One-Liners for Today and Tomorrow and …

You know I love one-liners. For a lonnnnnng time.

Like these:

Spell wine without an H.

Die young as late as possible.

Friendship is the best ship.

Do good well.

Down deep don’t be shallow.

The wind found its voice.

If what you did yesterday looks big to you, then you haven’t done much today.

Today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Keep open hands and not closed fists.

Growth is the consequence of generosity.

Don’t keep a list of wrongs.

Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One-Liners for Today and Tomorrow and…

You know I love one-liners. For a lonnnnnng time.

Like these:

Spell wine without an H.

Die young as late as possible.

Friendship is the best ship.

Do good well.

Down deep don’t be shallow.

The wind found its voice.

If what you did yesterday looks big to you, then you haven’t done much today.

Today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Keep open hands and not closed fists.

Growth is the consequence of generosity.

Don’t keep a list of wrongs.

Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When Pitching Gets Messed Up

I have not lived life inoffensively.

How’s that for starters?

No, this won’t be a litany of sins, evidence of waywardness.

Rather, it’s a “drill” on what happens when you are competitive.

Shorthand, that means sports.

Of course, my NFL interest these days has waned. Guess that makes me a win-please fan of the Denver Broncos. I do, though, have some interest, albeit lessened considerably, this weekend on who wins and who goes home.

I read this morning, Sunday, January 13, 2019, that a rift—the mild version—exploded after the Rams Cowboys game…between a wide receiver of the Cowboys and a safety of the Rams.

For whatever reason it took me to a rift I had—or it had me—when I pitched in college. I remember the incident clearly. It was our opening league game…we played in Los Angeles against the UCLA Bruins. They were good; we personified mediocrity. I was a sophomore, circa Spring, 1960.

Our coach, God rest his soul, Dutch Fehring gave a speech before every game, ending, “Fellas, give your best and let the chips fall where they may.” We knew it by heart…it was memory and not inspiration.

Once following the speech one of our players, his guilt will be shrouded in anonymity, got up, walked in the dugout, stumbled and fell. He got up and remarked, “Damn, sure a lot of chips in this dugout.”

Back to the game. For whatever reason [this is not false humility], “Chips” Fehring designated me as the starting pitcher. I had developed my “out” pitch, a slider, and was pleased in the first inning to get the Bruins star hitter to hit into a double play.

The crucial moment, though, happened before the game.

I had been chosen over another player. I didn’t realize he was hurt at his non-selection. That was mild matched to his fury I was chosen.

After I warmed up, I went to the dugout to mentally prepare myself.

I was alone. But in a breath I looked up and the other pitcher stood before me. He pointed and not obviating much, he looked at me, “Miller? You aren’t worth shit. No way you will pitch well today. No way.”

Not exactly words of encouragement.

Well, I lasted until the 6th inning, labored but the slider saved me a couple of times. The bases were loaded with Bruins. Coach Fehring came to the mound, waved to the bull pen and in came Pitcher Acid. As I walked to the dugout he said, “See? I was right.”

He ended up walking the first batter in 4 pitches, letting in the tie-breaking run, then gave up a double clearing the bases. We lost. He smiled. No, correction. He smirked even though the losing runs came when he pitched.

Why this?

Because I’m thinking about it. Which leads to my weakness, my vulnerability, where I need help.

I have trouble dealing with people who shaft me. Who make life miserable. Who pay scowl rather than a helping hand.

I have no idea what happened to the tirading pitcher. I knew he cheated. Saliva didn’t always stay in his mouth. He would push dirt over the pitcher’s mound and stand a foot closer to the plate.

Yet. My ability to move on from the untoward is minimal. I’m willing to admit that.

How about you?

Even if you throw a wicked slider, I bet. I bet many of you can name a few someone’s who have messed you up.

I have work to do on that.

My first step is this blog.

My next step…well, I’m working on it.

Oh, I did pitch again, and once, when in relief, quieted the best bats in college, the USC Trojans, and we won the game.

My nemesis said nothing. Neither did I.

At least I didn’t smirk or say something ratty in condescension.

Well, well, well. On a Sunday morning as I drive to church. Guess I know the prayer I need…will try to make a good pitch during the Prayer of Confession…need it.

Maybe.

Just maybe. You do, too.

And now a postscript which has become a prelude.

During worship this morning, focused upon the baptism of Jesus, the preacher said, “We are not loved because we are baptized; we are baptized because we are loved.”

That hit me like a fast ball—right in the heart.

Following the sermon, we celebrated the Renewal of our Baptism. I participated fully. And felt so much better…that forgiveness and love were delineated. But, more important, I now have the emotional depth to know that living can be less conflictual…because I am a child of God and I am beloved.

And so. So is everyone. Everyone. Including the guy who didn’t keep all saliva in his mouth.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Back To Why–Deeper For Each Of Us

Never a doubt how important friends are. In specific ways to take my thoughts and deepen and expand them. A few days ago I wrote about how “Why?” has little value.

My dear, dear friend, Mike Murray—Presbyterian Minister and consultant and super monthly breakfast buddy at Jim’s, responded. When I was Conference Minister in Texas, 1997-2005, Mike led seminars on “being an effective leader” and “grow during your retirement.” So helpful. His friendship is such a gift of God…I am truly blessed.

