

As many of you know, my daughter Christina, her husband Suj and son Kavi are visiting Suj's family in Mumbai, India. I am trying to distract myself with various projects, but last night my husband Ray and Jenny and Rachel and myself went an hour away to downtown Birmingham to eat Indian food at our favorite restaurant Taj Curry House. The food was awesome as usual and after dinner we went nearby to see Aradhana , a band that plays classic Indian music with sitar, tabla,guitar and bass. Before the music started the band served up some delicious chai masala to everyone there. The venue was a large loft apartment in what used to be a old department store divided up in to apartments. Floor cushions were scattered with a few big couches for seating.The band was not made up of Indian guys, but non Indians, the sitar player having grown up in India with missionary parents.
I loved the fact that I was experiencing India separately together with Stina. And there were various Indian folks there adding to my across the world feel.
Christina told us about this event because she is friends with the band on facebook or we would never have even known about it. If you are reading this Christina, thanks for the hot tip for a wonderful fun night!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Traded in for some Greek food

It isn't always possible to be near family, but if it were possible that's where I would always be. If due to life's circumstances we are separated from loved ones well then our hearts are still with them. We desire to be with them, communicate as much as possible, and by our actions and words our heart is revealed. My daughter, son in law and grandson live in Florida and I am in Alabama, circumstances that I do not like...Gladly however they are in the process of making a move to Bama hopefully in a year or so. I am so looking forward to their arrival. I am a family man.. yes, even a family geek..I can't think of anything better than living out my days near my children and grandchildren. The thought of it brings me a lot of pleasure.
I know someone who lives near their family... they have one child left living. I just think it strange that this person wants to move away for access to better restaurants, and a fantasy thought life about where they are moving to. When asked "what are the reasons for leaving your loved ones"...the reply went something like this.."better weather..better restaurants"..What restaurants..I want some greek food.. HMMM.. Lets see.. you are approaching 80 years old... This grown child looks out for you..You will be separated by many many don't get around as well as you used too... BUT the food is better there...So basically you are trading in the last years of your life for what you love most...better access to restaurants...So your family is being traded in for some Greek food... Maybe you can understand it...I can't.........

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I don't pretend for Him!!!

I have been pretty low and pretty lost at times and I don't mean in the distant past. But I have felt the abiding presence of God deep in my heart. His realness somehow always remains.
I don't look to or depend on the action or actions of any other person to weigh whether my faith is real..
Not letting the actions of another drive me or disappoint me away from Jesus. It is Just Him and me. He is the only one I don't have to pretend for! He has truly been the only one who meets me where I am..including in doubt, depression, anger, self hate and all the other strange mental places I at times find myself in...I don't love and appreciate Him for making times good for me..I love and appreciate him because he helps me when times are not good whether real or imagined..
I have to have what is real..I hate pretending....I can't abide things I don't believe..
I have Jesus and I don't pretend for Him

Psa 139:11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—
Psa 139:12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from You. To You the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to You.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Stopped dead in my tracks

A caterpillar does everything right in a relatively short period of time. Everything right means it is extremely focused on ingesting an incredible bulk of nutrition. It doesn't however become religious about its activity.....It knows when to stop! It then finds a tree to hang off of and starts to build a cocoon. It then encases itself and becomes unproductive...or that's how we look at life and activity... We think stopping is a bad thing..

There are times of change that need to take place in our lives. These times call for a forced rest and a cessation of prior activities. I am experiencing this kind of cocoon time in my life...In truth more is happening in this cocoon then in my previous business...It is just hidden from plain view. Of course we know that a beautiful creature will emerge from the caterpillar's cocoon... Well I'm not a caterpillar but I know that the Lord will do a good work in me and bring a radical transformation. I was inspired by Rachel Fowler and Rachel Richardson today and it led me to think.....

Friday, June 18, 2010

I really want to be missed

I really love being a dad...My girls are grown up now but I still want to be with them, talk to them, and much to their chagrin protect them. Jenny always tells me "I'm 28 dad I can handle it myself".... When they were younger I would always stand up for them if they were wronged..this included visits to teachers and principals. They were a bit embarrassed about it but as they got older they liked the idea that someone would be there for them...
As I said I love being a dad....I have told my wife and girls that when I die I want to be missed..A LOT... I want them to say how will we go on without him... of course they will though...what i mean is this...I want to be a good husband and father..dedicated to my wife and family... And when it is my time to go home to heaven they will always remember me fondly and yes always miss me...
PS This means you too Kavi! ( I love being a grandpa too)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

pocket of desperation

I am very thankful for God's grace. He loves me in spite of myself and all the many deep faults in my heart. I weary myself disliking so much that is within me. I want to change, need to change... It feels like an incredible and very uncomfortable pressure building in my mind and body. I begin to bow my head to the Lord...i feel the emotion welling up inside of me....He begins to dig down into my heart. My heart is like a mine, there are pent up pockets of dangerous gas waiting for the miners drill to penetrate through the hard layers. In a real mine if one of these pockets are opened and there is a spark there will be a mine explosion.
He drills into my pocket of desperation. His spark ignites these deepest frustrations of my being. I explode from deep within saying help me Lord, save me Lord, and oh please change me Lord. A few tears flow, I feel hope and a release of pressure. The pocket of desperation has fulfilled its intended purpose in moving me closer to God. I can already feel the pressure building in other areas of my heart.

Psa 51:8 Oh, give me back my joy again; You have broken me—now let me rejoice.

Rom 7:24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
Rom 7:25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.