One Hour and Thirty-Nine Minutes


I spent the afternoon over
thinking my options because
I don’t know what they are.

I didn’t want to think about
anything else so I watched a
stupid movie I missed in

nineteen eighty-one. It should
have stayed missed. It was
late. I studied and read

through dinner. I had enough
time for a movie. Hungry but
didn’t want to cook. I don’t

like salads, but I made a salad
and sat there for an hour and
thirty-nine minutes watching

pre-PC graphics that were
poor but not as bad as the
plot and acting. Of course I’d

say that; these graphics looked
like the Tempest arcade game
I was playing then. But no

thank you. I know you are
dying to ask me if I want to
go back. The answer is no.

Because I know what followed
and came before. It was hard
enough to live it the first time.

The kitchen will have to wait
until tomorrow morning; I’m
too tired. Loving from afar can

be tough. Bed after the movie
was my plan, but not my choice.
I’m sitting here instead. So,

what does all this mean? It means
that the only time I didn’t think of
you or miss you today was for

one hour and thirty-nine minutes.

Thus Far


It has been seven years since I moved to Arizona—seven difficult and challenging years. Please don’t misunderstand me, there have been many good things and blessings. But overall, very trying. But this year as it turns out has been the worst. With that in mind I’ll spare you the details of the many challenges that have come my way.

But thank God tomorrow is the new year. So, it is a time to both look back and look ahead. Let me share with you how I did that today.

I read this earlier today: Thus far the Lord has helped us. (1 Samuel 7:12)

The words “thus far” help me look back to the past. On my journey “thus far,” the Lord has brought me through so many things, I’m grateful to be alive another day. I thought back about twenty years in the Army, my tours in Vietnam and Thailand, getting robbed when I lived in NYC, to name a few.

And, that in His mercy and grace, He gave me the strength to do a last-minute plumbing repair job and a few other critical chores this afternoon. I don’t know about you, but plumbing wears me out—praise be to God that he didn’t make me a plumber (although I definitely thank God for them.)

So, the Lord has been the faithful “rear guard” of my past as He promised to Israel and to me: “For the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 52:12) The past is covered! (Dear Reader, if you are reading this, the Lord has been your rear guard whether you know it or not. I believe that is true!)

Now, my hope is that if the Lord God gives me (and you) life tomorrow, then we can continue to look forward. No matter what trials and tribulation come our way, we have this to look forward to as promised in our future (in Revelation 3:5):

He who overcomes [the world through believing that Jesus is the Son of God] will accordingly be dressed in white clothing; and I will never blot out his name from the Book of Life, and I will confess and openly acknowledge his name before My Father and before His angels [saying that he is one of Mine].

So, I can’t help but be grateful for what has past and excited about what is to come. I hope you share that excitement with me and with what the Apostle John heard and saw as he wrote in the book of Revelation. I leave this with you as we end this year and begin the next. Happy New Year to all and to all God’s Grace and Peace.

And I heard every created thing that is in heaven or on earth or under the earth [in Hades, the realm of the dead] or on the sea, and everything that is in them, saying [together],

“To Him who sits on the throne and
to the Lamb (Christ), be blessing
and honor and glory and dominion
forever and ever.”

(Revelation 5:13)

A Different Reality


It is hard to focus on my manuscript;
my eyes jump from the page to the wind
outside my window. I’ve been crushed.

Unlikely traumatic events make me and
my writing falter. They say that no news
is good news. What about bad news?

The unexpected and the unwanted appear
to crisscross with the wanted and the hoped
for to bring about a different reality.

I am separated from what I know; and I’m
not connected to what is to come. If any of
this makes sense to you, explain it to me.

Unending Peace


The day passed like any other.
The commute wasn’t any worse.
The workload was a little more
demanding in the high heat.

No one else knew. But I knew.

Fifty years are a longtime. Another
day passed. It was another day at
work with a flurry of activity and
more high heat. I drank some cold
water. And more coffee.

I looked at the headlines in many
places; nothing was worth reading.
Chaos was a common thread.
Fear was another.

Different day; more chaos, more
fear. The date made me look back.
But the headlines made me look
forward.

The date that I had joined the Army
fifty years ago passed quietly. The
news was reporting on the next
hot crisis. Then another one fueling
people’s sense of helplessness and
hopelessness.

I had a sense of neither. God’s
promises give me peace within and
without. Unending peace.

I was grateful for the years past, but I
realized I was more grateful for the
years ahead and the eternity to come.