With his permission, here’s his take on “Why?” Hope it helps you half as much as it helped me…which was very significant:

“Mark: just to share some observations on the question, “Why?”

First: I tell the CEOs i work with NEVER, EVER ask it! Especially of someone lower than you on the organizational pyramid! The reason: many (most?) of us, when growing up rarely, if ever, heard, “I’m angry (upset, frustrated, pissed off, furious, etc.) with you because…………..”. Rather, what we heard was, “Why didn’t you get home on time last night?” “Why haven’t you made up your bed?” “Why didn’t you make better grades?” Etc etc.

Rarely were they interested in reasons. It was their way of saying, “I’m angry with you…..”. When CEOs ask that question, you think (rightly?) I’m in trouble! Not, “gee, he / she is really curious and interested in causes, reasons, purposes for what is happening or did happen.”

So, don’t ask “Why”. You only generate defensiveness and rationalization. If you need to understand reason, cause, or purpose, use those words; not Why!

But, it is a legitimate way to pursue causes, reasons, purposes, even meaning. “Why” can grow out of a person’s belief that this world is not a random, chance, senseless, purposeless world. There is, in fact, “an arc to human history”.

Yes, the question is sometimes asked in a whiny, complaining voice; and sometimes given a horrible answer “It was God’s will and we will understand later”. Please, God, deliver us.

Indeed, since humans are meaning makers, I choose to believe that we are left to our own resources (with God’s help) to MAKE meaning out of whatsoever comes to pass!

(E. G. the woman who created MADD chose to make meaning out of her daughter’s death in a drunk driver accident by creating an organization that has prevented thousands of deaths due to drunk drivers. That is the meaning she created.)”

Grace and Peace always,

Mike.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dealing With Death

Megan Renae Parker is a special friend. She’s a member of the Congregational Church of Mercer Island where I served as their interim minister for a year. She sings soprano and I have never met a perfect angel, but if I had to choose an angel’s voice, it would be Megan’s. This morning I read on her Facebook that her employment was ended because of downsizing. She shared a powerful understanding and affirmation of transcending.

Be it life through death in any circumstance. Remember in the powerful and poignant Psalm 23 it says, “through” the valley of death.

Death comes in many forms…not all the end of breathing. Megan has given me permission to share her Facebook. Such a class lady and so powerful for us to realize—each new day. Thank you, Megan!

“But wait a second: what if we could love winter, not just because of spring, but for its own sake? What if we could be unafraid of Death, not just because we love Life, but because Death hides gifts in its endings that we might otherwise not realize?”

The last sentence brought tears to my eyes because in this ending, this death, there are surely gifts. Gratitude for the time I had and wonder and hope for something even better than I can imagine to come.

Sending you love and light in the New Year!

Megan

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dealing With Death

Megan Renae Parker is a special friend. She’s a member of the Congregational Church of Mercer Island where I served as their interim minister for a year. She sings soprano and I have never met a perfect angel, but if I had to choose an angel’s voice, it would be Megan’s. This morning I read on her Facebook that her employment was ended because of downsizing. She shared a powerful understanding and affirmation of transcending.

Be it life through death in any circumstance. Remember in the powerful and poignant Psalm 23 it says, “through” the valley of death.

Death comes in many forms…not all the end of breathing. Megan has given me permission to share her Facebook. Such a class lady and so powerful for us to realize—each new day. Thank you, Megan!

“But wait a second: what if we could love winter, not just because of spring, but for its own sake? What if we could be unafraid of Death, not just because we love Life, but because Death hides gifts in its endings that we might otherwise not realize?”

The last sentence brought tears to my eyes because in this ending, this death, there are surely gifts. Gratitude for the time I had and wonder and hope for something even better than I can imagine to come.

Sending you love and light in the New Year!

Megan

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dealing With Bull

It’s not often—perhaps as my 79th birthday’s looming ahead in June, to have experiences that are special moments, but not much else. Worth talking about the next day. But nothing more.

Last week, though, I had an experience that pushes indelibility, it really does.

I was invited to attend a rodeo. A rodeo for a city slicker? Yep. Good thing, though, they didn’t call me Billy Crystal and put me on a horse. The horse would have an epileptic seizure and my knocking on heaven’s door would begin.

For those of you who know all about rodeos, this might be banal, humdrum. But, before the rodeo I met some of the genuine cowboys, took pictures of enormous bulls [on the other side of the pen] and then was treated to a seat right over the frickin’ chute.

The whole reality was not confronting…it was exciting.

That was a week ago.

Yet, this morning, Thursday, January 10, 2019 it’s as if it happened moments ago.

And that experience. That very experience will be more than a moment. It will be a moment never forgotten, stored deep within…with gratitude…much gratitude.

Why this?

Because this morning as I cruised through MSN I came upon this link…and I thought of speedy cowgirls looping barrels to see if they could finish with a time better than ever.

I like that phrase, “Better Than Ever!” Because that is how I feel this morning. Which means I could be trouble. But the bulls aren’t even stomping their feet. [Do bulls have feet? How about hooves?] They are safe from me because they are in the pen. And I’m not.

https://www.horseloverz.com/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=US%20%3A%20Competitors&utm_term=chickssaddlery%20com&utm_content=Chicks%20Saddlery

Here are some pictures of the bulls on the other side of the fence…then my appearance, well before the rodeo began…notice no bull’s stalking me!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment